Thursday, February 28, 2008

When Age Matters

Have you heard of anyone saying that they are 'old'? (Ie. they are saying that they feel old).

I come across this statement quite a lot and always feel a little bemused by the people saying these statements.

How do we compare a 20+, who is only maybe 20-25% of his life, to consider himself 'old'? Old compared to? Of course you get even the 30s saying that, the 40s, the 50s, 60s and beyond saying that. Everyone above 21 seems to say they are getting old. In fact for the girls, some even say when as young as when they have passed sweet 16.

I realise that the term 'old' is a relative one. And based on my thoughts, some feel old because they've not achieved what they have wanted to achieve yet. Just like what the Maslow's Hierachy of Needs mentions, that every stage of life, there needs to be a fulfillment. I believe to one extend, that there is truth in the law.

Table from BB. (Click for larger view).

Moving forward, if it's true that we feel 'old', I suggest, we 'take stock', reflect & set our goals. Understanding the fulfillment of our needs could be a first step.

To me, every age group is a unique one, and all equally important. The children are important because it's their time to grow, be educated and have fun. The teenagers are important because they are the trend takers who will eventually lead and become trend setters, some even at that young age.

The 20s are important because they are the building their careers, learning as much as they can, and making a dent in their working world. This is basically an age group that is to learn as much as possible.

The 30s are a little bit more comfortable, usually. They have gained their fair bit of knowledge and wealth and this is usually the time of bonding, relationships & further ideas to businesses. Of course there is still quite a fair bit to learn still.

The 40s are even more comfortable, but this is also the time to make their ways to climb up the rungs - an inch to the the top of the corporate ladder or for businesses, the time to make the stamp on their marks.

The 50s are generally more laid back to one large extend, having already claimed their position and usually maintaining it, though there can be some who are still contiuing to strive hard for expansion and greater success.

Most at their 60s and beyond tend to slow down and look forward to a healthy retirement, having a good time, fully enjoying the fruits of their labour.

Now this is of course very relative. There are early boomers, eg. some young entrepreneurs already securing their marks when young (see American big guns like Facebook & Google creators). Or some late bloomers who achieve things in a later stage of life (one example could be Malaysia's very own casino guru - the late Lim Goh Tong).

But basically, we will all go through this path where quoting the Law, 'each level has emotions that need to be filled'.

Now that we know about the Law, and each 'level', age matters in terms of moving forward and going about to fill the emotion needs. Hence rather than complaining 'not young anymore', we should instead have a positive outlook in life of living a fulfilled one, and gear towards it. :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Oscar Goes Global

This 2008 sees the golden statuette from the Academy Awards (or more known as the Oscars) coming of age, celebrating its 80 years. And it's time again to recognise the best from the film industry.

Originated from USA, and held there, this awards ceremony is seen by many as a USA-Hollywood thing. Hollywood stars, actors, actresses, directors and the film industry players gear up for the 'most prestigious night in the film industry'. And though it's broadcast outside of Hollywood as well, however, the ripples caused overseas are a little less.

Of course, the introduction of Best Foreign Language Film do give the nominating overseas country some cheer and more attention.

Asians will remember Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon when home-born Asian stars were seen in the audience. It was like the rise of China, and Asian movies then, and with the movie winning 4 awards that night.

Then in 2005, there was the much anticipated Taiwan born director, Ang Lee's Best Director nomination, which he eventually won for Brokeback Mountain. Though a Hollywood movie, but because of Ang Lee's roots, it was a thumbs up from Asia.

Well this year don't see any Asian movie making waves there, but the Oscars have kept up with its global attention. This year, it has shifted back to Europe, and sees a fair bit of European film players making waves. Amongst them:
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, British
Best Actress: Marion Cotillard, French
Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, Spanish
Best Supporting Actress: Tilda Swinton, British

The list is quite a surprise with non USA born making their mark in these 4 categories. But as Oscar goes global and the need for worldwide attention, it is only fair to also recognise those from other countries, and this time they did just that.

The award winning moment for Marion Cotillard, amongst the best receiving moments.

A colourful & happy moment by Javier Bardem.

This goes to show Hollywood is much more open than we think it is. And I will be rooting once again when in the near future maybe an Asian movie will be coveted the Best Picture or an Asian star for the Best Actor/ Actress!

And like the winners said, Dreams Do Come True, and maybe it can just be mine :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Of Chinese New Year Movies

Ok, today's the last day of the festive Chinese New Year period. And I guess, I've written a fair bit on Chinese New Year. But there's one more that I would like to share - Chinese New Year movies.

I can remember last time when we awaited for Jackie Chan's New Year movies each year. Now that's he's in Hollywood, we don't get to see him now. However, like Christmas movies, Chinese New Year movies are here to stay.

While Hong Kong continues to produce them, so does Singapore film maker, Jack Neo. And it has become a new wait for Singaporeans each Chinese New Year to watch his movies which are with a localised Singapore theme.

This year there is no exception, with Ah Long Pte Ltd - a comedy film about loan sharks. There is the usual funny moments & also some heart-beating moments. However, there is a lil twist this time around, as they gear to tap the Malaysian market, hence featuring Malaysian actors, some Cantonese dialogues & the Malaysian style Mandarin. Ah Long Pte Ltd will open not as a Chinese New Year movie in Malaysia though, on 13 March 2008.

The other successful Chinese New Year movie is the huge budget film of Stephen
Chow's - CJ7.
Like the others, it has some humour, but in fact this movie is more geared as a family movie on father-son relationship & buddy friendship on an alien pet & the journey of its poor schoolboy owner.

Amongst the 3 movies, a lil less hype but a great watch will be the basketball inspired movie featuring Jay Chou - Kung Fu Dunk. Stunning Matrix styled actions & effects combined with Chou's music talent makes this movie a great watch. Maybe more so because of its lower profile, hence, a lower expectation - and when it performs, it becomes a great movie.

From the movies, are music spin offs. The popular one is definitely by Jay Chou with his fast paced rap song Zhou Da Xia.

Another catchy song would be from the OST Ah Long Pte Ltd, though it do sound very similar to the song by Inner Circle - Sweat (A La La La Long).

Well for those who still haven't watched these movies, there's still some time as the movies are still having good showtimes in cinemas.

And with that and the end of the festive period, here's to a wonderful year ahead!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Inspiring Hobby: Photography

One of my hobbies that I like is photography, having been exposed to it while I was in school.

Actually, photography is like a piece of art itself because the photographer is able to create beautiful pictures, just by having an eye - usually from different angles. Of course, higher end cameras do help as then the photographer can create photos a lil different from the actual scene. And there's also photo editing softwares, though, to me the best ones are always captured as is.

However, in a way, though it falls within the art scope, photography is a lil less art-sy in a way, as its a broader 'function' (compared to like painting) - its needed even in work (not only in the media industry, but even like in construction, real estate, etc), hence a wider exposure too - not to mention, cameras are a must on trips - to record our experience & journeys.

In the course of finding submissions on the book for Malaysia, I've chanced on a few nice photos myself. Here, I would like to share a few of my personal favourites, taken by other photo hobbyists - for the passion of beautiful pictures. Of course some are pros, but there are some here who just snap good shots on their daily lives & travels.

Originally uploaded by cliffbutt100

Star gazing! Now, that's a true star! Just look at its texture.

Tetes - Tetes Embun Pagi
Originally uploaded by Prama Arta

Embun pagi - little morning dew. Somehow, this photo reminds me of a bonding/ togetherness feel. Maybe it was what I used to see during scout camps.

It's Saturday!
Originally uploaded by Ad_Q

Saturday morning! Ah reminds me of the times we needed to wash our shoes over the weekend for school on Monday!

Mosque in Kuala Ibai
Originally uploaded by deyna rashid

Just look how the sky blend with the mosque. Blue- white! Its so peaceful just looking at this pic. And what a beautiful mosque it is.

Many thanks to these photographers who share their art pieces in their sites and for us to be awed by them :)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Malaysia Book: Q&A

I've been inviting quite a fair bit of ppl to share their thoughts/ opinions/ photos on Malaysia to be featured in the Book For Malaysia that I'm publishing. The response has been very positive so far, and I'm glad that we are able to complete a fair share already.

Some have also asked a few questions, and I thought I'll just write a post on it for all to understand better :)

Q: Who is the publisher?
A: My company, Quachee Enterprise (Malaysia) with the support from the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia.

Q: What is the title of the book?
A: To be honest, we had an initial title - Malaysia 50 Years: The Commemorative Book. However, there might be changes to the title depending on our sponsors. More likely to make it a lighter title, to fit with the overall comprehensive yet lighter style of writing.

Q: When is the release date?
A: We are looking to complete everything and ready for print by March 2008. Depending on how long the printers take (usually 4 - 8 weeks), it will be out in March or April 2008.

Q: Is this book for sale? How do we get a copy?
A: If we get it right, this book is to be available free, though it will still be sold in bookstores. We will keep you updated once the sponsors come in.

Q: Why are you looking for contributors?
A: We want to get an independent view from the public - locals & foreign. We want to see what they see about the country. This is because despite the negative reports in the press, there are many who actually still love/ like the country.

And I can adhere to that through their contributions. It's these small things that they like that we would like to feature :) Actually, I believe that every Malaysian still love Malaysia no matter what - it's like their 'first love' :)

Q: How independent are these opinions?
A: Well, firstly, these are not paid contributions. The contributions are submitted because they took the photo or wrote something themselves first. It was what they see through their own eyes.

To be honest, getting contributions from the public is a tedious work. For 1 topic, it takes us about 3-5 days of additional work - from requests to arranging etc.

It would definitely be easier if we just used our own collection, or get it from the media source. But then, that won't be seeing through the people's eyes. It will be only through our eyes - and that is not our purpose for the book.

Q: Who can submit a contribution?
A: Anyone. It's open to those living in Malaysia, those who have traveled here or even those who have heard about the country. We just want to hear what you have to say.

Q: How do I submit a contribution? And what can I submit?
A: Simply email us at, together with some info on yourself and on the picture/ writing (eg. why you took it, what did you feel when you took it).

Well those are the general questions. However, I did receive quite an interesting question too, and would like to share my answer to it.

Q: The people are angry because of some not so right decisions and the current state of affairs. I don't see a book being all positive on the country be able to help.
A: People in every country are always dissapointed in a way or rather for certain things - rising costs, safety, etc. Now, saying that, that doesn't mean we close an eye on the negative things around us, and not fix them.

Those are already highlighted by the mainstream media. On our part, we are just hoping to make everyone recognise Malaysia - as she is.

Just look at the Americans, Japanese, Brits, Koreans and even Chinese. I'm sure their country also face some challenges, but just look at how proud are they on their own country, despite its shortcomings.

We hope to play a part here, and hence the reason for the book. Like we said, it's merely a recognition, a pat on the back to the country and the talents in Malaysia. :)

Ok, those are the questions I've received so far. Ill update if there's more.

Btw, for those who have contributed, many thanks to you - we are glad to share what you see on the country.

As for those who would like to contribute, please do so soon, as our deadline is just round the corner. :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Malaysia Is Beautiful

The process of publishing the book for Malaysia sure gets me a lot of research. Ive been reading so many materials - from hardcopy to softcopy, and the vast information online.

Being Malaysian, and quite updated with the ongoings in the country, I thought this would be a simple & easy task. In a way, just like any other Malaysian, it should be rather easy - we roughly know the culture, people, places to visit, etc. However, I realised that the knowledge I know is rather general in a way! Even one of the simplest ones - travel was difficult.

Im lucky to have visited the many popular sites in the country, and even had a fun time snorkeling in Redang (Beautifully Refreshing). That actually help me to understand the diving sites better, and why
Malaysia is really so beautiful - above & under the sea!

IMG_0072, originally uploaded by aquanerds.

Ive never been to Sipadan, but just see how beautiful it is. What a discovery on the Sipadan island, and also on diving - picture really tells a thousand words!.

To add, the diving sites like these found at Sipadan & other areas in Sabah & Sarawak are just part of Malaysia. There is much more to see from heritage buildings, new modern buildings with great architecture, and other nature places - from North to South Peninsula, West Coast to the East Coast... and East Malaysia!

This brings me to mind on a comment made by an acquaintance on tourism in Malaysia being too diverse. That time, I agreed with him, but now I see the reason. It's mainly because the country has lots too offer! And tourists whether local or foreign, can choose what they like - all in one country!

In a way, Im enjoying myself discovering something I thought I knew! Its a lot of information & knowledge gained.

Most of all, it makes me feel that this Malaysia Book project is a good one - to share Malaysia to everyone - locals & foreign. Im sure that there are more we need to know about the country (the positive part) - more of like the first step of 'recognition' :)

*No need to guess where one of my next holiday trip is gonna be!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Valentine's & Chinese New Year's Gifts

Valentine's Day is just round the corner. And as usual, it falls either on or near the Chinese New Year.

As it falls on the 9th day of the New Year this year, I just thought I'll share some gifts that lovers can exchange to take full use of the combination of the seasons. Just for some fun :)

1. Heart shaped cookies
Heart shaped 'kuih' (cookies) are a good exchange as it has the symbol of love and are rather tasty! They are rather affordable as well, and there is sure to be abundance of them still available - only thing is to find those heart-shaped ones!

Heart-shaped kuih bangkit cookies.

2. Cookies with meaning of love
During the Chinese New Year, another popular kuih is non other than the kuih kapit or also called Love Letters. This is a good Valentine's gift because the name already spells out your hearts intention.

And its even more special if it is homemade, as the results is not only seen through the physical product, but rather, the labour of love that went behind it.

CNY goodies, originally uploaded by SeetYing.

3. Heart shaped ang pows.
I've seen some people folding currency notes into love shapes. Well, how bout using the red colour ang pows/ hong baos instead? Aferall, they are in the colour of love - red. And unlike the previous two, these heart-shaped ang pows can be kept for a long time to come. Better still, fold those using the characters of the rat, in memory of this year!

4. New year plants
Rather than giving roses which can be rather costly, how about going for some Chinese New Year plants - especially those with red flowers? Better still, get a set with a unique meaning and each of you can keep one. Just make sure to get those hardier plants which last beyond the festive period.

Well, there it goes - 4 items which can carry both meaning of love for Valentine's Day and at the same time a celebration for the New Year! :)

Friday, February 08, 2008

He Xin Nian

This is the evergreen Chinese New Year Song which does bring up the mood of the festive season. This is just one of the many versions available :)


賀新年 祝新年
新年啊 年連年

賀新年 祝新年
新年啊 年連年


賀新年 祝新年
新年哪 年連年


He Xin Nian

He xin nian Zhu xin nian
Xin nian ah Nian lian nian
Bao zhu sheng sheng cui de xiang you nian

He xin nian Zhu xin nian
Xin nian ah Nian lian nian
Sui yue you you guang yin shi jian

Hui shou wang shi ru yan tong ku xing suan
Ji wang cong jin wan shi ru yuan

He xin nian Zhu xin nian
Xin nian la Nian lian nian
Yuan ta jia dou guo ge tai ping nian

Monday, February 04, 2008

New Year Greetings

Last year, I wished during the Chinese New Year (Make It Great - Gong Xi Fa Cai). Well, this year, I would like to wish all Chinese a good 'Mickey Mouse' year ahead a lil advance :)

Ok, first on Mickey. This was a few weeks back, way before the new year decorations were up and one seller mentioned to me that it's going to be a Mickey Mouse year ahead. I was a lil puzzled and was actually thinking - 'Is there a new Mickey - Walt Disney movie?'. Of course, then he pointed that it's the rat year coming. That's one lucky animal to be named after a famous character. In fact there's another, as later, I've seen the mouse 'Jerry' (from Tom & Jerry) popping up in the decorations too.

On to the New Year Greetings. Like many other Chinese New Year customs, the greetings are also very important to the Chinese. So, here is a list of greetings which I would like to wish all of you, apart from the Xin Nian Kuai Le (Happy New Year) & Gong Xi Fa Cai (Congratulations & Prosperity).

Bu Bu Gao Sheng (Steady progress)
Nian Nian You Yu (Bountiful & surplus each year)
& Ji Xiang Ru Yi (Wish for everything to run well)

So to all, enjoy your New Year goodies, the reunion dinner with your families, meeting up with friends... and not to forget giving & receiving ang pows!

Here's to a great 'Mickey Mouse' year ahead! :)