Laws for Everything Under the Sun

You will get a full blast of typical Malaysian petty bureaucracy when you visit any government department office. A friend of mine who was married to an Englishman was told at the NRD (National Registration Department) in Penang that she could not change the name on her identity card from her maiden name to her married name. Continue reading “Laws for Everything Under the Sun”

What would We do Without Them?

Climbing upstairs to my 1st floor flat, I thought,” Thank God, for the cleaner!”. This is not a posh place but kept neat, tidy and clean by a cleaner employed by the Apartments Management Office of our blocks. All residents, including tenants contribute a small sum for the upkeep and cleanliness of these 4 storied blocks. Keeping a public place clean is not a pleasant job. Continue reading “What would We do Without Them?”

Livable and Pleasant Low-Cost Housing

When one mentions “low-cost housing” for the lower-income community, visions of concrete tower blocks with apartments little more than cubicles comes to mind. The stink of garbage chutes, florescent lighting that’s broken and blown in places, smelly dimly lit lifts frequently out of order, walls decorated with graffiti, and all that’s dark, dreary, wet and repulsive. Being poor doesn’t mean that one has to be treated sub-humanly and allotted the cheapest, lowest quality standard of living in vermin infested, crime fertile environments.  Continue reading “Livable and Pleasant Low-Cost Housing”

Revolutionary Cut

When I cut my hair, I feel like a new person. There’s a feeling of freedom, besides feeling cooler in this hot humid tropical climate. But, preferring very short styles, I tend to like a boyish ‘pixie look’. It’s cute and very, very easy to manage, especially when you are the ‘wash and go’ type with a lifestyle that doesn’t spend too much time in front of a mirror. 
But, when ‘googling’ varieties of short hairstyles in my favorite period of fashion history – the ‘Roaring 20’s” (1920s), I stumbled over some facts about short hairstyles that I thought quite amazing.  Continue reading “Revolutionary Cut”

Thunder Lilies

When I was a small child, my family used to live in government quarters in the middle of town, in Penang. We had an end double-storey link house just beside a small alley between our block and a private double-storey house. There was a deep narrow drain along this alley which would overflow every time it flooded. For children, floods were a time of high excitement; how dirty the water was never occurred to us. Continue reading “Thunder Lilies”

Hidden Beauty

Being hip nowadays is very common. The impressions made by our physical appearance can some times become destiny. We end up somewhere, i.e. working, getting a life partner or just being included in a certain set of people. However, despite all that, we are who we are. We know what others don’t know about us – our hidden secrets and talents. But, some things, even we don’t know about ourselves that take us by surprise. Continue reading “Hidden Beauty”

World Youth Day for the "Young-at-Heart"

Here’s a funny story about being ‘young’. A year or so ago, an NGO (non-government organization) held an activity to celebrate “World Youth Day”. Most of the members of this NGO were young people in their early twenties, who are full of life and vibrant with energy, enthusiasm for what they were doing, and bursting with bright ideas. They got a venue in a shopping mall where they expected lots of public to be passing, especially youth of their own age, who hopefully would spontaneously join in their program of activity, celebrating WYD. Continue reading “World Youth Day for the "Young-at-Heart"”

Journey of the Comet

Disaster is a leveller. When people of whatever origin, ethnic, cultural or religious background face common adversity, their differences are forgotten. That, is usually the case, but there may be exceptions in certain situations. There are amongst us (the human race), all kinds of characters; some are opportunists, some revert to saving themselves whilst others may emerge as leaders, and still many more, will decide who they think is right. Continue reading “Journey of the Comet”