Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Social Media is ol' news bro!

I got news for you pal – social media is not new - David Wang.

The blogger and self confessed online marketing evangelist emphasized that: In the end, we’ll all realize that “social media” will become just “regular ol’ media”.

He's also a committee member of the Social Media Club (logo above), Kuala Lumpur Chapter.

Wang wrote: Add that to the speed of conversation and the reach of the internet and boom – social media is now rivaling traditional media as an influence platform.

Read the whole article here.

Recently, a speaker at a forum : Marketing Chapter: Advertising Outlook in 2010, Ben Israel, digital strategy director, Integricity Corporation Sdn Bhd said "You can't call it 'New Media' any more, because it's not new any more."

"In 2009, everyone is online. It’s not just the young people any more. You can’t say it’s just the kids who are online any more," said Israel.

Since the rise of social media, many advertisers have jumped onto the bandwagon – for example, by paying bloggers to write advertorials or sponsoring products for them to review – simply because research says "word of mouth" is the most trusted medium.

People ‘n Rich-H Sdn Bhd managing director Marilyn Teoh said her company has started to monitor social media, what it says about clients and their brands.

"After listening to them (consumers), we start a conversation with them to build a relationship with them," she said.

While social media is often used by advertisers, it can also be a public relations tool. In fact, it is a holistic tool, said Teoh.

That is why advertisers are now engaging on blogs and bloggers to 'endorse' their products.

"We treat a blogger as a news reporter, we give him the credibility. Let them blog about their true experience," she added.

Warren Tan, Integricity Corporation managing director however emphasized on the need of a strategy. "Social media needs to work hand-in-hand with other non-social media strategies," he said.

Concurring on the need of focusing on the right strategies, Neo@Ogilvy media director Stanley Tay said, "The challenge is looking at social media and finding the right target segment."

Read the whole article here.

So can we term Social Media as the current or contemporary media if it's not new anymore.

What then can the traditional media be called - ancient media?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mingguan looks happy scooping away uncertain news

The folks at Mingguan Malaysia today (read: Utusan) looks like they are gloating with delight with their latest news scoop - Raja Petra berada di London?. But they are not sure, hence the question mark.

And yet they front paged the news, although the complete write-up was only a short 12 para on page 17 - only for readers to find out that the news was from another source, and the source wasn't even named nor regarded by them (Utusan) as reliable.

Words and phrases like "kini dipercayai", "menurut sumber", "sumber terbabit tidak menyebut" were used, making it as if it's just another of those thrasy write-ups worthy of a Mingguan Perdana type of tabloid publishing.

And yet for a mainstream media as big as Utusan, it is front paged without any qualms.

Malaysia Today also carried the news in its website with some 12 commenters poking fun at the news item at the time this post is published.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Appeals Court overturns High Court ruling not to interrogate after office hours

Ha..ha.. dah agak dah...!

When was the last time the Appeals Court ruled something in favour of the powerless marhain? I would like to know...

Next time, if you want to challenge these people, use another court - badminton court. Then there's a chance you can win.

Court: MACC can interrogate witnesses after office hours
Pearl Lee
Thursday, December 17th, 2009 12:58:00

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal this morning ruled that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) can interrogate witnesses beyond office hours.

In allowing the MACC's appeal, the court quashed a High Court order requiring the MACC to conduct its interrogation during office hours, from 8.30am to 5.30pm.

Last month, High Court judge Justice Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof had declared in a landmark ruling that witnesses could only be questioned by MACC from 8.30am to 5.30pm each day.

The ruling followed a lawsuit by Kajang municipal councillor Tan Boon Wah challenging MACC's interrogation procedures.

In a unanimous decision today, the Court of Appeal Judge Justice Hasan Lah, who sat together with judges Justice Ahmad Maarop and Justice Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad, ruled that Section 30(3)(a) of the MACC Act 2009 did not set any time limit for the MACC to interrogate witnesses.

The Malaysian Insider has the details.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Utusan and their ilks are at it again - making fun of Najib's 1Malaysia?

Looks like the Prime Minister's PR drive (or exercise, if you prefer) of turning this country into a one nation entity - whereby every citizen irregardless of their race (ethnicity, language and religion) respects each other despite their differences - is heading into a bottleneck jam, if not a dead end street.

As if all of the racist statements and hatred sentiments toward the other races made were not blunders but deliberates, Utusan's controversial columnist, Zaini Hassan is again at his best - poking fun at his detractors.

This time it is against the 3 reports made by readers in response to his article Alkisah India di India dan India di Malaysia, published in Utusan Malaysia on 11 Dec, 2009.

To add insult to injury, Utusan portrayed its sarcasm through Zaini's caustic article: "Cuit 'mogok menulis' minggu ini" with a funny caricature of Zaini in all his Inglourious Basterds pose - hands and feet tied-up and duct tape on his 'big mouth' sitting on his armchair at his office (click on pic above for a bigger view).

The Malaysian Insider today published Dr Lim Teck Ghee's article condemning Utusan's arrogance in an article: Utusan Malaysia: Messenger of hate and spite on religion and race.

Dr Lim Teck Ghee emphasized the contrast between the noble values and reasoned and rational statements of his Muslim colleagues and the “Islamic supremacy” mindset and irrational and provocative ranting by the editors of Utusan Malaysia.

It makes him wonder what version of Islam is the newspaper promoting.

"The contrast between these Muslim colleagues committed to values of justice, freedom, equality and peace that are common to all religions and faiths, and the Utusan proponents of a racist and religiously warped social order for Malaysia could not be more striking," he wrote.

Meanwhile, in Facebook today, readers all over the country have been busy sharing their POV of what I consider another very damaging attempt towards the Prime Minister's 1Malaysia policy.

Click on the pic below for a bigger view

My playlist isn't playing

For two days I can't seem to be able to solve this - why isn't my Mixpod playlist playing the tunes? I can't even play the songs in the Mixpod site itself.

I give up for now...

I'm removing it till I solve the problem.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The prevalence of tabloidism in Malaysia - a decaying mentality or a novelty?

The supposedly academic title above splashed out in my mind immediately when I read the Malaysiakini Malay version today:

Tabloid Melayu kian popular, harian merosot
by Salhan K Ahmad
Dis 11, 09

Dua harian berpengaruh bahasa Melayu mencatatkan penurunan jumlah edarannya tetapi tabloid terbitan syarikat media yang sama merekodkan kenaikan, sehingga 12 peratus setahun lalu.

Jumlah edaran Utusan Malaysia menurun sehingga 8 peratus kepada 181,346 nashkah, sementara Berita Harian pula merosot 5 peratus kepada 183,187 naskhah.

Kosmo! mengalami kenaikan tertinggi sebanyak 12 peratus kepada 129,663 naskhah, manakala Harian Metro naik 4 peratus kepada 338,552 naskhah).

Continue reading here.

The term tabloid, when referred to journalism and publication means the size of the newspaper or publication - tabloid size.

But the term tablodism is rarely used, albeit not new, only not popularized, especially by academics.

Yahoo! education reference gave the definition of tabloid as:
NOUN: A newspaper of small format giving the news in condensed form, usually with illustrated, often sensational material.

1. In summary form; condensed.
2. Lurid or sensational.

Thefreedictionary gave a similar meaning with added emphasis on photos used in the publication:
1. a newspaper with pages about 30 cm (12 inches) by 40 cm (16 inches), usually characterized by an emphasis on photographs and a concise and often sensational style Compare broadsheet
2. (modifier) designed to appeal to a mass audience or readership; sensationalist the tabloid press tabloid television

Hence, tabloidism is also short of tabloid journalism, which also means the type of journalism that focuses or emphasizes tabloid style reporting. It can also mean the 'mentality' of the readers whose preference are of this category.

So what have become of our Malay readers with this revelation that there are more tabloid readers than broadsheet. Is it because readers are getting lazy to read more serious stuff or trying to save money by buying tabloids which is cheaper? Or is it because of the latter - readers 'mentality' going down the tabloidism lane.

In Malay, I believe the correct translation of tabloidism is picisan - akhbar picisan.

So can we arbitrarily relate that if there is a significant increase of akhbar picisan readers in Malaysia, then tabloidism (in the sense of readers' decaying mentality) is prevalent?

Yes and no. No if I just keep dreaming on...! Yes if I can start doing my work to proof it with fresh primary data.

But how to do work? no fulus...!

Always got excuse one...banyak kerja weh...!

Thanks to Mohd Fudzail (Dotkomania) for the link.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"Jurusan komunikasi massa - antara course paling simple dan mudah lulus kat USM..."

First I thought of posting this entry in my other blog, but no, it's too risky - albeit admitting, I am in the risky business. But I just had to blog this although I know it's like shooting with a dangerous weapon and that the bullet will ricochet back to you.

Actually I had already read Dr Siti Mariah's posting: "Respon kepada penyiaran surat Nik Amalina" in Kick's blog, but it didn't strike me the interest to visit Dr Siti Mariah's blog for reasons I would rather reserve. But, today I nonchalantly clicked on it, unaware I was about to discover something very challengingly controversial, to say the least.

Okay, enough said, just read this extract by someone with the nick "cucu" and judge it for yourself:

"Tentang Sdr Syed Azidi, saya kenal beliau sejak beliau jadi pelajar USM lagi pada akhir 80an dan awal 90an. Beliau pelajar jurusan komunikasi massa - antara course paling simple dan mudah lulus kat USM masa itu. Pelajar2 mass com masa itu merupakan antara golongan pelajar paling "sosial"...

Continue reading here

No, I am not trying to echo or amplify this 'nameless' person's cowardice act of disrobing Kick's 'evil-deeds' or infidelity while at USM (if there was any). What I am trying to do is to 'highlight' the accusation that USM's Mass Communication degree is the most simple and easy to pass course at USM.

Or is it? You be the judge...

The posting generated 34 comments and you will have to read them all, including the original posting to understand the context of this entry.

My caution to somebody: beware if you are forwarding this to people. It might get us into trouble... I deliberately did not put her name there because satgi dia col ler tanya, apa maksud En. Izaham, ... tak faham?

Malaysia's version of Bronson's 'Death Wish' vigilantism

Mohd Yunus Mohd Ali may not be the ideal neighborhood crime buster, but he might have the answer to the country's ever increasing snatch crimes, or thieves who resort the easy way out to make a living.

If you have watched Charles Bronson's movies - 'Death Wish' in the 70s then you know what I mean. The film was a major commercial success and generated a movie franchise lasting four sequels over a twenty-year period. Read more here.

Most of the victims of snatch theft are not the rich and famous, where a few extra change may not mean a thing to them. The victims are basically the common people, like you and me, who do not make thousands or even a hundred in a day. They toil their mental and physical energy to make a living for themselves and their family. Then some hoodlums come and snatch it away from them 'senang-senang jer'.

So, even a few ringgit in cash in the wallet or handbag means a lot. That is why some of the victims retort back to snatchers by chasing after the evil-doers to get their belongings back. Some of them claim that their belongings are their dignity - and that giving in to snatch thieves means giving up their dignity or 'rights'.

Now, I'm not advocating or condoning vigilantism. Any act/s outside of legal authority, violently or otherwise, to punish or avenge a crime, is considered crime itself. Furthermore, it is a very dangerous vocation if you do not have the know-how.

But if the police and other authorities are dragging their feet in maintaining peace and order, and that 'vigilantism' is the only way out to protect us and our family, like what this fella did, then what the heck, let's go and get more people to kick-ass.

Izaham - it's better than kick-ing-defella for some trivial 'political' reasons!

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Muslim Living in Kyoto

My initial worries about living in Kyoto for longer than a tourist’s stay (standard 3D 2N) were set aside as I found out during the first week of my stay here. Mr John Bush, the senior administration manager at Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, (who is distantly related to the famous presidents), took me to the Kyoto Muslim Association and the Islamic Cultural Centre which is only about 50 metres away from KPUM.

The association was established in 1987 as a Kyoto University’s student organization and has developed into an Islamic centre with a prayer hall. The Friday prayers are also performed here and is currently protected under the Japanese law of religious corporations.

Kyoto had been Japan’s capital until 1869 when Emperor Meiji moved to Tokyo. To this date it still is a cultural and religious capital of Japan. This is evident by the scattering Buddhist temples, Christian churches, and religious Buddhist and Christian schools in this prestigious traditional capital city.

All the major roads in traditional Kyoto run either horizontally (from east to west) and vertically (north to south), in a very precise manner, it is very easy to find directions and locations. As this very direction-blind writer soon found out, much to her delight! To find the qiblat, which is roughly the direction of Makkah, you simply look at any major horizontal or vertically street and just face westward and slightly to the right. Simple, isn’t it? This is clearly documented in the “Muslim/Muslima Guide book for Living in Kyoto 2009-2010”. What do I have to say, they really are sticklers for rules, order and guidebooks!
There are short of 300 Muslims living in Kyoto, mostly are expatriates and foreigners studying at many universities or working as post-docs or professionals here. There are probably about 40 Japanese Muslims scattered in the city of Kyoto and the nearby areas.

Kyoto Muslim Association organizes activities like the weekly Friday prayers, where the Khatibs and Imam are rotated among the jemaahs. The Eid prayers are often held at a bigger venues i.e Kyoto International Community House or Kyoto Education and Culture Centre. The Iftar Party and Islamic Food Festivals were also held in the past. They also serve as an Islamic library, opens a small convenient shop which stocks halal frozen meats and canned foods. Other services include the shahada ceremony, marriage ceremony ad certificate, Hajj and Adha services.

I had the opportunity to perform my Eid prayers on 26 November 2009 together with about 200 Muslim brothers and sisters at the Kyoto International Community House. I took a subway from Kyoto Station up north and changed at Karasuma Oike for Keage station. I was stopped in Japanese by a middle aged gentleman as I was about to board the train. I could understand the word “Keage” from his mounth and I assumed he must be asking about the direction the train going, so I answered “hait” which I thought would suffice, but he carried on the conversation in more Nihongo than I could master, I had to apologize in English that I didn’t understand much of what he said.

His face showed relief, and he said “Oh good, my Japanese is also not so good”. Then he asked whether I was going to Keage, and I said yes, I was going to attend the Eid prayers. And so did he. When he saw a tudung-clad lady, he naturally assumed I was going the same way he did. He has been to the International Community House many times to attend the prayers but he has forgotten the way, blaming it on his old age. I introduced myself and found to my surprise he was not Japanese, but a senior academic Egyptian at Doshisha University. As we got down and out of the subway station, we were joined by many other Muslims.

We walked past the majestic Westin Miyako Hotel, in the crisp cold autumn morning to the Hall. We were greeted by Elif-san, who is the association’s manager ad instructed to go straight up to the Hall since the takbir and tahmid would soon begin. As I was settling down with my sajadah and telekung, I met Fatimah and her daughter who were also one-month old Kyoto residents, who hailed from Kuala Lumpur. Her husband was on a sabbatical research leave and they have actually lived 12 years earlier in Okinawa.

Unfortunately we were only among the 5 Malaysians who were there. I understand many other Muslim Malaysian students were not attending since it was a working Friday. Most of the jemaah were Indonesians, Arabic, Indian or Pakistani, based on the smattering of foreign languages I heard around me. The takbir and prayers were led by an Arabic Imam and the khutbah was delivered in English and doa in Japanese. After the prayers there were trays of pot luck dishes which were Arabic delicacies contributed by the gracious jemaah. My stomach was growling in hunger since I did not have any breakfast before coming and I was clearly missing my customary nasi himpit, rendang and kuah kacang on that Raya morning!

Professor Samir, my new Egyptian friend introduced me to a young Japanese gentleman who was also a university student named Hasan Nakamura, who I found out had just said his shahadah a day earlier. Masha Allah!

Professor Samir is a lecturer in Arabic and Cultural studies and his main interest is on theology. He later told me that he has been in Japan for 5 years and has taken a second wife, a local woman. He asked me over to his house at Shijo (the Fourth avenue) later to sample some Arabic and Japanese food. He made his own cheese!

Food is a subject of major concern to all Muslims, especially in Kyoto since halal restaurant is practically non-existent. Traditional Japanese did not consume much meat, as they were mostly Buddhists. However post-war era and modernization have turned their style of living to embracing the western culture of eating meat and pork, being the cheapest meat is largely used in all dishes.

A lot of food, even the onigiri (rice ball) frequently has pork extracts. Most ingredients are displayed on the packaging, the only problem being a guanjin, one cannot read it since 99.9% it is written in intricate Japanese writing. The guidebook given to me by Elif-san does provide some crash course in the salient words to look for at the labeling i.e pork, beef, chicken, mutton, animal fat extracts, gelatin, liquour, etc.

Now, if you think the stuff is quite simple, you’re dead wrong. The Japanese has three systems of letters. The hiragana, a completely phonetic alphabets which has 50 characters. Another phonetic alphabet is katakana, which has the same sounds as hiragana, but different written forms. Borrowed words from foreign languages are written in katakana. The third system is the Chinese characters, kanji, which are originally pictorial letters and has about 500 basic characters which can be combined to mean different things. It says you could combine kanji characters to make up to 2,000 words!

I’d have to admit practicing religion in this place could be challenging especially when most Japanese have not mingled much with the other ethnic races around them. Most have not traveled outside their society perimeters. Located at the far eastern region, they are almost exclusive to their own. May be out of admiration, they have always assimilated with the United States of America, more than the rest of the world, including their Asian friends. South East Asian geography in itself could be an enigma, what more the variable demography, and the different religious practices or beliefs that are associated with us!

Bakiah: Still learning new words with each new day: “Kyoto-oh, ai shi tek imas” (I love Kyoto).

Life in Japan… Imadesuka (Is there Any?)

After a month being a Kyoto resident, I felt it timely, to have this writing done. In fact you could say I had to rise to the challenge of enduring some time away from Facebook addiction.

I have been impressed again and again by the Japanese…. kinda clichĂ© you would say…, but it’s true, so true. I’ve heard so many stories, so many renditions, but to experience it all on my own, before my very own eyes, certainly took me to a higher platform of deep admiration for this beautiful country and its people.

First, the Japanese are very artistic. Ever heard of that? Yes, they present art in so many forms. They could live with so little space around them by making everything in miniature forms. Small iron, small ironing board, compact book cases, small lockers! I was indeed very pleasantly surprised when my supervisor said he would try to find me a locker, and …. it turned out to be just 6 cm wide! Even my Deuter notebook backpack couldn’t fit into that. When you purchase things, you would be rest assured that each individual item will be gift wrapped and care is given to make them look beautiful and presentable.

My friend, Yokobe san took us to a traditional Japanese cookies house and I had the opportunity to witness the most artistic cookie making in the process. Since it was autumn close to winter time, the 2 types of cakes in the offering were made to look like autumn leave and a snow capped mountain. Simply marvelous! We had ‘matcha’ green tea which is usually served during tea ceremony with the cakes. The whole experience was just so beautiful!

The most useful word in Japan would be “Sumimasen” which I would loosely translate into “excuse me”, or “I’m sorry to bother you” or “please forgive me”. You could hear “sumimasen” everywhere whether someone wants to pass you, or need your help, or even when in the elevator when they need to get out before you do (i.e I’m so sorry for taking your time, but I need to get on this floor before you). Even when they need to ask for help, after saying “Arigato gozaimas” (Thank you very much), they would end with the infamous “Sumimasen” i.e I thank you for your help, please forgive me for taking your time.

The courtesy reaches out to the time when you ride the escalator. Usually one line would form on the escalator (depends on the right or left, I’m still confused), this is so that whoever is in a hurry could pass you easily and be on their way faster. This courteous attitude is their Holy Grail, you would see them forming queues everywhere! Have you ever seen 2 lines formed in front of a lift?

Like any other advanced countries, Japan’s public transport is exceptionally efficient and cheap. The fast bullet train “shinkansen” connects the major cities. The rapid trains include the limited express airport trains the “haruka”, and the intercity local and special rapid trains, depending on the number of stops each make. The subway trains are very convenient city traveling albeit less panoramic and slightly more expensive.

The standard rate for all city buses is 220 yen for adults and 110 for children. You always board through the back door and get down the front door where you drop your coins in the fare machine. Since they don’t have small change, you can change your 1,000 yen note or 500 yen coin at the machine before you pay.

The city buses are quite small with limited seats, needless to say are reserved for the needy i.e elderly, handicapped, pregnant women and ladies with children, these seats are called “Priority Seats” and often times those not belonging to the group when they board a bus will not take these seats but prefer to be standing instead. And if you think their elderly uncles and aunties would simply accept your offer, think again! The writer’s goodwill offer to give up her seat has been declined numerous times with “arigato gozaimas” and saying something like “my stop is just the next station”.

Must be their stubborn pride at admitting that they are old and need the seat more than the next person. My husband jokingly said it was the prominent tummy and my pregnant appearance! I wasn’t, by the way. On the occasions that my offer was accepted, I was flooded with continuous “arigato gozaimashi ta!” (I thank you for what you have done), all the way before and after and on the way getting down, that often embarrassed me.

I think this is one country that is truly handicapped-friendly, especially to the blind, seeing from an eye doctor’s POV. At the stations, pedestrian walkways and bus stops, there are indicators on the surface of the roads to signal impending stops, lifts, turns, etc. All lifts are equipped with Braille coded indicators to the up, down, open, close, number of floors, etc. If a blind man wants to cross a street, there’s a button on the side which could be pressed, I think it provides some kind of signaling.

Once a blind man boarded a bus that I boarded, what a spectacle to witness! First the bus driver said something, may be she announced that a handicapped person is on board, then a whole row of people were standing up, wanting to give up the seats, what a scene!
The best thing is, even the digital toilet is Braille-coded for bidet, flushing, cleaning, flushing sounds, etc. Just amazing!

The samurai spirit is still entrenched in their sub-cortical zones, despite hundreds of years have passed. I don’t need to elaborate how serious they are with their job. They are so dedicated to fulfilling a given task to the best of their ability, such is the “Gambate” spirit, which is loosely translated as “Strive hard” or “Fight till the end”.

Here you would hear “Hait” (yes!) whenever an instruction is given and everyone shuffles and runs at every corner, as time is the essence and a job must be done quickly and accurately. Right until now I’m still carried away with my “yeay, huh huh?, okay….” And a litany of relaxed expressions which are associated with the western culture, but nay, here they would hail “Hait!” in a very firm and convincing way. The other famous words you often hear out of students or co-workers would be “wakarimas ta!” which means “I can understand that!” often following some kind of instructions given and you will be presented with a 90-degree bow and be assured that it would be done to the best of their ability.

The supermarket worker feels the company she/he works for is part of theirs, that they would even stop from doing their chore and wishes you “Arigato gozaimas” and series of words of graciousness for stopping by at their outlets and picking/purchasing their goods. Nobody feels irritated or cumbersome to show a “Guanjin”(an outsider or foreigner) where a carton of milk is located, all smiles and “Arigato gozaimas!!”. At the end of the day, they will ‘lelong’ their perishables like some scene at pasar borong, all smiles, cheerful and encouraging you to have a look, a taste and hopefully buy them!

At the cashier, they will not take your money from your hand, instead you must put down your notes on the table. Then they will make a statement like “2,300 yen out of a given 5,000 yen. And the balance is 2,700 yen…” first they will count the notes, “1,000, 2,000 yen and cents 700… “ and show to you the exact counting of the money, and this is practiced everywhere I go, it’s really an eye opener.

And hey, did I mention nobody slouches in a seat here? They even sleep in an upright position on the train and on the bus! No decent ladies would cross their legs too, instead they will sit straight with legs keep tight. Everyone sits rigidly to show awareness and respect. All doctors welcome and bow to patients and in return, all patients young or old bow until they get out of sight or the room.

Trustworthiness? My friend dropped her very expensive mobile phone on the beach. We went back there 2 times looking for it, I was feeling hopeless by then. But hey, 2 weeks later she received a letter asking her to collect the phone at a police station! Valuable things can be seen untouched in the most open spaces, old ladies with sling bags or hand bags walking like jaybirds happily on the street, you can see very expensive cameras being put on a sling on a shoulder everywhere without being threatened half to death by snatch thieves. The most important thing is - everyone feels safe here.

Cleanliness? I think this is another trait deeply implanted in their psyche. No littering, no spitting and they just clean their litters away. I once witnessed an old lady eating a salted egg at a café. The egg is actually cooked with salt that you could see the salt crystals outside the egg shell. First she put a piece of serviette paper on a plate, then she brushed the salt debris so that it all falls on the tissue paper. Then she cracked the egg shell, she took a few bites and rub on the salt for eating. After finishing she folded the paper into four then eight and put it all away, carried her bowls and glass back to the counter! It was like some kind of a ritual!

Another admirable practice I have witnessed here are the umbrella plastic covers that are usually supplied at the entrance of any building during the rain. Needless to say, this protects the floor from the water dripping from the umbrella which frequently cause the floor to become slippery and unsafe for others, and also dirty. This practice helps the cleaners happy, they can do other meaningful job save mopping the floor over and over again. Pretty smart, don’t you think?

The young generation sport highly fashionable hairdos and dressing. Their street fashion could compete with any European dress code and put them to shame. You rarely see unbecoming plain t-shirts, tattered jeans or overlarge tees around here. Their youth pay exceptional and meticulous attention to their appearance.

One thing I noticed amiss here on the buses or trains was the constant ringing of hand phones which thoroughly bugged me back home. Not forgetting those who speak so loudly over the receiver narrating to everyone their itinerary! Talking loudly on the phones, listening to loud music and doing anything which is considered disturbing to other passengers are just not visibly done here, although I failed to find any signs of restriction. I think this is just another demonstration of showing consideration towards others, which seems to be the utmost importance in this country.

To sum up all this admiration and the feeling of awe I have in me at the moment towards Japanese, I need to mention here that they do not have a particular religion. By their own admission, they are not a religious population. But culture and long standing tradition have made them a very civilized and highly advanced country. And at the throngs of success and the highest and sophisticated technology, they still display good moral values and remain ordinary, courteous and respectful.

Bakiah: Still learning their traits and tricks….

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Is mainstream media endorsing Blogs?

Utusan Malaysia today splashed a front page 'news quote' with the title "Isu Nik Aziz: Reaksi gesaan letak jawatan, pinda doa dan blog". Three quotes were highlighted and at the bottom end of the quotes is a lead to the page of the complete write-up of the news.

On the page mentioned (page 4) the whole story was not about the revelation or unraveling of the 3 issues above, but about the main subject: Nik Aziz and his "ill-doings". The sources of the story that was mentioned were from two blogs: unspinners.blogspot.com and kickdefella.wordpress.com.

The former blog owner today thanked Utusan for giving him/her/them/whatever credit that was due to the blog. Read here.

Now, what appalled me is that the whole story on the short write-up centers on some (or two rather) blog postings from an unnamed weblog (or source): unspinners.blogspot.com.

I tried to unravel the name/names of the owner/owners of this blog but couldn't find any. The only available names were their contributors with nicks such as: Cakap Pasal, Teruna Kelana, Abang Bulanja, Yeop Kanjieri, Tok Mat Sampan, Ipin Jual Sayur, Ranting Special, Marlborough Man, S Samad Sempit, Malaysia Betul, Friends of Teoh Beng Hock

Does this mean that the mainstream media (or Utusan rather) is now endorsing blogs even though it was an unnamed source? Well, at least if it wasn't a very credible source like MalaysiaToday, it can still be related to a named source or person: the infamous Raja Petra Kamaruddin.

Now, watch this space as I unravel more 'mystery' about how the mainstream media is now looking at blogs and in a way 'endorsing' their credibility.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fatine - Pondan Malaysia Glamer di UK

Kosmo! secara 2 hari berturut-turut (28 & 29 November 2009) menyiarkan berita sensasi seorang maknyah Malaysia mengahwini seorang rakyat Britain di London. Fatine atau nama sebenarnya Mohammed Fadzil Min Bahari, seorang jurusolek artis mendapat perhatian Ian Young semasa mat salleh itu bekerja di Malaysia pada 2006. Pada Disember 2008, Ian membawa Fatine ke UK dan pada Mei lalu, mereka berkahwin mengikut upacara perkahwinan sivil di London. Berita perkahwinan mereka adalah antara berita yang menjadi tumpuan akhbar The Sun di Britain sejak enam bulan lepas.

Pada hemat saya sememangnya isu ini disensasikan oleh media Britain sebab dalam banyak contoh di kalangan wanita Malaysia yang disunting oleh lelaki Britain, belum pun pernah dihebohkan mengenai kes wanita Malaysia menukar agama mereka disebabkan berkahwin dengan lelaki berlainan agama (atau berkahwin dalam upacara sivil). Dalam kes ini, maknyah Fatine ini tiada pilihan sebab dia tidak boleh kahwin dalam upacara Islam, walaupun dia berkeinginan agar 'suami'nya Ian memeluk Islam.

Kini media di Malaysia pula yang mensensasikannya....

Meminjam lirik lagu S.M.Salim..."APA NAK JADI....!"