Monday, June 29, 2009

H1N1 Vs Bible

A thought came to my mind today after seeing so many sick people around me. So I thought I would pour it out and see what you guys think?

Bible, in the book of Hebrews says
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
H1N1 says
If you're sick and come close in contact with one another, you are risking their health.
As we all know Governments around the world are asking employers to be kind enough to let their sick employees to take sick leaves, some even asked for unrecorded sick leaves to prevent the virus from spreading to other employees. Schools are closed down to prevent further outbreak, some major events are cancelled, etc.

But what about the church? Should we ask our members to rest at home and avoid church gatherings? Or should we say, we shouldn't stop gathering as that's what it was told in the book of Hebrews.

Is this a trial or temptation?
Should I or shouldn't I? <-- materials from a couple of weeks ago. :P

If you go, you risk spreading the disease to others, which is often noted as selfish and inconsiderate.

If you don't go, are you contradicting the Word of God and use your own principle as a ruler? In those days, people risked their head to go to meet each other. Today, it's just a flu and we are finding excuses to skip meeting one another?

If you are saying on either way, where do you find the authority to decide or discern which is the right thing to do? Are we assuming so and so because "we think, I think, etc"?

Let's hear it from you...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Good Read For Int. Students In Aust

Source: The Age
Miki Perkins
June 27, 2009

WHEN international student Danny Ong returned home to Singapore he was stunned into silence during a job interview when asked to outline his experiences in Australia.

"I realised I didn't know anything. I was so fixated with getting good marks that I had learned nothing about Australia or Australian culture."

It spurred him to write a new guide for international students that exposes the pitfalls in activities such as house-hunting and catching public transport, but also offers insight into institutions such as the justice system and the concept of human rights.

While students often feel under enormous pressure to perform academically, the guide encourages them to get involved in life in Australia, from finding a job to doing volunteer work.

"Often I ask what do they know about Australian culture? They say they know about AFL rules or barbies, but that doesn't really count," Mr Ong said. "How do Australians conduct business? How do they interact with each other?"

The 29-year-old was well prepared for the challenge of writing the guide: during his undergraduate studies he did his honours thesis on the experiences of international students and was also the president of Monash University's overseas students' society.

In the wake of a spate of fierce attacks on international students, he said newcomers should be alerted to the potential dangers of late-night work and travel, but that most crimes were opportunistic rather than racially motivated.

Mr Ong, who now works as a researcher at Monash University, said an African student told him he had been wrongly accused of shoplifting but admitted to the crime because he thought he would get beaten up by the police.

"He didn't know about evidence, or the rule of law. And how do you explain voting rights and human rights to someone living in China?" he said.

Vibhav Roy came to Monash University from India to study commerce and knew people who were so daunted by the transition that they returned home.

The biggest challenge for most Indian students was adjusting to life away from family and overcoming loneliness, he said.

He said the guide would be invaluable to students trying to negotiate housing, financial and cultural issues.

The International Student Handbook: Living and Studying in Australia will be published in August.

MTM All The Way?

Just as we thought everything's going to be fine and good, suddenly a shocking news hit us! The new Chief Executive of MTM, is actually a not-so-good leader!!

THE chief executive of Melbourne's new train operator also headed a British rail company that went into administration at a huge cost to taxpayers.

Andrew Lezala, whose Metro Trains Melbourne will soon operate the city's trains, was chief executive of the British rail maintenance company Metronet from May 2005 until it went into administration in July 2007.

It collapsed with £1.7 billion ($A3.5 billion) in debt, forcing the British Government to bail it out.

A damning report on Metronet's failure, released just three weeks ago by Britain's National Audit Office, found the company's management had wasted millions of pounds of public money.

"The main cause of Metronet's failure was its poor corporate governance and leadership," the report said. "We estimate that the overall direct loss to the taxpayer arising from Metronet's administration is between £170 million and £410 million, in 2007 prices."

The report was highly critical of the "inefficient" spending practices of the company.

Sounds very unpromising to start for MTM. However, an explanation was given as below:

However, Metro Trains Melbourne spokeswoman Leah Hayward later issued a statement saying that Mr Lezala had been the third chief executive at Metronet in two years and had worked hard to restore the business.

"Within two months … Andrew uncovered structural and internal business issues," Ms Hayward said.

She said Metronet had "been placed into voluntary administration, instigated by Andrew as it was in the best interests of the business and the people".

Now, whom do you trust? Some people would say leave it to the professionals or "the consultants" we normally called it. Guess what?
Victorian taxpayers paid $25 million to consultants to assess the tenders of the five companies that bid to run Melbourne's trains and trams.
$25million and all we got is a CE with a lousy background? You can pay me $2500 and I'll choose MTR and a better director any day!!

I smell something fishy going on here. Corruptions? Favoritism? Why can't a Hongkie run MTM?

The Government needs to be more accountable to the people! It's our tax money you're spending there, chap!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

No More Connex In Melbourne

Melbourne commuters will be able to enjoy new trains and trams provider in December 2009. Connex & Yarra Trams have lost their bids in order to win another tender to run Melbourne's public transport.

The new train provider will be HongKong based company named Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM), which is actually Mass Transit Railway (MTR). Their track record is unbelievingly good at 99% reliability!

We don't have to worry about late trains or cancellations anymore?!

Not quite so! The state Government needs to put more fundings into the infranstructure of the rails in order for the operators to do their bid!

However, looking forward to see improvements on customer service, commuters friendly service and easiness to travel in the transport networks.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Road Block

What could have been a beautiful finish on the road to redemption was wrecked in a major road block. My aim was to get two runner up positions for both Mixed and Mens events but I fall one position short!

After knewing my team mates for the Mens event, honestly, I knew I couldn't stand a chance getting champion or runners up. However, we couldn't even get 3rd position so we had to settle for the last position! All teams are much stronger than us in both tactically and skills wise. Nonetheless, I still wanted to challenge them!

We only managed to win a game from the 3 series that we played. Shame on us~! We nearly won a series when my teammates were leading 26-22 in the decider but they lost 30-27 in the end. Too bad!!

Team events really talks about team efforts and not individual performance. So naturally, I couldn't carry the team like how Jordan carried the Bulls, Kobe carried the Lakers, etc. Skills wise, I'm still way below par!

My aim now would be to improve more and hopefully reach A grade within 1-2 years?!! HAHAHHA!!

I know I'm dreaming but it's all good~! I started playing and training around 2006, managed to reach D grade finals...OK lah...not too bad!! If only I didn't stop between 2007-2008, I might have been a B grader by now....oh well!!

Also, maybe it's time to look for more consistent partners for competitions....hmm...!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Slow Starter

This is one of my bad habits: a slow starter. Needed quite a while to get myself warmed up and get into top form.

Today, this has caused us the championship in the mixed events. Quite unfortunate that the first team we played was the strongest team. We lost the first match by 2 points, I think. Mostly due to unforced errors. Then we won the second match to bring it level 1-1. However, in the decider, I crumbled and lost! I guess that's what you get from a scratch pair! So, we lost the series 2-1. We can only complained "If only....".

After that game, we knew each others' games well now. So, we went undefeated throughout the tournament. Just quite unfortunate that the other team didn't lose any series after that. If they had lost one series, we could have been the champ! Luckily, we didn't end up empty handed as we won the runner up trophies. :)

However, no excuses and congratulations to the champ.

Time to get rested and prepare for my the Mens' team event tomorrow. Need to get down to business early and not making the same mistakes again. My team mates are again scratch pairs, never team up with them before. Guess it'll be another tough road ahead.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Road To Redemption

After 3 years of absence in badminton tournaments, this weekend will mark my comeback. What's interesting is, I'll be playing two tournaments over the weekend: JT ULTRA/ MUBC Team Tournament Mens & Mixed events. A bit test to my stamina and physical recovery!

I haven't been to any proper training since 2007? Yesterday I just went for a half training session and my muscles are sore!! Hopefully it'll be fine after tonight's sleep to be ready to get on the road to redemption!

Back in 2006, I was lucky enough to be the 1st runner up in 2006 JTULTRA team's tournament D grade. Can I repeat or do better this time? Hmm....I guess I need to know who is my partners for the Mens' events first! I think I'll only know on Sunday itself!
Hopefully I can at least get a trophy this weekend!! My trophy collections are still quite empty!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Jet Li

Jet Li is now a Singaporean!! Wow~!! Imagine he speaks "Singlish"! Or even in a drama with PCK?!
That'd be cool!!

Dun play play ar~~! Jet Li best in Beijing, Hollywood and some say now in Singapore?!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Going, Going, Gone!

If you read the news today, the main headline would be about the spectacular auction clearance rate at 85%. The media is playing its' role again in stirring up people's emotions and confidence level.

They claimed this is the bottom of the cycle and all signs are pointing up North. Also, the record breaking of new first home buyers in the month of May breaking the record set 8 years ago.

All seems well & good. Certainly it has achieved the effect that the Government wants: keep the money rolling.

However, I wouldn't be too optimistic yet about what has happened recently. It's still too early to tell whether the property market has rebounded from its' loss. It could just be a minor push with the bottom still not too far away.

The first home owner grants will reduce significantly after Sept 09. If the only thing pushing the market heads above water now is the first home buyers, then I would be REALLY worried come October.

The good news is, as my previous posts, the FIRB has removed the $300,000 limit on overseas purchase. This has open the doors for mums and dads, new migrants awaiting PR and companies to purchase accommodations for their employees. So the market is driven by these 2 main factors technically, First home buyers and overseas purchasers.

If we're on the verge of rebounding strongly, then we should look at statistics for the houses/units above $500,000 too as those are the properties that wouldn't be affected by the First Home Owner Grants. If those units are performing well, then we can safely say the market is rebounding well. Last I heard, Toorak isn't doing very well!

Also, comparing the actual numbers of units on the market, this time around, the numbers are a lot less than previous years.

So if anyone of you are relying on this as an indicator of the property market, I would recommend that you be very cautious and do more than enough research to know the market. Don't get carried away! You could be in for a big surprise!

Nonetheless, if you found a good bargain, go ahead but stick with your budget or calculations. Don't overpay!

All eyes are now on post-September period to early 2010 where the grants are gradually phased out. Keep your eyes open.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Good Times Bad Times

Most people would have preferred the good times when the economy is booming, everyone has money to spend, etc but I don't really like it. At least for now!

What it means is that during the good times, everyone is spending like crazy, which drive prices up like houses, etc. Because of that as well, the demands are also increasing but supply aren't coping fast enough, which normally after that, causes inflation.

Normally, your salary doesn't go up as fast as inflation rates though, keep that in mind. So, why is everyone so happy about the good times?

You're getting left behind in actual sense! The value of your money becomes smaller and smaller by the day. Think about it, how many candies can you buy in Malaysia about 15 years ago with RM 0.10? You can get 2 minimum, if lucky 4!! How many candies can you buy with RM 0.10 now? 1? Or not even 1.

With rapid inflation comes with recessions. In general terms, things just gone way too fast and recession is to do little "resetting". A lot of the world Governments today are trying to cushion the impacts of recession by having stimulus packages, bail outs, tax cuts, etc but is it doing real good?

In the short term, yeah it's good but in the long run, personally, I think it's damaging more than it's benefiting! Most of the prices, economy data and indicators are artificial numbers now. They do not represent actual state.

In recession, people like to call it the "bubble burst". With cushioning of recessions, the bubble are not really bursting. It just deflates smaller but not small enough. How many trillions can the Governments used to bail outs those banks and companies? How much trillions do the Govt has to stimulate its' people?

Where do the money come from? It's not like Governments around the world has a huge safe holding trillions and trillions of cash in case of emergencies! There're all debts, or in other words, they created money out of nothing. This is a big problem for future generations.

So me personally, I rather see bad times hit us harder. We need corrections in our lives to have it balance.

Anyway, that's my logic! :P

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

1Malaysia Boleh!

Malaysia really amazes me everyday, no kidding! Everyday it can come up with very funny and strange news!

Look what I read today:
Dressed in black, the colour of protest, 200 activists sat at cafe tables quietly drinking coffee — black, of course. Bewildered, police stood outside and watched the coffee drinkers without interfering.

This time, police will be waiting for them. “We are monitoring the targeted outlets and if necessary will arrest any person wearing black as they approach the outlets,” a police spokesman said. More
So if you're in Penang or KL and thinking of going to Old Town Cafe for a drink, remember not to wear black! You might be arrested!
In case you're wondering why so. Well, the police in Malaysia has nothing else better to do or are not compentent enough to do other stuffs. So they're targetting those "sitting ducks" then make lots of headlines, trying to show the world they're "maintaining" peace in the country!

1Malaysia Boleh!! <-- My foot!

Monday, June 8, 2009


Source: TVB News World

The Contestant's e-mail contained a lot of Hong Kong English (港式英語),

我是 Lucy, I went to Miss Hong Kong first interview. Wah d judges very not polite and not nice law. Today I see a megazine saying this year's Girls so ugly. I saw many good and pretty girls there but they didn't choose ja ma. Don't choose mei suen law but the judge in first interview -- most very not polite to many young girls and to to me law. I only 18 the judges ask me to "why join Miss HK go and why not study la u only F7 ja wor how can fright with other wor." Also say my English bad … hurt die me.
Ho La, other girl tell me la, she study in University ok ga dou but little fat or short then the judge (woman) said " why you look fat or so short!" wah ho hurt ga ma.
One girl is a 博 士 student ar very high level and very nice ga dou cant get in second interview la. We think she will be in ga but she said no law. You can search her pic and my pic to see la. She gum high level duo ng dak, gum me ng duk duo rite gei but i think the whole choosing is not fair law, choose model mei? young yao inch', high study level yao inch, short yao inch … They onky choose rich girl law so bad.
We don't go and let them inch ga law if they need tall or high level people then why not put in the application form lei.
Waste time !
dou ng fair gei!
u can email me if u want.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Public Holidays

It has got to a point that I'm quite afraid of public holidays, especially if it's just one day only. It's too short to plan anything nice and too long to just stay at home waiting for it to pass.

My wish is now to be able to start work around 9.30am or 10am in the morning and finish off later in the night. However, as long as I'm working where I am now, it's impossible.

Hopefully I'll be able to work something out within the next 12 months to fulfill my dream ahead. It won't be easy as I don't have super rich background financials to support my family. So God, please guide your servant!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Digital Memory: Limbang Croc Hunter

Digital Memory: Limbang Croc Hunter

FIRB Changes - Good News?

Only recently I was told of the changes in legislation from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). I hardly checked their website regularly as their legislations do not change as much as The Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA).

The main changes for the legislation will benefit most, if not all of our church people. You're now eligible to buy established properties without any limits!! Previously, there was a $300,000 limit on established properties.

The definition of ‘temporary resident’ includes all foreign persons living in Australia who:

  • hold a valid temporary visa which permits them to stay in Australia for a continuous period of more than 12 months (irrespective of how much time is remaining until that visa expires); or
  • have submitted an application for permanent residency (PR), and hold a bridging visa which permits them to stay in Australia until their PR application has been finalised

Short-term visitors such as tourists, business people and those here for a medical procedure are not temporary residents.

Foreign students resident in Australia are no longer subject to a $300,000 limit on the value of an established dwelling purchased as their principal place of residence.

As long as your visa is more than 12 months, you can purchase properties without prior approval from FIRB. The only condition is, you have to stay in it and not for investment purposes. More information can be obtained from the FIRB website

It seems the Government is desperate in getting overseas funds in support the property market so it doesn't fall. Coicidentally, The Age reported that the Chinese are pretty much very supportive of this move!

A GROWING number of Chinese people are taking advantage of a relaxation in Australia's foreign investment laws to buy property in Melbourne.

Real estate agents in the eastern suburbs report that up to half the buyers this year have been part-time residents from China, Hong Kong or Taiwan, or Asian companies buying accommodation for their staff.

Auctioneer Robert Ding, of Jellis Craig in Balwyn, started holding auctions in both Mandarin and English in March. A fortnight ago a multilingual auction resulted in the sale of a $1.838 million house in Balwyn. More

Good news for property owners, bad news for property buyers. It means they have to compete not only with locals first home buyers with Govt. grants but also with rich overseas families!

Friday, June 5, 2009

No Pain No Gain

When I was little, I often heard the phrase "No pain no gain" from all those Hollywood movies from HBO and Star Movies. Not that I really understood the meaning back then but it sure sounded cool.

It didn't take me very long to understand the true meaning of that phrase. So all my life, I've been enduring lots of "pain" to get a little bit of "gain". Nothing ever comes easy.

I'm not a legalistic person but more of a discipline person. A lot of people still couldn't tell the difference between a legalism freak and a discipline practitioner. I'll make it simple for you to understand.

Legalism: Being bounded by set of rules word for word
Discipline: Mastering a set of rules through its spirit

Whenever we try to introduce discipline living, they said we are going back to the Moses days of commandments. Thou shall not this, thou shall not that...

So instead of practicing spiritual disciplines, they're "forcing" God to give them grace and they'll be so thankful that God has heard their prayers. For example, I don't really study much for exam, I just watch TVB series all night long. When exam comes, I pray hard for God to give me good results to "glorify Your name". It's a bit like, God, if You don't act, it's not me who is shamed but You are!

It may sound right in some sense but my question is, wouldn't it be better if we had live a discipline lifestyle and God bless us with His grace? Isn't that a more beautiful picture? For example, I study very hard for exam, I don't skip prayer meetings or Sunday Service just because I wanted extra study hours, I pray for God to bless me abundantly with good results for His name sake. Isn't this a lot better?

So why are we still living like parasites?

The bad news is discpline lifestyle doesn't come easy. It involves a lot of sacrifices, commitments, determinations and endurance.

Of course, young people these days know NOTHING about "no pain no gain" or in Chinese words 先苦后甜.

Sure they wanted growth (in fact, lots of them!) and lots of gain but they're unwilling to sacrifice themselves in any ways or put much effort into it. How many times have we heard them say, "Oh I wanna grow more in Christ" but their actions always show the opposite?!

Nothing comes easily in this World. Try scoring HD in all your university subjects without studying for a single second! If you can do it, I'll buy you a BMW. Try to be like an apostle without learning and applying the Word of God in your lives, then I'll call you Master!!

Stop acting like a pampered baby that wants mummy to change your diapers everyday. GROW UP & take responsibilities to your own life! It's YOUR decision.

NO PAIN NO GAIN, Christians are no exception!

Monday, June 1, 2009

柴九 & Laughing 哥

TVB certainly has done great in the last few series with 2 very admired character being developed. First it was Laughing 哥 then it was 柴九. Gotta admit, both of them are also characters I quite liked.

What're the reasons that everyone like them so much? What made them so special?

Some of the common personalities between the two are: loyal, champion for truth, self sacrifice, selfless, etc.

When can we as Christians learn to be like that? The series reminded me again & again, we need to make a difference and stop giving ourselves excuses to be pathetic Christians!

We have Jesus Christ, whom is far greater than both these 2 characters combined! Yet we're acting like the total opposite!!

God, forgive us! Give us the courage to live the life you want us to live and guide us into the path of righteousness, for Your name sake!