where nicster rants on issues of local interest, global interest and of absolutely no interest at all...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Not all good with Erra and Yusry

How's this for a newsflash. I don't know how many of you will be interested in this but I'm a tad bit upset. I mean, I saw them at last year's Anugerah Industri Malaysia award ceremony having dinner at the table beside mine and they looked so sweet together!

Oh well, the rumours are (kinda true). They are having marital problems, although rumours of third parties have been denied and they are working on making it work. This was told to Rizal Johan and a few selected members of the media in a quiet location to quash rumours.

You can read this, dare I say it, scoop, at the newly launched R.AGE Blog. Yes, I know this because I was the one who uploaded the story. Yes, I am running the R.AGE blog and yes, I am currently coordinating R.AGE (although it took me three months to come out of the closet!).

What's R.AGE? It's a pullout by The Star which runs from Monday to Friday and only goes to selected colleges and universities in the Klang Valley.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

World Champion, World Number 1... Wow!

It's official - not only is she going to be world number one come January, national squash player Nicol David is also the world open champion - that's two world championship titles in one year!


I've always been a fan of hers, and wow... YAY! :D Read about it here.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

George Best has left the building


Source: www.bbc.co.uk

George Best
(1946 - 2005)

"Legend remains victorious in spite of history." - Sarah Bernhardt

Friday, November 25, 2005

I do, I do!

I just want to tell the world that Ann Marie is the best. I really love her. I do, I do!

(p/s Humor me)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Jit Happens... Again!

Oh, how convinient. I started blogging again the very same time I have something to plus. Shameless, shameless, shameless.

Oh well, it's my blog - I can jolly well do what I like.

I'm stage managing this production - and it's really good, if I do say so myself. If you missed it the last time, here's another chance to catch this very funny man in person. If you watched the last one, well, just come again lah! :)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The End of an Era

So, I was just sitting here updating my blog, checking stuff out on PSS and it hit me.

I woke up this morning (or rather noon) and I walked downstairs, flipped the papers and saw the headline in The Star: "Captain Roy Keane leaves Man United". I went, "Huh?", thought about it a little bit, told myself I kinda of saw this coming (after his MUTV fiasco) and then headed out for lunch with some friends.

Source: www.soccernet.com

It's now suddenly hit me. Oh my god, Roy Keane is leaving. And suddenly I'm depressed. I've not been a United fan for long by comparison to my sister and some friends. In fact, I only started following football in the mid 90s just before I started college.

In that sense, Roy Keane has always been THE captain for me.

And his leaving United, whether because he was sacked, or by choice, marks the end of an era.

He headed THE generation of winning Mancunians, and now, with the influx of new players (naturally, of course), United will never be the same United I knew. I guess many others who have been following the game way before I have will say the same more many others such as Bryan Robson and Eric Cantona left. But like I said, Keano was THE captain for me.

With dear ol' becks, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt already gone - and now Keane - the old (for me at least) glory days of United is over. Scholsey has already retired from international, a sign that he's winding down soon, Giggsy is getting to THAT age and Solskjaer has not recovered from the injuries that's plagued him since he first step foot in Old Trafford. Gary Neville remains - and he is my choice for next captain - but for how long, I can't be certain.

When my sister talks about the old glory days of United, or my dad *cough* talks about the old Gunners, and my brother-in-laws talk about the good old days of Liverpool - when I speak in the future, this era will be my good old United.

Good bye Roy, and thanks for all the fish.

Long Time No See

Well, it's been a while since I blogged and really, I have kind of missed this. I've been pretty busy though (as usual) and only today, decided to come back and view my blog - I've not viewed it all this time either.

Seems like the spammers have attacked even Blogger... sigh, no getting away from these comments eh?

I hope to blog more frequently now, god knows I've said this a lot of times, and god knows I've had lots to rant about. Just that with this new job I have - well, kinda new job, I'm currently based at The Star on a consultancy basis for 5 months conceptualising and producing R.AGE which is available only to selected college and university students at the moment.

It's keeping me more than busy but hey, you get that.

I do have some things to get off my chest though - and I guess I will soon. :)

Monday, August 01, 2005

Malaysian Idol and the Faggot story

I was just about to come out of my 'too busy to blog' phase for a short comment on Malaysian Idol. I was going to 'blog scream' at voting Malaysians for voting out Atilia and Tricia. Technically, you can't vote someone out - you just didn't give Atilia and Tricia enough votes. I think basically what happened was the AF Phenomenon. For those not in the know, Akademi Fantasia actually tells you the voting percetage for each contestant at the beginning of the show - so sympathy votes would count for a lot.

For the first time in Malaysian Idol history (at least that serves my memory), predictions were made at the last minute by judges just before voting ended. Just before a commercials break, Roslan Aziz spoke of how he thought Ejay and Ash were definitely doomed. The lines closed when the break ended. A couple of minutes - just enough for last minute votes.

My theory is that Atilia and Tricia, while having probably the best vocals in the whole competition, were not runaway favourites. Rocker Orang Kampung had won the hearts of many, Nita and Xerra are no doubt the most experienced and relaxed, Daniel (for reasons unknown to me) is seen as cute. So they all probably had the most votes anyway. But I am dissapointed that Atilia and Tricia has been voted out - they're not my favourites but I was so looking forward to being entertained by them next week.

But enough about my theories, I was about to come on here to blog when I visited PPS to see if anyone else had blogged and to see what their thoughts were. Maybe these people had other theories why the voting happened the way it is. I only found one blog that did.

There might have been more but I was so enraged by what I read that I didn't go any further. I left a comment on her blog though before heading here.

In her anger about how the voting went, the blogger ranted about her sadness and dissapointing with the voting public. Then she did it... and I quote:

"faggots and fuckers, shut up! you may think ash should be there but i don't give a damn..."

She then goes on: "i have my own opinion and this is my blog. again...this is my blog. i write what i like."

While I have always been a proponent of free speech and all, and I believe everyone should be allowed to believe whatever they want, I took terrible offense to that first statement. I know this may sound contradictory but like with racism and sexism etc, I believe the line to free speech stops when terms are used in a deragatory fashion, and which can incite hate.

Now, a term like 'faggot' may seem innocent enough to many people. But when used in the fit of anger or rage, implies negative connotations. The worse thing is, in all the definitions of the term faggot, none has been positive.

No one knows exactly when the term faggot was used to refer to homosexuals males.

One theory goes back centuries, to the days when heretics where burned at the stakes. Faggots, by literal definition, means a bundle of sticks. Many believe that the term was labled to homosexuals because when burned at the stack, the townpeople were given faggots (the sticks) to keep the fire going. Another story says that homosexuals who were to be burned had to carry their own bundles to their own executions.

Another theory comes from the 19th century when the term faggot was used in reference to ill-tempered woman (maybe a woman scorned is like adding more sticks to a fire - the rage gets bigger). A theorist said that the term then started being used in the 20th century to refer to men who dress like women (tranvestites, cross dressers etc). It is the common assumption (and not fact) that all men who dress like women are gay, that the term stuck.

There are many more stories, some ridiculous, some plausible, some not. I don't know. All I know is that of all the stories I've heard and read about, they all are used to refer to gay men in a deragatory manner.

And this is not a good thing.

Now, you can argue with me all you want that using a negative word could incite hate. Well, tell that to the hundreds (or maybe thousands of unreported deaths and attacks) of gay men around the world who have been victims (both physical and emotional) of homophobia. Ask them how many times they have heard the word 'faggot' shouted in their faces as they were abused.

The fact of the matter is, no word that can incite hate - whether homophobia, sexism, racism or whatever else - should be used in such casual manner. And better still, words like this should not be even used at all.

And if you were to argue that these words only come out in fits of rage and moments of lack of control, I would then ask you... What will happen when your feelings are more intense. What else are you capable of doing then, that you will say you're not capable of doing with a rational mind?

So say what you like. Who am I to stop you? But (and please excuse the dramatics) if anyone was to get hurt in whatever way from your comment, then you have their blood on your hands.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005



Sorry I haven't had time to update my blog - but here's a shameless plug in the mean time. :P

Saturday, July 02, 2005

All American Final!

Well, I hate to do a I TOLD YOU SO but to hcfoo, who posted a comment to my previous blog... well, so much for 100% :) Just kidding, always appreciate comments.

But yes, Maria Sharapova has failed to defend her title - Venus Williams outplayed her in a spectacular match last night, which ended just before the rain started again (the games were delayed because of rain). The second wave of rain delayed the match between Lindsay Davenport and Amelie Mauresmo in the deciding set.

The smile said everything (Source: www.venuswilliams.com)

Now, the thing I'm most happy is was that it wasn't so much Maria playing badly. She had a good game. But Venus, oh Venus, if you can maintain this form - this is no doubt the start of a very exciting career comeback!

And for Lindsay, who need only a couple of minutes to win the semi-finals tonight (the final set was left hanging at 5-3 in favour of Lindsay last night) with an amazing service set.

First final since 2000! (Source: www.wimbledon.org)

Now, it's an All American Final - which I must say, I'm pretty happy because it's my two favourite players... That said, I'm kinda torn - who do I want to win? I think it's leaning towards Lindsay at the moment - she's been the most consistent over the past couple of years, even had a year end number one last year - but just not getting that Grand Slam. But really, whoever wins, I'm a happy camper. :) Sharapova lost. MUAHAHAHA

In men's - sigh - Hewitt has lost to Federer... Hopefully Andy Roddick will beat Thomas Johansson and then take on Federer in the final and take his first ever Wimbledon. *fingers crossed*

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Roddick vs Grosjean - WHAT A GAME!

Woah! What a game!

One of my favourite players (besides Marat Safin) vs a player I really admired at the oldest tennis Grand Slam event - Wimbledon.

Source: Andy (andyroddick.com), Sebastien (bbc.co.uk)

I must say thought that I really wanted Andy to win but if Grosjean had won, I wouldn't have been too upset. The game went into an amazing five-setter, each set could have gone anyway cos it really didn't matter who got the first break, there was always that risk of being broken back... and it came bloody close to happening, and was even actual occurances.

Both were serving spectacularly, both were rallying amazingly and both were playing magically. Some stroke you've never seen in your life, some returns you never imagined could be return and some bloody, fucking accurate on-the-line balls that could only be desribed through swearing.

I have renewed respect for Sebastien Grosjean - if this game is an indication of what's to come, I think we might have back the old Grosjean that I really, really enjoyed watching.

In other news, bloody stupid Federer is in the semis as well, and will meet Lleyton Hewitt. GO HEWITT! Upset the bugger! :D

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

War Of The World? Pfft... (Spoiler Warning)

Well, thanks to Eugene (and media passes), I was at the Premier of the quite highly anticipated War of the Worlds starring Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning.

If you don't know what a spoiler is... haii... means I will talk about things that happen in the show lah.

At the end of the movie, all I could think of was - if there's any truth in allegations that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes only got together for publicity, well then, thank god because the only thing that will sell a movie like that is hype.

I'm trying to avoid spoilers but there's just some things I can't understand.

How is it that when you're being attacked and everyone is running away but you're not just standing there trying to be macho but going towards it?

How is it that everyone kena tembak mati, but you can stand right under that thing and langsung tak mati?

How is it that such 'intelligent' creatures like aliens who can plan the end of earth before earth started, can roast you into charcoal but cannot: a) hear your breathing and b) hear you struggling with another person and c) hear a girl sniffle and cry?

How come a girl can cry and keep screaming for two days and a) not get a sore throat and b) not lose her voice?

How is it that all building retak, and collapse and blood here and there but the house you're aiming to go for, not even a drop of blood, let alone a hairline crack?

How is it that all the power mati - electricity, car battery, cordless phone and even mobile phone - but video recorder can work?

That's only a few things I remember. I know, many will say, that's just a movie. Even mum will go, "If it's not like that then no show to watch lor". Still? Aren't movies supposed to be realistic (okay, fine, so there's no aliens that we know of... yet!)?

There were many more inconsistencies, and most of all, draggy scenes. Like how many time you want to show that Tom Cruise is so smart to hide from the aliens? Or how fit he is that he can run away from explosions? A coherent story, that at least explained some of the stuff would suffice.

I was thoroughly dissapointed... but that's just me lah. Like tak syok the show... not enough action, can you imagine - a chicken like me only jumped ONCE in the whole movie?

Oh, and sticking to the unrelaistic theme, maybe they should have gotten Tom Cruise to run into the house, grab a towel and hitch a ride into the galaxy, eh? :D

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Wimbledon Updates

I don't think I've ever blogged on tennis before but I figured now is a good time as any, just before I head to bed after watching Lindsay Davenport beat Kim Clijsters in the 4th Round of the third grand slam of the year, the Wimbledon Championships.

Now, what's got me even more happy is that Andy Roddick also made it through to the quarterfinals by beating Guillermo Coria earlier (I was upset though, that they didn't show this game on TV).

Source: Lindsay (Yahoo! Sports), Andy (AndyRoddick.com)

I'm also pretty happy that Venus Williams is in the quarterfinals as well, after avenging sister Serena's loss to Jill Craybas. I have to admit that Venus is my favourite of the two sisters, and hope that she does well (although if she does meet Lindsay along the way, I really don't know who I'd be rooting for). I wasn't sad to see Serena lose to be honest.

I was pretty upset for Marat Safin (lost in the second round), who together with Lindsay, Andy and Venus, are my favourite players currently. I used to like Sebastien Grosjean a lot but his form has dropped, and has been unimpressive in the past year or so.

Grosjean is currently playing as I type to qualify for the quarterfinals. Another person who is currently playing is defending champion, Roger Federer. He is playing Juan Carlos Ferrero and I hope that Juan Carlos beats him. Maybe I'm still smarting from his beating Andy last year, but since his winning streak, I've always been rooting for anyone to beat Roger. Imagine my glee when Marat beat him at the Rod Laver Arena (during the Australian Open) earlier this year, and Rafael Nadal beat him at Roland Garros (French Open) barely a few weeks ago.

Another person I'd like to see lose is Maria Sharapova but that's more from jealousy. I don't really know why I don't like her (maybe, again, because she beat Lindsay at this tournament last year). I just don't. Maybe it's cos she makes too much noise on court. Whatever.

I hope Andy and Lindsay takes the title this year. And if it has to be anyone but Lindsay, then I hope Venus gets it. As for Andy, well, anyone's better than Federer. Maybe when Federer loses all 4 Grand Slams this year, I might feel sorry for him next year.

(Hah! Like what I think makes a difference to them!) :P

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Parents Taking Responsibility - My take on the letter to minishorts

I was going to blog on this article in The Star today with regards to the Sothinathan case. As I logged on, I popped by PPS to see whats new with bloggers in Malaysia today, and came across this post from Mack's site, which lead me to minishorts' site, and this letter.

It's too early in the morning (10.30am on a Sunday IS early) but I'm a tad bit irritated. So excuse my rant.

The letter in question summarised. A 'concerned' mother wrote to minishorts expressing her dissapointment in the use of explitives and vulgarity in minishorts' site, which she discovered when her children visited the web site when minishorts.net was featured in The Star alongside other popular Malaysian bloogers last week. (Damn, what a clumsy paragraph).

Now, while I acknowledge the mother's motivation - the love for her two children, and for being 'there' enough to know what her children is up to, I question the mother's motivation in writing the letter in the first place.

What could possibly be the reason behind sending minishorts that letter? Does the mother expect minishorts to quit using explitive, or give up blogging?

And then the mother acknowledges that maybe the letter was more suited to the Editor of The Star instead.

The way I see it is this. The blog, and the newspaper, is essentially like a product. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Across the world, newspapers are known to tow certain political lines - people pick and choose which newspaper they want to read. Essentially, the paper one purchases is based on one's choice of content. The same may be said for this case. If you're upset about the content choice in The Star, start reading the NST.

Do what you need to do - but please don't impose your values on us.

I've always believed that a child's behaviour reflects that of the parent. It's heartwarming to see that in times when parents have little time for their children, that a mother like the one who wrote the letter is so concerned about her children's life. I truly believe in the presence of a parent in a child's life.

That said, I also believe that it is very easy for parents to brush off responsibility by blaming other factors in their child's behaviour (or misbehaviour).

This is not different to the issue of racial discrimination (or national unity, as we call it in this country) and sex education. Many people would agree that the youth of today are misguided (doesn't matter that those making these claims were probably pretty misguided in their own days), and many blame the education system, and that's exactly all they do: blame, blame, complain, blame.

No one ever thought to do something about it at home.

Yes, complain by all means - every system needs it balance and check, so if something is unsatisfactory, you need to make your voice heard. That is very important.

But until something is done, other alternatives have to be looked into. Because otherwise, that complain turns into blame - you're criticising someone for not doing something, but you're not willing to do anything yourself.

I guess I'm lucky to have been brought up by relatively progressive parents. My dad's philosophy has always been to be honest, tell us everything and how they feel, but to let us know of the consequences as well - and make sure we know that the only one who HAS to deal with the consequence is ourselves.

So yes, for example, my parents know that I use explitives, but I've been respectful enough (well, there was one or two incidents) not to use it in front of them and know to only use it with friends who can 'take' it. My parents know that I drink lots of alcohol, but know that I'm responsible now to not drink and drive *anymore*. And the list goes on...

Essentially, what people like the mother who wrote the letter need to realise is that a parent cannot change the world, but they can prepare their children to survive in it. Please, don't go around censoring people, or condemning, do something about it.

Sit your children down, talk to them and tell them why you think that it's wrong for them to view such sites. And let them make their choice. Teach them to differentiate what is right and what is wrong - instead of hiding things from them. God knows that there are much 'worse' sites out there that you don't know that they are accessing. Who knows what else they are up to (and if your children are too young to understand these things - there are a variety of child protection stuff on the net that you can use - but please, please don't think of your children as babies forever. If they know what sex means, they're probably ready to understand the consequence of it as with many other things).

It's not just charity that has to begin at home, so does education (and by this term, I don't mean purely academic). No one is more responsible for your child's education than you - not the Government, not the media and definitely not the schools. Do something about it instead of just complaining, your children will grow up to appreciate it more, trust me. My sisters and I are living proof.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Jumping on the Malaysian Blogger Bandwagon

Okay, so this is how out of touch I've been with blogging... I didn't know about Kenny's Which Malaysian Blogger Are You? until I was at the party yesterday and Adam kept complaining that he did the test 11 (REALLY?) times and came up as Joyce each time (he was worried that he's turning into a fairy...umm... yeah, no comment considering he's secretly fancied me since we first met back in 2003 :P). That's what you get for shagging someone I guess.

But I'm not even shagging her and this was the result when I did the test this morning:

Congratulations Niki Cheong, you are...

Joyce the Fairy of xanga.com/kinkybluefairy

If you are a car, your fuel of choice would be unleaded alcohol. You are a major party animal with an unnatural obsession with art, toys and all things fantasy. You think the world is too complicated and you wished it could be as simple as it was when you were 7 years old. You live with it. You work hard, but you don't take for granted the simple things in life that make you happy. Sweet candy, cartoon music, crazy friends, all these and more make you a happy person living in your own little world.

Which Malaysian Blogger Are You?

Well, at least she's quite hot looking lah. Better than when I did the test before bed last night and came out with this:

Congratulations Niki Cheong, you are...

Kenny Sia of kennysia.com

You have it all, or so you think. Big balls, big bird, big everything. Also a big heart and ever-ready big hug to give out to everybody who needs one. But you didn't know this. You're the one who need a hug the most. So hugs to you!

Which Malaysian Blogger Are You?

Omigod, does that mean I'm a cross of Joyce and Kenny? Scarreeee...

Everyone wanted to hump Kenny Sia at the PPS 2nd Birthday Bash!

Ahhh... well, I expeceted Kenny Sia to be that popular but that dear old humble friend of mine wasn't too sure. I walked into the bash at Charlie's Place in KL and immediately saw him - and considering that he was the only person I recognised, I went up to him immediately (which made me look like a groupie - but you get that).

Then suddenly, 20 people were surrounding us, all wanting pictures with Mr. Coconuts.

Thank god, I met Minishorts, who I've also not seen in a while.

I'm usually not comfortable in situations where I don't know people - my friends would scoff at this comment but really, if I don't know you, I'm quite shy. And to be honest with you, I only went for two reasons.

1. I've not seen Kenny Sia since I left Uni more than three years ago.
2. I've owed David Teoh a drink for almost a year. (Hey David, thanks for reminding me about the party tonight!)

The event turned out okay for me. The nametag thing was a bit school-boyish (but since David said I don't look THAT old - I was okay with wearing it if only to make me look young again).

(I didn't bring my camera to the event, so this was the only shot I took when I came home) :P

Initially, I was a bit wary of the people - everyone seemed to know each other but a couple of beers took care of that.

I don't remember most of the people I talked too but it was nice to meet them all once and for all. One person I do remember meeting is Huai Bin, I had followed his blog a long time back. I quite enjoyed his blog. It was also nice to meet Sharizal for the first time too. In fact, it was nice to see a few people from back in 2003 when I started blogging (I didn't say hi to many of you, but it was nice meeting you anyway). I did wish that Wena was around, and that I could meet her for the first time though.

What tonight did do for me (and thanks to Mack for the conversation, everything you said) is reignite my blogging interest. I know there are two or three of you who still read my blog but the few people who used to follow my blog a long time ago, don't anymore. And I hope that this is mainly due to my lack of blogging.

The thing is - I'm a writer by profession and sometimes, it's just too much for me to keep writing. Granted, most of the things I write for, for a living, is superficial and frivolous, but it's writing nevertheless.

I long for the days when I have the time, and energy to update my blog every couple of days. These days, I'm lucky if I have two posts a month. I hope to increase this though, and bring up issues close to my heart again, instead of just ranting about it over dinner to my dad and then forgetting it after.

Thanks to PPS for keeping me going all this time, thanks to Aiz for PPS. And happy birthday!

p/s Oh, and if you're wondering about my headline for this post - well, just be on the lookout at PPS tomorrow and the next couple of days. I'm sure the photos will start appearing, one at a time (and trust me, there were lots!). ;)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The 'bizarre' Michael Jackson Aquitted

After days of deliberation, the jury in the high-profiled molestation case against Michael Jackson has found him not guilty of all charges against him - including molestation and conspiracy to kidnap the family of the defendants, just barely less than an hour ago.

Many people will still question the man, no doubt, but as his ex-wife Debbie Rowe said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight: "I would never have married a paedophile." And the jury obivously agreed with her.

I know there's not getting out of the spotlight, and his reputation will forever be tarnished, but I hope the media cuts him some slack now. It was nice to note the article which I read (from the Associate Press) did not once use the term 'Wacko Jacko' etc etc. In fact, the closest they got to was: "...a total legal victory but one that may do little to improve his bizarre image." I'll give them that much credit.

This case has taken the toll on many people I'm sure, to the point that the jury asked to be allowed to get back into their own lives. The article said: "After the verdicts were announced, the judge read a statement from the jury: "We the jury feel the weight of the world's eyes upon us." They asked to be allowed to return to "our private lives as anonymously as we came."

For Michael, I'm not a fan, but I'm glad for the poor man that this is behind him. Hopefully, everyone feels the same way too.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

With Hopes For Neverland

For those who has been living on planet Earth for the past few weeks would know that as you read this, the jury is deliberating the molestation case against Michael Jackson.

Many believe that he's going to be convicted - a believe that they've held for months, if not years, but definitely way before the trial started.

Now, my sister has always cocked her hear with a smirk and a comment like: "Eh, don't kacau him, he's a MJ fan" whenever I defend, dear old Michael (yes, we are on a first name basis).

Truth is, I emphatise with the poor guy. Not that I know how it's like to have a string of number ones, or have that much money, or well, be charged with molestation. But have you ever been accused of something you never did? Like say, not putting the toilet seat down, or locking the car door, or eating that last piece of cookie. Well, imagine how upset you feel everytime it happens and multiply this by the possibility of jail for it.

I don't know if he's innocent. And I don't know if he's guilty. All I know that everyone deserves the right to a fair trial, without bias and prejudice.

I was on Yahoo! a few minutes ago and came across an article which talked about how he'd probably have to sell his rights to the Beatle's catalogue should he be charged. Now, sure, the article used the word 'IF' but articles like this feed into people's minds. Why not write articles about a possible comeback for the King of Pop if he's found not guilty, or how he can now continue to do the charity and goodwill he does if he's let off. Or how he can get on with life.

Negative or positive, they're all assumptions so why ONLY go for the former?

Today, I finally found someone who agrees with me. Like I've mentioned before, I've always felt for the poor bloke. But I never could articulate how I felt exactly - and only come out with pathetic arguments like "Innocent Until Proven Guilty".

There was an article in the last issue of The Advocate magazine in which the writer Q. Allan Brocka, a director/actor/cinematographer/etcetera, talks about exactly how I feel. What I resonated most with the article was his discovery of why he also once thought that Michael was guilty - something that I had once believed in as well - which is the association of homosexuality and paedophilia. That was exactly how I felt when I kicked myself for even so closely associating those two TOTALLY different subjects together.

The point is - this is how much perception plays a part in the minds of people. The perception that all paedophiles are homosexuals. The perception that all homosexuals are bad people. The perception that Michael's got the money and power to force the kids and their mother to lie, the perception that Michael is guilty just because he's strange.

Such is human nature.

Unfortunately, this is the same perceptions that might send an innocent man to jail.

Friday, June 03, 2005

All For Free Condoms And Needles For Addicts

To my detractors who say that I only ever know how to complain... hah!

Today, I pay tribute to Health Minister Datuk Dr. Chua Soi Lek who, in a report I read in the New Straits Times, said that the Government is considering a tried and tested method (although the NST called it 'radical approach') of curbing the spread of HIV.

Yes, the Government is thinking of offering free condoms and needles to drug addicts. Finally.

Dr. Chua was quoted to have said this: "Whether we like it or not, we are faced with this problem".

Indeed, those words could not ring any more true. In times when we have appalling figures in our country where more than 60,000 people are infected with HIV, and 75% of then are intravenous drug users (and that this figures will increse to a staggering 300,000 in a mere 10 years), this sort of action - any form of action - is most welcomed.

Interestingly enough, a variety of religious bodies have voiced out against the plan (surprise! surprise!) - their argument is that it will promote sex.

Good god, in this time with so much research being done, and with so much coverage in the media, I'm appalled to hear these kinds of comments still - it makes me wonder whether these religious leaders avoid reading any articles/features/etc on the topic, for fear it might infect them by just reading it?

It's sad that there is still opposition to such actions (and excused with such trivial and unresearched responses) in a time when even the U.N. is calling out for better acceptance and understanding. There was a report today that the U.N. fears that the numbers will not drop, and that hopes of reversing the pandemic by 2015 will not be possible.

It makes me think that these religious leaders want people to be infected as a punishment for their 'sins' - because between the possibility of savings lives through such action, and just allowing people to continue getting infected because they don't have access to condoms and needles - it doesn't take much to know which one saves lives.

To the religious leaders, all I have to say is shame on you. Go read more, research more and be a bit more accepting and understanding. And to the Government, I hope you don't chicken out. That would be extremely dissapointing.

Friday, May 27, 2005

If You Want To Go, Just Go

Okay, I've got a bit of a rant.

I had dinner with a friend, who had company at the dinner table by the time I joined then. Kesimpulannya, I crashed lah. But that's not the story.

Now, this friend of his had been living overseas quite a while now. The story I got was that he got his degree and just stayed on. Now, here's what I think - if you choose to stay on, you choose to leave whatever you have behind. Correct? I mean, sure, home is where the heart is and all that jazz but really, your family might be here etc but if you leave, it's usually because you see something better elsewhere, be it love, career, lifestyle.

So, what gives you the damn right to come back here and complain about how things are here?

Okay, so I know that KL has a crap transport system, and the our drivers are vicious. But really, if this was what you choose to leave behind, then why come back and complain about it? Okay fine, so you're allowed to complain maybe. But to compare it to how things are where you are? Then GO BACK THERE AND DON'T COME BACK if it's so horrible here.

I mean, I'm not saying that I don't complain. Sure, I wish we had better roads, better politicians, more equality etc etc etc. But the difference is that I still choose to live in this country because I love it for what it is, corruption and 34-million Ringgit cops to go with it. Sure, I don't condone it but hey, if KL was to turn as sterile as Singapore with no chewing gum (I hear they've removed the ban), mamak stalls, burger Ramlee and CCTV cameras in the toilets, I don't think I'd like living here anymore.

Not only that, I didn't decide to run away. And leave all this behind. Because I could if I wanted to. But hey, I'm also a realist. I realise that we are still developing as a country, that as an Asian country, the majority will naturally be more liberal. And I believe that Rome wasn't built in a day (i.e. 2020 isn't going to come in 2006 - I have my doubts about 2020 itself but that's a different story).

Now, what really irks me also is the fact that people who go overseas and study and come back and complain. Look, you knew what KL was like before you left, you could choose to leave or stay there. How can you go to a first world country, and a country that is so much older than ours and compare it? It just doesn't make sense.

And what's all this about people asking me why I never stayed in Australia when I finished studying. Why must I? Do you ever ask those that DO decide to stay back WHY they decided not to come back? No. Why?

Look, there's no way we're going to progress even a little bit with this sort of mentality. Sure, there is a long way to go but hey, do something about it instead of just complaining. Or running away.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Kylie's Asian Tour Cancelled - Confirmed!

While I saw news reports earlier (as can be seen in my earlier post) confirming that Kylie's concerts has been postponed/cancelled in Australia, this is the first I've seen regarding the Asian tour. I mean, of course I expected it, but there was nothing in the media.

Here's hoping she gets well soon.

Kylie's Got Breast Cancer

This is just in.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation news site just announced 20-odd minutes ago the Kylie Minogue, diva superstar and goddess of the gay men around the world, has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Channel Nine Australia web site also confirmed the news.

There is mention that the Australian concert will be postponed - but no news just yet about the Asian tour, which I assume might be cancelled too.

Get well soon, Kylie!

Friday, May 13, 2005

10 Years Old

There has been a few things over the past couple of weeks that led up to this post.

1. Me quitting my previous job - I've told many people that being the editor of NewMan was probably the last full time job I'd have for a long time, especially in the editorial industry. I mean, never say never but yeah, I'm quite sick and tired of magazine Publishers in general.

2. I was talking to an ex-colleague, Lily who I didn't know very well until after I left and we were talking about bylines and how we writers really never get sick of seeing our names in print. And for me, it's been ten years since my name first appeared in The Star, and I still never get tired of it.

3. I returned to Kota Kinabalu two days ago - for the first time since 1996. Being there brought back lots of memories - driving around, I remembered the different places I visited and interviewed as part of the BRATs, a young journalist programme organised by The Star.

Yes, I was a BRATs. April 1995, school holidays, I walked up to YMCA not knowing anybody and left a few days later with a whole new bunch of friends who would, and I exagerate not, change the course of my life. That weekend, I got my first byline in Sunday Star.

10 years on - I've worked for more than 5 magazines, started two from scratch and edited three. And I'm only 26. Yeah, so I'm quite proud of myself. And till today, am not sick of seeing my name in print.

What's the purpose of this post? Just to action? Maybe lah. But maybe this is my little pat on my back, just for the fun of it. :) As a writer, after all, it is my tenth year anniversary. :)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Oh, there is a God!

I tried to wake up ut couldn't pull myself out of my bed for the game. But oh, glory, glory!

I spent the whole day yesterday making an affirmation hoping that Liverpool would win, and wipe the smirk of Mr. Mourinho's face.

Guess what?

LIVERPOOL WON (In case you haven't already heard). I don't care about controversial goals, Liverpool won!

Those of you who know me would never have thought I'd have ever supported Liverpool. No, I haven't turned my back on MU but god, I wanted to see Chelsea lose sooooo bad! :D Yay, yay, yay!

So for the moment, Liverpool, you have my best wishes for Istanbul.

p/s Which reminds me of something dad told me that Sashi blogged about - and the story is available here. Could this be true?

Monday, May 02, 2005

RIP: Krishen Jit

I didn't know Krishen very well.

Sure, he's always been there. At every show he directed that I've watched, I walk in and he's already sitting at the side waiting for the auditorium to fill up and the show to start. I've met him several time, but rarely said more than a "Hello" to him. Truth be told - Krishen scared me. He appeared intimidating even.

In fact, my most personal memory of Krishen would have to be sitting behind him at the inaugural Boh Cameronian Arts Awards a few years ago (when he received the Lifetime Achievement Award). Gavin and I, both siting with the Instant Cafe Theatre Company group, started laughing and giggling a bit to the dance show - we just didn't get it. Krishen just turned around, gave us a 'look' and we just shut up immediately.

Fact is, I think I've taken Krishen for granted. For me, this man would always be there (I didn't know how young he was), he seemed almost immortal. And I kept telling myself that one day, I would get the chance to work with him. I had the opportunity a couple of times but I never took it. I wonder if I will regret those choices.

At his funeral yesterday, Bernice hugged me and said: "So wierd lah". I think that three words sums it all up. Krishen has been Malaysian theatre since forever. It's really strange that he's not going to be around anymore.

Jit said that Krishen was "just there. He was the patriach of the theatre world but he wasn't just one moment. Krishen was a constant". I'd like to believe that eventhough he has passed on, that his presence will constantly be with us. And you know what, I have a feeling that that he will. Rest in peace Krishen, we will miss you dearly.


If you want to read more about Krishen, check out the numerous articles written about him after his death, including obituories, here and here (and a tribute page here).

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Born Again

Well, here is the start of a new adventure.

Umm...it's actually the same adventure except that it's hosted at a new place. As some of you may know, I used to host my blog using MovableType on my own website - nicsteronline.com

Being the smart-arse that I was, I meddled with the settings when I upgraded MT, and well, now my comments don't work. Sucks big time. So, I decided that MT, as my friend David Teoh said, is like a woman (no offense) - so yeah, I'm going to host my blog somewhere else.

I hope that the few of you who have links to my blog wouldn't mind changing it to this place. And if you do, well, what to do kan?

In the mean time, I hope to start blogging much more and get back in the groove again. Hope to see you here soon then, mates.