Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mother Teresa said: "To truly give charity, you must be free of selfishness!"

Just the other day I was talking to an old friend and he said something very funny. He said that he truely wants to serve society and do something good for the society. After a cup of coffee, a big cup that is, I discovered his defination of " service to society ".

Serving society by joining a political party. I said to myself " Okay " that's it, he is going to say something really silly. True enough he rambled on about party positions, being head of this, Chairman of that and appointments etc etc.

My point is how many of us really appreciate what is the true meaning of charity, serving the public selflessly and contributing to society without asking for something in return.

I for one has not reached that stage yet. I cannot say that I have achieved this status of being a charitable person. I say this for 3 good reasons.

First of all, I do not think I have the ability financially to contribute such an amount that will make an impact. I do contribute but in small tokens. To some people it would not even be classified as Charity.

Secondly to contribute by giving away some of my time, that is near impossible because I do not even have sufficient time in a days to do my own stuff. How could I possibly contribute my time for charity.

Therefore I am already admitting to the fact that time and money is not one of my stronger points as far as charity is concerned.

Thirdly I do not want to be a hypocrite like my friend blowing his own trumpet and say that he is contributing to society when he hoped to get something out of the effort he had put in.

When I was doing my stuff for the political party, make a good guess. That's it - nothing more and nothing less.

Most of the people do things for their own benefit. Call it selfishness or call it whatever you want. But the bottom line is that he or she needs to put food on the table, pay for the tuition fees, pay for the maid's salary, worker's salary, parent's pocket money, short holidays with the family etc etc. Who do you think will come along and say I am willing to put food on your table. Someone saying that would probably be wanting something in return as well.

So you see, don't talk about charity or serving society unless you truly know the meaning of charity and service to the public.

Nowadays we hear of so many politicians saying that he is fighting for his own race and his own people, fairness and so on and so forth. His loyalty to King and Country. Rukunegara all thrown in. But I do not believe a single word they say.

What is our national philosophy.

Our nation, Malaysia, is being dedicated :

  • to achieve a greater unity of all her peoples;
  • to maintain a democratic way of life;
  • to create a just society in which the wealth of the nation shall be equitably shared;
  • to ensure a liberal approach to her rich and diverse cultural traditions;
  • and to build a progressive society which shall be oriented to modern science and technology;

We, her peoples, pledge our united efforts to attain these ends guided by these principles:

I am still trying to do all this and be honest with myself. Please tell me that I am wrong. I would like to hear about it.

How many of you are prepared to stand up and say that I am truly a charitable person now ?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mey Mey's Birthday Dinner

Nowadays when the children turns 18 we have to go out with them to celebrate their coming of age. During my time, my mum and dad will keep a straight face and gives us the impression that turning 18 is no big deal.

As a matter of fact nowadays parents tend to pamper their children more than those days when going to Penang from Ipoh is such a big occasion. I still remember we never celebrate birthdays in such a manner.

What my mum did was in the morning she will wake up early and cook me a big bowl of mee suah with mince pork. She will also boil a few eggs and dip it in red colouring for auspiciousness. Sometimes the whole family will join in. No cakes and no alcholic drinks. No friends are invited and we just have a quiet affair.

I just took it for granted and I think I never even thanked my mother for making such a big delicious bowl of mee suah for me.

I read somewhere once that " you will never know how much your parents loved you until you have children of your own "

Monday, April 5, 2010

My Roots - Ching Ming -

Remembering our forefathers. Well !!! every year I will not miss the Ching Ming festival.

Why? For a good three reasons.

First and foremost - since I was a child I was told that to worship our forefathers is the responsibility for the first born. That's me. Irregardless whether my brothers come with me or not.
Secondly - I miss my parents so much. Every opportunity I get. I visit them.
Thirdly - Ching Ming is the least I could do. I owe my parents so much. Even if I were to live till a hundred. I can never repay my debt to them.

When I sit by my grandpa's grave I remember the thing he use to tell me when I was a child. Stories from China about our family etc.

When I sit by my father and mother i remember what my dad told me when I was younger.

Hopefully my three daughters will remember what I told them.

I hope to put some of my thoughts in writing and some of the things i remember what my grandpa and my dad told me when I was a child.

Time waits for nobody. No matter how rich you are, how famous you are or how powerful you are. Time will keep on eating away your life bit by bit.

So my friends. Do what you feel will make you happy. Life is too short to sit and stare.

Live happy

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Too free today - Thoughts running wild again.

Starting at 9-00am. Sent my boys out to fetch two separate group of workers. One to do up the blocked pipe at the fish tank and couldn't get all the dirt out after washing the filter. Second group to concrete the outside of my house that looks like jungle when the grass cutter disappears for a few weeks.

As for me I was cutting the grass inside my house compound and next door empty land. Somehow my fruit trees seems not to be growing any bigger. Maybe its the soil.

But the moral of the story is that I did manage to do a lot of exercise despite the fact that I am down with flu. I'm getting better and I am not taking medication for it except for a panadol just now.

Sometimes I wonder whether I am spending time the right way.

Am I suppose to be doing all this rather than perhaps going out meeting friends and getting back into ( party politics ) . But having said that I have to weight it against my business and travelling outstation and travelling overseas.

Getting into party politics is like a full time job and spending a lot of money. No allowance from anyone. Only out of your own pocket. When people invite you for full moon party, weddings, birthdays, association dinners, fund raising dinners, school dinners or at funerals that's where the money goes.

When it comes to Chinese new year, can you imagine how many branches, divisions etc. Believe me one can easily turn blue in the face. Its not free. You have to pay for your own meals and also invited guests you have to pay for them as well.

Money is one thing, how about the time spent. That is a serious question that I always ask myself.

Couple with that, of course the wife plays an important part in my decision making process. " As usual ". Anyway it gives me satisfaction to know that she needs me around 24 hours a day. She misses me so much.

For the time being, I think I want to sleep peacefully. I reckon my wife will not let me alone if I go back to serving the party. Those branch meetings always at night and ends up having tea or beer and comes back late at night.

Putting my thoughts on paper.
Should try it !!
Its fun !!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Approaching a Morbid Subject

Many people whether they like it or not will eventually ask one question. What if I were to die tomorrow. Am I prepared to die. Is there anything else left to do. What will happen to my wife or my husband. What about my children. Will my children be able to take care of themselves. Do we have enough money to take care of them for life. What happens to so and so and so on and so forth.

Have you ever wondered whether you are doing something about it. We keep asking questions that we are not able to answer.

I think the solution is to make provisions as if you only have one month more to live. That way we will at least be accomplishing something if the time really come.

Why do I ask this question one may wonder. Think hard. Think how often this question comes to mind and we just try to brush it aside. People are naturally afraid of death and when the thought of death approaches your door we just simply shut it out.

I think it is very cool to be writing my own obituary. I don't want some emo fella talking about me as if I am a saint. How good I was and how everyone miss me so much. For a fact I know of people who would say, good riddence to that son of a bitch.

Think of what instructions to leave behind so that if it really happens then the family will know what you actually want.

My grandfather did that and he left the instructions to a good friend. when he eventually died his friend helped my uncle to sort everything out according to my grandpa's instructions. I think my grandpa was prepared for death. He knew what to do to the last detail.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I should have done more - saving for the wrong reason

I was just scrolling down the web page for Selangor Bar looking for an address when I came across the obituary page. Being curious i took a peek at who had died. I thought to myself surely must be someone I hardly knew and funny enough I saw the announcement that Bosco Philips had died last month.

It just flashed through my mind that I was just having tea with my daughter Mey Mey just a month ago when I saw him at the same indian restaurant ordering teh tarik. Life is just too short isn't it.

I was asking Christine last night would you like to visit Rome. It's really a beautiful city and I have been to Rome. The only thing that puts me off is the costs of travelling there and the amount of money we have to pay for hotel. Believe me it is expensive.

But come to think of it, why am I saving money for if not to pamper myself when i retire. That's why I always tell my 3 daughters to save when you are young and don't spend money foolishly. When you can make kopi "o" yourself, why go starbuck or coffee bean lah!!. When you can have egg sandwich at home why go to Victoria Station lah!!.

My philosophy is simple. When young work your butts off. When you get older spend within your means. When you retire, I doubt it I can depend on my children to feed me.

You know why? Cos I just said when young work your butts off and they won't have time for the retired man.

Just open your eyes and tell me how many older people are happy with what their children gives them. I can tell you - None.

What I regretted most is that I should have given more to my parents cos they deserve more. But being thrifty I was saving for the wrong reason. But they have passed on now and I can only write about it. I hope my experience will be a lesson to my 3 lovely daughters.

Make the right choice, make the right move and live your ife in full. Always live within your means.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Looking Back and Moving Forward

Looking back to those days when I had to sit alone in the Library of Lincoln's Inn pondering what the examination questions will be like is indeed both hilarious and nostalgic. Hilarious because I could have answered any of the questions nowadays and perhaps even add a bit of my own opinion to top it off. Nostalgic because I could never ever get another opportunity feeling what it was like sitting next to Lord Denning.

The weather was getting warmer by the day and everyone of us is worried sick that the final Bar exams is just round the corner. I was trying to make heads and tails of Family Law when Lord Denning came into the Library and sat next to me. I looked at him and immediately I said to myself. " Today I am making history".

Is that Lord Denning sitting next to me? Wow!!! Then I said to him - Good morning My Lord. He looked back at me and said Good Morning to you too my son. The rest of the conversation I will remember for the rest of my life.

The last time I saw him was during my call to the English Bar and he signed my Certificate along with that of Lord Irvine. The last I heard of him was when he died at the ripe old age of 100.

Many little things in life I will always remember and when I have my little glass of wine or my pint of beer, recalling my past experience is a "pleasure". When I went back to Chelmsford, Essex a few years ago and walk up the steps at the main university building I could feel myself transported back to student days.

My darling daughter asked me " Daddy is that your old school ? "
I said " No Elaine this use to be what I call home. "

Its been years now that I last visited England and Scotland where I use to struggle with my Scottish Highers ( like A levels ). I am looking forward to another visit and hopefully soon - if I can find time.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Now that the Chinese New Year Celebration 2010 is over what's next

It is simply amazing how time just fizzle pass us. Just a blink of an eye and it is already 2010. But the tough gets going when the going gets tough.

Confucius said that " It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. "

2010 will be a better year simply because we sincerely believe that it will be a good year.

My father use to tell me. Don't go near anyone that is negative. Like a sinking ship, they will pull you down.

The China Clipper

Just back from China and as usual I feel totally charged. Not because I had a good rest but because I know for a fact that many people in China work very hard for a living and we are simply so lucky compared to them.

My supplier works 7 days a week from 10am in the morning up till 7 at night. Even after the building security officers had switched off the lights, he will switch on the single tube florescent light to tie up the loose ends. There is no rest and rest will be for 3 weeks in a stretch, one week before the Chinese new year and two weeks after that.

Trading has always been in my blood. Lawyering is a way of life. But being a merchant is something totally different.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Something To Think About

The first thing that greeted me when I went up the hill overlooking Songkhla Bay were these words. It suddenly struck me that these were the exact words my wife said to me for umpteen times. She must have either read it somewhere or she must have thought about it very deeply.

I think it was more like having thought about it for a long time. Christine is a very practical person. Sometimes she can be repeating the same thing over and over again but I guess that's only natural. My friend tells me that women are all like that. Now that my daughters are grown up they are also like that. But I suppose it is all a matter of getting use to.

I like it when my brother in law tells his wife " Just let it go ". Englishman too suffers the same agony just like me. This is probably international.

I recall Elaine telling me a few days ago that I should stop having beers and refrain from smoking. Having a beer or two had always been my passion. Smoking, well, maybe not too often now.

She asked me " Daddy, do you know how the body feels when you inhale the cigarette smoke ? " I said well it's like a relaxant. Noooo!!!!! its like standing inside a burning house fill with black choking smoke and that is how the body feels like.

Now that is an awful thought. I must have been exposing my body to so many burning houses. Sometimes 10 burning houses in a day.

Perhaps that's why i need to put out the fire. I drink beer when I smoke. Just to put out the fire - nothing else. Honestly !!! wink! wink!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

What a Wonderful World

When I clear my mind, open my eyes. Think of the good things I have done in my life. I see a wonderful world. I see my family in unity. I see my life in peace. This is what I call living.
What is the point of constantly arguing over little little things. There is no point in trying to be better than your neighbours. So long as we are happy with what we have nobody can take that away from us.

Malaysian Cuisine is simply delicious

Cooking is a passion. Cooking is an art. I am still trying to create a signature dish. I use to go for quantity but now I know its quality that counts.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Beautiful City of Kuala Lumpur

Sometimes you hear of people complaining how terrible it is to stay in Kuala Lumpur or for that matter Malaysia. But if one is a traveller like me there is always no place like home. Malaysia will always be the best.

I love places like Japan, China, Thailand. Australia, South Africa, Canada, US and Europe but it is not like home. Home is where we grew up and it is where we know the inside out of everything. Try staying in China for a month and we will be craving for the laksa and cha koey teow.

Things here are also comparatively cheap compared to say Thailand where I just came back a few days ago. Some like to go to Thailand for the massage and the Tom Yum and the Spa but after a while it gets boring. For me I never get bored with the happenings in KL.

The view from my apartment in KL gives you and idea of what its like in KL. Five minutes from my apartment is Bukit Bintang and the rock and roll goes on until 2 in the morning. You don't have to get drunk to enjoy. Try Elcerdo where they serve the piglet from nose to tail ( Spainish style ) It is absolutely delicious.

So if anyone is looking forward to a nice friendly new government with Male Cabinet Ministers wearing a white, green or checkered bandage on their head and female ones with a batman outfit. As the Americans say " I'm getin outta ere ". By the way this is my personal view. Some may like it.

Maybe if that happens then I may move my base of operation to China and spend more time there where its now experimenting with Capitalistic form of Communism. Believe me it is not bad lah !!!

Food for thought!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chinese New Year - Going away time

Each year seem to pass by so fast and this is Chinese New Year again. Normally for workers this time of the year they will look forward to the generous employer who will give them a bonus and ang pow. For the Employer this is the time of the year they have to make a hard and tough decision as to how much to give or not to give.

I called up a few days ago to a Tour Agent to ask for information concerning the Matta Fair and the respond was " No idea ". When I asked them the second question, the answer was again - " no idea " but in a more sacarstic tone. I can't imagine how much was his bonus or whether he got one.

When I was running my legal firm, I always made sure that each and every one of my staff gets a minimum of one month, even though the business was bad. When times were good I gave 4 months.

We've got what we wanted more or less. So I always say give and thou shall receive. Give what we think we can and not to the extent of suffering and depriving ourselves.

I know of someone who is always asking for money and it never stops. What they do with the money? Gambling habit. It is a disease worse than death because it is suffering, eternal suffering. So I hope that this disease will not befall any of my family. I know of a Doctor. He is now bearing a burden because of his gambling habit. Imagine a Doctor. What a waste.

Happy New Year !!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Time - Chasing after Time.

Today I got up at 7-30am as usual and sent Pauline to school at 8-30am. I wanted to rush down to the Chinese Embassy to get back my visa latest by 9-30am but the traffic was so terrible outside Summit. Normally I take that way. Not that I wanted to, Christine and I had breakfast - Penang Curry Mee. Wow loading myself with Carbo. We normally share one bowl. Prices have gone up compared to those days when it costs about RM2-50 a bowl. Nasi lemak was 50 cents. That was when I started out as a lawyer. Those were the days when time was hard and money hard to come by. Not that now it is easy. Still hard. I think that's why they call it hard currency. Finally managed to get out of Subang and arrived at the Chinese Embassy. 10-30am. I had to park outside Wisma MCA along the road where the yellow line was so obvious. Everybody was giving me the looks as they drive past me. But the only consolation is that in front of me there is another car or two and behind me another car. After a while i just pretend I am invincible. Rushed down to my weekend apartment in Bukit Ceylon, got the files and made a dash for the TNB. Surprisingly traffic wasn't that bad. By the time everything got sorted out it was already 1-30pm. Had lunch at Sungei Way few doors away from Public Bank. Claypot Chicken rice. Don't go there ever!!!!. The Claypot Chicken Rice was yukky!!!.No taste and the rice was mushy. The guy that made the claypot chicken rice also looked like he forgot to take a shower. For at least a week. To compensate for this the officer at Public Bank was extremely helpful. Helped us settle a bit, the easiest way possible and even printed out detail breakdown of statements of account. Finally made one circle and is back in Subang USJ by 3-00pm sharp. Got to do some affirmation. It's National Service really. Can't make money out of affirmation as a Commissioner for Oaths. Believe me. Manage to talk to a client by 3-30pm and off to Giant Putra Height to get some stuff so that Christine can cook my favourite Curry Chicken. By the time finish shopping had to rush down to fetch Pauline from school at 5-00pm. It was raining ... nope... pouring. So at 5-40pm happiness. Free rain water which I pump the water out from my pool outside the house to wash the two cars, car porch, front entrance and walkway. i love water - especially when it is free. Always build a big pool outside your house to collect rain water. Manage to take a nice warm shower by 6-30pm, Hot water is free too cos i got a solar water heater on my roof top. Dinner by 7-00pm and write my Blog by 7-30pm. Now I am having my tea with milk. English tea imported from England. Well.... errrr. Evelyn left it behind when she went back to London. Her luggage was too heavy already. I just love it. Mey Mey wants me to fetch her from her friends house and Elaine wants me to accompany her to buy her food stuff to bring back to Indonesia. Being a good daddy I dutifully and happily said OK. Now my maid Martinez just brought me my fungus tea and said " Sir, Maam wants you to finish this horrible stuff that taste like urine - not that I have tasted urine -which I will not drink for a million years " Ha!!! Ha!!! Just joking. She just said " Sir, Maam the tigress of Malaya, said drink up now and she mean now, or she will come up and pump it down your throat " How's that for a full day.

Starting My Blog - First Ever

My First Ever Blog, I see that everyone had got a blog so why not. Might be interesting now that I have a lot more time. Many things I see and many things I do but does not get published. Maybe people might find my blog interesting.