Category Archives: Reviews

Antara Malaikat dan Jin (<– Subtitle given by a certain Mr. Wong)

When an old friend (not that she’s old, its just that we’ve been friends since 2001) FB messaged me last Wednesday asking whether I’m free or not for a movie Friday night, I was pretty surprised but excited as hell. Its simply because, I knew beforehand, I MUST WATCH the movie, and I kind of knew I might not plan it well because these days, I kind of like, take things forgranted, totally absent-minded and excelling in my 3-seconds-dory-memory. So yes, and of course the fact that we kind of (despite our time-consuming jobs) like books, like literally catch up with what each other is reading, alongside the coffee and nicotine we consume highly when we’re in the presence of each other (and while we can still breathe).

So, yeah. I’ve decided. Definitely (not definately <- why does everyone keep on spelling it that way? And most of them are those whom I thought are pretty much very good in English, am I wrong for spelling it the way I spell it – mind boggling), for sure, I will take that offer without even thinking to spare my Friday night for something else. Apparently, something else did came up. Later on Thursday, we (the office people) were informed that we were invited to go to the Europa awards dinner organised by the EU-Malaysian Chamber of Commerce at Sheraton. And its a black tie do. Not only that I, as in Abby, does not wear dresses (due to those ugly scars on my legs, not because I don’t have a body for it, haha), I also doesn’t own a black-tie suit (even if I do, pulling a Marlene Dietrich <- I don’t think if that works in the Corporate world). So yeah, I turned down a posh event and possible hobnobbing with the bla bla bla EU high commissioners for ANTARA MALAIKAT DAN JIN, a dinner with Dila with lots of nicotine, caffeine (mine being Vanilla Coke, hers being black coffee) and whacky conversation about Stephen Kings disappointing movie adaptations, old series like Seaquests and Parker Lewis Can’t Lose and the whereabouts of all our other eccentric friends. No, what I actually want to write about is – ANTARA MALAIKAT DAN JIN. Aside from the expected inaccurate and funny subtitles (Note to self – quit job and become subtitlist for DVD pirates and GSC cinemas), I’m going to give the movie —> 3.5 out of 6.

2 MARKS WRITTEN OFF DUE TO THE ABSENCE OF THE STINGRAY CERN JET THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THE INITIAL HIGHLIGHT OF THE BOOK – a jet faster than Concorde that can take you across 6 different timezones within 1 hour (No, orgasm can’t do that yet). Another 0.5 marks gone because the lack of Political struggle which was supposedly portrayed in the movie (maybe too controversial to show how the Cardinals were politicising). Other than that, I think, Vittoria Vetra was somewhat a good choice (she might be hot, but at least, she does look believable as a Physicist) and at least, Tom Hanks is much clean-cut and in better shape than he was in Da Vinci Code (total turn-off when I saw a sort-of flabby, ugly-haired, too-American, non-academic looking Professor Langdon in the first one, sedih dan kecewa).

Dila tapped me and pointed out to a girl across our seat who was sleeping. WHAT THE F????? Such a total disrespect to Dan Brown! But I figured out, she must’ve been conned by her friends who might have said “We’re watching Star Trek!” before she stepped foot in the cinema. Kasihan. Heh. Yes, I’m a true cynic.

Overall, I am pretty okay with the adaptation.

Ron Howard put good effort to it, although emphasising on things when there are other better things to be emphasised on.

Dear Tom Hanks, I know you worked hard so you can show off your new well-built body right at the first 30 minutes of the movie (SHOW OFF!).

Dear Vittoria or should I call you Ayelet, I wished there were pretty girls like you when I was studying Physics, I could’ve gotten an A2 instead of a P7 (hey, I didn’t fail okay, good enough! a Cangkul, but I dig it! Haha).

Dear Mr. (forgetable) Assassin. You’re boring. You are very boring. You can shoot. But you’re the most boring character. But thank you for not killing Langdon and Vetra when you had the chance to.

Dear Mr. Corp Comm, You are the walking proof that CORPORATE COMM is much needed in Religion! Hehe. Drafting Press Releases? Classic!

Dear Mr. McGregor. You are definitely my POPe Idol! Hehehehehe.

Sekian, tamat sudah.

Owh, and a note. If you’re a cynic like I am, You’ll want to read the book first. Those who enters thy foot in the cinema without knowing where Angels and Demons comes from (Owh, is it a LOTR sequel?), will be deleted from my friend’s list. Haha.

Now, defini(NOT A)tely TAMAT SUDAH.

Are you allowed to use shortforms in subtitling? Like ‘utk’, ‘mrk’ etc? It annoys the hell out of my anal self.

(this note was edited 4 times and it still has mistakes. I.must.get.rid.of.this.OCD.and.anal.thing.Argh!its.freaking.me.out!)

Kampung Haji Abdullah Hukum – Bangsar, Malaysia

Goodbye to another urban kampung
By CHRISTINA LOW

ONE of Kuala Lumpur’s early Malay settlements has been earmarked for development. Rumour has it that the 200- year-old Kg Haji Abdullah Hukum in Bangsar has been marked for a major development comprising condominiums, office blocks, shopping complex and there is even talk of a transit hub to be built in the area. StarMetrospeaks to the residents there to see what they think of the changes that are coming their way.For most of the remaining residents of Kampung Haji Abdullah Hukum, it is the sense of closeness to the city and the warm neighbourhood atmosphere that they will miss when they move out of their home of more than 30 years. But they all agree that it is time that some form of development take place in the area.“My family loves this place very much, but if we want our country to be a developed nation then we have to shift and let the proposed developments take place. We cannot be living in this area for our entire lives. But it is not going to be easy to leave this place as it holds many fond memories for all of us,” said V. Mani Velu, who operates a barber shop next to his home.His shop, situated near the Sri Sakthi Nageswry Amman temple, is shaded by tall coconut trees and has no proper door. It is a popular stop for many seeking to have an economical haircut.
Mani, who followed in his father’s footsteps, said he left school and took up the hair-cutting job at 12 and one of his regular customers, Abdul Samad, 62, has been frequenting his shop from day one till today.

“I have got so used to visiting Mani’s shop that if he has to leave the village, I would definitely look for him at his new shop for more haircuts,” said Abdul Samad who lives in an adjacent village but would often meet up with Mani for tea.

Leong Chong Moi and her husband Lam Kam Chong, who would be moving out of the village with their four children at the end of the year, said they too were happy that the village was going to be developed.

“We heard that a new bridge linking our village and Mid Valley would be built next year and we are very happy over the news,” said Leong, who sells vegetables for a living at Brickfields.

Both she and Lam love taking care of their pet dogs and planting fruit trees around their home in the village. After moving into their new home, they felt it would be impossible for them to continue their hobbies.

“I am going to put my dogs up for adoption and also take on new hobbies when I leave the village,” said Leong.

Traders Mohd Salehan Abdullah and Hashim Othman, who operate a burger and satay stall respectively, felt that the impending development was generally good but they hoped to be able to continue their businesses elsewhere.

“There is no place like home, and this place is just so peaceful and quiet,” said Hashim, who returns to his former home daily to prepare ingredients to cook the satay gravy.

Hashim would spend half a day in the village preparing ingredients and cooking the gravy using the traditional method – over a wood fire.

“Sometimes I stay here on weekdays and only return to the flats where my family is staying on weekends. This is such a homely place to live in,” said Hashim.

He too felt that developing the area was necessary but he would definitely be missing his favourite pastimes such as planting trees and cooking outdoors.

Mohd Salehan, 32, who has been selling burgers for the past 10 years in the village, said he only hopes to be able to find a place to continue his business.

How the village got its name

Haji Abdullah Hukum, whose given name was Muhammad Rukun, came to Malaya at the age of 15 with his father back in the 1800s.

To earn a living he worked as a farmer and a contractor before he started opening lands and villages with the consent of Raja Laut, who was then the Raja Muda of Selangor.

Abdullah was later chosen by Raja Laut to head a mosque in Pudu.

He was also given the authority to start a nursery in Bukit Nanas and to open a village in Sungai Putih (now Jalan Bangsar).

After retiring, he continued to stay in the village in Sungai Putih which is now known as Kampung Haji Abdullah Hukum.

(this article was taken from All Malaysia.info)

 

 

Sunday, 19th August 2007

 

I joined the KL Flickr Walk for the first time upon an email invitation by my brother, Muid (yeah right, dok sebelah bilik pun nak kena refer email invitation) and I think, its one of the most exciting event I’ve been to this year. The KL Flickr group decided to head down to Kampung Haji Abdullah Hukum, an old kampung settlement in the middle of the concrete jungle with the most vast development in the Bangsar area. We gathered at Restoran Fatima behind Maybank tower at Bangsar and walked to Kampung Haji Abdullah Hukum.

 

The first thing that I noticed, not only the group consists of diverse ethnicities and everyone comes from a different professional backgrounds, but everyone were so humble and friendly. Although with my small Nikon E4600 (4.0 megapixels pulak tuh) compared to their big Digital SLRs with few range of lenses, we managed to bond and compiled some great shots altogether.

 

I had the opportunity of talking to the late Haji Abdullah Hukum’s grandchildren, the grandson, an old man in his 90s who said that the village was built in 1890 and the granddaughter, an old lady in her 80s, who told how Abdullah Hukum came from Sumatera and he married a Johorian before building that kampung settlement and we also received a printed images of the late Haji Abdullah Hukum and his wife. The old lady told us that DBKL has purchased their land and they would soon be relocated and the land will be used for development. It will be a pity that so much sentimental values can be felt as we walked through the village. The village, also made up of a diversified community, from Indians to Chinese and Malays, happily living beside one another.

 

The group ended up in KL Sentral (was too tired to walked back to Bangsar, we took the train and had lunch in an airconditioned building – manja urban folks are we?). We bonded and spent time knowing each other. We end up with some mutual friends. I like to thank my brother Muid for inviting me and the rest of the group for being such nice and welcoming folks (Han, Shafina, Vis, Praveen, Prakash, KenMin, Jing Ying, Eka, Core, Eduardo, Mizi, Atikah, Amir, Rahman, Cik Din, and a few others – please excuse my very very poor dorry memory).

 

I’ve made mutual friends becos Monday night, I met up with Prakash again for the Documentary screening at HELP. I’m looking forward for more Flickr Walks as we raise awareness of the beauty of our nation’s heritage through the wonders of photography and some good moments captured.

sunday evening

its 7.14pm. after 12 hours. kakak mydin sudah tidak berbunyi lagi. hormat maghrib kot. baguslah begitu. the colonel is confiscating my pc tomorrow. in return, he will give his laptop to me. okayla. I’m accepting it. at least I’ll be on mobile from now on. next month’s budget, buy a cool and bigger bag to fit the laptop and all my junkies wankies stuff. I do carry battery operated devices in my sling bag. cannot leave at home. will need when instant urges kick in. yes, terima kasih kerana berfikiran kotor. saya bermaksudkan digicam kesayangan dan gadget-gadget yang lain. saya tahu, selepas post “tepuk dada saya, tanya selera masing-masing”, ramai singa-singa menunggu masa untuk put their paws on my dada. invitation still opens, but with warning incase I bukak pencak silat. heh. tanya la selera masing-masing. kakak mydin tak masak kot hari ni. selalu time-time cenggini, riuh rendah bunyi kelentang-kelentung periuk belanga berpencak silat bersama suara nyaring gossip harian. kenapa pencak silat menjadi tumpuan, saya pun tidak tahu. 7.19pm, saya penat. but I wanna share what I’ve written after the convention. I sat down at Dome KLCC enjoying my caffeine and nicotine break while brainfarting these following thoughts.

—– # —– # —–

“The Making of Bangsa Malaysia”, was the utmost interesting, controversial and yet endless topic chosen as the premise for the Perdana Leadership Foundation’s panel session at the recent 5th International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) held at the KL Convention Centre on the 5th of August 2007. Despite it being a Sunday morning and the last day of the convention, the session not only managed to attract more than 30 participants that consists of people from all ethnicities (foreign and local), but also got the floor to engage in a heated discussion on the sensitive issues surrounding the formation of “Bangsa Malaysia”, which was originally initiated by Malaysia’s former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

The panel session which was chaired by Assoc. Prof. Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak (UUM), and convened by Dr. Mustapa Kassim (IPDM/UUM) gathered some top local academicians which includes Dr. Ariffin Omar (UUM), Dr. D.S. Ranjit Singh (UM), Dr. K. Nadaraja (UUM) and the Foundation’s own scholars, Ms Sue Valquis Mashhor and Mr. R. Sivaperegasam.

The session started with each panel who was given 20 Minutes to speak on subjects of their expertise which comprises of the overview of what is Bangsa Malaysia; the definition of Malay; an overview of the foreign colonisation and occupation; islamic fundamentalism and other contentious issues; nation building under the Vision 2020 context; a retrospect of agendas and policies implemented by all 5 Prime Ministers of Malaysia and its relevance as a guideline for the future; and “Ketuanan Melayu” (Malay Supremacy).

I am pretty sure that I was the youngest in the crowded room and spent most of my time on my feet, taking photos of the session as of listening attentively to the discussion. As much as I doubt any of my friends, if not my peers, would be of an interest in the subject, nevertheless, I felt like a representative of the youth, if not the millennia generation.

In creation of “Bangsa Malaysia”, race has been the most important and integral part of the formation of the subject. I have been talking to a lot of foreigners lately and every single one of them agreed on the harmony and utmost tolerance that we practice in our society. Thus, raising the question of “Why is it still a difficult attempt to create this Bangsa Malaysia, if such tolerance is practiced in a harmonious and unite nation comprising of diversified ethnicity?”.

Malaysia was built by a group of people who were educated under the colonial education system. With a combination of well-educated and open-minded elitist and politicians, independence was achieved 50 years ago. Despite a couple of racial riots like the unforgettable 13th May Tragedy, leaders of all races tried to tolerate each other for the survival of their respective races.

This lead to the only issue that human being struggle endlessly in life. “To survive and maintain existence”. Nobody chose to not exist. In order to exist, we have to survive. Those who failed to survive, will end up in extinction. People who managed to survive will have to evolve, not only physically, but also mentally, in order to maintain their bare existence. That’s the circle of life, which leads to how we live. Putting death aside, this is what we practice, in order to not disappear from the face of the earth.

For someone without an academic qualification on the subject (business school teach you to make money, bulks of money, for not yourself, unfortunately), this has been thought through and concluded by rationalisation and logical thinking. Those who study philosophy would come across the basic but most popular question ever asked, “WHY DO WE EXIST?”

The panel discussion brought us to the implementation of policies by the reigning government for the past 50 years. As we discuss about the formation of “Bangsa Malaysia” within the existing races in Malaysia, what about the excessive inflow of undocumented workers who are actually creating their own “Malaysian culture” in Malaysia? This issue prevails the level of tolerance practiced by the government. We have tolerated the inflow of these immigrants or migrants to our country by understanding the need of their existence in building our economy. This is not the matter of showing to the world that Malaysia is a tolerant nation but more to understanding the significant of such existence of other races in order for our own people to survive.

But if such understanding is practiced, then why is there a problem or sensitivity that rise within the context of unity?

Being young and naive, I’ve realised all my theories end with a question. Even discussing such an intellectually-inclined issue, I can’t help from being philosophical.

—– # —– # —–

thats all I got from that break. I think becos I pushed my brain too hard, I got brain numb again. kakak mydin dah start masak-masak. its 7.50pm. I better mandi, then pasang radio kuat2, then menari half naked. yeah. why not annoy them. ingat aku suka sangat ke terlibat dalam terdengar gossip-gossip pekerja mydin? its 7.52pm. my room is a mess. my cousin is sleeping over with his fiance. afis had to crash in my room becos fiqah had to sleep with the fiance. malam ni takde kakak mydin berkemban sidai baju. but, gossip dalam bilik boleh tahan kuat la. argh, aku nak pasang radio and menari half-naked. hahaha.