Saturday, January 31, 2015

Bringing "Sunshine" to Cancer and Renal Patients in Ward 8C

The Rotary Club of Johor Straits View and the club's Interactors (youths who serve under the guidance of their sponsor Rotary Club) along with some members of the public were at Ward 8C of the Sultan Ismail Hospital in Taman Mount Austin, Johor Bahru on Saturday (January 31) o spread joy and cheer to the inpatients and outpatients there.

Called the Sunshine Children's Project, the event featured a magic show by a clown and singing. 

Ward 8C treats children who are stricken with cancer and renal failure. The hospital is in need of medical equipment and machines. It currently has only 4 haemodialysis machines to serve 15 inpatients warded for renal failure.

Club president Wong Yoke Chin, who was at the event, said the club will be raising funds to help the hospital procure a machine. They target to raise RM50k.

That's Wong Yoke Chin (right) having a chat with Suhaila Adam --- a 31-year-old mother of 4 children. The housewife is carrying Ismail Zhafran Azizul, her youngest child. Born premature, the baby has several health issues --- he has only 1 kidney and that is only one of the complications.

Suhaila says her other children are healthy.  Her eldest son is 10 years old.

"My husband earns a monthly salary of RM1,500. The medical costs and travelling expenses from home to hospital and back is depleting our savings," says Suhaila, from Taman Medan Jaya in Kota Tinggi.

After a visit to Ward 8C, it's easy to count your blessings if you have good health. Let's do our bit to help those in need.

(Note: Will follow up on Ismail Zhafran's story)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Coastal Erosion In Johor

JOHOR BARU: In the next 10 to 15 years, coastal protection will be the main preoccupation of the federal and state governments.
This is the view of Johor Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) chairman Vincent Chow. 
Chow said that the view was based on the increase in shipping activities in the Straits of Malacca and the development of the five ports in Johor. 
And the lack of conservation effort in tandem with the rapid development in the Straits of Malacca. 
"The erosion now taking place along the coastline of the state is the making of a major disaster. 
"All it takes is just one big tidal wave to sweep along the Johor coast, and all villages located on or near the coastline will be swept away," he said. 
Chow urged the relevant authorities not to approve anymore new development in mangrove areas. 
"Coastal erosion is caused by the gradual "eating away" of soil when the sea waves hits the shoreline incessantly. 
"Sea traffic attributes to this, and the mangroves weaken the impact of the sea waves," he said. 
Chow urged the state government to set up a scientific advisory commitee that includes MNS, a 75-year-old nature-based non-governmental organsation. 
"Policy makers are divorced from reality due to the nature of their work. It is the responsibility of the people, who are the stakeholders (coastal communities) to assist the government," he said, adding that MNS can detect the unforseen problems that may arise. 
Chow said the areas that need to be looked into in the conservation effort included the curbing of silting and illegal discharge as well as ensuring the effective management of waste effluent, among others. 
The Shoreline Management Plan for Iskandar Malaysia, a comprehensive report prepared by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia commissioned by the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) identified coastline changes, among other issues. 
A case in point is coastline retreat from 1968 to 2009. 
Chow said in the 1970s, Tanjong Piai, situated in the southwest of Johor and on the southern-most tip of mainland Asia was located 1.7km from the coast.  Today, it is 2km away which means coastal erosion has caused the shoreline to advance inward. 
The report also highlighted the clearing of the mangroves at the Sungai Pendas river mouth for aquaculture and an observation in 1992 indicated that mangroves fonting a shrimp farm (which is now part of the Tanjung Bin power plant) at the Sungai Pulai estuary, had been reduced to a 50metre strip from its original 300m buffer.
(To be continued)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Huge Success and Big Disappointment

The ECOWORLD STARLIGHT 2015 New Year Concert was a huge success. It featured stars like Chinese American singer songwriter 王力宏  Wang Leehom, Malaysian singers Najwa Latif and Melody Tan, and illusionist Daniel Craven.

Melody speaks with a squeaky voice but she's an amazing powerhouse when she sings. She belted out "Let It Go" and  如果云知道  "Ru Guo Yun Zhi Dao" (If Only The Clouds Knew).

Najwa sang five songs. Among them was John Legend's "All of Me" which the Batu Pahat girl delivered very well. I also enjoyed her rendition of "Price Tag".

The energetic and very handsome 

Wang Leehom

(Wang Leehom's photo courtesy of Tan Jern Hsin)

drove the crowd wild. He also sang P. Ramlee's "Getaran Jiwa". My favourite was and always will be 龙的传人 "Lung De Chuan Ren" (Descendants of the Dragon).

A crowd of about 30,000 was said to have showed up. The organisers, ECOWORLD, had anticipated 20,000 people.

Of course those who got in, looked like this

That's me in the centre with my godsisters Shella (left) and Zainureeza (right).

Now I'm getting to the bad stuff. Sorry ECOWORLD. The event was, without a doubt, a success, but there's room for improvement as there were also huge disappointments.

A family with 12 members went there with their VIP tickets and were denied entry because of the overwhelming crowd. Among the 12 was a 70-year-old woman who was not that keen to go but the family assured her they have the tickets and would surely be able to get a seat. 

Although vans were provided to ferry the crowd to the venue of the concert which was quite a distance, say, 500m away --- many had to walk. The 70-year-old aunty was out of breath by, walking in and then having to walk out again after she was turned away.

Some in the crowd who were in a queue to get in were starting to raise their voices. A RELA man also appeared to be losing his cool, and in the midst of it all, a traumatised child started to scream her head off. The father was seen trying to pacify the girl as the crowd started to shove one another in a bid to get past the entrance.

And this was only one of the incidents that my friend related to me. I had gone with my friends but we got separated. I didn't foresee any problem because I thought they already had tickets so I thought they must be enjoying the show somewhere in the crowd.

I can understand why there was a need to turn people away. Thinking of the recent New Year's Eve Shanghai stampede sents a chill up our spine. But people who take the trouble to brave the heavy traffic, drive there with tickets in hand, and then being rudely chased away..... That is just not right.

If people went without tickets and were denied entry, then there is just disappointment but no one to blame. But distributing VIP tickets and not honouring it, that is a different story.

Perhaps more big TV screens can be put up for these people who were denied entry so that they don't have to go home --- angry and disappointed on a Saturday night.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Pork and Fish

Here I am at the Brazzo House in Taman Pelangi again. The fact that I am here again speaks for itself, right? Today I tried the fish and chips

and the minced pork lasagna. Yes I am a big eater. Yesterday, which was my first visit to the Brazzo House saw me tucking into the "honey mustard grill chicken tender".

I love pork but I would choose the fish and chips over the lasagna.

Both these dishes are in the RM12.90 nett lunch set menu.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tender and Nice

Judging by the posh decor, I thought dining at the Brazzo House at 127, Jalan Serampang, Taman Pelangi, 80050 Johor Bahru was going to be a pricey affair.

That was until I saw the menu.

I decided to try the "honey mustard grill chicken tender" with iced lemon tea which was offered in the RM12.90 nett lunch set menu. 

Diners can choose the minced pork lasagna or fish and chips, among others.  The food portion was just nice for me, and the chicken topped with honey mustard was absolutely lovely. 

Photo source:

The non-halal outlet is open from 12pm to 10.30pm.  Draught happy hour is 12pm to 8pm.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy

Ruby red luscious cherries are one of my favourite fruits. They are said to promote better sleep, reduce belly fat, fight cancer and ease pain for those afflicted with arthritis and gout, among other things. 

I also indulged in a cup of ginger latte available at Lavender Bistro. I love the warm spicy ginger flavor. It blends really well with the espresso and milk. The delightful beverage costs RM11.

The weather's pretty hot in Johor Bahru today, so coconut water is just great for the soul and body. Coconut water facilitates digestion, boosts hydration, slows ageing. The benefits are endless, and it costs RM3 each at a roadside stall along Jalan Sutera Danga.

At times we need to work hard in a competitive world that is filled with rivalry and strife. Sometimes we need to be playful and savour the stolen moments.

For those who are in despair and feeling like they are being pushed to the edge, remember this

Stay strong in faith. Change is inevitable. The good times will not last forever. Neither do bad times.

Growing Fun

By Gladys Tay Guest Blogger Last August, I decided to work on a project on my bucket list, which is to have an edible garden of my ...