Thursday, December 27, 2007

The First Step

Take the first step in faith, 

You don't have to see the whole staircase,

Just take the first step.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

1929 - 1968

Merry Christmas to the all of you out there, and may success go along you in the year 2008 and beyond

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them.

~George Bernard Shaw~

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Men are Happier

Got this off somewhere in the net(Friendster bulletin). No hard feelings to the girls though.

Men Are Just Happier People-- What do you expect from such simple creatures? Your last name stays put. The garage is all yours. Wedding plans take care of themselves. Chocolate is just another snack. You can be President. You can never be pregnant. You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park. You can wear NO shirt to a water park. Car mechanics tell you the truth and take you seriously.. The world is your urinal. You never have to drive to another petrol station washroom because this one is just too icky. You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. Same work, more pay. Wrinkles add character. Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100. People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them. New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet. One mood all the time.

Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase. You can open all your own jars with your bare hands. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend. No problem.

Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack. You can wear the same shirt to the office, wedding or funeral. Nobody will notice. Three pairs of shoes are more than enough. You almost never have broken heels or strap problems in public. You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes. Everything on your face stays its original colour. The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades. Like wrinkles, white hair adds character. You only have to shave your face. Hairy legs? They come with the original package. They add character.

You can play with toys all your life. One wallet and one watch -- one color for all seasons. You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look. You can "do" your nails with a pocket knife. You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.

You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.

No wonder men are happier.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Inner Life of a Cell

Found this while reading my Google Reader feeds. It's quite a nice video with nice music and in the second 'long' version, narration as well. Those who are taking subjects related to biology might benefit from this :)

Animation only

'Long' version with narration

Friday, November 16, 2007

Internet Browsers Impressions

For the last week I have been trying out 3 beta versions of the most popular alternative browsers, and i would like to share with you all my experiences here. Note that all the softwares previewed are of beta quality and should not be used on a critical system. i shall not be held responsible for and damaged system/work as a result. That being said, all the softwares have never crashed on me, so feel free to download and play with them.

Mozilla Firefox 3 Beta 1:

The successor to the increasingly popular Mozilla Firefox family of web-browsers, this one have big shoes to fill in. People are starting to take note of it,and a lot are switching to it after experiencing the benefits of safer browsing, the innumerable addons that are available and the easiness of it's usage.

For the last month, I have been using the Alpha 8 (Grand paradiso 8) version of Firefox 3.0, and I have to say, I am impressed by the improvements made to it.

It successfully passed the ACID 2 test from the ensuring that I can render any sites coded according to standards properly. To take the test, you may go to this page. In addition to that, site loading times were vastly improved over that of Firefox 2.0. It's so fast that it's site loading times were almost on par with that of Opera 9.5, just a few miliseconds slower. It's memory footprint is smaller this time around, hovering at 96Mb with 5 tabs open.

It's interface looked like the one from Firefox 2 at first glance, with the one and only new element named the "places" folder at the bookmark bar. (As of now, I am still not sure of what this feature actually do, so I have no comments on it) Within the menu structure there are a few new interface upgrades over the last version. The downloads windows is now searchable, enabling me to search for downloads that I have made. The options page have an extra tab listing out the programs for most types of files. And on the security front, we have a malicious site checker that, when turned on, will warn the user from visiting a site that is potentially damaging to the computer. We will have 2 choices of malicious list to choose from, one from a public list maintained by Mozilla and another one provided by Google.

And under Linux, the Mozilla have improved on the integration with the Gnome and KDE-based desktop environments by using their default looks and buttons. This means no more ugly Firefox that doesn't follow the general looks of the desktop space.

Spell checking is still available from that program, and it will continue to assist me in writing error free posts to blogger and various forums. It's just too bad that it isn't available in the other browsers.

However, there are still a few drawbacks inherited from it's predecessors. Installing addons/themes still requires a restart, which is inconvenient. The browser still takes more time than both Safari and Opera to start up and shut down. Navigating in between pages via the forward and back buttons revealed another area where Firefox can improve in, the rerendering of pages should have taken a shorter time.

Mozilla 3 had coded a lot of improvements into the No. 2 top browser in the world, and I hope this continues on, enabling lots of people to enjoy enhanced web-browsing experience.

Note: Firefox 3.0 Beta have not been released into the public. If you want to get your hands onto it, you will have to do a bit of digging online.

Opera 9.50 Beta:

Touted by it's developers as the fastest browser in the world, Opera have it's own share of fans that will swear their life by it, and it's by no coincidence that it is so.

The page loading and rendering performance of this browser is the best so far among the three browsers previewed here today. And for convenience, the fast forward and back ward buttons estimates the most likely next page that I will be going to, a neat feature if you ask me. The memory footprint of this browser is the smallest of all, at 93mb with the same amount of tabs opened (not too small after all). This browser had also passed the ACID 2 test. Note that this memory footprint is measured without any widgets and bit-torrents running.

The other neat features of this browser is the speed dial and the widgets. Speed dial works just like how it would work on your cell phone. Whenever you opened a new tab to browse another site, there will be nine buttons, in which you can define the addresses of your most frequently visited sites. Click on one of the buttons and your destination will magically load up in the tab for your viewing pleasure. The widgets works exactly like how Yahoo! Widgets or Apple Widgets works, by putting useful pieces of applets on your screen that you can call in and out any time. The applications for the widgets will range from a simple clock on your desktop to very complex ones like stock analysis over the past few days, or even time wasters like an aquarium games

Opera gives the most amount of space within it's browser for web-surfing, which is a very good thing. It gives me more space to look over things before I need to start scrolling and the browser itself won't be a big distraction as well.

For privacy advocates, they will be pleased to know of the existence of a private surfing mode that enables them to surf the net without leaving traces behind.

The main complaints that I have for this browser is that it sometimes just failed to load some pages for some reason and just hangs there without giving a timeout. This leads it to just stay there saying that it's still loading the page. I had to stop the loading process and load the page again to get it moving, which is a tad inconvenient if you ask me. And, when the page is from a brand new site that have not been visited recently, it takes more time than both Firefox and Safari for the initial load, sometimes lasting up to 20 seconds. After that, surfing the rest of the site will be a breeze since the caching mechanism had saved a few static features of the page.

The Bit-torrent feature had failed to work on my overly complex network configuration, in which I haven't found out why.

Opera also renders some sites incorrectly, resulting in an outright ugly look of the page. So far I have only seen this happening only once, in the AMD website that I was browsing when I was looking for positions for my practical semester a few weeks ago.

The lack of an addons system does limit the potential of this browser, though it does mitigate the need for it by integrating some very powerful features that are available in Firefox only after installation of add ons (Mouse Gestures comes to the mind).

It's fast, it's compact and it's powerful. Opera is set to become better and better in the future. It might even replace Firefox as my main browser if not for the rendering problems.

Safari for Windows 3.04:

Safari is a relative newcomer to the internet browsing world under windows. It's bundled in Mac OS as the default browser, and since July this year, windows' users can also get a feel of how it feels to surf the net using Safari.

Once installed, one of the first things that I noticed about the interface is just how similar it looked like my music management/playing software, iTunes. It is clean and neat, and even with lots of tabs open it doesn't look as cluttered as Firefox can be.

Another things that people will notice is the way anti aliasing works here. it doesn't use the default windows' method to do it, but employs it's own algorithm. The result is, the fonts generally looks blurrier than normal, but are more loyal to the original shapes of the fonts. This results in a big debate on whether Apple should pursue the Mac experience with Safari, or make Windows users comfortable with it. For me, I kinda like the slight blurriness of the words. It looks better than windows fonts and made it more readable, which is important for a person who surfs the net all the time like me.

The options menu doesn't provide much options to configure the browser with, which I think is a boon for the more novice users since they will have less settings to break. The power users might be frustrated with the lack of configurations available to them though (people like me like to tweak all aspects of a program to ensure it works exactly the way we want it to) :P

Performance of this browser can be summarized as very good. It loads pages at a generally faster speed than Firefox, but a bit slower than Opera (all are at almost the same level). The memory usage, however, can be improved upon. Using 230++Mb or RAM is unacceptable for me, especially if it only have a few tabs open. I hope that Apple can fix this problem in future releases of the program, especially if they would like more and more users to use it. I have yet to encounter any rendering problems so far (except for one very poorly coded Friendster page).

It's inability to save the tab contents across browsing sessions disappointing, considering that the other two browsers previewed here have implemented this feature for quite some time already. This shortcoming can be compensated by it's ability to save groups of tabs together, which will be the first button that I will click on everything I start it up. The feature is good, and the addition of a session saving feature will certainly make up the requirements that I have for my browser.

Another gripe that I have with Safari is having to right click on downloaded items in order to start them up. In the other browsers I can just double click on the downloaded items in the download window to start it, and I would expect it to behave the same way here. Not a major complaint, but it makes up my browsing experience.

Safari have strong features to enable it to compete with the other big names in the area, but it needs a bit more polish to win it. Of the looks of the three browsers, I like Safari the most, especially the way it renders fonts. Apple would have to keep on improving on the memory footprint though, and hope the next version will use less memory.

That's all to my very subjective review of these 3 browsers, I will still continue to use Ff3.0 beta as my main browser for this time around, as it is the more familiar browser to me. Till the next time I post anything, c'ya guys, and don't get sick like me now...


*Let's create a world full of Love~

p/s: here is a view of the memory usage of various programs in my system. This entry will be edited as i spend more time with the said browsers...

The Most Beautiful Flower

The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read

Beneath the long,straggly branches of an old willow tree.

Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown,

For the world was intent on dragging me down.

And if that weren't enough to ruin my day,

A young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play.

He stood right before me with his head tilted down

And said with great excitement, "Look what I found!"

In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight,

With its petals all worn - not enough rain, or too little light.

Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play,

I faked a small smile and then shifted away.

But instead of retreating he sat next to my side

And placed the flower to his nose and declared with overacted surprise,

"It sure smells pretty and it's beautiful, too.

That's why I picked it; here, it's for you."

The weed before me was dying or dead.

Not vibrant of colors: orange, yellow or red.

But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave.

So I reached for the flower, and replied, "Just what I need."

But instead of him placing the flower in my hand,

He held it mid-air without reason or plan.

It was then that I noticed for the very first time

That weed-toting boy could not see: he was blind.

I heard my voice quiver; tears shone in the sun

As I thanked him for picking the very best one.

"You're welcome," he smiled, and then ran off to play,

Unaware of the impact he'd had on my day.

I sat there and wondered how he managed to see

A self-pitying woman beneath an old willow tree.

How did he know of my self-indulged plight?

Perhaps from his heart, he'd been blessed with true sight.

Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see

The problem was not with the world; the problem was me.

And for all of those times I myself had been blind,

I vowed to see the beauty in life,

And appreciate every second that's mine.

And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose

And breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose

And smiled as I watched that young boy, Another weed in his hand,

About to change the life of an unsuspecting old man.

Journey called Life... (From cat to Tiger)

"In seinem Traum kann auch das kleinste K├Ątzchen ein Tiger sein"
Taken from a fridge magnet that i was about to give someone

"In it's dreams, the smallest cat can also be a tiger."
For those who dare to dream, dream on, and create a reality out of it.


*Let's create a world full of Love~

updates from me: Just realized that my Gmail have been upgraded, and it certainly looks very nice. Couple it with the latest IMAP support, Gmail just proves to me why it should stay as my main mail provider.

I have constant heads over the past week, and as a result had taken almost the whole week off to rest. It's getting better now, and it's high time that I should get back to my studies. No more failures for this semester is acceptable. If you guys have the time, knock at my msn and remind me not to play too much games :p

It had started to snow over here, and outside of the windows I can see a white world, approaching the levels of white found in the beautiful white snow scenes found in the movies. Somehow it reminds me of Jen. Kinda wish that she is here with me now, enjoying the scene.
Anyway, it's time for me to go back and read a bit before I retire, thanks for squinting your eyes to read the tiny prints. Hope your eyesight haven't increased a few degrees after reading this :p

Anyway, to all who just read the long tiny prints, as well as all beings in every plane of life, I wish you well and happy always...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Fried Rice

Over the last week, I had made 4 attempts at cooking fried rice. The only knowledge I have about frying rice is the one time closely watching how my mom did it a few years ago :P

1st try, cooked with mixed veges, put in the eggs late into the cooking process. The whole fried rice turned out to be sticky. Stuffed it in anyway :p

2nd try, cooked the same way as above. The exception is that i fried the eggs before I added in the rice. Turns out to be quite nice

3rd try, same as the first try, but fried longer and used a warmer hot plate, turned out to be really nice if not for the extra salt i accidently poured in. (pictured half eaten above)

4th try, fried rice with fresh mushrooms and sausages (I ran out of mixed veges), not satisfactory.

Anyway, I think I will be getting more of the mixed veges for my practices later on~

*Let's create a world full of Love~


When I fist got my (now stolen) Sony Ericsson k750i, I searched high and low for resources on hacking it so that it runs the SE w800i firmware (Why, because I know it can be done, and because I know I can do it :P).

Along the way, the name MyPhoneExplorer turned up as the premier third party software to manage SE phones. Having used it for almost a year now, I can attest to the claim. This piece of freeware can do it's job, and it's damn good at it.

It enabled me to:
1. Sync my phone's contacts and organizer events with Thunderbird e-mail client (with the Lightning Organizer extension)
2. Backup and restoring my sms messages in case my phone is gone for whatever reason or when I am playing with the firmware (hacking, upgading through third party tools)
3. Send and receive sms messages via the computer
4. Explore the phone/MS card contents (It was possible to do it from Explorer with k750i, but for some reason it isn't possible under k800i unless u decided to turn off the phone to revert to the file transfer mode)
5. Sync my time with standard time kept by atomic clocks

So there you go.. If you are using a SE phone now, do give it a spin, I am pretty sure that it's functions will appeal to you as well :) You can get it here.

*Let's create a world full of Love~
i am getting busy here for the new semester, with a big project and lots of lab reports to do. And i still have to catch up on a lot of things that i didn't understand since a few sems ago. Due to that, my posting frequency will drop, hope you guys won't mind about that. On top of that, I have to prepare my cover letter and CVs and certs to apply for positions for my practical semester, which is the next semester. And somehow my services as a computer technician is getting known here -.- Perhaps i should start charging people for repairs (100 Euro per hour will do :D)

For resources on Sony Ericsson phones, here is a list to get you guys started:
1. Se-Nse (Firmwares, customization: Some of the tweaks described here aren't for those who are faint hearted)
2. SeGoodies (Themes)
3. Mobile9 (j2me softwares)
4. Of course,

Friday, November 02, 2007

Realisation Part 12: Choices. The Choice Is Ours.

Life is unpredictable. Things change. For better or worse.
Relationships never stays. They evolve. For better or worse.
Friendships never remains the same. They become stronger or weaker.

Feelings by mind or by heart
Actions by mind or by heart.
Intentions by mind or by heart.

Laughter heard aloud or in silence
Tears drop in silence or aloud.
A tear of happiness or a tear of sadness.

Laughter in public or in private
Tears in private or in public.
A tear of joy or a tear of sorrow.

A smile in a heaven of pure joy and bliss
Or a smile in a hell of cunning lies and pretenders.

Silence of peace or disharmony
Patience of calm or anger
Tolerance of willingness or by force.

A stare of love, a stare of hatred
A word to construct, a word to destruct
A choice to make that forever stuck.

With Metta,

Friday, October 12, 2007

Realisation Part 11: Unconditional Love

Nine Emperor Gods Festival begins today. The road in front of Tow Boo Keong Ipoh had started to get jam-packed since morning. One side of the road became the temporary parking space for visitors and temporary stalls were build on the other side to provide space to sell the ‘ong khu’, flowers and incenses. People were bustling about with one hand carrying a bundle of incense and some others holding a stack of holy papers to be burnt. The older generation were sitting and waiting patiently in front of the performing stage for the opera show to start.

A girl and her dad walked pass the front entrance and there were three men performing some ritual acts. Mystical I thought, as I watched them walking passed the group of performers. They proceeded towards the praying area and searched for a nice spot on the first row of tables. The dad was happy to find a clear spot, not the most strategic but good enough to offer the ‘sou thou’, ‘ong khu’ and flowers to the gods. Being a Buddhist by default and receiving great influenced of Taoism since many generations ago, traditional festivals like this is hard to escape.

As a filial daughter, she helped him light up the incenses and followed him to pray to the Nine Emperor gods to seek for blessings, protection and well being. It took only a while to finish paying respect to all the gods. She took a rest at the edge of a pillar while he has his hands washed before asking for ‘chien’. She remained there for sometime while the dad went on to ‘qiu chien’. The girl appeared to have stomachache or something similar as her arms were wrapped tightly around her stomach. She became restless and perspired profusely. Crooked lines showed on her forehead. She squatted and moaned a little. Her face showed that she was in pain. Oh, life is full of sufferings.

After about 5 minutes of involuntary rapid hand and head movements, she went up to the dad to ask to leave early. Since there is only one more ‘chien’ left, she waited for another minute that seems like eternity. By the time the dad came over to her rescue, she was already sitting on the floor with her head between her knees. The dad tried to hold her up, but she was too weak. He held her up again and she fell. Again and again. A man who was praying nearby hurried to help and dragged her out of the smoky temple. The girl was feeling extremely dizzy, views blurred and almost collapsing. She didn’t know what went on until she was seated on a cold metal chair. Out of nowhere, few men came and helped to massage her to keep her consciousness. One lady who was selling towels in the stalls even offered a brand new towel to cover her from the chilly wind.

She remained subconscious and weak. Some suggested that the man massage the head, some aunty suggested massaging the shoulder. Some massaged the back. Finally she vomited brown liquid on the floor and requested for a toilet. Since she was only half conscious, few ladies held her into the toilet but only two were left inside to hold the vege-like fragile figure of hers. It is difficult to even hold up the head what more the whole body. The dad went to bring the car in despite the number of people and exhibitions there. By the time she came out, she was so weak that she couldn’t even walk. Thanks to these strong men they carried her into the car and she was finally lied down on the cushion.

The dad’s love is so great that it is incomparable to anything else. The dad must have been so worried. It is touching to feel the unconditional love showered upon his little girl. It is even more touching to be the girl. Thanks dad. I love you. May the people who helped be well and happy always. You guys have filled the world with LOVE. These good seeds you sow will soon bear their sweet fruits. Sahdu!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Professor & The Youngman

A young man, a student in the university, was one day taking a walk with a professor, who was commonly called the students' friend for his kindness to those who waited on his instructions.

As they went along, they saw lying in the path a pair of old shoes, which were supposed to belong to a poor man who was working in a field close by, and who had nearly finished his day's work . . .

Student turned to the professor, saying: "Let us play the man a trick:
we will hide his shoes, and hide ourselves behind those bushes, and wait to see his perplexity when he cannot find them ..."

"My young friend," answered the professor, "We should never amuse ourselves at the expense of the poor . . . But you are rich, and may give yourself a much greater pleasure by means of this poor man. Put a coin in each shoe, and then we will hide ourselves and watch how this affects him."

The student did so and they both placed themselves behind the bushes close by. The poor man soon finished his work, and came across the field to the path where he had left his coat and shoes . . .While putting on his coat he slipped his foot into one of his shoes, but feeling something hard, he stooped down to feel what it was, and found the coin. Astonishment and wonder were seen upon his countenance.

He gazed upon the coin, turned it around and looked at it again and again.
He then looked around him on all sides, but no person was to be seen. He now put the money into his pocket, and proceeded to put on the other shoe; but his surprise was doubled on finding the other coin . . .

His feelings overcame him . . . he fell upon his knees, looked up to heaven and uttered aloud a fervent thanksgiving in which he spoke of his wife, sick and helpless, and his children without bread, whom this timely bounty, from some unknown hand, would save from perishing . . .

The student stood there deeply affected, and his eyes filled with tears.
"Now," said the professor, are you not much better pleased than if you had played your intended trick?"
The youth replied, "You have taught me a lesson which I will never forget. .. I feel now the truth of these words, which I never understood before: "It's more blessed to give than to receive."

If you want happiness... .For a lifetime - help someone . . .

Friday, September 28, 2007


"Some men see things as they are and say "'Why?' I dream things that never were and say 'Why not?'

Robert Kennedy

Journey called Life... (The most important person)

"Some men see things as they are and say "'Why?' I dream things that never were and say 'Why not?'

Robert Kennedy

"There is no one more important than the person in front of you at that moment. Take that moment to be woth him or her."

Robert T. Kirosaki
Retire Young, Retire Rich,First International Edition, 2005, Warner Business Books,
ISBN 0-446-61743-1

"The most important person in the world right now is the person in front of you."

Uncle Charlie Chia

All this while, I had thought that the most important person in the world will be myself, for if I am to help the world, I must first be able to help myself with my own business. These words by Uncle Charlie at our(Jen and me) last meeting with Uncle Charlie had imparted another very different view of the world into us.

The very words echos what that have been the theme of our blog all this while, living right here and now. When we are communicating with others, we will give our full attention to him or her or them, and at that moment, our world their world.

All this while, I have always not given the due attention to others when I am chatting/talking to them. As a multitasker, There are a lot of times when I would always find a secondary activity(surfing the net, reading a book) to keep my mind occupied when I am chatting online. At times, I feel that I am maximizing the usage of time by doing so. But in the reality, I find that the results of such multitasking doesn't bring anything fruitful as I am splitting my mind's attention into many.

As said in my last post, our mind can only process one thing at a time. When I am not giving due attention to the other side of the communication line, oft times, I find that I missed something crucial and had to ask the other party to repeat themselves. (I had irritated Jen a few times asking her to repeat what she had said, because of line problems, and sometimes, because I am not paying full attention). Right now, I do think that asking the other party to repeat themselves because we are not paying attention means that we are not respecting them as a person(respect forms one of my life principles :)).

As of now, I am still trying to get myself to be able to focus on something for longer than 5 mins(very successful during gaming, reading, not successful in other fields:P), so that soon, I will be able to give the person in front of me the due respect as my most important person at that moment:), and that will be another step at living the moment as it truly is...

At time time of Merdeka, I wish all a very happy Merdeka, and Happy 50th birthday to Malaysia

*Let's create a world full of LOVE~
got myself the latest album from Kymm, and also reading the book "Retire Young, Retire Rich," the fifth book in the rich dads series written by Robert T. Kirosaki. I find his ideas very fasinating and very practical as well, but no, I am not going to rush out and buy real estates right away. I still need to plan on how to use my money first :p

written this post last month, but have always forgotten to post it, so here you go :p


I have taken the first step as a good citizen of Malaysia by registering myself as a voter...


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Monday, September 03, 2007

August-Sep 2007

For anyone who are wondering where the heck I am, I am now in Kuching lazing around everyday without much to do at a time when everyone are too busy to even meet up...

Looking very forward to go back to KL, perhaps there I can stop my rotting by being able o meet up with more people :p

For the last few days, I have been reading the book "Retire Young Retire Rich." by the author of the very famous "Rich Dad, Poor Dad." Gobbled it up within 3 days, I think I will need to buy another book to satisfy my hunger for knowledge.

The book is about using leverages to achieve a life where people don't have to worry about making ends meet. I will post my opinions on the book later on. But as an appetite teaser, the very first step in achieving that is to be able to look at things in a different manner, like opportunities instead of risk :p

Then again, I think I will be a bit busier in KL looking after my Dear there :p

And one more thing, I lost my 012 SIM card some time ago in Germany, so I am now carrying a new number. If you guys want the new number, drop me an e-mail, through msn or whatever(SMS not included)... If you are lucky, I will reply within the next 3 days...

*Let's create a world full of LOVE~

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Realisation Part 11: Under the Hands Of Healthcare Professionals and not-so-professionals

Ah! Delicious! Yum yum yum.... It has been so long since I last took fast food. Today is a happy day, I had a feast on hotdogs and burgers; 1901 and Burger King.

Who will suspect such famous and delicious food on a happy day is the beginning of a downturn of a good health. I felt bloated that night. Thinking probably i ate too much during the day, i ignored my abdomen discomfort. The discomfort did not go away the next day.I was thinking of giving it more time to subside but apparently it did not until the following day when things got worse.

Not knowing how way leads on to way, i gave myself a self-diagnosis and prescription of having indigestion. I gave myself carbon tablets. It did help a bit but the discomfort was still lingering. When it did not get better, i thought it was probably due to my underlying gastritis problems, so i took some magnesia milk. Little did i know half an hour after that, i vomited out every single thing i ate that day and the day before in two massive rounds. There starts the almost non-stop diarrhea that lasted for 6 days. Oral rehydration salt and atropine sulphate i took doesn't seem to work. The minimal amount of water i took was poured out and i was begging for water.

Thanks to KN and Nick for driving me to the nearest 24Hour clinic but got lost during our search (sorry for vomiting in your car too :$). Special thanks to Wei Chun who was so nice to purposely came out to bring us back on track. To thank them, i vomited ALL the medicine i took at the 24Hour Clinic after paying an exorbitant RM 70 consultation fee. To make things even more complicated, i felt that i need to be on drip as i was feeling like fainting. I was finally sent to the University Hospital for an emergency case. Again, i vomited for my 6th time and i swear it was my worse vomit ever...the most bitter (due to the medicine) and the most painful one (vomit pun tak de benda mau keluar, sigh).

The doctor on shift that time was professional. I like the way he posed his questions and try to diagnose my sickness. However, very soon, i fell asleep and i did not get to hear clearly what are my blood and urine test results are. I was told to have some infections. After the second pint of 0.9% sodium chloride intraveneous infusion, the doctor i admire was off shift already and i was taken over by another doctor. Since i was still very dry according to the doctor, i was put on drip for the third pint. Pity the three Samaritans who have yet to get any rest and was waiting for me. it was already 7.30am that time. Very soon, i was in dreamland again.

By the time i woke up, it was already 9am. I was left there alone but soon KN came then Nick alternately. We all have class at 10.30am that morning. Thanks to me they cant attend. No doctor attended me until acquired. Soon, they say okay, you can go back. take the medicine prescribed and finish all the antibiotics. Alright. Spending one hour waiting for the medication isnt too bad if the medication can cure me.

After 4 days taking the medication, and after seeing 4 doctors and on drip again in Ipoh (too dry) diarrhea is still there! Aha! I still feel like vomiting...not much difference... I almost have nothing else to eat other than glucose water and extremely soft porridge. Finally the truth came out when i decided to consult the fifth doctor in Pasir Puteh, Dr Lee T. W. I was immediately asked to stop whatever fancy medication i was having and just take the normal medicine. Viola! I can feel myself alive again! No more diarrhea, no more urge to vomit. I was told i was on wrong medication and the medicine itself is causing the diarrhea. Oh my.....

So much so we have been stressing to finish up antibiotics, but finally was told that i was taking the wrong antibiotics...I was thinking whether i should trust the doctors i consult the next time i see one. I learn to appreciate my body more and well, be more careful when consuming anything, be it food or medicine.

I don't think i would want to be on drip ever again. I have 4 holes on my hands now due to poking the wrong vein..(grrrr....pain la). I think i will think twice when i need to rush the food down my throat or when i have abundance of delicious food to eat.

Best thing about the whole ordeal was: I lost 6kg in a week. :)

Note: I am up and kicking again. It was indeed a great excuse for me to rest and stay away from the stress-laden life back in kl. Drawback? i missed one week's class. Hah. And my exam is coming wednesday. Essays? Not done still. Can you see stress seeping in again? I do.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Journey called Life (Activity Management)

taken from

One of my main weakness is my inability to say no to requests for help/assistance. With this kind of inability, I sometimes find myself swamped with work and in the end, find myself unable to cope with everything, and end up doing nothing at all.

Last night I get to meet Uncle Charlie Chia, a very prominent Buddhist speaker in Kuala Lumpur. Those who had joined the Buddhists activities with me during my time in INTEC might have known him as well from his talks organized for us students in INTEC. Brother Jerry (I think it might be more suitable to call him uncle, since he is already older than my mom, but since he invented the Jerry's Rule: People younger than 15 years old can call me uncle, those who are older than 15 years old call me brother, I have no choice but to call him "brother") was also there along with Jen (We were there after our date :P) as well...

Well, it was a very nice meeting where both the elders shared their minds on issues that have been bugging us up till now.

One of the issues were the issue of time management. There are lots of activities lined up in our mind waiting to be done, but we seemed to have no time to finish them all, and in the end, the main priority (currently studies), got neglected.

University time is the time when we get involved in lots activities, within and outside of the curriculum, that may help us develop our soft skills (skills that can't be learned in class), for example, organizing a carnival. If within the committee there will be people who didn't do their jobs properly and thus placing strain on the others who are more committed.

Uncle Charlie had quoted a phrase from someone (i can't remember who exactly said this) which gave us lots of insights into this situation: "I don't manage time, I manage activities." What it means is that we have to learn on how to set our priorities and work with it. If we have lots of work/wishes piling on us, we will need to prioritize them. And start by doing what is the most important activity now. Our mind can only focus on one thing at a time. If we can complement it by focusing on one thing at a time, without worrying about the status of the other activities, we can proceed smoothly down the priority, and faster as well. The mind works best when things are organized, and prioritizing can help a lot of keeping everything oragnized :)

The other thing being discussed was the targets. Uncle Charlie told us that unachieved targets doesn't matter much. It's whether we did put in our best efforts throughout the whole proess that counts the most, because in the end, we can always tell us that, "I have done my best to ensure the success of the project, but circumstances doesn't allow everything to go smoothly as planned." BUT, you will certainly feel guilty if you didn't put in your best effort in getting things done, and more often than not, people are not going to be pleased with you (fired).

More often than not, you will find that you are unable to finish the things that are at the lowest level of your priority list. Not being able to do them doesn't mean that we have failed, it just mean that circumstances doesn't allow us to do everything.

So do your best in whatever that you are doing, prioritize well, and don't dwell in failures. Focus on how to be successful, Life's always rewarding of you think of it as so :)


Tuesday, August 07, 2007


After a very tiring trip to Italy, visiting and gaining insights about more and mor places, I am now finally back in Malaysia, with my beloved Jen :p

As for the photos from Italy, I will be taking my sweet time to upload them to flickr, as the lins here isn't as ideal as the line in Germany to do internet uploading/downloading. Till they are slowly uploaded, happy waiting :D (We should really have some other companies good enough to beat TMnet for their sucky service over here, sigh).

For those who are interested, my old 012 number isn't valid anymore, so if there is anyone who wants to contact me out there, drop me an email for the number (No, i won't publicize my number here in public).

Jen is having a heck of a time here, having to manage her exams along with her duties as a section leader for some sort of project, so don't wonder if I have not contacted you yet to yum cha. I will be helping her with her daily chores to lessen her loads a bit :)

Gonna check out Jen now, till next time, c'ya guys...

*Let's create a world full of LOVE~

Thursday, July 19, 2007

My camera's bag


After cancelling the order with the online shop that sells the official bag for my camera, because the delivery is taking too long, I had decided to look for a new one. This is actually the smallest one i can get that can fit my camera in :p

For more photos of my new gadget, go visit the Flickr page

Laws of Thermodynamics

The Laws of Thermodynamics states that the greatest state of chaos is the state when the temperature of the universe is completely uniform.

Putting that analogy to humans, does it mean, to achieve complete equality amongst us, the humanity would have to descend to complete chaos?


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Charity Mission to Ladakh India 2007

Dear Bros & Sis,

I will be leading a group of 16 Friends of Mahabodhi Ladakh form Malaysia, Singapore & Australia will be visiting Ladakh India from 17th August 2007 till 26th August 2007. The group will be led by Bro Charlie Chia. We have prepared a missionary itinerary for the visit to Ladakh where we intend to carry out missionary and charitable works in the mountain villages of Ladakh.

At the same time we will visit the Mahabodhi International Meditation Campus of Venerable Sanghasena, a notable and compassionate Theravada monk called Devachan where he had set up boarding schools for the girls and boys from the mountains. The school have a student population of 250 students and all education are in English. He had also set a Meditation Centre, Nunnery, Senior Care Homes, 50 bedded Karuna Hospital and lately the Jetavana Monastery. For your information, Ladakh is the only Buddhist majority district in India. The population consists mostly of Ladakhi and Tibetan refugees. It is as high as 11,000 feet above sea level.

In conjunction with the missionary and charity work that we have planned there, here is a list of items that we intend to distribute:-

DVD's of latest shows for children

School Stationeries

UV Resistent Sunglasses (Old and stylish sunglasses are most welcome)

Electronic Watches

Hand Held Musical Intruments (eg Guitars, harmonica, flutes etc)

Computer Thumbdrives

Dynamo Batteryless Torchlights

Backpack bags and Luggage bags

As some of these items are very bulky and incur heavy air freight charges, we suggest that donors and well wishers contribute in the form of cash and we will procure them in India (the bulky items).

We hope each and everyone can approach your friends, colleagues and relatives for contributions and you can bank in to BGF account before 12th August 2007. the Account is as follows:-

Buddhist Gem Fellowship

Public Bank Berhad Account No. 3109670729

We hope to raise RM 50,000 to purchase all the items that have been requested.

May our aspirations and our generosity bring good merits and a safe trip.

Metta & Best regards
Chia Lui Meng, Charlie

Monday, July 16, 2007

Realisation Part 10: The art of transforming anger

Picture speaks louder than words. Our life can be represented by a graph. I experienced the art of transforming anger with mindfulness today. Identify, embrace, understand and transform. Just some sharing of my ups and downs i went through today. Enjoy~


Saturday, July 14, 2007

IMU Charity Run-Carnival on the News!

Hey Check out The Star and Malaysian Today newspaper!!!!

Our IMU Charity Run Official Launch was featured in the THE STAR on 13/7/07 and the news appeared in MALAYSIAN TODAY in this weeks' issue (12-18 July 2007)~!!

Read the news on The Star online here!

To read the news on Malaysian Today, grab the newspaper from your
university/college today and read it! Be amazed by the full coloured news..hehe..

For those who have yet to know what it is about, it's a charity event organized wholly by IMU Pharmacy & Medical Students to raise RM50,000 and all the money raised will channeled to TWO Orphanages (Santa Jerome Home in PJ and Rumah Shalom in Puchong) and ONE Orang Asli Village in Kampung Serendah. It is to support the homes' rental and
utility fees for TWO YEARS and Health Programmes for the Orang Asli.

IMU Charity Run-Carnival 2007

8th Sept 2007, 7am - 4pm
Mark this date on your calender!!

IMU Bukit Jalil Campus

(Easily accessible by taking Star LRT and stop at Sri Petaling station. IMU is just opposite the station!! Get the travel directions here.
For those who are driving, get your maps here)

YOU and your FRIENDS!!!

Because you'll be having lotsa FUN while raising FUNDS for TWO orphanages and ONE Orang Asli Village. Every LITTLE contribution from each of us will make a BIG difference in those underprivileged children and the health care of the Orang Asli.

Visit our official website for more detailed info

The official Launch was held last Wednesday to officiate the event. A gigantic banner was rolled down and registration for the Run is now officially open for all. Come and run! It is a good excuse to give your body some exercise while chilling with your friends and receiving lotsa of things in return! *HUGE goodie bags waiting for U~!* Register today by downloading the forms here!

The coupon selling is hot on sale now!! It's only RM 10 and you get so much more in return. Get one book of coupons TODAY and bring a friend/group of friends with you!!

Varieties of food, games, prizes and performances are waiting for you!! Tantalize your taste buds & do your part for charity!!!

What could be more pleasing than doing your part for charity while filling up your stomach with lots of mouth-watering yummy bites?


Day starter:

  • American breakfast of various combinations in addition to delicious pastries, sandwiches & waffles
  • Scrumptious salads available for the health-conscious and vegetarians
  • Italian lovers: we have pasta & spaghetti topped with sauces of your choice.
  • Oriental foods: food we identify ourselves as Malaysian!
  • Nasi Lemak

A wide variety of food available: you name it, you get it.

Not to miss out on our delectable desserts designed to satisfy your appetite to the fullest. Among the selection includes brownies with ice-cream, cendol, ice-kacang, ice blended smoothies and many more.

So what are you waiting for??

HELPING the needy!!!!! Bring all your friends along!
Lets Light A Hope for the Little Ones~

We can do no great things; only small things with great love. Mother Teresa (1910 - 1997)

If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one. Mother Teresa (1910 - 1997)

Buzz me for more info and personal touch!!! This sincere invitation is extended to all my dear friends, old and new, visitors of living here and now and those who wish to do small things with great love. ;p

Jen :)

Sunday, July 01, 2007


Here is an interesting video from day-dreamer's blog about Ipoh. Since Jen came from Ipoh as well, I am going to help give tribute to it as well ;)

Go and have a look at this page and post your comments there ;)

For the benefit of those who are from ReCom, this is the girl version of day[dash or underscore]dreamer, not the one who have an anime girl as his avatar :p

Anyway, Kuching still rocks big time =)
I miss Kuching laksa :(


Saturday, June 30, 2007

First time dispensing

First time doing dispensing….extemporaneous dispensing (Extemporaneous dispensing is the compounding of ingredients to prepare a medicine for an individual patient)…It is for the first time I feel the feeling what pharmacist in the past used to do and it is kind of funny having the fact that I am already a second year, 4thsemester pharmacy student. Anyway, leave the syllabus aside. I actually find my first time experience a fun and a fresh one having able to touch and mix and stir drugs, mixing difference ingredients and formulate it into something that is actually to be taken by real human. It is something like baking a cake with a recipe in front of u if u wanna visualize, just that this is one the ingredients are of much smaller dimensions (I wonder if it is easier and familiar for those who are good at cooking and baking, since they are used to mixing and all..ahem..hehe)…

Back to the topic, imagine the patients are going to swallow what you have prepared; how accurate u weight and measure each and every compound of the ingredients, how clean and sterile the instruments we use and how skillful we are in mixing the formulations determine the quality and condition of the drug itself when they receive and popped the medicine into their mouth. Quite challenging in a sense, but fun and adventures despite the heavy responsibilities put upon our shoulders. I like the mixing and stirring, seeing the solutions immerse in each other giving shiny silver reflections* it’s as if the liquids are dancing gleefully in the solutions. It brings out the inner joy in me despite the fact that I had to rush during my lab session and the stirring process could be quite stressful to our triceps and biceps..:P

I made three solutions today; 200ml of Potassium Citrate Mixture for the treatment of mild urinary tract infection, 100ml of Ferrous Sulphate Oral Solution 50mg/5ml as supplement for the iron-deficient anaemia and 20ml of Sodium Bicarbonate Ear Drops to remove ear wax by softening it. Kinda proud of my first three drugs freshly prepared by me..hehe.. :p

Since I only did formulations for oral solution drugs this time around, will write my other experiences with other forms of formulations next time. :)

*the reflections came about when I added syrup into the double strength chloroform water :p

This week was an extremely busy and demanding week for me. Had meetings non-stop for the whole week and I just made the record of having meetings for 15 hours non-stop in one day alone (Tuesday 26/6). Currently still in a midst of chaos and stress trying to get things work and organized; having to juggle with my heavy lectures and studies as well. Luckily yesterday get to go out for makan gathering in Hoi Peng Seafood Restaurant in SS2 with my speaking course mates. Eating a good one can really reduce stress. Thanks guys! :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

After the Storm

Here are some of the pictures I took after the storm over the past few days. Enjoy ;) (Of course, the third picture don't count :P)


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Spring 2007: After the rain


That strip ruined the otherwise nice picture. By the time i realized it, it's already too dark *bummer*

Friday, June 22, 2007

Journey called Life (Smile)

Smile at the world, and it will smile back at you ;)

after reading this post, go and take this test to see if you can spot a faked smile... I got 17 out of 20. For most info, read this post from Chang Yang's blog

Journey called Life (Keeping in Touch)

When you are away from your friends, what do you to keep in touch with your friends? Calls? Postcards? Gifts?

Most of us have our very own internet connections and our own IM (Instant Messaging) clients that enabled us to chat in real time, enabling levels of communications that haven't been there even as recent as 5 years ago. The instantaneous transmission of information through the internet had taken down the barriers of distance, and with the rising popularity of video enabled chat, it seems as if the person is sitting right in front of us, talking the time away. Of course, the only thing that is missing is the same environment and touch :p

For me, to compliment the electronic form of communication, I do send a lot of cards for lots of occasions to my friends all over the world. Most of the time there will be lots of postcards that are sent out almost every month now to quite a lot of people to let them know that I still remember them. It's always nice to get emails telling me that they have received their cards and how much they like it. Occasionally, I do send out birthday cards to the people whose birthday still haven't escaped my memory. (Sorry Kim, always got your birthday wrong at 28th of June. Like i said, too many people having birthdays at the same stretch of time :p) There was one time when Jo Ling told me not to send her anymore post cards because I am making her feeling guilty (for not sending anything back). Well, for me, it's the intentions that really count. I am not hoping that you guys return my gestures, just want to let you guys know that I still do remember you :)

The second thing that I always like to do is to call people (Esther, I am still laughing at your "reaction" :P) out of no time. Hehe... Seems like taking people by surprise is still one of my very strong points after all. Then again, there seemed to be people who cannot be contacted by phone (like Kean Aun and his phone which is used to boil porridge, or Boon Phiaw who never answers his phone). For these people, I won't bother to kacau them with their stuffs... *grins*

That's all about my simple post this time. It's time for me to go oi oi liao. Good night everybody

*Let's create a world full of LOVE~
Just took out 3 of my wisdom teeth last Monday. The stitches are still there to help the gum heal faster, and I think I am pretty sick of eating liquid foods liao. On the other hand, I think I like the porridges that I have been cooking... hehe... Anyway, if there are enough demands, i think i will post the gory details of the operation later on :p

written this post after the stupid windows installation CD refused to boot properly, leaving me a bit out of way to reinstall my copy of windows..

Happy (belated) Fathers' Day

Ya, ya, i know it's kinda late and fathers' day was last Sunday, i was at a NoGAPS (National Gathering Of Pharmacy Students) camp that time and ya, life has been very busy lately.

Here's a speech i wrote for a public speaking competition I had in April this year. This speech is dedicated to my dearest dad and mum (especially dad coz it's fathers' day ma..hehe). I love you mum and dad. :)

I am contestant no 10, my name is Chai Hung Jen. The topic of my speech tonight is

Adversity or Opportunity

Brothers and sisters, imagine in the dark and narrow, long and winding roads with only one headlamp of an old bicycle shinning through 26-mile journey in the wee hours. How do you feel?

Every day, rain or shine, he never failed to pedal his way to quench his thirst for knowledge.

Years passed, he became the youngest headmaster of at times.

Adversity never exists in his vocabulary, but only opportunity. He is none other than my dearest father.

One day, my dad said this to me while I was a little child, “Jen, adversity is never and should never be an excuse to stop us from succeeding our life.” Those words kept ringing in my head since then.

I was taught to be independent since the tender age of 4.

I was taught to go to kindergarten by the school bus on my own.

I was taught to solve my own problems and make my own decisions since young.

My dad always made it a point to come home every weekend to shower us his unconditional love.

My dad is not a millionaire to provide us with endless cash, but he provides us with endless knowledge, endless care and endless love.

My dad intentionally gave me nothing because he believes that if a parent gives a child everything, this will kill a child’s hunger for success.

Only with a strong desire to succeed, one will work towards it no matter how tough the journey may be. With a strong will to succeed, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.

Like our famous inventor, Thomas Edison put it, “In the middle of difficulty lays opportunity.” As long as we are willing to take on the challenge, every moment can be seized as opportunity to succeed.

Helen Keller, blind and deaf at tender age, mastered Braille against all odds. She altered the world’s perceptions of the disabled. She remapped the boundaries of sight and sense.

Brothers and sisters, with my dad and Helen Keller as my mentors, I am inspired to achieve all that I am truly capable. Adversities can never be my excuses from developing my full potential. Life's battles don't always go to the stronger man, but a man who think he can."

Brothers and sisters, let us march towards our quest for success despite of adversities; let us never, never, never wallow in adversities; let us turn adversities into our stepping stones for greatness.

Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu.

p.s: Special thanks to my mentors Bro Stanley Cham and Bro Gavin for editing my speech. :)

Friday, June 08, 2007

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Realisation Part 9: Slowing down

*Life's the most beautiful of all out there, slow down and have a look around, there are much things not to be missed~

How many of us actually noticed these words at the end of this blog each time you read? No, i don't. Scrolling all the way down to the page is not my habit and if I do, it means I had not been reading the blog for ages. I hit the bottom of the page just now and I saw these words. These words are there all the time, but I never noticed them often.

Looking at these words reminds me about what I told Casper two weeks ago. I was telling him about how quality of life can be deteriorated with the increasing speed of life. About my life being so fast that I hardly have time to enjoy the cooling breeze caressing my face or the beautiful stars in the sky gazing at me at night or just sit down and watch the kids play. Life has passed by so swiftly and I hardly noticed the changes around me, the changes in others and changes in myself. Things that I once look into its details has left at its macro view and gross judgment. I really had missed so much.

After going through almost 4 months of tip top madness made me realized while I gain experience, knowledge and ideas through the madness, I lose something more important in life. I lost the sight of the beauty of mother nature. I lost the sight of the beauty of silence and solitude. I lost the sight of the beauty of thoughts, care and love. I spend lesser and lesser time with myself and more and more time on others and matters. The mind is always so preoccupied with endless thinking and ideas which often makes me more absent minded than ever.

In life, we always need to reflect upon ourselves for us to go further. Life has been too fast for me. It's time to slow down and reflect. A moment in life will only come once; once we lose it, it'll never come back. I can't afford to lose too many of those scarce moments. It's time for me to cherish them more. Have you been cherishing yours too? If not, now is the time. :)

p.s: The writer here has only been back home for 3 days out of her 38days of holidays. She just got back home again today. She will really spend the remaining 4days of holidays wisely before the madness begins again on Monday...

p.p.s: Although the theme of this blog is living in the present, the author can also sometimes go off track :p Am working on going back on track.

Monday, June 04, 2007


The price of freedom is responsibility, but it's a bargain, because freedom is priceless.

Hugh Downs

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Something Jen gave me some time ago... Shooting at maximum zoom, it requires quite an effort to hold my camera steady... :p

Journey called Life...(Gratitude)

I am grateful that I can get myself awake for another morning, another great day...
I am grateful that I can still open my eyes and see the wonderful, colourful world...
I am grateful that I can still hear the wonderful sounds of the world, whispering the greatness of life to me...
I am grateful that I can still touch and hold, people and things alike...
I am grateful that I can still walk all over the place, without needing to use aids...
I am grateful that I can still cycle on my bike, without worrying about the tires falling out...
I am grateful that I can still eat the wonderful foods to nourish myself to full health, without worrying about hunger...
I am grateful that I can thank the people who had worked so hard to provide the food that is now on my table...
I am grateful that I have the time to read and gain whatever knowledge that I can gain about this world...
I am grateful that I am living in a peaceful place, a place where I don't have to be worry about being robbed in daylight...
I am grateful that I can listen to the wonderful music that I am listening to now...
I am grateful that I can call my dear dear, and hear her voice as if she is right there beside me...
I am grateful that I can still remember my past, teaching and guiding me so that I don't repeat my past mistakes...
I am grateful that I have lots of teachers who are very willing to guide me back to the correct path should I stray from it...
I am grateful that I am living in this wonderful, beautiful world...
i am grateful that I am living in an age when distances meant less that in the past due to its wonderful technologies...
I am grateful that I have a mother that supports me no matter what happens, one I can play and joke with all the time...
I am grateful that I can call my dear dear, and hear her voice as if she is right there beside me...

So, are you grateful?

*Let's create a world full of LOVE~

Journey called Life...(Ancient Wisdom)

Ever since thousands of years ago, the great teachers had passed down many values that had held lots of societies together. Values like respect, love, freedom with responsibilities, hospitality, mindfulness and lots more had been the pillars of many civilizations throughout their golden years.
Ever since the last century, these values were eroded more and more by people who think that 'freedom' means being free to anything that they want to/desired. The aftermath of this is how our society looks like now. Violence is a welcomed way to treat those who are not liked (gang wars, wars between civilizations), and the youths are blatantly ignoring warning of their elders and engage into sex and drugs without caring about the consequences.

In many ways, the ancient wisdoms can survive until today since thousands of years ago isn't a coincidence. They can survive because they work. Many of the principles still do apply at this modern age. The rules of society taught by the Lau Zhi such as respect and humbleness are still very relevant today, so is being mindful of our actions and consequences (The Buddha) as well as loving each other as if you love yourself (Jesus Christ). The fact that we are now modern and different from what society is 100 years ago doesn't mean that these values will have to change as fast. We can do thing differently, as long as the intentions are still good...

So, from now on, be mindful of your actions. If the intentions behind it are good, by all means, proceed with it. If they are bad, consider discarding it. Keep the decline in standards in check, use your freedom responsibly.

*Let's create a world full of LOVE~

When You Divorce Me, Carry Me Out in Your Arms

On my wedding day, I carried my wife in my arms. The bridal car stopped in front of our one-room flat. My buddies insisted that I carry her out of the car in my arms. So I carried her into our home. She was then plump and shy.. I was a strong and happy bridegroom.

This was the scene ten years ago.

The following days were as simple as a cup of pure water: we had a kid; I went into business and tried to make more money. When the assets were steadily increasing, the affection between us seemed to ebb. She was a civil servant. Every morning we left home together and got home almost at the same time. Our kid was studying in a boarding school.

Our marriage life seemed to be enviably happy. But the calm life was more likely to be affected by unpredictable changes.

Dew came into my life.

It was a sunny day. I stood on a spacious balcony. Dew hugged me from behind. My heart once again was immersed in her stream of love. This was the apartment I bought for her.

Dew said, "you are the kind of man who best draws girls' eyeballs." Her words suddenly reminded me of my wife. When we were just married, my wife said, "Men like you, once successful, will be very attractive to girls."

Thinking of this, I became somewhat hesitant. I knew I had betrayed my wife.. But I couldn't help doing so.

I moved Dew's hands aside and said "you go to select some furniture, O.K.? I've got something to do in the company." Obviously she was unhappy, because I had promised to do it together with her. At the moment, the idea of divorce became clearer in my mind although it used to be something impossible to me.

However, I found it rather difficult to tell my wife about it. No matter how mildly I mentioned it to her, she would be deeply hurt.

Honestly, she was a good wife. Every evening she was busy preparing dinner. I was sitting in front of the TV. The dinner was ready soon. Then we watched TV together. Or, I was lounging before the computer, visualizing Dew's body. This was the means of my entertainment.

One day I said to her in a slightly joking way, suppose we divorce, what will you do? She stared at me for a few seconds without a word. Apparently she believed that divorce was something too far away from her. I couldn't imagine how she would react once she got to know I was serious.

When my wife went to my office, Dew had just stepped out. Almost all the staff looked at my wife with a sympathetic eye and tried to hide something while talking to her. She seemed to have got some hint. She gently smiled at my subordinates. But I read some hurt in her eyes.

Once again, Dew said to me, "He Ning, divorce her, O.K.? Then we live together."

I nodded. I knew I could not hesitate any more.

When my wife served the last dish, I held her hand. I've got something to tell you, I said. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes. Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the serious topic calmly.

She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why? I'm serious. I avoided her question. This so-called answer made her angry.. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, "you are not a man!"

That night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer, because my heart had gone to Dew.

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. I felt a pain in my heart. The woman who had been living ten years with me would become a stranger one day. But I could not take back what I had said.

Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer.

Late that night, I came back home after entertaining my clients. I saw her writing something at the table. I fall asleep fast. When I woke up, I found she was still there. I turned over and was asleep again.

She brought up her divorce conditions: she didn't want anything from me, but I was supposed to give her one month s time before divorce, and in the month's time we must live as normal a life as possible. Her reason was simple: our son would finish his summer vacation a month later and she didn't want him to see our marriage was broken.

She passed me the agreement she drafted, and then asked me, He Ning, "do you still remember how I entered our bridal room on the wedding day?" This question suddenly brought back all those wonderful memories to me. I nodded and said, I remember. "You carried me in your arms, she continued, so, I have a requirement, that is, you carry me out in your arms on the day when we divorce. From now to the end of this month, you must carry me out from the bedroom to the door every morning."

I accepted with a smile. I knew she missed those sweet days and wished to end her marriage romantically.

I told Dew about my wife s divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she does, she has to face the result of divorce, she said scornfully. Her words more or less made me feel uncomfortable.

My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. We even treated each other as a stranger. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mummy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly, Let us start from today, don't tell our son. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for a bus, I drove to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. We were so close that I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn't looked at this intimate woman carefully for a long time. I found she was not young any more. There were some fine wrinkles on her face.

On the third day, she whispered to me, "The outside garden is being demolished. Be careful when you pass there."

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I seemed to feel that we were still an intimate couple and I was holding my sweetheart in my arms. The visualization of Dew became vague.

On the fifth and sixth day, she kept reminding me something, such as, where she put the ironed shirts, I should be careful while cooking, etc. I nodded. The sense of intimacy was even stronger. I didn't tell Dew about this.

I felt it was easier to carry her. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger. I said to her, It seems not difficult to carry you now. She was picking her dresses. I was waiting to carry her out. She tried quite a few but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I smiled. But I suddenly realized that it was because she was thinner that I could carry her more easily, not because I was stronger. I knew she had buried all the bitterness in her heart. Again, I felt a sense of pain.. Subconsciously I reached out a hand to touch her head.

Our son came in at the moment. "Dad, it's time to carry mum out." He said. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had been an essential part of his life. She gestured our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face because I was afraid I would change my mind at the last minute. I held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly, as if we came back to our wedding day. But her much lighter weight made me sad.

On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. She said, "actually I hope you will hold me in your arms until we are old."

I held her tightly and said, "both you and I didn't notice that our life lacked intimacy."

I jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my decision. I walked upstairs. Dew opened the door. I said to her, "Sorry, Dew, I won't divorce. I'm serious."

She looked at me, astonished. The she touched my forehead.

"You got no fever.." She said.

I moved her hand off my head. "Sorry, Dew, I said, I can only say sorry to you, I won't divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value the details of life, not because we didn't love each other any more. Now I understand that since I carried her into the home, she gave birth to our child, I am supposed to hold her until I am old. So I have to say sorry to you."

Dew seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove to the office.

When I passed the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet for my wife which was her favorite. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, "I'll carry you out every morning until we are old."


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Peace and Non-Violence Education

It was the usual Monday morning round in the psychiatric ward
and the medical assistance was reporting incidences of violence involving patients in the ward. Managing violence has been part and parcel of my training in Psychiatry. The public tends to strongly associate mental patients with violence. However, my experience suggests to me that there is much more violence in the world, beyond the psychiatric ward. Criminological studies have actually supported my observation that rates of violent and criminal behavior are similar in the mentally ill and non-mentally ill people. So, I inevitably have to open up my mind to a bigger picture of violence, a disease of pandemic scale.

What is violence? Violence takes many forms and is understood differently in different countries and among different cultures. There is no universally accepted definition of violence but the following is a working definition accepted by World Health Organization (WHO), that encompasses a broad range of understanding:

*"Violence is the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation. "*

* *
There main categories of violence are identified from a public health point of view:

1. Self-inflicted violence: *This refers to intentional and harmful behavior directed at oneself e.g. self mutilation, attempted suicide or completed suicide.

2. Interpersonal violence: *This is violence among individuals e.g. violence against women, child abuse, bullying, sexual harassment and criminally-linked violence such as assault, rape and homicide.

3. Organized violence: *This is violent behavior of social or political groups motivated by specific political, economic or social objectives. War may be considered the most highly organized type of violence. Other examples include racial or religious conflicts.

Sad to say, there is not a single day these days whereby violence is not reported in the media. Since violence is now rampant, the United Nations have proclaimed the period 2001-2010 as the "International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World". As defined by the United Nations,

"Culture of Peace is a set of values, attitudes, modes of behavior and ways of life that reject violence and prevent conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation among individuals, groups and nations"*
* *

In response to calling for peace, the Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM) is organizing a "Say NO to Violence Campaign" from 5th-15th May, 2007 in conjunction with the Wesak Day celebration and "Hari & Minggu Belia 2007". Thank God, religious freedom is practiced in this country and this is a significant contribution to the peace that we have been enjoying all this while. It's great to hear that the government is making concerted effort to promote peace in our beloved country. This is a very wise move as peace is a crucial prerequisite for nation building. We should give our full support to this and future peace promoting activities.

*"Together, we must build and develop for the future a culture of peace based on non-violence, dialogue, and mutual respect and social justice. This is neither easy nor a quick task. Nevertheless, it is possible and at a time of rising waves of new forms of conflict and violence, it is absolutely necessary."*

-The Dalai Lama-
(Nobel Price for Peace winner, 1989)

What are the factors that contribute to violence? Factors that are thought to contribute to the development of violent behavior include:

- Drug and alcohol use
- Access to firearms and weapons
- Having witnessed or victimized by interpersonal violence
- Lack of parental affection and support
- Physical punishment and child abuse
- Family history of criminal behavior
- Poor communication skills
- Poverty, urbanization and overcrowding
- Rapid economic development with unemployment
- Unequal power relations between men and women or different ethnic groups

For peace and non-violence to prevail, the United Nations have suggested these strategies:

- Foster a culture of peace through education
- Promote sustainable economic and social development
- Promote respect for all human rights
- Ensure equality between women and men
- Foster democratic participation
- Advance understanding, tolerance and solidarity
- Support participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge
- Promote international peace and security

Violence prevention efforts that address factors at all levels will be the most successful. However, I hereby would like to highlight peace and non-violence education program at school level as this has several advantages. Firstly, it's easier to start educating people while they are young before the personality is fully developed. Secondly, it can reach out to many people as the program can be easily incorporated into the existing school curriculum. Thirdly, there have been a lot of scientific studies to support the efficacy of school-based peace and non-violence education program.

The school-based educational intervention should include knowledge and skills in these areas:

- Assertive and non-violent communication
- Anger and stress management
- Conflict resolution
- Problem solving & decision making
- Mediation intervention
- Making friends and socializing
- Dealing with peer pressure
- Crime prevention and law-related education
- Religious and ethnic education

Since we spend a big portion of our life communicating with people around us, let me share with you in more detail on assertive and non-violent communication. Assertive and non-violent communication is the ability to express your thoughts, feelings and needs clearly, honestly, directly and at the same time considering the needs and feelings of others. The principles are as follows:

1. Honestly and clearly express your thoughts or feelings in a non-hostile way e.g. "John, I'm very upset and worried when you didn't call up after you missed our appointment yesterday". It's important to be specific and direct in expressing ourselves.

2. Be firm but friendly in your tone of voice and non-verbal language e.g. look up, have direct eye contact, smile and use opened postures. Be courteous, don't be defensive and never quarrel or fight.

3. Allow the other person to express himself or herself. Acknowledge the person's feelings or conditions e.g. "I understand that you had something emergency and I'm sorry to hear that..............".

4. Make your request clear, precise and in a positive manner (ask the person to do something rather than stop doing something) e.g. "I would be grateful if you could give me a call the next time whenever you miss our appointment. Is that ok with you?" Be diplomatic and willing to negotiate on the request.

5. Thank and compliment the person for agreeing to you request. You can also tell the person how happy you are because of the successful negotiation e.g. "Thank you very much for been so understanding. It means a lot to me and I'm very happy about that".

For further information on how to effectively and creatively run school-based peace education program, you can refer to UNESCO's compilation of "Best Practices" from various countries all over the world (**). With this, I will end my little essay over here and may all of you be suffused with abundance of peace all the time.


1. WHO information series on school health – Violence Prevention: An important element of a health-promoting school.
2. UNESCO - Best Practices of conflict resolution in and out-of-school.

Dr. Phang Cheng Kar
20th April, 2007.