Thursday, December 30, 2010

Homosexuality - to accept or not?

Malaysian actors Arja Lee and Wan Raja  in "Dalam Botol", 

a film touching on the issue of homosexuality

The debate on homosexuality versus heterosexuality (at least at the national level) has in a way subsided.

To me this dispute is just an expansion of the many types of discourses between the liberals and the conservatives -- as we can see it happen once in a while in this country.

But it seems like the twain can never meet.

Try as you may, people who are stuck with the basic conception (and perception) that homosexuals are sexual deviants and perverts and that homosexuality is a mental illness are not going to go away with the idea just like that.

This is what I was trying to say in my earlier posting:

I'm also gay, how come I'm not famous?


It was meant to help gay people like Azwan Ismail to cope with conservatism and its realities, at least at the local level -- not trying to heat up the situation -- despite both sides tried as they might to up the ante.

However, the debate over homosexuality and homosexual rights has steadily grown over the past two decades and will only continue to do so.

"People should live and let live!" "To each his own, let them live as they wish." "Let the gays have their freedom." "Whatever makes you happy, live with it." (The Geraldo Show, "Can Gays and Lesbians Go Straight?" 11 June 1991).

Comments like these are commonly heard when the topic of homosexuality comes up for discussion. But in the course of this debate, numerous inaccuracies, half-truths, fallacies, and overt propaganda have been disseminated to the public as uncontested truth. The detractors would retort with strong verbal attacks coupled with vague substantiation that "homosexuality is neither a normal nor a healthy lifestyle" -- a fact that they themselves don't really understand.

All these despite the scientific and psychiatric assertion worldwide that homosexuality has nothing to do with sexual deviancy or mental illness -- that homosexuality is just another Sexual orientation, identity and behavior.

The American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the National Association of Social Workers identify sexual orientation as "not merely a personal characteristic that can be defined in isolation. Rather, one’s sexual orientation defines the universe of persons with whom one is likely to find the satisfying and fulfilling relationships"

But if both sides try hard enough, we can, one day see the day of light where the liberals and conservatives can compromise their scholastic differences on a certain basis or middle ground based on the truth and scientific facts.

A basis where everyone would try to understand and recognize that the argument where 'nature versus nurture' - How Heredity and Environment Shape Who We Are is a valid one.

Fast-growing understanding of the human genome has recently made it clear that both sides are partly right. Nature endows us with inborn abilities and traits; nurture takes these genetic tendencies and molds them as we learn and mature.

So, meanwhile lets get on with life and make full use of our God-given physical health and mental ability to discern well. By exposing our minds to explore more knowledge and scientific facts can help us to discern between what's right or wrong, good and bad, between a positive and a negative choice and thus be able to prioritize our deeds and things that really matters in life.

The God-given mental intelligence is a divine gift and a proper utilization of this faculty can enlighten our path to understand the world we live in a better and holistic way.

To all readers of this blog, may God bless you all and lets look forward to a productive New Year in 2011.

Remember, if you can Link the Dots; and think out-of-the-box, it can help you Beat the Odds.

Related articles:  
For M'sian gays, hope for a better tomorrow

LGBT rights in Malaysia

Homosexuality: Fact and Fiction

Some Gays Can Go Straight, Study Says

 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I'm also gay, how come I'm not famous?

Hey, you guys know aah..! it's so easy to be famous nowadays.

You just post a video clip on Youtube.com and pronounce yourself (or make a declaration) as gay, and.....Walla! you're famous.

Well, it's actually not as easy as that.

Because it's not easy to be gay, as in being a male homosexual.

You have to sacrifice a lot of things, including being an asshole to yourself and your family, apart from having a loose asshole after a sexual encounter with your partner.

Okay, sorry, I'm being an insensitive and gay (as in happy) here...!

But to some people it does not matter if you're going to be well known for the right or wrong reasons, as long as you're famous, it's all that matters.

Take for example this guy Azwan Ismail, who is an engineer by profession and a part-time poet/writer/editor who gatai pungkok posted a supposedly well-meant video to encourage other gay Malaysians (Muslims especially) to be confident in themselves. The video is part of a series of interviews posted online by a gay rights activist group "Seksualiti Merdeka" since last week.

To watch Azwan, click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJLSteQIcms

The video has attracted more than 140,000 hits on YouTube in just six days.

Well, in a way, he is now a very famous (infamous if you prefer) gay. But do you think it is worth it? He is now in trouble with a lot of people, be it his family, the conservative Muslims and the authorities of this country.

An online news portal, The Daily Chilli report said: It (the video) is part of a series of interviews posted online by gay rights activists since last week, but Azwan has attracted heavy attention because he is the only one from Malaysia's ethnic Malay Muslim majority so far.

Azwan says he now fears for his safety after the Internet video also attracted online death threats and accusations by religious authorities that he is insulting Islam.

He told The Associated Press in a telephone interview on Tuesday he was taking safety precautions following fierce criticism in this conservative, Muslim-majority country over his clip.

The complete report: Malay gay man gets threats

In The Associated Press interview written by Sean Yoong, Azwan said:  
"I don't know what to expect next."

After the controversial video was made known to the masses, a local daily Berita Harian has this report: JAKIM pantau seks songsang, inviting negative comments from local leaders and the authorities.

Minister for Islamic affairs, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom (pic left), voiced concerns over the weekend that gay activists were trying to promote homosexuality. He said officials might take "appropriate action to prevent this from spreading because it would hurt Islam's image."

Harussani Zakaria, one of Malaysia's top Islamic clerics, reportedly said Azwan should have not made such an open declaration that "derided his own dignity and Islam in general."

Azwan has now avoided going out alone or lingering at public places after a few of the 3,000 people who commented on his video issued death threats and many others rebuked him. He has also made his personal details more private on social media websites. 

Although Azwan did not break any obvious laws by talking in the video, he said his lawyer friend was checking whether other legal action could be taken against him.

In the interview Azwan said, "My intention was not to insult Islam, I just wanted to represent gay Malays in this project. I hope these videos will help to create a more open society and more discussion."

My take (and advise to Azwan):

Hmm...after you posted the video, now only you want to check whether legal action can be taken against you! Reminds me of the Malay proverb "Dah terantuk baru terngadah..." and "Terlajak perahu boleh diundur..."

But your admission as being gay in the video (without being called for) according to many people, including me are wrong here, Azwan. You cannot and should have not represented others, be it Malay gays or lesbians or other queers. You cannot even declare yourself as a gay, as being a gay Muslim is not accepted here, not now and maybe not in a million years after we are dead and gone.

Now if you really think you want to represent gay Malays by not insulting Islam, you have to consult others including your family members, the experts i.e psychologist, sociologist, legal advisers and the authorities, whether what you are doing is right or wrong according to the legal system, the religion and whether its against the cultural norms. All these are part and parcel of being a decent being living in a society that abides to cultural norms and civility.

We know about your intentions and the project: STATEMENT FROM SEKSUALITI MERDEKA, which is in response to accounts of suicides and attempted suicides by LGBT teenagers and adults. Statistics of such suicides are as stated -- between three to six times higher than by heterosexuals.

But that is not a good reason to justify what you are doing.

We also understand why you consider it unfair or irresponsible (according to the site) of the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom to ask JAKIM to monitor the activities of gay groups, while failing to ask JAKIM to criminalise those who post abusive and vulgar comments which threaten Malaysian citizens with violence and death.

Both the minister and JAKIM are just doing their jobs and abiding to what the norms that the majority wants. Of course all the threats and abusive comments are wrong whether it is being condemned, criminalised or not. And no matter what injustices that are being done to you if ever the threats are being physically committed, there is always the law you can depend on.

If you do not want to abide to the norms, it may be okay for you alone, but keep it to yourself. You cannot or should not encourage or incite others to follow you. A lot of people will hate and lynch you for doing that, and these hate-mongering acts by people with access to power can do a lot of harm to you and your family, who may be a bystander in this example.

Hate-mongering is not easy to eradicate.

Now you see, by doing what you did, you are not just harming yourself alone, but your family too. Your heterosexual friends and colleagues might pity you, but they would now prefer to avoid you. You will feel more stigmatized now, then you would have been, before going public.

I know you are trying to be honest of yourself and your sexuality and at the same time not be a hypocrite. But being honest or doing a "pengakuan berani mati" in a country or a society that thrives of innuendo and nudge-wink insinuations is an act of digging your own grave.

As succinctly portrayed by Amir Muhammad in Who is Azwan Ismail and why are some people saying terrible things about him? what you did was what I have just said: violating the code of faham-faham ajelah or kalau ya pun, janganlah buat terang-terang.

Maybe these pepatahs can be a conclusion to the moral of the story : "Cakap siang pandang-pandang, cakap malam dengar-dengar.....". But I wouldn't fully agree with the other pepatah: "Terlajak perahu boleh diundur, terlajak kata buruk padahnya!"...I think terlajak kata pun boleh undur...how? by going public again and apologize la..like what this Ammar did!

Okay, Ammar did not confess about being gay, but what he did by apologizing after doing something wrong to the media is commendable.

But of course, in Azwan Ismail's case it will take a very courageous Malay Muslim gay to do that. But by just apologizing that you are wrong to go public with the admission or admitting that being gay and Muslim is contradicting is suffice.

And for the gay supporters, you can say otherwise as I also believe in free speech and I too stand to be corrected.

Now, can I be famous for that? No!

Related article: GayMuslims

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Marrying at an early age - whose terms should we abide to?

I may be late in posting and commenting on this, but R. Nadeswaran or Citizen Nades' article Correcting bad press overseas in yesterday's theSun and Sun2Surf prompted me to give my 2 cents worth.

I know my opinion is not going to be a popular one, but everyone's entitled to theirs, so just read what I have to say first, then you can disagree later.

I have already penned my piece on KARTIKA Sari Dewi Shukarno's case in my earlier post:
and gave my POV why she should be left alone. 

In this entry I would also like to advise others to leave Siti Maryam Mahmod and her husband alone and not go to town on the choice of lifestyle she chose.

In Citizen Nades article, Nadeswaran wrote....Associated Press put out this report on its wires, prompting even the Washington Post to pick it up: "A 14-year-old girl and 23-year-old man have celebrated their recent marriage in public in Malaysia’s largest city." The report said the union was arranged by their parents after obtaining permission from an Islamic court. "It has been hard trying to juggle two roles – as a student and a wife – but I am taking it in my stride," the report quoted the bride, Siti Maryam Mahmod, who studies at a religious school, as saying.

Curious as to how the foreign media treats a 'damning' report like that, I did a Yahoo! search: Malaysian girl 14 celebrates wedding in public, and it generated 381000 results. Amazing! almost every news agency with an online portal around the world carried that news report, as if poking fun at us.

But what is there to be amazed at actually? 

This story is about a couple/lovebirds who believe they are mature enough to tie the knot and have sex legally and then have kids on their own and thus being responsible for each other. What I find strange is why are stories about under-aged couples who have sex illegally, outside the sanctity of marriage, or eloped themselves and get into trouble by abandoning their love-child did not get honorary mention as great as this one? 

In Sunday's mStar Online: Usia Bukan Penghalang Untuk Kahwin - Siti Maryam, Siti Maryam Mahmod has made a clear statement that the marriage is her and their personal choice and that she is ready with the commitment of being a wife.

But being a matured women despite her age, she said the public is free to comment or judge on this marriage, as she has no power over what others want to say about it. She accepts it as it is. But the important thing is that she believe they are not doing any sin.

She said, there is no compulsion in this marriage, and that she is not being compelled into adulthood. As long as the marriage has the blessings of both parents and that it was her husband who proposed it first, all else does not matter.

She denied the fact that as an under-aged girl her right to grow, study and developing her self-potential were denied when she is 'forced' to be an adult by this marriage.

“Dalam perkahwinan tiada paksaan dan tiada isu saya dipaksa untuk menjadi dewasa. Dia (suami) melamar saya dan perkahwinan kami direstui oleh kedua-dua keluarga...itu yang penting,” katanya yang menolak dakwaan yang mengatakan hak gadis bawah umur untuk membesar, belajar dan mengembang potensi diri telah dinafikan apabila ‘dipaksa menjadi dewasa’ menerusi perkahwinan.

In NST's Marriage is not child's play, the news article poked fun at the issue, referring to the many comments in twitter, the microblogging site. One commenter said: "At least the 14-year-old girl married a man. In Australia, a man married his 5-year-old pet dog." He forgot to mention that in Taiwan, a woman married herself recently.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said the marriage was perfectly legitimate as it had obtained the consent of the syariah court. The court in this case would have had its reasons for granting consent. Perhaps she was mature for her age. After all, some of our great-grandparents got married at that age, or even younger.

the real pic of the ceremony taken from cikgudahlia.com
The NST journalist searched for the girl and managed to pick her out from the crush of identically-attired women. But the writer failed to acknowledge that the girl must have looked more than a child, but very much a mature woman.

Nonetheless, the writer had a cheek to pose this: Those who still don't think it's condemnable should just ask themselves this -- would they allow it if it were their own child?

Let me (a father with 4 daughters, with the eldest already married at the age of 23, to which I wished she had married earlier) answer that: a big YES...and do you have a problem with that?

I guess those who still think marriage at a young age are depriving these girls who mature at an early age should consider this reasoning seriously.

I know many would say if you really care of your children, no parents would want their child to be involved in pre-marital sex, but if you deprive them from having sex legally, i.e by not marrying them off when it is due, is that not depriving them of their choice of growing up, studying and developing their self-potential in life?

So many people talk about fundamental rights of this and that. Some would even go to great length to argue about The Fundamental Right To Marry As Applied To Same-sex And Plural Marriage.

But when a couple wants to get married with the blessings of their parents and the permission of the legal system of the country, but just because the number of the age of the bride is not of their liking, they go and kick a fuss and want to impose others to accept their terms or code of living conduct.

Tell me who is compelling who to accept their way of life?

So stop complaining and go get a life.

Related article: Saya izinkan mereka berkahwin - kata ibu pengantin

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dwindling sales on the Tata Nano - India's no-frills one lakh car

The Tata Nano is the cheapest car in the world today, though the price continues to rise due to increasing material costs.

Also called the people's car, the Nano is a rear-engined, four-passenger city car built by the Indian company Tata Motors.

Aimed primarily at the Indian domestic market, the Nano is considered an exemplary of Gandhian engineering, a concept involving deep frugality and a willingness to challenge conventional wisdom.

“Since we started the project four years back, there has been a steep increase in input cost but a promise is a promise,” said Tata Group chief Ratan Tata after displaying his dream project at the Ninth India Auto Expo in New Delhi back in December 2007.

Nicknamed the "one-lakh car", it was first sold in the Indian market in March, 2009. With a population of one billion, India's dream is to make everyone afford the one-lakh car or 100,000 rupee (RM7,226).

In 2008 the Financial Times reported: "if ever there were a symbol of India’s ambitions to become a modern nation, it would surely be the Nano, the tiny car with the even tinier price-tag. A triumph of homegrown engineering, the $2,200 (€1,490, £1,186) Nano encapsulates the dream of millions of Indians groping for a shot at urban prosperity."

While the cars were reported to have sold over 200K units worldwide, a report on the U.S. base autoblog.com said only 70,000 copies of the $2,500+ econobox have been sold to date. Bloomberg reports that only 589 Nano models were sold in November 2010; a minuscule total for a mass-market car.

Carl-Peter Forster, who became Tata group Chief Executive in January, 2010 reportedly blames a lack of financing options as the reason customers aren't buying. Forster claims that the Nano is popular with customers who currently use a bike or motorcycle for transportation, and the feeling is that banks fear that extending a loan to a lower income buyer could bring increased risk of default.

Another issue could stem from the fact that the Nano has been in the news for catching fire. Recently, there was a report on a Tata Nano going up in flames only minutes after it was delivered to a customer. But this isn't the first incident involving a Nano catching fire – in fact, the folks at Indian Autos Blog report that three other Nanos have suffered similar issues, all while the cars were parked.

Read also: Tata orders probe into Nano fire


That's definitely not a desirable feature. Customers who plunk down their life savings for their first vehicle don't want their low-cost car to turn into a pricey car-b-que.

The 'no loans' theory sounds even less likely after hearing that overall Tata sales in November were 54,622, up one percent year-over-year.

And the icing on the cake? Tata has also raised the price of the Nano twice over the past few months; $198 in October and four percent back in July. That's about $300 more than the car sold for at launch.

The dwindling sales figures have made some rethink on current opinions whether selling no frills products to the poor will be a winning strategy in the future.

Anyway, at the current price of $2,800+ or approximately RM9,000, the Nano is definitely cheap, which I think is the reason this car is not yet available in the local market.

In a June 2009 news report by Bernama, Thailand is expected to import the price-competitive 650 cc Tata Nano soon. It will be commercially priced between Bt80,000-150,000 (RM8,000 – RM15,000).

Read also: 10 kereta termurah di dunia and

WORLD CHEAPEST CAR VS MALAYSIA’S CAR????

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Facebook's 'porn cops' to delete risque content and enforce decorum

So Facebook has now set-up a police morality squad or 'porn-cops' to clean its pages of vice and incivility.

In an online article in Newsweek the running title says:

To make Facebook advertiser-friendly, its 'porn cops' delete risqué content and enforce decorum.

At the Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California, some 150 people the company employs help keep the site clean. Facebook describes these staffers as an internal police force, charged with regulating users' decorum, hunting spammers and working with actual law-enforcement agencies to help solve crimes.

Part hall monitors, part vice cops, these employees are key weapons in Facebook's efforts to maintain its image as a place that's safe for corporate advertisers—more so than predecessor social networks like Friendster and MySpace.

However, the hard part is that it puts Facebook and the squad on the front line of the debate over free speech on the Internet.

In yesterday's New York Times online there is a piece in the Technology section titled:

Facebook Wrestles With Free Speech and Civility

Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and chief executive of Facebook, says that although his Web site brings people together, it is not a place for misfits and criminals.

Dave Willner (from his Facebook profile pic)
Dave Willner and his colleagues on Facebook’s “hate and harassment team” are now part of a virtual police squad charged with taking down content that is illegal or violates Facebook’s terms of service.

Dressed in Facebook’s quasi-official uniform of jeans, a T-shirt and flip-flops, the 26-year-old Mr. Willner hardly looks like a cop on the beat.

Read the whole article here.

So now, Facebook users have to be wary. Any piece of content — a photograph, video, page or even a message between two individuals — that could offend somebody will be subjected to this 'hate and harassment team's' long arm of the law (approval or rejection).

So, today I have given this Facebook's 'long arm of the law' a test at how efficient they are. At approximately 2.50pm (Malaysian time) I had sent in an application through the Report/Block this Person on a Facebook account of a person who uses the name Barat Ngetot and selected inappropriate (use of) profile photo (yup! this Barat Ngetot had used a pornograhic material taken from some pornsite and used it as a profile pic).

Lets see if the Facebook administrator respond to this, and how long it will take them to block this Barat Ngetot?

Update: As of 4.40pm, 16 December 2010, I have checked -- the Facebook account of Barat Ngetot no longer exists. Thanks to the FB admins.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Come What May - Vicky Leandros

This was one of my favorite song circa 1970. It was made popular the Greek singer Vicky Leandros.

At that time I was in standard 4G, Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan (I), Cator Avenue, Ipoh. The (I) stands for Inggeris as my jenis was English. (C) stands for Chinese, (T) for Tamil and (M) for Malay.

I do not know why the Jenis had to be included with the name of the school, but till now I still think it sounds silly. Maybe because they (the government) wants to include the 'Kebangsaan' or National with the name of the school so that 'others' won't think that this school is a wholly English, Chinese, Tamil or Malay language type of school.

I am sure I have lots of fond memories when in primary school, but most of the good ones has left me. I can't even remember the names of my close friends, what more the names of the teachers who taught me.

Anyway, the song was originally written in French as "Après Toi" meaning After You. It was translated into English as "Come What May" and was a big hit in the UK reaching #2 on the UK Singles Chart. Globally it sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. Leandros also recorded the song in six other languages.

In 1972 Leandros represented Luxembourg at  Eurovision Song Contest for the second time and won the contest with the song. I couldn't find a copy of the song in MYspace nor in any other MP3 site, but this is what I got, just to try and rekindle the memories.

Maybe by playing it over and over again, those memories will 'come what may' back to me...hahaha lantak kau la...menyalah gunakan idiom jenis kebangsaan!





Free Vicky Leandros Songs | Free ringtones at EZ-Tracks.com

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Malaysian movies top grosser 2010

Updates: @29 December 2010, the ticket sales collection for the movie Ngangkung has surpassed the film Adnan Sempit for the first placing. Ngangkung also made a new sales record at RM8.02 million.  

The movie Hantu Kak Limah Balik Rumah has also made a surprise when it collected RM5.82 million and is now in 2nd place surpassing Evolusi KL Drift 2 (RM5.6m) which was previously at no.2. Both Adnan Sempit and Evolusi KL Drift 2 are now at no.3 and 4 respectively.

Source: Finas

Which Malaysian made movie collected the biggest profit from ticket sales this year?

Obviously it's the action/romantic comedy Adnan Sempit with a collection of RM7.66 million at the box office. The film, directed by Ahmad Idham and produced by David Teo (MIG Production) also spawned a drama series with the same title on Astro Ria.

A New Straits Times reeltime article today 'Adnan Sempit' is year's top grosser by Meor Shariman (mshariman@nst.com.my) did a simple analysis of the 5 biggest profit makers and 5 biggest losers.

The top grossers are:
1. Adnan Sempit, which made RM7.6 million at a production cost of RM1.5million
2. Evolusi KL Drift 2 (RM5.6m) -- production cost RM1.9m
3. Lagenda Budak Setan (RM4.2m) -- production cost RM1.3m
4. Jangan Pandang Belakang Congkak 2 (RM4.2m) -- production cost RM1.8m
5. V3 Samseng Jalanan (RM3.8m) -- production cost RM1.7m

But not to be outdone (in ticket sales) is the movie Ngangkung (still showing in theaters nationwide), which at press time made RM3.5m in just one week.

The top losers are:
1. Kapoww: Atoi the Ajaib Boy (RM270,000) with a production cost of RM1.9million
2. Crayon (RM280,000) -- production cost RM1.3m
3. Belukar (RM300,000) -- production cost RM2m
4. 2 Alam (RM350,000) -- production cost RM1.5m
5. Estet (RM350,000) -- production cost RM1.9m

So how much more would the good doctor have to spin (or shake) for his much hyped '2 Alam' to actually reach the target box office of RM40 million he once projected (or dream rather)? '2 Alam' also made a record for screening at 83 cineplexes nationwide.

For the complete results of all the film's production costs, dates of screening, gross collection etc. you can view the table below taken from the FINAS webpage: TAYANGAN FILEM CEREKA TAHUN 2010, which was updated on 8 December 2010.


BILJUDUL FILEMGENREKOS PRODUKSIMULA TAYANGKUTIPAN KASAR (RM)BILANGAN PAWAGAM
1.
Adnan Sempit
KOMEDI / DRAMA1.50 juta14.01.20107.66 juta61
2.
2 Hati 1 Jiwa
DRAMA0.98 juta28.01.20100.40 juta44
3.
Lu Pikirlah Sendiri The Movie
KOMEDI1.73 juta11.02.20102.15 juta49
4.
Niyang Rapik
SERAM1.64 juta25.02.20103.72 juta60
5.
V3: Samseng Jalanan
AKSI1.72 juta11.03.20103.88 juta62
6.
KL Drift 2
AKSI1.92 juta25.03.20105.67 juta65
7.
Semerah Cinta Stilleto
AKSI1.50 juta08.04.20102.13 juta53
8.
Hooperz
KOMEDI1.27 juta22.04.20100.29 juta42
9.
Belukar
AKSI / DRAMA / CINTA2.10 juta06.05.20100.30 juta40
10.
Andartu Terlampau 21 Hari Mencari Suami
KOMEDI / CINTA0.98 juta20.05.20100.56 juta48
11.
Lagenda Budak Setan
DRAMA / CINTA1.36 juta03.06.20104.28 juta51
12.
Kecoh Betul
AKSI / KOMEDI1.85 juta03.06.20102.03 juta53
13.
Kapoww!!
AKSI / KOMEDI1.98 juta17.06.20100.27 juta42
14.
Zoo
AKSI / KOMEDI01.07.20102.17 juta60
15.
Mantra
SERAM1.82 juta15.07.20102.74 juta61
16.
Senario Asam Garam
KOMEDI / CINTA1.70 juta09.09.20102.47 juta60
17.
4 Madu
KOMEDI / CINTA09.09.20101.82 juta64
18.
Magika
MUZIKAL / FANTASI2.40 juta23.0920103.14 juta60
19.
Jangan Pandang Belakang Congkak 2
KOMEDI / SERAM1.80 juta07.10.20104.23 juta56
20.
Cuti-Cuti Cinta
AKSI / DRAMA / CINTA1.20 juta21.10.20103.17 juta57
21.
Estet
AKSI / KOMEDI1.97 juta04.11.20100.35 juta47
22.
Crayon
DRAMA1.31 juta11.11.20100.053 juta25
23.
2 Alam
DRAMA1.51 juta18.11.20100.43 juta *83
24.
Ngangkung
KOMEDI / SERAM1.82 juta25.11.20105.41 juta *59
25.
Aku Tak Bodoh
KOMEDI / KELUARGA1.62 juta02.12.20100.30 juta *58
26.
Hantu Kak Limah Balik Rumah
KOMEDI / SERAM / MISTERI1.42 juta09.12.2010
27.
Aku Masih Dara
CINTA1.50 juta09.12.2010
28.
Janin
SERAM1.54 juta23.12.2010
29.
Damping Malam
1.82 juta30.12.2010

*Kutipan terkini sehingga 8 Disember 2010

Nonetheless, this is not the final version as there still 4 movies to be shown before year end:
1. Hantu Kak Limah Balik Rumah
2. Aku Masih Dara
3. Janin
4. Damping Malam

I am not sure if any of these remaining films can make it to the top five biggest grossers, but there's a chance some of it might join the big loser's list.

Happy viewing!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Social Network: Facebook 'Hit Job' or Masterpiece?

Last Sunday we (my wife & me) chanced upon this movie at the Golden Screen Cinemas cineplex at Queensbay Mall. I hadn't read the rave reviews before this but due to my wife's chatter about it and out of curiosity we decided to give the movie a try.   
Immediately after watching the movie, I had the chance to read some of the reviews and which prompted this entry. I had also copied the whole write-up of a review from Ian Paul of PC World which sums up the whole reviewers chatter on this movie.

And to tell you the truth, the movie was awesome and worth it. It wasn't like a full action movie that you had to seat yourself at the edge all the way through, but the thrill and suspense of not knowing how the movie would end that gave me the goose. We had to be on alert at every word said by the actors especially Jesse Eisenberg who played Mark Zuckerberg and Justin Timberlake who played Sean Parker. The guy who played Eduardo Severin (Andrew Garfield) was also good, but the character portrayed was a bit out of touch, maybe because the real Eduardo wasn't very much entrepreneurial although in real life Eduardo was a business major and the CFO and founding member of Facebook. 
Anyway, to me the movie really paid up to a missed opportunity -- a book I was browsing at Chicago OHare Airport (sometime in April) The Accidental Billionaires,

The Founding of Facebook A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal written by Ben Mezrich, and which I missed buying due to too much thinking about it.

But at the end of the show, I counted the seats that were occupied, only around 20 seats filled. Such a good show, but only a couple of curious people (probably FB addicts like me) who would go for real life dramas or watch computer geeks (and entrepreneurs) bashing each other using computer codes and jargons. 

I had a suspicion that the hall next to us showing THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER was also not full, as it was quiet on the inside or outside the cineplex. Just wondering, where have all the cinema-goers gone to?

The movie was written by the famous screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (pic right) who also wrote A Few Good Men, The West Wing and produced by super producer Scott Rudin (No Country for Old Men). _____________________________________________________________ 

The Social Network: Facebook 'Hit Job' or Masterpiece?


It's official. The Social Network's opening weekend was a success after the film finished first at the box office and raked in $23 million in the U.S. and Canada. The film recounts a highly fictionalized version of Facebook's founding, and is being hailed by the majority of movie critics. Rolling Stone's Pete Travers said the film is "bracingly smart, brutally funny and acted to perfection."

But not everyone is happy with The Social Network. The movie is accused by some as being a hit job on the so-called geeks at the center of the film. That may be one reason Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has indicated he won't see the movie. Nevertheless, the Facebook crew reportedly booked a local California theater to see the movie last Friday.

Here's your post weekend wrap-up for The Social Network.

 

Number 1

Facebook is the most popular social network on the planet, and The Social Network is the number one movie at the box office, according to The Los Angeles Times.

While $23 million is not a lot compared to Avatar's blockbuster opening weekend of nearly $80 million, The Social Network was by far the most popular movie last weekend. Films taking the second and third place box office titles were respectively Legend of the Guardians and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Both films pulled in about $21 million combined.

 

Everyone Likes The Social Network

The movie-rating site Rotten Tomatoes says The Social Network is certified fresh with a 97 percent favorable rating. Rotten Tomatoes aggregates movie reviews from published critics and then gives the movie an average score.

The Social Network's rating is currently based on 173 reviews, including those of New York magazine, Slate, MTV, and many local newspapers such as the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Kansas City Star and San Jose Mercury News. Audience members scoring the movie on Rotten Tomatoes ranked The Social Network a little lower than the critics, giving it an 81 percent approval rating.

 

Defriending The Social Network

Despite the movie's popularity, a small group of naysayers do not like the film for its underlying message -- at least as they see it. "[The movie] doesn't understand entrepreneurs and geeks, or at least not the one here. So it turns [Zuckerberg] into an other. It makes him weird," wrote blogger, author, and journalism professor Jeff Jarvis.

Jose Antonio Vargas, who profiled Zuckerberg for The New Yorker, agreed writing for The Huffington Post that "The Social Network is a Hollywood movie about a topic that Hollywood fails to understand." Venture Beat recently reported that Matt Cohler, a venture capitalist and former Facebook employee, said the movie's portrayal of Zuckerberg is "just wrong."

The Daily Beast's Rebecca Davis O'Brien dinged the movie for failing to understand a different demographic: women. O'Brien said The Social Network was "an impressive film," but took issue with how women are depicted in the movie. Calling the film's women "foils for the male characters, who in turn are cruel or indifferent to them."

 

Does Facebook Like The Social Network?

Facebook staffers reportedly descended en masse to a theater in Mountain View, California on Friday to take in the movie about their company and its founders, according to Mashable.

It wasn't clear if Zuckerberg joined his employees to see the movie, as he has reportedly said he wouldn't watch it. But The New York Times reported on Sunday that Zuckerberg did attend the Friday screening.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Malaysian IPTA & IPTS website ranking according to Webometrics

If you think the Alexa.com and bizinformation.org/my/ ranking of local IPTAs as published in my other blog previously is superficial as it only gathers the number of hits (or popularity) of the websites, then this Webometrics ranking will give you a more balanced answer to whatever needs your curiosity might demand.

The complete posting and list, here: 
Malaysian IPTA & IPTS website ranking according to Webometrics

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Malaysian IPTA website ranking according to Alexa and Bizinformation

How well does the Malaysian university website fare in the popularity ranking as compared to their peers in the same category (IPTA)?

Sixteen IPTA websites were listed for this survey, as the rest of the IPTA sites were far off the ranking from this top group.

The results in my other blog: usmcampusnews

or click here: Malaysian IPTA website ranking according to Alexa and Bizinformation

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Selangor Sultan shows sadness due to much politicking in Selangor (Times)

Selangor Times, a free weekly newspaper with a focus on community news, went on the streets last Friday (26 Nov 2010) in a test of media freedom and setting the scene for a possible contest of wills between the Selangor government and the federal Ministry of Home Affairs (KDN) which licences the publication of newspapers.

Selangor launches no-KDN newspaper 

Its editor Chan Kok Leong said: "There will be no politics in this paper, only local and community issues".

Selangor Times to hit the streets on Friday by Maria J. Dass

But Amir Muhammad has the upper hand with his creative write-up (click on pic on the left) by squeezing the rules in a satirical way. He writes a fictitious story about the real-life idiosyncrasies of Malaysian politicians and their blood(y) type of politics.

His fiction, "Land where my blood spills" or simply translated as "Tanah tumpah darahku" is actually a parody of the common racialist chauvinistic way now entrenched in the majority Malaysian mindset.

The part which fascinated me most is:
This statement was condemned by the organisation that upheld the rights of the Type O people, Gerakan Darah O Hakiki (GADOH). The motive of this objection: "To say that all blood type is equal is seditious and unconstitutional. Doesn't the coalition that dreams of seizing power know that the Type O people are the indigenous people of this country? We inherited not only the antigens of our red blood cells from our censors, but the right to rule the nation."

It was only yesterday (or the day before) that PKR President, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail's call on the abandonment of the ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) concept in her speech at the PKR Congress in Petaling Jaya.

Wan Azizah gives thumbs down to 'Malay supremacy'

Arman Azha Abu Hanifah (left), Azmin & Wan Azizah
Only a day pass and the statement was met with fiery reproach by non other than the organisation that upheld the rights of the Type O people, Gerakan Darah O Hakiki (GADOH), or in comparison the Malay rights pressure group Perkasa.

Perkasa's Youth Chief, Arman Azha Abu Hanifah has labled PKR president Dr Wan Azizah and her deputy, Azmin Ali a “political prostitute” for calling for the abandonment:

Perkasa Youth calls Wan Azizah a political prostitute

Azizah, Azmin are 'political prostitutes', says Perkasa

Arman told a press conference yesterday that Dr Wan Azizah had failed to understand the history and context of constitutional provisions that accord the Malays with what he said were special privileges.

But Malaysiakini readers are quick to chip in by asking Perkasa:  Does that mean Onn Jaafar a 'prostitute' too?

Keris wielding Home Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein
Onn Jaafar's grandson and keris wielding Home Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein was also quick to retort: Wan Azizah tak bertanggungjawab

"Saya ingin bertanya kepada Wan Azizah dan pimpinan PKR, adakah mereka turut menolak institusi raja-raja Melayu? Apa yang ditimbulkan oleh PKR jelas sekali cuba untuk merendah-rendahkan konsep ketuanan Melayu. Kita tidak mahu institusi Kesultanan Melayu turut direndah-rendahkan," he said.

Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah showing his sadness
Selangor ruler, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah expressed his sadness over the ‘questioning’ of the special position of Malays and royalty.

Sultan saddened by those who question privileges

Yesterday at the launch of a discourse on the current and future historical perspective of the country’s constitutional monarchy system: Wacana Raja Berperlembagaan - Perspektif Sejarah, Kini dan Masa Depan, the Selangor sultan said said he was saddened to the loud voices from among the Malays themselves asking that the word “Malay” from the term “Malay Rulers” be abolished..

Today his speech was picked up by all mainstream dailies. In Berita Harian: Beta sedih
In Utusan Malaysia: Sultan Selangor kurang senang

Well, lets hope Selangor Times stay true to their vow in not publishing any political news in their paper, or the Selangor Sultan will be real saddened.

Well, with the exception if you know how to camouflage it in a creative way.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Poster filem 2 Alam yang pecah tradisi

Inilah poster filem 2 Alam yang sedang ditayangkan dipawagam mulai 18 November lepas.

Sudahkah tuan-tuan melihat atau menonton tayangan gambar tersebut? Saya memang berminat nak menonton, tapi belum ada kesempatan lagi.

Produsernya, Datuk Dr Che Rozmey Che Din merasakan gambarnya yang hensem adalah lebih afdal dipaparkan dalam poster promo untuk filem tersebut.

Hal ini telah dikomen dengan sinisnya oleh blogger, penulis, penerbit dan pengkritik filem Amir Muhammad dalam blog entrinya:

I'm a fan of movie posters, but I have never seen one quite like this


Saya harap Dr Rozmey janganlah ambil hati sebab komen Amir Muhammad tu memang wajar. Lagi pun memang belum pernah lagi saya lihat filem tempatan atau luar negara yang memaparkan wajah produser untuk promo filem-filem yang diterbitkan syarikat mereka.
 

Bayangkan jika filem-filem Hollywood, sebagai contoh filem Schindler's List (1993) di mana Steven Spielberg adalah produser dan pengarahnya menggunakan wajahnya sendiri sebagai promo untuk poster filem tersebut? 

Tidakkah ia aneh?

Ataupun kita guna gambar Dino de Laurentis (gambar kiri) sebagai menggantikan King Kong dalam filem King Kong Lives (1986). 

Apakah tidak penonton yang kurang arif akan menyalahtafsirkan bahawa Dino de Laurentis itu adalah King Kong? Bukankah itu janggal atau lebih tepat lawak namanya?


Ataupun dalam konteks filem Malaysia, kita ambil wajah David Teo yang menerbitkan filem Remp-it (2006) untuk promo filem tersebut? 

Dalam konteks ini, memang ler tak salah (sebab dalam filem tersebut David Teo ada memegang watak penjual motor). Tapi ke jadah apa David Teo nak muncul dalam poster filem Remp-it, kecualilah David Teo hero atau pun watak utama filem tersebut .
 


Ini bermakna tindakan Dr Rozmey menggunakan fotonya untuk promo filem 2 Alam bukan saja untuk tujuan pecah panggung (dianggarkan RM40 juta), tapi dia juga cuba pecah tradisi dalam hal menerbitkan poster wayang. 

Syabas saya ucapkan kerana keberanian dan keunikan tersebut. Diharap untuk filem Dr Rozmey berikutnya yang akan memaparkan pelakon seksi Pamela Anderson, wajahnya akan muncul lagi untuk promo filem tersebut (disamping Pamela).
 

Sebagai hiburan, amatilah poster filem terbaru si mamat (yang angan-angan nak jadi) produser ini yang menggunakan nama dR Romzey (lihat ejaannya betul-betul). 

Filem si mamat (yang tak kurang hensemnya) menurut posternya ini bertajuk Dua Alim, juga dijangka pecah punggung sebanyak RM40 juta (rupiah kut!).

Video terbaru mengenai Dr Rozmey: 
dR. Rozmey hampa dengan kutipan 2 Alam

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ian Young goes into depression, estrange from Fatine

Ian James Young taken from his Facebook profile pic

It's been a while since we've heard about the couple. Have they been parting ways? This is what Fatine's partner, Ian James Young had posted on their shared Facebook page, Right to STAY TOGETHER on October 30 in between 7.00 to 7:05am.

We start here 9 months ago everything wasn’t good but we were ok. 

I and Fatine both appeared on This Morning a national day time program which you may have see the video that has been posted on fatine’s fan page. I knew I would get problems with the future from this and I had to face them .

I knew that being fatine would cause problems but I had fallen in love with her in every sense wanting to be with her, sleep next to, her hold her and just be there for her, so I would take what ever came at me. 

Our relation ship was ok but not good it was always filled with worry about visas and not just about getting them but if we where refused where was the next lot of fees for the solicitor and fees for the application coming from in all we had applied 5 times and the cost was around £1100 each time . I was a caretaker in a small school earning £640 a month and trying to build a business at the same time not doing very successfully at the time and being told I was a failure by her as I couldn’t support her in the way she wanted to be. 

Just before Christmas I was moved out of the school I was working in as there had been a complaint about me appearing on TV and in a local paper. There was no reason given and was told, I should move for my own safety when I asked what was the problem they just told me to move. It has been pass to me that there was 2 complaints that where made to the head teacher that they where unhappy with a homosexual working in the school so. 

And I was pushed out. And that where the bad things happen. After being passed around derby to different sites I was told I was under investigation and they started to push me out and burry me with made up issues that could be seen as rubbish, but who is one small person against a local council. Not wanting to cause fatine any more stress I kept quiet and hide it away. They had done all this and pushed me into depression and started to close everyone out friends and family and fatine to.

Ian and Fatine during happier moments

The only person that I could talk to openly and freely was a close friend who I will not name, but fatine will as she blames her for our break up. My friend and I text allot and were more like brother and sister but fatine took this the wrong way and said I was having an affair. I have never cheated or betrayed anyone I love fatine with all my heart .I have been cheated on and would not do that to anyone.

My friend stopped me from killing myself many times by pushing me towards fatine and open up to her but when we tried to talk she never seemed to be interested witch made me more depressed I don’t blame fatine for this she was under allot of stress and so was I tried to pull my self out of it so many times but just as I did either fatine had bad news or I did as I went on though all the depression it felt like I had lost fatine and she was gone. I found myself sat in my van wanting to kiss and hold her but it seemed it was too late I had taken an overdose. I was found by the police unconscious.

I knew that if I died she would have no stress any more and that she could find someone better than me and she would have money. I was sent home and put under counselling and tablets. 

While I was coming out of the doctors I had a phone call to tell me fatine’s asylum case had been won I did literally cried all the way home this was meant to be our start but fatine had the thoughts I was still having an affair and I started to shut my self away again. 

I admit that I did neglect fatine when I was depressed but I just wanted her to tell me we could get though it together but she wasn’t interested we I used to walk out on her as I don’t like to argue and come back and talk but fatine wasn’t able to talk she just shouted I asked her if she wanted to find some one else as she seem to be pushing it all away from me still thinking and accusing me of having an affair but she left and stayed with 2 of her friends. 

I missed her from the day she walked out and threatened me with the police if I came to the house where she was staying. I admit I am not a bad person, I’m not an evil person and never hurt her or hit her. 

I made the mistake of not looking after her and not treating her right and I blame myself for what she has gone though. This is not an excuse but depression was the cause of most of it caused though losing my job worrying about visas and worrying about my partner. I have now lost the person I love, my job and live on what I earn myself. I have lost the house we lived in and all our pets have gone. I stand alone hoping that one day she will see I love her and hope she will come home.

I have put something’s on face book that at the time was how I felt I did feel used and I felt taken for a fool and I would like to say that I am sorry for what I put. Fatine had good reason to fight back at me and I am more than partly to blame for her leaving. 

I will say that this woman is the best person ever to come into my life weather good or bad, happy or sad. We both hurt each other in different ways and I’m sorry for that. My life is now incomplete and I have shut myself down. I don’t know how long I will last like this but I hope it is not long. 

I hope that she will forgive me and see me for the person I was at the start and let me have one more chance I know I have done wrong and I have learnt by what I have done. She is my life and I love her with all of my body we said we would be with each other till we were old and I still want that we both have our faults but together we can build a good life.

The last message was posted at 8:24am On October 30. Ian wrote:

well i have said my piece and it is time to go, sorry for hurting you fatine but you are my life and without you i don't want life

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