Friday, May 30, 2008

Received Google PIN Postcard!

Opened my postbox this evening to find this little slip inside. I'm sure most of you know what it means to reach the US$10 limit for Google Adsense. It took me two years just hit that amount. Well, 100 bucks, here I come! :)

Here's how the little postcard looks like. Though it doesn't have a stamp and a postmark means it could've been dropped into my postbox personally!




The Malaysian Insider: UK Withdraws Malay Terrorist Ad

From The Malaysian Insider:
KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — The British High Commission here has agreed yesterday to withdraw an advertisement posted in the British Defence Ministry's website which portrays Malays as terrorists.

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri said the action was taken following complaints from Malaysia.

"The ministry has also instructed the Malaysian High Commission in London to obtain further clarification on the matter from the British High Commission and to take the necessary action," he said when winding up the debate on the speech by the Yang Di-pertuan Agong in the Dewan Negara yesterday.

The advertisement, which runs for 30 seconds and is also screened in cinemas in Britain, was revealed by a reader of a local newspaper, who saw it when he was in the United Kingdom.

The advertisement shows a leader of a terrorist group, who is a Malay, firing into the air and said "Akulah orang yang paling jahat dalam dunia ini. Mari lawan aku. Aku akan bunuh semua' (I'm the most evil man in the world. Come fight me. I shall kill all of you)."

Terrorists could've easily been Arabs, Africans or even Caucasians rather than Malays, so what has prompted the British Defence Ministry to choose them to portray as terrorists? Charisma? Better acting skills?

Not really. To be honest our terrorist looks corny enough to have stepped out of a James Bond movie. Here's the clip on YouTube.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bernama: Grand Saga Asked To Stop Erecting Barrier

And it has fallen! Hopefully this time it'll stay down for good.

From Bernama:
KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 (Bernama) -- Syarikat Konsesi Grand Saga has been asked to stop erecting a concrete barrier at Jalan Mahkota Cheras to avoid further confrontation with residents, which began on April 21.

Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said the problem would not be settled until the parties concerned discuss it and reached an amicable settlement.

"Grand Saga which is erected barrier for the third time must stop it. The Highway Authority of Malaysia and Public Works Department should discuss and come to a decision quickly," he told reporters here Wednesday.

The residents who gathered as early as 10am Wednesday to protest the erection of the barrier swelled to a 500 crowd by 6pm and started destroying the barrier using hammers and lorries to drag the concrete slabs.

The situation returned to normal by 10.30pm after the concrete wall had been removed.

Related article: The Malay Mail / Malaysia Today - Night of violence at the Cheras barricade

Poster credit: mob1900

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bandar Mahkota Cheras Barricade Demolished Again!

One can only wonder how much money Grand Saga spent just to build a barricade that nobody wants. Tens of thousands of ringgit? Congrats to the residents of Bandar Mahkota Cheras for having the guts to fight for what they believe in!

Words written on that big stone block:
"Rakyat menang" (The people won)
"Grand Saga macam samseng!" (Grand Saga are like hooligans!)
"Taruh satu, roboh satu" (Place one, demolish one)

Photo credit: Kclau from Shutter Asia (more pics here; registration required)

Previous posts:
EXCLUSIVE: May 8-9 Bandar Makhota Cheras Standoff Photos!
Malaysiakini: Bandar Mahkota Cheras Residents Doused and Gassed [Video]

Chi's Sweet Home AMV

I was a hack economist in my previous post, and now I'm a hack video editor. :P

Ever since watching Chi's Sweet Home, the idea of turning it into an anime music video (AMV) kept bubbling in the back of my mind. If you had seen the song's original music video, you would've known why I chose to bring these two elements, the song and the anime, together.

Anyways, enjoy!

Song: Dream About Me
Artist: Moby

Episodes used: #1, #2, #4, #17 and #20

Video converter (from MKV to AVI): AllToAvi
Video editor (first draft): SolveigMM AVI Trimmer
Video editor (second draft): Windows Movie Maker

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Signs of a Snap Election Approaching?

First, the Election Commission tells its officers to be ready for a snap election, barely 3 months since the March 8th election was held.
The Star - Be prepared for snap polls, officers told

Then, Shahrir Samad says that the Barisan Nasional government might call a snap election if its powers are further eroded.
The Edge Daily - Govt may call for a snap election, Shahrir says

Now, Raja Petra Kamarudin predicts that PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi might dissolve parliament if Anwar Ibrahim's 30 or more crossovers succeed.
Malaysia Today - Be ready for a snap Parliamentary election

It looks like it's not over yet for Malaysia's political drama. There's still a long way to go!

Inflation and Stagflation

Ask anyone who's grumbling about rising food and living costs and they'll tell you it's because of inflation. So what is inflation really? Some kind of phenomena burdened on the shoulders of nations and people? Actually no. Inflation is usually associated with a robust and booming economy as well as a low unemployment rate (4% or less). This means that everyone has jobs, their total income and purchasing power would increase, prices of goods would then be pushed upwards so that suppliers can reap bigger profits and that's how inflation typically occurs.

But nope again. This isn't happening in Malaysia and in other parts of the world. There's a recession going on in the United States and oil prices are spiralling out of control, this mix of recession and inflation results in a situation called stagflation. This happened once before in the 1970's when oil-producing Arab countries imposed an oil embargo on Western countries for their involvement in the Yom Kippur War and stagflation is happening again.

In theory, stagflation in this instance can be solved by placing restrictions on oil companies as well as stimulating (with government assistance) industries badly affected by stagflation. Unfortunately this theory has no practical use. Its practical application is flawed since the government is unable to provide that much assistance. And especially in Malaysia, macroeconomics just isn't designed to deal with human factors such as corruption and the unpredictability of human behaviour.

We can solve the food crisis when nations increase their harvest for the year, but oil supplies is finite and will run out eventually. So I can't see any point in the future where oil prices can decline unless the world weans off its oil addiction. I know it's a pacifist strategy, but for now we have to sit out this rocky moment and hope that stagflation goes away by itself. There's no real solution yet, deficit spending to help end recession isn't popular because of the perception that our government's spending will only amount to wastage. If we can't fight recession, then all's that left to fight is inflation, and that's what you're seeing right now.

Related article: The Star - Oil hike reaches "tipping point"

Btw, I'm just a hack economist with pre-university education. Form Six's syllabus for Economics is a total pain in the arse since it's entirely in Malay. If any real economists can speak out on stagflation here, I'd appreciate it. :)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Tama the Cat is a Japanese Stationmaster!

From Associated Press:
TOKYO (AP) — A money-losing Japanese train company has found the purr-fect pet mascot to draw crowds and bring back business — tabby Tama.

All the 9-year-old female cat does is sit by the entrance of Kishi Station in western Japan, wearing a black uniform cap and posing for photos for the tourists who are now flocking in droves from across the nation.

Tama has been doing such a good job of raising revenue for the troubled Kishikawa train line that she was recently promoted to "super-station-master."

"She never complains, even though passengers touch her all over the place. She is an amazing cat. She has patience and charisma," Wakayama Electric Railway Co. spokeswoman Yoshiko Yamaki told The Associated Press Monday. "She is the perfect station master."

Appointing a cat to turn around fortunes makes cultural sense in Japan, where cats are considered good luck and are believed to bring in business.

Tama even has a Wikipedia article on herself!

Related article: Japan Probe - Stationmaster Cat Draws Tourists

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Entrecard Adds New Features and Releases e-Book

If all's silent on the front, then you can bet they're plotting something in the background. This is exceptionally true when it's related to website coders.

So Entrecard has listened to feedback and included some key features in its website overall. Some of them include the ability to add multiple blogs to one account. This eliminates the hassle of signing up for two accounts just because you have two or more blogs. Each blog allows you to drop 300 Entrecards daily so you can imagine how useful it is.

To me personally, some of the most important features they've added this time round is dating the cards dropped on your blog as well as adding an RSS feed for monthly top droppers. Besides that, Entrecard has also released an e-book designed to help newcomers as well as giving advice to seasoned card droppers. It's a good tool if you need some help understanding how the entire system works.

Check out this blog post for more information on ongoing Entrecard contests, whereas the free e-book is available at this link (PDF format, 5.87MB).

Friday, May 23, 2008

ICJ Awards Pedra Branca to Singapore

Okay, let's summarise the International Court of Justice's ruling:

Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh) belongs to Singapore.
Middle Rocks belong to Malaysia.
South Ledge is still undetermined and subject to discussions between both countries.

Even before the verdict was handed down, my own thoughts about this issue is: I don't really mind which side wins ownership of the island. If the Malaysians get it then it'll be an abundant fishing site for Johor fishermen. If the Singaporeans get it then it could probably be turned into a valuable eco-tourism site. Besides, having the lack of land in Singapore means that they'll be able to treasure the island more than Malaysia. And if it were up to me to decide, I would've forced both countries to share sovereignity and this essentially turns the territory into a condominium (no, not that kind of condo you're thinking of).

Just take a look at the Diomede Islands in the Bering Straits which is split down the middle between Russia and America. Who says this is a loss for Malaysia? This is not a life-or-death situation and neither is our country in a state of war. Trust me, I agree with Rais Yatim when he says this judgement is a win-win situation for both sides. If Malaysia is still unsatisfied then they ought to do something like build an installation of their own on Middle Rocks. There are seriously other pressing matters for both Malaysia and Singapore other than the islands' ownership. Right after they solve the South Ledge dillemma, let's just close the books and move on.

Related news articles:
• Reuters - Maritime disputes in Asia
• The Malaysian Insider - Johor letter 'gave island to Singapore'

Switching from Advertlets to Nuffnang

No offence to Advertlets but after two months of (almost) daily blogging and seeing such a low income through its ads, I decided to drop them in favour of Nuffnang. Seriously, even Project Wonderful's ads that cost 1 or 2 cents per day works much better than Advertlets.

I'm quite thankful that bloggers here at least have the option to switch between either one. Let's just see if Nuffnang's prospects are brighter than Advertlets. I'm certainly hoping so.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Strange Earthquake Lights Over China

It's a long while since I delved into paranormal, anomalous or just plain weird stuff but this one looks interesting. Strange clouds with rainbow-like formations have appeared over China an hour before the magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck in Sichuan on May 12.

This video was taken in Tianshui, Gansu province (3 mins 23 seconds):

This one was recorded in Meixian, Shanxi province (47 seconds):

Before you brush this off this phenomenon, the USGS has this to say earthquake lights in general:

Q: What are earthquake lights? Are they real?

Observations of earthquake lights (EQL), mostly white to bluish flashes or glows lasting several seconds associated with moderate to large earthquakes, have been reported infrequently by observers since ancient times. It wasn't until the phenomenon was captured in photographs, taken during the Matsushiro earthquake swarm in Japan between 1965 and 1967, that the seismological community acknowledged their occurrence. A satisfactory theory to explain EQL, however, has been elusive and is still not agreed upon. Proposed mechanisms include piezoelectricity, frictional heating, exoelectron emissions, sonoluminescence, phosphine gas emissions, and fluid injection (electrokinetics), but the most recent theory suggests that EQL are caused by separation of positive hole charge carriers that turn rocks momentarily into p-type semiconductors.

The Weather Guys from USA Today thinks it was a coincidence though:
I'm a meteorologist and not a geologist or seismologist, but it appears to me to be a circumhorizon arc that was captured in the video. This is an atmospheric phenomenon that occurs around midday, when the sun is high in the sky, as sunlight is refracted by ice crystals in cirrus clouds close to the horizon.

Is there any relationship between the arc and the earthquake? I think not. While meteorology and seismology fall under the same umbrella of earth sciences, rarely does one impact the other. Circumhorizontal arcs are strictly an optical phenomenon in the atmosphere. The fact that they preceded the earthquake was simply coincidence. They are a relatively common occurrence and, I'm sure, precede all kinds of events, both good and bad.

Singaporean Blogger Arrested for Racist Comments

From TODAYonline:
POLICE have arrested a 24-year-old man for posting contents in his blog that could "wound the racial feelings of another", according to their statement.

The man was picked up at about 9.45 pm at his home in Paya Lebar Way. A computer was seized for investigations.

Police had received two reports on Monday complaining of the alleged posts.

Under the amendments made last September to the Penal Code, whoever, with intent to wound the religious or racial feelings of any person, causes any matter to be seen or heard by that person, shall be punished with a jail term of up to three years, or with a fine, or with both.

The Deputy Commander of Central Police Division HQ, Superintendent Lee Ping Yue, said the police "take a serious view of such irresponsible blog postings" and will expend all efforts to track down the offenders.

In 2005, three youths were convicted under the Sedition Act for making inflammatory racist remarks on their blogs.

Two were jailed; the third was put on two years' probation and ordered to do 180 hours of community work.

Related article: - Racist Crap (update: Blogger got arrested)

It's a little too late for any apologies now isn't it?

Anyways, I'm torn apart between opposing any prosecution of bloggers and supporting any legal action against idiots with keyboards. What do you think?

Suffered an Entrecard Burnout

The graph above is the amount of Entrecards that I've been dropping daily for the past month. As you can see after consistantly dropping 150+ cards daily for two weeks, once I hit the magical 300 cards a day limit I had pretty much crashed and burned.

The lesson from all of this? Find your own card-dropping pace and never force yourself to the limit every day.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Magnitude 5.9 Earthquake in Sumatra (Updated)

Just to clarify: There has been two earthquakes in the same area in the past hour.

2008 May 19 14:26:45 UTC (10:26 p.m. Malaysian time) - Magnitude 5.9 (USGS)
2008 May 19 14:49:24 UTC (10:49 p.m. Malaysian time) - Magnitude 5.1 (USGS)

• Initially 6.2, the USGS has now revised the magnitude of the earthquake to 5.9 on the richter scale (Source).
Malaysian Meteorological Department says the first earthquake's scale was 5.8 and the second was 5.0 (Source).
• Quake heavily noticed in Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley, but Penangites are less affected.

Internet reactions to the quake:
• 5xmom - 10:29 pm - Tremor felt in Penang
• Anak Merdeka - The ground just shook in Seremban
• Vivid - tremors in the night
• Alvin Lim - Earthquake again…this time in Indonesia

How To Get The Most From Your PPS Pings

Here are some tips to pull in the Project Petaling Street crowds whenever you ping to it:

1. Ping once in the day (for the evening readers) and once after 12 a.m. (for the next day morning readers). First thing some people do at 7 a.m. is to check PPS for updates, so be sure that your ping catches their attention.

2. Although PPS has an anti-spamming feature to block out repeated pings, you can easily get around the block by adding/removing the "www" part of your URL ping.

3. Come up with an interesting and eye-catching (but not overused) blog post title and an equally attractive extract. Never ever mislead readers with a different title or a non-existant extract or else you'll lose their readership.

4. If you noticed that a ping leads to a broken webpage, it is common courtesy to inform the person that they've pinged a bad URL. I do this whenever I notice it, and you'll leave a good impression on others if you're helpful.

Hope these tips manage to improve your traffic as well as readership. Do share if you know other useful tips. :)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dr. Mahathir, You Took The Wrong Pills Is It?

Dr. Siti Hasmah, can you please check on your husband's medications? He's been saying some rather embarrasing things in public recently.

First he challenges the government to charge him over the V.K. Lingam scandal. Your husband said he forgot the details already lah!

Secondly he says that Malays' political power are getting weaker now. Eh hello, actually there's one more Malay MP compared to the previous parliament. It's UMNO's rugi (loss), not the Malays.

Lastly he says the Iskandar development project in Johor Bahru was intended for Singaporeans. This kind of talk lubricates the minds of fellow conspiracy theorists. Whatever he sees in that crystal ball of his, I want to see it as well!

Start an Online Store with PayPal Storefront Widgets

From TechCrunch:
Paypal has launched the Paypal Storefront Widget, a web based widget that allows anyone to embed a store widget on a web site.

The Storefront widget offers a seamless e-commerce platform for those wishing to sell anything on their site, such as t-shirts, CD’s or other items

The widget (see pic) includes:

• An index page that shows thumbnail images of all the items for sale through the widget
• A product page that shows a larger view of the items/ products for sale
• A shopping cart directly within the widget
• About and policy pages mean that any conditions are also contained with the widget

Launched around half a year ago, PayPal's Storefront Widget is relatively new compared to Amazon and eBay's own stores. Apart from me and a few local bloggers who use it to peddle our Entrecard credits, Lynne from The Sewing Mom uses the widget to sell her blankets and baskets. So it's quite a stroke of genius from PayPal to have come up with such an idea.

As for me, the widget is just another avenue for me to sell some Entrecard credits aside from eBay's auctions. Currently I'm making my icons available to anyone who wants to create a store. My only request is that you use any of these 188x168px icons, please provide me a proper credit (DeltaPanthera) and link back to this blog or blog post.

500 Entrecard credits icon
1,000 Entrecard credits icon
2,000 Entrecard credits icon
5,000 Entrecard credits icon
10,000 Entrecard credits icon (pic on right)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Anime Watchlist - May 2008

Originally a monthly affair, but I guessed I skipped April's anime watchlist due to some overzealous blogging on other topics. This watchlist is probably going to be useful for anyone involved in our little own ATR (Anime Trading Route), a small clique designed for anime fans. If you watch animes, you'll go insane if you don't keep some kind of record of what you own/watch.

Finished watching...
Ah! My Goddess (only missing one OVA)
DearS *
Death Note *
Hayate the Combat Butler #
Trinity Blood
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Green Green *
Ichigo 100% (until episode 12 and some OVAs)
Kannaduki No Miko (until episide 2)
Nanoha Strikers (until episode 1)
Rozen Maiden (until episode 1)
Soul Link * (until episode 1)

Currently watching...
Bleach (until episode 169)
Chi's Sweet Home (until episode 27)
Jigoku Shoujou * (no idea which episode, watching this on the telly)
Kekkaishi (no idea as well)
Pumpkin Scissors (until episode 11)
Shounen Onmyouji (until episode 24)

* New animes included in this list recently.
# Recently updated status for old animes.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Penang Bridge Marathon Cancellation - Satu Lagi Projek BN?

Related post: 2008 Penang Bridge Marathon Cancelled

Is the cancellation of the 2008 Penang Bridge Marathon part of the federal government's plan to punish Penangites? Is this a crazy idea? If you think so, then let's lay out the info that we know so far.

Firstly, one of Azalina Othman's first acts as tourism minister is to cancel MoUs with Pakatan Rakyat states, threatening to throw state tourism plans off balance. State tourism agencies weren't even informed of upcoming events and faced difficulties in securing funds from the federal government.

Secondly, the administration and maintenance of the Penang Bridge comes under the provision of the Malaysian Highway Authority (Lembaga Lebuhraya Malaysia), an agency under the Ministry of Works (Kementerian Kerja Raya). Unfortunately, the federal government which has the final say makes them guilty of being puppetmasters.

Lastly, the rationale and timing of the cancellation raises some eyebrows. For god's sakes, sponsors are supposed to do what sponsors do - fund events in exchange for advertising and the chance to do some good public relations. At last year's event some 30-40 different logos were easily seen on participants' T-shirts. Now, why would the MHA now decide to be considerate and "not tax their sponsors"? Take a look at their pathetic news statement on their website. Do they think that Penangites are a clueless bunch?

If there's anything that the government can't provide, the private sector can fill in the gaps. If there's no private company willing, then it boils down to public interest to keep it going. It shouldn't be hard to recruit and train volunteers to be security personnel, just like the process of selecting election observers from the public.

This begs the question: Would the federal government pump funds into the event if a Gerakan man was holding the Chief Minister post? It's a sure yes.

Monday, May 12, 2008

2008 Penang Bridge Marathon Cancelled

From The Star:

PENANG: The Penang Bridge Run 2008 has been cancelled due to financial and manpower constraints.

The organisers will also not be able to ensure the safety of participants on the bridge, which is undergoing renovation work and is narrower now.

Malaysian Highway Authority director-general Datuk Mohamad Razali Othman said last year’s event had "drained all our financial sources to host the event this year."

He said the highway authority would need more than RM500,000 to host the run and did not want to tax their sponsors to fund the event.

Last year’s run, to commemorate the country’s 50th anniversary and Visit Malaysia 2007, drew 21,399 runners including some 800 participants from 50 countries.

The event featured a 42.2km full marathon, a 22.3km half marathon, a 10km quarter marathon and a newly introduced 10km fun run which attracted more than 8,000 participants. There were 11 categories altogether.

Mohamad Razali said the highway authority might organise the marathon next year after the bridge-widening project had been completed and if they were enough funds.

He said highway authority decided to cancel the run at the end of March and had informed the Penang Tourism Action Council.


Damn, it really sucks that they're cancelling this year's marathon. Aside from the annual 10km Starwalk, the Penang Bridge Marathon is the only other opportunity for running enthusiasts to sweat it out and just basically have a fun time.

Originally planned for June 22 this year, the cancellation will upset quite a lot of people like me. The day of the run is the only day where people get to swarm the Penang Bridge instead of cars. Besides that, the sight of seeing the sun rising on the horizon as you run is just too beautiful for words.

I don't mind if they cut down the prize money. I don't mind if they reduce their goodie bag gifts. Heck, I don't even mind if they hike up the registration fee from RM10 to RM20. Cancelling this international event will be a big blow to Malaysians as well as Malaysian tourism, since there's usually a significant number of foreign runners.

Sold 2,000 Entrecard Credits for USD7.49 at eBay

Finally, my first eBay auction finished smoothly without any problems. I was initially expecting the 2000ECs to sell for USD6 but another bidder was willing to play USD7.49, so that's all fine. :)

On a related note, I'm selling another batch of 2000ECs through eBay as well. Click here to view the listing and please place a bid if you're interested.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

2,000 Entrecard Credits Selling for 6USD on eBay!

After 6 entire days of nobody bidding on my 2,000 Entrecard credits, finally someone has placed the first bid! Aside from selling advertising, this is going to be the first time I'm earning money online.

Meanwhile fellow blogger Andrew Ooi's 3,000ECs are selling at USD11.49 also through eBay. Congrats. :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Malaysiakini: Bandar Mahkota Cheras Residents Doused and Gassed [Video]

A note: A while ago I only realised it's supposed to be spelled Bandar Mahkota Cheras, instead of the spelling that I used in my previous post.

I wouldn't know about you but after viewing this video wouldn't you feel somewhat... angry inside?

This is Bersih and Hindraf all over again. This is exactly the reason why Barisan Nasional lost 82 parliament seats and 5 states to the opposition. The participants of these protests were ordinary Malaysians living ordinary lives, just like you and me.

Seriously, is it Barisan Nasional's plan to sit back on their ass and watch this grand saga (what an ironic name) turn into a full scale riot? Who do they intend to pin the blame on? The Pakatan Rakyat state government or maybe the residents themselves for voting in a hostile state government?

Khalid Ibrahim won't visit the place.

The media cowers, the truth is buried.

Did Malaysia really change? I say it's not enough.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Ready For Some Haruhi Suzumiya Mind-numbing Gender-bending?

Whether or not you like Haruhi's hyperness, or you have the hots for Mikuru, or find yourself attracted to Yuki's quietness, this whole new gender-bending project is gonna turn your entire world topsy turvy. Imagine the genders of every single character from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya switched, all the way from the main characters right down to Kyon's little sister (now Kyonko's little brother) and even the computer club members!

"Oh damn!" was my first impression towards all of these, but then I realised this actually is a pretty good idea! The fans gotta entertain themselves before the second season arrives, y'know?

From Atarashii Prelude:

Haruhi aka Haruki

Retaining all the characteristics that made the female version so popular, Haruki would be hot blooded male lead that animes these days seem to lack. Most likely to go around randomly chasing skirts and somewhat well-liked by girls at school as well for his devil may care attitude, Haruki would most likely hold a special place in his heart for Kyon-ko, who is, naturally, immune to his advances. Would be occasionally doing stupid stuff that gets him into trouble, but pull through with a GAR solution that saves the day.

More pics and content at this Animesuki forum thread.

EXCLUSIVE: May 8-9 Bandar Makhota Cheras Standoff Photos!

The tense standoff between residents of Bandar Makhota Cheras and Grand Saga culminated last night when the Federal Reserve Unit fired tear gas and water cannons at over 500 residents angry over Grand Saga's road barricade.

Residents had demolished two earlier barricades erected by the company. Because of the first barricade, the road was closed for two years so that residents of Bandar Makhota Cheras were forced to take a 6-kilometre tolled detour and pay RM0.90 just to reach their destination. The initial barricade was demolished (see YouTube video below) after Pakatan Rakyat wrestled the state of Selangor away from the federal Barisan Nasional government.

Dozens of photographs of this event are available here through Shutter Asia. The website requires a free registration in order to view the pics. Photo credits go to Shutter Asia forum member kclau.

From Malaysiakini via Lowyat:
It appears that no end is in sight in the stand-off between the determined Bandar Mahkota Cheras (BMC) residents and an equally determined toll operator Grand Saga Sdn Bhd.Police fired tear gas at about 11pm today to disperse 500 residents who had tried to dismantle a new concrete barrier erected by Grand Saga across a toll-free road near the township.The crowd was attempting to demolish by hand the partly-completed barricades of made-shift steel cables.

About 50 riot police fired at least three rounds of tear gas - each time unleashing about 10 canisters - after water cannons failed to disperse the residents. During the stand-off, BMC committee chairperson Tan Boon Hwa was arrested by the police. Two others were also arrested earlier this evening. According to eyewitnesses, Tan and Segambut member of parliament Lim Lip Eng - who had joined the protestors - were both roughed up by the police during the fracas.

The crowd eventually dispersed by 11.30pm and Grand Saga workers returned under heavy police presence to resume their task to completing the barricades. The tear gas and water cannon marked the end of yet another ugly day in the face-off between the residents and Grand Saga.

Is Bung Mokhtar a Bigger Man Than Ibrahim Ali?

From The Star:

KUALA LUMPUR: A commotion broke out in the Parliament lobby Thursday when Datuk Ibrahim Ali (Independent - Pasir Mas) stormed out of a meeting with a group of disabled people demanding for his apology to Karpal Singh at the Parliament lobby at noon.

The group, known as Malaysians Against the Discrimination of the Disabled (MADD), urged Ibrahim to retract insulting statements he made against Karpal recently when he asked the latter to stand when speaking in Dewan Rakyat.

Ibrahim had apologised to the group initially for hurting their feelings over the remarks he made in the Dewan Rakyat to Karpal.

However, he refused to say sorry to Karpal.

"My problem was with Karpal Singh and never with all of you. I have never offended you and I love disabled people from the bottom of my heart.

"But if you all have misinterpreted my meaning, I extend my sincerest apologies.

Bung Mokhtar was able to apologise to the disabled community and defuse tensions with Karpal.

Ibrahim Ali was also able to apologise but his vendetta against Karpal still rages within.

Karpal Singh? He's too busy shooting himself in the foot.

Out of these three people, who do you think is the victorious one? Surpringly it's the Kinabatangan MP, Bung Mokhtar.

As much as I appreciate Karpal Singh's bold and brazen talk, I believe that his "bull in a china shop" tactics won't work anymore. Just like Mahathir's iron-fisted rule, these tactics are now confined to the history books. Any attempt to revive it will result in more shit hitting the fan, just like Karpal's outbursts have given Barisan Nasional ammunition to use against them. And unlike Karpal, another DAP stalwart, Lim Kit Siang seems to have adapted to the post-election scenario quite well.

As for Ibrahim Ali, this guy prides himself for not being Barisan Nasional and neither Pakatan Rakyat. I can't see any reason to keep this explosive personality around if his only intention is to sit in parliament and stir up trouble.

No matter if an MP comes from BN or PR or even an independent, the same message applies for each and every single one of you: Let your MP status go to your head, and the rakyat will kick you out in the next election. The rakyat believes in giving second chances if they are sincere and honest about redeeming themselves. Use it or lose it, there's nothing else to say.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Offering Free Blog Advertising For 1 Week

After jumping onto the Entrecard bandwagon, other blog promotion services such as SiteHoppin have managed to attract the attention of Entrecarders. I'm not that keen on SiteHoppin yet but I'm currently setting up some advertising space for Project Wonderful ads.

Since it's new at the moment, I'm giving away 5 advertising spots for free! This one-week offer only lasts until May 16, and it's good promotion for your blog if you have any 125 x 125px buttons lying around. After that the rates will be 2 cents (USD) a day.

If you're interested, go ahead click here and just try it out for a week. You'll be able to beat the Entrecard advertising queue faster. First come first serve. :)

[UPDATE]: Due to popular demand, I've added another 5 advertising spots. Please re-bid again. :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Aladygma - Thomas Dahlem's Journal Is Revealed [Alternate Reality Game]

Just a week after Thomas Dahlem's missing journal (he calls it his "datebook") was found, its contents was finally revealed to the world. Apparently the code to breaking the latest whitespace was "4044186900712", the barcode number found inside his journal. The full-sized photographs have also been extracted to this website, and Aladygma Clues provide a good summary of its erratic contents.

However these information only gives subtle hints to the direction of Aladygma since there's nothing conclusive nor concrete yet. So far it's only confirmed that Thomas Dahlem and his blog are related to the Aladygma ARG (alternate reality game) and there may be a lot more to the story. Luckily Aladygma Clues has also provided a list of in-game websites as well as mentioning several "gamejacks", fake or unrelated websites which only confuses the ARG players and waste their time.

Personally after observing this ARG for several months, initially the speculation for this ARG include anywhere from a Cloverfield sequel to an untitled J.J Abrams supernatural movie to Quarantine, a remake of the 2007 Spanish horror movie titled [REC]. Now that it's clear that the last two possibilities were "gamejacks" and have been struck out, it still has a vague connection to Cloverfield and interestingly references to the Alien movie franchise.

Aladygma is totally different from Cloverfield's ARG though, the latter is primarily passive and its mystery is fairly easy to speculate or solve. As for Aladygma's case everything it does only adds another layer to its shroud of mystery. However these two are not mutually exclusive, there is a possiblity that is also J.J. Abrams' work and both ARGs might intersect at a point in the future. This is only my speculation though, only time will tell.

Related article: Aladygma Mystery Walkthrough

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

RPK Raises RM34,000 In One Day!

Raja Petra Kamaruddin who has surprised many by not posting bail over his sedition charge, looks to have the public on his side when they donated a total of RM34,000 in just under a day!

This effectively beats Jeff Ooi's average of RM8,000 per day raised during his 14 days of election campaigning. Jeff netted RM113,000 in total and was successfully elected into parliament.

The federal government seeks to silence him but the rakyat seeks his release. It looks like Barisan Nasional never managed to climb out of the grave that it dug by itself.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Innovative Parking at Queensbay Mall

Parking in Penang's Queensbay Mall can be a free-for-all sometimes. Every single open air parking lot has been filled and cars even park on the sidewalk. What would you do when the carpark seems to be full?

The answer: Create your own parking space!

Minutes after the first guy parked his car in the middle, everyone else followed him and it was quickly filled. Possibly 7-8 extra cars could've fit into that area because of him. Kudos to the driver for thinking out of the box.

Meanwhile, is anyone else also annoyed at the freakishly insane amount of potholes at Queensbay Mall's open air lots? If they can spare tens of thousands of RM to install an automated ticketing/payment system, they should've paved the parking lots instead. No use going for cheap parking just to have your own car damaged by potholes.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

New Website Policies

I don't really like to post up these stuff, but heck these are legal policies. Any less and I would probably end up with an illegal blog. :P

Website disclosure policy
Website privacy policy

Google Adsense privacy policy credit goes to 5xmom (for reminding) and JenSense (for writing the policy).

Google Analytics privacy policy and disclosure policy credit goes to Chica & Pumuckl.

Website Disclosure Policy

This policy is valid from 03 May 2008

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.

The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content will always be identified.

To get your own policy, go to

Website Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy for

The privacy of our visitors to is important to us.

At, we recognize that privacy of your personal information is important. Here is information on what types of personal information we receive and collect when you use visit, and how we safeguard your information. We never sell your personal information to third parties.

Log Files
As with most other websites, we collect and use the data contained in log files. The information in the log files include your IP (internet protocol) address, your ISP (internet service provider, such as AOL or Shaw Cable), the browser you used to visit our site (such as Internet Explorer or Firefox), the time you visited our site and which pages you visited throughout our site.

Cookies and Web Beacons
We do use cookies to store information, such as your personal preferences when you visit our site. This could include only showing you a popup once in your visit, or the ability to login to some of our features, such as forums.

We also use third party advertisements on to support our site. Some of these advertisers may use technology such as cookies and web beacons when they advertise on our site, which will also send these advertisers (such as Google through the Google AdSense program) information including your IP address, your ISP , the browser you used to visit our site, and in some cases, whether you have Flash installed. This is generally used for geotargeting purposes (showing New York real estate ads to someone in New York, for example) or showing certain ads based on specific sites visited (such as showing cooking ads to someone who frequents cooking sites).

You can chose to disable or selectively turn off our cookies or third-party cookies in your browser settings, or by managing preferences in programs such as Norton Internet Security. However, this can affect how you are able to interact with our site as well as other websites. This could include the inability to login to services or programs, such as logging into forums or accounts.

AdSense Privacy Policy Provided by JenSense

Google Analytics
This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. ("Google"). Google Analytics uses "cookies", which are text files placed on your computer, to help the website analyze how users use the site. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States . Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google's behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser, however please note that if you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website. By using this website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above.

Involved In A Car Accident

A picture tells a thousand words, so this obligatory diagram drawn in MS Paint should explain it all.

The 11am incident happened under the Greenlane single-lane Autopont flyover two days ago. I saw the other Proton Saga at Jalan Teh Ewe Lim while I was in front of the petrol station, but I didn't expect the driver to just turn without looking nor stopping!

I stepped on the brakes, the tyres screeched but it was too late. There was an audible sickening metallic crunch that will send shivers through your spine if your car was brand new. The other car suffered a big dent right behind the rear right wheel, whereas the left headlamp of my car was badly scratched and there were broken pieces underneath the headlamp.

We moved our cars to the side of the road, and the other driver came out and apologised. It turns out she was a primary school teacher ferrying her mother and children. I have no idea why she had turned without looking but she was definitely apologetic and as nervous as I was. If another car had rammed into my back it would've been a 3-4 car accident and police reports would've been lodged. I didn't ask for compensation seeing her car's damage was as bad as mine, and we both left the scene. Luckily it wasn't a bad accident but I was in a nervous wreck. A cup of regular coffee half an hour ago made it even worse.

My thoughts include the possibility that shrubs and flowers planted at the junction (see area shaded in green) had obscured the driver's view. Someone ought to remove those foilage to increase visibility and avoid any further accidents at that spot.

Punish Your Cat With Corporal Cuddles!

Oh god, this is just too cute not to mention in this blog. Just watch it!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Aladygma Mystery Walkthrough [Alternate Reality Game]

First of all, don't ask me what Aladygma is. The lips of those responsible for are shut as tight as a submarine hatch and so far no official news have been leaked by its creators.

Here's what we have on the main site so far:
start date
00 | 11 | 22 | 88
© a l a d y g m a

...with a small note at the bottom:
coming soon next day!
follow the whitespaces

Highlighting the white space leads you to nine hidden links:

Exhibit A - /
student thomas | room 211
211 | 2008
© a l a d y g m a

Exhibit B - /
A medical drawing of a skull with a very long spine.

Exhibit C - 0 0 3 7 8
A picture of a girl peeking out from a room lablelled 211. Room 211 also happens to be one of the places where the Virginia Tech massacre occurred.

Exhibit D - y/
A map of New York's subway lines with a bloody footprint on it, and a newspaper clipping dated September 12, 2001.

Exhibit E -
A flash page with diagrams from the Pioneer plaque, clicking on the figures will reveal a biohazard sign and the figures change into an alien.

Exhibit F -
A photograph of a burned down hospital with a pixellated person or creature. Clues in the pic include a hospital ID with the name "Thomas Dahlem", a sign with the word "kokelafotis" and the body of an alien (possibly from the fake Roswell autopsy clip).

Exhibit G -
A photograph of another planet, the four inset photographs seem to indicate that there might be life on the planet. Codes are also embedded into the photograph.

Exhibit H -
Another medical drawing, this time the source of the drawing is from the Indianapolis Surgical Institute. One major incident occured in institute was a fire which killed 19 people in 1892.

Exhibit I -
A box which prompts you to login with a code and a verification method that doesn't exceed the number 26. The background design is awfully similar to those of barcodes. Is it possible to find numbers from it? Yes.

Out of the many exhibits, B and H are medical related, E and G hints at extraterrestrial clues whereas D and F are just puzzling.

Post your own theories, there are more to come...