Dave's Delight

Location: Subang Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

A real kampong boy who loves doing the kind of things that people these days have forgotten. A guy who loves to be at home with his family and loves to be loved by his family.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Where have I been?

I am totally confused with this blogspot.com. Everytime I try to get in I am blocked and it is getting on my nerves. So much so that I have not written for some time now and I fear if I let it go I may not ever write again.
So today I am just going to tell all of you about my utter frustration in getting into this site.
Can anyone tell me why this is happening?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Roaring Seventies

Born in the late forties, I was just the right age to welcome the Roaring Seventies. I had just started my first job in a local company based in Jalan Ampang in 1971. I was just 21 then and had began to earn some money at last. But now I had a permanenet job and was being recognised for my artistic and creative talents. I was posted in the PR department and did a little copywriting and designing of point of sale posters. In those days production was a bit old fashioned and stuff you had to print was made into a block and then printed. Soon they changed into films and into offset printing. But I learnt a lot from the advertising agency that I was dealing with.
The place I worked in was a motley assemblage of different characters.
This office was also the place where I first began to date girls. Throughout my schooldays I had always been uncomfortable with women and tried to avoid them. But now I had plucked up courage because of the guys I was mixing with. So the office annual dinner was the first time I began to dance with girls. By then I had also begun dating a special girl. But two years later she dumped me for a friend of mine. I remember how heartbroken I was. But God had other plans for me.
More office parties and soon I forgot about my first girl. Then came my biggest break. I was offered a position in a new subsidiary of my company as a manager. It was 1994. The money was also good and it came with bonuses. It was time to party. So I put my akward past infatuations behind me and decided to live a litte for the years in the wilderness. At the same time I was placed as the Public Relations Manager of a hotel in Petaling Jaya.

Things began to look up a little. I was sent abroad to see how Italian and Chinese restaurants were run. I got a new Mini 1275 GT and besides that a second car, a Alfa Romeo coupe.
Then began days that lasted well into the morning with a lot of boozing and crazy stuff. We used to drink well into the mornings and get up the next day for work with mighty hangovers. We used to party every night. It was also the time when a lot of house parties used to be organised. Every one's in a while a friend would throw a party when his or her parents were not in. Some of us would bring the liquor, some would organise the girls, some the lighting and the decor and some the music to play.No worries about 'snoop squads' or cops. Our bodies were young, it could take the punishment. I used to meet a lot of people, nice and some not so. When you are doing well, you have a lot of friends.
After I got married, things started to change. Kids came and along with them came responsibilty. I bought a house and changed jobs. Its been good so far. The kids have grown up and I have gone a bit wiser. My wife and I still like a night out and the pub to listen to music and just relax. There is this quaint little pub in PJ that we hang out in. The place brings good memories back to me. Most of the bands that play there have one or two guys who used to play at the Disco in my hotel back in the seventies. Some have grown fatter,some are balding like me. But we remember the good times and we still love the Roaring Seventies.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Bloggers against mainstream media

I started blogging last year and I love writing on many issues. My favourite, really, is about my younger days when I lived in a kampong, Kampong Pandan. I love reminiscing on the past especially the kind of stuff you don't see or hear nowadays. Things like playing' police and thief', marbles, tops, koundi kounda, rubber bands, kotta (cigarette packets) and kites. Kids these days don't even know what a top is. So sad.
But what I am really sad about is the current situation in this country where a couple of bloggers have been taken to court over what they have written in their blogs. These two guys have been forthcoming with news that the mainstream media are reluctant to print. By their reluctance they have unwittingly given rise to blogs that give alternative news. You see, in this country the main papers are controlled by the ruling political party so they have to be careful about the stories they carry. But that is not the case with bloggers. They do not have to worry about editors and the ones who are paying their salaries. Bloggers are free to write, albeit with responsibility. What bloggers write are actually opinions and thoughts -they could be wrong or right. People are free to leave comments if they so wish.
These two bloggers are being sued for defamation. Now I am no legal counsellor but I believe that the onus is on the plaintiff to prove that there is malice in the reports and it was done intentionally to make the aggrieved person loose face (reputation) in society. The case is before the courts in Malaysia and this will become a landmark case.
The problem is that many people have now begun to read the blogs of malaysian bloggers. Blogs are in fact really coming up with scoops and it is with relish that the ordinary folk lap it up. We have a large percentage of urbanites who have computers and who surf the net. The interesting thing is that, like always in this country, whatever is reported in the alternative media somehow turns out to be true.
A point in case is the recent blogs by Raja Petra Kamaruddin or RPK, Jeff Ooi and Rocky's Bru. These guys have reported about a number of things and all turned out to be true to the embarrassment of the PM and his government. The recent purchase of an Airbus plane which is being refurbished in Switzerland at great expense came to light through the website of certain bloggers. Photos of the plane and the costs were published. A few days after the blogs were out about this issue, the PM returns from the Davos summit and makes a statement that the government is only leasing the plane from another company (PMB) which purchased the plane. The funny thing is that company is the investment arm of the government. So it other words the plane was actually bought by the government! And who, therefore, is leasing from who? It does not take an Einstein to work this out.
I for one will continue to read blogs and write my own. My support goes out to the bloggers who are being persecuted. I hope that justice will prevail although I feel that the clout of the government will ultimately influence the outcome.
I feel sad about the state of affairs in this country. We were promised by the incumbent PM of this country that he will be transparent and accountable to the people. We gave him a huge mandate and elected him in.
Will we do it again in 2009 ?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A really good muslim

I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with this person, Rabiatu Abu Bakar, for over 3 years. I first met her when she came to work with me as an intern when she was completing her degree in Public Relations. My first impression of her, with her head scarf and serious disposition was that I had to be careful and sensitive when dealing with her or else I might offend her and her religion since she was a foreigner. She looked pretty conservative.
But over the years, she has not only become to me a colleague but also a kind, gentle and most of all a conscientious friend. 'Rabs', as I would call graduated with a degree in Journalism and was offered a post in the establishment I work for. She writes well and that is a premium in this country where the usage of English has literally gone to the dogs. So she was duly hired to assist me in my work. Although not paid what she was worth she continued to produce and write a vast array of articles for the media. She never complained one bit about her pay and managed to live with the meagre salary all by herself. Through her writings she also became a book reviewer and received a number of by lines in the local press.
Not once have I heard her complain about any one in the office. I would rant, rave and use foul language but she would just smile at me and tell me to take it easy or that the person did that because of a good reason. She would be the pacifier. She would slip out quietly during the day to fulfill her daily prayers.Never one to take sides she was always trying to make things go well with her colleagues.
At times I would tease her about this and that but she would just smile and retort with a nice saying that would make us both laugh. She brought my blood pressure down for sure.
Although many people did not realise it she was the daughter of an ambassador. She carries herself in a dignified manner and has this wonderful disposition that I really admire. I wish sometimes that I could be like her.
She would be leaving this country soon and I for one would really be missing her.She is a true blue muslim.
Good luck my friend and Salam.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Only in this country lah!

The other day I was reading one of the main English dailies in the country and stumbled upon something that we in Malaysia can be very proud off. We have the the most amount of awards before a name. It goes like this ' Tun Tan Sri Dato Dr Professor Ling K T. "
Boy! The man surely is somebody. Just look at the awards he has got. His family must be mighty proud of him. The only problem is that this guy is somebody I know and to my knowledge he has got only his Senior Cambridge. The rest of this came through rubbing shoulders with the right people. But to his credit he also is quite talented.
But one thing I am sure is that he is not an academician and cannot profess to be a Phd or Professor emeritus!!
But what the heck!! We are known globally as ' Malaysia Boleh'!!
Anything goes here in this wonderland.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Calgary, Canada - Rocky Mountain High

Welcome to Calgary. The land where your butt literally freezes over. This is the story of my trip to Calgary, Canada with my wife, Malina.
It all started sometime at the turn of the century when my wife began to speak to me about her mum in Calgary and how she was getting old and whether she would ever get the chance to see her. Meanwhile, she was also talking to our daughter, Mel, about perhaps visiting her grandma after the final exams of her degree programme. Being the adventourous girl that Mel was, she hopped to the opportunity. So it was that in 2002 when I got a little of my savings from the EPF, I booked her a ticket to Calgary to visit her grandma, aunties and uncle who are permanent residents there. She left in 2003 September and stayed in Calgary for sometime (about 3 months) before returning via Vancouver where she stayed with her cousin Pam for a couple of weeks. Well, to cut to the chase, Mel loved Calgary every bit and has plans to return one day.
So we began to plan our trip to Canada. Meanwhile, my wife had also received news that her mum was now to undergo a heart bypass at the age of 81. The doctors had said that if she did not, she would not survive, so the desicion was made to go ahead with the operation. The survival rate was less than 50% but she made it. We now had to go and see her. Again the EPF can in handy, my wife received a reasonable sum and she said that we should use it to see her mum.Tickets were bought and bags were packed. The children were informed and leave was obtained from the office.
We were booked on the Cathay Pacific airlines from KL to Hong Kong and then on to Vancouver. From there we were to take a Westjet flight to Calgary. It was going to be a long haul, about 18 hours of flight but with the transits and waiting time it was more like 24 hours.
The day came in late November 2006 and we headed off to the KLIA. The flight to HK was ok but then we got onto an Airbus which had very little leg space. Boy, we sure had a rough time but landed in Vancouver in freezing weather. It was like minus 40 and snowing. We had just seen snow!! It was bedlam in Vancouver airport as the whole airport was snowed over. Our flight to Calgary was delayed and we got in to the little town of Calgary just after 1 am. My sis in law had heavy clothings for us as we dashed into the car to get away from the cold.
My sis in law stays alone but has borders in her home. It is a cosy house and warm. The first few days were spent just gazing at the beautiful landscape - just like the Xmas cards you see on sale or receive. My wife was so excited to see her mum and siblings. The next week we went to a little resort town in the Rockies called Banff and spent two nights there . We also toured Lake Louise and saw glaziers. Passed some wildlife like elk and deer before we returned. Banff is a resort and ski town nestled in the famed Rockies. Needless to say it was cold like minus 20.
But the best part of Canada is the food and booze. I just went ga ga over the fantastic range of sausages, salmon, nuts ( not human) and the beer and ale. We just guzzled down pints of ale and beer every day. And I kind of put on weight in the few weeks I spent there. Mum in law was looking good after the operation and health care is just amazing there. She was also good enough to give a couple of thousand Canadian dollars for our expenditure while there. So we never stinged.
Christmas was also drawing near and the decor of the houses in Calgary was so beautiful. Lights were on the Xmas trees outside the houses and it was just like a picture.
Soon it was time to leave and this became the most difficlut part as the wife had to leave her mum. But sis in law kinda put it well, " Just remember your real family is in KL and they are waiting for you."
And so it was that we packed our bags and said our goodbyes to all and left Canada.
It was a bitter sweet ending to our sojourn in Canada.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

What are we fighting for?

In 1957, Malaya got its independence. I still remember the day although I was only 8 years old. It was nostalgic. We had become an independent country, off the clutches of Great Britain which had ruled the country for almost a century. But the British gave us a good educational system, good roads, transport and an excellent legal system. They also took away a lot of stuff from us but I do not intend to get into that here. There are many publications on the British rule in Malaya which are available at the bookstores. In 1963, Malaysia was formed and Sabah and Sarawak joined us to form the new entity. Singapore decided to break away. Today Singapore is far ahead of us and is a country to be reckoned with in many ways. Their universities are ranked higher than us. Their dollar is higher than our ringgit. Their cars are better than ours. Their transportation is better than ours. Their economy is doing better than ours. They have property in Malaysia. But we started earlier. How come?
I am not a politician but sometimes it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why. It is simply because we are continuously badmouthing each other. As Malays, Chinese and Indians we are preoccupied with who is having what. We have not learnt anything at all. Our forefathers were much better. They fought for independence, not each other. It is a sad situation. We are getting deeper and deeper into the quagmire. Racial tones are becoming more apparent. Religion is taking centre stage. There is a great divide between the races, although we pretend its not happening.
My children, wife and I were born in this country. We do not have any other. Wewant to live here. We have no desire to migrate. Our fathers toiled to carve a foothold in this country. Why can't we do something about this? Why can't we live together peacefully? I said in my earlier blogs that the 50's in my area was such a beautiful place to live. It was kind of a 'kampong' quarters for government servants. All races lived there, and happily too.
I wish for this country to become more united. I wish that we could all go about our daily lives without fear of our neighbours. I put a twist to what Dr. Martin Luther King said, "I wish that one day our children would be judged by their content and not their ethnicity'. I wish for a lot, really.

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