Archive for the ‘Uni Life’ Category

USM Combined Christmas 2003: Videos and Recollection

December 23, 08

My Christmas post this time around features the grand celebration and show night the Varsity Christian Fellowships (VCF) had in Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Penang, back in 2003.

The celebration was held in the Dewan Tuanku Syed Putra (DTSP) of TITAS class infamy.

(Two side notes: I was in TITAS class when the lecturer started on about how Islam is the only truth and every other religion – Christianity, Buddhism – is wrong. And he stated: “Kamu jangan offended. Ini bukan opinion, ini adalah fact!”. Talk about your muhibbah cultural sensitivity. Secondly, we got in trouble with the USM office who almost didn’t let us use the DTSP, because the previous year there had been a lot of emptied beer and liquor bottles left in the hall! We explained it wasn’t us who got stone drunk and litterbuggy in the DTSP, but the club that had used the hall immediately before us for their own celebration, whom I shall not name here).

We had lots of presentations, including dance, song, drama and music. The turnout was great, perhaps partly due to the buses we chartered just to ferry students back to their dorms after the show! We also had a quite intense awareness drive where volunteers would man the booth along the DK G (Dewan Kuliah) area.

A little history on Combined Christmas: It was started as a way to reach out to the campus students and tell them about the Christian message. Apart from that, it was also a way to bring together the various VCFs to work as a team and foster closer ties.

The VCFs who took part in 2003’s Combined Christmas were Persatuan Persaudaraan Kristian (PPK), Chi Alpha (CA), Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC) and Living Word (aka Navigators).

(A note to all current USM students reading this: The CA here is not exactly the same CA that you currently know! After years of deliberation and prayer, in 2004 PPK and then-CA joined together to form… PKA, Persaudaraan Kristian Agape! If you don’t know this very rich history about the VCFs that date back to the first years of USM’s founding, do ask your leaders to fill you in!)

A little bit nostalgically, Combined Christmas has recently been replaced by other activities that serve the same evangelistic/fellowship purposes. There’s still nothing quite like that Christmas atmosphere…

Anyway, the following is the video of Combined Christmas 2003 as recorded and edited by Lim Kee Sitt (currently a wedding videographer pro), who generously filmed the event for posterity. The video is split into 9 parts for ease of loading.

Along with the videos, I will provide commentary on what is going on and how we went about it, so that future generations can take note and perhaps be inspired to host their own Christmas/Easter/other celebrations.

Enjoy, and God bless!

(For how to download these videos, see bottom of post.)


Intro 1 (direct link at here):

This is a montage showing various scenes from pre-show preparations and the night proper. It serves as a good intro and teaser. You can see the dancers (who is that guy in tan bermuda shorts and brownish hair???), drama team, choir and emcees rehearsing, the pre-show group prayer, some of the decorations, and even the DTSP itself. If you’re quick, you can spot overall main director Adeline Poh conversing with stage director Anne Leong!

Intro 2 (direct link at here):

Another montage that has scenes from before the celebration proper. You can see the ushers preparing gift packs for the audience and how the performers were given make-up.


Photo of Mei Yee Main Politik in The Star

March 6, 08

Haha! Oh oh, next time cannot work for BN-led government if want to lor! So, better hope Opposition wins…


Via Joshua Hooi’s blog, from The Star Youth2 (5 Mac 2008):

Doing their bit

FOR a long time now, there has been this perception that young people are apathetic and unconcerned about politics. However, there seems to be a recognition on the need to mobilise the young in this general election.

Political parties, both from the ruling Government and the Opposition have fielded younger candidates in their attempt to remain relevant to Malaysians, 55% of whom are below the age of 24. The increase in media channels have also sparked interest among a new generation of young Malaysians who look set to exercise their rights to vote come March 8.

Most significantly though is the fact that many candidates – among them Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, DAP’s Charles Santiago and PKR’s Sivarasa Rasiah – have turned to young people to actively assist them in their campaigns.

Munirah Kader Shah, founder of Youth For Shahrizat, sticks a car sticker on a vendor’s stall. More than a dozen youths stormed the Bangsar Baru night market in Kuala Lumpur distributing T-shirts, pastries and flowers as they encouraged residents to vote for Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

Jacks of all trades

Nicole Wong, 29, has taken two weeks off from her job to help out with Chew’s campaign. The sales manager is working on an elections campaign for the first time, but is the person behind all of the Petaling Jaya Utara incumbent’s ceramahs.

“I am in charge of all the arrangements for YB’s ceramahs. I am helping her because she has given us a chance to be a leader,” Nicole says.

Nicole’s fellow volunteers, Ong Yu Pey, 25, and Tee Tze Wei, 29, feel the same way.

Fahmi Fadzil (right) and Grey Yeoh (second right) document their interview with Subang parliamentary seat candidate for PKR, Sivarasa Rasiah.

“We are very young in politics and in the party, but she is giving us a chance. She is training us up as the new generation (in politics),” says Yu Pey who has just returned from studying in China .

While these three ladies have their respective responsibilities – Yu Pey helps out with activities, while Tze Wei is in charge of logistics and sound systems – they are also out on the ground canvassing for votes.

An average day for the three of them starts as early as 5am where they would all meet up and start going on their rounds. This would include house-to-house visits, appearances at the market and the regular meetings back at the Bilik Gerakan in Kelana Jaya. Some days, they are part of Damansara Utama state seat candidate Victor Gu’s cycling team when they move about on bicycles to reach out to residents in Victor’s constituency.

“Most days, we only get a few hours sleep,” Nicole shares.

Bicycles aside, this is the sort of schedule that most of the other young volunteers keep to. In Klang, where prominent activist Charles Santiago is running for a parliamentary seat, his media liaison Leong Mei Yee talks about how hectic things have been since nomination day.

Like the three MCA volunteers, Mei Yee too takes on more than just her ‘portfolio’.

“I’m the media person, so I help make arrangements with the press. But I also work on documentation whenever needed. Some days, I take video and notes to be uploaded onto Charles’ blog,” she explains.

Despite the tiring hours they take on, none of them are complaining.

“I’m still very excited,” Nicole shared. “We play very important roles.”

Munirah and fellow Youth for Shahrizat member Pravin Pillai.

Fahmi Fadzil, who helps Subang parliamentary candidate Sivarasa with his communication work such as designing fliers and updating his campaign website, likened the feeling to sitting for an examination.

“It feels like final exam week in university. So much adrenaline and energy,” he says.

Power of youth

On Sunday night, almost 15 teenagers armed with T-shirts, caps, flowers and pastries stormed the Bangsar Baru night market. While traders were peddling their goods, these bunch of youths wearing Youth for Shahrizat T-shirts stopped passers-by telling them to come out to vote on polling day, and to vote for Shahrizat, the incumbent MP for Lembah Pantai.

“Excuse me, do you live in Bangsar? Vote for Kak Shahrizat okay?”

Munirah Kader Shah, 26, is the founder of Youth for Shahrizat. Just over a week ago, this public relations senior executive was just going about her life as usual.

She, however, decided that she wants to be involved in the general election. Gathering other young people from the area, Munirah started organising daily meetings at nearby mamak spots after work where they would plan their strategies to spread the good word about Shahrizat to anyone willing to listen.

“I wanted to be part of the elections because we (youths) matter … this is our country,” Munirah says. “We all have concerns but instead of just sitting down to chit chat about it, I thought it would be better to start something we are passionate about.”

At the pasar malam, this group of youths were “selling” their goodies in exchange for people’s time to stop and listen to their spin.

“Some of us actually have single mothers whom Shahrizat has done so much for. You can see the difference in our mother’s faces,” says 26-year-old Pravin Pillai, another member of Youth For Shahrizat said, referring to the Minister for Women, Family and Community Development.

“So we made up a bunch of fliers about how Kak Shahrizat has affected us.”

Each of these youths volunteers have their own reasons for helping a particular candidate with their campaigns. For Munirah and Pravin, it is all about the candidate. The same goes for Mei Yee and Sarah Devaraj, Santiago’s campaign coordinator.

Both are not members of DAP and agreed to help out because they believe in Santiago.

“I will support Charles as an individual, a man of credibility, integrity and honesty,” Sarah, 30, says.

Fahmi shares the same sentiments about Sivarasa.

“I believe in Siva, and what he says. There is a lot of clarity and I am attracted to that,” asserts Fahmi, who will be voting in Segambut.

As for the three MCA ladies, they are helping out as much for Datin Paduka Chew as they are for the party. They are members of BeliaWanis (MCA’s young women’s bureau) and have been helping the party out for a couple of years now on ground events.

MCA BeliaWanis member Nicole Wong is helping out Petaling Jaya Utara incumbent Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun with her election campaign.

A new generation cometh

Candidates aside, these youths are also getting involved because they believe that the time is prime for young people to play a bigger role in politics.

For Nicole, this elections will serve as a learning opportunity for her, as she intends to make a career out of politics.

“I am interested in politics, in particular the issues of young women. But no matter what, we have to do our part first. We play an important role and this gives us confidence,” she says.

And for others like Yu Pey, this is her way of giving back to the community.

“I’m taking this as a learning platform and trying very hard to learn,” she says. “In the future, I would love to contribute more to the community.”

The Youth For Shahrizat group however just want to show Malaysia that young people are capable, and not as apathetic as they are perceived to be.

“Youths are capable people and as long as we have the passion, it doesn’t matter if we play a big or small part,” Munirah says, adding that, “Politics is not a privilege, it’s an obligation. As long as I’m able to be involved, I’ll do it.”

For some of these youths, getting involved in the elections is also a way to dispel perceptions of their complacency when it comes to the issues and politics.

“Two months ago, my dad and his friends were talking politics when one of the friends turned to me and just asked, ‘Are you a registered voter?’ I said no and he turned to my dad and said, ‘See, young kids nowadays.’

“I got a bit offended because it’s not that I wasn’t going to register, just that it was not in line with my plans then to go overseas and not come back,” explains Grey Yeoh, 23, who is also helping out with Sivarasa’s campaign.

“Plans changed and by the time I wanted to, it was too late.”

So, getting involved in a campaign was Grey’s way for making up for not voting.

For Mei Yee, she feels that she can help make a difference.

“I tell my friends, even though it’s been crazy, I’m part of the election process. I’m part of deciding something important for the country.”

Then there is also the youth ideal that they are invincible and that the world is their oyster.

“Everyone wants to change the world in their own way. Some people chose to do it using politics,” Pravin opines.

Press liaison Leong Mei Yee (left) and campaign coordinator Sarah Devaraj do more than just focus on their ‘respective’ portfolios in DAP candidate Charles Santiago’s campaign.

Fahmi too shares this sentiment.

“It’s not so hard to make some kind of change. It’s just about taking ownership of participation in a public political process.”

Copyright © 1995-2008 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D). Managed by I.Star.

KOMAS Voter Education Videos and RM5000 Film Script Competition

February 22, 08

KOMAS (Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat) has a series of videos on Voter Education. Check them out below.

Kebebasan Media


Hapuskan politik wang

Freedom of assembly

Abolish Phantom Voters

Also: Competition: Stand to win RM5000 for a script about democracy in Malaysia 

And remember to check if you are really registered to vote, and where: Check Your Malaysian Voter Registration

Captain Planet Lied To Me

February 19, 08


Captain Planet and the Planeteers – the award winning show about a superhero and his super kiddies saving the world from pollution and environmental destruction!

Yeah, I actually did enjoy watching it way back when… Not that anyone I knew ever put into practice any of the ‘eco lessons’ we were meant to learn!

Save for one instance… The time when I found out that Captain Planet is not all the super-nice guy he makes himself out to be…

I was in University. Every Friday after Varisty Christian Fellowship, we’d have lunch together. After lunch, some of us would have classes – including me for that particular semester.

Now, usually I’d eat a  nice, big lunch (being the buff, all-muscle Spartan warrior that I am 😛 )… Which leads to a full stomach needing lots of blood to carry off the digested nutrients, and therefore sleepiness in class right after lunch.

Then one Friday I had this excellent notion… In order to avoid the post-meal drowsiness, I’d follow the advice of Captain Planet!

At the end of every episode of the cartoon series, viewers would be treated to a Public Service Announcement style segment called ‘Planeteer Alert’ where Captain Planet and the Planeteers would teach us all environmentally friendly lifestyle tips.

One of these was the following skit: Two teenage boys are headed to a basketball game. They stop by a grocery store to get something to eat. One boy gets a chocolate bar, and is chided by his friend for his ‘unhealthy’ snack food choice. The friend instead gets a wholesome, all-natural apple.

After a short while of shooting hoops, the chocolate-eater has to stop and sit down because he’s tired and out of stamina. His apple-eating friend comes to check on him, and advises him that wholesome natural foods like apples give long-lasting energy while chocolate merely gives a short boost that soon runs out. Captain Planet shows up to wrap up the segment.

Inspired by what I had learnt from the worldwide-praised tv show, I decided to eat just an apple for lunch. But just one left me still kind of peckish… So to be safe, I had two! Aha, now I would be ready to face a day of classes with sufficient energy and no tiredness at all!

Within two hours of lunching on apples, I was desperate with hunger and weakness, hardly able to focus my mind on the lecture.


A simple comparison between the calorific (food energy) values of a small bar of chocolate and an average apple clearly shows the extent of the eco-dishonesty that Captain Planet perpetuated:

Cadbury’s chocolate bar: 300 calories

Apple: 58 calories

This is more shocking when you realize that the average adult male like myself needs 2000 calories in a day to not roll over and die. At least the single chocolate bar provides 1/7th of that amount, as opposed to an apple providing a measly 1/34th. I would have fared far better by lunching on a choccy bar, which would also avoid heavy-meal sleepiness but still provide enough energy to get through the day till dinner.

No wonder I ran out of energy so fast even after eating not just one, but TWO apples! If the Captain Planet skit were at all realistic, the apple-eating teen would have collapsed unconcious on the basketball court from hypoglycemia long before the chocolate-eating teen got tired!

Had I thought it over a bit longer, I might also have realized that the US Army did NOT supply its troops with Granny Smith apples instead of Hershey chocolate bars during World War II.

(In fact, it is likely that the French went into battle with only apples as their source of nutrition, judging from their combat performance against the sausages-and-beer powered Germans.)

So Captain Planet and the Planeteers was not exactly spot on with its dietary advice. Just an honest mistake? Not likely, for when I look back on the show, I realize that it regularly used Green philosophy and wishful thinking rhetoric in the place of actual fact.

Industry is evil. Gazelle burgers are better than McDonalds. Israelis and Palestinians would hug and be friends forevermore if only they realized that they share common prophets and holy places. (ROFL! In real life, accusations of corrupted holy texts and a mosque built on the site of the old Jewish Temple achieve the exact opposite result as what the Planeteers naively assume!)

The global warming swindle has opened my eyes to various other environmental scare-hoax conjectures hysterically passed off as proven science, such as the ‘DDT causes cancer and kills eagle hatchlings’ scare that led to its ban (and the deaths of 50 million).

In fact, the cynic in me has begun to doubt if ANY of the enviromental concerns have a scientifically proven basis at all!

If Gaia worshippers lied to us on two of their biggest issues of modern times, what else have they lied to us about? Do CFCs really cause the hole in the Ozone Layer? Do power lines really cause cancer? Or do the ecoweenies just want us to believe that in order to make their own prejudices public opinion, and eventually, international law?

So just because environmental groups claim something as the latest threat to health, Earth and all human civilization, I am disinclined to believe such claims – because eco-warriors have proven to be dishonest, ignorant, selfish and coercive on other environmental concerns.

Likely as not, the majority of eco-campaigns they are just tools and finger-puppets for world socialism, anti-globalization, anti-capitalism, human exticntion, selfish personal gain, political power or sabotage-your-richer-neighbour ploys.

So with Captain Planet’s association with environmental causes, how honest and truthful could its plotlines possibly be? It’s not his fault that his creators were force-fed with the bitter green-nut lies that were passed on as yummy truth.



PS. In the end, it wasn’t big industry or toxic pollution that did Captain Planet in… It was ‘rainbows’ lol!!!


Ah… The good old days before Captain Planet became a washed-up, has-been eco-crusader hanging out with other Greensane loudmouth fatties…

See also Television Tropes & Idioms which describes some of the anti-Americanism of this.. Uh… American-produced show in the bottom half:

Commander Contrarian – Wheeler exists to say or do something stupid or jerkass and then be corrected by his wise non-American teammates.

The Complainer Is Always Wrong – Any viewpoint innocently contrary to the show is given to Wheeler, the stupid spoiled American of the team. Even when he has a perfectly legitimate point, the show sets him up to be “proven” wrong.

Maria’s Valentine’s Day Special

February 5, 08



Yes, the food IS that good.

See also:

Maria’s Cafe For English Favourites

The Star: Great Treat For Beef Lovers (Feat. Mary Ann)

Maria’s Cafe in KL Advertisement

Noel Eow

January 15, 08

So cute! Cuddle! I jealous.


Maria’s Cafe For English Favourites

January 7, 08

Following after The Star: Great Treat For Beef Lovers (Feat. Mary Ann), Maria’s is featured in The Star again!

For comments, you can see Mary’s blog post on it. For the location of the featured cafe, see Maria’s Cafe in KL Advertisement.


From The Star Metro

   CafeEnglishFaves1   CafeEnglishFaves2

Cafe of English favourites 

JOINING the ladies’ social circle, having lunch and afternoon tea and regular meetings at clubs may seem unfruitful to some but not to Maria Tan. For, it was her role in the Ladies’ Hour Charitable Club Ipoh that led her to realise her potential as a businesswoman. 

As past president of the club, Tan was frequently involved in fund-raising events for charity. She also organised cooking workshops for members by inviting guest chefs from around the world as well as local chefs to teach new recipes. 

Warm and inviting: Maria’s Cafe in Damansara Perdana is a place for friends and family to meet and indulge in a serving of English favourites like pies, steaks and fish and chips.

Tan paid close attention to what the chefs taught and at home, she would put into practice what she had learnt, sharing the details with her late husband Philip Tan – an avid cook himself. 

Both husband and wife would also bring back lessons learnt during their travels abroad and try to replicate dishes they had eaten overseas. 

Throwing large parties for friends was a joyful experience for Tan as she enjoyed cooking for her friends. 

The couple’s passion for food, cooking and taste culminated in the opening of Maria’s Café in Ipoh seven years ago and on Dec 12, Tan opened her second outlet in Damansara Perdana. 

»Everything here is homemade and we insist on doing it ourselves at Maria’s« MARIA TAN

The Petaling Jaya outlet was opened by Raja Puan Sri Noora Ashikin Raja Abdullah, president of the Malaysian Women’s Hockey Association. 

Maria’s Café is all about Western cuisine and everything is made from scratch. 

“Everything here is homemade and we insist on doing it ourselves at Maria’s. 

“Like the dressing that is drizzled over your garden fresh salads and the sauces on your meat – though we recommend you enjoy our succulent meats without any sauce,” she said. 

Tan believes in serving only prime meats like Australian Wagyu or Black Angus and New Zealand spring lamb. 

“The restaurant serves English favourites like pies (Chunky Meat Pie, White Sauce Meat Pie and Brown Sauce Meat Pie), Roast Beef and Fish and Chips, just to name a few,” said the chef who has been cooking for more than 30 years.  

Tan runs the outlet with the help of her sister Jane Low and daughter Mary Ann. 

Maria’s is located at C313A, Center Wing, Metropolitan Square, Damansara Perdana. 

For details, call 03-7725 2313.  

JBBC Betong Missions Trip 2007

December 1, 07

Johor Bahru Baptist Church’s official website is

Official Facebook page at


At long overdue last, here’s the photo-journal of the Johor Bahru Baptist Church missions trip to Betong (in Sarawak, Malaysia) from 13 March 2007 to 18 March 2007.


Click to enlarge above map.

Betong is a town (and division) in Sarawak. You can visit the (rather sparse) the official Betong site. Or go here to see satellite images of the area, as well as several videos to do with Betong… Most of which were uploaded by ME to Youtube!

Seeing as cameras were continually snapping away throughout the journey, a selection of photos with accompanying captions can serve as an effective pictorial journal.

This is quite a massive post, with lots of text and more than 70 images! So the rest of it is hidden from the main page until you click ‘Read the rest of this entry’.


Photos of Anne and Scott in Miri Limbang Brunei Mulu

November 29, 07

Anne has uploaded photos of our trip to Miri, Limbang, Brunei and Mulu at her blog. Check them out at the following links:

PS. Isn’t she so youthful and pretty looking? Hard to tell which is the teacher and which are the school girls ;>

Maria’s Cafe in KL Advertisement

November 19, 07


Your favourite place time and time again…

The Best Of The Traditional West Now In Your Neighbourhood

The best of western country-style cooking is now in your neighbourhood!

Traditional English pies with generous chunks of juicy meat. The best cuts of farmhouse steaks, selected only for their wholesome goodness. Traditional charbroil grilles and time-honoured roasts, or a fisherman’s pride of the freshest catch. Never frozen, but always chilled as the final test of freshness.

Nothing is artificial, and nothing is overly fanciful. It’s the traditional country-style way, from rich home-made sauces to delicious home-baked cakes, where even the vanilla comes naturally from fresh pods!

Come, taste and believe it for yourself! Maria’s Cafe at Metropolitan Square, where you can taste the best of the traditional west now at your doorstep.

RESERVATIONS: 603-77 252 313

Fax: 603-77 252 315

MARIA KITCHEN, C313A, Center Wing, Metropolitan Square, No.2, Jalan PJU 8/1, Bandar Damansara Perdana, 47820 Petaling Jay, Selangor.


Business Hours: Sun – Thurs : 12.30pm – 11pm
Fri, Sat & Eve of Public Holidays : 11.30am – 12am

Steaks. Pies. Pasta. Seafood. Coffee. Cakes. All at Maria’s Cafe.


Bit more at Mary’s blog post

For The Star’s review of Maria’s in Ipoh, see The Star: Great Treat For Beef Lovers (Feat. Mary Ann).

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