July 2005 Archives

Fuel prices up again??

Aw, crap. Fuel prices are up again, by 10 sen to RM1.62 for unleaded petrol. Usual media spin today: still one of the cheapest in the region, unscrupulous businesses shouldn't take advantage of this to hike their prices, etc, etc, etc.

The fuel price hike had seemed inevitable and the warning signs had been there with top Government officials stating publicly in recent weeks that subsidies were taking away much needed funds for development of schools and rural infrastructure.

Crude oil prices have jumped from US$50 (RM190) to US$60.57 per barrel in seven months.

Government ministers had warned that it was a matter of time before subsidies were further reduced to ensure that it did not hinder the overall economic development of the country.

Sheesh. A couple fewer Happy Meals a month for me from now on.

VI does Malaysia proud!

My alma mater is in the news: "VI brass band wins gold, silver at global meet"

"The boys from Victoria Institution here (VI) did Malaysia proud when they brought home a gold and a silver medal from the World Marching Show in the Netherlands recently. The VI brass band glittered to the top in the Show category and gave another sterling performance to take the silver in the Marching category, stealing the judges' hearts with a medley that included Tanah Pusaka, Can-Can, Yankee Doodle, Peter Loo, Speak Up Mumbo and Fall."

I've always admired the Band, though i was never in it; and i knew they were good, but i didn't realize they were this good! :) Well done!

There is little honour in "No, no, no..."

Why am i not surprised? In any other democratic nation, when a high ranking Gvernment official has been publicly heckled and humiliated by an ex-Boss, found good reason to cry in public, booed in her own party's general assembly, its probably a good time to hang up the boots and "retire" with grace, or at least, with any last bit of remaining dignity.

It strikes me as perversely bizarre (almost S&M-like) that anyone would want to stay around anymore and endure more punishment (mark my works: there will be a lot more, Super Tun isn't done with Ma'am Razidah Aziz yet.

On the issue of APs, truly, innocence or guilt has become a secondary issue. All that remains is pride and honour, and, certainly, there is very little honour in "No, no, no."

A Malaysian songstress

I decided to treat myself to some CDs after work today, and Ning Baizura's Erti Pertemuan was one of them. Been listening to it over a quiet evening at home, and am very impressed. A lot of good and bad has been said about Ning over the years, but one thing is for sure: she's come a long, long way. Her vocal talents have matured, her song selection quite impeccable, and the total feel of the album is just right.

Well done, a true Malaysian songstress. *tips hat*

The Racist Keris

It was on the front page page of The Star yesterday, Umno Youth chief Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein waving a keris in the air as he called for the return of policies "favourable" to the Malays in the NEP.

- to allocate 30 per cent equity to Bumiputeras;
- to ensure that Bumiputeras dominate in the bio-technology, farming, aero-space, defence, information technology, halal food manufacturing, petroleum and gas, finance, automotive, services and tourism sectors;
- for the Entrepreneur and Co-operatives Development Ministry to redouble its efforts to create capable Bumiputera entrepreneurs;
- to increase allocation for rural infrastructure development;
- for the performance of government-linked companies to be judged on their contribution towards the Malay agenda;
- for civil servants to fully understand the importance of the Malay agenda when awarding contracts or tenders; and
- to monitor the implementation of the NEP.

Instead of helping the Malays, the Government should be helping the needy. Instead of placing a quota on who gets what, let market forces, let fair competition and merit decide. Instead of making the playing field an uphill battle for non-Malays, let it be level, and focus your energies on ensuring laws, check & balances are in place to ensure a fair and equal opportunity.

UMNO Youth shouldn't have to worry about us Malays. The best of us will always rise to the top, help or no help. The worst of us will (and should be allowed to) to fall to the bottom. And the mediocre, the average amongst us, they are the ones who will have the most incentive to improve if equal opportunity policies govern our nation.

For too long, its been a case of "help ourselves, and screw the rest" with people like Hishammuddin. How short sighted is that: a leader who deserves respect is he who sees what's best for the nation, and not just for his constituency.

Certainly, UMNO Youth has a role to play -- yes, the Malays need help, but no, quotas and "leg ups" is not the type of help they need. Helping someone shouldn't cause the hardship of another which is what Malay-friendly policies in the NEP will do.

I'm sorry, Hishammuddin, but there is nothing special about you, not as a politician at least. You're just another keris-wielding Malay boy pandering to the whims of the masses.

RockStar INXS!

American Idol is for pussies! America's real talent can be found on Rock Star INXS! Wow -- amazing performance that had me glued to my seat all the way. Wednesdays and Thursday at 9-10pm are now booked! Looks like Mark Burnett has another hit on his hands!

BitTorrent in Malaysia?

Very, very curious about torrent technologies. Not really a recent phenomenon, but it looks set to expand the boundaries of P2P technologies. For that reason alone, its worth exploring.

Need help:

1. Need some suggestions for a stable and feature-full torrent client app -- there are so many torrent apps out there, what's the difference between them all?

2. Pls point me to some popular torrent sites.

3. What is the best way to ensure rapid download speeds?

Do cats watch TV?

Normally my cat, Jess, doesn't care much for TV, she would rather snuggle up to me as i watch. But last night, a movie called Stuart Little was on and she watched it in rapt attention. I didn't know cats watch TV! Could it be because the movie was about cats and mice? ;)


Bloody hell, the ITCH is beginning to get to me!!!! When is the damn EPL season going to start??

My fave team, Newcastle, hasn't actually been prolific on the transfer market lately (then again, nobody has), but the signing of Emre sounds very exciting (videos of him playing to download).

Embarassing Dewan Rakyat

We pay these people good money to run our country?? What a farce!

"If you don’t like it, you can leave the country," Badruddin shouted, triggering loud protests from DAP MPs.

Yeah, like that's REAL MATURE.

Datuk Mohamed Aziz (BN-Sri Gading) then stood up to interject: Polygamy is as sweet as honey. God knows the needs of human beings and polygamy allows men to spread their love around...Fong told him to sit down and be fair to his two wives.


Rafidah out!

I've got a feeling our Queen Miss is a bit hot under the collar right now. Pressure from all ends (and the first time we see the Cabinet doing something because an ex-PM said they should). The beginning of her end?

World of Warcraft in Malaysia

Saw the game today for sale in a local shop. RM269 -- original software. Hefty price, but well worth it for a Warcraft-genre game. I was wondering though before i take the plunge and buy the game:

1. I was told the game for sale will connect me to the US servers. I read somewhere that iGamesAsia Pte Ltd of Singapore will host South East Asian Warcraft gamers. Anyone knows what really happens here?

2. If connecting to US servers, is the game lag-gy? Is it fun?

3. Anything else i should know about playing WoW from Malaysia?

UPDATE: This is nuts! Play money being sold for REAL MONEY?? WOW!

Bailing out the "enemy"?

I know i really shouldn't have, but i found this piece of news in the NST particularly funny.

"Guess who posted bail for four Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry employees here who were detained in April for suspected dadah abuse? The eight unlikely benefactors: Illegal CD and VCD traders. They immediately coughed up bail of RM8,000, at RM2,000 per officer, besides standing surety, to place the officers back on the street."


A can of old worms

Ooh, this is a can of old worms, reopened. I just had to be too curious for my own good and click on the link to read it.

UPDATE: Tim Yang speaks! Among other things, he says that he never said i stole his idea. No worries, i'm happy to bury this hatchet (if there ever was one) permanently now, and also be more than glad to give Tim the benefit of the doubt. No harm, no foul, all water under bridge, laid to rest.

Who owns PPS? Who runs PPS? And who is the venerable, Mr Tim Yang.

This is my side of the story. Its been told before in various forums, off & online, but here it is again for those who haven't heard it yet.

But, to be fair to those who haven't heard Tim's story (in his own words), you can read it here (screenshot). This is his version of matters, it doesn't give you all the details, but it is one of two available pieces i know of available online now that he personally wrote given that Malaysians are blocked via IP from visiting his blog (which is pretty good, if memory serves me correctly). For the second part of his comments, read this.

More recollections and comments of Tim Yang's comments and a bit of history can be found here:

- Jeff Ooi not being very nice.
- YowKee having a say
- Najah Nasseri, the analyst

Alright, back to the original questions.

Who owns PPS?
This is almost a rhetorical question -- legally speaking, unless, someone tells me otherwise, i guess i do. The domain name is registered under me, the web hosting is also contracted to me. But, i believe that these things i hold, i hold in trust for all its users and members. Therefore, i consider myself a bit more of a "custodian" rather than a landlord. So i try to do my best to do what's best for everyone, but i'm not perfect and i'm sure no one expects me to be.

PPS is a service, like any other webservice. It serves a community, and therefore, it generally listens to the wishes of that community, and i happen to be the guy who keeps the ship going. Someone's got to be it, and in this particular case, i suppose its me.

Its interesting, this concept of "ownership". The idea for PPS is not mine alone, but i took it as a responsibility upon myself to put things together; to make the "idea" = "reality". Could someone else have done it? Back then, more than 2 years ago? Sure, someone else could have. Jeff could have done it. Dinesh perhaps? Even Mr Tim Yang could have. And i'm damn sure they could have done a better job than me. But the way it turned out, i volunteered during that first meeting, and they all said, "Go ahead", and 12 hours later, it was done. PPS Beta v1.0 was ready. The rest, as they say, is history.

One last final matter on the issue of "ownership" -- when things are rosy and good, "ownership" sometimes gets disputed. What if things had tanked and sucked? "Ownership" is a double-edged sword, is all i'm saying.

Who runs PPS?
Refer to the above, i suppose that would be me. PPS utilization has gone ballistic since 2005, so there's a lot to do, but i'm not complaining. Its a wonderful hobby to have.

Who is Mr Tim Yang?
He was there, at the Rare Earth Cafe, 6 June 2003, when the idea for a local blog-content aggregator/portal was discussed. For his input, as well as his initial offer for help, he was recognized as a "founder", but when he himself disclaimed this status, his name was removed from the current list you see today.

My first hand experience with him has been mostly positive. He seems like a genuinely intelligent person with a lot to contribute in his area of expertise. He offered the initial server space and bandwidth for PPS, but that didn't work out too well because his web hosting company's servers, at that point in time, were not 100% suitable for hosting PPS (thus i looked for and found another host, US-based).

In the beginning, there were two projects running concurrently. PPS and Matafilter (its no longer online), a content aggregator Tim set up to act as the Malaysian version of the widely popular Metafilter; he invited me to be a content contributor for a time, and i did that for a bit. There was some discussion between Tim and myself to incorporate the PPS and Matafilter into one, but for one reason or the other (i honestly can't remember why it never happened, but i think it had something to do with the fact that the operational methodology & technology of PPS and Matafilter are completely different), that fizzled out very quickly.

Things got ugly a bit later on, after PPS was up and running, on its own webhost, receiving pings and generally working, but still in its infancy, when Tim accused me of "stealing his idea" (i.e. PPS) -- that is obviously not true, as witnessed by Jeff Ooi, Dinesh Nair and others. Things got even nastier when Tim accused PPS of being a "self-wanking" [sic] device. I don't think anyone appreciated that comment very much and at this point Tim "divorced" himself from the project. I have nothing against him personally, but you can be sure i wasn't the first in line to beg him to come back; sticks and stones and all that, but being called a thief isn't very nice.

Its an interesting experience to witness the longevity of this piece of not-so-pleasant PPS history. Just goes to show a good story is never ever really put to rest. And, really, that's all that is it is now: for all practical purposes and intents its just a story. It happened so long ago, everyone and everything has moved on, PPS, Tim, all the founding members, and myself. It lingers in my memory because i happened to be there, not necessarily because i want to remember.

God-given truths about blogging

Screw me silly if this aint true!

I used to care what people thought my blog and what i wrote, but now i hardly do anymore. The only ethics that govern my blog is that i'll only write what i personally feel is true, or at least what i believe i can prove to be true. Beyond that, anything is fair game, any topic, any angle. My blog is an exercise of my mind -- i think about lots of things (as we all do), thus i blog about everything.

Malaysia's Most Beautiful Blogger

Malaysia's most beautiful blogger (yes, she is!) needs to be told a joke or two. Go there. Now. And tell her a joke.

I like Kucing Gatal and Mooncups

This is turning out to be a very, very fun blog to read. Recommended.

And for some freaky, fetish-y reason, i found this post extremely informative and interesting.


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2005 is the previous archive.

August 2005 is the next archive.

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