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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Will you bet on the 7% chance of success?

Sometimes we wanted to do something in life which we were unable to achieve when we are younger due to various reasons.When I was younger,I always wanted to run a marathon.I saw my brother in law,that's Heng brother who frequently participate in many marathons event in the 1990s.I was impressed by his ability to complete a 42km run.Then I decided to take up the challenge myself 2 years ago.Now,I can confidently declared that I can complete a marathon in an average decent time.Then came the urge to try something more difficult...the ultra marathon.

It is the same when coming to keeping myself updated in my daily works.Two years ago,I decided to update my knowledge by joining a Diploma course.It benefited me a lot as I found out there are quite a lot of changes and new development in my field compared to many years ago.As usual,human being are always never satisfied with whatever they have.They always wanted more.

After completed the diploma course I am eligible to join the ATP(advance training programme) with the final aim of obtaining a recognised post graduate degree .Being a bit kiasu and sceptical of my own ability,I decided to attend the introductory presentation of this ATP in Kuala Lumpur this weekend.

To my surprise,many of my friends from the previous batch of the diploma course did not attend.Most of them are guys.Those attended are mostly female.What happen to the guys?Too lazy?Frighten?Currently,guys only make up of 25% of this intake.Why are the guys shying away?I am not sure...

After spending 2 days in Kuala Lumpur,I am still unsure if I really wanted to continue with this programme.Luckily I have not hand in the payment for this course which come to a few thousand ringgit.

The main stumbling block for me is the low self confident.I think I cannot blame myself for this self doubt feeling especially so when I look back at the past passing rate for this exam which really make me feel very uneasy.The passing rate has been around 30% for Part 1 and of this 30% who passed the Part 1,only about 50% of them pass the Part 2.One needs to pass both Part 1 and Part 2 in order to get this post graduate degree.So assuming this statistics remains,from my current batch of 45 students,only about 15 will get through the Part 1 and later only 7 of them will obtain the post graduate recognition.Eventually only about 7% of us will passed.Will you take a risk if you know there is only 7% chance of success?

However this low passing rate did not deter many from joining this programme.Few Singaporean even travel to Kuala Lumpur to enroll.Why are they so enthusiastic?What are their driving factors?During the ice breaking session among candidates,I gathered that one of the main factors for many to take up this ATP is to fulfil their requirement to migrate and work in Australia.This degreee is recognised in Australia,Canada and Hong Kong.

So what is my driving force??I can't find any yet.I foresee more stress and less free time for myself in the future if I will to continue on with this programme.

Still wondering if I should hand in my check this week.....

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Seremban Half Marathon 2011-An Expensive Run.

Event:Seremban Half Marathon
Place:MPS Padang Seremban
Date;24/7/2011
Time:6:45am

This is my third year taking part in this Seremban Half Marathon.The venue is very near my house and it only took me about 10 minutes to reach it.I couldn't find a parking space in front of the Padang and decided to park my car near Lucky Plaza,just in front of the Ambank.

Met up with the rest of the S2 running buddies at the starting point.We were chatting happily when we heard the gun sound.The run has started.There was no count down.Caught off guard,I did not set my watch but just run off with the crowd.Lim sprinted fast ahead.I can't see the rest of the group.

It is the same old route as last year.The initial route along Jalan Rahang was flat.The first climb was near the Carrerfour hypermarket towards Forrest Height.I kept my distance behind Lim.Eric came up and we chatted for a while.

It was a comfortable run.The weather was good.It was cloudy and not too hot.My plan was to follow Lim as I knew I will be able to finish below 2 hours if I can keep up with him.He has targeted a sub 2h finish for this run.He has a GPS watch while I mistaken set my watch at the beginning of the run.

Teng came up at Jalan Jelebu and we were running together until nearing to Taman Warisan Puteri when I decided to break away from Lim and Teng.I was still feeling good and comfortable with my pace.It was all the way towards the finishing line without looking back.However I was unable to overtake Eric who was about 50 metres in front of me.

***Thanks Uu Ban for this photo taken with his RM18k+ camera as I was running toward the finishing line.***

The results,unofficial as there wasn't any timing chip provided.Time given are based on own watch timing.The distance is slightly short of 21km.The actual distance is 20.36km (lim's GPS),20.4KM (lau's GPS).
Eric:1h 50m
Myself:1h 51m..slight improvement compared to last year.
Lim:1h 52m...another PB!Congratulations.
Teng:1h 55m
Lau:1h 56m
Heng:2h
Chai:2h17m

The senior ladies from our group managed to get some prizes in the 10km event.I heard they were in 5th,9th and 11th positions.Congratulations to them.


***From L-R:Lim,Teng,Heng,myself,Lau,Chai.Photo taken by Uu Ban after our run.***



Today's run also turned out to be a family outing for Lim,Lau and Chai's family.Lim's family turn out to give him moral support and also to snap photos for us at the Padang.Lau and Chai's children also took part in the run.It is good to see Chai who is based in Shanghai came back to support Seremban Half Marathon.



Immediately after crossing the finishing line and after collecting my lucky draw prize of 4 cans of Gatorade,I went off to my car to get my camera in order to snap some pictures for my blog.However I couldn't locate my hand phone and camera in my bag which I placed in my car bonnet.



I thought I must have forgotten to bring them this morning.So I went back to the Padang to meet up with the rest of the group.



Later when I arrived home,I searched my house for my hand phone and camera but I still couldn't locate them.When I was unpacking my bag and I took a look inside my wallet,I discovered that all my money was gone!!However my IC,driving licence and credit cards are still there.



Immediately I knew someone might have stolen the money together with my camera and hand phone.I tried calling my hand phone but it was switched off.I was really angry then.Someone stolen my 600+ringgit Sony Erricson hand phone,my 600+Olympus digital camera and my cash money about 200+ringgit.Total loss about RM1500!and there isn't any sign of break in.



I went to Seremban 2 police station at noon to make a police report.The officer told me there was another similar case today which happened to a car parked at Wisma Persekutuan.I was curious how a person can just open up my car and took off my things without any signs of forced break in.I decided to ask the officer on duty.



Policeman:"Penjenayah sekarang banyak pandai,bukan saja kereta encik mereka boleh pecah masuk,kereta ronda polis pun mereka pecah masuk"



Myself:?????(speechless...)



Because of this incidence,my mood was bad throughout the day despite me running relatively well today.I was satisfied with my running result.Today is also my father 81st birthday celebration and we are doing it in a big scale in a restaurant.Somehow this bad experience has affected my celebration mood.



Conclusion of the 24th Seremban Half Marathon:


-well organised.

-too many student participants.

-maybe the organiser can change the finishing medal design in the future.It has been the same for many years.But make sure it continue to be made from pewter.I like the quality of the medal.

In the future,I will be extra careful and I am not going to keep my gadgets in my car.This has been an expensive Seremban Half Marathon to me.



Time to get a new hand phone and to start re collecting all my contacts phone numbers!


Friday, July 22, 2011

Interview In The Star Newspaper

A brief story on our running group appeared in The Star newspaper today.

The link:http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2011/7/22/central/9132513&sec=central

Friday July 22, 2011
Experienced quartet ready for challenge
By CHITRA S. NATHAN
metro@thestar.com.my

RUNNING marathons may not be everyone’s cup of tea but for a group of friends in Seremban, the experience is a challenging and rewarding one.

Although Foo Yuen Cheng, 44, Lim Tee Kiap, 41, Lau Thien Cheong, 50 and Uu Ban Leong, 47, have only been running seriously for just a few years, running has become a passion and they look forward to participating in events to not only improve their personal bests but also for the joy of it.

Foo, a doctor, said he started running two years ago just to stay in shape but as his fitness improved, he found himself looking forward to more runs.

“Though I was active in sports during my schooldays, it was not easy to run long distances when I first started but I kept at it and gradually improved.

“I’ve participated in a few marathons now including the recent Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur run and we’re training for our next big run which will be in December,” he said when met after one early morning running session recently.

His friend Lim, a paediatrician, said he wakes up at 5am for his morning runs on weekdays for a headstart for the day.

“We try to run together whenever possible but if we cannot due to our schedules, we run on our own. That’s the beauty of running, you can do it by yourself. The important thing is to never exert yourself and listen to your body,” he said.

The Star photographer Uu is the newest addition to the group, having joined them recently after he was posted to the newspaper’s Seremban bureau.

“I was quite active in football and badminton but had to take a break after a sports injury.

“I began to gain weight during that time and decided to start running to shed the pounds. It worked and I got hooked on it,” he said.

The oldest of the group, Lau, is an accountant based in Kuala Lumpur and runs with his friends during weekends or whenever he is back in his hometown.

“I began running for health reasons but now, I run for the joy of it.

“When I started out, I couldn’t even run three kilometres continuously but I’ve come a long way since and have participated in several marathons,” he said.

Foo, Lim and Lau will be participating in the upcoming Seremban Half Marathon on Sunday.

Foo said he was looking forward to the SHM because the 21km run was a part of their marathon training.

“We’re aiming to clock under two hours. I did 1:55 the last time and I’m hoping to improve my timing but that is not all that matters.

“The Seremban Half is an opportunity for us to meet other runners and gain more experience in preparation for our next marathon,” he said.

Unfortunately, Uu will be unable to join his new running buddies as he has been assigned to cover the event as The Star is the media sponsor.

However, he had a few tips to offer first-time runners especially students taking part in the 10km run.

“With just a few days to go before the SHM, there is little time left for participants to train for the event.

“Instead, runners should use the last couple of days before the run to relax in preparation of the race,” he said.

He said runners should wake up early on the day of the run, have a light breakfast and get to the venue on time to do warm up exercises before the race proper.

“If this is your first time, don’t try to sprint ahead like the runners in front. Find a suitable pace and enjoy the run.

“Keep yourself hydrated with water or isotonic drinks at the water stations and wear seasoned running shoes as new ones may not be comfortable,” he said.

SHM organising committee vice chairman Datuk Loh Kim Heong said the 24th edition of the run is set to be the largest in the event’s history.

“Over 9,700 participants have already signed up and entries are still coming in.

“The numbers keep increasing every year attesting to the run’s popularity. We received overwhelming support from schools and school children make up almost 75% of the participants,” he said.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

S2 Group and Seremban Half Marathon

***The race pack which can be collected immediately from the Seremban Half Marathon office after paying RM15 for the registration***


Four more days to Seremban Half Marathon and as usual most of the S2 group runners are taking part in either 10km 0r the 21km category.Unofficially this is a must attend event for all the S2 runners because it is held in our own hometown-Seremban.

Few of the senior ladies in our group are potential winners and I can presumed they will go all out during the ladies 10km run.The rest of the group especially the guys will be running for fun or with individual target in mind like Lim who is going for his sub-2 hour target in half marathon.

The ones missing this year will be Steve and Francis.They have advance ahead from the rest of the group and will be doing their first triathlon in Port Dickson this weekend which involving running,cycling and swimming while most of us are still "stuck" with running.

So..hopefully the rest of our group will take up new challenges in the future either running a longer distance like Sundown 100km (ha..ha..ha...they know I am trying to persuade them again),joining the KL Towerthon,Mount Kinabalu Climbathon or join Francis and Steve in triathlon.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

BERSIH or KOTOR?

Bersih or Kotor?Betul or Salah?For the past week after the Bersih rally there have been many discussions on Bersih,on how the government handle the issue and on claims of police brutality.

I was at home last Saturday afternoon following the development of Bersih rally on line.I have to admit that I am not the type who will attend this type of rally or any demonstration because of fear and I don't believe in violence.There is a total change in me as I grow older.Wisdom?Ha..ha..ha...

I personally support what Bersih is fighting for but I don't support their rally or street demonstration.I guess that is the only way for them to get attention and to put their message across to the government.

Actually I should restrain myself from taking sides and commenting too much about Bersih rally on Facebook as I found out some of my friends who have different views can easily get offended.Everyone is entitled to his own opinion,right?

Here is an article written by my former schoolmate who is also journalist ,Andrew Sia.He was at the Bersih rally last Saturday.He is a strong supporter of Bersih.

The link is:
http://tehtarikkk.multiply.com/journal/item/1/10_Reasons_Why_Shopperholics_Should_Support_Bersih

However I decided to paste the whole article here:


“Ala, kacau-la this Bersih, the whole KL was jammed and I could not go for the 1Malaysia Mega Sale!” cries out you, the Shopperholic.

And TV and newspapers tell you that Bersih caused "billions" in economic losses because the Burmese and Nepalese foreign workers downtown could not hang out at the KotaRaya shopping complex.

No, no, I mean, because the police blocked all roads and nobody, especially you, could go out and buy your RM12,000 Gucci handbag…

But wait a minute. Why are these shops and stalls in downtown KL doing such good business DURING Bersih?

Just look a little deeper beyond the sales promotion and hype of "1Malaysia goood, Bersih baaad" and you may actually have 10 good reasons to support Bersih.


1) Your ringgit is worth 2.4 times less than the Singapore dollar. Why?

Here you are, suffering and sweating to fight the crowds at sales, just to get a bigger discount.

But yet, your money is worth 2.4 times less than that bloody little country which has almost ZERO natural resources. Not fair! It's we Malaysians who have tons of petroleum wealth!

In 1965, one ringgit was equal to one Sing dollar. What the hell has happened since then? Corruption?

Now when Singaporeans come here, they are like birds - we can hear their distinctive chirping: “cheap, cheap, cheap…”.

Baaargher, by right, we should be the ones walking in Megamall like that, where everyday is like sales day!

Now that the leaders have seen how big the Bersih crowd was, maybe they will be a bit more scared of the people's demands? A bit less corrupt?

Maybe in ten years time, we will see RM1.50 = S$1 ??? Then we can really shop like mad, right?
2) Bersih didn’t close MidValley Megamall, the police did.

For certain politicians, Bersih was like Japan’s Fukushima nuclear reactor. The radiation of having an intelligent debate about the nation’s future would cause brain cancer...

That’s why, even though Bersih was being held in downtown KL on Saturday, they decided to blockade Megamall, which was far away.


In fact, days before Bersih, they even blocked roads on the other side of the world at Subang Jaya and elsewhere.

Why? Just so that you shopperholics can scold Bersih for trying to save you from overspending on shopping for one day.

The police also wanted you to blame Bersih for making you discover how you can have a great time at home (maybe by taking a walk in the park, watching a DVD or, God forbid, helping mom cook dinner) without having to spend much money at all.



3) But you were smarter, you shopped at Sunway Pyramid, the Curve and Jusco Wangsa Maju.

But of course, you were smarter than that. You had already anticipated the blocked roads. You hate staying at home to spend quality family time. Oh I’m sorry, quality family time can only be done at the shopping mall.

OK, so you decided to do your shopping at other places like Sunway Pyramid, the Curve, Jusco Balakong, Jusco Kepong or Jusco wherever… so whatever money lost by Megamall was gained by shopping centres elsewhere.


The police could order Sogo and Pertama Complex in downtown KL to shut down but who the hell goes to such places anyway? Well, as long as we are spending the money in Malaysia right? Rather than a certain Chief Minister who invests in luxury houses overseas while his people lack roads and electricity.


4) Actualleee… no need to close roads and shopping centres right?

Exactly. Why on earth DID the police order the shops in KL Sentral to close down?

Because Anwar Ibrahim and Ambiga were walking there? Maybe the police were scared that they would commit khalwat, so they decided to shoot them several times with tear gas so that they would cry out in pain, rather than cry out in illicit pleasure…

The Bersih folks downtown were peaceful, disciplined and friendly. They sang Negaraku. Complete strangers of all races spoke with and helped each other. Some even brought their children - they came for a non-violent protest.

People just wanted to gather in Stadium Merdeka, wear their yellow T-shirts, sing some songs and shout their slogans. They asked for just two hours, from 2pm to 4pm.

Itu saja…After all, they are just silly idealists who don't know how "fair" our elections are. So why did the police order the shopping malls to close down?


Oh ya, because they found somebody throwing a bag filled with parangs behind some flower pots at The Ship restaurant, Pertama Complex, FOUR days before? And inside the bag, there were a few yellow Bersih T-shirts!

Wow, how stupid they are putting the bag in such a public place. Maybe there was even a note saying: "Ambiga wuz here...with Osama"


5) Bersih should have been a Mega Sales Carnival

The Lai Foong coffeeshop downtown remained open even as remnants of tear gas hung in the air inside, stinging my eyes. Yet people like me still went there to eat the famous beef noodles. Business was roaring!

In fact, if the government was smart, they could have made Bersih part of the 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival!

Think about it. 50,000 people came despite the blocked roads, the threats by the police etc etc. If they had allowed it to go on peacefully, 100,000 or maybe 150,000 people would have come.

And after singing and shouting, they also need to makan and minum right? Rows of stalls could have been set up at Stadium Merdeka, just like at Batu Caves during Thaipusam.


What a huge economic boost!

6) Bersih should have been a Visit Malaysia Year event

Bersih’s call for fair and clean elections “tarnished” the nation’s image, claim certain politicians.

But the same politicians were warning that silat fellas were coming to reconquer Malacca from the Portuguese while Perkasa has been whacking foreigners (all those who arrived in Malaysia after 1511 that is).


All these threats of violence from silat and Perkasa have made Malaysia’s name more “fragrant” worldwide, I am sure.

But you know what was funny? The real foreigners came and joined Bersih! As you know, downtown KL has lots of Mat Salleh backpackers staying there, and many came out to see the REAL Malaysia in action. It’s just like how Ian Wright does not like to go to the over priced tourist traps, he wants to see the action on da streets man!


7) Downtown KL is a foreigners city on weekends.

That’s right. Certain leaders have been blaring non-stop about how Bersih jeopardised sales for the Indian kaki lima news vendors in downtown KL.

But I wonder when was the last time a Minister went to Petaling Street to buy a newspaper, or a fake Rolex? As for ordinary Malaysians, we go to the pasar malams nearer our homes.

KL’s Old Town ain’t what it used to be because Malaysians now live in the suburbs. The UDA Ocean shopping centre downtown had to close down and places like The Curve and Sunway Pyramid are where the real sales action is happening.

The main people in downtown KL on a weekend (when the offices are closed) are our dear foreign workers. I have tried the Burmese and Nepalese restaurants there – they are delicious.


What surprises me is that our leaders have suddenly become very concerned about what foreign workers eat and buy.

8) Bersih - an economic stimulus program?

The way TV has been going on and on, you would think that Bersih has caused the economic collapse of Malaysia.

But think about this: 100,000 yellow T-shirts at RM20 each, wow, that works out to RM2 million in turnover, not bad for a day’s sales event yeah? Too bad some Minister declared the T-shirts illegal.

And because of all the threats from the government to turn Beijing, I mean KL, into The Forbidden City, thousands of people came into town one night earlier. Hey, that’s a lot of money being spent on hotel rooms.

What about all the money spent by outstation people who purposely came to KL for this historic event? And all the newspaper sales generated by the excitement of the news? And the free publicity for Malaysia in worldwide media?

If only the government had allowed it to be a peaceful event, think about the economic boost generated by 100,000 or more people ...

9) At least they won’t raise the price of petrol now.

As a shopperholic, you know that once they raise the price of petrol, the prices of everything else will shoot up.

When former PM Badawi raised it to RM2.70, the price of Milo Ais at the mamak shop went up to RM1.80. Now that petrol is at RM1.90, do you see the price coming back down? Not a fat chance!

Thanks to the 50,000 brave people who risked arrest and tear gas at Bersih, do you think the government will dare raise the price of petrol any more?

No, they will cancel building some palace project some where and use the money to continue subsidising petrol – well, at least till the next elections.


10) One Saturday’s shopping in exchange for a better future?

Even if you don’t agree with the nine reasons above, here’s the final question: Can you, Dear Shopperholic, not sacrifice two or three hours of shopping out of 365 x 24 hours for Malaysia’s long term future? During sales, you spend one hour circling MidValley Megamall to find parking anyway...

Or is shopping such a Religion which demands daily devotion?


The main threat to our future well-being and prosperity is not some idealistic people in yellow T-shirts calling for fair democracy. The main threat is the billions of ringgit being wasted on submarines that cannot even submerge, stadiums in Terengganu that collapsed (what if it had fallen when the Agong was there?) and… I am sure you can fill in your own list.

The Minister Idris Jala showed lots of statistics, warning that Malaysia would become bankrupt in five years, before he claimed he was "misquoted".

This is YOUR money which you have paid in taxes. It should benefit you, rather than some politician’s millionaire cronies.

But why should they care about you, if they are “voted” into power by 30 “supernatural” voters “living” in a house, while everyone in this world can see there is only one old grandmother living there?

These kinds of cases have been highlighted by people like Lim Kit Siang for decades! But the Elections Commissions seems strangely deaf. Only the voices of 50,000 people on the streets is loud enough.


Do you think the people who went for Bersih like being tear gassed, arrested and man-handled by the police? No they went to demand that the voices and votes of ordinary people will count.


Even if you can afford to splash RM12,000 for a Gucci bag, and all this doesn’t matter to you, please think about your children’s (and other people's children's) futures. And the future of our nation.

Your children don’t have to migrate to Singapore, Australia or America to enjoy a higher standard of living. If things are done right in Malaysia, this can be a far richer and greater country. That, ultimately, is what Bersih is about



Thanks Andrew for the article.

The next time,if one has to attend an illegal rally/demonstration and refused to disperse as order by the police....please don't cry out POLICE BRUTALITY if he/she got injured by tear gas, chemical spray,fall in the process of running away or resisting police arrest.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Crazy Prank Calls!!

For the past one week I have been receiving many missed calls on my hand phone.The caller did not make any attempt to talk to me.He/she will stop calling just after one or two rings.The calls usually come in the middle of night or early morning from 12 midnight to 4.00am.One night, he/she can call up to 20 times!!Crazy....!!

Usually I will not return calls to any unfamiliar phone numbers.I will set my hand phone to silent mode at night before I go to sleep.So,whoever prank caller is,he/she did not disturb my sleep.I couldn't be bothered.Let he/she continues calling until one day he/she will get tired.

So who is the mysterious person with the number 016-6380312??