Monday, June 30, 2008

Sepi the movie

Another product from Kabir Bhatia but with a slightly different 'take' on life, love and loneliness.
Although not as riveting as Cinta, Sepi's plot has its own twists and turns that made the audience sit up and made sense of some of its scenes.
In a nutshell, it is a narrative of three people's lives that intersected at one fateful moment and unravelled from then on.
Adam, a chef, realised that he should marry the woman he loves rather than settle for the one who loves him; Sufi, a shoe maker, ran from the memories that haunted him to a destiny denied; and Imaan, a playwright, woke from a coma to bid farewell to her past and greet her future.
Syed Hussein as Ean was convincing as the persistent suitor to Baizura Kahar's feisty Imaan while Pierre Andre's Khalif was a self-effacing 'phantom' who was jealous of her new relationship yet not bold enough to stake his claim.
Muhammad Riefqie's Ashraff was credible as a grieving yet discerning child.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The morning after ...

I must confess that I did join the hordes of motorists who waited in the long queus for last minute fill ups at petrol kiosks last night.
Not so much to take advantage of the pre-revised price*, but simply because my tank was almost empty.
It pained me though to observe the dependency of local motorists on their vehicles, or other 'wonders' of technology for that matter, for their sense of identity or social status.
Perhaps the exorbitant price increase will force us to change and adopt a more eco-friendly life style after all.
Perhaps, from here on, some of my colleagues will stop feeling sorry for me when they see me walking from home to office and back.
Correct me if I'm wrong but economists such as Amartya Sen and Inayatullah have long advocated austere or frugal development policies so as to be kind to our wallets, souls, and Mother Nature.
*For those who don't have to pay for their own petrol consumption, the price of unleaded petrol went up by 41% or 78 sen per litre effective June 5 2008.
=========================================================================================Here's a short excerpt from an article "The freedom to be frugal" by Molly Scott Cato, a lecturer at the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff. She is economics spokesperson for the Green Party in England and Wales and was one of the party's candidates for Wales in the 2004 elections to the European Parliament.
"An unexpected consequence of the relative definition of poverty and the growth dynamic that underlies it is the loss of another freedom: the freedom to be poor. In response to the realisation that the level of consumption of most citizens in the developed world is a threat to the survival of our species, some environmentalists have adopted a frugal lifestyle, yet this can result in disapproval from their neighbours. In an article called 'Poor not Different', the German economist Wolfgang Sachs tells of a visit he made to Mexico City shortly after the 1985 Earthquake. He was impressed by the restoration that had been carried out:
We had expected ruins and resignation, decay and squalor, but our visit had made us think again: there was a proud neighbourly spirit, vigorous activity with small building co-operatives everywhere; we saw a flourishing shadow economy. But at the end of the day, indulging in a bit of stock-taking, the remark finally slipped out: 'It's all very well, but, when it comes down to it, these people are still terribly poor.' Promptly, one of our companions stiffened: 'No somos pobres, somos Tepitanos' ('We are not poor people, we are Tepitans') ... I had to admit to myself in embarrassment that, quite involuntarily, the clich├ęs of development philosophy had triggered my reaction. (Sachs, 1992: 161)
The insult was created by Sachs's assumption that he could impose an objective judgement of poverty, that he could decide from the outside the acceptable standard of living, that he could deprive the Tepitans of their right to be poor. As Sachs concludes, "The stereotyped talk of 'poverty' fails to distinguish, for example, between frugality, destitution and scarcity ... Frugality is the mark of cultures free from the frenzy of accumulation." His conclusion about the Mexican village where he was working was that 'Poverty here is a way of life maintained by a culture which recognizes and cultivates a state of sufficiency; sufficiency only turns into demeaning poverty when pressurized by an accumulating society.' (Sachs, 1992: 161)
Readers can access the full article at

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Start Your Day with P.O.P and Change the World!

The International Museum of Women (I.M.O.W), a non-profit and non-partisan organization, is spearheading an important online campaign to inspire women around the world to connect with other women and spark a global dialogue around the issue of why women's political power matters.
The Power of Politics Campaign (P.O.P) in conjunction with I.M.O.W.'s new global online exhibition Women, Power and Politics is asking women around the world to take part in the exhibition and educate themselves about why women's political participation makes a difference in every woman's life.
The exhibition will showcase historical and contemporary political stories about women in provocative ways just as the spotlight intensifies on groundbreaking campaigns, elections, and leadership of women from Argentina to the United States. The exhibition runs from March 8 - December 31, 2008 in four languages: Arabic, French, English, and Spanish at
Did You Know?
The United States ranks 67th globally in including women in high-ranking political representation? That means that only 16% of the U.S. Congress is comprised of women.*
Out of 200 countries in the world, less than 40 have ever had a woman as a prime minister or president.*
By understanding the historical role of women in politics and learning how women today can influence politics to transform the futures of women and girls, facts such as these will hopefully become obsolete as women ascend to more powerful positions in various political arenas around the world.
The P.O.P campaign has 5 really easy steps that women can take TODAY to help increase their political knowledge, inspire each other to become active in the political process and support women who are interested in running for both informal and formal political positions worldwide:
Step 1: Connect with the Women, Power and Politics global online community of people who are talking to each other 24 hours, 7 days a week about the role of women in politics and how they can use their individual power to help other women.
Step 2: Share with us how politics has shaped your life by submitting stories, poetry, art, photography, political cartoons and/or music to our Women, Power and Politics exhibition at Your submission may be chosen to be included in the worldwide exhibition!
Step 3: Take Action in your own community or help a woman in another country by connecting with one of our community partners at Here you can connect with various organizations and learn how to run for political office, tap into political networks and register to vote among other life-changing activities.
Step 4: Spread the word to your family, friends and colleagues and promote the P.O.P campaign on blogs, your MySpace and Facebook pages and any other online network to which you belong. You can also create links to
Step 5: Donate to the International Museum of Women and help us to continue our work to inspire and connect women around the world at
Take one step or all five and help women globally learn about the importance of the Power of Politics in her life today! Thank you for your support.
* Statistics provided by (1) The Interparlimentary Union Report, 2006 based on U.S. House of Representatives and (2) International Museum of Women Independent Research from the Women, Power and Politics Exhibition 2008.

Monday, June 02, 2008

An Interview With An 80-year-old Woman

The local news station was interviewing an 80-year-old lady because she had just gotten married -- for the fourth time.
The interviewer asked her questions about her life, about what it felt like to be marrying again at 80, and then about her new husband's occupation.
"He's a funeral director," she answered.
"Interesting," the newsman thought. He then asked her if she wouldn't mind telling him a little about her first three husbands and what they did for a living.
She paused for a few moments, needing time to reflect on all those years. After a short time, a smile came to her face and she answered proudly, explaining that she'd first married a banker when she was in her early 20s, then a circus ringmaster when in her 40s, later on a preacher when in her 60s, and now in her 80s, a funeral director.
The interviewer looked at her, quite astonished, and asked why she had married four men with such diverse careers.
She smiled and explained, "I married one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go."
Just hope this joke doesn't offend anyone's sensibility!