Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Shiver Me Timbers!

Life is a Rollercoaster

Take a look at the picture above, you see that squiggly line making it's way up and down the chart? No, its not the blueprint for a new kick-ass rollercoaster whose sole purpose is to detach your guts from your abdomen, rather, that line tracks the ups and downs of our dear ol' KLSE.

As you can see, it ain't doing too well at the moment, hovering around a miserable 870 points...sighhh. You can blame the lack of investor confidence, global economic uncertainty and Barney for that. (put it this way, since when was a purple dinosaur good for the economy?)

Where Do I Stash My Loot?

Seeing how lacklustre the stock market is, what other options does an investor have when it comes to investing?

Well, you can always hoard up on your cash and start a loan-sharking business. A 20% weekly interest sure sounds good doesn't it. But then again, if you're the kind who gets squeamish at the thought of:

a) chopping someone's digits off, or
b) harassing them with the heads of bloodied dead chickens,

Then this business ain't for you.

Greetings, I am Mambathu from Kathmandu and I need your help to...

Or, perhaps you can contact the relative of the Kazhakstanian (or some other remote locale) President who died in a plane crash (or in a car crash, or in a shoot-out, or as a result of an overdose of moronic-get-rich-quick e-mails) and who e-mailed you to seek your assistance in transferring a zillion dollars out of their country, for which you would get a cut...obviously.

Buy land, God ain't making any more of it

Well, you can say what you want about how real-estate prices are at a 30-year high in relation to the average income bla bla bla. But for me, for a 10 year-on-year average, my money's on good ol' mother nature.

After all, I hate handling bloodied chicken heads.

Monday, May 30, 2005

The Sky Was Purple This Morning

A New Record?

Wow, has it been 6 days already since my last post? I think it might be a new personal record for blog-inactivity! Let me check, hmmm....it turns out that the longest period between posts for me is 7 days. Darn it, if only I postphoned this post for another 2 days! So close...sighhh.

Busy as a Adrenalin-pumped- Redbull-chugging-Beaver

The 3 main reasons for my blog hiatus? Work, work and WORK! Yup, the dreaded 4 letter word which induces more terror and fear in the hearts of the average joe than an afternoon spent watching Twin Happiness reruns on TV3.

It's not as morbid as it seems though. The majority of my time was spent not on serving the evil-megalomaniacal-organization, which to me is simply known as 'my company', but on laying down the groundwork for this business idea I have. Remember, you heard it here first (what exactly was it that you heard?...ermm...ummmm...*fidget fidget*)

I could tell you what my grandiose idea is all about, but then I'd have to kill you (or at least permanently remove your internet access....*shudder*).

Hodge-Podge. Who the %@$#$ are they?

In case you've forgotten (and you most probably have, admit it! Dont lie!...*sob sob*), Hodge-Podge is the name of the band me and some church mates formed a few months back. We had a band meeting yesterday to discuss the future and direction of the band (wahhh, sounds soooo canggih) and we came up with a list of songs which we would like to include in our repertoire. Feel free to give your feedback on this list.
Kelly Clarkson - Breakaway
U2 - Walk On
U2 - With or Without You
Alien Ant Farm - Smooth Criminal
Sting & The Police - Every Breath You Take
Todd Agnew - Your Kindness
Santana & Michelle Branch - Game of Love
New Radicals - Someday
Velvet Revolver - Loving the Alien
Los Lonely Boys - Heaven
Cranberries - Close To You
Cardigans - Lovefool
Gwyneth Paltrow & Huey Lewis - Just Cruisin'
No Doubt - Dont Speak
No Doubt - Spiderweb
Jimi Hendrix - Cocaine
Third-Eye Blind - Semi Charmed Life
Counting Crows - Accidently In Love

Purple Sky, Purple Haze

So what has this post got to do with the title so far? Well, on my way to work this morning, I let my eyes wander for a second and I realised that the entire morning sky was enveloped in brilliant shades of purple. As I looked further upon the horizon, I spotted the sun as it ascended slowly amidst its cushions of lavender clouds. Amazing! Kind of makes you realize just how beautiful life is and how amazing God is.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Read this post you must. Fulfil your destiny, you will.

Tan Seri Dato’ Dr. Vader

Alright, my more discerning readers may have deduced by now that this particular posting will be a bit heavy on Star Wars-related content. The reason? I have finally watched Episode III, and my life will never be the same again!!

Urmm, okay...I'm exagerrating a bit here.

I caught the show last Friday night at GSC, Mid Valley. As fate (or the Force) would have it (although I don't believe in fate), one of my more Star Wars-obsessed friends miraculously managed to obtain 40 tickets for that night itself. Yup, you heard me. 40!! Before I could even question the sanity of someone who could pull of such a ticket-hogging feat, my 'survival' instincts took over and I quickly snapped up 2 tickets from the booty.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.....*cue Star Wars theme*

So what did I think of the movie? Basically, it rocked! I won't touch on the special effects contained in the movie because we all know ol' Uncle Lucas will never disappoint us in that area right?

Alrighty then, on to the movie. To keep things short, I will summarize (in no particular order) what I loved about the movie in the following, easy-to-swallow, quick-to-digest, bullet points.

  1. Jar Jar Binks makes an appearance (ugghhh), but hurrah!... he doesnt utter a single word (bravo bravo, clap clap).
  2. The special effects in the opening space battle were amazing. For those of you who have dreamt about huge, packed-to-the-gills-with-weaponry, mutha-stinkin ships doing battle in space (am I the only one??), this scene's for you.
  3. Natalie Portman looks as cute as ever.
  4. We finally get to see our beloved Emperor in all his scarred-face glory (along with a healthy dose of lighting-from-fingertips shenanigans....oooooh)
  5. Wookies are tall, Yoda is short. Just the way it should be...ahhHHhh
  6. Anakin's transition to the dark side is well paced, and heart-wrenchingly done. Props to the scriptwriters!
  7. The worlds are very, very faithfully recreated. From the fiery, lava-filled rivers of Mustafar to the lush forests of Kashyyk.
  8. R2D2 + spark gun = lots of funny droid antics.
  9. No more icky, hamsap, spine-tingling love scenes between Padme and Anakin.
  10. Hey, it's Star Wars!!

All in all, this movie managed to redeem my faith in George Lucas and it makes for a fitting end to the Star Wars saga (or should it be the beginning?). Go watch it if you haven't already, or else forever consumed by the dark side you will be!

PS: Check out this Star Wars-based link, absolutely hilarious.

Restaurant 39

Last saturday night, I went to this new restaurant at Darby Park called Restaurant 39, and it is located on, surprise surprise, level 39. The place was pretty nice, but be sure to request for outdoor seats if you want to fully enjoy what the restaurant has to offer. Picture this, fine dining on an open veranda with the stars shining above you, a cool breeze blowing through your hair and an unobstructed view of KL's shimmering night skyline. Magnifique!

The prices were reasonable, but the quality of the food was nothing to write home about. As I left the restaurant, I would definitely recommend this restaurant to couples who are looking for a romantic dining spot…

…just be sure to stop by Jalan Alor for a delicious bowl of beef noodles on your way home.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Snap, Crackle and Pop

Snap.com was listed in the latest issue of Fortune as one of the new search companies which just might out-google Google. I've tried it and guess what? It's been pretty impressive thus far! The way it conducts its searches is really novel and unique, not to mention fast. Feel free to give it a try here, as for whether it can outdo Google, you be the judge.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Malaysian Democracy - Why Do the Bumis Get Everything?

Malaysia Boleh?

A posting in my friend's blog caught my attention. Basically, he touched on the inequalities we face in Malaysia as non-bumis (how bumis get preferential treatment and benefits when it comes to, well, basically everything!). He also made a good point when he said that such racial segregation is unwarranted in a democratic society such as ours.

I am sure that the above points are not new to us as Malaysians. Honestly speaking, who amongst us has not gazed at the fine print which states "Bumis are entitled to a 7% discount" and not felt a bit cheesed-off?

How can this be practice be called democratic by any means?

Democracy 101 and the World We Live In

First of all, we all have to be clear on one thing, democracy by itself is not, and should not be the end goal. Democracy is simply a means to an end. So just what excatly is this 'end goal' I am referring to?

The same end goals every country wants...

Stability, Growth & Prosperity

These are the cornerstones of democracy, the whole reason why democracy exists in the first place!

Other forms of governing have existed throughout history (dictatorships, communism, feudalism etc) but none have brought about benefits in the above mentioned 3 points the same way democracy has.

The Many Faces of Democracy

Having said that, it brings me to my second point....

'There isn't only one form of democracy'.

The democracy which we are all familiar with is the 'western' form of democracy, however history has taught us that there are no cookie-cutter approaches when dealing with a particular country.

True, democracy in its most basic element - human rights, voting rights, constitutional rights - is desirable. BUT, the way in which these pillars of democracy are implemented will vary widely from country to country. This is one thing that the American's have yet to learn.

China's Hu Jintao once famously said "Western style democracy is a dead end road".

Although his statement might be a bit overly-dramatic and apocalyptic, I do agree with him on one thing. Western style democracy is not for everyone.

What if we didnt have NDP?

Finally, my third and last point. On the surface, our country's NDP (National Development Policy) might seem outrageously unfair and archaic in nature, BUT we have to look beyond that.

Why was NDP implemented in the first place? First of all, it was introduced in order to quell racial tensions and to bring about stability in our country in the aftermath of the racial riots of May 13 1969. When a country faces internal upheavels, foreign investors flee in droves, and this would affect ALL of us, irregardless of our skin colour.

So what's the big deal if a few investors withdraw their funds from our country? It is a VERY big deal in fact.

Picture this, Malaysia is socially unstable. Foreign investors begin pulling their money out. With the increased outflow of money, our currency depreciates and inflation begins to creep to ever higher levels. Due to the higher risks posed by instability, banks (both local and foreign) begin to demand for higher interest rates in order to compensate them for the extra risks they are taking on. This increase in interest rates affects all businesses, big and small; causing them to significantly cut back on their expenditure. This sudden cut-back affects the suppliers who supply goods and services to these businesses, and in turn affects the suppliers of these suppliers and so on. Businesses begin to go bankrupt, people begin losing their jobs and livelihood. The unemployment rate begins to go up, severely affecting the stability of the country. This causes MORE investors to pull-out from our country and the whole cycle.... You get the picture.

It is precisely BECAUSE of our country's social and political stability (which, like it or not, came about due to the NDP) that we've experienced 2 decades of exponential growth (in the 80's and 90's) and emerged to be one of the most developed nations in South East Asia.

Malaysia indeed Boleh!

So, are the cons brought about by the NDP worth it in the long run? Looking at our current situation (GDP growth of 7.1% in 2004), I would say yes. True, we are not yet a developed nation, neither are we extremely well off (per capita income is only around USD4,000+). BUT with continued stability, sound policies and a good and able government, I truly do believe that we will get there one day.

And that my friend, is worth striving and sacrificing for.


Monday, May 16, 2005

Programmers wanted

I Want You!

I'm on the lookout for people who have experience programming in Linux, PHP and .Net for the web. It would advantageous if the person is familiar with the programming architecture behind popular site such as Friendster, Myspace and Flickr.

Contact me (bernardyong@hotmail.com) if you happen to know of anyone who fits the above criteria, and who is interested in the challenges and opportunities to be had from a new venture. Thanks.

Friday, May 13, 2005

It's Bee-You-Tee-Full!!

2 Days to Las Vegas

Check out the picture above. Notice how detailed the 3D model is, from the reflections on its surface all the way down to its tyre treads. In fact if you look closely enough, you could probably see little itty-bitty bugs squashed between the treads as the car drove to its destination in this garage.

Now what would you say if I told you that the above picture is actually a screen shot (yup, it's an in-game shot) of a new game for the upcoming Playstation 3? Yes, I too began babbling and drooling like an idiot upon hearing that. You are forgiven.

Gran Turismo PS3

Also check out the screen-shot of the future Gran Turismo for the Playstation 3. You see the shadows of the leaves on the road? Well, know that they aren't 'textures'. Those are actually REAL shadows cast by the in-game foliage thanks to the games new-fangled lighting algorithms. Amazing!

Bang Bang, Reload

I can't wait for 2006! Any more delays and I'll personally shoot Howard Stringer myself. I'm just kidding!.... or am I?

PS: Howard Stringer is Sony's new CEO, but of course you already knew that. Why am I telling you this?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Spare Me the Radical Feminist Crap

This goes out to all you hormonally challenged, Gillette-brandishing, anal-retentive neo-feminists out there. Men and Women are NOT equal!

I can just about hear all the cries of outrage and protest which are emanating from the above mentioned Neanderthal-like women.

Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe that everyone - old and young, black and white, purple and pink - deserves equal rights, be it with regards to the law, society or even religion. To me, every country should work towards an egalitarian society and an Apartheid-like society has no place in a time such as ours.

Men = Women = Men = Women??

So what do I mean by saying men and women are not equal?

To see what my point is, let us first define what it means to be ‘equal’. Basically, when we say two individuals are equal it means that they both come from the same background, have access to the same resources and education, are presented with the same opportunities, the same privileges and possess the same capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. See my point? Based on the above correct definition of the word equal, I surmise that it would be safe to say that NO two individuals on this earth are equal.

Let me repeat my point, I believe that as a people, we are equal (we shouldn’t be segregated based on our status, we should be treated equally in the eyes of the law and etc), but as individuals, we are NOT equal (we don’t have the same characteristics; we don’t have the same aptitudes, strengths & weaknesses and bla bla bla).

Where am I getting with all this?

Basically, I just find it really stupid when these radical feminist keep on insisting that females are able to excel in the same things as guys! They drone on and on and zzZZzzZZzz; about how females are just as capable as males in the realms of academia, science, research and development, management and basically everything else under the sun. Some of this might be true (example, I do think that females would make just as competent a manager and an academic as a male), but we shouldn’t ignore the fact that we, as male and female; are inherently different. (Guys are good at farting and making disgusting jokes, women detest it)

We are biologically different, and are wired in such a way that results in different skill sets and abilities (for example in addition to the above mentioned ‘skills’ of a guy, men have better spatial awareness, therefore we generally outperform women when it comes to things like throwing a ball, maneuvering an object and etc. Women however exhibit excellent multi-tasking abilities, making them more adept at doing multiple things at once than guys)

Why can’t we all get along

“Men are better at certain things than women. Women are better at certain things than guys”

See the above sentence? Makes sense right? The strange thing is, to a radical feminist, she’ll be so caught up with protest over the first sentence that she will basically overlook the second, equally important sentence!

The sad thing is, most of the women who whine about such things are usually of the unsuccessful, low-self esteem variety (usually sporting a beard). Trust me, you wont find successful and confident women like Oprah Winfrey, Carly Fiorina (before she was ousted from HP), and Hillary Clinton wasting their precious time with such stupid protests. These women are confident in their abilities, and they basically don’t give a rat’s arse about what other people might think about them. (they might give a goat’s arse however, but that’s a different story…hahah)

“Insecurity breeds Inferiority”

Radical feminists are basically women who are ashamed of being female, and who; under the guise of female liberation and equality; seek to become more like men!

Why can’t these women be proud of who they are? If someone says that women make excellent homemakers and caregivers, why can’t they be proud of that fact instead of complaining about how oppressive such statements are? My mother was a housewife and I have utmost respect for her intelligence, her inner strength and her excellent managerial skills (you try juggling two screaming kids, with dinner on the stove, the phone ringing AND the bill collector knocking on the front door). Most guys would share the same opinion as me. In fact, NOBODY looks down on housewives other than these so called ‘defenders of women’. Pah!

In closing

Stop trying to be like guys!! Be proud of what you are good at, take pride in the fact that women have qualities and abilities which men can never have!

I am proud to be a guy, and I don’t compare myself to women because in certain fields, I know I will be at a disadvantage. All you radical feminists out there take note.

And by the way, Gillette has a new blade called the M3Power. All you feminists take note of this too.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Hanet Plollywood

Welcome to Planet Earth

Last weekend was a pretty fun weekend for me, and please bear in mind that this is all relative. When you've spent the better part of your week holed up in your office, with your fingers doing a furious cha-cha on the keyboard, anything which remotely resembles a 'social activity' will definitely be considered mind-boggling fun. Like I said, it's all relative.

Ahhh, Einstein would have been proud.

It was with sweaty palms, a feverish brow, a shortness of breath and an overall great anticipation that I eagerly awaited the arrival of 6 o'clock on Friday evening. For those of you who are wondering what's so magical about Friday 6 o'clock, it obviously means that you havent started working yet. (and that you're a pimply-faced, textbook-toting, college-going pansy who complains about your 'hectic' 10 hour a week schedule...Bah!)

Wine & Dine

My company had a dinner at Planet Hollywood after work on Friday, and yours truly was in charge of the games and all other emcee-ing related matters. I'm glad to report that nobody died of boredom related causes throughout the event, even as I rambled on and on without a care in the world (with the occassional pitiful joke thrown in for good measure).

The food wasnt too bad (no food poisoning, hurrah! Plus the mushroom soup was excellent), the people were great (well, as great as colleagues can be), and the music; courtesy of a live band; was excellent!. All in all, I definitely had a good time. Be sure to drop by Planet Hollywood again sometime in the near future to catch their live band performances!

Up, up and away!

To all of you who are monitoring the progress of our dear ol' KLCI, we can all now heave a collective sigh of relief. The composite index has finally inched past the 900 mark. *Phew*

It has definitely been painful to watch our stock market languishing in the doldrums over the past few months...but alas, the worst is over (hopefully!). Time to break out the bottles of kickapoo and celebrate! Woo hoo!


*Ahem* Alright, such occurrences dont usually excite me so. But like I said earlier, it's all relative :)

Thursday, May 05, 2005

My BMW M3 (I wish!)

Euro Flava

Here is a picture I came across during one of my 'browsing' sessions. Looks lovely doesnt it?

I mean, a regular M3 is already sufficient to send any car lover into a spasm-inducing state of Nirvana, but a modified M3? I've died and gone to heaven!

Things to take note of:

- Flared wheel arches
- Deep dish rims
- Turbocharged
- Sweet paint job


Sikit-sikit, lama-lama jadi bukit!

Now that the latest incarnation of the 3-series has arrived on our shores, I think its high I start saving my pennies so that perhaps one day....

one fine day....

I'll be able to afford....a....Bimmer..



Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Concerto La Grande, Heal the Nation


The lights went dim, with the silhouettes of the almost three thousand strong concert goers faintly outlined against the glowing backdrop. An array of strobe lights began flashing and twirling, enveloping the entire auditorium in a swirling sea of psychedelic colours. A prayer was said, thanking God the great things He will do in this concert.

The music swelled with a crescendo, a hard edged, melodic fusion of drum beats and guitar rifts..

Bringing the crowd to its feet..

The crowd roared...

The Heal the Nation concert had just begun

A Soul Lifting Experience

The night was the first of May and almost three thousand people, young and old, braved the weather and the elements to make it for this concert. On the agenda was a night of praise and worship in rememberance of the December Tsunami.

It was to be a night of prayer, a night of Salvation, a night of Healing.


Lifting my hands as I immersed myself in the music, the experience and the presence of God; I could feel myself breaking away. Breaking away from the worries and troubles that dogged me throughout the week, away from the pitfalls and trenches of life,

Away from it all.

I was just but a single person amidst a sea of people,

but God was with me.

Make a Change

The music has faded away, the lights have come back on, and the thronging crowds have dispersed. As I left the place, I silently said a prayer and thanked God for all the lives which were touched and changed on this very night itself. Truly, something great is happening in our time and generation.

Walking out to my car, the following words served as an accompaniment to the staccato of my footsteps...

"I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly,

I'll do what it takes till I touch the sky"

This truly was a night to remember