Bored,Siti and Rooney


Written on 9/30/2004 01:35:00 am by sikapitan

I’ve missed my weekend entry deadline, and if you’re wondering why, join the club. It’s not that weird to figure out why the total output for the past 2 months or so cannot even come close to the almost-daily updates I did when I was having my semester holidays. Assignments, sick of looking at the computer (but not too sick for other things you can do with the net), commitments (forced and volunteered:) and other miscellaneous events have conspired to somehow discourage me from writing something new. Or it could be that I’m just plain uninspired.

You see, writing is not something that I would like to take for granted. If I were, you’d probably be reading that the Milo I had at the faculty tasted funny, or my new portable laptop is not so portable after all (I don’t get it. Did Dell think it through when they decided that their standard batteries would only last for an hour- AN HOUR?!) or the fact that exam’s getting closer and I’m still here watching DVDs and repeat football matches on ASTRO (damn you Ananda Krishnan-NOT!). I aim to write something universal, something current, and something that engages your mind as much as mine. But this is absurdly difficult. It’s weird isn’t it how when you are actually more engaged in your activities, the less you contemplate and think.

I’ve realized that the more activities you have in your life, the more people you know, the more events you go to, and the more conversations you have actually stops you from thinking, contemplating. But without those things in your life, you wouldn’t have much to think about either, so it’s a double-edge sword really. Confused? Go figure.

Siti oh Siti

Siti, siti. Malaysia’s no.1 sweetheart is in the front page of the newspapers the past week or so. The hate mail incident, which started off quietly, suddenly became the hottest news in town when Cik Siti’s police report was reported in the news media. There’s also the presumption that somehow the hate-mail writer/conspirator is the same person who has threatened some members of the press. Cue the overexposed sensationalism that has become the norm in our news-deprived society. We are so desperate for worthy news, news that interests us, till we are ready to accept entertainment news as FRONT-PAGE material. But can you blame the mainstream press to be so entertainment oriented? There’s hardly news worthy, at least those APPROVED by the relevant ministry, to be front page. That’s why the Noritta case became a part of the media circus. One aspect which I need to point out is our newspapers’ lack of investigative journalism. Unlike the Washington Post, or The Sun (to name but a few), the presses here don’t actually investigate. Or if they do, it has always been butter-and-bread stuffs like old-folks home lacking necessities. The Malay Mail and smaller newspaper engages in such journalistic endeavor, yet its concern is too miniscule, its range of topic too localized for it to ever have a lasting impression on the public. But having said all this, on reflection, I prefer us to have no news than bad news all the time. Don’t you agree?

Chunkiest teen talent on planet earth

Yes, yes. Rooney was excellent. In fact, he was magnificent. No words can describe what I felt when I watch United’s game against Fenerbahce. It was simply too surreal. Rooney looked chunky, as he always is, and the petulant tear on his shirt-collar makes me wonder if we have too many time-bombs in the squad (Smithy being the other obvious candidate). Yet, the way he took the first goal after controlling the perfectly weighted through ball by Ruud exudes confidence that this boy has got it made. By the time he bamboozled a defender and struck a well-placed grounder for his second, I smiled to myself and self-mockingly said “What a waste of money…”. And this being a fairytale and all, Rooney made it 4 for United and 3 for himself when he curled in a wonderful free-kick from the edge of the area (but prior to that there appears to be a gang war over who wanted to take the free-kick: it’s a funny sight really). Ruud’s goal was also equally well-taken, three touches to set himself up and coolly dispatching it with aplomb. He worked hard, obvious envious of the remarkable Rooney story. It’s okay, it’s healthy competition. Another notable mention is Gabri Heinze, who has impressed me since he started playing a few games back. He had another solid game at the left and deserved the rapturous ovation from the OT faitful. But the biggest cheer at the end is for Rooney. He is pure class. You cannot train class, it’s born in you. You can train to be good, like Beckham (before he fucked up all the chicks), but the Ronaldinhos and Maradonas of this world always had that something extra all footballers crave for- that gift from God. And I believe Wayne Rooney has that gift.

Essential listening : Eva Cassidy - Songbird, Usher and A.Keys - My Boo

Glory Glory Man United


Written on 9/22/2004 11:39:00 pm by sikapitan

Sorry, this is an impromptu entry that's probably overdue. Glory glory Man United!It's great to see United firing on all cylinders. Their 2-1 victory probably didn't do them justice because they totally dominated the game.

But I must comment that Liverpool, on that day, was poor. Their midfield dynamo, Stevie Gerrard, never got into the game before he had to pull out due to injury. The zonal markings employed by Senor Benitez didn't work. I have to say that both of United's goals can be attributed to poor play by Liverpool rather than good play from United.

However, the whole game saw a marked improvement over previous games. Perhaps the inclusion of the mercurial Christiano Ronaldo straight from the start galvanised the entire squad more than the appearance of Rio. Ronaldo was at his mesmerising best, and I've always wondered how the hell he managed to keep on twinkling his toes even late into the game. Super fit I tell you. Rio himself was excellent, but the defenders didn't have to work so hard as Liverpool hardly made them sweat. But I was pleased to see him bringing the much-needed calmness and stability to the often fragile centre. Both Wes Brown and Gabri Heinze shined, though for differing reasons. While Brown made a great impression of the gung-ho attacking Brazilian right-back, roaming the entire right hand side in an irresistable partnership with Ronaldo, Heinze was showing why he was one of the outstanding players in Argentina's Olympic squad. He looked solid, bringing in a certain kind of toughness that was sorely lacking previously, and I predict he'll be the mainstay in the squad from now on. The fact that he plays dirty like any respectable typical South American hardman makes him even more appealing. Enough with wankers, I want real men in the squad.

Which brings me to Roy Keane, certainly a candidate for Man-Of-The-Match. By his own admission, his form has been below par this season, but yesterday he showed that he has lost none of his combative qualities. A sliding tackle to block off Kewell early in the first half sets the tone for the entire game. With O'shea given the impetus to attack, Keane sat back, patrolling the centre circle and cutting off any impending attack. O'shea himself didn't do too badly, though I wonder what on earth did Phil Neville do not to deserve starting in the middle. He was good last season playing together with Keane but he doesn't appear to be even in contention. O'Shea though brings with him an aerial presence that cannot be denied. I count at least three times where he managed to win headers in the opponents penalty box. BUt if Fergie keeps on shuffling his pack, we'll never see O'shea develop as a midfielder. Giggs was having one of his better days, but I really want to see Rooney moving in for Giggsy, playing on the right with Ronaldo on the Left. The twin Ro would scare the hell out of any defenders. Scholesy's form this season has not reached his normal standards, and frankly speaking, he was again low-key in this match and a break from football might not be such a bad idea after all. Ruud returned to Old Trafford for the 1st time this season, and he appeared to have lost none of his charms. Holding up the ball, tracking back, annoying the hell out of defenders- yeap, ruud is back.

Good game. I hope it's the catalyst for a great season. Insyaallah.

Berhenti Isap jerrr...


Written on 9/19/2004 01:23:00 am by sikapitan

The recently tabled ‘bajet’ (god please don’t tell me we’ve become lazy enough NOT to use the more proper ‘belanjawan’) caused an emotional outpouring never seen before (with the exception of post-match reactions) from grown men who looked solemn for the rest of the week. The government has decided to raise the tax on cigarettes, causing millions of legal and illegal purchasers to silently curse. As a non-smoker, I was stuck with listening to their grievance, because quite frankly, 2/3 of the people I hang out with at school smoke. I sometimes pity these addicted souls who first started on the path of doom based on peer pressure and misguided heroism. They are invariably hooked on the stick, despite knowing that even if it doesn’t cause them death, it’ll probably eat up a sizeable chunk of their money. I personally have nothing against smokers. Why must we differentiate smokers from people who wear tight tee-shirts or go clubbing? They and all of us in fact, are a victim of crass marketing and societal definition of what’s cool and what’s not. It is pre-set in history, by our predecessors. We cannot run away from it, and yet we have the individual power to change. It takes time.

But let’s talk about the ‘bajet’. I found out that the government spent at least RM9 billion in petrol subsidies. If you must know, Malaysia has one of the lowest rates for petrol and cigarettes in the world today. Surprisingly, despite our perceived idea that the government is out screwing us all, they are actually helping us everyday, in a big way that invariably would lead to the destruction of our own people. Instead of going to education and infrastructure, the government is spending billions on the very thing that’ll destroy the planet and its people. Let’s forget the moral high-ground of preserving the environment. I sincerely believe that the subsidy has slowed down the progress of our public transportation system. Because the petrol price here is still affordable, personal transportation is the norm. We not only purchase motor-vehicles as a means of transport but also as a symbol of status. If we can get to work all by ourselves, in our own time and with our own entertainment, why struggle with buses? I am guilty of this; as I believe do most of us. The government introduced the subsidy as a means of spurring economic growth, but Malaysians have now grown accustomed to the price that every increase will lead to dissatisfaction. The government is in a conundrum. They are actually spending billions of OUR money just to keep us happy. We couldn’t care less that our school-children are worse off in English than before, or that our government hospital struggles to cope with the number of patients, but when the price of petrol increases 2 cents everyone starts crying out loud.

So the government, in trying to achieve some sort of balance, decided to impose a higher tax on ‘vice’ products such as cigarettes and alcohol (dload the song by Oasis-it’s freaking wicked). Sooner or later, with the increase in global petrol prices, our government cannot sustain subsidizing our petrol. I sincerely suggest that the government continuously raise the tax on cigarettes and alcohol to compensate for the subsidy. I know my mates would be mad, but which one do they prefer? To be able to fill up your petrol tank or fill up your lungs with deadly particles? Go figure.
Belaja la ngok!
The Finals is coming soon for UiTM students. I’m not talking about some football match, but it’s time for our final semester examinations. It’s funny how people react in this situation. They are those, like me, who would rather do anything else than to open up his books. And people like me will then suddenly realize, much too late most of the time, that the exams starts in two days time and they haven’t started anything. Cue the sudden bout of paranoia and inability to control our temper. It has happened so many times over so many examinations that it’s impossible for us not to realize what we’ve done wrong. And yet, we steadfastly refuse to give up our ways. Personally, I find it thrilling to be cramming for the finals. I don’t like it, but its after-effect is surely the cheapest way to get high.

Then there are those who have studied throughout the semester, whose excellence is virtually written on their foreheads. They might not be popular, they might not be cool but they sure as hell don’t have high-blood pressure like the other group. They are nicer, calmer, more in tune with their emotions. Generally these groups are more loving, and ooze honesty and brilliance. But just like I love watching them, and maybe emulate them, I just can’t bring myself to be like them. They remind me of why I like studying last-minute in the first place. There’s something wicked, something romantic, about being spontaneous, no?

It’s going to get crazy, so bear with me these coming weeks. I assure you, when it’s all over, victory will taste so much sweeter.



Written on 9/13/2004 01:45:00 am by sikapitan

In recent times, I haven’t really posted two entries so close in time. But today is an exception, simply because I felt like writing something light for everyone. What’s “poyo”? Is it equivalent to “hampeh”? Can you be “chun” yet “poyo”? Are all “skemas” “poyos”? Why are “rempits” always “lubok”? Must all “rempits” be “mat mots”? These terms and many others are not listed in our beloved Kamus Dewan, yet they form the basis of the typical undergraduate’s vocabulary. Here listed, NOT in alphabetical order, are some of the terms that comes to mind, and their ‘definition’.

“poyo” – Often heard and spoken. I cannot for one imagine where this word came from, but kudos to the creator for single-handedly creating a lasting impression on popular culture. When I was first introduced to it in hi-school, it implies “lameness”. For example, “Kau nie poyo la” = You are so lame. Yet, over the years, the term has evolved from beyond its original meaning, like so many other pop terms. It has now included non-living entity into its realm, like “Agak poyo la baju tuh”. And the exact definition of lameness itself is subjective. “Poyo” to one person might be wearing a green tie, while to another it might mean being cocky. The scope of its usage is endless. Almost everyone in Malaysia has used it once before, even the oldies are getting on the act. I recommend that the government introduce National Poyo Day, considering that almost everyone has been called poyo before.

“hampeh” – It’s closely related to “poyo” yet used more sparingly and seldom liberally like its more popular little brother. While you could be a national icon and yet be poyo (say you wear a lime green tux one fateful day, no?), “hampeh” people are more likely to be the bottom-of-the-barrel crew. “Hampeh” implies pathetic to the very core, though as usual it has been used to describe something that isn’t so lame either. It’s more likely to be used to describe an event, thing, or action. Example : “Hampeh la makanan dia” = The food isn’t good at all. See, you could substitute “poyo” with “hampeh”, but seldom do use exchange “hampeh” with “poyo”. For example, “Mamat tuh hampeh” sounds pretty normal, but “Ayam dia poyo” sounds downright weird.

“chun” – Firstly created to describe something/ somebody as beautiful. For example, “She is chun” is self-explanatory. It has evolved to include beautiful actions as well. Example: “Chun beb skill dia”. What’s weird is its evolution to something that isn’t beautiful at all. Just like the term “cool”, it is synonymous with a feeling of satisfaction and has sometimes been preferred to be used in place of the boring “OK”. For example: “See you at 8”, “Chun”. Typical sms message typed in those interactive tv shows: “Ada awek chun?”. Just “chun” isn’t it?

“gempak” – Close cousin to “chun” though it’s primary usage is to describe something spectacular. It has even been used to describe girls.

“fit” – Latest entry into my vocabulary, a timely inclusion courtesy of the Brits and their witty sense of humour. This is used exclusively for girls. Whereas “chun” implies that the girl is all around fine, while in fact she might not be that pretty when you wake up the next morning, “fit” doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got a face of an angel. She doesn’t have to be beautiful, but she certainly has to be…well packaged, no? It’s better than trying to justify to your mates why you said that girl was “chun” when she isn’t really that great. Just say “fit laa”. See “on”, “solid”.

“awek” – I’ve always thought that the real definition of “awek” is “girlfriend”. At the very least it is used to call to attention an attractive female. But I’ve come to realize in recent years, that almost every girl qualifies as “awek”. I myself have been guilty of using the word when in fact the subject matter is an unknown. Example : “Banyak awek kat situ”. Even though we cannot say for sure that there are any attractive girls there, we still use the term “awek”. I believe this is unacceptable. I demand that someone find an alternative word to desribe girls. “Banyak pompuan” just doesn’t sound good. Let “awek” remain exclusively for describing “chun” girls. If only I had a ringgit for every-time someone said “awek” and it turned out to be someone with a face only her mother would love.

Yeah, I know it sounds too chauvinistic. But hey, that’s life for you. I make no apologies for being a jock. There’s more, so much more that it’ll probably maxed out this entire page. Perhaps I could add it on later, with your suggestions maybe? Oh yeah, the “definition” stated above is not authoritative in any way. It is merely a subjective opinion from a man who has heard it being used almost everyday. So to the “aweks” out there, don’t be “poyo” and get all work out will ya?
It's too risky dude
I have to say this out loud, Fr3d0, and don’t be angry. But the law of probabilities would agree with me on this one. Manchester United has NEVER won whenever I watch their game with you, period. No exceptions like Cup games or friendlies. ALL their games ended in draws or losses when I’m with you. What’s weird is that every time I watch their game by myself at home, they win! Call it pure coincidence, but it’s not something that I’m willing to take a chance again this season, especially considering Arsenal are winning every game. Maybe we should start watching ARSENAL’S game together, but then with your luck Arsenal would trot out 8-0 winners every time. Shit, buck up Man U.

Puteri Gunung Ledang


Written on 9/10/2004 01:48:00 am by sikapitan

It’s funny how things work out. I started the week in a happy mood, carefree. I managed to catch Puteri Gunung Ledang (review below *ehem*) on Monday, and the sky was looking mighty clear. Unfortunately, I found out that there’s an assignment due by Thursday, so I cramped every inch of my energy into completing the shit in one night (yeah, I knew about it on Monday, but left it till yesterday- serial procrastinator:). Managed to pass it up, and now I’m free again, at least until the next deadline looms large. So decided to celebrate by spending the afternoon watching Eiffel I’m in Love. Just goes to show that moods really do swing.


After all the hype, the worst critic in the world (aka me) finally managed to catch the most EXPENSIVE Malaysian movie ever made (minus our election propagandas :) and deliver his verdict (why it matters?). It cost RM 15-20 million ladies and gentleman, and that’s just what the accountants decide to put in, so it’s a foregone conclusion that the movie will NEVER recoup its expenses just playing in our local cinema. We only have around 30 cinemas playing around the country, and Malaysians are not known to be repeat viewers of local films. At best, it’ll manage 4 – 5 million locally. I cannot imagine nor do I wish for the worst case scenario.

Especially not to a film that braves the contemporary Malaysian film industry and the generic storylines churned out yearly (especially by messr Prof A.R Mohaideen). In the midst of silly romantic comedies which is almost always NEVER funny nor romantic, we have a movie made not based on profit (if that was the case it would have been Erra-Yusry as the main actors), but on an egoistic believe that they can do it. And when I watched it, I cannot say that I was not impressed with what 15 million can do.

It’s a majestic love story set during the heydays of the Malaccan Empire (when we at least had some say internationally) between Hang Tuah and Gusti Bla blab la (I’m not a stickler for details). The first thing audiences will notice is the picture quality. Maybe all this while our filmmakers have been using recycled films, because this time it’s horribly clear (I’ve always thought that there’s something wrong with Malaysia’s batch of film rolls-heheheh)! There’s none of those lines and other what-nots on the screen. The sound is as clear as Adibah Noor’s vocal. This is what real dubbing looks like. Malaysian films are afflicted with this great disease known as “delayed voice projection”. You know, when the mouth moves differently from the words coming out. There’s none of that in this film. The set is also, though not quite as breathtaking as one would imagine, well crafted, and at least looked authentic. It seems like the money spent on quality has not gone to waste. Every inch of the film looks pure class. So far so good.

Next, the acting. Again it seems like money well spent because the decision to cast a glittering array of top-class actors turned what could be a debacle into a lesson for other filmmakers and actors. There’s no substitute for good acting. From the lead to the smaller parts, the producers have taken considerable effort to obtain great talents. All are well-known actors, whether in film, tv or theatre. The two main protagonists, Hang Tuah and the princess saw two familiar faces coming out from self-imposed “retirement”. We haven’t had the chance to really see M. Nasir, the actor, in recent times. It’s unfortunate that great actors like him cannot or would not express themselves simply because of commercialism and lack of quality scripts. He is 5 times better than Yusry, and yet the KRU dude has acted in 5 times more movie than M. Nasir (exaggerate). The only silly part was when he started reciprocating Tiara’s ‘dance’ (we all know it’s symbolic of something that we Malaysians never do ie. sex). And Tiara, despite criticism of favoritism (her husband is one of the main producers), managed to convey the necessary range of emotions. However, I do believe (and this is not meant to be insulting) that Sofia Jane would be more suitable for the lead, not because of acting chops, but simply because she’s more desirable (because the puteri supposedly can make grown man weep etc2). Anyway, despite some slacking in her Javanese, Tiara injected some needed magnetism and sensuality in Gusti. Rahim Razali was his usual elegant self as the Datuk Bendahara while Adlin Ramli (more famous in theatre) appears well-suited as the stupid Sultan Mahmud. Our friends from Indonesia, Christine Hakim and Alex Komang, managed to live up to their highly-regarded reputation. There’s also Dian Sastro appearing in a cameo role for about 5 minutes (highlight of the movie-trust me :). What’s not to like? Ermm.. not too much I guess, but there’s still some grouses.

I think in the quest of making this into another Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon the director stretched the film to around 2 and a half hours, which made the whole thing seems long winded. The dialogue, though beautifully crafted, can test one’s patience. Maybe it’s because the Hang Tuah legend is well-known to many of us. Our interest wanes because we know what’s going to happen, there’s no aura of mystery surrounding the story. If this was shown to foreigners, maybe they would appreciate it more. Another fault of the movie is in its action scenes. There’s only two in this movie. The first one (where Hang Tuah rescues Dian….haih) is well-choreographed, avoiding the typical Hindustani element. It’s the second one that troubles me. I know that warriors of old have mystical powers, but maybe the director should just avoid the flying scenes because it just appears funny instead of engaging. The CGI can also be improved, but these are minor complaints from a person desperate to find a fault with this film.
Can this work overseas? I surely hope they do make it. This is a brave effort that sets the bar for future filmmakers, though I doubt that the standard will increase dramatically in the near future. It’s just like cars. The expensive automobiles test out new technologies and later this will filter to the protons and kancils. Please go and watch it, just for the sake of encouraging filmmakers to be brave enough and take gambles

You're never truly free...


Written on 9/03/2004 06:28:00 pm by sikapitan

So our former Deputy Prime Minister and political golden-boy Datuk Seri Anwar has been freed after a 2-1 Federal Court decision allowing his appeal against the charge of sodomy. Without a doubt this has done wonders for our judiciary which has been accused of biasness and being politically motivated previously. His convictions have been criticized by many, especially in the legal community. There have been dissenting voices who argued that he was not afforded the fair trial that he deserved. I tend to agree.

However, politics is never as easy as 1 2 3 and certainly not as clear as black and white. There are grey areas to every political scenario that must be understood before one could safely assume or accuse. It must be noted that Anwar himself is a politician first and foremost. I have always been curious as to why he was so adamant that there’s abuse of power and corruption within the government AFTER he was removed from his post. Surely logic dictates that such allegations cannot surface overnight, and yet during his reign he was never one to speak out against corruption and money politics. His international profile must also be taken into consideration, especially his more than cordial relationship with the United States, a country noted for its constant interference with the affairs of other states, forever perceiving it as kingmakers and new-age colonist.

Yet, we cannot dispel the doubts surrounding his dismissal. Certainly the quick-fire manner he was removed cast reservations in the eyes of many. Could it be a knee-jerk reaction to a sudden political reality emerging? Did the PM know something that he cannot divulge? It was obvious, yet never stated, in the eyes of the public that the subsequent trial was irregular. The conviction for sodomy based only on one dubious witness brought more questions than answers. Unfortunately, such allegations made him the butt of jokes for many (heheh).

He was motivated by this sudden fall from grace, and the subsequent zeal in upholding “keadilan” broke the Malays into two quarters. Who was to gain from this episode? PAS, despite their perceived old-school charm, are politically astute enough to ensure that Anwar became their new struggle, clearly using him merely as political mileage. Subsequently, in the ’99 elections, they had one of their strongest showings in years, even gaining Terengganu. If it were not for the Chinese and Indian community, I seriously think more states would follow suit. Anwar became an enigma, a struggle for many dissatisfied at the time with rising unemployment, spiraling cost of living and economic uncertainty. He still is a political heavyweight. So why release him now?

Clearly Abdullah perceive that public opinion is on his side. The economy is growing, the nation is prospering. In the face of such optimism, perhaps he feels the time is right to rid of the old cloud hanging over the political scene. With Anwar a free man, he has rid himself of the last vestige of the Mahathir era, the deepest wound to the Malay community, the rallying cry for one political party. Keadilan is in shambles, simply because they were not politically strong enough to understand how things work. Their short-lived joy at being able to call upon PAS as their ally quickly turned sour as PAS shoved aside its allies to promote its own ideals. And with PAS also needing to take a hard look at themselves in light of the recent poor performance and dwindling support, Pak Lah can see that his next four years running smoothly just as planned. I can even see some sort of truce between Keadilan and UMNO, even the thought of them joining forces has crossed my mind.

But what is needed now is calmness and rational thinking. People must realize that the country, our country, is unlike the free democracy of US. Our government and economy is entwined, both needing each other. In the US, the economy is self-sustaining; such is their power of capitalism. Thus the prosperity and harmony of all must take precedent, at this moment and until we mature as a nation, before such idealistic notions like "justice", "equality", "free speech" etc. We cannot have the cake and eat it too. Just remember that politics is dirty enough to stain the whitest of cloths. Clorox just doesn’t work on this one. Au revoir