Monday, January 31, 2011

Food - Blessing in diversity

It is a blessing, when you lived in a country with multi racial and multi religion community.

Malay as Muslim do not eat pork, Indian as a Hindu do not eat beef, Chinese normally eat less beef, and some Chinese and Hindu are vegetarian. It is absolutely normal, even family members have different taste.

If all eat pork, all eat beef; there will be shortage, and price will be high. Look at chicken, all races eat chicken except vegetarian Malaysian, the chicken price need to be controlled especially during festivals. Look at fish, the prices going up during festivals. We like to eat chicken and fishes. So count it a blessing, if Indian do not eat beef, Malay do not eat pork, and some Malaysian eat only vegetables....

If it is a vegetarian food, all can eat; what is the problem.

There is nothing wrong with food, it is only the source of nutrients for mankind. You may not eat certain food for certain reasons. But it is alright, we respect your choice.

But let us eat together as a friends in mamak stalls, in kopitiam, in warong.....

If it is a good food, let all enjoy it together; be it mamak rojak, roti canai, nasi kandar, nasi kerabu, nasi dagang, apong, soya drink, yong tau foo, or any food that did not offense your chosen style, taste or food. The most important we can get together and have nice time, you order nasi lemak, I order my Char koay teow, he order nasi daun pisang, what is the problem, we can still eat together at one table, we can still share our joke and fellowship together. In mamak stall, in kopitium, in warong..... or even in modern cafe....

We have been as a nation for more than 50 years, we know your like and dislike; but we should be eating together, not like what LKY said there is distinct and separate....

We must not see different in taste as an extreme; it is the freedom of choice. We still can eat together when we eat differently....

Food is our culture, good food is our pride, there are so many good food in Malaysia; especially Penang and Kelantan.

We can talk over food; on the same table; in the same kopitiam, same warong, same mamak stall. Wha is the problem?....

There is beauty in food diversity....

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Integration and communication

The book written by Lee Kuan Yew, with the title "Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths To Keep Singapore Going" is selling like hot cakes in Singapore. Both languages edition of English and Chinese have been sold out. Why his book is so "laku"?. Still remember what he said about Penang, some time ago, which raised some critic from Malaysian public. The book also disclosed some of his views on the neighboring countries and his personal views. The senior Lee is still sharp, with the age of 90s, the man still considered a wise man, not only in Singapore; but also by the world. The superpowers listen to his views, many politician want to know what is in his mind, about the outlook of Asia, about the future; not only about the Singapore.

You like him or hate him, he had proved it for you, what Singapore have become; you like his way or not, Singapore is a country that many in the world admired, you cannot deny it....This man must have wisdom...you cannot deny it....

MM Lee's remarks on Singapore Muslims in the book "Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths To Keep Singapore Going", launched on Jan 21, have evoked concerns among members of the Muslim community in Singapore.

In the book, MM Lee said that "Muslims socially do not cause any trouble, but they are distinct and separate". On how Muslims could integrate, he said: "Be less strict on Islamic observances and say, 'Okay, I'll eat with you.'"

The Association of Muslim Professionals issued a strongly worded statement to seek clarification on whether MM Lee's comments on the Muslim community reflected the thinking of the Government.

His son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the views on Singapore Muslims expressed by Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew in his new book are his personal opinions, and not those of the Government. Speaking to the media on the sidelines of a community event at Yio Chu Kang Community Club, PM Lee said that MM Lee's views were based on his experience of watching Singapore's society evolve over more than 50 years.

PM Lee added that despite a global trend of people, including Singaporeans, becoming more religious today than 50 years ago, the Muslim community here "has made great efforts to integrate with the other communities and with Singapore society to join the mainstream".

At the same time, PM Lee said that Singapore should be careful to not let changing social and religious norms "evolve so that differences in food, dress, customs, and so on keep us apart or reduce our common space".

He said that MM Lee's opinions were also based on other societies around the world that faced challenges in integrating as a nation and community, as well as the risks Singapore faces if its people are not careful.

"But my own perspective on how things are in Singapore is not quite the same as MMLee's," he said, adding that his view is shared by the Government.

Ultimately, this is MM Mr Lee's personal opinion.

But there are some critic from Malaysia.....

Is that some truth in MM Lee's views?....

Looking at Penang, when I was in school in the 60s & 70s, there is no problem for us to go to mamak stalls or kopitiam, regardless of race. We respect each others, and know the limitation and restrictions.We have happy hours together. No problem.

When I was in Kelantan, Trengannu; no problem. Malay patronized Chinese kopitiam, and Chinese went to Malay warong, and Indian's mamak stall or Indian banana leaves rice shops. No problem. We can have satay breakfast in the morning in either Malay warong or Chinese kopitiam in Kuala Trengganu, we can have nasi dagang, nasi kelabu, nasi laut(or lauk)...in kopitiam or warong in Kota Bahru. No problem in any places in Trengganu and Kelantan.

But when I moved to Pahang in 80s, and returned to West Coast in 2000s; Kuantan, Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Penang, the story is different....there is sign of distinct and separate. I still remember of an advertisement of two young teenagers,of different races, using the modern hand phone sitting next to each others. When the fathers can talk and be close to each others, the youngster despite sitting side by side, dressed with the same branded clothing, having the same culture from the popular culture. But cannot communicate....

I do not expect them to be like us in the 60s,70s; or even earlier; when we can communicate much better, when we can eat together, laugh together; without restrictions...yes, there may be some, but declining trends...

Someone said the best way to communicate is when you are eating together....in warong, in mamak stall, in kopitiam.....just look at the places today, are the crowds and patrons different now?.....

Still remember P Ramli's movie, if you are as old as me, you will understand why P Ramli is our idol, regardless of races. Look at the background of the movie in the 60s...you will understand the time, and what happening....

Politician will not talk about the truth, that may be the result of their policy; and it is taboo in our society to talk about racial relationship in open.....hide in the carpet and pretend nothing happen....

I still remember one day in Penang hill during 60s. Two students from different states; one student from Chinese school in Penang and the other from Malay school from Kedah, two strangers having a rest in the same place. They met in Penang hill. They are not good in English, but still they can communicate and talk a lot in Penang Hill, they try their broken English, Pasar Malay, some Chinese... they can communicate. There is common value, friendliness and open communication without restriction of racial background, religion, political ideology...they talk about schools, talk about family, talk about activities.....Today, even with hand phone, i-phone, i-pad; the young people still have difficulties in communication between two races......

we can communicate with foreigner when touring in oversea countries, why can't we communicate with our fellow Malaysian?.....

MM Lee said some truth, but he make a mistake. He should not tell people how to integrate and touch on sensitive religion baseline. "Be less strict on Islamic observances and say, 'Okay, I'll eat with you.'" is not wise word from a wise man, but we can understand as Lee is not a religious man. You do not tell people to be less strict in religion observances. He do not understand the feeling...

But we can understand his concern..... it happen in Malaysia too...

We communicate less now....

Something wrong some where, I cannot tell you why, it is taboo...

One Malaysia, Malaysian Malaysia; I said unity in diversity......

Related articles:

1. Dr Mahathir: MM Lee does not respect religion, by Angela Lim, Yahoo News dated January 31st, 2011, http://sg.yfittopostblog.com/2011/01/31/dr-mahathir-mm-lee-does-not-respect-religion/
2. MM Lee’s comments on Muslims draw criticism, by Ewen Boey, Yahoo News dated January 26th, 2011, http://sg.yfittopostblog.com/2011/01/26/mm-lees-comments-on-muslims-draw-criticism/
3. Uproar In Singapore Over Lee's Remarks, http://www.malaysianmirror.com/media-buzz-detail/216-singapore/51831-uproar-in-singapore-over-lees-remarks
4. MM Lee’s comments on Muslims draw criticism , The Temasek Review, http://www.temasekreview.com/2011/02/01/mm-lee%E2%80%99s-comments-on-muslims-draw-criticism/

Happy Chinese New Year, Penang

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lee Chong Wei

Datuk Lee Chong Wei won Malaysian open Super Series 2011 Badminton Championship for the 7th consecutive years. A good start for the year.

Datuk Lee Chong Wei (simplified Chinese: 李宗伟; traditional Chinese: 李宗偉; pinyin: Lǐ Zōngwěi; born October 21, 1982 in Georgetown, Penang[2]) is a professional badminton player from Malaysia who resides in Bukit Mertajam.[3] Lee won the silver medal in the 2008 Olympic Games, thus becoming the first Malaysian to reach the final of the men's singles event and ending Malaysia's Olympic medal drought since the 1996 Games. This achievement also earned him the title Datuk, and a description by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak as national hero.

As a singles player, Lee was again ranked first worldwide on August 21, 2008.[5] He is the third Malaysian men's singles shuttler after Rashid Sidek and Roslin Hashim to achieve such a ranking (since official rankings were first kept in the 1980s), and is the only Malaysian shuttler to hold the ranking for more than two weeks.

Lee is also the reigning All England champion.

Lee has won many international badminton titles in his career, including many Super Series titles. However, despite his status among the world's elite, Lee has only managed to capture bronze (in 2005) at the BWF World Championship
(source: wikipedia)




Another Malaysian Idol from Penang, who is world No.1 but yet to capture the title for BWF world championship. Hope that he will win a gold medal in this year's BWF World Championship and become a real world champion, the second world champion from Penang after our Malaysian Squash Queen Nicol David....

Nicol David - Malaysian Idol

She is not only the "Malaysian most trusted person", she is the world champion, not only for squash, but also for Malaysia.

She should be a Malaysian idol for all young people in Malaysia.

Nicol David, the Malaysian world Champion – unbeaten in the whole of 2010 – collect the WISPA Player of the Year award for the sixth year in a row! (http://squashstars.com/nick-matthew-nicol-david-win-player-of-year-awards/)



Datuk Nicol Ann David is a Malaysian female professional squash player. She is currently ranked world number 1 in women's squash, and is the first Asian woman to achieve this. She won the British Open title in 2005, 2006 and 2008, as well as the World Open title in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Nicol is the first squash player to have won the World Junior title twice; in 1999 and 2001 under the tutelage of Richard Glanfield. She remained the only female squash player to have achieved this, until Raneem El Weleily emulated Nicol's feat by winning her second World Junior Championship in 2007. Nicol joined WISPA and turned professional in 2000 when she won her first WISPA title, after only a month in the tour. The victory came in February, when she defeated Salma Shabana in the final of the Savcor Finnish Open. On June 7, 2008, Nicol David was honoured with the Order of Merit (Darjah Bakti) or D.B. in conjunction with the birthday of the His Majesty Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin. She was the first recipient of the award which was established on June 26, 1975. Nicol was also invited to carry the Olympic torch for Malaysia during the build up to the Athens Olympics in 2004 and being appointed as UNDP National Goodwill Ambassador for Malaysia.

Nicol David's other notable achievements include the Asian Squash Championship, which she won with a record of seven times (in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010).

(source: wikipedia)

Nicol has also obtained the WISPA Player of the Year on five consecutive occasions, from 2005 until 2009. Now she won again in 2010 for six consecutive years.



Nicol David, Malaysian Idol from Penang....

Syabas, Congratulation with a warm hand shake from Penang lang.....



Note: I missed her final in Asian Games recently in Guangzhou, my family arrived at the stadium and were not able to buy tickets, miss the chance to support my Penang idol, Nicol David.

Hand Shake

Anything wrong with hand shaking?, a simple ritual in which two friendly people grasp one of each other's right hands, and followed with a brief up and down movement of the grasped hands. Hand shaking had become a universally accepted sign of friendship and one's openness to invite a new friend. It has become a modern custom in the world. It is a norm for greeting.

The handshake is initiated when the two hands touch, immediately. It is commonly done upon meeting, greeting, parting, offering congratulations, expressing gratitude, or completing an agreement. In sports or other competitive activities, it is also done as a sign of good sportsmanship. Its purpose is to convey trust, balance, and equality.

A firm hand shake is the beginning of a friendship.

It is considered inappropriate,and an act of unfriendliness for any outright rejection of a handshake when someone offer his hand to you. Unless your right hand is injured . You always use a right hand, unless you are a scout, which shake with a left hand. It is universally a business etiquette , and a political protocol for a statesman.

What is wrong with hand shaking, when recently it become a political issue in Malaysia during the by election.

What you feel when a person reject a friendly hand you offer to him or her? Did you experience the feeling of rejection and disappointment when someone you know shake your hand coldly or reluctant to shake your hand. Some time a person may shake you hand but his/her hand never firmly grasped your hands, some time even one or two fingers is placed within your palm.... your feel that they are rejecting you, your emotion of openness and friendliness. It is very common in Malaysia, but many do not want to touch on the issue due to the sensitive nature it involve, especially it involve someone's belief.

It is the continue of a doctor who refuse to touch a patient; now they refuse to shake your hand; the same justification was involved. it is not involve with medical reason, it is not bacteria in the hands, it is in their head, they believe that they should not shake your hand...

May be my hand is dirty, I need to clean my hand with cleansing solution before I shake their hands, will they still shake my hand?......or should I wear a glove before I shake hand?.

Should Japanese, Korean, and Chinese reject the universally accepted hand shaking as etiquette in business and politic?. We should bow our head to each other, instead of hand shaking. I wonder will the superpowers accept the change?.

The rejection of the hand shaking, to some is a declaration of unfriendliness and even war. In a business meeting, refuse to shake hand, or a loose hand shake indicated insincere or not willing to do business. He will certainly fail to obtain the business from his clients or customers.

A hand shake should be firm to signal the warmth and openness of friendship.

May be we should reject totally hand shaking in Malaysia, since some of our politician or national leaders do not shake hand, or do not like to shake hand. Some shake hand halfheartedly. Some politician and national leaders were force to shake hand to maintain their public image, but privately it is a different picture. Not only politician of one party did not shake hand , but it also include the national leaders and members from the ruling party, government servants, business corporation. It is slowly become a silence norm in the society.

May be it is not the act of hand shaking, it is my hands that is sinful? I use my hand for my private business in toilet; or touch some unholy things, or whatever you imagine that hands can do wonder.....it is the hands that is sinful. We can accepted other shaking, but not hands. The politician who cannot shake hands, may only know how to shake their legs in the offices, and do nothing for the people.....shaking legs is not the custom for greeting, but the custom and norm for the lazy politician.

An election candidate who reject hand shaking of their voters, are actually declaring that he or she is rejecting the people, and he or she is not fit to become a politician and elected representative in democratic election. He or she did not support the spirit of democracy, especially the national spirit of Malaysia, a multiracial and multi-religion country. The said person is not fit to be in politic. He or she is not friendly to the people, and not eligible to be a representative of the people. A politician who cannot shake hand should not be in politic or in the public life, but should continue their living within their own private closet.

We sincerely pray that hand shaking will not be banned by the said politician in the future, if he or she ever become a national leader.....

Hand Shaking become a political issue in election, a sad story for the country, for the democracy and mockery for the One Malaysia propaganda propagated by the national leader.

Hand shaking or shaking hand, is it a sin or crime?...... may be to some people...

A hand shake come from heart, a sign to reflect your heart and act of friendliness and peaceful greeting......salam...a hand shake is a peaceful greeting...

We should promote more hand shake in Penang.....

Congratulation and celebration with a hand shake..... the liberty to shake hand...continue hand shaking....anyone?....

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Making of Cinema Chair at Swens Homemade Cake Penang

This is another Penang talent who I know, and he work hard and very creative to make his cakes and his business, special. A custom make cake for any of your special days, even a cinema chair.

Well done, Swen.... what is next?.....

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Penang Is The No.1 State For Total Capital Investments In 2010

Penang Is The No.1 State For Total Capital Investments In 2010 Attracting RM 12,238

Written by Administrator II
Wednesday, 19 January 2011 12:29

Press Conference Statement By Penang Chief Minister In Komtar, George Town On 19.1.2011

Penang Is The No.1 State For Total Capital Investments In 2010 Attracting RM 12,238 Million, Up Nearly 5 Times As Compared To RM 2,165 Million In 2009 And Comprising 26% Of Malaysia’s Total Investments Of RM47,177 Million For 2010.

According to Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA), Penang is the No.1 state for total capital investments in manufacturing projects in 2010 attracting RM 12,238 million, up nearly 5 times as compared to RM 2,165 million in 2009. This is the first time in history that Penang has topped the list of investments amongst all states and is the highest investment received ever. This success is due to the hard work by the 1.6 million Penangites together with state government leaders and agencies as well as federal government agencies from MIDA and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.

Penang’s investments were derived from new investments of RM 2,846 million and expansion by existing investors of RM 9,392 million. Clearly these figures only captured those industries that sought incentives from MIDA and not the new or expansion investments that did not require grants from the federal government.

The significance of this historic achievement is highlighted by Penang contribution of RM 12,238 million to Malaysia investment constituting 26% of Malaysia’s total investments of RM 47,177 million of 2010. Yesterday Minister of international trade and industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed announced a 45% increase in Malaysia 2010 investment performance from RM 32,637 million in 2009 to RM 47,177 million in 2010. Penang moved up from No. 4 in 2009 to Nol 1 in 2010, increasing by 465% from RM 2,165 million in 2009 to RM 12,238 million in 2010.(see attached).

The 465% increase in investments in Penang reflects confidence in the energy, expertise and entrepreneurship of our human talent. Further this is an affirmation of the state government’s strategy of promoting Penang as a location of choice based on 7 critical success factors(CSF) of growth:-

1. Ready availability of skilled human talent;

2. Effective and efficient supply chain management;

3. Competent and reliable logistics and communications hub

4. Strong Intellectual Property protection;

5. Good governance and effective leadership;

6. Building creativity and innovation in science and technology; and

7. Livable and intelligent city.

Penang believes that CAT governance of competency accountability and transparency has also built confidence that a government with integrity can make things happen and both execute and deliver. Penang was not only the best performer in managing state finances in Malaysia according to the Auditor-General Report for 2009 but also received accolades for anti-corruption from Transparency International.

As the newly-crowned champion amongst all states in attracting investments, the Penang state government wishes to congratulate the people of Penang. With the best financial performance, the best state in clean governance, the best green practices and now the top performer in investments, Penangites can now proudly say “Penang Leads!”.

LIM GUAN ENG

pginvestment

For other details please visit http://www.visitpenang.gov.my/portal3/penang-tourism-news/1283-penang-is-the-no1-state-for-total-capital-investments-in-2010-attracting-rm-12238-million.html

For your information, the following was the report by StarBiz 8 Oct 2010 and MIDA

Penang has attracted some RM2.25 billion in investments in the first seven months of the year, making third largest state manufacturing investments in Malaysia, after Selangor and Johor.

Approved investments in Selangor and Johor for the same period amounted to RM3.8billion and RM2.7 billion respectively.

Based on the data collated by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), the approved investments in Penang for the first seven months had exceeded the total approved investments in the state for the whole of last year of RM2.17 billion, Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng said.

For the first six months of the year, Penang attracted investments of RM1.53 billion, which means that in the month of July, the approved investments in the state's manufacturing sector jumped close to 50% or RM716 million over the total for the first half year, he said.

The total investments in Malaysia's manufacturing sector for the first seven months of the year totalled RM16.5 billion in 545 projects, of which RM9.5 billion came from foreign investors while the balance RM7 billion came from domestic sources.

Even though the investment trend has been encouraging, Penang is still half-way from the state's investment target of RM4.2 billion, he added.

Adapted from StarBiz 8 Oct 2010 and MIDA:

(source: http://www.mida.gov.my/en_v2/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=982&cntnt01origid=107&cntnt01returnid=107)

For the first 6 months in 2010, total capital investment was RM1.53 billion, by July it was RM2.25 billion, Penang is still half-way from the state's investment target of RM4.2 billion. But the final year end result was RM 12.238 billion, exceeding the target. The total capital investment for 2009 was RM2.165 billion. It exceeded the previous year 2009 by 465% and the investment target by 191.38%.

The state performance for 2010 was exceeded target, a grade A result. Good performance by the state government for 2010. Penang state government passed the KPI with flying color. The performance figure will silence the critic of state government.

Syabas...Pulau Pinang; Congratulation Penang.

Related articles:
1. Higher approved manufacturing investments in 2010 ; http://www.mida.gov.my/en_v2/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=1087&cntnt01origid=107&cntnt01returnid=107
2. Penang may miss investment goals without Mida aid, by By Yow Hong Chieh, http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/business/article/penang-may-miss-investment-goals-without-mida-aid/

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pulau Jerejak debate

The game is on in Penang, LGE Vs KTK.... this time is on Pulau Jerrejak, another white elephant...



The other side:

Former chief minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon has blamed three international incidents for the financial loss suffered by the state government in the Pulau Jerejak tourism development project.

He cited the global financial crisis, the Sept 11 tragedy in the United States in 2001 and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2003 for the loss.

Dr Koh, who is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, was responding to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng who had urged him to explain the alleged RM30mil losses incurred by the state government in the redevelopment of Pulau Jerejak into an island resort.

“The financial condition was unstable in 1997 and 1998. When 9/11 happened, people did not want to travel for a year,” he said after opening a workshop for Penang Barisan Nasional leaders at Pantai Jerejak Resort on Sunday.

Dr Koh said UDA Holdings Bhd was willing to cooperate with the state government to develop the place.

“I have contacted UDA chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed and he is interested in its revival. The project, which is still in its first phase did not progress to the next phase due to the 2008 political tsunami.

“There are four phases in the project. This will turn the island into a rainforest resort,” he said.

It had been reported that the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) and UDA were involved in the joint venture to develop the Tropical Island Resort (TIR) on the island.

The PDC holds a 49% stake in TIR while UDA Holdings holds the remaining stake.

Dr Koh said Barisan would be ready if Lim decided to take a positive or negative approach on the matter.

“I’m really annoyed over this and we will play the game until the end. The ball is now in his court,” he said.

(source: http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com)

That is good news, both are ready for the game. A long waiting report cards for Pulau Jerejak...

The game should be played fairly by the two CMs, a high level debate. We anticipate for more disclosure and more accountability; not only 911, and SARs, these are factors that did not adversely affected the state, at least no long term effect. Moreover it affect all tourism industry, but for short term, plane still fly, people still travel. Just look at Phuket of Thailand and Bali,Indonesia, they recover fast from the Tsunami and Terrorist attack. But Pulau Jerejak is still affect by 911 and SARs?....for 18 years? someone said it make my toe laugh.....

By the way, ask Penang lang, who have been to Pulau Jerejak? Many have been to Sentosa Island in Singapore where their latest development project have start to earn tourism money......

What is the feedback from Penang lang when the project started?....

To look at the island, just stand in front of Queensbay Mall, look at the green island we once have, is it still beautiful or an eye sore?...and it had been 18 years...

Let us open our eyes and see how the game end....

Friday, January 14, 2011

Apong Guan

Whenever you are traveling along Burma Road, before passing Union Primary School or SRJK (C) Union, there is one stall selling pancake or apom/apong or apom balik as the local call it. You will notice a crowd of customers waiting patiently for their turn. The popular apom stall is owned by Mr Uan Cheng Guan. He is popularly known as Apong Guan. The stall is directly opposite the Ghee Heang tau sar pneah sale outlet(not opposite Him Heang, their main competitor which is located after Adventist Church).

Whenever you approach him to purchase the pan cake, the answer is " eh tang oh, lang order si chap tay'( can you wait, there is an order for 40 cakes). No matter what you need to wait until the prior order has been done. He will never break rule, you need to follow until your turn is up. You cannot jump the queue, he is against that. Some customers are from Singapore and other states, but still need to wait.

Consider you are lucky if you are able to buy without advance order. If by the time your order is ready, and you did not come up, he will not wait for you. He will give it to the next order. That is the rule, he strictly follow that.

If there is an advance order for 1,000 pieces, he will still need to complete the order first...that means your turn will be late...

That is how popular is the sale of the apong from Apong Guan.

Apong Guan, aged 61, speak Queen English, he was the student from the premier English school in Penang, Penang Free School. The school was found in 1816, the school produced many Queen scholar, including the late Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu. Guan was formerly employed with Malayawata Steel as technician but resigned to start his apong business 40 years ago.

There is another stall not far from Apong Guan, with the name of Apong Chooi, owned by Uan Cheng Chooi, aged 68. Some source said they are brothers, Cheng Chooi is the elder brother, have been selling apong or pancake for more than 50 years, longer than Apong Guan. But Apong Guan is very popular.

Do not ask me which stall sell better pancakes,I believe they are the same the trade secret inherited from the same family. Apong Guan obviously is more popular, as he can talk better and PR is good, this can be supported by his customers who are willing to wait for his pancakes.



What is appam/apong?

From wikipedia:
Appam, Aappam (Tamil: அப்பம்,ஆப்பம், Template:Lang-sinhala, pronounced [apːam]), Paniyaram or hoppers, are a type of food in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Sri Lankan cuisine. It is called chitau(ଚିତାଉ)Pitha in Oriya, Paddu or Gulle Eriyappa in Kodava and Appam in Telugu. It is known as ආප්ප (Appa) in Sinhala. It is eaten most frequently for breakfast or dinner.

Appum or aapum - pronunciation varies between regions - is a term equivalent to bread. A bread made of rice batter on a stone griddle is in certain parts of the country called kalappam, where kal (Tamil க‌ல்) means "stone". Another form of appam is "Kallappam", where "kall" (Tamil க‌ள்) means toddy, which is used for fermentation. This type of appam is prepared in an appa kal (mould). Kallappam looks like a pan cake.

The presence of Tamils in Malaysia has over the years led to the popularity of the apam. Apam is the term used for a steamed cup-cake sized dessert made from rice flour that is eatened with shredded fresh coconut. The string hopper (local name: putumayam) is also popular among Malaysians. Sold by street vendors on modified motorbikes, the string hoppers are eaten with grated palm sugar (gula Melaka) and shredded fresh coconut. Malaysian Indians tend to make their own and eat it with either curry or dhal dish.
(source: wikipedia)

In Penang, it is called Apom, Apong, Apam manis or Apong Balik.

Types of Appam

Apam or Apong is originally an Indian food from Tamil Nadu; in the old days only Indian Tamil will sell apong in Penang. The locals called it Apom Manis. This fluffy dessert is made of the simplest of ingredients: sugar, egg, coconut milk and flour. The mixed flour batter is pour into small clay pot(but now some use mini woks) to form thin and crispy sides encircling a thick and puffy center. There are three types;

(i) The one that normally found as street food in Penang. It is thin and crispy, sweet and normally folded into a roll. Penang people always call it apom manis. There is no fillings. This is original Penang apom. It is make from pouring the batter into small clay pots with charcoal fire. It can only be make pot by pot.

The original Indian Apam


(ii) This type is normally sold in banana leaf Indian restaurant. It is thicker and bigger. It served with coconut milk. It is not folded, and without fillings. This is Indian appam.
(iii) This type called Apong balik, is normally sold by Chinese hawker. It is smaller, thicker, with filling of banana, maize, some more innovative one filled it with peanut butter and other jams. But the original one is the one filling with only banana. Some call it nyonya apong, developed from the Penang apom, and it was originated in Penang, I think in the 60s. The inventor must have taken the idea from ban-chan-kuei and appom combined, developed into a hybrid. It is called Apong balik because after putting the ingredient of banana, the apong is fold back into half, thus call apong balik. Initially it only make pan by pan as ban-chan-kuei, but later the clever hawker develop a bigger pan which contain smaller pans, which make the process faster. Like Apong Guan, it has 9 small pans.

The other type called Apong balik by the Malay is actually developed from the ban-chan-kui in Penang.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chung Hwa Confucian School

Penang Chung Hwa Confusian School or SMJK Chung Hwa Confucian, Pulau Pinang may not be as famous as the premier schools like Chung Ling High School, Penang Free School etc. It was not the first choice school for most parents in Penang, but recently the school make news. The students from the school did well and come up top in National Mathematical Olympiad competition. Some of the students will represent Malaysia for the Asia Pacific level.

Remember these names, they will be the Penang talents for the future.

KATEGORI BERPASUKAN / BERKUMPULAN (BONGSU)

TEMPAT PERTAMA

SMJK Chung Hwa Confucian, Pulau Pinang
Chan Jin Hao 960507075123
Chan Ruey Terng 960725075279
Lim Jian Liang 960426086875
Yeoh Zi Liang 960331075081

HADIAH SAGUHATI (BONGSU)
Lim Yun Kai 960922075307 SMJK Chung Hwa Confucian, Pulau Pinang

KATEGORI BERPASUKAN / BERKUMPULAN (MUDA)

TEMPAT PERTAMA

SMJK Chung Hwa Confucian, Pulau Pinang
Andy Tan Wei Keat 940708075439
Ho Yi Hang 950524075433
Tan Chee Soon 941121075821
Teh Jun Yong 941016075125

KATEGORI BERPASUKAN / BERKUMPULAN (SULONG)

TEMPAT KEDUA

SMJK Chung Hwa Confucian, Pulau Pinang
Cheah Tian Phern 930804075341
Khaw Kok Liang 911115075545
Ooi Tze Hoong 910822075005
Yeoh Hong Boon 910103075519

HADIAH SAGUHATI (SULONG)
Tan Peng Kiat 910114075557 SMJK Chung Hwa Confucian, Pulau Pinang

History of SMJK Chung Hwa Confucian, Pulau Pinang(or 孔圣庙中华中学)

The school was founded in 1904 and it is the first school in Southeast Asia to have used Mandarin as a medium of teaching students. It is also the only Chinese school outside of China to be accredited by the Qing Dynasty, which presented it to Mr. Cheong Fatt Tze. He was the founder of this school. Cheong Fatt Tze led a team of Qing Dynasty officers in their mission to construct the Chung Hwa Confucian School. They raised a big sum of money and founded the school.

In the early years, Chung Hwa Confucian School was sited in the Ping Zheng Association (now known as the Penang Chinese Town Hall that was located in Jalan Masjid Kaptian Keling (who used to be Pitt Street). In 1908, the school moved to Maxwell Road (currently the site of Komtar Tower in George Town. In 1912, The Confucius Temple donated a huge sum of money to the school. They also pledged to help manage the school's administration. Since then, the name "Confucian" was used in the school name. In 1913, the Board of Directors was founded and the first sports day was held. This is a significant achievement.

In 1924, Chung Hwa Confucian School set up lower secondary classes. In 1941, during the World War II when the Japanese occupied Malaya, the school was used as a centre of teaching the Japanese language. On 7 May 1956, the school tried to set up a secondary school but failed because it was rejected by the then Education Ministry. In 1958, Chung Hwa Confucian School received financial help from the Education Ministry of the Federation of Malaya and at that time, the school was split into 2 schools, namely Chung Hwa Confucian Primary School and Chung Hwa Confucian High School.

In 1970, the current building that was occupied by both Chung Hwa Confucian schools was overcrowded and therefore, a fund-raising drive was set to raise money to buy a piece of land for the new building. Within a few weeks, the funds were collected and the school's Board of Directors bought a piece of land in Green Lane. Construction immediately began. In 1971, Chung Hwa Confucian High School's four-storey new building was completed. In 1972, the whole school shifted to the current site which is located within Pesiaran Tembaga and Tingkat Tembaga. The primary school was still continued on at Maxwell Road (now Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong).

In 1973, the first batch of students sat for the MCE examinations. As of now, SMJK Chung Hwa Confucian is a modern, advanced and fully equipped school. In 1975, Chung Hwa Confucian Primary School was split into two schools, which are SJK(C) Chung Hwa Confucian A and B. In 1976, The Science and Technology Building of SMJK Chung Hwa Confucian was completed. In 1980, the state government claimed the land in Maxwell Road for the construction of Komtar Tower. Therefore, both Chung Hwa Confucian Primary Schools have to be moved to Jalan Ibbetson, which is beside the Penang State Mosque.

In 1985, an extra building with nine classrooms and a library was completed. And in 1994, the new building with 12 classrooms and two science labs was completed in the school in conjunction with its 90th anniversary. In the 1990s, the enrolment of SMJK Chung Hwa Confucian was decreasing. So, the Board of Directors decided to change the school to a co-ed school. Previously, the school only accepted boys. At the same year, Form 6 classes were also established. Students now can continue their pre-university studies there and no need to be transferred to Penang Free School again.(source: wikipedia)



Like their school band, one day Chung Hwa Confucian School will stand tall like other schools, provided we Penang lang give them the support. Heng Ee Secondary School had done well all these years, Chung Hwa Confucian School can be equally well one day, and the parents will not be blindly following the trends of enrolling their children to reputable schools only, Chung Hwa Confucian School can be an alternative to Chung Ling, Heng Ee, PFS....

Chung Hwa boleh....


Monday, January 10, 2011

Damaged in our own eyes....Heritage

How many times must we say to the public, that we cannot protect our own heritage???

The local newspaper reported that the burial ground of Che Wan or Koh Lay Huan, one of the pioneer of Penang founding , and the first Kapitan Cina of Kedah and Penang was damaged, not by nature, but by human own action.

Another act by developer, but blamed their workers....

Who to be blamed?...

The state authority, the legal framework, the Penang Heritage Trust, or the Penang lang...

Sad.....

Boh-liau....

It is always excuses, and excuses....

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The late Dr Lim Chong Eu

I was in Guilin, Guangxi, China when Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu passed away on Wednesday, November 24, 2010, someone e-mail the news to me. Far from the Penang island, I remember the late Dr Lim, and was sad he passed away.

Personally I only have two encounter with the late Tun Dr Lim, one was at the opening of Sunshine, Falim and the other during one of the dinner organized by Penang Gerakan long time ago when he was still a Chief Minister. But he has been familiar name to me even before he become a Chief Minister. His clinic, Su Beng Dispensary was just the same street where I spent my childhood. He is a hero to me, and to many Penang people. I even named my youngest brother's 2nd name after him in 1970, after he won the state election in 1969 and become the Chief Minister of Penang. I still remember my childhood days, other than socialist front, Dr Lim Chong Eu was the personality that can attracted the hearts of Penang people, especially in the streets of old Georgetown. Still remember "boh-mia-si", his best frontline man in political war, come from the same neighborhood, a nobody from the coffin shop(now called funeral parlour) become active in politic, and later become a state assemblyman.

Still remember the time before 1969, the Gerakan flag was hang in front of the shop to support Dr Lim; this is despite Socialist Front was strong at that time. Remember following the news of 1969 election closely until early in the morning, where Gerakan won the state election. The excitement was on par with 308. The May 13th incident that followed, which destroyed the dream of Dr Lim and many Penang people. It was disappointment,sad and anger....

My brother was born during the period. How difficult for us to obtain milk powder supplies during the period, where curfew after curfew were imposed...

I continued schooling, relationship still remain intact between students of different races, we still go hiking and camping together...Dr Lim was able to put aside his political ambition and accept the reality of current political climate, a political coalition was formed. Even politically many things had changed, and the introduction of New Economic Policy, he still continued to lead Penang. Like Singapore, Penang has nothing, she had lost the free port status earlier. In the early 70s, many school leavers found difficulty to find job. There was no factory, no industry, many Penang youngster left the state to other places....

KOMTAR was constructed, Penang bridge was built, industrial zone was set up. Penang had changed and moved to the new era of industrialization, many found employment, which also provided employment for people from neighboring states. Dr Lim still have the power base to bargain with the federal government.

His political career was terminated when he was defeated by opposition leader Lim Kit Siang. Many Penang people was shocked, but some had voted against him. He gracefully withdraw from politic. The political era of Dr Lim Chong Eu was ended. At that time I was not in Penang, living at the east coast beside South China Sea, I was sad for him. How can they vote against him? But Penang people was divided by political reality, not because they do not like him, but they need to make a difficult choice for the future of the state. His opposition was a strong opposition leader, a worthy challenger, a personality of his era. They have a good fight, no one was a looser, Dr Lim was defeated in state election, but won as he gracefully withdraw from politic like a Baba gentleman. He is the victor of fight for state democracy. The event signal that political climate has changed in Penang. His successor Tan Sri Koh Tze Koon was in comfort zone for a long time, but not aware of up and coming climate of change, the ignorance later led to the 308 when threshold point was finally broken.....

Tan Sri Koh was not the same as Dr Lim, he has no power base to bargain and fight for Penang. He was more like a timid recipient of anything that federal give, but not the politician that can fight and bargain like Dr Lim. The power game was totally different. Dr Lim has the respect of the opposition and the coalition parties. He was from the nation founding era. Tan Sri Koh was always overpower by his coalition parties, that was what Penang people perceived, and rightly they decided that it is the time to have stronger character to be Chief Minister in 308. The new era of Lim Guan Eng begin.....

But many Penang lang still remember the late Dr Lim Chong Eu, his contribution to Penang state, especially the industrialization of the state.

In late October 2010, he was admitted to the Penang Hospital after suffering a stroke. He later died on Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at his home in Hillside, Taman Bungah at about 9 pm. On Thursday, November 25, 2010, he was given a state funeral. The Penang state flag was flown at half-mast from 25 to 28 November for 4 days as a mark of respect. His body was cremated at Batu Gantung Crematorium on Sunday, November 28, 2010(source: wikipedia).

Farewell, Dr Lim, Penang lang will always remember you.....



Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year : Penang - Unity in Diversity

This is the first day of the new year 2011(write earlier, blog's date is 2nd day).

What is the direction for Penang lang in the new year? 2010 was ugly with many racial sentiment and remarks that nearly disturb the peace of the state. It may be politically motivated, with malice intention to topple the state government. The state government survived, will the new year 2011 become worst?

I have the opportunity to talk with one Malay community leader in Balik Pulau, who is a successful businessman, and religious. He told me that the problem with some political party is that they are wearing mask when facing and talking with people. They will talk bad about one race in front of another race. They change their mask frequently to meet their political agenda. He said despite Malaysian are from different background, there is commonness in diversity. All religions teach the same thing, to be good, we have common value in our culture. Even we see differences but we learn from the differences, there is nothing wrong to be different....

I once read an article from a nice blog http://bdeen.blogspot.com/2007_08_01_archive.html, the blogger wrote:

"As a descendant of the ‘Rawthers’, I ventured deep into the annals to get a clear description of the clan. It is said that Rawthers were horsemen and warriors of the Moghuls who eventually settled in South India- then they diverted their attention to become businessmen. The clan was in Penang long before Francis Light set foot. My grandfather and his brothers opened up shipping, stewarding and lighter services. Penang flourished as a port of call for many great liners. Most of the workers employed were from my village. Well the Rawthers and other Indians were fondly called by the Malays as ‘Kelings’ or specifically "Keling pelikat" (to illustrate an Indian Muslim). It was a term used to describe migrants from the Kelinga district in central India. It was a maritime kingdom which had its centre of power in modern Indian state of Orissa. I wonder what it has to do with us Indian Muslims from the extreme south of India. ‘Keling kia’ is also used in a racist context in the 'Hokkien' or 'Teochew' dialects, spoken by 'Chinese Malaysians'. At the beginning it was used without any malicious intent but now people have twisted the meaning here and there to make it become offensive. Recently a polished politician in the Malaysian Parliament used the word ‘Keling’ in a derogatory manner. He was caught pants down for uttering such words in a country where different races live in harmony. Conclusion: Politicians, ignorance of history should be excused not executed".

As I did some research on the issue of Kalinga kingdom in India, it was a great kingdom that all Indian should be proud of. Keling kia is not an offensive words in Hokkien, which mean the children of Keling. Kia means child, Teochew people is call teochew kia, Cantonee is call konghu kia, Hakka people is called Khek lang kia, Malay is call Huan kia, white man is call angmo kia. Keling may be the polluted pronunciation of Kalinga, which become Keling by Malay, and Keling kia by Hokkien Chinese, which is direct translation from Malay. Some Chinese still call Indian as Kelinga, which is from the word Kalinga. So there is nothing derogatory, it is not racist as the word kia is universally referred as child to all non- Hokkien people, even Chinese e.g. mata-kia mean the child of a police, is it offensive?. The negative perception of the word was due to the reason that many non-Chinese did not understand Hokkien dialect, and the tone used by some Hokkien Chinese dialect may be loud, especially from working class, causing unnecessary misunderstanding. Keling was never an offensive word in historical Malay word, if not Munshi Abdullah will not call himself Peranakan Keling; Tun Seri Lanang will never call India as Benua Keling. So Keling must be historically refer as India since 1600s. So please remove the wrong perception, after all it just a name, a historical name derived from Kalingan Kingdom.

Another misconception is the word of "mamak", I do not know how the word come from. According to wikipedia, Mamak is a term used in Malaysia to describe the Indian Tamil Muslim community and culture. Most Indian Muslims consider this term to be pejorative but are receptive. The word 'Mamak' is from the Tamil term for maternal uncle, or 'maa-ma'. In the context of Singapore and Malaysia, children of all ethnic groups are taught to refer to adult neighbours, shopkeepers and even strangers as 'uncle' and 'auntie', as a form of respect for and deference towards elders. But I know when you mentioned of the mamak stalls, all Malaysian will be happy to talk about. It has become something that all races accepted as the meeting place for multiracial country of Malaysia. It has become the national heritage that all Malaysian are proud of, a meeting place where all races can come together and be happy, a place where it is always mention in Malaysian conversation, the name we are fond of to talk about. But sad to say there are some quarter which said "mamak" is degrading word. It should not be used to refer to certain community. This word had been passed down through history without problem, and suddenly the word is prohibited. Should we changed the mamak stalls to Indian stalls,Malay stalls, Malaysian stalls, Penang stalls or other names?.....I think all Malaysian will be proud of mamak food, nasi kandar, mamak rojak, roti canai, teh tarik.... it sound so Malaysian and unique to our country.

Some Malay called Chinese "chin", in Kelantan even "tok pek"; I do not think it is derogatory words, "tok pek" may be Hokkien word for tua-pek, the big uncle, a respective word to call an elder person to Hokkien people. Kelantanese and Trengganu people still going to kopitiam owned by tok-pek, taking nasi dagang, satay, nasi lauk, nasi kelabu...as breakfast...

Imagine if one day mamak stalls are no more, kopitiam are no more, warong are no more. The stalls and shops are called coffee house, what is your reaction?.....we will all miss it....Malaysian way of life....

Malaysian and Penang lang should be matured to accept the historical facts and the actual meaning of the words before making any negative remarks. There is no communication problem in ancient time, why there must be misunderstanding in modern time?

The story tell us we must be mature to accept diversity and differences and not simply listen to baseless political talk. We should learn how to respect differences of various races, cultures, and religions.

2011 should be the year of blessing and greatness for Penang...Unity in diversity, penang lang should be bold and confident to accept the differences. Look at Jalan Masjid India(or formerly known as Pitt Street), the Harmony Street, the heritage street did not come from nothing, it is the heritage of our ancestors who were able to accept the differences of each others, and are able to live peacefully and in harmony. They left a street to remind us to continue their heritage, to live in harmony in Penang.

Please do not let racists to have their political platform in Penang; there is no place in Penang for opportunist to play dirty politic using sensitive sentiment. People elected state government should allow to continue rule without fear or favor. Any grievance or complaint should be channel through proper channel, without disturb the peace and stability of the state. With the modern technology and social network(facebook, blog...), there are many ways to express our differences, for whistle blower there is wikileak, and other ways...

One Malaysia, Malaysian Malaysia, or any other slogan... is the same. But obviously it cannot be "Satu Bangsa Satu Negara". Malaysia is not the nation of single race, be it Malay,Chinese, Indian,Iban or Kadazan. It is a multiracial country. Malaysia is one nation, not Malaya, Sabah or Sarawak, nor West or East Malaysia, it is one Malaysia, multiracial, all the way. There are differences, but Malaysia is unity in diversity......

Penang as a state, have always promote unity through different cultures, religions and people.

Penang forward in 2011....Best Wishes...

Related articles
1.Punjabi people, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punjabi_people
2. Sikhism, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikhism
3. Mamak stall, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mamak_stall
4. Tamil Muslim, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamil_Muslims
5. Who is a 'Malabari', http://www.1malabari.net/history/malabari.htm