Friday, August 31, 2007

Day +422 : Lost of a good friend

I am fine today.

This evening, I received a SMS that informed me the decease of a good friend T.S. Tiong. I blogged about him on my Day +162 blog and Day +265 (Pray for a friend).

We used to keep in touch but the last message that I sent to him on the 30 July was un-replied. Today, I received a SMS from his sister informing me that he passed away peacefully on the 20 July, 10 days before I sent the last message to him.

He was a kind and friendly person. I remembered in one occasion, he insisted to accompany me to cafeteria in UH even though he experienced difficulty in breathing. Apart from this, he also encouraged me and gave me some very good advice on how to take care of ourselves after the bone marrow transplant.

As his father is a fisherman, he even extended his warm invitation to me to enjoy fresh seafood in his house. Even though there is no way for me to realize his invitation now, I would remember his affection and kindness.

May he rest in peace.

See you next post :-)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Day +421 : A Remy-Linguini show (2)

I am fine today. Continue from yesterday…

With this in mind, my eldest sister, Sie Huong, who is the mastermind behind the whole appeal business was not very comfortable. She kept on asking me to follow-up with all the parties that might be involved – a political secretary from Sarawak, Dato’ Hon office, and BPG.

In the end, I am just like the garbage boy Linguini in the animation film Ratatouille and my eldest sister is Remy, the rat which directed Linguini to cook :-) Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a slightest sense of complain here, remembering that Linguini is the one who became the owner of Gusteau’s Restaurant in Paris in the end:-)

Now my eldest sister told me she would like to follow-up with the involved parties herself next week. She wanted me to give her all the telephone contacts that I have.

With our master going into action (师傅出马), I am a lot more confident that the ending will be rewarding :-)

See you next post :-)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Day +420 : A Remy-Linguini show (1)

I am fine today.

On my blog Day +398 and Day +399, I mentioned that I submitted appeal letters for my two nieces to Deputy Education Minister, Y.B. Dato’ Hon Choon Kim. They are appealing to enter the teacher training program called KPLSPM (Kursus Perguruan Lepasan SPM).

Y.B. Dato’ Hon office reacted very fast. They forwarded the appeal letters to Pengarah (director) of Bahagian Pendidikan Guru (BPG) with a cover letter saying that Dato’ Hon support the appeal. One of my niece received a copy of the letter, but another one did not receive any letter from Dato’ Hon. I checked with Dato’ Hon’s office this morning and found out that he supported both appeals. Why one of my nieces did not received the cover letter from Dato’ Hon’s office? I believe the letter must be missing in action some where :-(

Apart from this, I also made many calls to BPG to check the status, but they always asked me to wait. The famous quote from them was, “if you don’t receive a call from us, it means that the appeal is not successful.” But based on the “tidak apa (couldn’t careless)” attitude of government staff, who knows they don’t throw the appeal letters into the dustbin?

To be continued and see you next post :-)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Day +419 : Who says traffic jam is not good?

I am fine today.

A church member of mine visited the Christian Book Fair three times (Day +507) and spent about RM2000 on books and audio visual materials.

He said he already go through most of the audio visual materials. The reason that he could do it so fast is because he has to spend hours on the road everyday, beating the traffic jams to office. The best thing to do to cheer him up while getting caught in a traffic jam is to indulge himself in listening to CDs. And of course, his life will be enriched with the materials that he listens. So the traffic jam is a blessing in disguise to him :-)

In contrast, my office is within walking distance from my house, but I still haven’t got a chance to touch most of the materials that I had purchased from the Book Fair. It is so difficult to find a quiet reading time with so many children around at home :-)

How I wish I could experience some traffic jam too so that I can go through the materials that I had purchased :-)

See you next post :-)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Day +418 : Children homework = parent’s homework

I am fine today.

Yesterday was last day of school break. My wife and I thought that we could have a good rest before the school start today.

In the evening, Daniel issued a SOS signal because he forgot to do his 21 pages holiday project and he needs to pass it up today :-(

My wife and I together with Daniel worked until 11:30pm to complete the project. An expected relaxing night turned out an anxious and laborious night :-(

When I was young, nobody cared about my homework, but I managed to complete all the homework on time. Now we cared too much about our children homework, but they failed to complete the homework on time.

We like to make their life difficult by taking our children homework as our own homework. I wonder why we should do this.

See you next post :-)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Day +417 : First visit ever to Berjaya Times Square

I am fine today.

My wife and I went to attend a Christian Book Fair at Berjaya Times Square. This is our first ever visit to Berjaya Times Square. A church couple who migrated back from Canada about two years ago told us that they visited the place about “hundred” times. They said they “conquered” the big shopping establishments one by one :-) It is very difficult for us to do this as we are struggling to “conquer” the children at home everyday :-(

I purchased quite lot of VCD and books from the book fair, but I am afraid I don’t have much time to read them.

Life is a joke :-) When I had plenty of time to read when I was young, I didn’t have enough books to read and I had to beg for books. I mentioned the situation on my blog Day +121. And now, I can afford to buy books and I have plenty of books at home, but I don’t have time to read :-(

However, life is still great whether I have time to read, or money to spend or not.

See you next post :-)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Day +416 : Congratulation! Heng Chiek

I am fine today.

Let’s congratulate my nephew, Heng Chiek who attended his graduation ceremony this afternoon. After 4 years of hard work, he earned an electronic engineering degree from Universiti Putra Malaysia.

We stayed in the same old house in the kampong when I was young. Due to his poor family background, he was given JPA (government) scholarship :-)

Now he has to embark on another stage of his life – building his career. We wish him success in his career and may God bless him richly.

Heng Chieck is experiencing the joy of graduation :-)
See you next post :-)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Day +415 : Movie theatre is infectious?

I am fine today.

After watching the film Ratatouille, I coughed with phlegm stained with blood the next morning. And this was not an isolated case as I also coughed bloody phlegm after I enjoyed my first movie, “Transformer”, post bone marrow transplant.

Could this be another side effect of bone marrow transplant?

Due to medication, I am very susceptible to infection. My wife and I were wondering if my lung was infected by bacteria through the “dirty” air in the movie theatre. However, this might not the case as my daughter Adriel was having fever and throat infection on both occasions. Since I took care of her a lot, I might simply get the infection through her.

This will not stop me from watching movie in the movie theatre. I will carry out an experiment with the hypothesis that “movie theatre is infectious”. I need to make sure that everyone at home, including me, is in good health before I go for the next movie. If I still cough phlegm with blood after that, I can only be sure that the movie theatre is not the right place for me.

I hope the result of the experiment would be negative; else I would have to limit my fun to purchasing movie tickets for my family members, but not watching movie with them :-(

See you next post :-)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Day +414 : Now everyone can cook

I am fine today.

We have our low cost airline AirAsia carries the motto “Now Everyone Can Fly”, but have your ever thought that “Now Everyone Can Cook”, including the rat? If you don’t believe this, I advise you to watch the latest Disney Pixar animated film called Ratatouille.

I brought my wife and all children except Aaron to watch the film last night. This is the 2nd time I watch movie in the theatre after bone marrow transplant :-) The first movie that I watched with the children is Transformer :-)

Ratatouille is one of the best animations that we ever watch. It is definitely a good family film – with moral lessons, fun and no violence. It talks about a talented rat called Remy that is dying to become a chef. You can read the Ratatouille storyline here.

The moral of the film, “Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere," has more truth and depth than most would expect.[1]

Apart from the phrase "Everyone can cook", the other two phrases that impressed me a lot are "It's crazy but it works" and "We are what we are".

I shared with you some pictures of the film. They are all Disney Enterprise Inc. and Pixar Animation Studio copyrighted. You can click the photos below to have a larger view.

See you next post :-)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Day +413 : Sugar is a cancer feeder?

I am fine today.

After I was diagnosed with Leukaemia, I received many advices through email saying that sugar is a cancer feeder, but no one was able to explain to me exactly how this could be :-( I understand most of them just simply forward the message to me without putting much thought on the subject matter.

A quote from American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR) regarding this phenomenon:

“There’s a lot of scientific and medical information on the Internet, ranging from the rigorously accurate to the intentionally misleading. Unfortunately, much of the stuff that people pass along to friends lies somewhere in between.

That’s why it pays to arm yourself with healthy skepticism about online health information. If you do, it’s easier to spot the hucksters: terms like “scientific breakthrough” and “miracle cure” are, of course, red flags. Often, however, the signs aren’t as clear.”

And particularly on the subject regarding sugar as cancer food, it says :

“The truth, however, is more complex: it’s not that sugar “feeds” cancer, it’s that diets that are very high in sugar and refined carbs can, over time, indirectly raise cancer risk. That’s because routinely elevated levels of blood sugar can raise insulin levels, which may in turn make colon cancer, and perhaps other cancers, more likely. This indirect chain of events is seen most commonly among people who are overweight and sedentary or those who have insulin resistance or diabetes in the family.

Another way that high sugar consumption could increase cancer risk is by leading to weight gain. Lots of sugar equals lots of calories which, over time, equals lots of excess weight. And excess weight is linked to greater risk of several types of cancer.

The e-mail goes on to recommend “natural” forms of sugar instead, which is another misrepresentation. To your body, a sugar molecule is a sugar molecule, no matter if it’s refined (table sugar, corn syrup) or unrefined (molasses, honey, brown sugar). The potential effects on insulin levels and weight are the same.

Again, it’s not sugar that’s the culprit, but too much sugar.

And that, as a general rule, is an important distinction to look for when clicking through your inbox. Does that e-mail demonize (or, for that matter, praise) a specific food, or does it talk about how that food should fit in your overall diet?

When it comes to something as complex and continually changing as the human diet, there are no magic bullets. Individual foods don’t cause cancer, nor can they prevent it. What influences your cancer risk is the overall pattern of choices you make, every day, over the course of your life: what and how much you eat, how and how much you’re physically active.”

You can read the whole article here. I hope the above information will drive you to establish a net of skepticism in dealing with health information :-)

See you next post :-)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Day +412 : Sensitive teeth = healthy teeth?

I am fine today.

I mentioned on my blog Day+390 that I started to have sensitive teeth and the doctor recommended me to use OralBalance gel instead of Biotene mouth wash as a mean to relieve my dry mouth syndrome. I believe one of the reasons that cause my teeth to be painful when rinsing my mouth with Biotene is because it is sweet. Unfortunately, I found out that the OralBalance caused more pain to my teeth than the Biotene due to the fact that it is sweeter than Biotene and it tends to stick to the teeth longer than the Biotene fluid. I believe my wife and children always wonder why I jump up and down every time I apply the OralBalance. They must mistakenly think that the OralBalance is a very delicious food; a food that causes me to dance after eating it.

It is very difficult for me to take cold or tasty food now. These include ice-cream, chocolate, cakes and many other delicious foods. And you must be aware that almost all delicious and tasty foods are not healthy. Whenever my teeth are dealing with these foods, they issue painful signal to me to force me not to eat them. In the end, I can eat healthy foods only :-)

With this understanding, I do not see the sensitive teeth as a problem, but as a blessing to me.
This lead to the conclusion that sensitive teeth = healthy teeth – teeth that make me healthy :-) What do you think?

See you next post :-)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Day +411 : : I know how to protect my head now :-)

I am fine today.

Aaron is 16 months old now. He can talk quite a lot though most of the times only my wife and I know what he is talking about. He is very active and energetic and never seems to get tired. He used to knock himself here and there, but these “knockings” never slow him down.

A few days ago, he hit his forehead with the baby chair. As a result, a considerable long stripe of swelling appears right in the middle of his forehead. Now he is smarter. When he wanted to be naughty, he will protect his head with this readymade helmet :-)

Remembering that he was only a 4 months old embryo while I was diagnosed with Leukaemia and now he is a cute, energetic and “naughty” boy, I have to give thank to God for it is His grace and mercy that sustain my life to enjoy a wonderful family life:-)

See you next post :-)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Day +410 : Life Time Warranty sounds so good, but …

I am fine today.

About three months ago, I purchased an ADSL2+ Modem with Wireless 802.11g Router to connect to broadband internet services. There are so many brands that I could choose, but after very careful consideration, I ended up choosing Belkin. The main reason that I chose Belkin was because it gave Life Time Warranty. But now, I regret making such a decision. Why?

The reason is that the modem failed to connect at the expected upload speed of 512kbps, no matter how I tweak its setting. I adjusted many parameters and even updated the ROM upon advices from Belkin support personnel from Singapore.

The beautiful packaging with “Life Time Warranty and Free Technical Support” printed on it. Click to view a larger picture.
But it achieved a miserable 96kbps of upload speed which should be 512kbps :-( Luckily, I know how to check the speed :-)

Initially, the technical support in Singapore blamed the situation on poor Telekom Streamyx line quality which I refuted easily. This is because all other modems - DLink, ZTE, Prolink – managed to achieve an upload speed of 512kbps. I attached the following screen capture as a proof to them that even China brand could achieve the desired speed.
In the end they allowed me to exchange the existing Belkin modem with a new one. But to my great disappointment, after taking all the trouble to exchange the router modem, the new one behaved exactly as the old one :-(

I have to conclude that Belkin is definitely not a good choice for you especially if your internet line condition is not very good. You might not even realize that you are connected at degraded speed if you don't know how to check the device status.

I got a ZyXEL router modem a few days ago. Though it comes with one year warranty, but it managed to connect at an upload speed of 512kbps :-) What is the use of having life time warranty if the device could not perform up to standard?

See you next post :-)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Day +409 : “Baba, when are we shifting back to Bintangor?” (3)

I am fine today. Continue from yesterday...

The organic pineapple. I think it grows by itself :-) You can find many different types of beautiful trees that reflects the beauty of nature - wonderful creation of God :-)
What delicious fruits are these? Don't know. They looks like fruit but no one ever try to eat them.
Kampong black currant :-) But again, no one ever eat them.
Looks like green grapes?
Another one that resemble mouth-watering fruits.
Wild flower that you will meet everywhere in the kampong.
Another type of wild flower widely seen there.

After seeing these pictures, do you think that we should shift back to enjoy the wonder of nature there?

We will capture more pictures to share with you when we go back to kampong during the year end school holiday.

See you next post :-)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Day +408 : “Baba, when are we shifting back to Bintangor?” (2)

I am fine today. Continue from yesterday…

The bush - an excellent place for to hide onself while playing the hide and seek when we were young. Nobody ever thought what dangerous creatures such as snakes and scorpions might be hiding inside and the bush. The cat lives a happy life in the kampong - happier than the children who lives in the town.
Beautiful crystal clear wave.
Wild yam tree.
We spent a lot of time having fun here - swimming, playing hide and seek, fishing etc. :-) The stream was a lot bigger than this last time.

My children couldn't wait to visit the kampong after seeing these pictures.

To be continued and see you next post :-)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Day +407 : “Baba, when are we shifting back to Bintangor?” (1)

I am fine today.

After my bone marrow transplant, my sons Joseph and Daniel asked me many times the above question. They dream to live a life in the kampong. There are so many interesting things in the kampong – animals, insects, plants, rivers, fish ponds, sands – which they rarely have a chance to touch or play with in the city. To them, kampong is as good as a holiday resort.

The following series of photo will show that why the kampong is so good :-)

The house is on the hill surrounded by various types of fruit trees.The wooden house that I lived for almost twenty years.
Many coconut trees planted by Richard.
Juicy and tasty oranges just next to the house.
One of the beautiful view that we get from looking through the window.To be continued and see you next post :-)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Day +406 : “Dinner, tea break and lunch are provided.” :-)

I am fine today.

In the morning, I attended “Beyond the Box Services” launching event by Microsoft at Sheraton Hotel, Subang Jaya. So far, Microsoft has been focusing on selling their products, not services. Now, they would like to venture into support and services which include IT requirement assessment, implementation and support. With this, the customer can have peace of mind to concentrate on their business rather than non-core IT services in the company.

However, Microsoft would not provide services directly to the customer. They appointed three local IT companies to provide the services. To make the initiative works, Microsoft committed a full time IT professional to assist the appointed companies. This idea sounds quite good, but I don’t know whether it is till good if I know the cost of the services :-)

I did not plan to attend the event initially. The event organizer called me and persuaded me to attend the event. After I heard the words, “Dinner, tea break and lunch are provided.” I agreed instantly to attend the event:-) So next time, if you need to persuade sometime especially me to attend some events, just say the magic quote, “Dinner, tea break and lunch are provided.” I am sure you will get a positive respond right away:-)

This is the first time ever I attended an external IT event after I was diagnosed with Leukaemia. I will be going to attend Microsoft TechEd Asia 2007 from 11-13 September in KLCC :-)

I am standing on the left, the other two are not the real one :-)The stage of the ball room. We will be launching our next generation flagship software, Esteem Integration Solution 7, exactly at this place on 22 September. I did a survey on the ball room layout today for better planning of the launching event.
The wages of filling up the event evaluation form :-) Guess what is this?
See you next post :-)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Day +405 : Sarawak Pepper

I am fine today.

I am going to share with you some photo on Sarawak pepper which I took during my last trip back to home village. My family used to grow a lot of pepper trees last time. We were always 'summoned' by our mother to work in the pepper garden. In addition to this, we needed to help to process the pepper as well. When I was studying Form 5, I managed to carry 100kg of pepper :-) This heavy work 'trained' my vein to be big enough to appear 'beautiful' to the nurses. I mentioned this on my Day +8 blog.

A pepper tree.

Home-made wooden ladder for plucking pepper on the upper part of the tree.
Pepper ready for harvest.
Harvested pepper. Look delicious? But wait, it is not edible yet.
Half-dried pepper.
Dried black pepper - the king of spices. Just grind it before cooking :-)
A smart home town invention - the pepper machine. It is used to separate the pepper from the stalk. Countless evening my family members and I spent to process pepper on this machine.
Another innovative creation - slideable roof. Just slide the roof to cover the pepper within minutes when it is raining.
The white pepper is processed differently. After harvesting the pepper from the tree, it is soaked in the water for a few days to let the skin falls off from the fruit. Then dries the "skin-less" pepper under the sun. Sounds easy? But I tell you, it is definitely not a pleasant task to dip yourself inside a pool of "hot and spicy" soup while washing the pepper before drying them under the sun :-(

See you next post :-)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Day +404 : From "Ops Tulen" to "Sikap Tulen"

I am fine today.

My company was admitted into BSA (Business Software Alliance) as a local member recently.

Richard and I met with the BSA’s director of marketing, Asia in the morning to understand how BSA works. In fact, BSA invested a lot of effort in educating the public, the law enforcement authorities and even the judges on intellectual property (IP).

We joined BSA briefly a few years ago. At that time, they named their public awareness campaign of IP as “Ops Tulen” which mean Genuine Operation. One of the activities was to advertise heavily in the newspaper that it is wrong to use pirated software and the consequences of doing it.

Now they realize that the major cause of proliferated use of pirated software is due to people’s attitude which thinks that it is “tidak-apa (doesn’t matter)” to use it. What for spend thousands ringgit to buy a software which you can get it for RM5 only? May be because of this, they switched the name to “Ops Sikap” which mean “Genuine Attitude” :-) with the purpose of changing people’s attitude toward IP right.

My two sons, Joseph and Daniel, also have attitude problem in study. They don’t understand the purpose of studying. This causes them to have an attitude of “don’t care”. I think I will have to conduct a “Sikap Belajar Kuat (Study Hard Attitude)” campaign on them :-)

See you next post :-)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Day +403 : “It is a miracle that I live” is a song now

I am fine today.

My wife and I composed “It is a miracle that I live (我活着是神迹)” into a song a few weeks ago.

I sang the song for the first time just after it was completed on the 29 July 2007 in the church. My wife is a good pianist :-) She provided excellent piano accompaniment though we didn’t have time to practice it in advance as we just completed the song early in the morning and I had to rush to the church after that.

You can download the song here.

The score. (Click to get a larger view) I hope you like the song.

See you next post :-)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Day +402 : Happy birthday, Adriel

I am fine today.

Today is Adriel’s 3-year old birthday. We celebrated her birthday last night as my wife has to attend a teacher’s day dinner tonight.

We bought a bicycle and some toys as her birthday presents. Apart from this, we have Foochow Mee Sua(长寿面) and chicken eggs for dinner. I remembered my brother Richard brought Chicken soup Mee Sua to me during my Day +2 transplant. At that time, I was not allowed to boost its taste with the famous Foochow red wine, but last night I managed to indulge myself with the tasty red wine :-) I wrote on my Day +2 blog that {Check Soup "Mee Sua" + "Foo Chow" red wine = HEAVEN!} So I experienced heaven last night :-)

This morning, one of my neighbours gave a few beautiful panties to Adriel as her birthday present :-) This neighbour likes her very much.

Adriel and the cake. Family photo.
What is the best way to swallow this flower?
Now I can fetch Aaron!
Aaron said, "I only need one eye to see you!"
Last year this time, I was still lived in isolation. I blogged about the situation on my Day +38 blog. I thank God for his grace and mercy that grant me life to celebrate Adriel’s birthday.

See you next post :-)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Day +401 : My expectation of a good insurance agent (2)

I am fine today. Continue from yesterday…

  1. Be honest
    If a customer asks you about an insurance policy from other company which you think is good, you have to acknowledge it. Don’t tell lie(亏着良心说骗话). You might ask how could I do business with this kind of honesty? My answer is “Your company must have something superior than other company; else you have to question yourself if you join the right company :-)” In addition to this, while introducing policy to the customer, do not always show the projected cash value based on the highest estimated interest. It is very important for the customer to know as well how the policy performs under the worst case scenario. The agent has to remember the fact that some customers are clever :-

  2. Don’t criticize too much
    Don’t spend too much time in criticizing the weaknesses of others, but concentrate on stressing the strengths of the policy that you would like to introduce. Too much criticism will only result in repugnance (反感). While persuading me from purchasing insurance from her, an insurance agent said, “Recently, many managers left company A to join my company, because the policies of company A are too bad to sell.” My mind reacted instantly upon hearing this, “Who knows how many managers from your company join company A?”

I do not know what an insurance agent thinks about these points, but I believe many people will be happier to deal with an insurance agent who possesses the above mentioned characters :-)

See you next post :-)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Day +400 : My expectation of a good insurance agent (1)

I am fine today.

I would like to share with you some points that I shared with the insurance agents on the Monday regarding what constitutes a good insurance agent from my or customers perspective.

A good insurance agent should possess the following attributes:

  1. Put customer interest above self-interest
    Never ever persuade customer to terminate an existing policy to buy another ‘better’ policy. In addition to this, the agent has to consider the financial situation of the customer carefully to make sure that they are not overburdened by the insurance premium. “The more you buy, the better it is” only works if the customer affords to bear the premium in the long run. For example, my brother in the home village was persuaded to purchase an insurance which he afforded to pay the first one or two premium only :-( What benefit he got? Nothing, but I am sure the agent profited from it.
  2. Generous in servicing customer
    The agent might not reap profits immediately for being too generous in servicing customer, but it is very likely that he/she will gain profits in the long run. For example, I would not hesitate to refer anyone who would like to purchase insurance to Kuok Chai because he provided generous and excellent services to me in the claim process. I blogged about this on my Day +69 blog.

To be continued and see you next post :-)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Day +399 : How naive we were! Precious lesson learned. (2)

I am fine today. Continue from yesterday…

After we knew that they were not successful in the appeal. We, especially my interesting eldest sister Sie Huong, do not give up (不到黄河不死心). She approached many people including the lecturers in the teacher training institute, political secretary and Member of Parliament. One common signal that she got was we have to be more aggressive during the appeal period. Everybody can click a button to appeal online, but in order to stand out from the group, we have to make appeal through political figures or Deputy Education Minister in additional to the “one-click” appeal.

Now I feel that I am so naive to listen to the staff in the BPG who asked me not to do anything while waiting for the result of the appeal. We only realize now that the waiting period is in fact the golden time for us to do something to increase the chance of success.

Lesson learned:

  1. Be very aggressive in appeal. Don’t ever think that you would be thrust into heaven by just clicking an appeal button.

  2. Do not apply to major in any other languages other than Bahasa Cina; you would not be able to complete with those who are armed with special privilege. However, the special privilege is privilege-less against Bahasa Cina :-)

I hope this precious lesson will help you or your closed one in future.

We still do not know the outcome of the appeal. As the intake for this year was officially closed upon the announcement of the appeal result, the chance of being accepted into the course is very slim. But however slim the chance; it is no harm to try, isn’t it? :-)

See you next post :-)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Day +398 : How naive we were! Precious lesson learned. (1)

I am fine today.

I go to Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia (Education Ministry of Malaysia) at Putrajaya this morning to submit two appeal letters to Deputy Education Minister, Y.B. Dato’ Hon Choon Kim. The appeal is for two of my nieces who applied for KPLSPM (Kursus Perguruan Lepasan SPM), a post SPM teacher training program, but failed to gain entry into the program.

One of the nieces came here from Sarawak to be a temporary teacher in the beginning of the year after her Form 6 study. She is now studying computer science in UTEM. She applied for KPLSPM, majoring in Bahasa Cina and Music Education. Though she scored A2 in Bahasa Cina and achieved grade 8 in piano performance certification, she failed to enter the program.

The other niece is the daughter of my third sister – the one who donated her stem cells to me. She applied KPLSPM, majoring in in Bahasa Melayu and Pendidikan Jasmani(Physical Education). She scored 3B in Bahasa Melayu and had represented Sarawak in national level basketball competition a few years ago. Unfortunately, though she was active in sport, she still failed to enter the program. Her father (my brother-in-law) teased her regularly, questioning her the advantages of spending so much time in basketball, so they quarrel very often :-( She wishes to join the program so much that very often she dreams that she is accepted into the program.

After they knew that they failed the interview, they appealed online immediately. But unfortunately, they failed the appeal too. This means there is no way for them to enter the program this year.

Not long after they appealed online, I called the Bahagian Pendidikan Perguruan (BPG) to see if we can submit further documents to them to support the online appeal . The staff there asked for the IC numbers of my nieces and asked me not to do anything but to wait for the appeal result. We thought that since they took the IC numbers, they must be doing something that would increase the chance of success for the appeal. But unfortunately, the result proved otherwise.

To be continued and see you next post :-)

Monday, August 06, 2007

Day +397 : A talk about my Leukaemia experience

I am fine today.

I was invited to speak at an insurance agent’s group meeting this morning. There were more than 10 insurance agents attended the meeting.

I began the talk with the sharing that I recorded for the concert as I posted in my Day +388 and Day +389 blog. The sharing summarized what had happened to me and how I overcame the toughest trial of life that I ever experienced.

After that I talked about my experiences on insurance which included the claim process, my experience with insurance agents and what are my expectations on insurance agents. Part of the sharing can be found in my Day +69 blog.

After the talk, the audiences asked many questions regarding my illness and the treatment process.

Photo of me talking in the meeting.

Photo with Mr. Kuok Chai, the agent that invited me to talk in their meeting. He is the one that I talked about in my Day+69 blog.
See you next post :-)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Day +396 : Driving 200km for a meal

I am fine today.

Last Sunday, a few of our church members including the pastor went to Skinchan for a trial banquet. Skinchan is a small fishing village about 100km away from KL.

Our church will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in October. We will be hosting a banquet as part of the celebration. We decided to cater the banquet from Skinchan because the food there is known to be cheap, fresh and delicious. The restaurant which we approached offered us a trial banquet which was almost exactly the same as the one that we would have in October, free of charge.

It is very common for software companies to give fully functional trial software to customers free of charge. This would enable them to try the software before making any purchase decision. Now I only realize that restaurants also subscribe to this idea by providing similar benefits to their customers :-)

Next time, if you would like to enjoy free meal, just ask for trial banquet :-)

I would like to show you all the dishes that we had. They are really delicous. I could not recall having anything better than this before :-) Not only this, the price is also very reasonable; it costs RM300 to have this mouth-watering 8 course dinner.

I just have my dinner, but after looking at these dishes, I am very hungry again.

The restaurant.
Skinchan town.
See you next post :-)