(Left) Art Costa's 16 Habits of Mind was incorporated into the curriculum.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
(Left) Art Costa's 16 Habits of Mind was incorporated into the curriculum.
Friday, January 29, 2010
NO to Internal Security Act - YES to Anti-Terrorism Act
Saya anak bangsa Malaysia (SABM) roadshow
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Many seniors today are used to being independent and living in their own homes. When they retire they are reluctant to move in with their adult children. Much as they love their children and grandchildren and enjoy their company, at the end of the day they want their own space and privacy. A home with boisterous children and noisy teenagers is not exactly a haven for older people looking for some peace and quiet to enjoy their twilight years.
A rich relative of mine has a house with a garden so big he could build an annexe in one corner for his parents. I also know of a couple, both professionals, who bought two adjacent apartment units, so they could have their parents live literally next door!
The benefits of intergenerational living are mutual. Adult children can look after their parents much more easily, and enjoy some peace of mind at work. Their parents can help to babysit and keep an eye on their home when the family is away on vacation.
An advertisement for a 3-generation home in Kuala Lumpur
Of course such ideal living arrangements don’t come cheap. For those of us who can’t afford the luxury of living in a two-in-one home, the next best thing is to have a home with two master bedrooms with attached bathrooms. A local property developer has already started building such homes. Time will tell if this trend catches on.
Monday, January 25, 2010
A mere hour's drive up north and we were already out in the countryside, feeling invigorated by the cool air, clear skies and clean mountain water.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
I am from Johor. Can I use "Allah" on the Internet?
Perhaps in the coming days, the Honourable Minister might issue another statement: Now ALL states can use the word "Allah".
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Indeed research reveals that children on average laugh 500 times a day, but adults only 18 times! Have we lost the ability to laugh, to feel good? Consider some of the many benefits of laughter:
~ it boosts the immune system
~ it is a natural pain killer
~ it energizes you
~ it relaxes you
~ it is anti-ageing
You can also practise laughter yoga to manage corporate stress and increase productivity. If only Parliament and Cabinet meetings started with a laughter yoga session! Laughter sessions have also been successfully introduced in hospitals, schools, senior citizens homes, prisons, factories and other workplaces. Below are video clips on Laughter Yoga from Discovery Channel and CNN.
The first Laughter Club was started in Mumbai in 1995 with only five people, including the founder Dr Madan Kataria and his wife. Today there are over 6000 clubs in more than 55 countries, and the number is increasing.
There is already a club in Johor Baru, and one in KL/PJ soon. Public laughter yoga sessions are conducted free of charge. The Star has done a 3-page cover story on laughter yoga, and also reported on a session at Subang Ria Park.
World Laughter Day is celebrated on 2 May.
With Lee-Jean who was personally trained by Dr Kataria
Remember: You don't stop laughing when you grow old; you grow old when you stop laughing.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
One man’s meat is another man’s poison. This is so true in a multi-racial country. Case in point: McDonald’s in Singapore recently introduced their Chinese New Year (CNY) toy promotion: a set of Doraemon collectibles depicting the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac calendar. With a food purchase, customers could collect a zodiac toy of their choice for only S$2.
Some customers were miffed when they discovered that the pig toy was omitted from the set. As a certified halal restaurant chain, the fast-food giant reasoned that offering a pig toy on the premises would offend their Muslim customers. As the first day of CNY this year coincides with Valentine’s Day, McDonald’s replaced the pig toy with a cupid toy.
Their decision upset many Chinese customers. They felt McDonald’s should not have tampered with a Chinese tradition that dates back thousands of years. For customers born in the Year of the Pig, collecting a cupid toy wouldn’t have the same significance.
Sometimes being sensitive to the customs of one ethnic group may mean being insensitive to those of another. That’s one of the challenges of doing business in a multi-racial, multi-cultural country. You just have to tread with extreme caution. A mis-step, no matter how small, can lead to a conflagration that neither side really wants.
Note: In Malaysia, the Year of the Pig is referred to as the Year of the Boar. And the Year of the Cock(erel) goes by the more polite Year of the Rooster.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Saturday, January 9, 2010
The very Name that some quarters of the Malaysian Muslim community seek to protect and safeguard from what they fear as possible misuse by non-Muslims in the country is now publicly used by all and sundry in print and online publications worldwide, in the blogosphere, on Youtube and even in cartoons.
So much for exclusivity. The irony of it all!
Friday, January 8, 2010
Why not extend the same concept to our schools? Any school which reflects a healthy racial mix in their student and teacher population should be recognized as a 1Malaysia school. We already have Sekolah Bestari (Smart Schools) and Sekolah Kluster (Cluster Schools), so why not Sekolah 1Malaysia?
Our young should be taught to mingle freely irrespective of race, colour or creed. Only then will they grow up to have friends of all races. We may be of different colours , have different beliefs and customs, but we all belong to the same human race.
Why are national schools shunned by non-Malay parents? And why are vernacular schools so popular that they had to turn away thousands of applicants (in total) due to limited places?
I remember attending school back in the 1950s and 60s with schoolmates of all races. It was the same during my undergrad years at the University of Malaya. Race was a non-issue. But by the time my children started secondary school in the 1980s, the racial divide had already reared its ugly head.
To ensure a better racial mix in our schools, the onus is on the government to provide quality education for all. Standards should not be lowered. Instead pupils should be given every help and support to meet the standards set. After all, parents want the best for their children.
For 1Malaysia schools to be a reality, the key words are QUALITY and EQUALITY.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Stanford scientists have developed a low-cost, high-performance prosthetic knee joint for amputees in the developing world. Costing only USD20, the JaipurKnee will bring back mobility to people who have lost their legs in war or diseases such as diabetes.
If you are interested, you might want to check out TIME's pick of the top 10 medical breakthroughs of 2009.
Monday, January 4, 2010
TOILET SEAT LIFTER - 'Who left the Toilet Seat up?' The PeaceMaker will end the battle of the toilet seat. Merely step on the pedal to activate the lifting mechanism. When finished, remove your foot from the pedal and the seat gently comes to a rest where it started.
LASER SCISSORS - Laser ScissorsCutting a straight line has never been easier. Just aim the pin-point laser and follow the line. The scissor blades are stainless steel and cut very clean with a micro-serrated edge.
GIANT REMOTE - Never lose your remote again! With giant buttons, this extra-large remote is easy to use and impossible to lose. It's a 6-in-1 remote so you can use it to control your TV, VCR, DVD player, satellite, cable and auxiliary A/V device. It even features glow-in-the-dark buttons, so you can easily find the remote in the dark.
BUTTER CUTTER - One Click Butter Cutter controls your portion as an important part of staying healthy. This ingenious butter cutter delivers one standard pat with each click of the handle.
TRANSPARENT TOASTER - You love toast, but you always burn it? Then this invention is for you. This transparent toaster allows you to see the bread while it is toasting so you just have to take it out when the colour is right. This idea is based on a transparent heating glass technology.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Like the word 'love', the word 'friend' has degenerated into an overused and under-valued label loosely used by any Ah Chong, Aminah and Apu to falsely convey a relationship that probably does not exist in the first place.
Here is my definition of 'friend'. If you fit the bill, you are indeed a true friend. I would like to think that I am your true friend too.
- respects your right to dignity
- knows when to be discreet
- protects your good name and image
- does not hold you up to ridicule or scorn, especially when you are not in a position to defend yourself
- looks out for you, even when you don't expect it
- knows when to step in , and when to stay out
- supports you through all weather
- holds your hand when you are afraid
- stands up for you when others are attacking you
- does not perpetrate lies about you or your loved ones
Friday, January 1, 2010
I have made only one resolution - to stay focused on being healthy, not just physically but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually. This inner strength will empower me to take on any challenges that may lie ahead.
Fireworks at KLCC
With my children and grandchildren enjoying the spectacular view from Avenue K (photo: Brian Wong)