Raison d'etre

Coming Soon!

blaupunkt

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cruel IRONY personified - still amazing...

The lyre bird is to other birds , what a parrot is to us.

The lyre bird lives in australia, living together with kookaburras and sadly humans who are encroaching their space...

video



The final part is.... just SO SAD!!!!

And I would harm the person who claims that Having Videos and Photos of what once existed is good enough.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

This is a tribute if any!!! Cool!!!

Excerpt from wikipedia

"Physical feats

Lee's phenomenal fitness meant he was capable of performing many exceptional physical feats.[52][53][54][55] The following list includes some of the physical feats that are documented and supported by reliable sources.

* Lee's striking speed from three feet with his hands down by his side reached five hundredths of a second.[56]
* Lee's combat movements were at times too fast to be captured on film at 24 frames per second, so many scenes were shot in 32fps to put Lee in slow motion. Normally martial arts films are sped up.[57][58][59]
* In a speed demonstration, Lee could snatch a dime off a person's open palm before they could close it, and leave a penny behind.[60]
* Lee could perform push ups using only his thumbs[48][55]
* Lee would hold an elevated v-sit position for 30 minutes or longer.[54]
* Lee could throw grains of rice up into the air and then catch them in mid-flight using chopsticks.[48]
* Lee performed one-hand push-ups using only the thumb and index finger[55][61][48][55]
* Lee performed 50 reps of one-arm chin-ups.[62]
* Lee could break wooden boards 6 inches (15 cm) thick.[63]
* Lee could cause a 300-lb (136 kg) bag to fly towards and thump the ceiling with a side kick.[55]
* Lee performed a side kick while training with James Coburn and broke a 150-lb (68 kg) punching bag[54][64]
* In a move that has been dubbed "Dragon Flag", Lee could perform leg lifts with only his shoulder blades resting on the edge of a bench and suspend his legs and torso perfectly horizontal midair.[65]"


video

My cute neighbourly Friends!- moths

What is this?



Well even toddlers know what it is... but what's so special about it?
It's the contents!!! I know that won't get you remotely excited but my box of staplers contain not only staplers but something else!



My extended family of friends decided to establish a cosy abode in one of my stapler boxes! My my, Of all places!



The photos are taken thru a magnifying glass to show you the details you might miss in your attempt to sweep them away. They measure less than 1mm across!!! Compare that to the ruler that you have..



I selected this photo because the amount of detail it shows. The red arrow points at a egg sac most probably before the pupae stage( where the ant baby takes the from of well... an ant) At this current stage it has already undergone organogenesis where some parts are formed... notice the black spot?

Well... being the good neighbour that I am I shoo shoo-ed them away from my box onto a part of my floor where they rush off to create another cosy home...

Then came another curious visitor...


Dead in the night, with my poor eyesight
I spot the tiny bug, hiding beside my rug
"Ah poor you," I said, "misled into my shed",
"by the bright bright lights",
"human dwellings leave throughout the night"



Ah... the shade of light casts a mysterious glow...



Haha... I am making this shot as though it's a superhero's entrance!
"Deng Deng Deng Deng!!!"




Ok! enough of the theatricals! Here's the cute bug in full view



Here's the iridescent glow of the wings... accentuated by my flash. Lucky it is not one to shy away from the limelight!

Truth be told, it's the first time in my life I stumbled across such an unique specimen! Well, by 'in my life' I mean the countless hours and days staring into the undergrowth looking for little bugs that scurry across my line of sight all through my younger years. It's the first time I've seen this type of moth.



I mean look at the antennae! Isn't it cool? Here's a magnified shot of it! Well I know larger moths have such elaborate antennae to pick up minute pheromones of the opposite sex, but it's a first for me to see such in a tiny specimen! And the angle of the antennae and the position of the front legs point towards the moth attempting to look like something/ look like nothing interesting at all to passer-by predators.



Well... It's my luck really...
I mean, I live on the 13th floor of a condominium...
sometimes going into to jungle I end up not spotting anything interesting...
Here I am living in Cheras, KL, in a high rise apartment with minimal adjacent vegetation and in comes this once in a lifetime rendezvous.

What happens next? I gently ushered him into a box and then 'forced' him to fly out of the window... haha

The next visitor... Well...
what can I say but...
Fear factor made REAL






Yup that's a wasp. And not just any tiny wasp. This is a huge wasp that measures.....



nearly 60mm long...... That's like 4 times the size of your average bee!
So there I was thinking what to do about it then the proverbial light bulb above the head brightened!

I took a pringles container, opened the lid and tried and tried and tried to make it go inside before turning the chute of the container outside my window and let it fly away... brilliant! isn't it?

Now the difference between bees and wasps is that bees are always gregarious and live in a colony; the bees we come across are worker bees serving a queen bee in the nest who is an egg-making-machine. Worker bees can only sting once, because their intestines will be ejected out of their body along with the stinging barb and they die. So don't think that bees enjoy stinging you. They do so to protect their nest and they trade-in with their LIVES. Please respect them..

Wasps on the other hand, are normally solitary, with the exceptions of the potter wasp(clay makers),the paper wasp and other gregarious wasps. Most wasps live a lonely life, taking nectar only as adults. When they're prepared to give birth they start to hunt for smaller insects to lay eggs on.

Wasps, have stings doubling up as ovipositors,( egg-planting appendages) and they can use them multiple times for self-preservation and for hunting purposes.

One Wasp you should know about is the tarantula wasp... As it's namesake.... It hunts, TARANTULAS!!! Well, who wins? Normally its a 50-50 situation where either one can end up on the dinner plate.

Back to my brilliant idea just now...So, turning the pringles around, I urged the critter to fly... but no, it had other ideas! It wants to take a stroll!!!!SO it doubled back on the pringles can.... and I don't have the guts to shake it off...
(anaphylactoid patients come into mind... coupled with the fact that they DO STING MULTIPLE TIMES)



And up my arm it goes!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!



No kidding... don't blame me for the quality of the latter shots, I have a wasp on my arm for crying out loud!!!!

As I attempted to take close ups of it..(on my arm, nonetheless) it started darting all around my upper arm.. boy was that scary... I thought I agitated it... but then slowly it turned to look at my face and then dropped off my arm.

Then I couldn't find it! I searched and searched but It wasn't there any more...
It disappeared as mysteriously as it came.. and I'm pretty sure he didn't fly out of my narrow window...

So... what can I do but to thank him for the visit and dispelling the myth that wasps are pugnacious, agressive beings out to sting people for fun. They are magnificient creatures in their own right, and learning to share our living space with them, is what we can do.

Finally, I thank the wasp for declaring me as

THE FEAR FACTOR CHAMPION OF MALAYSIA!!!!

p.s.-Please don't use insecticide on every other insect that comes inside your home.
You harm your health in the process. Insects fly in because your lights attract them, because where your house stands... is once their home and they have right to be where they are by natural right.

Almost all of them are friendly, and tame -not to the extent of being cuddly, I know- but they don't bite for the fun of it.

If you think it is dangerous, just give it space, on your porch lights, off the lights in your house and keep your door open.

For butterflies and less imposing creatures, gently guide them out of your house and let them have the chance to live. If you're squemish... use Pringle tins,(although after the above accident I doubt anyone would try the approach) long poles, boxes, cartons whatever to usher them in and put the carton outside, open , and let them fly gently into the night.

which brings me to the next topic... "The light pollution"

p.p.s- I am the runner up of FEAR FACTOR MALAYSIA. The CHAMPION award goes to ruhui's dad who catches centipedes with his bare hands using nothing more than a piece of thin paper and then puts them outside the house.

p.p.p.s- The above pictures are taken with a year 2003 4 megapixel camera.. Pathetic, but my photos turn out better than I expected... with a little help of the magnifying glass.... not to worry.... I have this one in my sights....



p.p.p.p.s- All images are enlarge-able!



p.p.p.p.p.s- Please let me know if you are able to identify the wasp and moth featured above. Please drop your comment and I'll appreciate it very very much!

Finally It's here!



Yup yup! Finally I received the cheque that's been almost 2 months late in coming!

It's for a picture taken from my apartment.

It was right in the middle of the Hungry Ghosts' Festival and the paper effigies blown by the wind lit up the field in an ever widening circle.
I called the Firemen who came rather promptly to douse the "crop circle"



And uh... the thing on the left?
well that's um... uh a ghost... haha

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Times when I really hate medicine



Ok. Probably most people won't feel a thing when they read this. But I really feel anger and sympathy welling up within me. It's times like this when I totally detest medicine. They would just go and nab a cat or dog... think of your pet if you have one.... and severe the spine and see what happens. Think what happens to the poor animal. When they prove their supposed theory right then what next? what is the fate of the animals? They would have no use for them and just dump them aside. Probably not before testing for LD50 on the poor things. LD50 is the lethal dose of any medication that successfully kills off 50% of the subjects of the study. So lets say 500mg of A medicine kills 20% of subjects. So They grab a new batch of animals and up the ante to 800mg. Oh 40% dead. "Me thinks 1000mg will kill off 50%!" Then they perform and happily write in their journals the 'discovery'. DAMN!. Then other researchers would like to 'verify' the results and would do the same thing.

Try to imagine how many kinds of drugs there are today and almost 99% of them are involved in the cruel deaths of animals. How many drugs are there in the market and how many drugs that are not successfully produced but nonetheless tested? Death is considered a blessing here. Those that do not receive a lethal dose would writh in agony over the days b4 they are finally finished off.

They start of with mice, which most would feel nothing for. But the next subject in line are rabbits, cats, dogs, monkeys. Anything they can get their hands on. They even know that one type of bacteria can only be cultured in the cells of the Nine-banded armadillo. I'm not sure if many know what animal this is. But the point is think of how many types of animals they went through to come to this conclusion?

Its just plain scary! Hope something can be done about this. If you wanna test drugs do it on volunteer human subjects and pay them compensation if something bad happens. Not force the toxin into a being without volition.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The real history of Bumiputras. Wow.

An excerpt Comment from the blog KTemoc Konsiders
An anonymous film maker researched an enormous amount of information before reaching this conclusion.

If you remember one comment of mine in the post Eco Film Fest I mentioned about the true bumiputras... It seems I am Wrong too! there are no real bumiputras!!!
well this is somewhat tedious but really very eye-opening.

This has nothing to do with race or religion. Peace!!!
Just an anthropological research into what is a very real misnomer.
I am living with 4 Malays! will post on this very soon! :-) and we're one big happy family!

I thank the anonynomous writer for his research and hardwork but he did not leave his name in the blog so I apologize for copying without permission. Anyway, here goes


been interesting to read such free-flowing comments on the subject of the Origins of the Malays. While we are on the subject, how many of you have read the book entitled "Contesting Malayness - Malay Identity Across Boundaries" Edited by Timothy P. Barnard published by Singapore University Press?
Written by a Professor of National University of Singapore. It reflects the Anthropologists views that there is no such race as the "Malays" to begin with. If we follow the original migration of the Southern Chinese of 6,000yrs ago, they moved into Taiwan, (now the Alisan), then into the Phillipines (now the Aeta) and moved into Borneo (4,500yrs ago) (Dayak). They also split into Sulawesi and progressed into Jawa, and Sumatera. The final migration was to the Malayan Peninsular 3,000yrs ago. A sub-group from Borneo also moved to Champa in Vietnam at 4,500yrs ago.
Interestingly, the Champa deviant group moved back to present day Kelantan. There are also traces of the Dong Song and HoaBinh migration from Vietnam and Cambodia. To confuse the issue, there was also the Southern Thai migration, from what we know as Pattani today. (see also "Early Kingdoms of the Indonesian Archipelago and the Malay Peninsular")
Of course, we also have the Minangkabau's which come from the descendants of Alexander the Great and a West Indian Princess. (Sejarah Melayu page 1-3)
So the million Dollar Question... Is there really a race called the "Malays"?
All anthropologists DO NOT SEEM TO THINK SO. (strangely, this includes all Malay Malaysian Anthropologists who are of the same opinion.)
Neither do the "Malays" who live on the West Coast of Johor. They'd rather be called Javanese. What about the west coast Kedah inhabitants who prefer to be known as "Achenese"? or the Ibans who simply want to be known as IBANS. Try calling a Kelabit a "Malay" and see what response you get... you'll be so glad that their Head-Hunting days are over.
In an article in the Star, dated: Dec 3rd 2006
available for on-line viewing at:
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/12/3/focus/16212814&sec=focus
An excerp is reproduced here below:
"The Malays – taken as an aggregation of people of different ethnic backgrounds but who speak the same language or family of languages and share common cultural and traditional ties – are essentially a new race, compared to the Chinese, Indians and the Arabs with their long histories of quests and conquests.

The Malay nation, therefore, covers people of various ethnic stock, including Javanese, Bugis, Bawean, Achehnese, Thai, Orang Asli, the indigenous people of Sabah and Sarawak and descendants of Indian Muslims who had married local women.
Beneath these variations, however, there is a common steely core that is bent on changing the Malay persona from its perceived lethargic character to one that is brave, bold and ready to take on the world. "
The definition of "Malay" is therefore simply a collection of people's who speak a similar type language. With what is meant by a similar type language does not mean that the words are similar. (A native Kelantanese native speaker has no clue whatsoever what his Iban native brother is talking about; if both speak their own dialect) Linguists however, call this the "Lego-Type" language, where words are added on to the root word to make meaning and give tenses and such. Somehow, the Indonesians disagree with this "Malay" classification and insist instead on being called "Indonesians" even though the majority of "Malays" have their roots in parts of Indonesia. They refuse to be called "Malay"…. Anyhow you may define it.
The writer failed to identify (probably didn't know), that the "Malay" definition also includes, the Champa, Dong Song, HoabinHian, The Taiwanese Alisan and the Philippino Aetas. He also did not identify that the "Orang Asli" are (for lack of a better term) ex-Africans. If you try to call any one of our East Malaysian brothers an "Orang Asli", they WILL BEAT YOU UP! I had to repeat this because almost all West Malaysians make the same mistake when we cross the South China Sea. Worse, somehow, they feel even more insulted when you call them "Malay". Somehow, "kurang ajar" is uttered below their breath as if "Malay" was a really bad word for them. I'm still trying to figure this one out.
Watch "Malays in Africa"; a Museum Negara produced DVD. Also, the "Champa Malays" by the same.
With this classification, they MUST also include the Phillipinos, the Papua New Guineans, the Australian Aboroginies, as well as the Polynesian Aboroginies. These are of the Australo Melanesians who migrated out of Africa 60,000yrs ago.

Getting interesting? Read on...
"Malay" should also include the Taiwanese singer "Ah Mei" who is Alisan as her tribe are the anscestors of the "Malays". And finally, you will need to define the Southern Chinese (Southern Province) as Malay also, since they are from the same stock 6,000yrs ago.
Try calling the Bugis a "Malay". Interestingly, the Bugis, who predominantly live on Sulawesi are not even Indonesians. Neither do they fall into the same group as the migrating Southern Chinese of 6,000yrs ago nor the Australo Melanesian group from Africa.
Ready for this?
The Bugis are the cross-breed between the Mongolian Chinese and the marauding Arab Pirates. Interestingly, the Bugis, (just like their Arabic ancestors) were career Pirates in the Johor-Riau Island areas. Now the nephew of Daeng Kemboja was appointed as the First Sultan of Selangor. That makes the entire Selangor Sultanate part Arab, part Chinese! Try talking to the Bugis Museum curator near Kukup in Johor. Kukup is located near the most south-western tip of Johor. (Due south of Pontian Kechil) He is more than willing to expound on the Bugis heritage. Buy him lunch and he can talk for days on end. Let's not even get into the Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat, Hang Kasturi, Hang Lekiu, and Hang Lekir, who shared the same family last name as the other super famous "Hang" family member... Hang Li Poh. And who was she? Legend tells us that she is the Princess of a Ming Dynasty Emperor who was sent to marry the Sultan of Malacca. Won't that make the entire Malacca Sultanate downline "Baba"? Since the older son of the collapsed Malaccan Sultanate got killed in Johor, (the current Sultanate is the downline of the then, Bendahara) the only other son became the Sultan of Perak. Do we see any Chinese-ness in Raja Azlan? Is he the descendant of Hang Li Poh? But wait a minute....

That's what legend says. Let's look at the proof. The solid evidence. There is a well next to the Zheng He Temple in Malacca which is supposed to be the well built by the Sultan of Malacca for Hang Li Poh. According to legend, anyone who drinks of it shall re-visit Malacca before they die. Hmmm smells like a romantic fairy tale already. But let's look at who Hang Li Poh actually is. Which Ming Emperor was she a daughter to? So I got into researching the entire list of Ming Emperors. Guess what? Not a single Ming Emperor's last name begins with Hang. In fact, all their last names begin with Tzu (pronounced Choo). So who is Hang Li Poh? An Extra Concubine? A Spare Handmaiden? Who knows? But one thing for certain, is that she was no daughter of any of the Ming Emperors. Gone is the romantic notion of the Sultan of Malacca marrying an exotic Chinese Princess. Sorry guys, the Sultan married an unidentified Chinese commoner.
Next question. If the Baba's are part Malay, why have they been marginalized by NOT BEING BUMIPUTERA? Which part of "Malay" are they not? Whatever the answer, why then are the Portugese of Malacca BUMIPUTERA? Did they not come 100yrs AFTER the arrival of the first Baba's? Parameswara founded Malacca in 1411. The Portugese came in 1511, and the Dutch in the 1600's. Strangely, the Baba's were in fact once classified a Bumiputera, but some Prime Minister decreed that they were to be strangely "declassified" in the 1960's. WHY? How can a "native son of the soil" degenerate into an "un-son"? The new classification is "pendatang" meaning a migrant to describe the Baba's and Nyonyas. Wait a minute, isn't EVERYONE on the Peninsular a migrant to begin with? How can the government discriminate? Does the Malaysian Government have amnesia?
The Sultan of Kelantan had similar roots to the Pattani Kingdom making him of Thai origin. And what is this "coffee table book" by the Sultan of Perlis claiming to be the direct descendant of the prophet Muhammed? Somehow we see Prof Khoo Khay Khim's signature name on the book. I'll pay good money to own a copy of it myself. Anyone has a spare?
In pursuing this thread, and having looked at the history of Prophet Muhammed (BTW, real name Ahmad) we couldn't figure out which descendant line The Sultan of Perlis was. Perhaps it was by the name Syed, which transcended. Then we tried to locate which downline did the Sultan descend from of the 13 Official Wives of Prophet Muhammad named in the Holy Koran? Or was the Sultan of Perlis a descendant from the other 23 non-wives? Of the 13 Official Wives were (at least known) 3 Israeli women. Then you should come to this instant revelation, isn't Prophet Muhammad an Israeli himself? Yes, the answer is clear. All descendants of Moses are Israeli. In fact, the Holy Koran teaches that Moses was the First Muslim. Thus confirming all the descendants of Moses to be Israeli, including Jesus and Prophet Muhammad. But since this is not a Religious or a Theological discussion, let's move on to a more anthropological approach.
So, how many of you have met with the Orang Asli's (Malaysian Natives)? The more northern you go, the more African they look. Why are they called Negrito's? It is a Spanish word, from which directly transalates "mini Negros". The more southern you go, the more "Indonesian" they look. And the ones who live at Cameron Highlands kinda look 50-50. You can see the Batek at Taman Negara, who really look like Eddie Murphy to a certain degree. Or the Negritos who live at the Thai border near Temenggor Lake (north Perak). The Mah Meri in Carrie Island look almost like the Jakuns in Endau Rompin. Half African, half Indonesian.
Strangely the natives in Borneo all look rather Chinese in terms of features and facial characteristics especially the Kelabits in Bario.
By definition, (this is super eye-opening) there was a Hindu-Malay Empire in Kedah. Yes, I said right… The Malays were Hindu (just like the gentle Balinese of today). It was known by its' old name, Langkasuka. Today known as Lembah Bujang. This Hindu-Malay Empire was 2,000yrs old. Pre-dating Borrobudor AND Angkor Watt. Who came about around 500-600yrs later. Lembah Bujang was THE mighty trading Empire, and its biggest influence was by the Indians who were here to help start it. By definition, this should make the Indians BUMIPUTERAS too since they were here 2,000yrs ago! Why are they marginalized?
The Malaysian Government now has a serious case of Alzheimer's. Why? Simply because, they would accord the next Indonesian who tomorrow swims across the Straits of Malacca and bestow upon him with the apparently "prestigious title" of the Bumiputra status alongside others who imply have inhabited this land for hundreds of centuries. (prestigious, at least perceived by Malays) They also have a strange saying called "Ketuanan Melayu" which literally transalates into "The Lordship of Malays" The Malays still cannot identify till this day "who" or "what" the Malays have "Lordship" over. And they celebrate it gallantly and triumphantly by waving the Keris (wavy knife which has Hindu origins in Borrobudor. Ganesan is seen brandishing the Keris in a bass-relief sculpture.) during public meetings over National TV much like a Pagan Wicca Ceremony on Steroids. Let's all wait for that official press release to see who the "Malays" have Lordship over, shall we?

Of the 3 books listed, "Contesting Malayness" (about S$32 for soft cover) is "banned" in Malaysia; you will need to "smuggle" it into Malaysia; for very obvious reasons.... :( or read it in Singapore if you don't feel like breaking the law. Incidentally, the Professor (Author) was invited to speak on this very subject circa 2 yrs ago, in KL, invited by the MBRAS. You can imagine the "chaos" this seminar created... :( Fortunately the FRU was not called in.
The other, "Kingdoms of the Indonesian Archipelago, and the Malay Peninsular" (about RM84) are openly sold at all leading bookshops; Kinokuniya, MPH, Borders, Popular, Times, etc. You should be able to find a fair bit of what I've been quoting in this book too, but mind you, it is extremely heavy reading material, and you will find yourself struggling through the initial 200+ pages. It is extremely technical in nature. Maybe that's why it hasn't been banned (yet)…coz our authorities couldn't make head or tail of it? (FYI, if I weren't doing research for my film, I wouldn't have read it in its entirety)
The "Sejarah Melayu" (about RM 50) however, is freely available at the University Malaya bookshop. I have both the English and Royal Malay version published by MBRAS. Alternatively, you could try reading the Jawi (Arabic Script) version if you are truly a sucker for unimaginable pain...... (may feel like circumcision)
There are actually many sources for these Origins of Malays findings. Any older Philippino Museum Journal also carries these migration stories. This migration is also on display at the Philippines National Museum in Luzon. However, they end with the Aeta, and only briefly mention that the migration continued to Indonesia and Malaysia, but fully acknowledge that all Philippinos came from Taiwan. And before Taiwan, China. There is another book (part of a series) called the "Archipelago Series" endorsed by Tun Mahatir and Marina Mohammad, which states the very same thing right at the introduction on page one. "… that the Malays migrated out of Southern China some 6,000yrs ago…". I believe it is called the "Pre-History of Malaysia" Hard Cover, about RM99 found in (mostly) MPH. They also carry "Pre-History of Indonesia" by the same authors for the same price.
It is most interesting to note that the Malaysian Museum officials gallantly invented brand new unheard-of terms such as "Proto-Malay" and "Deutero-Malay", to replace the accepted Scientific Term, Australo-Melanesians (African descent) and Austronesians (Chinese Descent, or Mongoloid to be precise) in keeping in line with creating this new "Malay" term.. They also created the new term called the Melayu-Polynesian. (Which Melayu exists in the Polynesian Islands?) Maybe they were just trying to be "Patriotic" and "Nationalistic"… who knows…? After all, we also invented the term, "Malaysian Time". While the rest of the world calls it "Tardy" and "Late". It's quite an embarrassment actually…. Singaporeans crossing the border are asked to set their watches back by about a 100yrs, to adjust to "Malaysian Time"…
In a nutshell, the British Colonial Masters, who, for lack of a better description, needed a "blanket" category for ease of classification, used the term "Malay".
The only other logical explanation, which I have heard, was that "Malaya" came as a derivative of "Himalaya", where at Langkasuka, or Lembah Bujang today was where the Indians were describing the locals as "Malai" which means "Hill People" in Tamil. This made perfect sense as the focal point at that time was at Gunung Jerai, and the entire Peninsular had a "Mountain Range" "Banjaran Titiwangsa", as we call it.
The Mandarin and Cantonese accurately maintain the accurate pronunciation of "Malai Ren" and "Malai Yun" respectively till this very day. Where "ren" and "yun" both mean "peoples".
Interestingly, "Kadar" and "Kidara", Hindi and Sanskrit words accurately describe "Kedah" of today. They both mean "fertile Land for Rice cultivation. Again, a name given by the Indians 2,000yrs ago during the "Golden Hindu Era" for a duration of 1,500yrs.
It was during this "Golden Hindu Era" that the new term which the Hindu Malay leaders also adopted the titles, "Sultan" and "Raja". The Malay Royalty were Hindu at that time, as all of Southeast Asia was under strong Indian influence, including Borrobudor, and Angkor Watt. Bali today still practices devout Hindu Beliefs. The snake amulet worn by the Sultans of today, The Royal Dias, and even the "Pelamin" for weddings are tell-tale signs of these strong Indian influences. So, it was NOT Parameswara who was the first Sultan in Malaya. Sultanage existed approximately 1,500yrs in Kedah before he set foot on the Peninsular during the "Golden Hindu Era" of Malaysia. And they were all Hindu.

"PreHistory of Malaysia" also talks about the "Lost Kingdom" of the "Chi-Tu" where the local Malay Kingdom were Buddhists. The rest of the "Malays" were Animistic Pagans.
But you may say, "Sejarah Melayu" calls it "Melayu"? Yes, it does. Read it again; is it trying to describe the 200-odd population hamlet near Palembang by the name "Melayu"?(Google Earth will show this village).

By that same definition, then, the Achehnese should be considered a "race". So should the Bugis and the Bataks, to be fair. Orang Acheh, Orang Bugis, Orang Laut, Orang Melayu now mean the same… descriptions of ethnic tribes, at best. So some apparently Patriotic peron decided to upgrade the Malays from Orang Melayu (Malay People) to Bangsa Melayu (Malay Race) Good job in helping perpetuate the confusion. And since the "Malays" of today are not all descendants of the "Melayu" kampung in Jambi (if I remember correctly), the term Melayu has been wrongly termed. From Day One. Maybe this is why the Johoreans still insist on calling themselves either Bugis, or Javanese til today (except when it comes to receiving Government Handouts). So do the Achehnese on the West coast of Kedah & Perlis and the Kelantanese insist that they came from Champa, Vietnam.
Moreover, the fact that the first 3 pages of "Sejarah Melayu" claim that "Melayu" comes from Alexander the Great and the West Indian Princess doesn't help. More importantly, it was written in 1623. By then, the Indians had been calling the locals "Malai" for 1,500 yrs already. So the name stuck….
And with the Sejarah Melayu (The Malay Annals in page 1-3) naming the grandson of Iskandar Zulkarnain, and the West Indian Princess forming the Minangkabau. Whenever a Malay is asked about it, he usually says it is "Karut" (bullshit), but all Malayan based historians insist on using Sejarah Melayu as THE main reference book for which "Malay" history is based upon. The only other books are "Misa Melayu", "Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa", "Hikayat Pasai", "Hikayat Raja-Raja Siak" and "Hikayat Hang Tuah" among others; which sometimes brings up long and "heated" discussions.
Interesting to note is one of the great "Malay" writers is called Munsyi Abdullah; who penned "Hikayat Abdullah" He was an Indian Muslim. Let's re-read that little bit. He was an Indian Muslim. How can an Indian change his race to be a Malay? He can change his shirt, his car, his religion and even his underwear, but how can anyone change his race? This must be The New Trick of the Century, which even David Copperfield will pay lots of money to watch (and perhaps learn).

"Mysterious Race Changing Trick"- created by The Malaysian Government.
Still, Malaysians are still only second to the Jews (who by the way, are the only other people in the world who are defined by a religion) So perhaps David Copperfield has yet to learn a few tricks on the mass deception skills of the Malaysian Government?
Malaysia Boleh...

I find this strange.
I also find, that it is strange that the "Chitti's" (Indian+Malay) of Malacca are categorized as Bumiputera, while their Baba brothers are not. Why? Both existed during the Parameswara days. Which part of the "Malay" side of the Baba's is not good enough for Bumiputera classification? Re-instate them. They used to be Bumiputera pre 1960's anyway.

Instead of "Malay", I believe that "Maphilindo" (circa 1963) would have been the closest in accurately trying to describe the Malays. However, going by that definition, it should most accurately be "MaphilindoThaiChinDiaVietWanGreekCamfrica". And it is because of this; even our University Malaya Anthropology professors cannot look at you in the eye and truthfully say that the word "Malay" technically and accurately defines a race.
This is most unfortunate.

So, in a nutshell, the "Malays" (anthropologists will disagree with this "race" definition) are TRULY ASIA !!! For once the Tourism Ministry got it right….
We should stop calling this country "Tanah Melayu" instead call it, "Tanah Truly Asia"
You must understand now, why I was "tickled pink" when I found out that the Visit Malaysia slogan for 2007 was "Truly Asia". They are so correct... (even though they missed out Greece, and Africa)
BTW, the name UMNO should be changed to UTANO the new official acronym for "United Truly Asia National Organization" . After all, they started out as a Bugis club in Johor anyway….
I told you all that I hate race classifications…. This is so depressing. Even more depressing is that the "malays" are not even a race; not since day one.

"Truly Asia Boleh"

"No point fighting for Nothing"

May Allah Swt Bless all of Us!






http://ktemoc.blogspot.com/2006/01/real-cause-of-may-13-riots.html

Hopefully these individuals are celebrated and their efforts coordinated...


apartment block

As I have been living in an apartment too for the last two years.. I realise how much rubbish a household can generate and I know there is something that can be done about it.

Below's a tireless recyclist who is very very hebat.

Yet, Hopefully someday some recycling company will realise they'll be hitting a jackpot if they can outsource someone to collect recyclables from all apartment units and compensate the residents for it. The trouble comes in coordinating with the apartment management who are more concerned about security issues. In the meantime the rubbish collectors are having a hard time trying to separate the organic trash from the recyclables. It helps tp give them income but if there is a project that could include them somewhere in the recycle chain the process would be much more efficient and they would have a better income.

This is certainly do-able but I haven't really sit down and figure it out. Hopefully I'll get a brainwave soon and help sell the idea to the relevant parties. In the meantime let's use less plastic and paper!

(=^.^=)

From the-Star...

By OH ING YEEN
WHILE some of us are still deep in slumber, Chin Chu Lin is up and about at 6am every day, pushing her trusty trolley from unit to unit to collect recyclable items at the apartment block where she lives in Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya.

“There are three blocks and 18 floors per block. My friend gave me the trolley to ease the burden of carrying things around. Before this, I carried all the recyclable items and walked to and from my apartment unit.

“It’s just a daily exercise for me. If I see something that can be recycled, I’ll pick it up. I’m used to it as I’ve been doing it for the past five to six years,” said Chin, a member of the Taiwan Buddhist Tzu-Chi Foundation Malaysia.

She collects the items and sends them for recycling every third Saturday of the month. The proceeds are donated to charity organisations.

Thus, before the third Saturday, her house is filled with old newspapers, old clothes and unwanted furniture. Even the walkway outside her apartment is filled with recyclable items.
Starting young: Twins Qi Fong (right) and Qi Ee helping load recyclable items on Chin’s trolley at the apartment block in Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya, recently.

“At first, my husband was not happy with what I was doing as it cluttered the house. So, I did it secretly. But now he understands and even helps,” she said, adding that her 15-year-old daughter helped her sort out the items.

“At first, I had to explain to neighbours what I was doing as they thought I was making a profit by selling the items.”

Many now understand she is just doing her part for the environment.

Some residents even place recyclable items outside her unit the night before.

In the past four years, Chin’s neighbour Anna Lim has been setting aside old newspapers, bottles and plastic items for her to collect.

Lim supports Chin’s cause as it is for charity and creates awareness on preserving the environment.

“As a teacher, I tell my students to conserve the environment. Recycling helps save trees,” she said.

Aside from collecting recyclable items, Chin’s efforts are a way to create awareness on the importance of environment conservation.

Children at her apartment block are influenced by her green efforts and help her sort out the recyclable items.

Among them are twin brothers Tan Qi Fong and Tan Qi Ee, both seven, who always help load old newspapers on Chin’s trolley.

“They help sort out the recyclable items and pile them up,” said housewife Chan Fong Ping about her twin sons.

Chin is glad that youths in her apartment block are helping her out.

“I hope more people will recycle to conserve the environment. It is just a small effort to aid Mother Nature,” she said, adding: “I’ll continue doing what I’m doing for as long as I can.”

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Selfish Gene


The Selfish Gene

The Selfish Gene is a book on evolution by Richard Dawkins, published in 1976.

What it essentially states is that... this is a difficult concept to explain and I apologise if I am unable to do justice to the term.

What it means, as far as I understand is that a gene seeks to propagate itself, ensures that it is further replicated through future generations, ensure that it (i.e. a species) lives on.

Survival of the fittest, a quote by Darwin touts that in a competitive situation of limited food and adverse conditions, only the best adaptable will be able to survive and produce offspring to carry on the gene. Thus, only the best will go on living.

So essentially the best gene among a pool of genes- Ie one carried by the alpha male of a troupe of monkeys-the leader of the pack-usually the strongest and healthiest monkey among the group- will be the one being propagated into the next generation. It is indeed so, considering the fact that in certain animal colonies, (case in point-wolves) only the alpha pair have the right to mate and produce progeny.The rest of the wolf pack are childless for they serve as nannies to the alpha pair's cubs. This is nature's selection process.

Okok.. Enough of the preamble... This is actually a post about the intelligence of... I'll give the chance for all to warm up to this thought.... ready? Set? Go!
THE INTELLIGENCE OF PLANTS

Has it sinked in? Or are you shaking your head in disbelief? Hopefully after the rather strainful paragraphs above you still have the will to read on.. keeping my fingers crossed!

(p.s.- I Just handed in my Case write up this afternoon at 5pm.. I slept at 3.30a.m. this morning and woke at 7.30am so pardon me if the quality of this article is off)

(p.p.s- I have never read an article on the same topic so i'll try my best here)

We usually think that plants have no intelligence. Structurally this is true as they don't have a bundle of nerve cells that constitute what we call a brain and technically they are just plain growers reacting to light, water and gravity-(tropisms)

We think that they are the silliest lot in nature... what?... producing fruits only to be eaten by others... They are at the mercy of everything else under the sun- the weather, insects, animals that eat the plant and fruits and leaving nothing behind.

but careful contemplation will reveal that plants apply the concept of the selfish gene and they have the intelligence needed to make sure they are passed on.

Consider the duku (ok, Langsat/ dukong) if you will... and recall the time you absent-mindedly chewed hard enough to break the seed. What follows next is a reflex action of wanting to spit/vomit. The plant wishes that you eat the pulp of the seed but not the seed itself. By being Sour and Bitter it sends the message ---" I AM NOT TO BE EATEN". So you end up eating up the pulp and tossing the seed behind your back.. just what the plant wanted. 'toing!' it lands on a soft spot on the ground and sprouts! (not so if youre living in an apartment la. what happens is your mum comes round and pulls your ears)

The same rule applies to citrus fruits. Then consider this. Ever tasted a green orange? Or a unripe banana? (I will explain the banana story later) They taste sour or in the case of banana what we chinese call "siap-siap"- it leaves a bad sensation on our tongue and mouth.

Again, the plant is trying to say "I AM NOT TO BE EATEN" or perhaps "I AM NOT TO BE EATEN, YET". Before the seed within the fruit is mature, animals (humans ARE animals) are not allowed to consume the fruit. What good to the gene there will be if the unripe seed is strewn around and allowed to rot? A waste of time and resources. Plants spend almost 80-90% of their energy forming flowers and then seeds. A immature seed is a season's toil gone down the drain.

-Bananas used to have seeds. Ask your granddad or grandmum and they will testify not all bananas can be swallowed whole without thinking. Human selection has selected or modified the plants that root sprouting has become the choice method of reproducing instead of seeds. A relief to many that used to chew hard onto the seed and regretted it. Try any jungle bananas- the ones allowed to grow on their own without human intervention and you may still find great big seeds inside, compared to the tiny-weeny seeds we see now.-

So the above illustrates how a plant protects its investment. There are more examples to come. Now. Certain plants "know" that their fruits are going to be eaten. In fact they come prepared for this. Some seeds of certain plants do not germinate unless they past thru the gut of some animals and the acid within the stomach breaks down the waxy coating over the seed allowing the micropyle to absorb water and expand, thus breaking the seed covering and allowing the radicle(root) to burst forth!


An extreme of this example is the the Australian eucalyptus whom seeds only germinate, after a fire. This is a product of generations of survival of the fittest, evolution at its best. Australian bushfires are notorious for the havoc they wreak. And plants living in the outback have thus grown tougher tougher throughout the generations, having roots that withstand fires or thick barks that can stand intense flame. The pinnacle of this form of evolution- being through the (to quote an archaic expression) baptism of fire is the fire-proof seed. The reason is simple. After a fire breaks out the entire landscape is burnt down and there is no competition. There is the added bonus that the ashes of the plants that once stood now become instant fertilizers! These flame-hardy seeds stand to gain the most from a fire. You can imagine them hoping for a blaze to happen soon so that they can sprout and free themselves from the confines of a seed.

Starting to believe that plants are smart and may have a brain or two tucked somewhere?

I hope to convince you even further.
Sometimes there are plants that depend solely on an animal for its pollination.
You would think "oh the poor poor plant, having only a sole pollinator... its entire species depends on a single animal... it's like having its life controlled forever"
But in reality it is the plant which controls the animal. It enslaves it with sugary nectar or delicate fruits. The animal is entirely reliant on that plant having adapted mouth parts uniquely suited to draw nectar from a unique flower, while the plant may have a host of pollinators to show off with.

An example of a superbly unique evolutionary relationship

The Angrecum Orchid in Madagascar.
A simple demonstration of the relationship between forest plants and animals comes from the night-blooming Angrecum orchid. The yellow-flowered beauty has a nectary at least 8 inches long -- meaning that its pollinator needs a snake-like tongue to reach the delicious, high-sugar nectar inside.

No less a naturalist than Charles Darwin, who saw the Angrecum in Madagascar in the 1860s, correctly predicted that a moth with a 22-centimeter tongue must exist in the forest. Fifty years later, the moth was found -- with a rolled-up tongue that snoots out like a Hong-Kong New Year's party favor.


For the explanation of symbiotic evolution refer the link below
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081006081631AAdNBhN

Now... For the grand story... accelerated evolution- hard to imagine without the plant having a brain!

What is this?

Yup this is a Passion fruit. Recently being imported to Malaysia and planted here. This fruit has an unique taste like no other. If you want a sample ask one from me the next time I come back from Muar. I passed quite a few to a few friends and one to a midwife that allowed me to conduct a delivery. To my horror she said:

"Apa ni? ada jampi ke?"

Oh well.. I hoped she liked it!

The passion fruit comes from the...teng teng teng teng... the passion vine! No prizes for guessing it right! I have one of them at home and it is currently sprouting ten passion fruits!!! Hohoho...


Back to the story....
There is a strain of wild passion vines in the forests of...uh... I can't remember... south america maybe? that has the unfortunate luck of being favored by a particular species of caterpillar and gets eaten all the time. So the poor plant starts to think... of the available options...

1) have toxic stem and leaves! that should keep the moth away!
But the plant thought that wouldn't work. The caterpillar would soon grow resistant to the toxin. (Meerkats and Scorpions have this arms race in that the scorpion tries ever so hard to produce a new poison that the meerkat isn't resistant from. But the meerkat gets sick once, twice and if it doesn't die passes the immunity on to its progeny. So here's a super resilient baby meerkat. The scorpion doesn't concede defeat and rebrews its venom so that it is more toxic or works faster ... and the race goes on until today where same species of scorpions from different regions in africa have different toxic cocktails within their tails... evidence that they are adapting, changing the venom to counter the meerkat's immunity.) (Kinda like how the arms race between Russia and the US during WWII works)

So what do you think the plant do that doesn't involve cooking up cauldrons of toxins?
It starts to look like this!


Nope, that isn't a bud about to grow. In fact it serves no purpose but to trick the moth/butterfly into thinking that this plant has already been visited by many moths before and if she lays her egg on this plant... her baby caterpillars will have to compete with dozens and dozens of other caterpillars that will definitely hatch sooner than hers... so off she goes in search of a less tasty plant to lay her eggs on. Brilliant, isn't it?

I may not be a good story teller so here goes

"Interesting associations have developed between plants and insects like that of the Heliconid butterflies and passion flower vines of the genus Passiflora. Passion flower vines contain cyanide-based compounds for protection against predators. However, Heliconid caterpillars have adapted to these compounds and are able to eat the vine's leaves. Therefore, Heliconid butterflies lay their eggs directly on the passion flower vine, so the larvae will have easy access to their food source. Passion flowers have counter-adapted to the behavior by developing mechanisms to discourage Heliconid butterflies from laying eggs on their leaves. Some Passiflora have evolved structures (actually nectaries) that create housing and produce excess nectar for ants. In return, the ants attack anything, including butterfly eggs, that intrudes on their host. One- upping their predators, some Passiflora have structures that mimic the eggs of Heliconid butterflies. Since a Heliconid butterfly will not lay its eggs on leaves that already have (or appear to have) these eggs, she will move on to another plant. In this manner, Passiflora deter Heliconid butterflies without devoting any resources to the production of nectar for a guard of ants, a technique of protection adopted by many other plants as their primary means of defense."

So there you go! I hope I did justice to the subject... There are plenty of examples out there that I have no idea off... this is just a limited selection of "plant cleverness" that I know off. I hope my short article successfully piqued your interest in finding out more about the weird and wonderful world of nature that we are losing fast... please do your part to preserve this lovely story so that we can show them to our children!

:-)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Anas Zubedy- Forward Thinker, Uniter of Races, a Wholesome Man, And Single Too!

Below my comment, is an article Published in the Star in 1996.

I can't help but agree with him in so many areas, In particular, the suggestion that each National School student learn one more language other than his/her own mother tongue,English and Bahasa Malaysia. And by other language I mean Tamil/Chinese, not Exotic languages like French, Japanese, Korean; which my friends in Secondary school felt extremely cool to learn. Yes, learning a foreign language is fun and 'cool' but then is it practical save for bragging rights? Why not learn a language of our fellow brethren? Chinese students can learn Tamil and vice versa; the Malays stand to gain the most because they have the opportunity to learn 2 major languages without ever needing to step out of the country!

I believe, It is impossible to learn a language without understanding the culture behind the language... and thus, forging good relations and unity within our country would be so much easier to do! It's such a lovely concept and I'm stupefied by the fact that this never came across my mind. If only the Minister of Education hears this recommendation... I can't help but admire Zubedy's Insight. To think that he envisioned such a novel concept in the year 1996!

And this is his article...
http://letusaddvalue.blogspot.com/2008/11/transcription-of-1996-star-interview.html

Anas Zubedy is a 32-year –old consultant in change management. He speaks Bahasa Malaysia, Hokkien, English and a smattering of Tamil.

“When i was three years old, my family shifted to Fettes park, a predominantly Chinese area in Penang.

“For years we were the only Malay family in the area and by the time I was five, I was proficient in Hokkien.

“In fact, i can say that Bahasa Malaysia is my first language, Hokkien my second followed by English. I mean, outside the house i grew up like a Chinese kid. I played with the other Chinese kid and mingled with them a lot.

“Later, i even had the chance to experience the Indian way of life. This was when i was in standard four. I become friend with a new classmate, an Indian, and being close to him, i naturally spent a great deal of time at his house. It was then that i absorbed the Indian culture.

“For example, i remember reading about Hinduism in his house. I also learn to call his grandmother pathi and, during Thaipusam, i joined in the celebration by dancing with the Indians. I practically became one of the family.

“Sometimes my mum would return to Medan (Sumatra) and that’s when his mum would cook Indian food for me.

“I was fortunate that the situation was such that it allowed me to be exposed to more than one cultural setting. I learn so much about cultures other than my own. More than that, I learn to respect them.

“There are so many benefits we can derive from this. For instance, in business we can learn to think Chinese and at home we think Malay hospitality.

“Placed in a global situation, we should fare better than homogeneous societies for we have the experience of working with various kinds of people.

“We must see multi-racial Malaysia as an opportunity for creating universally oriented men and women who would, one day, take centre-stage in leading the world.

“But in order to achieve this kind of unity, Malaysians must first understand and accept two things: First, we have to understand and appreciate the fact that the Malays gave away what they called “Malay land” (tanah Melayu) and shared it with the other ethnic groups like the Chinese and Indians, so much so that they have created a new entity called Malaysia.

“Secondly, since 1957, the non-Bumis have accepted and made this country their country. So from now onwards, whether we like it or not, a new race called Bangsa Malaysia has come into being.

“Efforts in building unity must start at the earliest age possible. Parents must ensure that their own personal biases are not filtered down to their children.
“The school too plays a vital role in uniting all Malaysians. In the long run, it would be wiser and more beneficial to open all boarding schools like Mara, ITM, and Maktab Sains to all races.

“The current national school system integrates the Chinese, Tamil and Arab schools under one roof. The ideal situation would be if the national school caters to those who desire to learn their mother tongue. It would be even better if we make it compulsory for all Malaysian to learn a language other than English and their mother tongue.

“For example, a Malay student should learn either Mandarin or Tamil as a second language. I think the Malays are presently on the losing end. The Chinese or Indians know at least three languages, but most Malay knows only two.
“Barisan Nasional’s efforts towards creating a single multi-racial party should be our next step. I believe most Malaysians would find it attractive if there is a direct membership to BN without having to go through UMNO, MIC or MCA. Perhaps after Wawasan 2020, UMNO can stand for United Malaysian National Organization.

“At the end of the day, the more towards national unity should come from within each and everyone of us. Every individual in this country must be aware that he or she plays a vital role. We should not unite due to political or economic reasons but because we truly desire to be one nation.

“The Muslims must also remember that the “Al-Quran preaches ummah wahidah, the concept of one single community. As this country is led by Muslims, this would be a great opportunity for them to practice this concept.”

End of article! Is he great or what?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Institut Kefahaman Islam Malaysia (IKIM) Views

If Religious extremists would only read this.... Yes an interfaith forum would do much good...... Realize that we cannot accept what we do not understand...

No matter what religion it is... Its the people who practice it who are giving problems because of their myopic vision of their own religion... HAve an open mind and promote understanding! Here's a really thought provoking and neutral article! Hard to come by these days!


Overcoming religious sensitivity
IKIM VIEWS by MD ASHAM AHMAD

Restraining people from knowing and understanding the environment in which they live is akin to reinforcing ignorance, which is the root of fanaticism and racism.

WE OFTEN hear, from time to time, political leaders reminding the public not to discuss certain issues because these are ‘sensitive issues’. This reminder usually comes with a warning that, in order to maintain peace and security, stern action would be taken against those who disregard that caution. Still, it has not stopped people from talking and discussing.

To be sensitive about something implies that one easily becomes offended or emotionally upset. So, to classify a subject or an issue as ‘sensitive’ means to acknowledge that it needs to be dealt with ‘carefully’ because it is likely to cause disagreement or make one angry or upset. Considering the history and demographic background of the country, it is a matter of prudence to classify religion as a sensitive issue and to proceed with great care.

It is, however, not prudent to let society remain in that state forever. We cannot actually let the people of this country continue to remain sensitive forever when it comes to religion because religion is part and parcel of human life, and our country is host to almost all major world religions.

It is senseless to restrain people from the urge to know and understand the environment in which they live. It is akin to reinforcing ignorance, which is actually at the root of fanaticism and racism. Instead, why don’t we make discussion concerning religion something interesting, enjoyable, and beneficial to all?

Of course this is not easy to do, but we have no other option. We must somehow take the effort to overcome religious sensitivity because in the long run it is counter productive, as well as dangerous, to restrain discussion on religion.

We have been independent for more than 50 years, and despite all the odds we have achieved so many things together. No right-thinking citizen of this country would wish to see what we have painfully built destroyed by our own hands due to misunderstanding.

To understand and to be understood we need to talk. If we do not talk about religion how are we going to understand it, and make others understand it? How are we going to eliminate misunderstandings about it, and differentiate truth from falsehood?

The need to talk is even greater today in a world where access to information is almost unlimited. Like it or not, there are ongoing discussions concerning so many pertinent issues.

However, we are constantly reminded by our leaders that what matters most in this country is peace, and there is fear that open discussion about religion represents a threat to this peace because the fear is that it would bring about discord and hatred.

Is this fear genuine? Or is it only what some people would like us to believe? Maybe we should re-examine our notion of peace, and clarify what we actually mean when we say we want peace.

It is true that everybody wants to live in peace; in fact, even animals desire peace. But our understanding of what peace is all about must not be limited only to what is external to our existence.

There is also what is more fundamental and personal, namely, peace of mind. There cannot be true peace without the peace of mind and tranquillity of the soul. Nobody can experience peace of mind as long as there is agitation in the soul as the result of doubt concerning the most basic questions surrounding life.

Peace of mind has to do with certainty concerning the nature of ultimate reality, namely, about the nature and purpose of our existence, about God, about the world, and about what constitutes virtues and values.

Why don’t we talk about these questions openly and freely so that people will benefit from it? These are actually questions that could be discussed without offending anybody. People would like to know about the truth advocated by every religion so that they understand the fundamental differences between religions and why there are differences, so that comparisons can be made.

This, if done properly and sincerely, will encourage research and the exchange of ideas, and the final result would be knowledge and understanding.

What we may term as ‘senseless sensitivity’ owes its root to ignorance, and the worst ignorance is ignorance concerning the truth about life, which is the cause of fear; and fear is antithetical to peace. It is indeed senseless to remain ignorant about the true answers to the basic questions of life, and to simply follow what one happens to inherit from one’s forefathers.

Ignorance is the first enemy of Islam. For all Muslims, to seek knowledge is not only the first and foremost obligation, it is a life-time endeavour. Since every Muslim is responsible for his own deeds and will be held accountable to God, he should know what his responsibilities are and to whom he will be held accountable.

Muslims are used to talking about their religion and holding discourse with others about the fundamental problems of life. They have developed the tradition of ‘kalam’, which literally means ‘speech’ or ‘discourse’. It is interesting for us to ponder the reason for referring to this science as kalam.

One of the indications that one truly knows about something is one’s ability to talk about it in a meaningful or logical manner. Kalam is based on the principle that knowledge concerning the fundamentals of religion is attainable through the systematic application of rational principles.

One of the basic questions discussed by Muslim theologians of the past is the status of faith (iman) of one who follows or accepts religious dogmas without proof. They questioned the validity of faith without knowledge. The strictest opinion holds that blind following on matters of faith is unacceptable; the person who does so is in reality an unbeliever.

The assumption is that one cannot possibly have faith with regard to what one is ignorant of. Hence, to seek evidence or proof and the condition of its validity is prior to iman. ‘Taqlid’, which means blindly following or accepting a doctrine without any proof or evidence of its validity is categorically rejected.

At least one must have proof adequate enough to remove any doubt, proof that is referred to as general proof. The amount of proof needed is however subject to the individual’s ability and the problem he faces.

The point is, from the very beginning Muslims were aware of the need to articulate their faith in a precise and logical manner, and in the same way rebut opinions and doctrines which were contradictory.

They were not afraid of challenges to their faith. On the contrary they sat down and listened to arguments, agreed on certain points and disagreed on others. This was what they used to practice, as part of their religious and intellectual tradition.

As such, Muslims have an important role to play, and a huge responsibility to shoulder. They must show a good example to other communities because it is through their actions and behaviour that the non-Muslims owe their perception of Islam. Since they are the majority and are in charge of the affairs of the country they should behave in a mature manner particularly in dealing with criticism.

Criticism against certain conduct of the Muslims must not be construed as criticism against Islam. It is possible that the criticism is due to their own disregard and ignorance of the true teachings of Islam. This point is reflected in the recent controversy surrounding the Muslim call to prayer.

What is lacking is knowledge, and if this is sincerely admitted as our shortcoming, we have to do something about it.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Eco film Fest 2008!

--This is a partially completed post!-- hehe... will be updated with additional explanations and photos!





This is the Eco film Fest held at Akademi Seni Warisan Kebangsaan Malaysia (ASWARA) within walking distance from Dataran Merdeka...

which reminds me aobut my RM15 taxi fare there (without meter!) and RM7 taxi fare return (with Meter). Its in an obscure place so I thought its mighty far away hence the taxi.... Sob.




-that's Bread made without yeast/ eggs and---- added Charcoal?-



Me sporting Earrings... Haha.. Should have little birds jumping inside them! Coz that's what they're used for...by the aborigines, Hand crafted with a cleverly concealed trapdoor.. each of them selling at the cheap cheap price of Rm18!


Arr... the photos been photoshoped by it seems I posted the original version whc is so dark... sorry! that's the rep for the OA! (orang Asli!) She is a not a middle(wo)wan but she helps to sell off the hand mad eitems of this stall and all the profits are returned to the maker of the handicraft! Hence the name stickers over the Bookmarks!-- See below!

Support the REAL indigenous people of Malaysia than the people who too often call themselves BUMIPUTRAs who like Khir Toyo and his cronies are from 1st generation descendents of Indonesions, Arabians , Pakistanis. (or so I heard). The real Prince of the Soil are the indigenious people of Malaysia! And their life is being exploited by logging concessionaries and their womanfolk are being mistreated, abused by the people working in the logging industry. Support them!







this is a free movie screening....
The garbage revolution is about a family that keeps their trash for 3 months and where does the trash really go to after the Garbageman takes them away? A real eyeopener



Reza Salleh and Mia Palencia!


The Handsome ReZa salleh in person! nice vocals!



Oh And check out the Corn Cake Kings! Below
video video
And Reza's vocals which ends so so nicely! (I'm getting thick skinned here!)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Hehe Because of my previous silly video..

I'm stimulated to post this cute video!

video

video

From NGtv.net

Well here's her too!




Eco Film Fest Programme Schedule!

http://www.ecoknights.com/content/view/203/66/

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