Saturday, January 31, 2009

为反对而反对的 Labu Airport

最近许多人不断地在批评和反对Air Asia 要兴建的 Labu Airport。 真的是莫名其妙。一大堆的理由提了出来,其实最终还不是因为钱?

许多人不知道的是,这个飞机场建筑费用其实不是来自政府或人民,而是来自Sime Darby 和 Air Asia 私人公司的款项。老子有钱,要建新的飞机场,你吹咩?

连这个,政治人物还有平民百姓都要干涉,真的有点说不过去。马来西亚人民自308以后好像什么都要管一笔。连私人公司的营业策略也要管。有些人甚至说,因为Air Asia的服务直接影响到人民所以要管。真是他奶奶的。这样说来,有哪间身私人公司的营业产品最终是不会影响到人民的?Maxis 和 Digi 的产品不会影响你吗?Carrefour 和 Tesco 所卖的产品不是跟我们生活息息相关吗? 这些公司的产品价格以及营业策略若也有通过人民的话,那么你是谁啊?股东?

我们又不是什么共产国家,如果你觉得产品的价格不合理的话,那你倒可以选择不用。不过,大家不要忘记了当初是Air Asia给了我们廉价航空的,现在我们却 “食碗面,反碗底”!倘若建了这个飞机场以后会导致机票变得比较贵,大家不要忘了再怎么贵还是会比在没有Air Asia 之前的日子来的更便宜的。我们之所以投诉,是因为习惯了Air asia 过往的“优惠”价格。


有人说:KLIA 还有很大容量,为何要多建一个?

还是一样的一句话。老子有钱,你吹咩?这个飞机场是用私人款项的,不是政府的钱!许多博克都错误地报道说这个飞机场会“浪费”人民的钱。 而主流媒体更是对这个只字不提。更何况,如果Air Asia不满Malaysia Airports的管理或是他们觉得KLIA扩展的计划进行太慢而需要有一个属于自己的飞机场,一个不用看他人脸色做事的飞机场,这又有何不对呢?


有人说:Labu Airport 太远?

请不要把自己当成Air Asia 的CEO。Air Asia 做出这个决定,自然有他们的打算。如果,这个决定将使Air Asia 倒塌,那是他们这家公司的决定。与你无关 ,你也没权过问。机场是用私款,Air Asia是私人公司。如果 Air Asia 倒塌,你只能感觉惋惜,仅此。记得,我们不是共产国。


由于KLIA 和 Labu Airport 靠得太近,空中意外会比较容易发生?

你是control tower expert吗? 你是这行的phD? 多少年经验?说到这个我真的一肚子火。什么炒果条的aunty也说到好像他们parti-time是在飞机场的控制塔做工一样。凭着自己的 “逻辑” 就认定这么近肯定会很危险的。那么我们还要科学家,工程师来干嘛?干脆大家不要用精确的数学去算,光靠感觉来判断好了。我也不是什么专家,但我可以确定的是伦敦,巴黎,纽约等城市都有至少3个飞机场。而他们的距离和飞机数量绝对与我们的KLIA和Labu Airport不相上下。


在这个时候,看到许多人出来反对,尤其是反对党的,我感觉到特别失望。他们真的有时为反而反。虽然我强烈支持两宪制,然而看来我们要两宪制是在choosing the lesser of two evils。

Monday, January 26, 2009

A support for my dad's blog..

My dad, at the age of 72, is starting his own blog. You can visit it by clicking here. It doesn't have much posts yet, but hopefully it'll get populated in the coming months. Please go and have a visit.

One of the few things I learn from both my parents, and especially my dad is perseverance. They are one of the few people on this planet that continually seeks to improve themselves and defy their own age limits. Who would think someone at 72 would start a blog? (yeah, maybe Dr. M is another one)

Not many people at that age, know how to SMS, frequently use gmail to communicate, use skype, download music from the internet, use spreadsheet and microsoft office, types Chinese and Japanese using the MS Windows, use Google Maps, know how to Google for all sort of knowledge and knows how to plug-in USB, etc? For many of us this may seem simple, but I bet when you are 70+ you will have trouble trying to understand how to use the "Tricorder" (for those who doesn't know what this is, please look-up in Star Trek)

20 years ago, my mom's English is...let's just say she doesn't speak English. But now, she conducts her business with fluent English (albeit still with some minor grammar mistakes). Just a year ago, she couldn't 'spell' (pinyin) chinese characters. But after weeks and weeks of trying, everyday trying to pinyin all the words she read on the Chinese press and having 'tuition' with me and my dad for many weeks, she finally can pinyin. And the first thing she do, is to type a Chinese SMS to her friend.

Their persevarance, their curiosity and their desire to perpetually improve themselves regardless of age is nothing less than admirable.

So much so, that by doing this, they deceivingly make me think that they are young and are going to go on forever. So much so, that I have to constantly remind myself that how old they truly are and that they are not going to be around here forever. As much as we argue (it's how we Chin family communicates), I cannot possibly imagine one day that my life would be without them. Sometimes, I feel guilty about coming here and leaving them there. What's the point of pursuing all these "dreams" when what really matters in the end of one's life is your family and friends?

And as I celebrate this Chinese New Year abroad and alone, it makes me homesick even more. Not because of the house, but more because of the people living in that old house of mine near Damansara.

As people close to me would know, I always digress from the main topic. So, I am to remind you again why I wrote this post. That is to support my dad's blog. You can either click the link I provided at the start of this post, or you can click the link on the left under 'blogs i read'

and oh yeah... HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cambridge diary 2

I told my friends, 3 weeks at Cambridge and it's 1-0 to Warwick Universtiy. But it's hardly 'half-time' yet so it's still too early to judge.

One of the advantages of being at Cambridge is that you get to see celebrities. No, not Britney Spears or Beckham but celebrities in the academia world. E.g. Stephen Hawking is just down the corridor (though I never see him) and I heard Dr. James Watson and Dr. Francis Crick, who got the Nobel Prize for discovering DNA, is somewhere around too. They are, of course, at the Cavendish Laboratory and not at C.A.P.E. where engineers are.

We also have a lot of invited lectures. So I attended one the other day. For those who are not familiar with the development of the physics of magnetic materials may not know him, but I've seen some of his papers. He's good!! I guess this is one of the things that I should make full use of at Cambridge and meet as much famous people in the academia as possible. (funny, he was initially taken aback when I asked him if I could take a picture with him...)

(With Prof. Shobo Bhattarchaya)


One of the most famous visit sites in Cambridge is the King's College. (My college, FYI, is Hughes Hall). King's, St John's and Trinity are among the richest colleges in Cambridge. I heard, that their estimated net worth reach billions of pounds.

(King's college chapel under maintenance, but nevertheless majestic)


(Familiar? This is seen all over postcards of Cambridge)


(the river beside King's college, damn romantic a!)


(King's college as I walk towards it, crossing the bridge...)



And then there is this unusually looking clock, right outside King's college, with a bug sitting on top of it. Yes, it is a clock!. The bug moves forward, pushing the wheel clockwise and that represents 1 second.

(it's rumoured to worth more than 1 million pounds)



Cambridge recently celebrated it's 800th anniversary. 800 years, but it's still not the oldest University in England. That would be Oxford. But 800 years of excellence is no small feat too. And to celebrate this, the University had a little 'show' at the Senate House, which is located in front of... King's college. Basically, it's just projection of powerpoint slides onto the wall of the senate house! But I later found out that this wasn't an easy thing to do and Cambridge had to invite a foremost expert in this area for this event. 

It was rather short, about 10 minutes. Considering that I had to walk 20 minutes, it's a bit disappointing. But the crowd is huge, someone even sang "Happy Birthday to Cambridge" and the 'powerpoint' presentation were pretty impressive. you can see it for yourself in the short video clip below.


video
(Cambridge 800th anniversary celebration at Senate House)


One of the places where many visitors of Cambridge do not go, and in fact, many students of Cambridge themselves do not go is the Main Library. It is, contrary to what many would think, quite a nice piece of building.

The first time I got there, one word popped up my mind, "HUGE". But the collections of book is even larger. The number of books kept here is so huge that they have to arrange those open-shelf books on the table, leaving only a tiny space (1 lane) for people to move about. It is actually quite difficult to locate all the books contained within this library, even with the Cambridge's catalogue system. That's probably why most students just resort to their department's library, since most of the useful material will be there.

(and this is only one small part of it. It's basically a BIG square, and at the center of one of the edges is the entrance, which is shown here)



And last, but not least, I bought something. My new (authentic albeit old design) England T-shirt! for only 4 pounds!!!! wahahahaha.... i can't stop laughing la. So cheap...



Friday, January 16, 2009

Cambridge diary 1

Seriously, I've not been to many places yet in Cambridge. Mainly, because the weather is friggin cold and I was busy with a lot of registrations. In Cambridge, you have one registration with your college and another one with your dept. They work independently. You have two different e-mails and you have three different libaries (dept., college and central). It just makes the whole thing very bureaucratic.

My room, as some of you back at home already know, is very small. It's my main complain here. It's the size of the maid's room back in my old house in Malaysia. It's exactly that size. And worse, coz at least the maid room has a en-suite bathroom. I had to share.

My room is next to the kitchen and the dining hall. So you can imagine the amount of privacy I have.



They gave me 1 bed, 1 table, 1 wardrobe, 2 cabinets and 2 chairs. When I put all of it inside my room, there's virtually no space left for my to walk. I have to literally climb to reach my bed. So I had to throw one chair out to the dining hall and stack the cabinets on top of each other. Also, the cabinets have to lie against my bed, rendering all the drawers useless except for the top drawer.



Nothing looks good in this room...except me in the morning.



And me again in the night.


Engineering dept. is not far from where I stay. But my research center, called C.A.P.E. is about 3 miles away. Along the way there, I took some pictures of Cambridge using my new SonyEricsson C905 .



This phone from SonyEricsson comes with a camera so powerful that it outperforms my Sony cybershot camera I bought 4 years ago.

Here are some of the pictures I took along the way to my research center using this camera phone.

(bridge over River Cam)

(the field just right outside my Residential College)

The research center is at West Cambridge. A lot of other research centers are at this site along with C.A.P.E. Among them is the famous Cavendish Laboratory, which produces virtually all the famous people we read on our secondary school Physics textbook. (In the early 20th century, this is where electrons were discovered.) It's really quite a nice looking place and it looks more like a office building and commercial center than a university really.


(the entrance to C.A.P.E.)

but just right opposite this building, there are 2 horses.


They belong to the veterinary dept. which is across the field. Talk about weird combos.

And they are right, when they say there are more bicycles than cars. Because I can't see much of a car park at the research center near West Cambridge, but I saw this 'bicycle' park (and it's not the only one).
Everyone rides.

Seeing so many bicycles, I can't help but to recall a dirty joke from the movie Austin Powers, "She's like the village bicyle. Everyone's had a ride." I hope I get to ride sometime.

p/s: my parents sometime read my blog and I think they always believe that I'm 'clean'. So I hope they won't understand the joke in the last paragrah. =P

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Israel and the Zionist 2

After posting an entry about the invasion in Gaza and Zionist here, I found this article, which I thought I would share with my readers.

It is written by a Jew, condemning Israel for using the name of the Jews to invade.

I guess I was wrong to assume all Jews supported Israel.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Israel and the Zionist

I went to London yesterday.




(It's funny to see a "Australia" sign when you are in the middle of London. If I didn't know better, I thought that Boeing 747 flew the wrong direction!)

As I was walking down the road along Leicester square, I noticed there was a long line of people going in the opposite direction.



Now, just in case you couldn't see it properly...


It's the flag of Israel! And it's apparent that there's a street rally in support for Israel's act in Gaza. One of them even held a poster reading, ''End Hamas and Stop the terror!".

That explains the helicopter which has been hovering above me all the time!! What are the chances of me visiting London only to meet a huge crowd of Zionist!?

What a stark contrast this is with Malaysia. In Malaysia, we have major street rallies in support of ending the war and invasion. And for once, a govt. supported rally in Malaysia has made the right stand.

I still do not understand how the West perceive the world, especially when it comes to the middle east and when it involves the UK or the US. Why are the Brits and the Americans so hell-bent on supporting Israel and the Jews? I don't see them throwing support when Malaysia and Indonesia had the 'confrontation'.

Sure, if you support the Jews, it's ok. But if anyone in the West even comes close to criticising the Jews, they are branded anti-semitism. It's like the Jews are the untouchables. It's like when you support BN in Malaysia it is 'patriotic' and when you support PKR you are 'pengkhianat'. They view the world as black and white when in reality there are shades of gray!

Are they ignorant? or are they doing it for money? Or are the politicians seeking to leverage from the chaos in the middle east?

The history and the legitimacy of the Israel state has been debated for over 50 years, most of the time ending in blood and war. And so I do not wish to discuss that.

But I am going to question this:

1. A state has the right to defend itself. But does that mean it can do WHATEVER it pleases to defend itself?

There is no doubt that Hamas is a terrorist group that needs to be dealt with. No one is questioning that. But what we question is the use of EXCESSIVE FORCE.

Everytime someone sends a rocket into Israel killing as much as ONE (uno, satu, 一, ichi) person, Israel will mobilise tanks and its entire weaponry to kill hundres of people. Among them, no doubt at least tens of them are innocent. So is it alright to kill many innocent people and caused many casualties of war just because 1 Israelis is dead?

Granted that terrorism is wrong and that Hamas should not have shot the rocket. Damn, I am even going to give Israel the benefit of doubt and assume that Hamas 'started' it first. But does that justify a 1:100 kill ratio? 1 to Israel and 100 to innocent people?

So let's say a British terrorist bombed a place in Malaysia, does that mean Malaysia can send a inter-continental balistic missile that accurately bombs this person's house in the UK? Sure the missle will be accurate, but upon impact, I'm sure the neighbours will be hurt at least. Just casualties of war? Collateral of war? Acceptable?

In fact, the recent terrorist attacks in India has links to British. So India probably can send a few missiles to the UK. Could you imagine what would happen? The whole world would wage war against India (or Malaysia for the previous example).

But in Israel? "Nah, it's ok. Those people are CASUALTIES OF WAR." If it's just one or two, I may have been understanding. But thousands are usually left dead. Thousands of innocent people. Every time. Yes, not just this time, but many times in the past Israel have left thousands of innocent people lying dead on the ground when <10 Israelis were killed by a Hamas rocket.

Israel is definitely going to claim that these innocent lives are dead because of Hamas. Because "they started it first". But like above, even if I do give the benefit of doubt in favor of Israel, they still don't have the right to kill indiscriminately. And I do not care "who started it", I'm more concerned about the "result". The result is that more that 100 innocent people (Israelis or Palestinians) are killed for every dead Israelis due to Hamas rocket. And that's a conservative figure. This is an inappropriate use of force and it should be condemn.

Surely, you are tempted to ask, "How could we end terrorism when we cannot launch an attack?" I admit this is not going to be easy. It's not a problem that we can solve by pressing a button. Neither can we solve it by waging wars. Waging wars could be brutally fast, efficient and the most direct way to the problem. But it isn't the solution, which leads to my 2nd question.


2. Will killing people and securing key rocket-launching sites in Gaza (or whatever the Israelis is doing there) halt terrorism?

No.

Yes, the rockets are launched because someone handled it. So theoretically, if you kill the person handling the rockets, you stop the rockets.

But no (to the question), the rockets will still be coming.

A wise man once said, "People can be replaced, but not ideals." Today you may have killed Mr. X, but Mr. Y will be gladly taking over the place. The ideal fueling this hatred is still there! And by invading like this and using excessive force Israel is giving the terrorist more reason to continue with their hatred. More people, that were previously not terrorist, will be more willing to give in and join the movement because of their sufferings caused in such an invasion.

No matter how hard Israel may want to explain itself. No matter how powerful Israel's propaganda is. It just cannot stop the hatred from spreading.

Can you imagine a heart-broken mother, carrying the limbs of her daughter in her arms, and crying. Then the Israelis soldier drop by and say, "Hey, it's ok. Cuz we're just here to kill the bad guys. But sometimes good guys die too. You know it's too bad. But it happens. By the way, don't become a terrorist because of this ok?"

Sometimes, I really wonder if the Israelis wanted this all along. They created terrorist by killing innocents. The terrorist kills Israelis. Then Israel kill more innocent people and thus creating more terrorist. The damn cycle repeats itself.

******************************************************************************

There are always quick-fixes to a problem:

The easiest way that we can ensure someone who has committed a serious crime not to repeat it, is to hang. Why do we try to avoid that and instead choose imprisonment and rehabilitation?

Sending a nuke to wipe-out the entire area is always safer and more efficient for the invader. Why do we not do that and instead choose to use ground forces and air-strikes?

Quick-fixes exist, but they rarely work.

I haven't met a Jew in my life. But after going through the Holocaust themselves and yet approving such atrocity in Gaza, my opinion of them, even before I meet any of them is very low.

(I pray that my PhD supervisor isn't a Jew - I haven't meet him in person)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Toilet at sub-zero temperatures

Ever been to the toilet at -7 degrees Celsius?

First, you 'peel-off' your layers of clothing one by one until eventually your ass is exposed. You will feel a gush of very cold air gushing up your ass and chilling your spine (literally).

And as you put your two sides of the ass on the pan (on top of the toilet bowl), the pan (usually made out of porcelain or plastic) feels like ice freshly taken out of the freezer.

Any urge to do 'business' by then would have gone away. But on this day, the urge was too strong because I have been containing it for too long.

And as the 'payload' drops off at a distance to the water - "splash". The icy cold water at the bottom of the bowl splashed onto my ass creating the immense coldness that one cannot describe.

After finishing the business, I washed up. And as you may have guessed, the water was icy cold.

Arriving in UK

I never imagined how one can eat, drink, sleep, watch tv, play game, and shit all at the small confined space inside the boeing 747. But that's what happened.

To make things worse, a toddler was just sitting behind me. Throwing tantrums like 80% of the journey. It wasn't his fault or his parents, but that doesn't change the fact that I got little sleep.

Touchdown Heathrow. And it's -4 degress Celsius. And I only have 1 jacket on. The rest is in my baggage but to reach them I have to pass the immigration officers first.

It took me nearly 2 hours to pass the immigration because my Visa was rejected multiple times, they had to 'double check'.

Then, no one told me I needed my medical report. So I have to make an X-ray on the spot. I think it's my 4th X-ray in 6 months (1 for UTAR, 1 for UKM lecturer, 1 for UKM scholarship, and this one). I hope the X-ray doesn't 'evolve' me.

My handphone battery went dead.

Took a train to Cambridge. Upon arrival, some old folks pointed me at the exact opposite direction of Hughes Hall.

Then I go-astern (or 'ko-astan', as Malaysians would call it). Still, I made the wrong turning. Koastan again. After reaching Hughes Hall, I can't find the receptionist. Forward, Koastan multiple times. Finally there.

And all these in a -4 degree Celcius dragging 35kg of baggage with me (65% of my weight).

And I wasn't staying at the Hall. I'm just registering. My accomodation is outside the Hall. Forward, koastan many times looking for my accomodation. Finally got there, again dragging all the baggage in this kinda weather.

Then go to fro Hughes Hall many times more to complete my other registeration procedures. By the time I finished everything it's 7pm.

7pm UK time or 3am Malaysia time, i.e. from 12am 7 Jan 2009 until 2am 8 Jan 2009 (Malaysia time) - a total of 26 hours!!!! 26 hours of not having good sleep and changing underwear!!!!

What a bad start!

Why am I here in Cambridge again? Remind me! I've so much things in Malaysia and I chose to come to UK? (no, this is not a grammar error. 'much' is used instead of 'many' because the things I have in Malaysia have become 'uncountable')

Suddenly, I realised I've become my old-self again. I complain everything about my life.

That's not good. I'll need to change that ASAP.

But you know what, this time definitely feels different from the last time. I was excited when I touched down in UK the last time. But this time, this time I felt homesick the moment the plane took off at KLIA. I miss u.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy new year 2009...

I know it's a bit late for a blogpost titled 'new year'. It's 5 days into 2009 and I haven't update my blog for weeks.

But really, I've been busy. There has been a lot of farewells and weddings in the month of December. These, coupled with me getting sick in bed for almost 5 days means I've almost no time to blog about the new year. (few days back, I have a tremendous time partying at Siew CJ's house with UM debate team. Once again, thank you for your generosity. Snowpiano, my once 'formidable adversary', wrote a simple but meanigful post about this here).

This year will be an exciting year. It will be exciting, because there will be numerous challenges ahead of me, and even more uncertainty. As always, I believe that what that does not kill us, will only make us stronger. And the obstacles ahead will only mean I will be a better person at the end of this year, whatever the outcome. All I would want to wish, is for the people around me to be happy; my loved ones to be healthy; and that I shall always be with my loved ones. I wish for these, because these are what I alone cannot control or determine, but they are only what one could wish for, that fate will be kind to you. Also, but not the least, because these matter most to me as a person.

I've blogged about my route to Phd in Cambridge in the past here, here and here. It was a long ordeal and it has definitely influenced my career goals and me as a person. But as I mentioned in my previous entries, that many good things have come out of this ordeal. Among them, is this blog, which I would have never started if I started my PhD in April. Going for my PhD in UK is a difficult decision. More so because I've met some wonderful people here in Malaysia and I have little doubt that they will be irreplacable.

This isn't goodbye.

I once watch a movie starring Dakota Fanning. At the end of the movie, she says, "the ending of a chapter, only signifies the beginning of another." My dear friends, believe me when I say that this isn't the end or goodbye. This is actually to reaffirm that we will meet again, very soon.