Tuesday, August 29, 2006

News of the Day

I can’t help wondering how much media coverage been given to the wedding of the number 1 pop singer of the country recently. We are talking about front pages of the mainstream newspapers and prime-time air slot on TV; even the royal weddings here do not get such treatment.

Undoubtedly, the whole fiasco is news-worthiness, but definitely not to such extent. After all it was just a damn wedding. What value has it added to the general public? How are we educating the society through that? Don’t we have more pressing issues to grace the front pages and prime time slots? Say, I don’t know, world hunger, poverty, Middle East crisis, the Iraqi war, the Israeli-Lebanese war, public transportations, budget 2007, oil price, crime rates, the haze, scientific breakthrough just to name a few.

Perhaps it's all about the power of love conquers all. It brings hope and joy into our lives. Nahhhh... I don't buy that.

Well, I suppose it’s about supply and demand. People are actually very much so interested in the wedding, hence such extensive coverage. But don’t you think it’s worrying that the society placing such mega enthusiasm and anticipation in a wedding instead of other more relevant and critical issues? What does it say about our society and our mindset?

To me, that’s depressing and sickening!

Think about it.

Monday, August 28, 2006


I work in the once tallest building in the world, the PETRONAS Twin Towers, majestic and striking with her steel and glass façade. It has a total of 88 levels. A double-storey sky bridge at the 41st and 42nd level connects the two towers. Tower 1 is all occupied by PETRONAS while Tower 2 houses various other companies, mainly oil and gas companies.

I work on the 13th floor at Tower 2. What a lucky number that is! As a staff I have access to both towers as well as the sky bridge. However, I only had been using the sky bridge once, returning to my office after attending a meeting at Tower 1. The highest floor I had ever been to was level 61.

Until last week…

Last week I had to go all the way up to Level 70. To get there, I first took the express and direct elevator from the ground level straight to the 42nd level. Then I hopped onto another elevator to get to Level 60. From Level 60, I switched to another elevator, again to reach my final destination of Level 70. It was very much like flying long haul with several transit flights where you rush to different terminals and wait idly at the departing lounges.

I was alone in the elevator for the last leg of my trip up the tower. It was then I realized that I have broken my old record. Yeah! Some quick arithmetic in my head, I also realized that I was roughly 320m above the ground. Suddenly I felt my knees turning weak and I found myself holding the handrail in the elevator for support. I was afraid of heights!

Then all sorts of crazy what-if thoughts came flashing in my head: What if the elevator cables snap? What if the tower just came crumbling down? What if I somehow fall out through the window, off the Level 70? My knees went weaker, my breathing turned faster, my heart pounded harder and my grip on the handrail grew tighter.

“Oh my God!”

When I got there, the colleague I was meeting was away. Therefore I was told to wait at her workstation. There were French windows all around offering magnificent view of the city. Instead, I just stood at her workstation and looking at pictures she had at her workstation. I was afraid I might actually fall off the building if I went to close to the window (the window can break, you know!). I was too chicken to go to the window!

When I was done with business, I headed straight down, pronto! Several transiting lifts later I reached the ground level, in one piece.

I was so happy I almost kiss the ground.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Walking in the Bush

Waking up early Sunday morning, really early.

This better be good.

I met up with a couple of friends heading out to the fringe of the city for a hike. Half an hour drive later, we were tying our shoelaces and getting ready to hit the trail.

Happily we walked into the bush in the crisp morning air. Shaded by the foliage and surrounded by trees, it was serenity in the air. I absolutely enjoyed being engulfed by these lush of green. There was nothing in my head but happy thoughts. Green is simply so powerfully soothing and relaxing.

We hiked up a small hill then came to start our walk above the canopy. There was a 200m-suspension walkway constructed high above the tree for hikers to enjoy the view of the hills (well, at a cost of 5 bucks). High above the tree, light breeze greeted us with joy, brushing away the sweat and tiredness. The vista of the rolling green hills was amazing. It stretched for miles and miles it seemed. This was my happy place. The city skyline was hazy and distant, as the way it should be, far, far away, along with its noises and heat and stress.

I love walking in the bush.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Oldies, Old Days and ...

As it’s a 4-hour drive from Kuantan to KL, I hit the road early in the morning yesterday, alone. I cranked up the radio to full blast to keep myself awake. Playing on the air were strings of Hong Kong and Taiwanese pop tunes, beautiful melodies and poetic lyrics.

There was a line in a song which loosely translated to while we hold the glitters and sparkles in our hands; our hearts turn barren and bleak which struck a chord with me. How true?! Materialism and individualism take up so much space in our heads that there is no room for spiritual growth anymore. What spiritual growth?

I realized I was drumming my fingers on the steering wheel earlier, then humming along later and now singing along, out loud! The DJ then came on and said that the program plays pop tunes from the 70s and 80s. Great songs live through decades, even eons. Ah… I did listen to these numbers during my teen years. No wonder I could sing along. They brought back loads of memories from those days, flashing in my head.

Suddenly, a strange feeling came over me; “Damn! I’m old.”

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


I was rude today, towards a colleague in the office. We were in a discussion and I was seeking clarifications from him. At first I was not satisfied with his answers. Therefore I rephrased my questions, yet it was getting nowhere. I then pressed on further, since not only he was not responding to my inquiries, he was stalling and avoiding, going around in circles and trying to change the subject. I snapped. Here we had a situation at hands yet I did not see any solid effort from him to deal with the situation. (By the way, it was totally his responsibility to address the situation.) My tone was turning stern and my voice was getting raised, in the office, in front of people.

Perhaps I saw what I did not want to see: he pushing the work to a new engineer, he waiting for information instead of proactively getting the data needed, he spending time surfing the net for personal errands, he dispensing motherhood statement but not any substantial analysis, he taking no actions, he sitting around doing nothing! What pushed me across the edge was the fact that he is a senior staff, he earns at least 5 times my salary (he’s an expatriate), he demands a lot of additional perks and benefits and he yet sits around and does absolutely zilch!!

Perhaps those were what I wanted to see. So I could justify what I did. Subconsciously my actions were pre-meditated. After all I initiated the discussion. Then I challenged him continuously. And I interrupted him several times. Also I barked out instructions to him, of what I see fit as the course of actions. Finally, the worst of all, I left him no graceful exit.

He was certainly guilty of slacking off and not doing his work. So I believe that my actions were justified, except that I was being a nasty SOB for putting him in such a place with no exit plan.

A friend told me:” An great man, who wants to do great things, must learn to hold his feeling, his emotion and his rage”. That moment I turned into the smallest person in the world. I felt like shit for the rest of the day.

Next time I’ll do it behind closed door.