Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Wednesday, April 25, 2007
This is from the STAR a few days ago:

Huge drop in standard of English

THE standard of English in Malaysia has dropped significantly, Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat was quoted as saying in the China Press.

He said that before Independence, Malaysia was recognised as among the top three Commonwealth countries which had a good command of the language.

Just a few days before that I received an email from a salesperson of cars known to have high standards:

Dear Sirs,

RE: The Mercedes-Benz Saloon Models - New C-Class,

The New Mercedes-Benz - new C-Class is one of the star attractive in the Geneva Auto Shows.

The biggest noise came from DaimlerChrysler, which launched its new C-Classs. The new W204 not only looks sliming, but also comes equiped with class beating equipment and engines. Buyers in this segment class have every reason to look forward to a whole new dimension in drive pleaseure.

New C-Class W204 - Fully Imported - C200K & C230/V6 will be available after June ,for more pictures log on to

Local Assemble S300L is now open for booking too. for more pictures log on to

Now if Mercedes people (albeit Malaysian) cannot write good English to match their good cars, is there hope?

On a sad note, one of the better-known English speaker and singer in RTM and a friend, Noornikman Dadameah passed away today. Al-Fatihah.



Sunday, April 22, 2007

I was tagged TWICE for the above. Earlier by Nazrah and a few hours ago by Pak Idrus. I am honoured but a bit mystified. My blog did not have that many followers now compared to the aftermath of my winning the Asia Bloggers Award years ago. Most importantly, what I wrote did not need much brainpower - to write or to read. If I were to draw an analogy using food, my blog is not chateaubriand and it is not even nasi dagang. It would be more bronok, the sago-based nondescript dessert but taken any time of the day.

Anyway, thank you for the beautiful thought. As requested, I will list 5 blogs to receive this award. When Nazrah tagged me, I had more than 5 but some have been tagged by Pak Idrus. So here is my list in random order:

Awang Goneng has two blogs of excellence. One, Jalan-Jalan won the Asia Blog Award the year I won it and the other is Kecek-Kecek, a blog about Terengganuspeak and Terengganu. Kecek-Kecek is so good that I dare not write much about Terengganuspeak anymore. In both blogs, Awang Goneng showed us his mastery of the English language and the art of writing. I have been told that, once he started to write, the words will flow unimpeded.

Suanie, contrary to her postings, is a very polite and proper young lady. She can make fun of herself but she also has her serious side if you read her blog. To me, she is a thinker.

Maine is also a thinker and she speaks her mind. I have not met Maine yet although I would love to.

Clark Gable of Pulau Duyong joined the blogging fraternity after not satisfied just giving comments in Malaysia Today. While seemingly obsessed with Pam Anderson and Michelle Yeoh, CGPD revealed his deep thinking side by comparing the current Iskandar Project agreement with the past Pangkor Treaty.

Awang Dondang, just like Pak Adib is from the East Coast. Just like Pak Adib, Awang Dondang's posts make you think of Allah even when touching on mundane subjects.

So there you are.



Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Like some other kids in Kuala Terengganu, I drew my first animation of a running stick man on a stub of bus tickets, courtesy of Terengganu Bus Company. Given the right circumstances, I would have been an animator somewhere, heh.

Some 60 years on, I still love animation and watches the feature-length animations in my collection. Today I rejoiced with other animation fans when the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning went to Walt Handelsman. Mr Handelsman, apart from drawing regular, insightful and funny cartoons for Newsday also created these excellent flash movies. Please turn up your sound or you will miss the funny dialogues and songs.

This is a very good example of how people in the old media embraced the new media. See more of Mr. Handelsman's animations here.

I wonder when our own cartoonists will follow suit?

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

(This is for CIKTU as a response to her comments in my last post)

The call was answered on the 3rd ring. It was not a government department.

“Thank you for calling Wiccan. For English, press 1, for Bahasa Malaysia press 2, for Cantonese press 3, for Lain-Lain, press 4.”

He pressed 1 on the keypad.

“Thank you. For money matters, press 1” the melodious computer voice continued. The voice reminded him of a younger Yasmin Yussof. “For love matters, press 2, For Career Advancement, press 3...”

He thought hard and deep. He needed money so it should be 1 but he wanted to advance his career so that he can have lots of money which he loves. Choices, choices!

“To speak to a Customer Relations officer press 7. To repeat the menu, press 8” He decided to speak to a live person. He pressed 7.

“All our Customer Relations Officer are engaged at the moment..Please wait.”

A bootleg version of a Mawi’s song came on and he waited.

After the Mawi’s song was indelibly imprinted in his mind, he managed to speak to a live person, explained what he wanted and got an appointment on the last day of the week.

He was punctual on the day of his appointment. He was shown to a vacant waiting room and appreciated the discretion shown by the establishment. It was a modern and comfortable waiting room, tastefully furnished and decorated. He placed the paper bag containing the requested omelette, lime cordial and fried rice on the carpeted floor. He then began to settle himself on the plush sofa. Before he could get comfortable enough to fall asleep, a door opened noiselessly and what he perceived to be a lady in white motioned him to come. He rose quickly, retrieved his paper bag and went for the door. He thought he went through the lady. In this kind of places, he was prepared for these occurrences.

He was expecting to see someone sitting cross-legged on the floor facing a burning urn of incense. Instead he saw a business-suited man in a high-backed swivel chair at an executive table. The man rose and proffered his hand.

“Welcome to Wiccan. Call me Tok Moh! Have seat, please”.

A little bit taken aback, he shook the man’s hand and sat down, clutching the paper bag. Although it is not unusual to meet an English-speaking person in Malaysia (not yet anyway) to meet an English-speaking bomoh is indeed a surprise. He held the paper bag closer.

“I trust that you have everything in there? Aaaah, splendid! The world of bomoh is modernizing. We replaced the raw chicken eggs with omelette, lime with lime cordial and yellow rice with fried rice. You can even find us on Google now.”

He nodded.

“I trust that our Customer Relations Officer briefed you on the Terms and Conditions?”

He nodded again.

“Aaah good! No lies and no instant result right?”

He nodded again.

"You can start lying again after you get your wishes but right now, you must never lie to us. Agreeable?"

He nodded again, with gusto.

“Splendid!” The bomoh turned to his 17’ LCD computer screen. “So you want our help to get nominated as a candidate in the next By-Election.”

Even though he was not sure if it was a question, he nodded. He began to have the suspicion that the bomoh had turned him into Pok Ke Angguk, The Terengganu nodding lizard. Anyway, he could do with the practice since he will do a lot of nodding once he becomes a full-time politician.

"A lot of politicians came to us for help. They didn't get to be where they are on their sincerity, good looks or intelligence. Surely you know that."

He nodded again, a bit sheepish this time.

The bomoh leaned back into his chair and looked thoughtful. “It is a bit tough. There are 23 other people wanting the same thing.”

Damn, he thought. This guy is good.

“The spirits told you that?” he asked, finally getting his voice back.

“Nope. I read the papers. We don’t just read the moon and the stars or the occasional tea-leaves but we read the Sun and The Star too! We even read the blogs. In fact, a few of our members are bloggers especially those who specializes in Clairvoyance & Predictions.”

He nodded again.

“Now, getting back to your case, I will recommend RSS. Physical contact is useless against a man without hair. We cannot pluck a hair from him since he doesn’t have any.”

He went blank.

“RSS is what we call a remote séance session. We will use a medium and persuade your boss to pick you.” He pressed a button on the intercom on his table and a man in track-suit came in, stood in the middle of the room and waited expectantly.

The bomoh sprayed something out of a can and the whole room smelled of kemenyan (incense).

“We do not burn kemenyan anymore. Global warming!” He explained while pressing another button on his table. Chants on a bed of hypnotic music flowed through the room. The track-suited medium closed his eyes and started to twitch.

“Give him the omelette now!” commanded the bomoh.

The medium, with his eyes closed, grabbed the omelette out of the polystyrene box and ate it, voraciously.

“This is one hungry ghost” remarked the bomoh,”better get the fried rice ready.”

Soon every grain of fried rice was gobbled up by the medium. He twitched and shook.


“Give him the lime cordial! Quickly now!”

The lime cordial’s bottle was practically snatched by the medium who immediately drank the content, neat.

The medium belched and broke into a wide smile. Satiated.

“Now hit the medium. Quick!”

Upon seeing the man hesitate, the bomoh became a bit agitated “Come on man, don’t you know it is good to strike a happy medium?”

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Monday, April 09, 2007
I was out of the loop for longer than usual due to constipated computers, intermittent internet and erratic email. I totally missed the historic event, reading about it only a few days later (together with my nasi lemak.) I would have loved meeting up with Zaharin, Pete and other famous bloggers.

Pak Idrus rang me up yesterday to alert me of BUM's gathering. I am not sure if this is NAB's first gathering since the Pro-Tem Committee was set up. I did not need much persuasion and promised to join him and other old farts although I complained a bit about the time. We have to forgo a few minutes of the forum to perform the maghrib prayers,which is short and could not be delayed. This might sound trivial to some, but to us old farts who are closer to the grave, it is a very big deal. I hope there is a suitable place at the Lakeview Club for us to do our solat.

I hope to see you there too. Go here for details.

While I think registering bloggers is stupid, I am all for registering a body for Malaysian bloggers. InsyaAllah, I will join the alliance of bloggers, NAB. My only concern is the acronym BUM. Can we find something other than BUM? Surely we do not want our detractors to call us a bunch of bums. Do not forget that "bum" also means "backside". Is BUM the temporary name for NAB or is it another entity altogether? I hope the official NAB will replace the unofficial BUM. My eldest daughter's blog persona would take on an extra dimension if she is a member. She would proudly spell her name as Mokcik NAB.