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Showing posts from June, 2015

Another Day To Be Thankful For

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I woke up wanting to cook beef stew and "Cencaru Sumbat" but decided to eat out instead.  
I drove to Bestmart in Taman Nusa Bestari 2, Johor Baru, to have the "Lei Cha" aka "Ham Cha", a Hakka vegetarian comfort food.
The 百家乐客家擂茶 at the Bestmart food court serves one of the best "lei cha", in my opinion.  The green tea is made from a mixture of leafy greens and nuts blended together. 
Some like to pour the tea into the rice, which is underneath the radish, beancurd, long beans, cabbage and spinach, all nicely chopped and diced, and sprinkled with white sesame seeds. But I prefer to savour the rice and tea separately. I always tell the lady boss to exclude the peanuts, which is one of the ingredients of the dish.

This is how the dish looks like after you stir it. Patrons can choose white or brown rice.

This is the stall. The meal is affordably priced at RM5.
From Bestmart, I drove over to the Ramadan Bazaar outside the Perling Mall. 

I was tempted to ge…

Time Off

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Watching TV1 with my buddy, Gray.

Enjoying home-made chapati with green gram dhal, sardine curry and mango chutney, all cooked by my aunt.

These are the eggplant aka aubergine aka brinjal, from my aunt's garden. She's giving me some to take home.


Johor Matta Fair Aug 7 to Aug 9

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JOHOR BARU: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Johor sees 2015 as one of the most challenging year for the travel industry.

  Its chairman Kathryn Lee said the plunging ringgit, the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax and the aviation mystery were just some of the factors that have caused a dent in the industry.


  "Tourist arrivals registered at 27.4 million in the first quater of last year.  In the same period this year, there was a 8.6 per cent drop.  Of these, Chinese tourists dropped by 27 per cent," Lee said at a press conference here yesterday on the three-day Johor MATTA Fair which is taking place at the EXPO@Danga City Mall here from Aug 7.


  "We hope that the move to waive visas for China tour groups will be expanded to include individual travellers as well, as the Chinese tourist is known to have great spending power," she said.


  Lee also said it is hoped the ringgit will not plunge further despite the fact tha…

Winged Messengers Or Just Dead Insects?

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What does it mean when butterflies cross your path?  Is there a divine message here for me?


I'm sad to say that the butterfly that I brought home has died.  I hope it wasn't from the stress of being in a new environment. Does any butterfly expert have any advice on injured butterflies?  Just in case I were to come across another injured butterfly in the not so distant future.


Here's another butterfly that I saw today. It was so tiny I wasn't sure if it was a real butterfly. I didn't try to save this one because it was totally motionless. This one was in a taxi.

Why am I seeing so many butterflies? Ok, only two so far.  If I should see another butterfly in the next few days, then maybe I should start to wonder.

Shooting Birds

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JOHOR BARU: Malaysia Nature Society (MNS) Johor is urging the State Wildlife Department to come up with a set of rules for birders, on what they can and cannot do at the Panti Bird Sanctuary, Kota Tinggi.
  Its chairman Vincent Chow said that this year the sanctuary, formerly known as the Bunker Trail, recorded the least number of  nesting activities along the trail.


  He said this could be due to an influx of unethical birders and photography enthusiasts, who are disrupting the natural surroundings of the bird sanctuary.

  Chow said the bird sanctuary was set up by the Forestry Department and the MNS after six years of  collaborative evaluation. 


  "It was set up with the aim of  conserving a forest for birds and to provide an education on nature. It also has great potential for eco-tourism featuring  bird-watching , which is a global billion dollar eco-tourism product," he said.


  "MNS is eager to work with all the various departments to turn this "gem"…

Selamat Berbuka Puasa at CheMystery

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Such a stunning place to watch the sun go down.

An array of local delights to titilate the palate.

It was an evening called "IFTAR with media at the Gelora & CheMystery in the Ledang Urban Retreat" in Nusajaya.
It was my first visit to the urban retreat, and it was a memorable experience.
Thank you, UMLAND (United Malayan Land Bhd) for the treat.





Broken-Winged Butterfly II

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Butterfly's new home. Hope she'll be safe and happy here.




Broken-Winged Butterfly

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I was walking past a row of shophouses when I came across this butterfly.  It could no longer fly as one of its wings was broken.  I couldn't leave it by the sidewalk.  Someone may just step on it, and it was an awfully hot day outside.

I brought it back to what I believed was a safer place for the delicate butterfly. See how pretty and elegant she stands in spite of her deformity.


The butterfly began to explore its surroundings.  I didn't know what to feed it. 


I gave it some diluted sugar and even went to  First Aid For Butterflies but my nursing skill is somewhat like my culinary skill.  If you follow my blog, you will know what I am talking about.

I don't think the butterfly drank the diluted sugar.  It crawled away to a nearby spot.


It fluttered its wings rapidly for a while.  I don't know if it was traumatised, happy, terrified or furious with this totally clueless human. It rested for quite a bit before moving its wings again.  It so desperately wanted to live, I …

World Without Animals

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Can you imagine a world without dogs, or when mongrels become a rare species?

A world without cats, tigers, rhinos, monkeys, tapirs? What an empty world that would be.

A world filled with humans with big egos that thrive on greed and power.  A sad and scary world that would be.

Rambling on a Friday morning.

Below is my article that came out in the New Straits Times "Attitude must change first, says animal activist".

JOHOR BARU: The newly passed Animal Welfare Bill 2015 will not make much of a difference as long as people do not change their behaviour towards pets and animals.

Raymund Wee, who founded the Noah's Ark's Animal Sanctuary (Nanas) in Pekan Nanas, Pontian, said there was a need to get to the root of the problem which was people's mistreatment of animals and the inefficient handling of strays.

"When it comes to the treatment of animals, things are not going to change much until one gets to the root of the problem, which is the people's attitude towards…

Blessed Ramadan To All Muslim Friends

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I read most of the political analysis and reports on the "TMJ versus Tourism Minister" spat on the Internet yesterday and I posted the ones that I thought were insightful on my Facebook page.

This link Nazri has missed the point of TMJ's Criticisms reached the highest number of readers.

Today, I don't want to read any of the heavy stuff.  I joined my colleagues for a fun-filled potluck session at the office just now.  The party was organised in conjunction with Ramadan which will see Muslims fasting throughout the Holy month starting on June 18 which is 1st Ramadan, 1436 Hijrah (AH).

It is a month of forgiveness, and seeking forgiveness.  If I have done anything to offend you, please forgive me.


I need to clarify something.  Yesterday, I titled my post "Mediator, Firestarter, Spectator, Calculator".  Most of you probably know that I was just fooling around, but for those who didn't, (especially students who are learning English), I have to clarify.

The devi…

Holding Out For A Hero

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When you can't get it at home, you will look for it elsewhere.



When there's darkness, you look out for a beacon.  In chaos, you reach out for a hero.


We see it as the match of the century
and get caught up in the drama
Maybe it's just a game of chess
and we don't even know if we are king, queen, rook, bishop, knight or pawn

I just wanna listen to Bonnie Tyler before I call it a night.

Sweet dreams, everyone.

Errant Drivers Caught By Surprise

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Drivers of foreign-registered cars with outstanding summonses were caught off-guard at a roadblock at the Gelang Patah Rest and Recreation Area at the Second Link here on June 14.

The operation started on June 12 and will end on June 15.

Bukit Aman traffic police commanding officer Superintendent Zulkefly Yahya said there were 728,577 summonses issued to foreign-registered vehicles from 2000 to 2014.  Of these 71 per cent or 518,510 were Singapore-registered cars.

Zulkefly said police had stopped a driver of a foreign-registered car who had more than 20 outstanding summonses.

"The offenders have to settle their outstanding summonses on the spot or we will seize their cars," he said, adding that most of the errant drivers were caught for speeding.

The operation led to 2,725 fines being settled at Gelang Patah, Easter Dispersal Link (481) and km2 Jalan Johor Baru-Kota Tinggi (995).

Zulkefly said more than 20 Automatic Number Plate Registration equipment to identify foreign cars woul…

Johor Lashes Back

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Update

The Tourism and Culture Minister is being probed under the Sedition Act 1948.  I read it at Malaysiakini.

Original post

In a show of unity ...


Representatives from some of the 46 non-governmental organisations were at  the Johor Baru Selatan police station on June 14 to lodge a police report against Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz for making a statement "warning" the Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim against meddling with politics.
Persatuan Kebajikan Marana Sagaya Nithi Johor Bahru,  Persatuan Belia India Kota Tinggi, Johor Cultural and Sports Club and various branches of Majlis Belia India Malaysia were among the 46 NGOs.
Meanwhile, state exco members also defended Tunku Ismail
https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/301820

Our Beloved Sultan And The Crown Prince, And Legoland Malaysia

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Royal Launch: Istana Bukit Serene replica expected to draw more tourists
LEGOLAND Malaysia has unveiled a replica of the Johor Sultan's residential palace, Istana Bukit Serene.

Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar officially launched the replica at the theme park on June 13 by placing a gold-coloured brick on a crown, which sits on top of an arch in front of  Istana Bukit Serene.

The model is made up of 278,023 Lego bricks and weighs in at 350kg.  It includes the main palace structure, which is known for its moss green roof tiles, high tower and a crown arch, built to mark the Sultan's coronation in March.

The replica includes small but significant details, such as the ruler's collection of motorcycles and cars, and a stray black cat, said to be a regular visitor to the palance grounds.

The palace is the latest feature at the Miniland section at the theme park, which boasts replicas of iconic structures, such as the Taj Mahal in India and the Petronas Twin Towers in KL.

Read more in t…

Lego Replica of Istana Bukit Serene in Legoland Minipark

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NUSAJAYA: Visitors to the Legoland Malaysia Resort now have a new attraction to see after the Sultan of Johor officially unveiled a Lego replica of his residential palace, Istana Bukit Serene today. 

During a ceremony at the theme park, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar laid the final gold-coloured Lego brick on the replica of a crown arch which in real life is situated in front of the palace. 

The entire replica is made up of 278,023 Lego bricks and weighs 350kg. It took four months to make and includes intricate details such as the sultan's motorcycle, cars and even a stray black cat which is said to be a regular visitor to the palace grounds. 

Legoland Malaysia model builder, Stefan Bentivoglio said the work was conducted by a team of six builders. "We had an audience with the sultan after his coronation in March. 

A team then went to Istana Bukit Serene on several occasions to take pictures and measurements of the palace that was built in 1939. "The biggest cha…

Dogathon In Johor: June 21

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I heard about the Pontian stray dogs issue a few days ago, but wasn't quite sure what it was about. I later learnt that the dogs have been rescued and that all was well.  

Today, I saw the following FB post, and it is very clear the shelter is in need of help.  



经过与笨珍县议会的谈判,希望护生园成功赎回52只狗儿,唯其中一只狗狗因严重脱水,送到狗场不久后就过世了。幸存下来的51只狗儿,大多都出现了脱水的症状,目前它们正在希望护生园接受观察。

The Homeless Orphan Pets Exist (H.O.P.E) has successfully rescued 52 dogs after negotiating with the Pontian District Council. One of the dogs was said to have died soon after arriving at the shelter due to severe dehydration. Most of the surviving dogs showed symptoms of dehydration and are currently under observation at the shelter.

这些狗儿在上周开始,陆续从笨珍县各地被捕狗队抓走,然后被集中关在几个狭窄的笼子,日晒雨淋,没吃没喝好几天,简直就是水深火热。


The dogs were captured by dog catchers from various locations in Pontian last week and were kept in several small cages which were left exposed to the sun and rain.  It was believed the dogs were not given food and water for a few days. It was …

Rich Man, Poor Man

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I read the Malay Mail Online story quoting Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz as saying he is a “happy man” as the cheaper Malaysian currency will be a boost to tourism here.

He said foreign tourists especially from Europe will feel “like a rich man” owing to the exchange rate of the ringgit.

The ringgit closed at 3.73 against the dollar today, recovering slightly from 3.77 on Monday, which was its lowest level since February 2006.

It slumped to 3.80 during the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis

Read more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/nazri-says-a-happy-man-over-plummeting-ringgit#sthash.8kLujT3T.dpuf

TV news and current affairs channel Astro Awani also quoted Nazri as saying he was among those happy with the falling value of the Ringgit, as this would attract more tourists and prompt locals to think twice about going abroad for holiday trips.

"So, the holidays will be expensive and they will spend their money here as local tourists.....and that makes me happy. …

Respect Local Culture, Laws And Customs

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Click the link for the Singapore Straits Times' story on what had triggered the Sabah quake. 

Sabah quake: Sudden slippage along 10km fault south of Mt Kinabalu triggered quake, say scientists 

Meanwhile, Camilus Solungin, who lost his younger brother in the calamity, said "It is not about laws or superstition, but about having mutual respect among human beings."

This was his message to Canadian nudist Emil Kaminski who had launch an attack on the local culture in his social media sites.

Click the link for the New Straits Times' report

"It is not about laws or superstition, but about having mutual respect among human beings," was Camilus Solungin's message to notorious Canadian nudist Emil Kaminski. Camilus, 43, saw his youngest brother Joseph laid to rest today after the 33-year old perished in Malaysia's worst ever earthquake last Friday.

Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/node/8761"It is not about laws or superstition, but about having mutu…

Hot Debate

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Damaged roads in Ranau, Sabah, after the 5.9 magnitude earthquake on June 5, 2015

Shapeshifters, fairies and spirits fascinate me.  I am a big fan of the supernatural.  You must think I'd be the first to blame the 10 nudists for the June 5 calamity.  It is currently a hot debate whether the 10 had caused it.

I really don't think the 10 nudists should be blamed.  If it were so easy, terrorists and warriors need not train in the art of warfare or practise combat skills anymore, they just need to provoke an ancient spirit to wreak her wrath on their enemies.

The earth "is like a puzzle that endures stress and strain".  A senior lecturer and researcher of the Engineering Seismology and Earthquake Research Group (eSEER) said this.

Dr Mariyana Aida Ab Kadir is also a senior lecturer at the Engineering Faculty of the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

The university plans to launch the Earthquake Building Design Code in Malaysia by the end of the year.  The seismic code has be…

Ponnanganni Fried With Egg

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The "ponnanganni" has numerous health benefits. It is said to promote good eyesight, glowing skin, among others.
Here are some simple steps on how to cook ponnanganni.


Step 1: Wash and clean the "ponnanganni" aka "sayur kumar" (botanical name: Alternanthera sessilis.)

Step 2: Heat the grated coconut till it's slightly golden brown. No oil required.

Step 3: Take out the coconut when it's done. Sauté the onion, garlic and chilli.

Step 4:  Add the ponnanganni. After frying it for a little while --- not too long as we don't want the vegetables to turn yellow --- drop in the egg.  Add salt and soy sauce before pouring in the coconut.



Home-made Sushi

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This I got at Aeon Bukit Indah.
Pictured below is home-made sushi.  



The pictures say it all. 
The home-made sushi tasted better than it looked.
Home-made may be so much cheaper and you know what you're puting into the meals.  But it is also a test of your passion and patience.  Are you prepared to go through the steps of making a meal or would you rather dine out and save the hassle of washing the utensils?
Pictured below is my favourite dish at a popular Japanese restaurant.




Contributor To The Stray Dog Population

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Irresponsible pet owners should get a thrashing for creating and contributing to the stray dog population.  Dogs cannot be roaming the streets.  It's just not safe, for man and dog.  

The local councils are only doing their job to keep the streets clean and safe.  The 1 Dog RM10 campaign, though, was not a good idea.  

A veteran politician and social activist shares his thoughts on why it was a bad idea, and what should have been done instead.

source: Star online

PETALING JAYA: State governments should direct local authorities to abandon plans to catch and destroy stray dogs and adopt a Trap-Neuter-Release-Manage (TRNM) programme in every district as a more humane alternative, said Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Selangor patron Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye. 

"State governments should make some funding available for this purpose and work with non-government organisations which can provide assistance to the district councils to help implement the TNRM programme. …

Public Outcry

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When this "1 Dog 10 Ringgit" picture appeared on Facebook, dog lovers immediately sprang into action.  They got together to sign an online petition.  Within two hours, there were already 3,000 signatures.  The public outcry also attracted the attention of the local media.

It was like the local council was declaring the launch of  "stray hunting" season.  If it is catch and re-home, then it is not so bad.  But it is most likely catch and kill.  

By offering RM10 per dog puts every canine in peril.  

Several hours later, I saw this notice (pictured below) on the Tanjong Malim district council FB site.  The campaign had been scrapped due to comments and views that poured in.  Well, at least the local council listens to our voice.



Even though the campaign has been cancelled, I just hope there will not be any clandestine operation happening anywhere.

Dogs cannot be roaming the streets.  It is not safe for the animals either.  At the same time, shelters are getting overcrow…