Thursday, May 28, 2015

Rant of An Average Malaysian - Malaysians Need More Children?!

I've arrived at the age where my Facebook page is filled with streams of my ex-classmates/friends/acquaintances who are getting married and/or having children. My sister is no exception. Here's a picture of my beautiful sister who got married last year.

Being constantly bombarded with the question "When are you getting married?", I came across a new marriage-related angle in The StarWomen, Family and Community Deve­lop­ment Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said that Malaysia's population is shrinking with an expected 1.91 average fertility rate in 2020. That means that Malaysians will only be having an average of 1-2 children per family, barely enough to replace the parents when they're gone. I only want to have one child myself so I can see this as a real issue in our society. What are some chief reasons for this?

1 - High Cost of Living
Everything is expensive. There's no denying it. The prices of everything just hiked recently, what with the introduction of GST. Some places that never charged service tax has started doing so. Working towards owning a house has always been difficult and that hasn't changed. Fact is, the average young Malaysian probably earns just enough to get by and save a  bit. Even with an increment in my salary, it barely makes a difference. I hardly have enough for myself, let alone 3 or 4 children. The math is easy. Less children means less likelihood of starvation. 

2 - Quality Over Quantity
I'm not sure about other people but when I consider my child, i factor in all expenses up till they graduate, get their first job and become self sufficient. This means on top of normal necessities, I have to add in cost of tertiary education, which can easily go up to 6 figures nowadays, what more 20 years in the future. I'd hate to stunt my child's potential because 3 of them have to share 1 college fund.I'd also like to lavish attention on each child rather than miss out on things with child 1 because i was busy with child 3. 

3 - Career and Stability
Enter the age of equality! Women can build their own careers too. This helps bring the average household income up and makes it easier for couples to cope with Issues 1 and 2. However, even with a partner or spouse, both would still need to have a good combined income before going on to the next step. Which means that they are less likely to marry and have children at an early age. I wouldn't marry and have kids before I have a house (where my spouse and kids can call home) and a stable job to sustain our lives together. So that leaves less time for a woman to have children. 

Just these 3 factors are enough to make me think twice, thrice and more before having a child, much less 3 or 4. Before the issues are resolved, I don't think Malaysia will have a boom in Malaysian babies. What say you?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My Meaningful April Fool's - 5th Edition

5 Fingers, 5 Chinese Elements, 5 Weekdays, 5 Points of a Star, etc. 5 is a significant number in many religions and this week, 5 is an important number for me.

With 1st of April 2014 came the 5th Anniversary of me and my Bao Bao. Yup, I kid you not, our Anniversary is on April Fool's Day. The journey has always been very smooth so I was surprised that it was already the 5th year we have been together.

This year started somewhat ambiguous since neither of us showed any signs of remembering it. Right after work for both of us, Bao Bao started driving us to a 'secret' location. It would have been very exciting but he got lost and we ended up having to use a GPS to go to a nearby location since he wouldn't concede and tell me where we were headed.

Lo and behold, we were at Burgertory! The decorations were very simple but the lack of clutter made the environment more enjoyable somehow. The restaurant was done and decorated by the owners themselves! The seats were full and customers were pouring in to fill the tables. For a place that only opens 5 hours, it was pretty good.

The menu was expansive so we had a hard time
deciding. In the end, we took Bacon Paradise and Bacon and Cheese Plus. We wanted to try both so we decided to share and try both.

The Bacon Paradise was absolutely delicious and any bacon lover would love it to bits! It has candied bacon bits and candy pork bacon on top of the scrumptious pork patty and cheddar cheese. The patty was juicy and every bit had good flavor. The sweetness from the candied bacon brought a good balance to the salted pork patty and cheese.

The Bacon and Cheese Plus is obviously made for Bacon, Cheese and Pork lovers who craves a big portion of all. Two pork patties topped with two cheddar cheese slices and two pork bacon. Don't underestimate its size (I know people who orders 10 patty burgers), it is incredible filling and good!
Drinks were refillable with hot and cold options. We went home extremely stuffed and was still feeling the pork in our mouths for hours after. I recommend this place for pork burg
er lovers but there are also other meat options
on the menu we have yet to discover.

:D And as for my personal gift to my beloved, a 17.3" Laptop Backpack fro Everki! He's been complaining that his laptop bag was hurting his shoulder (the side carry ones) so a backpack is super useful and good for his back. This is the first time I buy a bag with 3 figures but it's worth it!

I hope our next Anniversary would be equally good. I look forward to another year of smooth and warm relationship.

With all my love,

Friday, March 28, 2014

Shouting vs Whispering

I've decided to drop the hot politics behind MH370 (for a while at least) and focus on something from my life. My father's been retired for quite some years and he's taken a really laid back approach to life.

Yesterday, he accompanied me to my dental appointment and we made small talk on the way. It's not unusual but most couples in their 50s to 60s have very little communication with one another, causing lots of misunderstanding.

Being somewhat a logical person, I advised my father to sit down calmly with my mother, and talk things out with her. I said:

Let her know what you are going through. She can't understand what you are going through because you never tell her. You also don't know what she's going through because you never ask her. You're not psychic and neither is she. You guys need to talk to each other calmly. You have to try to understand what you're each going through. Arguing doesn't improve the situation. 

My father started ranting and just could not focus on finding a solution. I realize my mother is the same. When I told him shouting makes things worse he says:

If I'm shouting then she should get the message already.

I was shocked that he would think so.  When I asked him if he got what mum wanted when she shouted, he just continued his rant, ignoring my comment (yeah children's opinions never do matter, do they).

I once read a very meaningful saying about shouts and whispers. It roughly goes like:

Monk 1: Why do people need to shout? And when you are shouted at, why is it hard for us to listen?  

Monk 2: The heart is timid and shy. When you are angry, the heart moves far away. So shouting is needed to cover the distance. But shouting only makes the heart move farther away. It causes misunderstanding.  

Monk 1: Then what should we do? 

Monk 2: The heart is also a curious creature. When we whisper softly and with kindness, the heart leanscloser to hear us. That is why sometimes, words are not even necessary for people to understand one another. 

I often remind myself not to be harsh to my loved ones because I remember this. When you calmly talk it over with your loved ones, they will (and should) try to understand what you are going through. Your message will be sent successfully. I know it doesn't always happen that way but we should never stop making the world a better place. Want a miracle? Be the miracle. :) Love will find a way.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Rant of an Average Malaysian - MH370

I just realized it's been quite a few years since my last blog. As part of the workforce of Malaysia, it's inevitable that I will encounter many controversial news and more about all the topics under the sun, with the most current being Flight MH370.

Honestly this is one of the most saddening news I have heard, not because there is no greater tragedy, but that hundreds of families are crying for their loved ones all at once. It's positively heart breaking to see crying pictures, video clips, etc of the family members on every media. To them I hope fervently that their loved ones be returned in the best state of health.

Another thing that saddens me is the way certain people are reacting to this. Somehow, it involved race and religion. The most recent news featuring Ridhuan Tee listing lessons learned from MH370.

“It is annoying when a stewardess wears a short and see-through dress," said Ridhuan Tee. 

Well, the stewardesses are wearing standard uniform. If it annoys you, please don't look. I have no qualms about Muslim ladies "tutup aurat". In fact, if they wished it, I don't see why they shouldn't. Just don't enforce it as a LAW. It takes away the significance of a woman who chooses by her own will to "tutup aurat".

"Those who ask for liquor are those who are used to drinking. Distract them with more nutritious local food like cendol and such," said Ridhuan, referring to the sweet coconut milk dessert.

Drinking liquor is a personal choice. As long as a person does it moderately, there's no reason why they can't. There is no rule disallowing non-Muslims from taking liquor. It's wrong to disallow others to do it because you don't believe it and can't do it. Again, it's a choice. If you believe in your religion, you don't need people to force you to do or not do something.  The passengers are not driving the plane. They are sitting and enjoying what could be a long flight. If they're not disturbing peace, don't make problems.

On another note, cendol is NOT a healthy or nutritious food. Quoted from
Don’t be fooled by the large portion of ice!  This dessert is quite high in calories, carbohydrates and fat.  The portion of coconut and condensed milk is full of sugar and fat (Remember 4 tablespoons of coconut milk has 140 calories and 14g of fat and 2 tablespoons of condensed milk has 130 calories, 22g sugar and high amounts of saturated fat). Topped with the palm syrup and the green cendol the sugar, fat and calories certainly do add up!  This dessert is probably best to avoid if you are a diabetic.
This coming from the party who stopped subsidizing sugar because "it causes impotence in men", you really have to ask if they know what they're saying and if we should listen to them.

All in all, my personal point of view,encourage people of your religion to do as they should, don't force them. More than that, don't force others not of your religion to follow suit. Don't give opinions that aren't in any way connected to the flight. None of the advises you give would have prevented the plane from going missing.

My general plea for the casual folks, please consider the feelings of the family before you write insensitive comments. They are someone's mother, father, brother, sister, cousin, spouse, children, etc. They are deeply saddened by it. I sincerely hope not to see anymore "they died because" followed by racist statements. Now is a time for people regardless of religion and race to work together to locate the plane as well as hope for their well being. Thank you to all the countries who have contributed national assets (planes, submarines, etc) in order to aid the search. We are thankful and we hope for the best.
*Picture is taken from LilyMarliza's page. All credit goes to her. 

If I offended anyone with my words, I regretfully apologize. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fateful Accident

All of you have been my companions for forty days since you last arrived on the 18th September. Just a little every day, all of you grew from tiny dust-particle sizes to cute little faeries swimming in the water. The process of maturity took 25 days but you were beautiful and it was exciting to watch you grow.

At the fourth week of life, I have witnessed mating and egg sacs on some of you females as you swam around, promising a new life and a new cycle of life, where I can watch your babies grow up and it gave me hope that your generation of faeries will always be there on the window sill if I looked up.

An unavoidable natural disaster snatched many of you away, as the searing heat proved not only difficult for people but deadly to you. Alas only ten of you survived and it saddened me but a glimmer of hope remained that you would still be able to repopulate the tank. It always made my day just a little brighter and a little less stressful to see you flitting gracefully across the water.

With my single track mind to improve your living quarters from what would be like comparing an apartment to a bungalow in the next two weeks, the accident happened. A single lash from the curtain on a windy day sealed the fate of you hardy survivors, spilling your entire world out the window of the second floor condominium block that you've known all your life.

It was too late when I noticed, and it pains me to know you were gasping for air before you finally passed away. The few of you who looked like you could survive again, has fallen dead at the bottom of your 500ml tank.

Here I bid you all farewell and thank you for the days you were there for me. I'm sorry I was not a good enough master to check on you as soon as I got back today. Please accept my excuse that the water you swam in was special and surviving 24 hours was paramount to being able to provide you with more. Know that your simple existence brought me small joys from the moment I took you all out while you were still in your egg capsules to today when it happened. Hope you will all be happy together over the rainbow with all your senior pets who have gone there before you. Goodbye, my sea monkeys.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Thailand Trip Day 1

I was so excited. This was going to be my first trip out of Malaysia as an adult. It was 5am and I was up before the rooster. I slept lightly and was ready for our girls trip out! My Mum spent 2 weeks reassuring me and my sister that the bus would be very comfortable and coolly air conditioned. That's only a half truth. XD Cuz the seats were rock hard and the air conditioning Arctic cold!!

My dad gave us a lift to Chow Yang where our bus was waiting but upon entering the bus, my sister and I felt we were on the wrong bus. Why? Cuz left, right and center, it was filled with VSOP (Very Strong OLD People)! It seems like we were guppies in a tank of goldfishes. There were 48 of us but only 3 young ladies.

If someone tells you that the bus would only take 6 hours to reach Thailand with lots of toilet breaks, let me reassure you that THEY'RE LYING. Our supposed 6 hours travel trip to Thailand ended up being 9 hours plus of bus trip. Although to be fair, we did stop for breakfast at Ipoh where I bought tasty chicken biscuit for Bao Bao! The Pun Chun Chicken Biscuit and Restaurant is a restaurant cum shop that sells Pun Chun's various food products plus normal Ipoh hawker food.

We spent most of the trip snoozing and and going at the bathroom stops. We stopped at the customs where I got my first stamp on my passport! At the Thai customs, we could see plenty of odd foods like corn that is purple.

We reached Hap Chai at about 4.30pm and checked into our hotel. For a three star hotel it's pretty AWFUL. The carpets were dusty, hot water in the bathroom was nonexistent but their food fantastic! We also found out later that the hotel we were living in was haunted (thank god we heard after we left).

We spent a few hours after that walking the streets of Hap Chai where various things like clothes, toys, food and snacks were being sold. We even came upon a store which sold bird's nest! Then we retired for the night.

Friday, October 15, 2010

My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho

I've been pretty busy of late and have yet to update this blog on my Bao Bao's birthday celebration and my trip to Hatnyai Thailand. But I absolutely cannot help myself and fell in love with this drama!! It is by far my most favored Korean drama (not that I watch many though).
This romantic comedy drama tells the story of a rich and spoiled University student called Cha Dae Woong who accidentally released a nine tailed fox from her imprisonment in a portrait. The gumiho (nine tailed fox) took a shape of a beautiful young woman and saved him from certain death by loaning him her fox bead (the wonders it can do makes me want to get one XD). From here, their story begins with a reluctant and fearful bond to a beautiful and touching relationship. It's a definite must watch for anyone who loves romance, drama, comedy and fantasy. It's also a definite plus that there is another love story about a soft spoken lady and a rough and dramatic director who tries to portray the essence of Chow Yun Fatt (I'm not kidding). They're bound to tickle your senses silly!!

The main characters are Lee Seung Ki (Cha Dae Woong) and Shi Min Ah (Gu Miho). It is undeniable that one of the main attractions of this show is the attraction the actors bring. Gu MiHo plays an adorable little fox who knows little of the world but has boundless cheer and is easily satisfied (think meat meat meat). What I discovered (and am totally liking *ahem*) is that Lee Seung Ki has a killer smile! I don't believe I have ever seen a more entrancing smile than the ones he gave the audience in this drama. His smile pins your heart and pulls it towards him. Don't believe me? Watch it!

Even the mean girl trying to steal him away from Gu MiHo (yes I know there's always one in Korean dramas) look so sweet and innocent that you wouldn't believe your eyes at first. She is one good actress because she can pull off such a sly role.
Also prevalent in most Korean dramas, there will be an underdog who pursues the main female lead. During his first appearance in the drama, my friend (you know who you are) commented that "He is so pretty! His eyes got electricity! It's like it shocks you!". Just for your info my friend is MALE and is totally straight. XD What more could a girl ask for, 2 devastatingly handsome men vying for the attention and love of one girl. Gah~~ But on a side note, this drama has a special approach since Park Dong Ju (No Min Woo) doesn't directly pursue MiHo and has a thousand year history with her! I don't usually say this but No Min Woo is sexy!!

Without fail, this drama makes me laugh and cry. It touches me about how beautiful love can be and makes every girl want what these 2 main male roles can give! Pictures do these actors and actresses no justice so if you want to know how good they are, watch the show. I've painfully awaited this show till the last episode so as to not have to stop because the episodes or subs aren't out yet. It was definitely worth the wait and provided me and Bao Bao with lots of laughter (and me with plenty of tears. XD) This could cheer you up even if you fell into a ditch. :D Think about it!