Archive for July, 2012

This evening, my daughter came home from school looking rather amused. I asked her why.

Daughter: During today’s weekly assembly, the school principal listed out more conditions on the wearing of national costume’s ruling.

Mom: I’m sure they are quite absurd, aren’t they?

Daughter: Yes, they are. She said any student who failed to obey her instruction to wear a national costume on that day will be fined RM50 and have her or his demerit points deducted.

Mom: That’s all?

Daughter: No, there are more. Indian girls are not allowed to wear those small tight blouses which will reveal their navels if they wish to wear their saris to school. How to wear saris without those small tight blouses, right, Mom?

Mom: Yes, but why are they not allowed?

Daughter: She said girls are not supposed to show off their navels. This will make the boys excited and do bad things.

Mom: Hahahaha….what nonsense!

Daughter: The Chinese girls are not allowed to wear tight-fitting cheongsams with open slits on both sides. She said showing the thighs are not allowed as sexy thighs will make the boys and male teachers excited too.

Mom: What? She must be mad! (eyes rolling)

Daughter: And finally, the Malay girls are not allowed to wear the baju kebaya as their blouses can be quite transparent and tight-fitting too. This will also make the boys and men drooling and could not control themselves.

Mom: Is that what she said? She must be real crazy!

Daughter: Yes, she said all these today, loud and clear.

Mom: I think she need to go for some counseling. What is a sari without the cute little blouse? What is a cheongsam without the slits on both sides? What is a baju kebaya without the tight blouse?

With so much restrictions, I think more and more parents will choose to keep their children away from school on that day, don’t you think so?

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I saw this in my Facebook page yesterday. It was from Reader Digest. You can enlarge this by clicking it.

Read how ugly or uncouth some of us can be. I have encountered all these ugly Malaysians in everyday life.

Have you encounter them too or even worst?

Note: I have confirmed this was sourced from Reader Digest, hence I made some alterations to the title.

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There will be a join reunion dinner on August 4th 2012 in Ipoh for the former students of Anglo Chinese School (ACS) and its sister school, the Methodist Girls’ School (MGS) organized by the Ipoh ACS Alumni Association .

An overseas friend of mine, Dr. Anthony Pun, was a former student from ACS and he told me that he will be back from Australia to attend this memorable event. I am looking forward to meet and catch up with him.

Dr. Anthony Pun was not your ordinary ACS or Ipoh boy. He made good in Australia and was a respectable leader of the Chinese community there. He was also actively involved in many charities in his adopted county.

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Do you still remember the “1Malaysia” badges my children’s school forces them to buy and wear for the whole month of August as a way to show love and pride for the country?

This is not the only issue I am having with their school. Wait till you hear this one. My daughter came home yesterday evening with an even bigger joke.

Daughter: Mom, I’ve another piece of news for you, this time you will surely get mad!

Mom: What’s it, this time?

Daughter: Our school principal said August 13th 2012 will be chosen as the day for the school to celebrate our independence day.

Mom: So?

Daughter: Our principal said on that day, all students, from Remove up to Form Five, boys and girls alike, are required to wear traditional costumes of their respective races to school, you know, baju kurung, cheongsam, sari or baju melayu and etc.

Mom: Why?

Daughter: Our principal said this is a way to show our spirit of “Muhibbah.” And she said every student must conform to this ruling. We’ll be penalized if we disobey her orders.

Mom: Your cheongsam is too tight for you. I bought it when you’re about eight or nine years-old. It won’t fit you anymore. So what are you going to wear?

Daughter: I don’t know. Our principal said all parents must get these costumes by hook or by crook, buy them or borrow from friends or relatives. It is just for one day only.

Mom: I’m not going to purposely buy you a new cheongsam which is not cheap, just to wear for a day only. Anyway, you’re not going to wear a cheongsam on ordinary days. It’s a waste of your parent’s hard-earned money.

Daughter: Can we borrow from friends or relatives?

Mom: Look my dear, we don’t have any friends or relatives with cheongsams of your size!

Daughter: My form teacher said that if we can’t get a traditional costume of our own choice, she is willing to lend her baju kurung to any female students. She has plenty of them at home.

Mom: You’re just a skinny little girl and she is a fat 40 plus lady. Don’t be silly. You’ll end up looking like the Makcik selling nasi lemak on the roadside if you were to wear her baju kurung. It won’t fit at all.

Son: Don’t count me in. I’ll wear my usual school uniform on that day! End of story! (like most teenagers, he is very much into Justin Bieber and you can’t make him dress up like Wong Fei Hung!)

Daughter: So, what should we do, Mom?

Mom: I say, it’s best you both stay away from school that day. August 13 is the International Day for Left-handers. Why don’t we stay at home on that day and have a small feast since you are a left-hander too? Let’s celebrate your left-handerness!

Daughter: Yeah, that’s a good idea. We cook our favorite food, we listen to our favorite songs and we play some computer games on that day!

Mom: By the way, the real independence day for our country is September 16, that’s Malaysia Day!

That’s the trouble having a mom who do not conform blindly! It’s not that I do not support the spirit of “Muhibbah.” It’s just that I felt whatever the government are doing now is so very fake! When supports from adults are getting thinner each day, they turned to schools, principals, teachers and students because they knew this group is very vulnerable, that they can’t say no. But they have forgotten that at the end of the equation, they have to deal with some parents like me who do not take their nonsense so timidly.

What would you do if you were in my shoes?

Note: In case you are wondering what is “Muhibbah” it is a Malay word for goodwill among the various races. The one and only time I felt this spirit in my entire life was during the Bersih 3.0 rally on 428 in KL where people of all races got together to demand for a clean and fair election and got gassed badly for doing so. An elderly Malay lady squatting next to me saw that my own salt supply had run out and offered me some as my eyes stung from the smoke, “Nah, ambil garam ini, dik!” – that for me, is Muhibbah, and not wearing some costumes just  to show I am Chinese, she is Malay and he is Indian!

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With the 2012 London Summer Olympic only two days away, I suddenly thought of this girl. Could you recognize her and do you still remember why she was so famous?

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Early last year, I made a trip back to Ipoh for three weeks to take some photos of the city I was born and grew up in. Among my first stop was at Cowan Street. The once famous Jubilee Park was located on this street. Jubilee Park to Ipoh was what BB Park was to Kuala Lumpur and New World to Singapore in those good old days. These were the happening places then – the places for old and young to go for some entertainments. Sad to say, all three were now history.

On the right side you can see two windows where cinema goers used to queue up to buy tickets for a show (there were cinemas inside Jubilee Park). Have you queue up here before to buy tickets?

I remember along this corridor, there were some Nepalese gemstones traders selling their wares here at night. Their products were laid on the floor and curious onlookers hassle for the correct prices. Rubies, emeralds, sapphires…they were glittering and sparkling to my young eyes.  Dad often took me here when I was a mere kid. From this, a lifetime love affair was born – I simply loved colorful gemstones, even to this day!

Watch out for the inside of Jubilee Park and you will be sadden how this site, once the most popular entertainment spot in Ipoh, had turned into an eerie and abandoned place…..

Do you have childhood memories of this place to share too?

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The article and newspaper were sent to me by a friend who knew the late Prof John Bosco. The person, currently in retirement, went through his collection of newspaper cuttings and photographs in order to tidy up so he can start writing his memoirs. He came across some old materials about Prof John Bosco, Dr Lopez of the KL Blood Bank and some Malaysian patient. It suddenly occurred to him that his friend had passed away for nearly 12 years and time passed so quickly. He wanted a favour from me, using my blog, to pay an important tribute to a friend and hope that his patients will see it and also remember his kindness.


Back from Right:  Dr Lopez (1) and Prof Bosco (2)

It is 12 years since Professor John Joseph Bosco passed away unexpectedly and it is never too late to pay tribute to a kind and caring Doctor.  I remember John working as a Registrar at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, Australia where he specialised in Immunology. After finishing his specialist training, John returned to Malaysia as a Haematologist.  In recognition of his excellent work as a clinician and teacher, he gained rapid promotion to full professorship.

Prof Bosco was instrumental in referring a number of patients for bone marrow transplantation in Sydney St Vincent’s Hospital, his alma mater hospital.  At that time, in the early 1980s, St Vincent’s was a centre of excellence in bone transplantation, heart-lung transplant and kidney transplant.   The famous heart surgeon, the late Dr Victor Chang worked there.  Many Malaysian patients’ life was save through John’s referral to the centre of excellence.

I also remember John’s wife, Professor Gracie Ong, for an act of kindness when one of my family members passed away in University Hospital in KL.

By showing these press reports, the aim is to pay tribute to the late Professor John Bosco.  The surviving patients will no doubt remember him as a kind and gentle yet highly professional person who gave them an opportunity to live a normal life.

Lest we forget.

 A Friend of Prof John Bosco

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