Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dedication to a friend

Dear friend
The relationship has gone sour
I don't know when it happened
Don't know why or how
And now we're apart

We used to finish sentences
Used to predict the other's actions
I thought I knew what I was to you
But I can't read you anymore
And you don't know me as well as you did

Talking to you is no longer fun
Our laughs so put on
You seem annoyed with me all the time
Is that my fault or yours?

Are you bored of me?
Or the friendship? 

I feel used
Taken for granted
You probably don't know this
Probably don't care

Should I tell you how
It hurts
The answer is - "nah"

I'm not in the business of changing people
I'm not your mom, your handler
I'm not responsible for your actions, and neither you me
So I keep quiet, seethe
It'll be over soon anyway

Why spoil something that's already broken?
We are at a crossroads
We'll part soon
And never meet, or maybe once
Best thing is

You won't really miss me
I'll just keep this to myself, terpendam
As I always do
And you'll go on to live your life, as you always have

I admire how you're like a butterfly
So many friends, everyone loves you

Just so sad to think
All we had
Was really nothing at all
The good times
No more than a useless memory

So goodbye dear
Let's meet once more on that fateful day
And say our goodbyes
Maybe take a few pictures, I'll put them on FB
You'll look lovely, don't worry
And I'll pretend to smile

Saturday, November 13, 2010

ASTRO Challenge 2010

We were handpicked by Limkokwing to attend the ASTRO Challenge that took place just this week. By "we", I mean me, Anne, Kar Woon and Leeza (yeah, our FTV group for the last two semesters - I also wonder how we're always stuck together =p)

Apparently they selected us according to our CGPA. Does that mean we're the top students? Hohoho... *John is erchui-ing* Because only our group was picked from BA Mass Comm! And Geraldine too. The rest of the participants were from other faculties and the Limkokwing degrees.

Anne goofing around at lunch

Anyway, you might be wondering what this "ASTRO Challenge" is all about. I was too, but when I Googled it nothing turned up in my search. So I'm writing this partly as a resource for future participants who might wish to know more about it before attending the event, because we were sure as heck clueless, and our Limkokwing lecturers didn't reveal much either.

The ASTRO Challenge is basically organized by the HR department together with an external recruitment cum training consultancy to find and recruit young talent. Those who pass the "test" earn an internship that could eventually lead to a permanent job with ASTRO. They are running this activity with several universities and I think Limkokwing was the second batch after UITM.

Its a two-day program that takes place at the All Asia Broadcast Centre (AABC), Astro's headquarters and main broadcast station. On the first day we had, of course, a tour of the facilities! That means we got to see the Master Control Room, the AMP radio studios (home of Mix, Hitz, My, Light and various other FM stations) and even the call center division. That was pretty cool la since even their own employees don't get full access around ASTRO like we did.

We were then put into groups and assigned various tasks such as a memory and a strategy game. The latter was rather like monopoly as we had to cross this map while balancing our finances, terrorist attacks, the weather and many other obstacles! These were designed to test our leadership skills and how fast we think on our feet. They were closely observing the contribution of each and every individual.

The "big" challenge of the day, however, was to create a product or service for ASTRO based on a given brief. We essentially had one night to brainstorm, prepare the slides and present it to a panel of judges (head of departments at ASTRO) the next morning. Prizes would be awarded to the team with the best thought-out idea.

Guess what, we didn't win! Leeza and Anne were in my group. I thought Kar Woon's group should've won, but they didn't either. But everyone got goodie bags anyway. We were also asked to do a personality profile test and group profile test. The personality test was the best thing because Anne, Leez, KW, and I discovered that each of us completed the four personality types - which is probably why we work well as a group!

All in all, it was a fascinating two days and I've certainly learnt a lot about myself and made new friends as well. Good luck to future participants of the ASTRO Challenge!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

At the CSM-ACE 2010 (pt 2)

The second speaker at the CSM-ACE 2010 was IT consultant S. A. Khor.

The very funny Mr S. A. Khor. His picture's a bit small, sorry!

Mr Khor had a personal story to tell. Alicia was a teenaged girl, his daughter's friend. It all started when she got an iPhone for her birthday.

On Monday, she Tweeted: "Daddy just bought a BMW X5!"

On Tuesday, she Tweeted: "Driver is picking me up in the Merz today, X5 hasn't arrived yet".

On Wednesday, she Tweeted: "I don't want to go to music class in 1U!"

And on Thursday, she Tweeted that the driver was late to pick her up for ballet class.

This went on until Christmas Eve of 2009, the day in which she disappeared.

True enough, she was made vulnerable via her social networking sites. The crooks could find out from her Facebook page what she looked like, her birth date, family members, address, and her school. And from the photos she took during her birthday, they probably found out if her house had dogs, CCTVs or guards as well.

Not only that, they could obtain her current location from Foursquare and Twitter.

Thankfully for Alicia, she was released five days later - but not before her father paid a hefty ransom. She was unhurt.

This is just one example of the kind of trouble you can get into when too much of your personal information is freely available on the net. So set those privacy settings on FB to the max - its no joke what people will do to take advantage of your ignorance.

Of course, this doesn't mean you should delete your Twitter account this instant, but just be careful that your online activities don't leak out precious information to would-be hackers and criminals.

Final tip from Mr Khor: verify every information you receive from cyberspace at least three times. You know those wacky emails about what fruits prevent cancer or how to unlock your car door using a mobile phone? Don't be a fool and repeat these things hook, line and sinker - check it out first! Its as easy going to Google and typing in several keywords.

Especially email addresses - one person can be 10 people online. He showed us about 12 different email addresses that could possibly belong to badminton player Lee Chong Wei and asked to guess which was genuine. FYI, one address was set up by his friend's son to play a prank on his classmates.

With that, I conclude my report on the CSM-ACE 2010. Hope you found it useful, and remember: you can't be a victim of the net, but you can be a victim of ignorance. Now go fix those privacy settings!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

At the CSM-ACE 2010

I was recently invited to attend this event called the CyberSAFE Ambassadors Convention held at the KL Convention Centre.

The convention is part of Cyber Security Malaysia's week-long Awards, Conference and Exhibition (CSM-ACE) outreach program to educate the public about safe internet usage. FYI, Cyber Security Malaysia (CSM) is an agency under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) that is in charge of our country's cyber security.

If you're thinking "why should I care?", well here's why: so much of our lives is spent online now - on Facebook, on Twitter, blogs, Foursquare and countless other "social networking" sites. Have you ever thought that maybe you're not so safe online? Ever wondered if people can find everything they need to know about you from your FB profile to plan a kidnapping? It’s all very real, and that's why CSM has organized this series of events.

Anyway, the convention I attended was a platform for four notable experts on IT security to share their knowledge with us non net-savvy folk. I managed to catch two speakers and was honestly surprised at how much I DIDN’T know about online security. First up was Mr Azli Paat who talked about SMS and internet scams.


I remember my dad getting an SMS claiming he had "won" a big cash prize from Shell. So he replied with a text message saying he'd forward the message and their number to Shell. Bad move. According to Azli, whenever you receive such SMSes you SHOULD NOT REPLY as it will be a sign to the scammers that your number is active. The same thing for bogus emails. Do not try to be smart by contacting or threatening them; instead forward the message to RakanCop at 32728.

Here's how: start your SMS with RC and insert the offending message. The police are obliged to respond as it is part of their KPI to do so. Alternately, you can send an email to aduan@mmcp.org.my - this is the complaints email for the 
Malaysian Mobile Content Providers Association. 


For internet scams, a good way to check if a bank account number is valid is to simply Google it. If the number exists in Google, it is a scammed account. I think it’s because internet businesses are not supposed to reveal their account numbers online. Azli also joked that the "http" in URLs is short for "have to type properly".

As for internet banking, you're supposed to insert the exact URL of the e-banking website. Some links could fool you into thinking they're the real thing, so be cautious and use only the URL provided by your bank.

Finally, try not to use public computers or public WiFi for internet banking. There is such a thing as “DNS poisoning” where a hacker hijacks public WiFi servers. If you absolutely must transfer money to your LV-loving girlfriend/boyfriend via public internet, switch the server settings to "Open DNS" to avoid this problem.

That's all from me for part 1 of the CyberSAFE Ambassadors Convention! Stay tuned for the next post in which an IT consultant relates how his daughter's friend was kidnapped after some careless Tweets. :-)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My Car

I like sitting in my car
listening to the pitter patter of rain in my car
turning on the radio in my car
dozing off in my car

I like driving in my car
the rush of overtaking roadhogs in my car
seeing the blue sky in my car
contemplating life in my car

The only thing I don't like
is how my car likes fuel

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Blog Post Terkini

Its been awhile since the last post, I know. Now I finally have something for you to laugh at.

We were asked to do this writing exercise in journalism class, which is to write one paragraph with the theme "About Me". Macam tugasan tadika pulak. But our lecturer actually had a really good reason for this. Anyway, here's what I wrote:

I grew up in a farm near the sleepy town of Kuala Linsing. There was no Facebook from where I came, no Twitter or YouTube, and definitely no internet, so we entertained ourselves by climbing trees and playing in the nearby stream. It was an idyllic childhood. Besides my 20 brothers and sisters , we had a pet sheep and pet lion in the backyard which we were quite fond of. Being farm kids, mom and dad enlisted us in daily chores like planting and harvesting. Our days were filled gathering blueberries and blackberries, green beans and jellybeans. As an aside, my parents hosted Martians from Planet Wadaheck. They often visited us in the summer and brought goodies. Sometimes it was baseball bats or a herd of cattle, and other times books from England. Overall, I'd say it was the best time of my life. 

The lecturer didn't get to read it, I think she would have flipped! Hope you enjoyed it! ;D


Friday, June 18, 2010

To Joash

Still can't believe it. Nope, still won't accept it. Today, I discovered that my friend, Joash Wee, died in a car accident on the Jalan Kuantan-Segamat highway.

Not only him, but his father, three siblings and grandmother also perished in the accident, leaving only his mother and two siblings alive, but barely. Worst of all, it was probably no fault of theirs - a trailer had collided with them. As a friend said on Facebook, "It's so hard to find much comfort or meaning in so utterly senseless an accident".

What was most difficult for me, however, was that I had to get this information from a newspaper. Not from a friend, or a relative, but from a cold-sounding, clinical news report. It's certainly hard to find any comfort in that. If you hear it from a friend, at least they break it to you gently, but from a newspaper? It was so surreal. How can someone you know pass away and you find out through the newspaper?!

I'm still in denial. How did such a thing happen to so precious a life? He was only 23. He just finished the last semester of his Mass Communication degree at Taylor's College, and hadn't even attended his convocation. I just saw pictures of him on Facebook at his Christian Fellowship's farewell party, because he was graduating. He just sent me a thoughtful birthday message a month ago. I just spoke to him in January.

We met on the first day of our citizen journalism training course at Malaysiakini, in 2008. I immediately liked him; he was friendly, affable, easygoing. Always had a kind word and a big smile. It's obvious he's touched the lives of many, just look at the endless tributes and messages on his Facebook page and the "In memory of" page his friends started, which has over 1,110 members now.

To be honest, I didn't know him that well, or that long. I didn't know what to feel at first. Should I be distraught? I wasn't - we weren't that close. But I guess we all need to grieve in our own little way, in some way. I was in the office, browsing the morning papers when I found out. I didn't have the time to be depressed, not in the office.

Now I'm home writing this, hoping I will be comforted in some way. My prayers go to his mom and siblings who are still in the hospital. May God bless them, give them peace and solitude at this time, and healing.

To Joash, I wish we had more time. If only circumstances were a little different, we might have been great friends. But I'm thankful, thankful you've gone to be with the Lord. We will meet again, someday, soon. Perhaps God loved you too much. Yes, 23 years on this Earth might have been too short for us, but not for Him. In this time, you have touched many a soul and lifted many a weary spirit. Your smile, your inner joy that radiates from a genuine place in your heart, will be remembered and cherished for as long as we have breath.

Dear brother, no more words can express how I feel. Rest, for you have gone to be with the Lord. I will dearly miss you. Perhaps this will sink in tomorrow, or the next day, but not now, not yet.