Tuesday, March 30, 2004

A RM5 post

It's RM5/hr to use the Internet facility at the Senai Airport, but I reckon it's worth it since I have approximately one hour to kill before my flight home. Better to check my personal emails and get my daily dose of the blogs now since tomorrow will be a busy day at the office. I've been without the Internet since Friday! The longest stretch, of course, would be during the 25 back-breaking days spent at OBS Lumut, shudder.

Yep, I decided to go for the site visit.

Yes, it was four islands, and no, it wasn't just old geezers in the group, haha.

Pulau Aur, Pulau Pemanggil, Pulau Sibu and Pulau Babi Besar Besar. Very, very beautiful. Perfect for island-lovers. Too perfect that half of the group prolonged the trip for another night.

Experienced my first ever midnight sea-fishing trip. Wait till you see what I managed to bring up from the great depths.

Updated : Found out later that it was actually RM5.25 - there was a 5% tax as well. You need to pay only after using the service, contrary to what the sign says. Not the smartest of business moves, hmm?

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Top 10 Things To Do On A Komuter / LRT Train Journey

(in no particular order)

1. Sleep (if you manage to grab a seat)
2. Listen to music (with a walkman / discman / iPod, not a boombox dear)
3. Read a book / magazine / newspaper / get-rich flyer
4. Catch up on office work (you know you won’t really touch it once you get home)
5. Check out other people’s clothes / accessories / kid / boyfriend / girlfriend
6. Do personal monthly budget (darn at this rate I’m never gonna save enough to afford that car / house / trip to the moon)
7. Think of things to blog about (half of the posts on What’s the matter? were thought of during train journeys )
8. Write down blog posts if inspiration struck (half of the posts here ditto)
9. Day-dream about Jude Law / Ewan McGregor / Patrick Teoh / Doraemon
10. Train your kid to be a future Olympic gymnast:

Will be heading up north tomorrow, and most probably going down south (Johor, not Australia) on Sunday. Need to make up my mind first whether I really want be go on a site visit program across four islands with a group of ten or so guys all 35 and above.

Oh, and by the way, happy birthday, he]ix! Here's your birthday present :p

Picture credit

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Monday, March 22, 2004

X marks the spot

After reading other bloggers’ account on Election Day, this is how it went for me.

We (Mom, Dad, me and Bro) were out of the gate to exercise our responsibility as a rakyat by 8.15 a.m. Five minutes later we were checking our Saluran Mengundi (voting line) number at the Opposition’s pondok panas which took only a minute and then off to the polling station. Met not a single perayu undi along the way. Rather disappointing as I was really looking forward to see them in action.

Things went just smooth for us. First go check for your Saluran Mengundi number either at the pondok panas or SPR’s desk (pondok panas better, more stations, line at SPR desk very long), then go line up at the designated Saluran Mengundi, show IC, get ballot slips, put that X (and nothing else please) where you think is most appropriate, fold slips twice (printed side inwards please), put in correct ballot box and walk out. Done. Rather uneventful, even. People queued up properly, appropriate signs were all over the place telling where you should go and there were lots of officers around to assist and control the situation.

Nothing at all like Edmund's experience where there were "…no proper lines, room to room, long wait, long walks. Here is Malaysia Boleh! again for all of us. My dad who is close to 80 years old had to wait, queue, my mum who has difficulty walking had to do the same as well, my poor wife had to queue in the sun while other jump the queue as there were no clear instruction and enough officials to keep order." I guess a lot depended on your area’s SPR team, how they plan and manage their respective polling stations. Khalil had it good too, as reflected in his post "I’m happy because the election process at my polling station went smoothly unlike the other places where the Election Commission has f***ed up big time".

I was intrigued by Sharizal's account where he stated that "But the weirdest thing then happened, as she (SPR officer) read out my particulars she also read out my registration number (that same number i had on my slip of paper that i gave to them) and this number is then conviniently written on the stub of my voting slips.". I was thinking about that yesterday, and I watched them closely while I was in line. Only saw them cross out each name in the electoral list while calling the names and numbers out loud to the observers, rip the ballot slips off the books, punch holes on the slips on the left-hand area under the serial number, and it’s all yours. Didn’t see them doing any jotting down or anything on the stubs. Very, very intriguing.

Apparently voters were assigned their Saluran Mengundi numbers according to the new IC numbers, which corresponds with age (I peeked at their list). Hence you can see that as the numbers go higher, the voters in line were a younger lot. And it’s interesting to note that at 8.45 a.m., the lines at Saluran Mengundi 1, 2 and 3 were already quite long (more than 25 voters each) compared to Saluran Mengundi 6 and 7 where there were only a handful. Me and Bro (both part of the statistical 800,000+ first time voters) voted at Saluran Mengundi 7, only four people there when we got in line. What a big difference.

When we were done Mom and Dad were still patiently in the queue. Ah, they weren’t bored, no, they were busy chit-chatting with the uncles and aunties, it’s obvious that half in the line were long-time friends.

After Mom and Dad were done, we all walked out and only then we saw the perayu undi people doing their thang. Since we already did our civic duty (too late to sway us anywhere now, too bad, fellows!) there weren't much they can do but still they were friendly:

PAS: "Dah selesai dah? Hmm…. Alhamdulillah.." (Finished already? Praise to God)
BN : "Assalamualaikum… Dah mengundi ya? Tak apalah ni ada topi ambiklah" (Voted already? Oh okay never mind here’s a cap for you)

Which was so unlike Meesh's experience: "…where some uncles from PAS were walking around my area, quite nice looking in their tongkat and jubah (is that what you call it?) and kopiah, they completely ignored me when I smiled at them, I think they didn't look at me as a prospective voter, I was quite sakit hati after that."

We treated the event like a family outing, took pictures along the way at the various banners and flags and the parties’ campaign stations. Onlookers would definitely have a hard time guessing as to which party we were inclined to.. ahah.. remember, undi adalah rahsia!

Have a thought over James' post where he wrote of feeling like a Sampah Masyarakat:
"Today, I have missed yet another opportunity to exercise my democratic right, making it my third miss in a row. I never get round to voting cos I never got down to even registering myself. While I have successfully put on a defiant, rebellious, anti-establishment front (as we arty-types are so wont to do) over the last few years, this year I actually feel like shit for not voting. I feel irresponsible to myself and the baby in Mae's womb. I am Sampah Masyarakat."

Our forefathers fought with their blood, tears and a whole lot more over 46 years ago so we could do this. In some countries its people are still fighting to have the chance to pick their own government, to have this election thing. I’m glad I went out to vote, and if you haven’t register yourself, please, don’t wait until the last minute. Yes, you already missed this year's, and five years is a long time ahead, but why put it off if you can do it today? Time moves fast, tomorrow may come too soon. Go and get your sorry asses up, those who still haven’t registered, make sure you’ll be voting in 2009!

11 o’clock, off to Sepang for the hottest race on earth, but unlike Kaz, whose "friend managed to source out two free grandstand tickets and we got the best seat... right infront of Team BMW Williams F1 pitstop", I was lying down on the dry grass under a free umbrella at the hillstand area (ho ho ho when it's hot it's really really hot, you could've cooked an egg sunny-side up on my umbrella) courtesy of my favorite bank. Ah, still, it’s free (did I mention I love freebies?). Michael did it again. Yay. Too bad about Kimi. I was rooting for ya, Iceman.

Kertas Undi

The sign at the door only said I could not use the phone *wink*

Parlimen / Parliamentary seat

Dewan Undangan Negeri / State seat

Undi anda adalah rahsia (Your vote is secret).

Full election results

Friday, March 19, 2004

'Sepet' by Yasmin Ahmad – Jujur sejujur-jujurnya

(Thanks Aliya for thinking about me, and NZ for the invitation!)

Aku sungguh berbesar hati apabila menerima pelawaan dari Nizamzakaria untuk menghadiri sesi tayangan ‘rough cut’ filem terbaru Yasmin Ahmad (sutradara filem ‘Rabun’ dan iklan-iklan perayaan Petronas yang penuh nostalgia) di DBP semalam, inilah kali pertama aku berpeluang menonton filem versi sebegini. Menurut Nizam filem tersebut masih lagi dalam ‘working phase’, belum versi akhir yang akan dipertontonkan kepada umum (yang pastinya jika tidak banyak, akan sedikit berbeza setelah menjalani proses kerja-kerja penerbitan dan suntingan terakhir oleh team ‘Sepet’ sendiri serta jangan lupa, suntingan badan penapisan filem negara-ku yang terchinta. Oleh itu di sini aku mahu bercerita yang pro sahaja dulu tentang ‘Sepet’ kerana ia belum hasil yang muktamad lagi.

‘Sepet’ revolves around the relationship of two young people berbeza bangsa dan agama yang dilakonkan oleh mereka yang memang sebenarnya muda, bukannya pelakon lewat 20an atau awal 30an pretending they’ve just finished secondary school. Yes, it’s a love story but no, it’s not just a love story. Babak-babak kekeluargaan yang mesra (dan juga yang tidak berapa mesra), keeratan persahabatan (dan kegoyahannya), percintaan anak muda serta babak-babak lain tentang kehidupan yang digambarkan dalam filem ini penuh kejujuran dan realisme yang jarang aku jumpa dalam filem-filem tempatan. Banyak juxtaposition of contrasting images yang sebenarnya tidaklah terlalu pelik dalam kehidupan, tetapi tak jumpa di kaca tv atau layar perak tempatan. Aku cukup suka skrip filem ini, dialog yang diutarakan tidak ada baris-baris “Apakah kau merasa..” atau “Oh inilah kebenaran”. Banyak yang menggeletek hati (dan jantung dan paru-paru serta limpa aku) dalam perkara yang mereka tuturkan... unsur komedinya natural dan tidak dibuat-buat, jauh sekali slapstick. Juga hubungan mesra antara ibubapa Orked, ah, teringat aku mama dan abah di rumah!

Portrayal percintaan Orked (Sharifah Amani Syed Zainal, adik kepada pelakon Sharifah Aleya) dan Jason/Ah Loong (Ng Choo Seong) simple sahaja, pergi berjalan-jalan bersama, makan di restoran segera, bergambar aksi-aksi lucu di kedai foto, berhubung dengan telefon; gambarannya jujur dengan usia mereka. Tetapi perjalanannya tidak sebegitu mudah, ada kemelut dan noda hitam, diterpa masa lampau dan persekitaran yang menghalang.

Watak-watak sokongan dalam ‘Sepet’ turut mempunyai depth dan definitely not one-dimensional – sebagai contoh orang gaji yang tak macam orang gaji, suami isteri yang tetap bersama hanya kerana keadaan, mamat Cina penjual vcd haram yang pandai main piano serta mat salleh celup yang tak berapa pandai bahasa Inggeris. Yasmin Ahmad bijak menampilkan kisah-kisah mereka menerusi a few lines here and there dan imbasan-imbasan ringkas tanpa perlu banyak side-track dari kisah utama (yang lazim berlaku dalam filem tempatan, kisah sampingan dipaparkan berlebihan sampai hilang fokus). Cukup dengan tidbits yang diberi, aku menggunakan imaginasi dan pengalaman hidupku sendiri untuk cuba melihat bahawa Mak Yam, Lin, Maggie, Keong, Johari dan lain-lain mungkin begini, begini, begini, begini dan begini walaupun tidak dipaparkan satu-persatu semuanya. Tak perlu. Kalau nak papar semua, kenalah buat siri TV macam Idaman atau Oshin (ingat lagi Oshin?).

‘Sepet’ juga turut memaparkan satu unsur secara terus-menerus (nanti lihat sendiri okay?) dalam hampir setiap babak yang menggambarkan apakah akhirnya, mengingatkan aku kepada references dalam filem Magnolia yang merujuk kepada 8 dan 2, membawa kepada hujan katak sebagai endingnya seperti maksud dalam petikan dari Exodus 8:2 : And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs. Oh, tidaklah sekompleks itu dalam ‘Sepet’ tetapi ia tetap sesuatu yang unik dan (sekali lagi) tidak lazim dalam filem-filem tempatan.

Berdasarkan komen-komen mereka yang menonton 'Rabun' keseluruhannya (aku sempat tonton sedikit sahaja, not enough to form a fair opinion), filem tersebut yang sarat dengan shot dan gaya penceritaan eksperimental oleh Yasmin serta tiada pelakon komersial sedikit sukar untuk diterima oleh penonton biasa. Kali ini ‘Sepet’ dengan Ida Nerina, Harith Iskandar dan Adibah Noor sebagai nama-nama yang telah dikenali, Orked dan Jason yang comel sebagai eye-candy serta jalan cerita yang agak lurus aku kira mungkin boleh menjadi filem yang mampu untuk merapatkan jurang antara penonton umum (komersial!!) dan pencinta filem yang mahukan sesuatu yang lain. Utopia? Tidaklah. Falsafah aku, beri sedikit ruang untuk give and take, banyak yang akan menjadi lebih mesra.

Nantikan tayangan 'Sepet' sekitar Ogos September 2004, Insya Allah.

Update :
1) SePet akhirnya menemui penonton di pawagam Malaysia mulai 24 Februari 2005, dengan lapan potongan (tak sampai 2 minit pun dan tidak menjejaskan jalan cerita) oleh LPF.

2) Aku salah, Ng Choo Seong sebenarnya telah berusia 32 tahun. Tetapi, isk, cuba korang tengok, memang ada rupa 19 tahun kan!

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Busy disillusioned little bee

Wah sibuknya, sampai tak sempat nak update blog ni, however please bear in mind that 'sempat' tak semestinya dari segi masa saja, tapi juga merangkumi kesempatan dari segi kelapangan fikiran, mood, Internet access dan lain-lain :)

Bukan tak sempat langsung, cuma aku dah berjanji dengan diri sendiri, selagi tak siap tulis review Kasanova, aku takkan post apa-apa di sini. Hey... am I breaking that promise here?

Kalau setakat nak tulis tentang aku pergi mana, makan apa, jumpa siapa, sikit-sikit apa yang jadi dalam rutin hidup ni, sekejap je dah boleh settle, tapi aku perlukan lama sedikit untuk tulis ulasan, then mood kena betul, baru jalan, tak tu nanti jadi macam melepaskan batuk di tangga. Yeah yeah, I know, as if anyone's going to give a cicak's arse about it , but I do.

So bagi aku layan batuk dulu sampai baik...cough cough!!
Update 16 March 2004: O.k review finally up! See below.