M203 Diary

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Conversion blues

One of the main attraction of australia to work in Australia, aside from the amazingly short hours, is the strength of the dollar compared to countries close to home...one dreams of working the years, and then shipping the money back, with a x3 sign after whatever you have saved...images of bangalows, beach houses, continental cars, early retirement....

.....Then the financial meltdown came along, and asian countries started dumping the aussie dollar...

Jan 2007: Conversion rate when i started clinical years in Australia

1 dollar= 2.8 ringgit

July 2008: Conversion rate when i had to pay my last semester fees (and when I consoled my dad that I will be paying him back the amount in that same conversion rate)

1 dollar= 3.17 ringgit


1 dollar= 2.24 ringgit

Also today....

1 aussie dollar= 0.935 Sing Dollar

I can find a fancy saying, a famous quote, a philosophical statement to describe this situation...but i choose this one:

- Anoymous who was screwed by the current economical turmoil-


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Datuk Galore

One might wonder what is the criteria for being conferred Datukship in Malaysia? There are 13 states in Malaysia and it seems each of the ceremonial heads of states have to power to confer titles to whom they see fit...and judging by the pages and pages of names being given Tan Sri's, Dato's, Datuks and what not's, at the rate we are going, almost all Malaysians will be conferred something sooner or later....

Correct me if i'm wrong, but aren't these titles given to CITIZENS of MALAYSIA whom has contributed greatly for the betterment of society? Yes they can be artists, scientists, politicians, businessmen, doctors, etc, but they must have done something to make an impact on Malaysia, boost our image, improve healthcare, abolished ISA, won the world cup.....

Recently the royal families took a liking on conferring Datukships to celebrities. Well you can argue Datuk Siti Nurhuliza did do our nation proud in the SEA scene (that might be pushing it though). And then there was Datuk Micheal Yeoh, who fled the country for greener pastures of HK, so much so that the first time I found out the she was Malaysian was when our local newspapers screamed "MALAYSIAN BOND GIRL!". Well now she I can understand, she does promote Malaysia (in-exchange for money no doubt) and did put us on the map, but her partner, Datuk Jean Todt, now that's a toughie...he's not Malaysian, and he did nothing for Malaysia...well maybe he gave some discount for some of the ferrari's....and increase the import of ferrari's to Malaysia, thats contributing kan?

Now lo and behold, a foreign born artist named Shah Rukh Khan, is going to be conferred Darjah Mulia Seri Melaka (DMSM) which carries the title datuk. Awesome...lets track back and see what was his "contribution" to Malaysia...

...he shot a movie in A'famosa resort...

Gee...If thats the case Malaysia owe lotsa foreign born actors Datukships, Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones (in Entrapment), Chow Yun Fatt and Jodie Foster (Anna and the King), and heeps of others which i can't recall. It just boggles my mind when I think of the criteria in which datukship is conferred...I betcha the conversation from his publicity manager would sound like this...(Malaysianized...since he is gonna be given a Malaysian award)

Manager: Hey Shah!
Shah: Hey macha! long time no see! Got some new lubang for me to earn money?
Manager: Nola dei...you remember we went to Malaysia sometime ago?
Shah: Malaysia? Never heard before la macha...
Manager: Eh what is this la dei...you went there shot 1 film before....
Shah: *pauses"...kenot remember la...I shot so many films la...be more specific
Manager: There, that one near Singapore wan...
Shah: Ahhhh! Singapore I heard before....
Manager: alah...dei....You shot One 2 Ka 4 there la at the beach..
Shah: Oh yeah....now I remember...there was this babe there that I........
Manager: ........Anyway I got a call from some King there la...
Shah: Ehhh....don't tell me that babe is the kings daugther la macha, I din't do anything la macha...serious....we just had discussion in my room oni....
Manager: Nola relax la bro....not about that...apparently its the king's birthday la...
Shah: ohhhh....don't scare me la bro....so why this king call? He wan me go there sing? tell him usual price la, since is king i give discount 5%
Manager: Nola boss, he want give u some title or something la apparently
Shah: title? wat title?
Manager: its called "Latuk"
Shah: Latuk? What's that?
Manager: Dunno, i look up dictionary it says it means an old man with grandchildren....
Shah: WHAT? $#*$)(@...they calling me an old man???!!! And I knocked up a girl????!!!!!

Ok its a bit lame, but the point is, he doesn't know jack about Malaysia, and he contributed nothing to Malaysia...what merits him the title of datukship?

Here's the CM of Malacca's explaination:

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the decision to confer the title on the actor was based on a suggestion by former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin to Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob recently as a means to further promote Malacca owing to the fact that the actor had shot a movie scene here several years ago.

He said the movie One 2 ka 4 was shot at the A Famosa Resort in Alor Gajah in 2001.

“This resulted in many people visiting Malacca since then. The award is given in recognition of this,” he said after the awards presentation ceremony on Saturday.

Mohd Ali said awarding international artistes was also a good way to promote the state and country as a location for movies."

Maybe I should star in a movie in Windsor Castle in the UK and get the title "Sir"