Thursday, November 30, 2006

How I got into Jpop... better late than never

I have never discussed this subject with my friends. They know me as "that Japan-phile" or "That Japanese guy". I think everyone, in their heart, have at least one country or a place that they want to visit and experience someday. Mine was Japan.

I'm into music, it's my ultimate passion. I suspect that I have musical notes as one of my blood cells. For years, I listened to English songs (local or abroad), Malay songs, Canto-pop and Mando-pop (Chinese), Tamil and Hindi (Indian)... etc. I move from one language to another, but after a while, I get bored of all the predictability and stereotype-ness. With the exception of Indian music (which I still listen to), the others just don't appeal to me anymore. Just ask me which is my favourite on the American Top 40 charts, or which artiste do I like among the Hongkong stars, ... and I'll just answer "Err... Me like all of dem. Dem is all nice. Yes."
They're all the same, too little variety and too little musical value to my ever-growing hunger. Right up to the early nineties, I couldn't take it and began to look for alternatives.

Flashback - My first contact with anything Japanese was J-Dorama(dubbed), aired in the mornings daily. I would watch them religiously, when I was in junior school. There were two - one was about a team of volleyball girls and another about a girl who is like some sort of cosmic teenage-witch. I forget the names of the shows but it has got some cool 80's Jpop soundtrack that me and my friends dance to... in secret, of course. Then there was the Masked Riders, Ultraman, etc.

Fast forward to the early nineties, I got tired of the monotonous music that was beginning to build up. Lousy rocker bands, boybands and girl-groups are sprouting up like mushrooms after rain. Luckily for me, it was also the time where J-Dramas and animes are booming in Asia. This was when I started to really listen to JPop music, starting with anime and J-Drama soundtracks. My first ==> Slam Dunk's "Kimi ga suki da to Sakebitai" by Badd. Just playing that intro in my head gives me the nostalgic goosebumps, even till today.

Now, my list is endless - Anzen Jidai, Koji Tamaki, Chage and Aska, Fujii Fumiya, SMAP, Spitz, Le Couple, Noriko Sakai, Oda Kazumasa ( Yup, I'm old school. ^_^), ELT, Puffy, Toshinobu Kubota, Ken Hirai, Okamoto Mayo, DCT, Judy and Mary, SMAP, MAX, Speed, Kinki Kids, aiko, Yuzu, Da Pump, Gackt, Do as Infinity... current ones include Mihimaru GT, Bon Bon Blanco , High and Mighty Color, Sowelu, Orange Range, Rythem ...etc

Jpop isn't the only genre I explored, the Jrock scene was equally good. Luna Sea, X-Japan, Glay, Malice Mizer, L' Arc En Ciel, SADS, Janne De Arc, Pierrot, the Yellow Monkeys, Love Psychedelico, Kaggra, AliceNine... etc.

Of course there was the Hello! Project family. Go here to read how I got into Hello! Project in particular.

I was so crazy into Japanese music, my classmates started to ask me that question again - "What do you like so much about Japanese music? Don't you listen to anything on the Rick Dee's Top 40 charts?" and I will give that same answer again. "Oh no, I do. Me like all of dem. Dem is all nice. Yes.". Then I'll start to pretend that I like the Backstreet Boys or something. Being indifferent in high school here means you get bullied. (Sound familiar?)

Later I took Japanese classes to learn the language, because of a job in a multi-national company that I'm hunting for (They pay the employees very well). I failed to get the interviews, but I continued the classes anyway and I learn to appreciate the music a little more.

And so, I was hooked with Japanese music and never looked back. Tis' a lonely experience being the only one singing Japanese songs in karaoke sessions with my friends, but I hope to find a comrade one day.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Hard Love ... and Hard to Love

I did the most craziest thing today... I gave my fiance a hard lesson on being independent. But after all that, I came home and wondered if I did the right thing or not?

I'm hard to love, because I'm all about hard love. I don't mind playing the bad guy, just as long others get the message that I'm trying to convey. Not that I'm being all self-righteous and all-knowing... but sometimes I go to the extreme just to make my point.

I can't say what was the exact situation that has taken place, but basically, I allowed myself to be caught in a problematic state, my plans for the night ruined, my work interrupted, everything I planned become absolute havoc... all because of a decision that she made. I don't blame her. She's been protected all her life, and is still unaffected by the harsh city life that we live in. It's one of the reasons that I fell in love with her. But I cannot, really cannot let her be too dependent on me for everything. So I set an example for her. Got all pissed off, showed my tantrums, before finally gave her advice, after letting her see the consequences of what she did... and hope she understands.

Like I said, it's hard love, and I am hard to love.

I know a story of a woman (a celebrity), who quit her job to be full-time housewife for her family, and was well protected by her malevolent husband. She gets all the attention and love that a husband can give, and was dependent on him for everything. Tragedy happened, that man died in a vehicular accident abruptly. Out of shock, she fell into a emotional trauma, not knowing how to continue her life without her husband. Things that her husband always do for her, including taking care of the kids, caretaking the household etc., now she have to do on her own, and she had a really hard time picking it up. Even begged people for money online, because her husband had not taken a life-insurance package, and she lost the notion of finding a job.

I'll be damned if my lovely wife-to-be have to suffer the same.

I lived my life, learning the hard way, to be independent on everything. I prefer to get my ass burned just to learn. I was educated from young on how difficult life is, the value of it. The scars I bear after the countless times I self-wounded myself with a pocket-knife shows it.

I'm not being pessimistic or dark-natured about life. I'm not being fearful of responsibility. I am not being fearful of people being dependent on me. But I want everyone around me to be able to carry on, even after I go to the Father above.

I worry a lot, and always, always think about the worst case scenario. I worry for my fiance, if she receives enough love and attention that I am able to give, even after we get married next year. I worry about my parents, who are already aging, and if I have done my responsibility as the eldest and only son, and if I elevated myself from being a burden for them. I worry for my unborn children, and if they receive the love and education that we can give. I worry about my sister in Japan, alone and struggling hard to survive, without the physical presence and support from her family. I worry for the company I work for, if it achieves its eventual target, and I fought to do my job to keep it running its course smoothly without any hiccups, even if it includes my sacrificing of my own career path for another colleague, even if I get a bad impression in the end.

I gave up my own future for my sister's sake to be able to fulfill her dreams. I gave up my own dreams in order to stay within our family's financial means. I gave up my plans for my own immediate future and gave up my personal principles and swallowed my pride, so that my fiance can have a wonderful wedding next year.

Only a handful of the people who knows me, knows about the existence of this blog. And nobody knows what I think most of the time, and so I became the bad guy, everytime. It's fine, as long I do my job. Which I think, is my Calling in life.

I'm all hard love, and even harder to love.

To everyone else... Have a nice day.

Love and Peace
jin ^_^

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Miracle turned Tragedy... because of "culprit" - The follow-up

This has got to be one of the most emotional writing I have ever done. Apologies in advance for those who felt offended after reading. But I have to let it out of my chest. I can be patient, but when it trespasses my limit, I must say something already. And when I do, you won't like it.

This write-up has been re-edited to lower the hostility of its contents. I admit, I was fired up by the whole situation, but after a moment of pondering and praying, my anger has cooled down and removed a lotta shit.

Still, some of what remained may still anger some people. So, if you are a sensitive person, under-informed, less concerned about current affairs, or simply have nothing positive to add - please skip this post. You have been warned.

In summary, here's what happened.

In continuation, here's what happened next:
The police have commenced investigation on the origin of the SMS, while various politicians including our PM and deputy PM comments that the culprit be punished. The police have contacted Perak Mufti(Scholar and Cleric of Islam) Datuk Seri Harussani Zakaria and celebrity sailor Datuk Azhar Mansor for assistance, as their names are included in the SMS contents. The police stressed that the Mufti is not (directly) involved with the SMS scandal. When Harussani returned from Syria (he attended a meeting there), he immediately went to the Perak Sultan to report the situation. Datuk Azhar once again had the people disputing his Muslim status, though he repeatedly proclaimed that he is still Muslim. Later the Harussani, revealed that on Oct 21 he DID receive a report from a certain 40-year-old unnamed woman about the alleged baptism of 600 Muslims, consisting mostly of students and will be baptised by Datuk Azhar. He also received a visit from the woman and her husband, who came with some documents supporting their claim. He then added that when the couple left, he discussed the matter in a meeting with his fellow committees in a meeting on Nov 2. He said that there will be no action taken until they verify the matter. The police have since published the picture of the woman known only as "Raja Sherina" on the papers, and have finally manage to locate and detain her on Nov 21. The remand has been extend to 5 days to provide the police more time for investigation.

In my opinion, here's what I think:

1) It was known where the SMS originated from:
Like I said, it was known who the "culprit" was in the first place.

2) "Culprit" has an agenda:
This "Raja Sherina" has something in mind. Definitely not a pretty conspiracy. Foolhardy though, as she did not do her homework on finding out the difference between baptism and first holy communion.

3) Datuk Azhar baptise the kids?:
Again, no homework done. Only a priest has the power to baptise. We common parishioners can only forgive sins.

4) No communication at all:
Why can't the authorities or Muslim leaders just call the church? They don't talk to each other no more? Is it forbidden? Do you go to hell for it?
The Mufti has reported to the State Government. So why is the police still in the dark? They don't talk to each other TOO?

5) No investigation:
Why can't they call up the tele-comm centre? It's so easy to track the identity of the SMS sender by looking up the database..... Well OK, maybe it's a little difficult, since it is a prepaid mobile.

6) So who spread the false SMS?:
It cannot be the work of just one couple. She reported to the Mufti, and nothing was done. But that doesn't mean she is the one spreading it. Another bitter fellow may have gone and say "Well, if the Mufti don't do nothin', I will!". A few hundred Muslims and their many religious leaders turn up on that day. The spreading by word-of-mouth and SMS is much stronger than we think. If that woman and her husband alone is punished (if that ever happens at all), they has become the scapegoat. There are many other who are involved have been left walking free.

7) The church is not a club
For the uninformed ones, the Catholic church DO NOT indiscriminately baptise anyone as they like. Especially Muslims. We have to undergo a long period of learning, studying and observation before we can get baptised. (For cradle-Catholics, the parents will do on the infant's behalf.) Even Archbishop Fernandez said that the Catholic Church in Malaysia had never conducted clandestine baptisms of Muslims.

8) To catch the thief, burn the neighbour's house:
If the idea of catching the wrong-doers is to catch them red-handed, do NOT do it at the expense of other's welfare. It is wrong under the civil law, and truly unfair for the non-Muslims. The kids at OLOL church now have a wonderful first holy communion memory thanks to the mob -> We now have white dresses, bouquets of lilies, parents and relatives praying and singing Latin hymms... while the guys outside joins the chorus with loud chants of "La illa ha il Allah! La illa ha il Allah!". Oh Lord.

9) "But we was trying to protect and uphold the Islamic faith"
Gimme a break, so when Muslims do it, it's righteousness, it's jihad, it's for the sake of our faith,...etc. When us non-muslims do it, it's rebellion - end of story. And off to the ISA we go.

10) Go to the Sultan for protection:
First thing to do after returning to Malaysia, is not to do your work and clarify with the press and the police, but go running to the Sultan. He'll save your ass. Yeah, that's the wisest choice, ain't it?

11) Just... do nothing.
"Raja Sherina" came around Oct 21, that's two freakin' weeks from the actual day. Waited 2 weeks doing nothing. Then finally, a few days before the baptism, tells his colleagues in a private meeting, and STILL advised that nothing is done until they verified the SMS. How wise. Thinking this is only a false rumour, so do nothing? This brings me to my next point...

12) Rumour or not, investigate it! And QUICK!
My job is a system administrator, if i hear a complain pertaining to a suspicion of a possible virus attack or hacker activity on the server, I investigate it anyway just to be sure. Even though later i found the suspicion is false, we came up and implemented the necessary security measures in case the real thing happens. It's hard work, but that's what we're paid for. Somebody's got to do the dirty job, in order to make the whole user-experience seem better and transparent to the user. Sound like a good protocol, yes? Now, why can't those lazy brothers do the same?

I am a Catholic, and have lived in Ipoh most of my life. During then, I must have heard a hundred rumours about Muslims converting in churches. This case is definitely not the first time. However, this is the one time that things have gone out of control. One may think that the inclusion of celebrity sailor Datuk Azhar's name is included in the SMS, (plus the previous scandal of his Muslim status) has caused the whole issue to escalate to where it is now. Overall, I am disappointed to see how the whole issue handled in such a nonchalant manner.

Firstly, to be clear, my stand is impartial. I believe, that no matter what faith we embrace, I only know that we must respect other's choices, no matter what they are. All is within the Will of God.

Was going through web forums and blogs on the net. It seems like most people are debating at the wrong direction. They were talking about the right to choose their own religion in Malaysia and about the actions of the mob reflect that of the Muslim terrorists that has been active in the USA and Middle East. There were debates about the Islamic tenet of the Holy War - Jihad. There was even one brother saying that while the action of the mob gathering in front of the church is wrong, he is pleased to see the unity that is achieved among the many sects of political and religious groups.

You know, it doesn't matter if Islam is a one way ticket or not. It doesn't matter if there is fairness achieved. Even the mindless-mob protesting in front of the church in Silibin does not matter one bit. It is not about Muslims and Jihad, Christians and Baptism, unity amongst believers, choice of religion, law on religion, apostasy.... etc. If those with authority do not practice the basics of society governing, and the citizens haven't the slightest civic mind for dialogue before conflict, then there is absolutely no room to talk about religion and stuff. You will only make matters worse.

OK. If we HAVE to debate on it, here's the cold water for you --> we live in this country, and the laws are such. Therefore we have no choice but to abide by it. End of story. Want some change? Fine. Migrate to another country, OR step forward to campaign for your own political party and fight for the right. Can't do either? Then keep your peace.
No need to whine anymore that it's not fair that we cannot choose our faith...blablabla. For the record, Islam can be a beautiful religion. Recently, an old friend of mine have married a Muslim guy (which I would blog about in a separate post), she is Chinese but now has converted. And I know she will be happy. She had told me why she embraced the faith, and it is a really funny and bizarre story. Which brings me to my next point --> Different people have different levels of faith and how they perceive religion. To some, seeing an everyday situation like a stranger helping an old lady cross the street makes them wonder about their faith. To others, they need to hear a loud booming voice in the sky or witness an awesome miracle in order to believe. If it is in God's plan, that some of our brothers and sisters to convert to another faith to make his point - then so be the Will of God. The conversion may not be only for the benefit of the converter, but to those around him/her. Maybe to test your own faith, and to see what you would do or say about it. There is a Reason and a Plan for everything. Let God be the judge, not you.

On topic - this is not the first time we have this kind of mobs parading around our churches. I have seen Muslims standing at the gates of our church, handing out flyers and pamphlets containing slanders and accusations about the Catholic faith. Some even came all the way to the doorsteps and shouting random gibberish. During a peninsular-wide Charismatic Convention that I attended many years ago, there were Muslims who came to the centre distributing flyers again and trying to collect the attendees' signatures, to express their protest to our peaceful meeting, and furthermore accused us of conspiring against the government. There are more to the list, but I'll stop here. But we managed to control the situation and the conflict ended quietly.

We live in a multi-racial, multi-religion country. Control of any sort of conflict is paramount. What I see, is the authorities and all those involved are handling the SMS scandal with such low commitment and low sense of urgency. The action taken to diffuse and prevent the matter has no weight at all. The Perak Mufti for one, need to act on any sort of report urgently and diligently. Yes, he said that he did report it to the State Government and the related authorities, but he needs have a follow-up on the matter to ensure the investigations are carried out properly. Two weeks of zero results is just absolutely incomprehensible to me.

I hope that the government and all related authorities that are involved with the investigation of the SMS scandal to step it up, to give us our tax payment's worth. Because if they continue to slack, this sort of a problem will happen again.

Apologies if I offended anyone. Thanks for reading.

Peace ^_^


November 24, 2006

Remand extended for couple in SMS case

IPOH: A couple held in connection with the SMS on a purported baptism of Muslims at a church have been remanded for five more days.
Magistrate Syamsul Rezal Md Ariff allowed the application made by the police in his chambers here yesterday to extend their remand until Monday. State CID chief Senior Asst Comm (II) Patrick Jiges Sijore said police needed more time to complete their probe into the SMS sent out earlier this month. The couple were brought to the court here under police escort at about 2.15pm. The woman, in her 40s, appeared calm while her 38-year-old husband looked dazed. The couple were first detained in Alor Star on Monday evening and remanded on Tuesday to help with the investigation.

November 22, 2006
Woman in SMS case held
Police have detained the woman in connection with the SMS sent earlier this month about a purpoted baptism of Muslims at a church.
State police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Aziz Bulat said the woman, in her 40s, and her 38-year-old husband were picked up outside Alor Star Hospital at 9.30pm on Monday.
He said the woman became hysterical when she was approached by police officers and had to be treated at the hospital before being brought here.
DCP Aziz added that the woman’s statement would be recorded after a remand order had been obtained.
Magistrate Syamsul Rezal Md Ariff ordered the couple to be remanded for three days

November 21, 2006
Perak police are seeking the help of a woman over an SMS sent earlier this month about a supposed baptism of Muslims at a church here.
RAJA SHERINA: Her help is sought in connection with the SMS baptism case.
State police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Aziz Bulat said police were releasing the photograph of the woman, whose name was given only as Raja Sherina, after she failed to turn up to give her statement despite the authorities giving her a deadline to do so.

November 13, 2006 - 'Baptism' message started by woman, claims Perak Mufti
Perak Mufti Datuk Seri Harussani Zakaria has named a woman in her 40s as the originator of a text message that claimed a group of Muslims was going to be baptised at a church here last month.
He claimed the woman is a graduate of the International Islamic University, who later studied at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo.
Harussani: ‘What I revealed was meant to stay within the confines of the meeting’
“Upon her return, she joined a missionary group that carried out social work. She later converted to Christianity and now claims to have returned to Islam,” he told reporters at his home in Kampung Melayu Gunung Rapat here yesterday.

Sunday November 12, 2006 - Mufti seeks audience from Sultan
Perak Mufti Datuk Seri Harussani Zakaria is trying to seek an audience with the Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah.
He said he has been trying since Friday to contact the palace secretary so that he could brief the Sultan on the case of an SMS alleging that a group of Muslims were going to be baptised in a church in Silibin here.
“If I could, I would see him today. I will keep trying. I am ready to see the Tuanku anytime, anywhere,” he said when contacted here yesterday.

November 15, 2006
Woman who sent SMS urged to contact police
They will publish Raja Sherina’s photograph if she fails to do so.
Perak police chief Datuk Abdul Aziz Bulat said she may be charged under the (Akta Hasutan) Sedition Act or the Multimedia and Communications Act for causing public unrest.
The New Straits Times learnt that the woman in her 40s is unemployed and stays in Sungai Petani, Kedah.
It was also learnt that she also went by the names Raja Norashikin Raja Azman and Shireen.

Polis minta 'Raja Sherina' tampil bantu siasatan kes SMS pembaptisan
November 14, 2006
Ahad lepas Harussani menyatakan rasa kesalnya dengan tindakan pihak tidak bertanggungjawab menyebarkan SMS mengaitkan namanya berhubung isu pembaptisan itu.
Beliau turut berkata seorang wanita membuat pendedahan mengenai upacara berkenaan dengan mengirimkan SMS kepadanya selain datang berjumpa beliau.
Bernama melaporkan Abdul Aziz berkata polis mengenal pasti wanita berkenaan menerusi siasatan terhadap nombor telefon bimbit prabayar yang digunakannya dengan bantuan syarikat telekomunikasi.
Beliau berkata siasatan terhadap beberapa individu lain juga sudah dijalankan berhubung penyebaran SMS berkenaan dan yakin kes itu akan dapat diselesaikan dalam tempoh seminggu dua lagi.
"Raja Sherina" diminta menghubungi Pegawai Turus D-9 DSP Shahadan Jaafar di IPK di talian 05-2451222.


November 6, 2006
WANTED:Penyebar SMS yang gemparkan Ipoh
Kedua–dua Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dan Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak telah bercakap sendiri dengan Ketua Polis Negara Tan Sri Musa Hassan mengarahkan pihak polis membuat siasatan segara.
"Mereka perlu dihukum dengan keras walau apapun niat mereka," kata Perdana Menteri kepada wartawan Malaysia di Islamabad Isnin.
"Saya selalu cakap isu agama adalah isu sensitif dan tidak boleh dipermainkan... tidak dijadikan jenaka. Tidak boleh digunakan untuk buat orang tergempar, terkejut dan hendak berseronok... nak tengok apa yang berlaku. Ini bukan jenaka," katanya. Najib berkata kepada para wartawan di Johor Bharu, “Kita mesti cari siapa yang buat."
"Siapa yang bertanggungjawab mesti dikenakan tindakan kerana SMS seperti ini amat berbahaya, boleh membawa kepada perbalahan kaum dan juga ketegangan dalam negara," katanya. Musa yang ditemui wartawan selepas satu majlis di Melaka menyifatkan perkara ini amat serius kerana ia boleh menghasut orang ramai dan memecah belah masyarakat. Menurutnya satu unit siasatan diketuai oleh Ketua Polis Perak dengan kerjasama Bahagian Siasatan Jenayah Bukit Aman telah diarahkan memantau dan menyiasat perkara berkenaan. Beliau mengakui usaha mengesan individu yang bertanggungjawab menyebarkan SMS berkenaan melalui telefon bimbit pra bayar bukan mudah. Musa juga menjelaskan adalah tidak benar dakwaan mengatakan Mufti Besar Perak, Datuk Harussani Zakaria bertanggungjawab mendedahkan mengenai sekumpulan orang Melayu akan dikristiankan di sebuah gereja di Ipoh kerana beliau tidak ada di dalam negara pada ketika ini. “Kalau beliau tidak ada di dalam negara saya tak tahu macam mana beliau boleh dedahkannya seperti yang didakwa di dalam SMS tersebut,” ujarnya.

November 13, 2006
Perak Mufti tells how he got controversial SMS
Perak Mufti Datuk Seri Harussani Zakaria on Sunday revealed how he had received a short messaging service (SMS) from a woman claiming knowledge of an alleged baptism of a group of Muslims at a church here last Sunday involving national mariner Datuk Azhar Mansor.
Speaking to reporters at his residence here after an audience with Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak Sunday morning, Harussani said on Oct 21 he received the SMS from the woman claiming Azhar had informed her that he would come to Ipoh to perform the baptism of several Malays in church on the date specified.
"I asked whether what she claimed was true. She claimed it was true and that she had received another telephone call from Azhar saying they would be coming to Ipoh.
"Then, on the eve of Hari Raya, she came to my house with her husband and confirmed that the function would take place," he said.
The circulation of the SMS raised a controversy and almost sparked off inter-racial and inter-religious tension when a group of Muslims gathered at the compound of the church on that day to obtain verification of the alleged baptism.
Harussani said the woman, who had claimed that she had renounced Islam, had not contacted him since the incident last Sunday.
"I have also not contacted her. I understand that her telephone line has been disconnected. She had studied at the International Islamic University (IIU) and the Al-Azhar University," he said.
Harussani said he conveyed the matter to the State Government and the Special Branch.
He said on Nov 2, a meeting was held by the national-level committee on the Islamic Convention at the meeting room of the State Mosque here to discuss the agenda and strategy for the convention scheduled for Dec 23 and 24.
"At the meeting, I was asked to explain the need for and objective of the convention. I said the convention was solely to seek ways to strengthen the faith of Muslims which lately, according to information received, has been tainted," he said.
"I also touched on the SMS sent to me by the woman for the information of those at the meeting. I said we should not do anything until we have verified the matter," he said.
Harussani dismissed allegations spread by certain quarters that he had made a public announcement of the matter and that he found it strange for a group of Muslims to get angry with him over the alleged disclosure.
"I find it strange that there are Muslims who are angry with me when I am the mufti. The main task in my position is to safeguard the faith of Muslims, uphold the 'syariat' (Islamic law) without blemish. That is my responsibility.
"So, when news such as these emerge, it is necessary for me to act to contain them. That is my responsibility, similar to the responsibility of police in maintaining security. If there are people who have been angered, it is a mistake," he said.
Harussani had an audience with the sultan Sunday morning to explain the controversy over the circulation of the SMS.
Harussani said the Sultan asked him not to issue any statement at the moment.
"His Majesty advised me, for the moment, to remain silent but all of you (journalists) have come. How now?" he said.
Harussani said several senior police officers led by Perak Chief Police Officer Datuk Abdul Aziz Bulat met him at his home Saturday evening to obtain information on the incident. - Bernama

Friday November 10, 2006
MB: Mufti not involved in SMS episode
In clarifying this, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Tajol Rosli Ghazali said the mufti's name, like that of mariner Datuk Azhar Mansor, had been misused by certain people who were now under police probe.
“I just want to emphasise that the mufti is not involved. The SMS merely mentioned his name and some quotes allegedly made by him,” he told reporters at a Hari Raya celebration in Beruas on Wednesday.

November 8, 2006
Government may use ISA on those sending offensive SMS
KUALA TERENGGANU: The Government is considering the use of the Internal Security Act – besides the Sedition Act – to deal with culprits whose actions are tantamount to instigating others and eventually stirring instability in the country.
The move would also target those who spread lies and rumours through the SMS with malicious intent, said Deputy Security Minister Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum.
Mohd Johari: ‘We have to mete out punitive punishment’

November 08, 2006
Police Action To Be Allowed Against Students Over Ill-intended SMS
The Ministry of Higher Education will not interfere with police action against students of tertiary institutions found to have sent a short-messaging service (SMS) note alleging baptism of a group of Muslims at a church in Ipoh last Sunday.

From the the bloggers:

November 07, 2006
Baptism of 'Muslims' in Ipoh SMS Caper and why Muslims Reacted So!
Malaysia's Muslims are a very easily roused lot!
Yup! Never take them for granted that they don't care about what's taking place in this land and that they can be taken for a ride by others!
They are mostly people who do love their religion and will come together when necessary!
The irony is that it's mostly a case where such devotion to the faith is sadly superficial ..let's say for about 60% of the adherents who are trying their best to live up to the tenets of the faith ; the rest just give lip service to being Muslims.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

MORE PICS- SMS About BAPTISM CEREMONY of “Muslims” at CHURCH Of Our Lady of LOURDES, IPOH; Several NGOs Found out “MUSLIMS” Were ACTUALLY Indians.

The SMS:

ABOVE: The offending False SMS:
"Sejumlah melayu akan dibaptiskan oleh Dato Azhar Mansor esok di Gereja Silibin Ipoh. Seramai 600 pelajar Politeknik Ungku Omar Ipoh telah masuk Kristian. Pendedahan oleh Mufti Perak ptg td di masjid Negeri. Pagi esok 8 pg dmntrasi bantahan besaran depan gereja Silibin. Dtg bramai2 [obscured text] NGO2 Sebarkan Demi agama"

Translated into English, it says :

A number of Malays will be baptised by Dato Azhar Mansor tomorrow at the Ipoh Silibin Church. A total of 600 students of the Ungku Omar Polytechnic in Ipoh have converted to Christianity. Exposé by the Mufti of Perak last afternoon at the State Mosque. A large demonstration will be held in protest at 8 am tomorrow morning in front of the Silibin church. Turn up in numbers [obscured text] NGOs. Distribute this for our religion's sake

The “INNOCENT” Perak Mufti Received ORIGINAL Message Convened MEETING with NGO To CATCH “Red Handed” the “MUSLIM” CONVERTS in a CHURCH? What was his real Intentions? Why can’t he called up the Church and confirm? NO Interfaith Dialogue?
This is interesting revealation from the perak Mufti, reported in the STAR, Nov 12 06.
Is this woman an “infiltrator”? Coverted and reconvert? Spying on the Christian missionary to convert people? Do you think the Mufti has done the right thing? Adding “salt & fire” to make message more “tastier” or appealing or setting the stage to trap the so call “converts” red-handed? There are so many possibilities. If he is more responsible instead of just “to remind Muslims of the threats facing Islam today” he could have just make a call to the Church (or is it haram?); and nip the problem in the bud to diffuse the threats to peace. ONLY after the incident he asked “leave it to the police to investigate”
One wonders how many SMSs went around. Did he actually show the “ORIGINAL” the one he received (see below, cannot be deciphered) to the Police? Is the widely publicised one the ONLY one?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I'm Yellow and Nerdy!

Found this nerd test from a fellow blogger

Guess what? After years of swearing that I would not indulge in computers and technology, after years of mentioning to people that I hate computers... I AM a nerd!

Here are my results:

I am nerdier than 90% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

My computer geek score is greater than 100% of all people in the world! How do you compare? Click here to find out!

I don't think you can score this high if you can answer the geeky questions just because you are a programmer by occupation. I guess I am already geeky at heart. :)

Some additional test results/facts produced by the second nerd-test:

The average score for the gals is 38, while the guy average is 56.

Of the Computer Geek Quiz Takers:
17% are scared of links
17% of Windows users curse it
4% of Linux users selected Bill Gates as their hero

What operating system are you taking this quiz on?

Response % Response Avg. Score

How often do you back up your important documents?

Response % Response Avg. Score

Not including "work," how long do you spend on the computer daily?
Response % Response Avg. Score
Less than an hour6%21
About two - three hours29%36
About four to five hours30%52
About six to seven hours16%59
more than eight hours19%70

Friday, November 10, 2006

Me? High Blood Pressure?

Apparently, high blood pressure can be inherited from your parents, or forefathers...

Asked Papa and Mama about this pulsing vein thing on my head, and they have no doubt that it could be high blood pressure. Grandma and Grandpa (Mom's side) also had high blood pressure. A week's worth of extensive work pressure, lack of sleep may have contributed to this. On top of that, I have been blogging and crawling heavily all week. (On the pretense that something about Aibon may turn up this week, but i was wrong) So basically, I have been in front of the computer monitor screen the entire day. The breaks in between are commuting, lunch and dinner.

So I took Papa and Mama's advice to take a shower, go to bed early,... and go to the doctor's for a checkup in the morning. This has gotta be one of the earliest nights of my life. Yes 10:22PM is early to me...

Signing off now... Good night. Love and Peace... ^_^

Funny Sensation on My Head

I've been having this throbbing sensation on the right side of my head, above my right temple. It feels like a vein or blood vessel up there just pumping and throbbing away. Been like that for a few days now.

I wonder if it is due to lack of sleep, high blood pressure, work stress.... or all of it?

It's been quite bothersome, and it's happening now as I am typing this. Gosh, I don't even know how to explain this to the doctors...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Koi no Dance Site on Classical Guitar - side tracked

Got another song up. But I was tired from work, so I couldn't get the song right, after so many NGs. So I side tracked and played the song in some other versions, just for fun:

The other versions sound good in their own way, I think. :)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

You can get pizza in Hell...

Seriously... I don't think there is food in Hell. But New Zealand thinks otherwise.

There's a pizza chain named "Hell Pizza" in New Zealand. Looks like any other pizza restaurant, except that all their menus, brochure, food names, phone numbers... anything to do with them, has something to do with Hell. Or anything satanic or biblical. Seems interesting... names like that can never pass over here in Malaysia.

Hell Pizza website

Kenny Sia's been there... he'll tell you more.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Miracle turned Tragedy... because of "culprit"

Cops to probe baptism SMS

IPOH: The police are investigating a rumour which spread like wildfire through SMS, claiming that a group of Muslims will be baptised at a church here.

As a result, a large crowd gathered at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Silibin from 7.30am yesterday to protest against the alleged baptism only to find out that it was actually the first Holy Communion for 98 Indian children.

State police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Aziz Bulat said the police would verify how the SMS had started.

“There could be some people out there who have a personal agenda to create disharmony among the races,” he said when met at the church.

DCP Aziz said the police had also received the text message and had, therefore, placed the Federal Reserve Unit on standby since 7am.

He advised the public to be wary of such messages.

“Don't accept everything you read or hear as total truth,” he said, adding that he would call on all involved parties to help with the investigation.

The protesters, who included members of opposition parties and non-governmental organisations, gathered for some four hours and refused to disperse initially despite warnings from the police.

They finally started to leave at 11.20am after Deputy OCPD (II) Supt Lai Yong Heng issued a stern warning.

Perak Religious Department director Datuk Jamry Sury, who was present to monitor the situation, said the department would also investigate the incident.

“We will take action against the culprit,” he added.

Perak Pusat Khidmat Islam secretary Mohd Nazri Sahad said he was there to check if there was any truth to the message.

The police were still on standby at the church last night.

Father Fabian Dicom, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Penang, which covers Perak, said the church was extremely concerned that a group of people had been sowing ill-will through rumours.

“We are concerned as to how others have come to believe these rumours,” he added.

He noted that the incident had also infringed on the church members' right to worship.

“The Catholic Church has always believed that dialogue is the best platform to resolve issues and as such is extremely disappointed that there was no attempt whatsoever for dialogue,” he said.

Read source here

A few points of focus:
1) The origin of the text message is unknown - Either they are really THAT gullible to believe a random few lines of an SMS sent by a stranger, or they are really trying to cover-up the "culprit" (probably out of shame, since it turned out to be a misunderstanding)
2) No verification of authenticity of message before action - Either they have already believed the message 80%, or they have no idea that they can call up the network to investigate or they did not bother to check at all.
3) The herd behaviour - Other political/non-political parties came and joined the party, out of the draw of the crowd,.... AND also without checking the message origin.
4) "Culprit" is not a catholic - The "culprit" obviously do not know the difference between a baptism and first Holy Communion.
5) Verdict before trial - Action are taken before investigation, before sitting down to discuss, and before inviting the church party to talk. They have ample time to do that, but instead they decided to make a tiger show out of it.
6) Miracle turned tragedy - This is supposed to be a day of celebration, and historical too. 98 children, imagine that. The kids surely will remember this day for the rest of their lives.... Somebody must be REALLY jealous.

Somebody please pass me the phone number of those people who believed the message, so that I can forward them a message to ask for their help in transfering my $25 million Nigerian bank account out of the country. By the way, I hear that a rogue Tibetan monk is planning to do a striptease for charity in Kampung Mangkuk's mosque next Tuesday.


My Guitar Works