Here In My Home - Malaysian Artistes For Unity

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Now For Some Good News

It is obvious that everyone seems to be concentrating on the negatives that are afflicting the country that good news of the country's achievements are overlooked or even goes not acknowledged. Well as featured in Newsweek's July 7, 2008 edition, I am proud to put forward Malaysia's achievement in being in the top 50 best countries in the Environmental Protection Index (EPI), earning herself a green mark in the EPI map. This preeminent ranking of countries' dedication to environmental protection even puts us in the pole position ahead of our regional neighbours, none within the top 50 with Thailand the nearest at position 53. In fact our position at 27 puts us in front of some countries that may surprise with their well known green imagery like Ireland, Brazil, USA, Taiwan and what especially surprises me Australia at 46.
In fact Malaysia earns a special mention that I quote :
Among the best industrial countries were Malaysia, the United Kingdom and all of Eastern Europe (a legacy of the Soviet nuclear program). Among the worst offenders were Japan, South Korea, Brazil, the United States, Italy and Paraguay.
At least we do not have a negative article totally dedicated to our country like our neighbour did. Thus despite what misconception some people may hold against us, we are actually doing alright in protecting our natural environment. This makes me wonder what other good news we are missing in all this fountain of negativity that our people are drinking off. This last comment from the article to me holds true for 'well intentioned decisions for the environment' as it is for the state of our nation. Let not such good intentions destroy the fabric of our society and ultimately our beloved country.
Experiences like the recent biofuels surge, which is driving up food prices, show how treacherous even well-intentioned decisions about the environment can be when they're uninformed. The same holds for consumers, who sometimes think paying somebody to plant a few trees will compensate for flying around the world in airplanes. For such decisions, data are essential. If we're going to avoid squandering our natural resources, the quicker we begin to rely more on facts and less on assumptions, the better.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Hmmm What Do You Know!

Hmmm in the pursuit of an organic lifestyle, knowing what you practise is essential for overall wellbeing eh as this article illustrates?

July 21, 2008 18:49 PM

Eating Too Much 'Ulam' Bad For The Heart?

Oleh Zulkiple IbrahimKUALA LUMPUR, July 21 (Bernama) -- Former teacher Abdollah Amat was wheeled into the Trauma and Emergency Unit of a public medical centre here in the wee hours of the morning a fortnight ago, after complaining of numbness in his hands and feet.The 62-year-old city dweller also had tingling sensation in his skin along with fatigue and apart from nausea and chest discomfort.An ensuing blood test revealed that Abdollahs blood potassium level read at 7.2 mmol/l. The permissible level for a person is 3.5-5.5 mmol/l."The doctors who attended to me said I could have suffered a heart seizure anytime", Abdollah, who is also a kidney failure patient, told this writer at the medical centre recently.At that particular time, Abdollah was diagnosed as having hyperkalemia, a condition where the blood potassium level surpasses the maximum tolerable point."The doctors had advised me to watch over my diet, especially on consuming less ulam, that is my favourite food", Abdollah said.


According to Kan Chok On, a senior medical science officer at the University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), potassium is a mineral found naturally in food.It plays a crucial role in normal muscle and nerve activity, particularly the heart."Potassium is a mineral necessary for normal muscle and heart function. However for some people, high levels of potassium is dangerous," he said.Kan who works at the centres nephrology unit said: "The kidneys remove excess potassium. People with kidney failure have reduced ability to remove excess potassium, causing accumulation of potassium in the blood."It is dangerous when the blood potassium level becomes too high, especially for kidney failure patients".Kan said excessive potassium is flushed out from the body system via the kidneys."Any damage to the kidneys, or when these organs are not working properly, may cause an increase in the potassium level leading to hyperkalemia", said Kan who has more than two decades of experience dealing with haemodialysis patients.


According to Kan, an individual may not have any symptoms, unless the persons blood potassium level is significantly elevated."Among the symptoms are muscle weakness, chest pain or heart palpitations", he said.As for the ulam, they are vegetables, fruits or herbs eaten raw as an accompaniment to rice.It also refers to viands, that are articles or dishes of food, like a side dish of vegetables", said Kan, adding that the Malays, in particular like to eat ulam."Ulam like petai, and the various green pucuk like pucuk paku, pucuk ubi, daun selom, ulam raja and other green leafy vegetables contain high levels of potassium."So are fruits like banana, oranges, kiwi, papaya, durian, and honeydew as well as coconut and prune juices. You have to exercise caution and limit your consumption of vegetables like bayam (spinach), kangkung (water spinach) and sawi (Chinese mustard)", said Kan.


A nutritionist with a private hospital here, S. Y. Fong said, if a person still prefers to eat the green and leafy vegetables, then these vegetables should be soaked in water for some two hours in order to leach the potassium out, before the greens are cooked."You can eat the cooked vegetables but leave out the kuah (gravy) as it may still contain the potassium".Fong advises kidney failure patients to eat white vegetables like bean sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, eggplant, cucumber, long beans, lettuce and onions."Also leave out the ice-cream, canned drinks, yogurt, milk, chocolate and salt substitutes as they have high potassium contents, she said.


According to Fong, if despite the dietary measures, the blood potassium levels still remain high,, then the individual would have to prescribed special resins."A special resin, sodium polystyrene sulphonate, or Kayexalate can be consumed. This goes to the intestines where it absorbs the excessive potassium, forming a complex comprising potassium and resin which is eliminated in the faeces", she said.Usually the resin dosage is 15 gms and taken one to four times daily. With this resin treatment, it generally takes 24 hours for the hyperkalemia to clear up, added Fong.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Good For You Datuk!

At least we still have MPs who still gets the idea of what being an MP is all about. I wish there are more who will start thinking like him and just get on the job of carrying your duties, my dear YB's.

Thursday July 17, 2008
Tajuddin strikes conciliatory tone

OUTSPOKEN MP Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN – Pasir Salak) struck a conciliatory tone when he called on all MPs to work towards improving the lives of all Malaysians.

“From what we’ve heard, it sounds like it is only the Opposition who cares for the people.“But the truth is, we all represent the people. That’s why I feel sad when Azmin Ali (PKR – Gombak) said the people would take action (over the Anwar issue). What is this?” he said, referring to the MPs' uproar over the sodomy allegations against PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

"A lot of time has been wasted. Let’s ask for forgiveness from each other and help the people"- DATUK TAJUDDIN ABDUL RAHMAN

Tajuddin said the issue was personal in nature and no one knew if the allegations were true. “Furthermore, the allegation that Umno is part of the conspiracy to fix Anwar is not true. Why do they accuse us? This is not right.”

When Tian Chua (PKR – Batu) pointed out that it was because Umno and the Barisan Nasional were the ruling government, Tajuddin said that was the perception of the Opposition. “They have been painting a bad picture of us for months and have taken advantage of it.” When several Opposition MPs tried to stand up, Tajuddin said: “C’mon man, stop it, enough is enough. A lot of time has been wasted. Let’s ask for forgiveness from each other, hold out our hands and help the people.”

Tajuddin said something had to be wrong with all the MPs if they treated each other like the best of friends outside the Dewan but like mortal enemies when inside the House.

Let The Debates Begin

Well the government has said that they are now awaiting the public's decision on whether to have more public debates with the opposition on issues affecting the people. Well this member of the public says let it continue, as at least the facts according to each party at least can be presented to a larger segment of the public. Let them decide on the facts and judge which party is correct, and forget about those fanatics who when whatever facts is laid out will still follow the party line. Even though the first debate was still marred by pot shots at each other by the debaters even though the rules of the debate said otherwise, well put this down to teething problems as this is still a novelty, at least to the current generation of the public. As long the public did get into a similar act, this shows that the public can now manage such discourse. This is pure evidence that "The debate showed that both sides of the political divide could come together and discuss matters in an open, civil and rational manner." As this article aptly states, it will be the public that ultimately wins.

Thursday July 17, 2008

The people won fuel debate
The debate showed that both sides of the political divide could come together and discuss matters in an open, civil and rational manner.

AMID the squalor and unsavouriness of recent political events and Anwar Ibrahim’s sudden arrest, the televised debate on the price of fuel by the PKR adviser and the Information Minister Shabery Cheek stood out as a beacon of where we should be heading as a nation.

As I watched the two men, (ably moderated by Datuk Johan Jaffar) debate, I felt an immense surge of pride for my country: finally, I thought we are beginning to reach a level of maturity where we can discuss and argue through issues of the day.

For too long we’ve been told that we cannot manage the discourse; that Malaysians will flare up, be overly emotional and riot. Apparently, we are a little better than small children whilst our political class is of course, beyond reproach – believe that and you’ll believe anything. Indeed, we want more openness – in our politics, our media and our government.

And for those in Umno who shirk the engagement with their political counterparts – shame on you. Shabery has shown rare courage and intelligence under fire. That he – a junior minister – was left to tackle Anwar (an acknowledged political giant) alone, reflects the enduring spirit of Umno’s younger leaders and a great deal – mostly negative – about the party’s grandees for whom public-speaking is a one-way process: we, the people listen as they lecture us.

The debate showed that both sides of the political divide could come together and discuss in an open, civil and rational manner. Frankly, this fact far outweighs whatever arguments the two men put forward on the oil price hike.

I would like to think that Malaysia has reached another milestone. The clock cannot and should not be turned back on media freedoms – the next target must be the invidious Printing and Publications Act.

Despite, or perhaps because of recent rumblings that ordinary Malaysians were “sick of politics”, both Anwar and Shabery chose to focus on the issue at hand and keep rhetoric to a minimum. The Information Minister acquitted himself very well, and one dares say surprised many Malaysians who had grown used to Cabinet members embarrassing themselves on the public stage. Shabery was well prepared and blessedly free of the elitist cadences that make listening to Malaysian grandees so dreary. Shabery has definitely raised the bar for his Cabinet colleagues.

We will now expect to see Prime Minister and his deputy, not to mention the rest of the Cabinet in similar encounters. The pressure of accountability and openness will be intense and continuous. It will not let up. But remember if you treat us – the media – with contempt you are essentially broadcasting your contempt and disdain for the people who read our papers, internet sites and watch our TV news broadcasts.

However, if our leaders refuse to brave the gauntlet of public opinion the people’s scepticism and distrust will only increase. Of course the debate wasn’t without its nasty undercurrents as both men traded barbed comments about one another. But this is politics and underhanded behaviour is to be expected. Still, the debate was extremely civil in the main.

Anwar was at all times cool, calm and collected despite his looming legal troubles, and chose to focus on hard facts – or at least his version of the facts. The PKR advisor’s courage, however, in facing the public despite the allegations against him must be saluted. Should the latest sex scandal prove to be the ultimate undoing of Anwar and his Pakatan Rakyat coalition, the debate takes on an added aura – bathos even – for it may well be the swan-song of perhaps one of the most charismatic (and yet divisive) politicians ever to have graced the Malaysian stage.

It is unproductive for us to speculate on which man was the “winner” of the debate. The very fact that such a debate could happen, I repeat, renders such technicalities moot. But then again, perhaps the debate will go down in history as a fitting denouement for the end of our fractious politics and the birth of a new brand of public service.

The ultimate winner of the night may well be Malaysia and her people.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Eating The Bullet.

I wonder if the recent fuel price hike is really affecting our people as many politikuses are making it out to be. Well as I have heard many times when sitting down for a meal, many people are talking about how after a period of adjustment immediately subsequent the announcement when there was a marked decrease in traffic jams in Kuala Lumpur when people forsook their private vehicles for motorbikes or public transport, they have now gone back to driving on their own. How else can you explain the return of the traffic jams, which I personally feel are worse than before, and the number of large vehicles are still as many as I have seen before.

And many people's disposable income may not have decreased by that much, looking at two foreign events that are coming to our shores. The first is the international football event by a British Premier League team that is scheduled to challenge our National team in Shah Alam stadium at the end of the month. They must be very confident of attracting many of our citizens to watch the event as it is being held in an eighty thousand plus capacity stadium, and even if they fill only half the stadium they would have earned a cool 1.3 million ringgit even by multiplying the lowest ticket price of thirty-ringgit. And here we have people complaining that the local league ticket prices has increased but still cost less than the cheapest tickets for this event. Sheesh!

Well I have no intention of going to this football match as I am no fan but I worry that the kids would want to see The High School Musical-Disney on Ice scheduled for next month. I have already warned them that one Disney On Ice show a year is enough so do not expect to see this event this time. I can't afford another expensive outing so soon after the last one in April. The funny thing is that I would have thought that after being burnt the last time The Disney On Ice was here with show and venue cancellations due to lukewarm response, this show would have given Malaysia a pass this time especially with the so-called crisis reports coming out from our media. But if you look at the ticket seller's calendar of events, you would realise that Malaysia is actually quite a destination for various types entertainment shows with ticket prices that is nothing to sneeze at. Disney may have been encouraged by the response to the recent Disney's Beauty and The Beast Broadway Musical, though I have no idea whether this staging was a success or otherwise.

Well let's see how we Malaysians fare in the next few months. Are we really able to absorb the price increase or otherwise, proving that we are really in general a resilient lot as as we have done both in 1988 and 1997, or this time things are different and we will all sail down the tube. I personally feel from all the indications that we will sail through and weather this storm, so just be patient until the speculative current bubble bursts and at that time we would realise that we have actually bitten the bullet and taken the bitter pill that we needed to come out of this crisis a better and stronger people.

Monday, 7 July 2008

One Statutory Declaration I Wholeheartedly Support

Continuing my practise of posting interesting articles, and this I wish we Malaysians would support wholeheartedly...

Let good sense prevail


I, R. NADESWARAN, a citizen of legal age and resident in Petaling Jaya in the state of Selangor, do solemnly and sincerely affirm and state as follows on behalf of the majority of right-thinking Malaysian citizens:

1. I verily believe that the statements below are the thoughts and expectations of the majority of right-thinking Malaysians who are sick, tired and demoralised by the turn of events over the past three weeks.

2. We also believe that the voices of the people have been heard through the ballot box and that the views of the people have to be respected, irrespective of whom they have chosen as their representative(s) or choice of government. In this context, politicians and political parties must exercise care and restraint in their bid to promote their political leanings.

3. We believe in the political maturity of our politicians who have gone through a tried and accepted system which allows for dissent without resorting to libel, slander and defamation.

4. We are sick and tired of the current issues where politics has degenerated into the gutter and the country’s resources as far as law enforcement agencies are concerned, are being used for such purposes instead of to ensure the safety and security of citizens.

5. We vehemently protest the use of cyberspace by anonymous persons, some hiding under pen names and pseudonyms, who are posting racist remarks which are viewed as attempts to encourage hatred among the various races in the country.

6. We also take umbrage at cyberspace being used anonymously to slander and defame innocent parties who are apolitical, with their private lives an open book for all and sundry.

7. The majority of the people of Malaysia want to continue living in peace and harmony in the climate which has prevailed over the past 50 years and we believe that any attempt to hijack the current environment must be thwarted by all means.

8. We believe politicians should use the avenues available to them instead of making public accusations and charges which have yet to be substantiated.

9. Right-thinking Malaysians agree with Rev Wong Kim Kong who says that leaders accusing each other of immoral conduct do not boost public confidence.

10. We want the government and its machinery to attend to immediate concerns of the ordinary rakyat like the increase in food prices and an efficient public transport system instead of being embroiled in accusations and counter-accusations involving politicians.

11. We believe that several thousand man-hours have been wasted on fruitless activities, which if devoted to the well-being of the country and its citizens, would have been better utilised.

12. We believe that the political bickering has stooped to such low levels that attempts must be made to ensure these do not lead to untoward incidents.

13. We believe in the rule of law and that the law must take its course if there has been any offence committed by anyone, irrespective of status and position.

14. For a sign of how public anger at the current situation is boiling over, look no further than the blogsites of ethical bloggers who write with disdain, pulling no punches. The postings from readers to their comments are indications of the people’s feelings.

15. We believe that politicians on both sides of the divide should draw strength from the many weaknesses of leaderships of other nations, not just their mistakes in policies, but their failure to rejuvenate their own political systems, or to deal with a system that had lost touch with the needs of the rakyat.

16. We believe finger-pointing, police reports, press conferences, statements and releases are not the answers to finding solutions to the ills that afflict our society. We believe that an all-party conference must be held to sort out the problems before they become full-blown.

The intention of this declaration is to make a clarion call to the prin-cipal actors in this whole shameful episode.

The message we want to get across is: Enough is enough.

Let us get on with our lives without distractions of medical reports, police investigations and other ingredients which are used to spice up conspiracy theories.

Subscribed and affirmed by the said R. NADESWARAN.

R. Nadeswaran is Deputy Editor (special reporting and investigations) at theSun. He can be contacted at

I believe many subscribe to the same feelings nowadays and wish this clarion call be heard.

When Rezeki Come A Rolling

Sometimes fate throws you a curve ball and you find hidden gems when you are not looking. Below are two instances when this happened to me.
Case 1.
I was feeling a little peckish this morning so decided to go for an early lunch. Since I was too lazy to walk far, I decided that I will eat at the fourth floor food court at Suria KLCC. Since it was still early, this gave me the opportunity to shop around for what to eat. As you may know, I am a fan of prawn noodles and the prawn noodles at the stall that I had blogged about previously was something in my wish list. But lo and behold, I noticed that the stall beside this stall also had prawn noodles although they did not call it as such but the photo on the board told me it was so. The thing was they offered three versions of the noodles, with no topping, chicken topping and finally prawn topping for the seafood version. The last version cost the most, and I noticed the price had recently increased by a ringgit to nine ringgit eighty cents now.

But let's take a look at the noodles shall we. What you get at that price is two medium sized prawns, plenty of sliced soaked cuttlefish or sotong rendam, bits of squids and fish slice topping a mix of egg noodle and rice vermicelli or meehon soaked in Chinese style prawn noodle gravy. Very good value for this dish that cost only one third more than its competitors in the same food court that has much less contents. The best thing was they had the best prawn mee sambal amongst all the stalls, very authentic. About the prawns which is the premier ingredient for this dish, although it is not as fresh as from a seaside joint, it still retains its sweetness. Thus to sum it up that although I had despaired of ever having a chance of partaking of halal Chinese style prawn noodle locally, I am grateful of having this opportunity of savouring this stall's prawn noodle in such a place so close to my workplace. The funny thing was that I had passed by The Kopitiam so many times but since I thought they would only offer general kopitiam items like roti bakar or half boiled eggs, I usually gave them a pass when I go to the food court but surely I will not make the same mistake now.
Case 2

It is coincidental that when I blogged about the prawn noodles in KLCC previously, I also mentioned about the Indonesian rissoles that I found being sold by a stall there, although this is being sold at a premium price befitting its location. Although it was my wife who discovered this stall, I still consider it as a discovery as it is actually a cendol selling mobile van that has padded its menu with nasi lemak and Malay kuehs in addition to the standard rojak fare. Quite a rare find but rarer still to find an Indonesian delicacy like the rissoles being sold amongst the local fare, and looking at the big container it comes in it seems that this is a popular menu item. The stall is located at the Bandar Tun Hussein Onn Commercial Centre in Kajang, in front of the McDonald's drive through restaurant there, an area where that is fast becoming a foodie heaven.

Being sold at three pieces for a ringgit albeit at a smaller size than a normal rissole, this is a very reasonable price for a stomach-filling item as I ate 6 pieces as lunch and my stomach was quite satiated. The first time my wife bought this, the filling was very peppery and quite upset my palate as my mind could not accept such a peppery ragout as a filling. Nonetheless this time the ragout has reverted to the original taste, hopefully due to the customer feedback received. Even though the size is smaller than a regular rissole, the filling is not as stingy so it is still a substantial bite. The nicest thing about it is the pastry, as it is quite chewy and tasty without being oily that adds to the pleasure when you bite into it. Now I know where to find this Indonesia delicacy without breaking the bank.