Friday, July 31, 2009

adam & eve weren't chinese!

this is an after-thought about the story on face-saving. i can now think of 2 reasons why our 1st parents were not chinese.

1st, when adam & eve realised they were naked, they covered themselves (not the faces) with leaves (gen 3:7);

2nd, & most convincing, if they were chinese, they would have ignored the fruit & eaten the snake instead!


face saving

"face saving" or not losing one's dignity & honour is important in self-preservation, especially so in chinese culture. this story illustrates the point:

An American, a Japanese & a Chinese went for a hike one day. It was very hot. They were sweating and exhausted.

When they came upon a small lake, they took off all their clothes and jumped into the water, since it was fairly secluded. Feeling refreshed, the trio decided to pick a few berries while enjoying their freedom.

As they were crossing an open area, suddenly a group of ladies from town appeared. Unable to get to their clothes in time, the American and the Japanese quickly used their hands to cover their privates. But the Chinese covered his face while they ran for cover.

After the ladies had left and the men got their clothes back on, the American and the Japanese asked the Chinese why he covered his face rather than his private part.

The Chinese replied, "I don't know about you, but in my country, it's the face that people recognize."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

the good, the bad & the ugly

the good.....

(the new wireless modem/router)

the bad....

(the old spoilt one)

& the UGLY...

perkhidmatan? what service when you can't give technical advice over the phone? the 1st time i called when the laptop couldn't log on, the streamyx guy said there was a "port upgrade" in my area but i got a bit suspicious when he couldn't tell me how long it will take before the line could be used.

after 2 days, i called again & this time the lady checked out the connection by asking me to type out a few things on the PC (ping ..something ..something) & telling her the responses on the screen, from which she concluded that the line was intact but she'll get a technician to make a house call anyway. the technician came the same day & promptly diagnosed that my modem was not functioning.
if only i had spoken to the lady the 1st time, then i wouldn't have seen the ugly side of streamyx.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

husband of the year

5th prize:

4th prize:

3rd prize:


AND, the champion husband of the year:

look, this guy is a true romantic - he's even holding her hand!

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
1 peter 3:7

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

1st impression

Ah Chong grew up in Kota Lama, a town located on the East Coast of Malaysia, and then moved away to Kuala Lumpur to do his law degree. After graduating, he decided to go back to Kota Lama, because he could be a big man there and he really wanted to impress everyone. So he returned and opened his new law office.

The first day, he saw a man coming up the sidewalk. He decided to make a big impression on this new client when he arrived. As the man came to the door Ah Chong picked up the phone. He motioned the man in, all the while talking.

"No. Absolutely no! You tell those clowns in Kuala Lumpur that I won't settle this case for less than one million ringgit. Yes. The Appeals Court has agreed to hear that case next week. I'll be handling the primary argument and the other members of my team will provide support. Okay, tell the State Prosecutor that I'll meet with him next week to discuss the details."

This sort of conversation went on for almost five minutes. All the while the man sat patiently as Ah Chong rattled instructions. Finally, he puts down the phone and turned to the man. "I'm sorry for the delay, but as you can see, I'm very busy. What can I do for you?"
scroll down
The man replied, "I'm from Telekom. I've come to connect your line"

do we see ourselves in the story above? the pastor once asked this of us: why do we buy things we don't need with money we don't have, to impress people we don't even like?

**thanks YO for the email**

Thursday, July 23, 2009

99 club

once upon a time, there lived a king who, despite his wealth, was neither happy nor contented. one day, he came across a servant who was singing happily as he worked. this fascinated the king - why was he, the supreme ruler of the land, so unhappy & gloomy, while this lowly servant had so much joy in his heart?

so he asked the servant,"why are you so happy?", to which the servant replied,"your majesty,
although i am just a lowly servant, my family don't need too much - just a roof over our heads & food to fill our tummies."

later that day, the king sought the counsel of his most trusted advisor. after hearing the king's woes & the servant's story, he concluded,"your majesty, i believe the servant has not been made part of the 99 club." the king asked,"the 99 club? what exactly is that?" the advisor replied,"your majesty, to truly know what the 99 club is, just put 99 gold coins in a bag & leave it at the servant's doorstep."

when the servant saw the bag, he took it into the house. when he opened it, he shouted for joy - there were so many gold coins & he started to count them. after several counts, he was convinced that there were 99 coins. he wondered what could have happened to the last coin, for no one would have left just 99 coins. he looked everywhere but the last coin remained elusive.
finally, exhausted, he decided that would have to work very hard to earn the 100th coin to complete his collection.

from that day on, the servant's life changed. he was overworked & grumpy, & criticised his family for not helping him get the last coin. he also stopped singing while he worked.
witnessing this drastic transformation, the king was puzzled. the advisor then told him that the servant has finally joined the 99 club.

we can be happy with little in our lives, but the moment we are given something better or bigger, we want even more! we lose sleep, happiness, & we hurt people close to us. this is the price we pay for our growing greed & desires. that's what joining the 99 club is all about!

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 1 Tim 6:7-9

**thanks, YO, for the email**

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

queue jumping

it's that time again....the govt has released another 1.6b units of ASM to the public. i still remember the last time the units were sold in april. i walked into the bank at about 10am & had to wait for about an hour before my turn came.

this time, i asked my wife to go around 9am when the bank opened & take a queue number. the crowd this time was bigger & apparently people had already queued up way before it opened. wife's number was #35 & when i went over to the bank at 10.30am, (#22 then attended to) i had to wait another hour before my turn came.

i noted a few things as i waited:
1) people who know people working for the bank get earlier numbers;
2) people will do anything to jump queue, including making friends with others ahead of them with the hope that they may also purchase at the earlier time;
3) as this was a cash transaction, courier bags became the new wallets for keeping wads of currency.

as i told a fellow brother who waited with me, whatever will be, will be, & there're always other opportunities to purchase the units.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

2 vs 1

we had dinner at this newly-relocated posh-looking restaurant & when the bill came, i was surprised there was neither govt tax nor service charge imposed. because we really enjoyed the meal & the service was prompt, i casually removed a couple of ringgit notes from the wallet while the waiter was verifying my credit card at the counter.

the conversation that ensued went something like this:

daughter: papa, are you leaving tips?
me: yeah
d: why?
m: because there's no service charge in the bill & i think the waiters deserve something for their hard work
wife: how do you know they will get the money? anyway, the restaurant would have factored their salaries into the price of the meal.
m: it's customary to put all the tips into a common collection & at end of day it's to be divided amongst the workers. it's just a little extra for them, like how people tip hotel workers & taxi drivers for a job well done.
d: these are difficult times, so maybe you should just leave rm1
m: ha ha, ONE RINGGIT! might as well don't tip.
d & w: (almost in unison) that's what we're trying to tell you!

maybe they have a point, so i relented, but they've not met my ex-classmate simon who worked at a pub while waiting for the HSC results many years ago. he used to tell me how hard the work was, running around with the orders & drinks;however, he said something i never forgot,"....but the tips made it worthwhile!" incidentally, i'm happy that he, now a senior manager with a listed developer, doesn't need to depend on loose change.

so, simon, thanks for the tip! (pun definitely intended)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

silver, part 2

16 July, 1984

starry-eyed & full of ideals,

looking forward to new life ahead,

i took the 1st steps, full of zeal,

& people say, i've got it made.

after 5 years toil, to some no big deal,

after countless tests, real & mock,

just to gain that licence to heal,

& the right to be addressed as Doc.

the moment of reckoning is here,

the test of the pie is in the eating,

1st posting, dealt with kids without fear,

but it's the mothers that send me reeling!

2nd posting, faced with diabetes & hypertension,

the 3rd with tummy aches & bowel obstruction,

end of housemanship met with trepidation,

still, it's time for that much-needed promotion.

years fly by & i wonder about my skill,,

hippocates meant it to be a calling to heal,
to the young nurses, it's a licence to thrill,

it could well be a ticket to the next meal.

i thank God for the chance to be,

compassionate, patient & a little wary,

though now a tad blurry-eyed, & quite weary,

but i must trudge on to live out my destiny.

So I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work, because that is his lot
. eccles 3:22

(ha ha, i chuckled at my own feeble attempt to write sentences that rhyme!)

Sunday, July 12, 2009


by current standards, 25 years is a long time to stay married, happily at that, too.

but not when you see (& feel) the love that binds the lives of SY & his wife SY (yes, they have the same initials, & all their 4 children also have been given the same SY initials!). they hosted a dinner to celebrate this occasion, during which they renewed the same marriage vows they recited to each other 25 years ago.

the one part that touched me the most was when the younger daughter stood up to speak of her parents - how much she & her siblings are loved & that when she eventually marries, she hoped she would have as much love as her parents have for each other.

to me, nothing speaks more strongly of a man & his wife's love than a glowing tribute from their own children. no one present last nite doubts that this God-loving couple would stay married till their golden anniversary & beyond. SY sang this song After All These Years in dedication to his wife:

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." matt 19:5,6

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

do seat belts really save lives?

we've all been brainwashed into thinking that wearing seat belts when travelling in a motor vehicle saves lives, right? actually, that's only partly true.

remember when wearing crash helmets was made compulsory for motorcyclists? there may be less deaths on the road but some of those that survive end up with serious injuries that leave permanent damage & disability.

so, similarly, we now have an emerging group of patients who suffer seat belt injuries
(read here)

mdm T was a front seat passenger in a car that was involved in a non-fatal accident 3 weeks ago. she developed abdominal pain & was admitted to hosptial for suspected intra-abdominal injury. a CT scan revealed a mesenteric tear, ie. damage to blood vessels supplying the bowel, & she underwent surgery to remove part of the small bowel that was injured.

2 weeks after that, she had to undergo another surgery & more damaged bowel was resected. she will not be able to eat normally for several weeks till the remaining bowel recover from the trauma.

i just have one question: since the government made it compulsory to wear seat belts, can we sue the govt if we sustain injuries as a result of compliance to the ruling?

in litigation-conscious USA, they actually have lawyers that deal specifically with seat belt injuries!!(read here & here)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

great white shark

was amused with
this letter posted on malaysiatoday where the writer lamented his & his friends' experiences in dealing with lawyers; so distressed was he & his friends that he resorted to equate lawyers' behaviour to that of a marine predator.

he wrote, "I would reckon lawyers are a desperate lot as they want to be seen living in luxurious houses, driving around in expensive cars and dining in expensive hotels. This has been a trend set by the senior lawyers and therefore any junior lawyer develops the same character devoid of any decency or conduct."

actually, you could replace "lawyers" in the above paragraph with doctors/accountants/politicians & that statement would still hold true. for example, it is well-known in local circles that a private hospital in ipoh has been derisively nicknamed Great White Shark.

it is no urban legend that some doctors would do anything, & i mean ANYTHING, to make that fast buck from their distraught patients. in fact, they are also not averse to making a quick buck at the expense of their colleagues, too. (hmm, why do i suddenly feel like the masked man in Breaking the Magicians Code??)

the writer concluded with this impassioned plea, "Please don't live your life by charging excessive and unconscionable fees from the already distressed clients whose only purpose of seeking your services is to secure some justice from courts."

it is a timely reminder for everyone in every profession who sometimes has their clients/customers at their mercy. it is not against the law to want to prosper, accumulate wealth & possess much. perhaps the fault lies with the instruments/ways we use to achieve that objective. perhaps, it's also timely to recall of the words of the prophet, directed appropriately to the Jews still in exile
in Babylon:

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. "
Jer 29:11

Sunday, July 05, 2009

favour from the Lord

i'm on-call this weekend, & although i dread weekend calls, it's part of the job. left for the hospital at 9am today & had to skip church service (as well as holy communion).

at 10.30am, the boy phoned to say that he's just outside the OT & he's got a surprise for me...

how nice - lunch!

...& the main (& only course) happens to be freshly-baked shepherd's pie...

which didn't last very long....

i don't often blog about my wife but today, she deserves praise...
He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favour from the LORD. prov 18:22

even better is this....

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. prov 31:30

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

who are the real killers?


(1) the number of physicians in the US is 700,000

(2) accidental deaths caused by physicians per year is 120,000

(3) accidental deaths per physician is 0.171

**statistics courtesy of US dept of health & human services**

(1) the number of gun owners in the US is 80,000,000
(yes, that's 80 million!!)

(2) the number of accidental gun deaths per year, all age groups, is 1,500

(3) the number of accidental deaths per gun owner is 0.000188

**statistics courtesy of FBI**

so, statistically, doctors are about 900 times more dangerous than gun owners!!

so REMEMBER : guns don't kill people, doctors do!

FACT : not everyone has a gun but almost everyone has at least one doctor....

ACTION : we must ban doctors before this gets completely out of hand!!!

however, out of concern for the public at large, i withheld statistics on LAWYERS for fear that the shock would cause people to panic & seek medical attention!!

**disclaimer** i received this email from a colleague but can't verify its authenicity**

check out more statistics on gun violence here and medical errors here.