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Showing posts from July, 2011

For the Same Reason

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When I went to Taiping Sentral on Sunday, I happened to meet a friend who asked me if I know of anyone who could teach French. My friend's daughter had wanted to learn French and I asked aloud, why French, of all languages. For me, it is always better to learn Tamil since there is a large Indian population here and Thai would be the next best. There are local Thais living in little Thai villages and while a number of them could speak Chinese, particularly, the Hokkien dialect, Thailand is not too far away in the north and learning Thai would come in handy when one is to visit Haadyai or Bangkok. My friend's daughter said French is an international language and it would do good to learn it. I suppose learning Mandarin would be good too then, the latter being an international language too; but that aside, I wonder now if my friend's daughter could speak Mandarin. It would not surprised me if she, like some people, places English high up the pedestal and refuses to learn Mand…

Lady with a Hat

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If you are talking about a lady with a whip, you'd probably think of Ann-Margret, the star of the 1964 movie, Kitten with a whip, or even Argentina's political leader, Eva Perón who was featured in the 1952 book, Woman with the whip or even Lady Gaga who presented Beyonce a diamond-studded whip on her birthday; but this is lady with a hat or rather hats - Fong Fei Fei, the Taiwanese singer who always appear on stage with a variety of hats. The lady has been in the entertainment business for 40 years and her hats which exceeded 600, are systematically numbered in a computer database. I remember having seen a tear-jerker which Fong Fei Fei starred in, Chu Lien in which former Asian movie king, Ker Chung Hsiung played a bad guy. Then, of course, I also remember reading about her being robbed at home and having stripped naked and had her photo taken. Fong Fei Fei was most popular as a singer and a variety show host in Taiwan during the 1970s and 80s and some of her evergreen songs…

Weird Names

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David Duchovny of X-files and his wife, Tea Leoni called their son Kyd which doesn't sound so bad if you consider some other Hollywood celebrities calling their children weird names like Sage Moonblood, Buddy Bear Maurice, Poppy Honey Rosie, Daisy Boo Pamela, Destry and even Petal Blossom Rainbow. Celebrities purportedly give their children weird names to stay in the limelight. You'd probably think then that normal people would not give their children weird names too but eons ago, I have read in the local papers about Chinese parents giving names as strange as alpha, beta and gamma to their children and a Chinese boy somewhere in Malaysia even got to be called Jebat Arjuna or something as strange as that. It would be understable if the Chinese boy is an Indonesian as the law there requires that an Indonesian Chinese must have an Indonesian name. Widow of the late kung fu star Alexander Fu Sheng, Jenny Tseng reportedly, for her sheer love for music, had named her daughter Melod…

Hospital with a Past

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During the 9 July Bersih 2.0 rally in Kuala Lumpur, protestors reportedly ran into the compound of Tung Shin Hospital to seek refuge from the tear gas that was fired near Jalan Pudu. Tung Shin Hospital, formerly called Pooi Shin Thong, was founded in 1881 by Kapitan Cina Yap Kwan Seng. The hospital used to provide Chinese traditional medical care for patients but nowadays, do provide Western medical services as well. The hospital aims to render health services to the general public irrespective of race, creed or religion and even provide free medical treatments to poor patients, making funeral arrangements for those patients who have no next of kin even. Chinese have set up other hospitals in Malaysia as well. Most notable perhaps is Penang's Lam Wah Ee Hospital, the brainchild of some Chinese community leaders. Lesser known would be Taiping's Chinese Pauper hospital. Used to be called Yong Wah Hospital, the hospital was established in 1880 and was in fact, the first to be est…