Sunday, September 04, 2005

Holly's Café

Well, if you stumble upon this blog, kindly be informed that I no longer blog anymore!!! If you look at the date of the previous post, you would have guessed as much.

I've moved to a new place - for quite a while oredi! But yeah, I guessed I procrastinated putting a link here to it.

My new place is called "Holly's Café". Check it out here.

Holly's Café
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Saturday, May 28, 2005

I told you so...

I hate to gloat but...

(When people start their sentence with "I hate to.... but...", it is usually not true that they hate to do watever it is there are saying!!!)

A couple of months ago, I criticised the Bar Council for their "legal gymnastics" in interpreting inter alia section 67 of the Legal Profession Act to convene an AGM. You can read it

Well, a senior member of the Bar took the matter to the High Court and the High Court has ruled indeed that their interpretation was wrong and that the AGM held and resolutions passed are null and void!

Read about it here.

What an embarrassment to the Bar Council - the lawyers of the land dun know how to correctly interpret the law!

Are we just as bad??? :-(

In my last post, I lambasted the Australian government for their treatment of Naomi Leong, an innocent child born and lived all her life (until a few days ago) in a detention camp.

I was dismayed to read that Malaysia could be just as bad!

The following is a write-up on behalf of the National Human Rights Association (HAKAM):-

URGENT ALERT: 42 child refugees in M'sian detention centres


The National Human Rights Association (HAKAM) is deeply concern on the issue of 42 child refugees in detention. Malaysiakini reports the matter on 27.5.2005 revealing that the said 42 chilrens were held together with their parents in 14 immigration detention centres here in Malaysia.

It was reported that of the 39 boys and three girls, the youngest is a Rohingyan child less than three-years-old. The majority of others are between the ages of 13 and 17, where 33 of them are Burmese Chins, three are Rohingyans and the rest are Acehnese and others.

The report also revealed that the childrens are living in dismal conditions of immigration detention centers that were overcrowded with poor hygiene and sanitation, poor food and health-care.

HAKAM is of the view that the said detention is in-humane and that a child should be fully prepared to live an individual life in society and brought up in the spirit of the ideals proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations.HAKAM strongly express that Children in immigration detention long periods of time are at high risk of serious mental harm. The act of detaining a child deprives welfare and growth and goes against international human rights principles.

The need to extend particular care to the child has been stated in the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1924 and in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child adopted by the General Assembly on 20 November 1959 and recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (in particular in articles 23 and 24), in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (in particular in article 10) and in the statutes and relevant instruments of specialized agencies and international organizations concerned with the welfare of children.

The said detention is also in contravention of the Child Convention that Malaysia is a signatory to. Article 37 states that:-

"No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time"

HAKAM is of the view that the said detention of the childrens to be arbitary recognising the provisions of the Immigration Act that allows an order for detention rather than clear trial and determination process. The matter is also seen to be in-humane considering the conditions of detention and indeterminate period of detention.

HAKAM urges for an immediate release of all children from detention.

Feel free to contact me if you want to do something about this.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

How dare you, Australian government!!!!

This is the front page report of a local daily today:-

Posted by Hello

You can read the entire article here

The cheek of the Australian government, having the nerve to ask Virginia Leong to pay half a million Aussie dollars!!! They should be paying Virginia and Naomi, Virginia's daughter, compensation and damages caused to an innocent young baby. In fact, the Australian government shud be hauled to the International Human Rights Court and be charged for such a blatant abuse of basic human rights.

I am talking of the treatment they meted out to a newborn baby in the detention centre! Long before the aforementioned local daily started sensationalising this story, the Independant (UK) oredi exposed the shameless Aussie govt and reported the following:-

Australia in dock over detention of girl, 3

By Kathy Marks
06 May 2005

Australia's treatment of asylum-seekers is under scrutiny again after revelations about a three-year-old girl who suffered serious mental health problems after spending her life in mandatory detention.

Professional advice that Naomi Leong, a Malaysian child, should be allowed out to visit a playgroup for two hours once a week has gone unheeded.

Of the 74 children held in immigration detention centres around the country, she has been incarcerated the longest.

Her case was uncovered by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), which reported that Naomi - once an alert and extroverted little girl - was now profoundly disturbed.

"She's in a very anxious and distressed state," Dr Michael Dudley, a child psychiatrist who visited her in Sydney's Villawood detention centre, told the ABC.

"She's banging her head against the wall, she's gazing into the distance at times, she's mute, unresponsive, listless."

Dr Dudley wrote to immigration authorities two months ago recommending that Naomi, who turned three yesterday, be allowed to visit the playgroup to mixwith children of her own age. But permission was not granted.

Naomi's mother, Virginia Leong, was two months' pregnant when she was arrested trying to leave Australia without correct papers. The girl was born at Villawood and has never experienced life outside those walls.

Dr Dudley said she suffers from severe separation anxiety. "She wants to lie in her mum's arms and be nursed all the time," he said. "She watches her mum like a hawk."

Refugee campaigners say she has bruises from banging her head against the wall.

The psychiatrist said Naomi needed to be in a place where she had a chance to develop normally. "She's been brought up in prison, in a highly abnormal environment with highly distressed people. It's not an environment conducive to child development."

Further, another psychiatrist Dr Louise Newman, was quoted in another local daily today to say that “She (Naomi)’s had considerable emotional distress and certainly has developed mental problems”.

You can read the full article

Surely the Aussie govt must be made answerable for these atrocities! But it seems that the Australian govt is gonna get off scott free!

And insted of slinking away quietly, they turn around and slap a half a million dollars bill on Virginia and Naomi!

My heart goes out to the sweet little girl who for the first time in her life - literally - experienced freedom! But at wat cost?

Naomi enjoying the day out wif mom. Let's pray for her that she may overcome the psychological problems and grow up healthy, physically, emotionally, spiritually.
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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A glimpse of heaven?

Last Sunday, I attended a bilingual service at Cameron Highlands. It turned out to be an unforgettable experience.

As we sang the last stanza of our first hymn, I had tears in me eyes – and I thought that I just had a glimpse of how it would in heaven!

No, no, no – there was no supernatural occurrence. It was just a normal thing – except that normal it was not! Am I not making sense?

Before the service commenced, I sat alone, enjoying the cool air and the quietness which was punctuated by the birds outside that had oredi started their own worship session long ago.

I loved the silence – you know, in places of high altitude where the air is thinner, the silence is more pronounced. It was like you could almost hear a pin drop. And so we sat there awaiting to meet and worship our creator.

The first hymn was called – Holy, Holy Holy! I jumped onto my feet and the silence was shattered by the tinkling of the piano keys by the brilliant pianist and then joined powerfully by voices lifted up to worship the Holy one!

It just blew me away. There we were, in God’s presence, surrounded by the wonderful nature around us, and everyone just lifting their hearts and voices to sing of his holiness, his mercy, his might!

And being a bilingual service, there were some of us who were singing the hymn in English while the majority of them sang in Mandarin! However, instead of sounding weird and out of place, the voices and the language just seem to blend together so well.

As I worshipped Him, a thought came to me – will heaven be like this? I imagined countless of people standing and raising their voices in praise of our God, all singing in their own languages but all united in heart to render the praise that is due to Him!

Truly, he is the holy one, the one who is "perfect in power, in love and in purity"!

It would be absolutely brilliant to join with all believers from all over the world who lived in all different time, and sing our hearts out to worship Him! And we get to do it for eternity! :-)

p/s – thinking back, I know that my glimpse of heaven was incorrect. When we all gather together in heaven, we’d be singing in one common language! But it’ll would be a wonderful worship session, wont it?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

2 sides to every story

It’s a cliché but still, it’s true nonetheless!

I went out for breakfast wif an ex-uni mate last Saturday and as we talked, I was surprised to find out that she used to be the colleague of this lawyer… errm… let’s call him “A”!

A passed away a couple of years ago. Other than his famous (or infamous) father, A was not really a well known lawyer. So the only reason people started talking (or perhaps more accurately, gossiping) about his death was not so much because of himself.

Word went round that he died due to some complications during a liposuction procedure! Yes, you read it right – liposuction! Imagine the field day the gossip-mongers had! Other than his well known dad, he was also known to be on the heavy side.

So images of this rich, spoilt, fat and vain lawyer were spread around fast.

I have to confess – with shame – that I received this piece of juicy news without much coercion – and even allowed meself to have those images run in me mind at that time.

So when I found out my ex-uni mate knew A personally, I had to ask whether were the rumours all true?

Her reply?

“Wow, even you know about it!”

So it was true after all!

“His family told us (A’s frens) not to tell anyone about it”.

But wait – there was more to it! No, it was not an operation which arose out of vanity. Yes, he had a weight problem. A dangerous problem. Doctors advised that he undergo liposuction.

Oh – not a vain-pot after all, I thought.

Then me mate continued – A was really a nice person. Very down to earth – despite having a prominent father. Despite having the right connections and being rich, he was a humble person. Me mate said that A was a true gentleman – there was once when she drove in to her office parking area to find that A was in front of her and that there was only one parking space left. A would then proceed to exit the area and park his car outside. A would say that it would not be rite to let a lady park outside and walk so far to get into the office.

I felt ashamed to have thought any less of such a wonderful human being. :-(

Monday, May 09, 2005

Shona and Hollie

If I had to pick the worst day of my life, it had to be 9th May 2002. Here's the transcript of an e-mail I sent out to me mates today, 3 years ago:-

hi ppl,

mun onn here. just take a moment of yr time for a personal request.

when i was in london years ago, i got to know these 3 wonderful sisters - shona, heather and hollie - in the good news club tt i was serving in. being the youngest 3 in a large family where their parents work even on weekends, i became their "guardian" every sunday, walking them to church and back (occasionally stopping at the nearby grocery store for some sweets and ice sticks - during summer).

some of u may have heard me talk bout them and even seen their photo.

i received some heart wrenching news tonite - just now. 3 of them were involved in a motor accident. hollie was taken away immediately. shona was put on life support which was shut off the day after. heather's however was given a longer lease of life and her condition is said to be serious but stable.

pls, pls, pls pray for heather. i am absolutely devastated with the news, but at least heather is still alive.

pray for her family too. her parents do not attend church.

pray for my london church - "new park hall" and my pastor, alistair, as well as the leader of the good news club, fred as they talk to the family. the funeral was held at new park hall. it must have been really difficult. shona is 19 and hollie is 16. shona is the most responsible and loving older sister, and hollie is just so full of life.

pray for those who are grieving. somehow, God will work thru this tragedy.

pls,pls pls - pray for heather before u turn off yr p.c. tonite.

i just feel so helpless but at least i know tt i can turn to God and u can all pray to our great God.

thanks for yr time.

take care. God bless.

p/s - i know this sounds cliche and u've probably received some e-mail before saying the same thing but take time to remember those close to u and tell them how much u love them and how much God loves them. dun put it off. life is short. i was suppose to see shona and hollie last sept but had to cancel my plans. i never got to see shona or hollie again since i left london in 1994. now i hope to see them again one sweet day....

Heather, Shona and Hollie - we were celebrating harvest in the autumn of 1994. This was the last time I saw Shona and Hollie alive. :-( Posted by Hello

Update - Heather survived and recovered fully. :-) I miss Shona and Hollie so much...

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Give your mom to John??

I remember one Mother’s Day years ago, I read this following passage to the youths:-

"Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home."
John 19v25-27 (New International Version)

I asked the youths wat can we learn from Jesus’ example in this passage. Some smart alec shouted from the back “Give our mom to John!”!!!!

Speaking of which, this smart-alec is coming back to Malaysia next Tuesday!

Anyways, obviously that was not the answer I wanted.

When I read that passage, it touched me how much Jesus loved his earthly mother. There he was, all whipped-up, in excruciating pain, hanging on the cross, feeling the life slowy ebbing away from him, bearing wif the pain of the nails, the thorns, the mockery of the people, the thirst, the horror of bearing the sins of the world on his shoulders.

Yet, yet, he remembered Mary. He must have felt how horrible it must have been for Mary to see her own flesh and blood, her son, die such a horrible way and not being able to do anything about it. Sure, Mary knew this day would come – but how can one prepare oneself for sumthing like this?

Jesus realised too that Mary will be all alone after this.

And instead of thinking of himself, instead of being too caught up with his task of saving the sins of the world, he took time to remember his mom, and made arrangements for her. He asked the disciple whom he loved the most, probably his closest fren on earth, to take care of Mary when he is gone.

This Mother’s Day, are we too caught up wif our own lives? Are we too caught up wif the things we have to do, be it small or big? Surely we can be like Jesus and take time to care for our mom, can’t we?

She fed us and cleaned us. She gave herself to us. Let us show how much we love our mom!
Posted by Hello

A typical Sunday at BGC*

*Bidor Gospel Centre - our "daughter church" in the small town of Bidor, about 1 1/2 hours drive up north from Kuala Lumpur.

We had the privillege of spending a typical Sunday at BGC last Sunday.

We went there in 4 cars. 2 Cars were there early the day before to go to Gua tempurung. To read bout their experiences, click
here. Posted by Hello

The hall all ready for the Breaking of Bread service
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The back of the hall.
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Hymm-books all ready
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After the Breaking of Bread service, there is breakfast served on the house. We had great nasi lemak last Sunday - sori, was too busy enjoying the nasi lemak that I did not take any pics of the fellowship over the breakfast. Some of us tried to mingle around with the BGC Christians while others just stuck among themselves. The former had a great time.

Thereafter, it was time for the Youth Meeting and the Sunday School which were held simultaneously.

The Youth meeting was held in the upper room. We had a good time wif them. A really nice bunch of well-behaved and fun kids.
Posted by Hello

Close-up - bilingual Bible used by one the (well-manicured) youths.
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Unfortunately, the long programme proved too much for for sum of us...
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Sunday School was held in the main hall Posted by Hello

Thereafter, tuition classes were held at various places all over in the building
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Main mode of trasportation for the kids - bicycle!
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Modified bicycle for mums! The little rattan chair fixed on the front of the seat is where the little child is placed.
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I actually met this pregnant mom who placed her small cute lil's girl on the small rattan chair and cycled back home in the hot afternoon sun. She expertly controlled teh bike wif one hand while holding an umbrella in the other, shielding the lil' girl from the sun! I was like "wow"! And Christians in town refuse to come to church if they do not have a car coming to pick them up!!!

So that's your typical Sunday at BGC. One of the workers there told me that they normally eat a lot during the breakfast cuz it's gonna be a long long day. After tuition, they oso have to either send the kids back or ensure they go back. By teh time they get home themselves, it'll be close to 4 pm at times!!!

Such is the commitment of the brothers and sisters there. And God hs truly rewarded their commitment - by giving them more work!!! The work there is growing and flourishing! the gospel is being preached to many and people are just walking into BGC!

The leaders there acknowledge that this is entirely God's doing and give all glory back to Him.

Let us continue to pray for them (and for the Christians who come down all the way from Camerons Highlands every weekend to help in the chinese work!). And support them in anyway we can.

My encounter with a road bully

Went to KLIA a couple of nites ago. On the way there, I encountered a road bully! Here’s wat happened:-

I was overtaking another car when suddenly, this big bike came at a speed well above the limit behind me. He started tail-gating me for a while. Then he started honking at me and nearly hit the back of me car. I moved over to the left lane. He sped past me and as he did so, he gestured to me.

Not long after, we came to the toll plaza. I got thru it faster than the bully since I had the “Touch n Go” card. As I went about my way, the same motorcyclist came at a speed well above the limit again from my left side and crossed over to my right side sounding his honk as he did so. Again, he gestured to me to move to me left (although for the record, this time I was not on the furthest right lane).

I can’t really describe him as he was in a helmet and jacket and boots. The only thing which told me who he is or wat he is were the words “POLIS” on the back of his jacket.

He was actually an outrider for some … big shot?

Well, I dun know who the big shot was but I know that he/she must either have the power to get the cops to render some assistance – or at least knows some ppl who has that kind of power. Of course the question of whether such power can be exercised in that situation is still open for debate.

Another thing I know bout that big shot is that he or she must have been late. REALLY late.

After all, it’s not like there was a bad traffic jam. The roads were clear. Still, they needed the cops to ensure they could legally break the law (wat a paradox!).

Look, I have no qualms about moving outta the way when I see/hear an ambulance or fire brigade come tearing down the road behind with sirens blazing. After all, lives could be dependant on these unappreciated heroes.

But from the days when I studied Constitution Law and learned of “The Rule of Law”, I get really disgusted when these big shots use rude policemen to clear the roads and jams for them so that they dun have to suffer like ordinary citizens and sit in the jam – or so that they dun have to take the trouble to leave for an appointment early.

“The Rule of Law” is actually the 4th principle of Malaysia’s “Rukun Negara” (literally translated as the “Country’s Commandments”). What the rule of law simply means is that the country is governed by the law. And everyone is subject to the law.

As Thomas Jefferson once said, all men are created equal. This was quoted by the fictional character, Atticus Finch in the excellent “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee in his closing submissions for the case where he was defending a negro.

Atticus went on to concede that this ideal – that all men are created equal – is not practiced in everyday life. However, there is only one place where all men is created equal, “…there is one institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is the court.

And if today, Malaysia is to be governed by the rule of law, should not everyone be considered equal? Sure there are exceptions like the case of the ambulance or the fire engine, but other than that, should there be anymore exceptions? Perhaps, but IMHO, big shots who are late for personal functions or appointments do not fall into that category.

Even if we do make the exception for them, surely we can get our police force to be more courteous and polite instead of acting like a road bully, can’t we?

Sigh… I quoted this in one of me earlier posts and I’m gonna do it again – “All men are created equal, but some are created more equal than others”!

Well, that’s true here in this country anyways… :-(