Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas 2007! ....圣诞快乐07年!....メーリークリスマス07年....

I want to wish all my readers a Happy Merry Christmas 2007 and
may you enjoy this splendid season:)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Random Visual Pics.....

This is my first time posting such 'shallow' pics but i thought of posting something less serious and more relaxed for a change after all my 'serious' posts this year...so relax ,and enjoy the eye candy....photos taken from the internet or from bloggers i read from.....:):):)
Sexy guy pics....god, i never knew men and boys could be THIS sexy....hehehehe....who said men and the male body couldn't be sexualised and be as sexy as the female body??

eeeeee.......just something about his pose, simply sexy...

Bryan Wong and Felicia Chin, two of my favourite Singaporean celebrities...after watching Bao Jia Wei Guo a few months bck....i suspect Bryan Wong is a tongzhi....hhhmmmm.....don't kill me if any of you guys out there are his fans...cos its just my gut feeling and experience...
I loved Bryan Wong's character in Bao cos he was just so perfect.....the perfect catch....maybe just alittle too perfect....thats why i feel it would have been better if his character was a tongzhi cos he would totally fit that role. But then again, the drama being from Singapore, one word: fat chance.
Bryan Wong with Fann Wong in Hong Kong for his new show.....he gives off the perfect tongzhi qingren aura and personality....and in the show he wasn't even supposed to give audiences that impression!! (or was he?) which is why i feel the 'tonglei' vibes i got reveals his true inner self in real life....anyways, whatever he is, i like him as a fan...

Need I say more?? Look at those god-perfect eyes...and the smooth skin...and the toned body...okok...i said i didn't need to say more but i just couldn't help myself!!!! tai shuai le! bo shita! PS: If you know his name, do let me know k...
Thai actor.....shit he's damn cute talaga....

I don't know why but i simply find that this photo really attract me...its a simple photo but the entire feel of it just turns me on...and i am drawn to it...AND the fact that the model is lor mar ...*blush**blush*

Poster of 1st Anniversary Celebrations of a well-known Taipei club within the glass community. Now u may be asking, whats the 'glass community'??well...i'm purposely talking in code, so only Taiwanese people will know! ha....i know i'm evil

Coco Martin, Filipino Actor....gosh, this pic makes him look good-looking...sexy talaga:)

Another Filipino actor in an, shall i say, EXTREMELY sexy pose and demeanor, gwapo....

X'Ray Mag from the Phillipines....very obviously a bakla magazine hiding as your
'average lalaki' magazine....
Another Thai dude, nangrak na......

Mainland Chinese actor Huang Xiao-Ming....look at his well formed chest...to die for...kakko ii dayo ne....going ga-ga now...he is very popular in China and is liked by both straight girls and chinese gay men alike (according to a taiwanese interviewer during a talk show he attended in taiwan a few months bck.)

Since its all been mainly guy pics, i thought i might end with a gorgeous qipao pic, with none other than Paris during her recent trip to Shanghai, China. She looks surprisingly good in a red sleeveless tight-fitting qipao!! It suits her!

PS: Some readers may be left confused in some places on what i am saying...well i've done this on purpose. I am kinda using 'code language' for fun, having used simple Thai, Tagalog, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese words in certain areas so that only certain people will understand...haha...playing around with languages can be fun too:)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Nanking! Nanking!: The 70th Anniversary of the Rape of Nanking:(....南京大屠杀70周年纪念:(....南京大虐殺70周年記念ポスト....

Today marks the 70th Anniversary of the Nanking Massacre committed by Japanese troops in the former capital of China, Nanking in 1937. Different from the 1997 commemorations which marked the 60th, the biggest difference this year is the reopening of the Nanking Massacre Memorial Hall after extensive renovation of 2 years which has greatly expanded collections displayed to over 3,000 items as well as over a dozen films and documentaries which retell the events and stories of that dark winter of 1937-1938.

Since my August 15th 'End of WW2 Commemoration' post, much more information as well as pictures have now been released on these movies. Below is a summary of all the films/docs which have the Massacre theme either already released or planned for release in the near future:

'Purple Mountain' (China-US Production, In Pre-Production) This mega-production by China and Hollywood production studios jointly is reportedly having a budget of over $50 million and the huge film set which seeks to recreate 1937 Nanking is reported to be completed by the end of the month. The director is Simon West (of Lara Croft fame) and the script is penned by William MacDonald (TV Series 'Rome'). The cast is not decided yet and they seem to be having problems casting for roles as it has taken them an entire year since production was announced last year but no names have been confirmed yet for any of the major roles of the film, which will revolve around real-life character Minnie Vautrin, the 'Goddess of Nanking' and a fictional Chinese family consisting of a mother and her daughter and how they experience the massacre. I am highly anticipating this film given its huge budget and the Hollywood factor!!!

'Iris Chang: The Rape of Nanking' (Canada, 2007) A Canadian funded and produced docu-drama of the American- Chinese author Iris Chang's life, dealing with the world-wide bestseller book 'The Rape of Nanking' she wrote which exposed the Rape of Nanking to the western world and brought it to worldwide attention after a long slumber of neglect by the world for 60 years. It just had its Canadian premiere in November 07 and its Hong Kong premiere early this month.

Nanking! Nanking! 南京!南京!(China-HK, 2008)
This is the only film dealing with the Nanking Massacre from the perspective of Chinese people out of the multitude of films coming out or planned for next year or in 2009. This film views the massacre from the perspective of three people, mainly a Chinese Commander (刘烨), a Japanese General, and a foreign-educated Chinese female teacher (高圆圆)The director is the famous Chinese director of award-winning Kekexili 可可西里 Lu Chuan (陆川) and it is noted that he had alot of problem getting his film to roll with censors,casting, etc problems since last yr. Its a relief he has finally started rolling the camera on his Nanking Massacre mega-pic. I am looking forward to it given that its the FIRST Mainland Chinese film dealing with the Nanking Massacre topic directly since '87. Also it has one of my fav Chinese mainland actress as the female lead, the pretty feminine Gao Yuan Yuan in it....gosh, she's just sooooo pretty...see pic above....as a note, the film is scheduled for release in black and white monotone (like the official screenshots below) and thus will resemble 'Schindler's List' somewhat...

Nanking! Nanking! (Black/White Set Pics)

Nanking! Nanking! on-the-set pictures.

Nanking! Nanking! On-the-set pictures.

Nanking! Nanking! On-the-set pictures.

Rising Chinese Star Gao Yuan Yuan (she has acted as the female lead in Jackie Chan's Rob‘B'Hood)will be the female lead of Chinese film 'Nanking! Nanking!' due for release in 2008.
John Rabe (China-Germany, 2008):
This is a German-Chinese Co-production centering on the life of John Rabe, the Nazi Businessman who headed the International Sfatey Zone Committee and lived in China for 29 years prior to the Japanese occupation of the city. He played a crucial and major role in setting up and protecting the refugees during the worst of the carnage and his wartime diary detailing in detail Japanese atrocities during the Rape was published in 1997. The movie will be based on his diary in large part.

Zhang Jing-Chu (Female lead in Rush Hour 3 with Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan) as a female student during the massacre.
The International Committee at a meeting detailing the atrocities committed by the Japanese army in Nanking.

The Children of Huangshi (US-Germany-Australia,2007)
This major co-production is due for release in the States this month to be in time for the nominations for the Oscars next yr 2008. It is loosely based on the true story of a British journalist whom, along with an Australian nurse, brought dozens of Chinese orphans on a gruelling trek across the harsh Chinese hinterlands to seek refuge from the swift Japanese advance across and into interior China in 1938. It stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers,Radha Mitchell, Chow Yun-Fat, and Michelle Yeoh.

Official Site: http://www.sonyclassics.com/thechildrenofhuangshi/
Nanking (US, 2008):
This Sundance award-winning documentary explores the Nanking Massacre from the perspective of a handful of Westerners whom stayed behind to set up and save Chinese refugees from the marauding Japanese troops during the Nanking Massacre in 1937. I saw it on the 13th December 2007, the exact day marking the 70th Anniv. of the Nanking Massacre, and it was simply spell-binding and draws your attention for the full 90 minutes of the doco.

Watch it on youtube:) (someone has been thoughtful enough to upload it on youtube!):
Official Site:http://www.nankingthefilm.com/
Other Films Announced on the Nanking Massacre theme:
Yim Ho's (严浩)'Nanking X'mas: 1937' is currently in pre-production with finances and script approval already obtained. It is reportedly going to be big-budgeted international production and i am very looking forward to it, cos i love the director's previous work!!
Stanley Tong (唐季礼)of 'The Myth' and 'The Police Story' series in Hong Kong is also in preparations for his next upcoming mega project tentatively called 'The Diary'. The film will chronicle the entire War of Resistance Against Japan from July 1937 all the way to the surrender of Japan in August 1945. The finances will be coming from international sources and his script has been approved already by China's censors. He is apparently currently undergoing preparations for filming as well as scouting for roles.

First News of the 'Rape of Nanking' in the West.

Links to Articles Commemorating the 70th Anniv. of the Rape of Nanking:
Official Memorial Ceremony for the 70th Anniv. of the Nanking Massacre held in Nanjing City (then called Nanking) on the morning of 13 December 2007.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

World Aids Day 2007....世界愛滋病日2007......世界エイズデー2007...

Today marks World Aids Day. In the past, I didn't really pay much attention to this date but this year its different. Lets start with some basic facts about Aids worldwide:

Every minute, almost 80 people are infected with HIV around the world.

Every day, an estimated 1,900 children become infected with HIV/AIDS, equating to more than one child every minute.

Globally 40 million people are currently living with HIV and of these
4.3 million became newly infected in 2006.

18 million are women ie 48% of all adults living with HIV worldwide, and 59% for sub-Saharan Africa.

25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981, including an estimated 2.9 million deaths in 2006
Some facts on Aids in Australia:

Following a long-term decline, the annual number of new HIV diagnoses in Australia has over the past seven years gradually increased.
By 31 December 2006, there were 26 267 diagnoses of HIV infection in Australia. There were 10, 125 diagnoses of AIDS and 6 723 deaths following AIDS had occurred. Differences between the States and Territories exist in the rates of newly diagnosed HIV infection.

Transmission of HIV continues to be mainly through sexual contact between men.

Among cases of newly acquired HIV infection, male homosexual contact was reported in 88%, injecting drug use among women and heterosexual men in 1%, and through heterosexual contact only in 8% of cases. In 3% of cases, exposure to HIV remained undetermined.

Unprotected anal intercourse remains the most important behavioural factor in HIV transmission.

Of homosexually active men surveyed in Australian communities, 40% - 50% reported in engaging in unprotected anal intercourse in the last year. In Sydney, there has been a significant decrease in reporting of unprotected anal intercourse between homosexually active men. In contrast, significant increases have been observed in Melbourne over the period 2002-2006.
2006 Comparative AIDS Incidence Data With Other OECD Countries

AIDS incidence per 100,000
United States
13.9 (in 2005)

HIV/AIDS in the Asia region : An estimated 4.9 million people were living with HIV in Asia in 2007 and some 440,000 people became newly infected with the virus. Approximately 300,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2007.The highest national infection levels continue to be found in South-East Asian countries where combinations of unprotected paid sex and sex between men, along with unsafe injecting drug use, are contributing to the HIV epidemic.

I hadn't realised that in australia, the largest group of hiv/aids new infections came from sexually active gay men, making up a whopping 88% of all new diagnosed infections. This makes it almost a 'gay disease' in Australia (as politically incorrect as that may sound).
In Asia, drug abuse through infected needles and heterosexual prostitution continue to dominate the hiv/aids infection rate in terms of numbers although infection through homosexual sex between men makes up an increased percentage of people being infected with Aids/Hiv.

And now the Q, why my interest in World Aids Day this yr when i had previously not been interested at all???
Well............little did i know but HIV/AIDS had arrived at my immediate family's doorsteps early this year......Now, what do i mean?? ........you may be wondering. I am not allowed to speak in detail as its kinda taboo to talk about this, but someone in my immediate family, being a male relative on my mum's side whom was very close to my mum, died of Aids early this year. *GASP!!* I know, an Aids death in our family....in the beginning, we all didn't know what was going on as he had returned from a Hong Kong trip with his long term girlfriend and started showing symptoms of fever, diarrhoea, etc which just wouldn't go away. He would recover but then lapse back after a day or two, and no medication seemed to help....we all thought, being typical Chinese, that he may have met 'dirty stuff' like spirits or a curse, as GPs couldn't figure out what was wrong and he was starting to waste away, losing over 10 kg in a week (my mother said that he was literally skin and bones by the end of the month). When my mother first told me about this, i immediately thought of the 'ghost/spirits/curse' chain of reasoning cos i thought impossible that someone could keep having fevers and lose so much weight in so little time with doctors being unable to tell what was wrong with him. Further, he had just returned from HK so i thought maybe he 'bumped' into some ghost there. Of cos, no one in the family, incl. my other aunts and uncles suspected that it was the signs of aids. (well, a medical practitioner uncle of mine later confided that he did). Finally, the family decided to bring him to hospital which he absolutely refused to go but the family all insisted he go. And so the truth was found when the medical blood results came out. AIDS, final stage.

He had had it for over 7 years now but thought utilising mediums and supernatural ways such as going to chinese sinsehs would help. And apparently it did...for 7 years. He took no anti-vitrol or hiv medicine which is widely available now and showed no visible symptoms of Aids at all. In all the time we came out to eat together, the times he was at our home, all the times i met him, I NEVER SAW NOR SUSPECTED AIDS.

Thinking bck, it seems surreal that i had met him so many times over the past 7 years as a relative and he was a HIV carrier... i guess we all have our own prejudices and ignorance and don't know how we'd react if we came to interact with a hiv positive carrier.....Well i knew this yr. You simply treat them as normal cos u don't know. Had i known, i really don't know how i would have acted differently.

My close male relative died within 2 months of his symptom manifesting and a hurried funeral was prepared. They had to burn his body immediately unlike other patients and gloves,etc were used. Also, after this incident, my relatives (and me thru my phone conversations with mum) also found out the procedures for dealing with Aids diagnosed patients in Malaysia.

Firstly, all patients diagnosed with Aids must be reported to the Ministry of Health and have their vital statistics recorded, including all Aids-related deaths in Malaysia. Further, in hospitals, those whom are aids patients will have a particular coloured *** stuck in front of their beds to indicate to medical staff that these are aids patients which require extra care. (for privacy reasons, i cannot disclose how aids patients are identified in malaysia lest malaysians who read this go check hospital beds next time they are visiting someone at the hospital) So my aunts went 'doing the rounds' whilst on a visit to the male relative and were taken abck at the number of aids patients at the hospital. Further, my cousin who is interning at a hospital in Malacca (he's becoming a doctor soon and whom I suspect is gay) also told us that there were many aids patients at the hospital in Malacca/melaka.

This death has shocked us all and made me reassess my viewpoints as well as relationships with people. It has also confronted me with some (very very slight!!) fears of dealing with hiv/aids people which i may have. Looking bck, if this male relative of mine could have had hiv for 7 yrs without my knowledge of it and me eating, interacting with him for the past 7 yrs, what about my other relatives/friends, what about my gay male friends? what about that cute guy, gay or straight, i admire??

We just don't believe nor suspect those whom we love, we like could have aids.....and would it matter? Would i react differently to them had i to find out?? I don't know, I really don't, despite all my pro-liberal anti-discrimination stance and belief....

So, please please please do go get an aids blood test regularly, esp if you are in a high risk group, i.e. prostitutes or gay men, and wear protection for your own sake cos you really dun want to be 'dying for a fcuk'. Cos if my family member can die of aids 7 years after his diagnosis within a couple of months and seeming fine all those years, those whom deliberately don't test or take medication (which may well have saved (or at least delayed) my relative's life) could end up with the same result. And believe my mother, she said the final weeks were simply horrifying, seeing him in pain, wasting away, being unable to ingest anything......

And so next time u read the statistics for aids deaths in malaysia, my close male relative was one of them.

*In memory of my ***** whom died of AIDS in Penang, Malaysia, 2007*

PS: Now all queries on his death by other relatives/friends are met with the same answer, after initial discrepancies in answers b/w different family members to outsiders: He died of pneumonia. (Which, by the way, is a very rare cause of death nowadays in the absence of aids infection. )

Events commemorating WAD in 2007 in Oz:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

My 24th Birthday!!!.....24歳的生日!.....24歳の誕生日!

Today marked the 24th birthday of my life.....oh my goodness, i am getting older by the year!! I don't want to get any older!!! hahaha....
Today, by chance, is also the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women which brings added special significance to my birthday, being the hardcore feminist that i am (haha)...so i am glad that in celebrating this special day for me, i am also celebrating the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women:)

I actually also bought and wore a white ribbon today!!! See here: http://www.whiteribbonday.org.au/

Birthday wishes from readers anyone???

Saturday, November 24, 2007

AlJazeera English: A Different Perspective from the Arab World....阿杰志拉卫星新闻台,不同的观点...アルジャーズイラーニュース、アラブからの視点..

I discovered Aljazeera English Channel a few months back and have been meaning to blog about it for awhile. I simply love the channel with its focus on Middleeastern as well as Asian current affairs and issues. I especially like the Everywoman and East 101 show given the women's issue focus of the former and the East/SE Asian focus of the latter. It has broadcasting centres located in Qatar, Washington, London, and......Kuala Lumpur!!!

This means there is always a steady stream of coverage on South east Asian,and particularly, Malaysian issues. It has also helped to highlight Malaysia's presence in the (Arab) world.

I saw this program on apostasy in Malaysia which shocked me greatly and made me dislike the Malaysian government and the Malays as well!! I have never understood why the Malaysian Chinese dislike the majority Muslim Malay Malaysians and have always found it racist, but now i have more sympathies for their feelings after watching that program.
Its here if u r interested:

Other interesting programs:
(Vietnamese Brides in SEA)
(Rape in the U.S. military)
(Honour Killings in the Middle East)
(East 101 selection of programs)

I love Aljazeera:)

Miss International Queen 2007...国际变性人选美比赛2007...ミス国際女王07トランスジエンダ美人コンテスト

Now, if you thought these girls were beautiful, well...they are...but if you thought they always looked that way, or more to the point, that they were always girls, well, u r WRONG!
The photo above shows the winner and runner-ups for the world's largest transgendered beauty pageant, the Miss International Queen, held in Pattaya Thailand, which i read about on MSN China whilst surfing the web. The winner this yr is a uni student currently studying economics i think (the one in the middle in the top photo and second photo with her boyfriend) I just thought WOW how can a guy turn into such a pretty girl....anyways, heres the official website i found on the web:http://www.missinternationalqueen.com/
Take a look at present and past winners and contestants. It seems Thailand and the Phillipines produce the most beautiful transgendered women (in my personal opinion anyway!).

Friday, October 26, 2007

I am a Permanent Resident of Australia Now!!!!!....终于拿到了澳洲長期居留証!!!..オーストラリア永久居留証やっと取った!!!....

I have good news today!!!!!! I finally got my Australian Permanent Residency (PR) approved by the Australian Immigration Department !!!!!! I applied in May to stay in Australia as a Permanent Resident and when i checked this morning (i didn't place any hope that it would be approved as i was sure that with the lagging pace that they were going and the heavy caseload they had, the immigration dept. couldn't have approved my application yet given that i had only sent in my last document required (my overseas police check) this Tuesday) but to my utmost surprise, it was approved!!!
So I went straight to the Immigration Department near Central Station and got my visa label for my passport. This means I can stay on in Australia indefinitely, with a need for renewal every 5 yrs....this is good news for me!!!

I mean, the pay and living environment is better here in Oz compared to Malaysia (most importantly is the pay, cos i think Malaysia has its merits when it comes to living environment and standards as well) so i would like to earn here but spend and invest bck home....haha, so in the end Malaysia is gonna benefit more than Australia from me....i like having the option of staying or leaving Australia...and having the option is always nice:):)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Gay News Around Asia-Pacific/Late 07...亚洲同志新闻/10 07....アジアゲイのニュース/10 07..

Taiwan's Annual Pride Parade, also Asia's largest Gay Pride Parade, was held on the 13 Oct with over 10,000 participants (15,000 by the organiser's estimates) estimated to have attended by the police. The theme this year was ' Rainbow Power' and as usual had a wide variety of marchers in different colourful costumes or lack of clothing..hehe...the guys in the short low- waist white briefs were soo sexy i was so oogling at them...i just love men in white tight spandex briefs, so sexy no??

This year, the first 'Rainbow Ambassador' was also chosen being Taiwanese pop singer A-Mei whom performed a few songs for her gay fans and showed her support for the gay movement.

Taiwan Gay Pride 2007:
張惠妹大炳小炳 同志游行晚會演出 2007年10月13日
Below: A Human 'Rainbow' was formed for 30 Seconds on the busiest downtown shopping avenue called ZhongXiao East Road.
Above: A-Mei hugs Two HIV-Positive Gay Men holding red posters advocating the 'Free Hugs for HIV Positive People' Campaign aimed at breaking down prejudice and fear against HIV-Infected People.
Below: Cute Gay Men in white spandex low-cut briefs with the numbers 07.

Its images like the ones above that have helped boost Taiwan's image and tourism amongst gay and lesbians overseas with at least 6-7 bloggers whom are homosexual that i know of whom have visited Taiwan in the past year. Images of these glbt people in their thousands being involved annually in the Gay Pride shown repeatedly on Taiwan's News Channels as well as passerbys on the streets have helped to shore up the visibility of Taiwanese gay men and women. Another thing to be proud of about Taiwan as a Taiwanese:)
Other News Around the Asia-Pacific Region:
Recently, a gay organisation voted for the top 25 most influential publicly gay people in Australia...it was very informative for me to know as I wasn't aware that many people I had heard of on TV were gay!! Savage Garden lead singer is gay as well as the High Court judge Justice M.Kirby (i knew about him already given his sexuality has been pretty well-known). But, the biggest surprises came from the political field with Greens Leader Bob Brown being gay and Labor MP Penny Wong being a lesbian. I am particularly proud of Penny given that she is the first Asian woman to be voted into parliament and further the first publicly gay woman in parliament. And more importantly, she is born in Malaysia!! So its a Malaysian-born Lesbian Woman in parliament...what a great success story for liberalism, given that she is a triple minority, being Asian, female, and gay, but still being able to get into parliament:) I'm proud of her achievement.
Christianity and Homosexuality:
Sundance Documentary: For the Bible Tells Me So
This documentary seeks to move the 'movable middle' of America whom are Christians and condemn homosexuality as a sin against the Bible's teachings. It shows five deeply faithful religious Christian families whom have a gay child and follows their journeys towards accepting the homosexuality of their child and reconciling their faith with this acceptance. It showcases many renowned Christian pastors and theologians whom seek to give audiences a different, more progressive reading of the Bible and includes such famous figures like the ex-Bishop Desmond Tutu of S. Africa and other names.

Islam and Homosexuality
A Jihad For Love
I am very excited about this docu and highly anticipate watching it!!! This documentary deals with the extremely taboo subject of gay Muslims and how they reconcile their religion and their gay sexuality. The director interviews gay and lesbian Muslims from across the Muslim world and invites us into a peek at gay lives in the Islamic world and how religion and sexuality is reconciled for these interviewees. Highly anticipated!!!
Lastly, Singaporean Resources which i found (I've been experiencing a spike in my gay interest recently..haha..so i went surfing online and found two items i would recommend: http://www.safesingapore.blogspot.com/ (Founded by a Penang mother of Two Gay Sons ( 2! I know!!) now living in Singapore)
SQ21 Queer Singaporeans in the 21st Century ( A Book I Really Really Want to Have..)
Ok, I've been getting alot of feedback from some readers about my gay content and it seems i have a significant segment of readers whom are not comfortable with homosexuality...well, my advice is...TOUGH...given that i write widely on issues like women to world war 2, there is no need to read all my posts...just skip it if you really really can't stand it, but who knows, you just might come to see and understand another side of GLBT people from my occasional very gay and very happy posts:):)

Friday, October 12, 2007

First Malaysian in Space!!!....马来西亚第一个太空人!..マレーシヤ始めての宇宙飛行士...

Malaysia has sent its first person to space today, making history, as the first South East Asian person to go to space. His name is Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor and is a Malay doctor. Apparently, he is becoming known as Dr.SMS in Malaysia due to the acronym of his name. I am really really proud that a Malaysian has now gone to space although there is debate on whether he is or isn't an astronaut but merely a 'space traveller' and that the government is paying millions of dollars to send a 'space tourist' to space. Notably, the entire space mission including the space shuttle taking him to space is Russian. But i think its still something we Malaysians can be proud of, even if Dr.Shukor's mission is largely symbolic in nature and not substantial in terms of showcasing Malaysian capability.
Another thing which caught my interest which i shall mention in Chinese so as not to offend any conservative Malay Malaysians or Muslims out there is the fact that i found it interesting that Dr.Shukor is still 未婚。他已34岁了,而且还是个医生。无论是年龄方面或职业条件,他还是单身身份都有点不寻常。马来人不是都比较早婚的吗?再说他条件这么好,人长得非常英俊,职业又这么好,一表人才,还没结婚的确挺可疑的。我相信你们该知道我在暗示什么吧?让后我在报上还看到他是兼模特儿。一个外形如此亮丽潇洒,已34岁的医生兼职模特儿的男生还未婚真令我怀疑。。
Anyways, whether the mission is significant or not, whether or not Dr. Shukor is an astronaut, or a space tourist, or whatever else you wanna call him, one thing is for sure. Like SBS world news australia described him as having 'pin-up good looks' tonight on the news (i only found out about the malaysian space mission tonight!) He's SERIOUSLY CUTE!!!! Hehehe...:)

The Final Four Candidates in 2006 whom were selected out of the thousands of Malaysians whom applied. Significantly, one included an Indian woman, notable in that she was Indian, the smallest minority in the country, as well as the fact that she was a woman.

Sheikh Muszaphar set to be first Malaysian in space.

The Star Newspaper (Malaysia)

BAIKONUR (Kazakhstan): Hospital UKM’s Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor will make history when he goes into space on board the Russian Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft at 9.22pm (Malaysian time) on Wednesday.
“It’s a small step for me, but a great leap for the Malaysian people,’’ Dr Sheikh Muszaphar – the first Malaysian to go into space – told the Associated Press, rephrasing Neil Armstrong’s legendary words after the Apollo landing on the moon in 1969.
He will spend 10 days in space, including eight on board the International Space Station (ISS) where he will be part of the ISS Expedition16 crew.
The TMA-11 craft carrying the 35-year-old doctor and his flight mates – Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and American astronaut Peggy Whitson – is scheduled to dock at the ISS at 10.51pm (local time) on Friday.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Cabinet Ministers and 280 students will watch the live broadcast of the launch at the KL Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur tonight.
On Sunday, Abdullah will hold a teleconference with Dr Sheikh Muszaphar who will then be on board the ISS.
Another first for the Malaysian Angkasawan is that he will be hosting a Hari Raya party on board the space station on the first day of Syawal. He has taken satay and some kuih Raya to treat the others on board.
At the ISS, he will carry out four experiments drawn up by Malaysian scientists.
Dr Sheikh Muszaphar is to study of the effects of microgravity and space radiation on cells and microbes, as well as experiments with proteins for a potential HIV vaccine.
The rocket – adorned with a Malaysian flag and coat of arms and carrying the Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft – was moved on Monday to the launch pad from its assembly site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which Russia rents from Kazakhstan.
Malaysia is paying for the voyage as part of a billion-dollar purchase of Russian fighter jets.
Russia built the cosmodrome on the arid plains of Kazakhstan during Soviet times and has continued to use the site under a rental deal since the 1991 Soviet collapse.
Russia is marking 50 years of space exploration, having celebrated on Oct 4 the 50th anniversary of the launch of the first ever satellite, Sputnik.
Dr Sheikh Muszaphar is to return to Earth on Oct 21 with two Russian members of the current space station crew.
Whitson and Malenchenko will stay on as the station’s new crew, and will be joined in October by American astronaut Daniel Tani, who is arriving with the shuttle Discovery. Tani will replace fellow American Clayton Anderson, who has been at the station since June.

Official Malaysian Space Mission Blog: http://www.angkasawan.com.my/blog/index.php

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Can you help me?...能帮我吗?...手伝ってくれない?。。。

Hi Readers,
Been awhile, I am currently having difficulty finding a job that i like (you WON'T believe my luck*don't even wanna talk about it*) and which have good prospects for future development so i thought of giving my blog a try and seeing if fate would intervene and maybe someone who reads my blog or just happens to come across would be able to help....i am trying to find a legal job, preferably a solicitor based one/or media field is fine too, and preferably in Sydney, does anyone whom reads my blog know anyone, like a personal contact, be able to help me?? I am really at my wits end, i've tried but with no success for a long time...sigh...also i tried getting a part-time in clothing retail for months and walked in 30-40 stores but with no success, anyone know someone whom could introduce me?? I know probably no one would be able to help but no harm in hoping right?? Please please please help if you can cos i don't know many people...

On another note, I am now giving IELTS English classes as well as Chinese Mandarin classes for people residing in Sydney so do leave a comment and ur contacts if u or a friend is interested and living in Sydney...fees are negotiable and currently set at $800 for 30 hours with fees inclusive of all teaching materials, please do help me spread the word Sydneysiders!!!!! I would greatly appreciate it!!!

Anyways, to be frank, its been a pretty down period for the past couple of mths for me, something which I have tried not to mention in my blog, so I can only hope things get better...*fingers crossed*

Friday, September 21, 2007

Human Rights Focus: Spotlight on Women and Gay Rights

This is my new post series on human rights issues and abuses around the world.

This post starts with a look at child sexual slavery in Cambodia before proceeding to the status of gay lives in the Islamic Republic of Iran and finally to the Women's Rights Movement in the Islamic Republic of Iran. I hope it will prove just as thought-provoking for my readers as it has for me.

Sex Slavery in Cambodia:

This is so sad, heartbreaking:(

Gay Lives in Iran:

This really shocked me....living as a gay person in Iran is like living in Nazi Germany or Wartime Japan...to have to live in fear all the time of being arrested or being executed for merely being yourself is really a very stifling and sad existence...:(

Women's Rights in Iran:

I pity Iranian women....how can conservative Muslims continue to insist on the existence of equality for women in their concept of Islam when Muslim women themselves don't feel equal??

A reminder for those of us whom live in relatively freer and wealthier societies what life is like for other fellow human beings and that we should cherish our 'priviledges', as indeed some of us are indeed living a life of 'priviledge' without even realising or appreciating this fact.

One Year in Sydney....

Its been a year since moving to Sydney and time has really flown by....sigh.....I am now thoroughly used to Sydney life and have already fit into the routine of daily life here....

Well, about how i rate Sydney as compared to Melbourne....i guess they are different...
I expected Sydney to be pretty much the same as Melbourne but there are actually quite alot of differences. Its much more cosmopolitan in Sydney i feel... i see more different races.....the Thai population is definitely more visible here and there are tons of Thai students and people in the CBD whereas you don't really see that many Thais in Melbourne...there is even a 'Thai Town' in the CBD where alot of Thai people congregate as there are alot of Thai groceries there and Thai video entertainment rentals which is not found in Melbourne. In fact, I hardly saw any Thai groceries in my entire 6 plus years there and hardly saw any Thai rental stores in the CBD....or maybe they are in the suburbs....on the other hand, the Vietnamese community is smaller in Sydney than Melbourne...i mean Melbourne has alot of Vietnamese suburbs such as Victoria St or Richmond but i think Sydney only has one in Cabramatta.....

There are also more Koreans in Sydney as opposed to Melbourne....there is like 'Koreatown' here both in the city (the city area is teeming with Koreans!!) and in Strathfield which seriously looks like a suburb of South Korea...and the Indonesians have 'Indo Town' as well in Kingsford....all these are not present in Melbourne (to my knowledge)...i don't think there is any particular suburb with a strong enough presence of the above two nationalities to constitute a 'town'...although there are alot of Indonesians and Koreans in Melbourne as well!!! There just doesn't seem to be a particular area where they have congregated to form a 'Indo' or 'Korean' Town. I however haven't found a nice Indonesian restaurant yet ( i am going to Kingsford so maybe i will find one there perhaps!!) unlike my fav one in Melbourne on Swanston St...so sad...haha...

Sydney weather is also hotter which is something I miss about Melbourne cos i love the cold....Melbourne also has a much cosier and warmer feeling compared to Sydney and so I miss that too...I miss Collins Street and its Parisian feeling especially on cold winter nights where the entire street just simply looks stunning....I also miss places like Southbank which is quiet and has this nice feel to it, a nice place to live in....

However, what I love about Sydney is the Asian food as there is much more variety and better in choice than Melbourne Asian food....i had authentic Japanese ramen here which is available at Ramenkan which isn't found anywhere in Melbourne....the ramen in Melbourne is not authentic and many of the Sydney ones aren't also like Ichiban Boshi or Wagamama (the ramen there SUCKS...i have like NO idea why its so popular with the Australians...its an international chain too!!) ..however many people like the unauthentic ones so i guess its a difference in taste preferences but the one at Ramenkan is like the ONLY place which serves ramen like it is in Japan...oh yeah and Menya serves authentic ramen too...but i prefer ramenkan much more as the soup stock is superior...
Also, i just discovered that Sydney has the nice suburb of Potts Point which is a nice place to live at just like Southbank....and it has Westfield Bondi Junction which is like the nicest shopping mall in Sydney and the equivalent of Chadstone in Melbourne....the view across the Bridge and Sydney cityscape from the foodcourt is amazing and a must-see for all people visiting Sydney...i mean you pay foodcourt prize for a high-end view....the foodcourt's interior is modernly designed in the style of the 'Foodloft' chain of foodcourts in Asia....

There is also Kings Cross and Oxford Street in Sydney which is absent in Melbourne catering for people whom swing either way.....there are much more visibly gay people in Sydney....i noticed alot of gay men on the streets, much more than in Melbourne, which prob explains why Sydney is named one of the gay capitals in the world....and there are so many Thai gay men that it isn't funny..haha...like out of 10 thai men i meet or see, i think 9 are gay!! Almost all the Thai restaurants have like 9 out of 10 waiters whom are gay....i asked my Thai housemate and she also said there are like so many Thai gay men around and she doesn't know why...she also confirmed that most of the Thai restaurants from the chef to the waiters are predominantly gay....gosh we were both lamenting how hard it must be for Thai girls to find a 'real man' (now, this is the way Thai people call straight men, i find it funny and interesting though i don't condone such misguided terms for sexuality)...she even asked her boyfriend (whom lives together with her) whether he was gay or not when they first met!! Cos she seems to have like over a dozen thai gay male friends, some of whom she never suspected of being gay and even had girl frens...whatever is a thai girl to do these days??

All in all, I think I made the right decision to move here....people have to move on and not always stay in the same place...i like change, i like excitement and i like exploring a whole exciting new place...so i guess the move was the right thing to do....I hope the next year in Sydney brings more excitement and more importantly, more new things to discover....:):):)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Alittle Bit About Me....関于自己....自己紹介...

I know I haven't really said much about myself in my blog in all the years I've been blogging cos i am not the kind of person to reveal too much personal stuff about myself on the blog to strangers on the wide net out there. However, I think I should let my readers know alittle bit more about myself, at least some basic background about me.

About Me:

Name: hcpen

Age: 23 this yr

Nationality: Malaysian/Taiwanese

Ethnicity: Chinese

Ancestral origin: Hunan Province, China/Biological Ancestry: 3/4 Hokkien 1/4 Hunan

Hometown: Penang, Malaysia

Family members: father, mother, younger brother

Languages: English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, Malay, Japanese, Korean

Education: International School of Penang (Penang), Taylors College (Melbourne), University of Melbourne (Melbourne), East China University of Politics and Law {Chinese Law Winter Program/1 month}(Shanghai), Keio University{Student Language Exchange 1 sem} (Tokyo), College of Law (Sydney)

Interests: Asian studies, Modern Chinese History and Culture, 50-60s Hong Kong society and films, the Chinese Dress (Cheongsam), WW2 and Asia issues, Women's Rights and Interests, Gay Rights and Interests, Thai and Filipino popular culture, Korean history and society, Korean movies and dramas, Law and human rights, swimming, reading, Visiting Museums and Galleries, Eating at streetside stalls as well as high-end classy restaurants, etc

I think it would take many people by surprise that I have no educational background in Chinese given the impression i give people of being highly oriental and Chinese-oriented in my interests, language, and thinking. I have never had a single year of Chinese education since entering primary school and my fluency in Chinese is purely through my perseverance and sheer determination in picking up the language. I was always immensely proud of my Chinese heritage since young (for reasons unknown even to this day!) and i really worked hard on learning how to write Chinese. Many overseas Chinese either cannot speak Chinese at all or fluently or even if they can speak it, are unable to read or write Chinese. I was determined to learn Chinese and it has paid off. My Chinese level is up to standard as proven by my passing the difficult national translation exam in Australia and becoming a qualified translator and also now that China is bent on becoming the next world superpower and with its economy booming, Chinese has become an asset. When i was growing up, China and the Chinese language was not thought of as that important and people in Malaysia generally didn't think of making their children learn it, resulting in many Malaysian Chinese nowadays being unable to speak Chinese or even dialects or being able to speak but not read nor write. You see so many Koreans, Japanese, Westerners learning Mandarin nowadays and I feel truly blessed that I don't need to 'learn' it now as learning a language once you reach your late teens or in adulthood can be extremely difficult.
My brother on the other hand being more westernised, can only speak Mandarin and not Cantonese nor Hokkien and he can't write or read Chinese. Its sad, he also went to International School and is now in the UK and never bothered to really learn Chinese despite going to Chinese weekend tuition like me during our primary and secondary days. Sigh.....

I still try to maintain my Chinese level nowadays through making sure I read Chinese gossip magazines (learning a language can be fun too!), Taiwanese entertainment shows, HK dramas, and I purposely buy the chinese versions of many things just so i need to read it in Chinese even if i am most comfortable with English.

As for Japanese, i started in Form 1/Yr 7 but i should be making more progress than i have. Granted i can now read Japanese novels, newspapers, magazines and understand most of it but i really can't speak well at all....Korean i understand very basic korean which surprises even me given that i have never studied any korean before nor lived in South Korea but given that 80% of all movies and dramas i watch are korean (the other 20% being American, Chinese, Japanese, etc) and i've watched them since 16, I have managed to pick up enough korean to get by with daily usual conversations. Its been fun listening in on korean student's conversations sometimes when i happen to be beside them!!

As for personality wise, I think I am quite a traditional person although I would classify myself as a conservative liberal. This means I am still a liberal by category though on the conservative end of the spectrum. For example, on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being radically liberal and 10 being radically conservative i would say i am a 4.
I am liberal on most moral issues but conservative when it comes to values and politics:
Eg.: I am pro-choice meaning abortion is a woman's choice, pro-euthanasia, pro-gay, believe that sex before marriage is fine although my conservative streak shines through in that i believe you should only have sex with someone whom you not only love but also believe you will spend the rest of your life with (even if u eventually don't, the intention is more important) meaning no one nighters, sex with strangers, flings,etc.
My conservatism in politics is that i am quite supportive of the invasion of Iraq and hope America topples the evil North Korean regime as well, more Liberal Party than Labour Party cos i think Liberals have managed the economy very well which should take top priority (altho the fact that Kevin Rudd vis-vis John Howard is better looking, lived in Beijing and Taipei before, and knowledgeable of China as well as is a fluent Mandarin speaker does make me swing in favour of him as well:))

However, my liberalism has its limits as i hear of more wild things happening in society today like gay sauna group orgies, heterosexual wife-swapping parties, prostitution and all the 'acrobatic stunts' they do in brothels which makes me more and more conservative as i shudder at 'too much' liberalism. On the other hand, i am extremely tolerant of other people's behaviour and lives. Basically as i put it, i am 'conservative towards myself but liberal towards others'. Although i would never even dream of having sex with strangers, having sex with someone i only know for like 1 month or even shorter, etc i wouldn't discriminate against those whom do. I still like being friends with people who do sleep with strangers, sleep with boyfriends and girlfriends within the first couple of months of dating cos i think its their personal right and everyone is interesting and nice irrespective of their values. I don't think less of a person just because they don't adhere to my moral standards. In fact, the personality and character of a person is almost wholly separate from their sexual practices, meaning a person whom believes in abstinence may well be a lousy friend whilst a person whom visits saunas and has sex with strangers regularly may well turn out to be the most caring friend you could meet!!

Anyways, i hope readers have gained a better understanding of me:)

Friday, August 31, 2007

Happy 50th Anniversary Malaysia!!!....馬来西亜独立50週年..マレーシヤ独立50周年記念...



August 31st marks the 50th Anniversary of Malaysia's Independence this year. To be exact, this year marks the 50th Anniversary of Independence from British Colonial Rule in 1957 for Malaya and not Malaysia. Malaysia is composed of West and East Malaysia which are separated by the sea. Malaya refers to West Malaysia and the Malay Peninsula and this was the area which first got independence from British rule. East Malaysia followed in the 1960s and Malaysia was created in 1963 (which then incorporated Singapore which left the union in 1965). Thus, to be precise, the country now known as 'Malaysia' did not exist until 1963...but of course, the government now has to promote unity and it is just easier to make independence day 1957 then 1963. Besides, West Malaysia has always been the centre of attention and where all the major cities and tourist spots are as well as where the majority of the population of Malaysia resides.

Anyways, enough of history.....as they say, migrants and people who reside overseas become more traditional and patriotic as opposed to people who remain in their own countries. I think this is certainly true for me. Having left Malaysia and come to live in Australia (first Melbourne then Sydney) for the past 6 years plus I have grown to become more proud of being a Malaysian. I always look forward to returning for a holiday and really enjoy the place. people, and most importantly, the food!!!!! More importantly, everything is so much cheaper bck there than compared with Aus and the quality is the same! You actually get the same stuff for a much cheaper price in Malaysia which is why i tend to buy all my clothes there and other stuff.

Many Malaysians who are here whom have not been here for long (or those whom belong to the lower social strata in Malaysia and migrate to Australia for a higher income) always complain about the government, how crappy Malaysia's transportation, school system,etc is and the Chinese-Malaysians ALWAYS, and i mean ALWAYS complain about the racist nature of the government and its policies towards the Chinese minority is. I don't know, I always felt that your country is still your country and just because it has faults and flaws doesn't mean we shouldn't still love or feel patriotism towards our country. I mean we should look at Malaysia and feel grateful about many things. (ok i am aware that given my background and the fact that i am away from Malaysia MOST of the year and residing in a developed country i may not be qualified to say much on this issue..but hey i am still a Malaysian k so this is my 2 cents on it)

Things to feel grateful about Malaysia when we are complaining about how backwards Malaysia is:

1) Many people, incl Malaysians, may be unaware of this BUT out of the over 200 yes TWO HUNDRED NATIONS in the world, Malaysia's economy is within the top 30 economies. Now, this means that if we think Malaysia is a backwards country, there are over 170 other countries which are below Malaysia in terms of economic development!!!! 170 mind you!!!

2) Malaysia is the SECOND most developed nation in SouthEast Asia, only after Singapore, which is essentially a city-state and not your average sized nation. This means we are ahead of Thailand (yes ahead of world-famous tourist spot Thailand even tho i must admit Bangkok is like waaaaaaaaay more developed than Kuala Lumpur), the Phillipines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia,etc..you get the picture.

3) Malaysia is the only country where there are three main races within society and is truly multicultural (even though the government tries very hard to only promote the Malay majority's culture in its tourism and other policies). Singapore is similar as well but once again Singapore is more a city than your normal country and so you cannot really compare it with Malaysia. Further, Malaysia is definitely more fun as a tourist destination given the EXTREMELY small size of the entire Singapore state which is only 20km from north to south i heard which is VERY VERY small. This means it does not have any natural areas like Malaysia's Mount Kinabalu and rainforest in Sabah and Sarawak or our various island resorts like Langkawi or Penang. Singapore really only has shopping and errr..more shopping? We have all the usual brands in Kuala Lumpur as well so there is no need to go to Singapore (ok so maybe our prices and range of choice is more limited).

4) Malaysia's minority races can often speak more than one language which is rare for any other country either within Asia or otherwise. And often three or four. The Chinese can usually speak English and Malay and Mandarin and a Chinese dialect like Cantonese or Hokkien. The Indians can usually speak English and Malay and an Indian dialect like Tamil or Urdu. The Malays will usually know Malay and English.

5) Malaysia has the Twin Towers which is like one of the most amazing architectural feats of the 20th Century. I have been to both the Jingmao World Trade Centre in Shanghai and the Taipei 101 Building in Taipei and, for me at least, i definitely think that the Twin Towers is far superior than the other two towers. It is just an amazing sight and stands out much more because of its steel frame...i personally thought the Taipei 101 was a big let-down and pretty unimpressive and the Shanghai Tower was also just not as bright at night as our Twin Towers.

Anyways, I think on the 50th Independence Anniversary, we, as Malaysians should take the time to ponder over what Malaysia has achieved in the last 50 years and learn to appreciate what we have attained instead of just whining and complaining all the time. Of cos, on this 50th year of Independence, it is also a timely opportunity to reflect on what still needs to be done, for instance the abolition of the official 'racial affirmative action policy' where the government actively discriminates in the interest of the majority Malays and discriminates against the Chinese and Indian minorities (eg quotas are in place in all Malaysian universities which limit the number of Chinese and Indian students allowed in which means higher scores are required to get into the same course than compared to Malays. Civil service employment also has a preferential policy of accepting Malays. Licences for all kinds of businesses and government projects in Malaysia are given to the Malay-owned companies first irrespective of merit. The list goes on.)

Other areas with room for huge improvement would be investing more money in schools as the school system in Malaysia is seriously underfunded with poor decaying facilities and freedom of press as there is essentially no freedom of the press in Malaysia given the annual licencing system of all media in Malaysia whereby the government can revoke the licences of any particular media institution if it 'steps out of line'. There also needs to be more accountability in government than now where government officials are rarely prosecuted for corruption or nepotism despite all the talk of it in the media or by the government itself.

So...... after having reflected on some of the achievements as well as shortcomings of Malaysia on this 50thIndependence Day, I just wanted to say ' Happy 50th Birthday Malaysia!!!!!!"'