Friday, December 31, 2004

The Year 2004

Today, the year 2004 is going to leave us, and we will be welcoming 2005 tomorrow, with the hope that it will bring us a new beginning, a new start. Lot of things have happened in the year 2004, both happy and sad, grief and joy. I list some of the things that you may or may not remember that happened in 2004...

I started blogging this year in the month of June. I have been following Jeff Ooi's blog ever since he started it a couple of years ago. Then earlier this year, I discovered Project Petaling Street, and I was so surprised and excited that there are so many Malaysians keeping a blog. So I decided to give a try. After some investigations and a few clicks later, I got my free Blogger account.

According to Merriam-Webster, Blog (short for weblog - a combination of 'web' and 'log') is a web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer. The US dictionary publisher has also chosen 'Blog' to be the Number 1 Word of the Year 2004.

We learnt about Tsunami the hard way. As I was typing this, the death tolls of the Indian Ocean Tsunami is still climbing, with new bodies being found. According to Wikipedia, Tsunami, from Japanese meaning 'harbour wave', is one or a series of deep water ocean waves that can occur after a large earthquake (having a vertical component of movement), seaquake, volcanic activity, landslide, slumps, or meteorite impacts in or near the sea. The Indian Ocean Tsunami was triggered when a massive earthquake at the moment magnitude of 9.0 struck the Indian Ocean off the western coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia. A series of tsunamis, with speed up to 800km/h, ravaged coastal regions all over Indian Ocean, including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Maldives, Somalia, Tanzania, Seychelles, Bangladesh, Kenya, South Africa, and Madagascar.

So what is more destructive and can caused more damage than a tsunami? A MEGA-Tsunami!! It is a very rare tsunami of more than 100 meters high, and normally caused by a very large landslide into a vast body of water, such as an ocean.

GMail is a free web-based email service provided by Google. It was announced on 31st March 2004, and launched 1st April and it is still in Beta testing. One of the main features of GMail is it's 1 Gigabyte of free storage space. I got my GMail account from Zhi Xin of Odds and Ends. And I am using it for the emails for my blog. I have since sent out invitations to friends and family, as well as my reader out there. And I still have 10 invitations. For those who are interested, drop me an email!

You can do it in a Kancil
On August 2004, Malaysian found out that you can actually have sex in the back seat of a Kancil, a small and cram car. A 20-year old woman was having her 'Lambada' lesson with her lover, when two 'intruders' tapped on the window of the vigorously shaking car. The buck-naked woman, immediately, jumped from the backseat into the driver's seat, and sped off - without realising that the intruders' motorcycle was parked in front of her car. So she rammed into it, and dragged it for several miles.

The intruders turned out to be 2 policemen who were on their rounds. And they found their bike 6 km away.

The Minister and his Space-Age Carbon
"MRR2 is falling down...falling down....falling down...."
On August 2004, the 2-year old Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) in Kuala Lumpur was closed when structural problems were detected on the 1.7km flyover between the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) interchange and the Taman Bukit Maluri interchange. Consultants from the Monash University and another from Germany studied the bridge and they recommended further studies and immediate repairs. Not satisfied, the Works Minister engaged a third independent consultant to find out what's wrong. It turned out to be caused by design deficiencies, which the minister had been denying. The public cried fowl, because it's still a new bridge of 2 years. The Anti Corruption Agency made their investigation, and I am still waiting for the outcome. At one point, the minister said they will used "space-age carbon fibre" to repair the bridge, although I very much doubt he know what it is. 3 months later the flyover was re-open, and no mentioned of the "space-age carbon fibre".

"I was mis-quoted."
...was the most favourite statements made by various ministers and government officials in 2004.

Superman died on 10 October 2004, after suffering a cardiac arrest and fell into a coma. Christopher Reeve was 52. n May 1995, he broke his neck during an equestrian competition when he was thrown from his horse. He was left almost completely paralysed and bound to a wheelchair. With help of friends and loved ones, he fought back and emerged from his tragedy and became a passionate advocate of spinal cord research, especially on behalf of fellow sufferers of spinal cord injuries. He also returned to acting and won himself a Screen Actors Guild Award. He played Superman in all 4 movies of Superman. A Superman in films, a Superman in real life.

David vs Goliath
It began when a commentator, nickname 'Anwar' made a remark in a 'somewhat unknown blogger' Jeff Ooi's Screenshot weblog, equated Islam Hadhari with faeces and urine. Jeff responded by immediately cautioning 'Anwar' and banned him from the commenting system. However, one day later, Berita Harian vilified Screenshots on frontpage and blamed the blogger, instead of the commentator, for allowing such statement to be published. Soon, various politicians and a news agency based in Jalan Riong were beginning to 'bash the blogger'. Malaysian bloggers soon rallied behind Jeff, giving him support. Mimos was directed to investigate the matter by the Energy, Water and Communications Minister, who was clearly not happy with how certain medias were playing up the issue. The medias then slowly got off Jeff's back and concentrated on 'Anwar' instead. 'Anwar' was later identified and .... well, nothing. I am still waiting for the actions there are going to take on 'Anwar'.

The real Anwar
Anwar Ibrahim was freed on 2 September 2004, when the Federal Court overturned Anwar's sodomy conviction in the year 2000. His adopted brother Sukma Darmawan Sasmitaat Madja, who had been convicted of the same offence, was also freed. The talk on the street was that there was a deal between Anwar and the PM, which both of them denied.

Best Actress
And the Oscar for the Best Actress Award goes to........Datuk Sharifah Aini!!
On the night of 14 October 2004, Sharifah Aini was driving her Mercedes Benz in Bandar Utama, near TV3 building, when two men on a motorcycle signalled her to stop. When she pulled over and wound down her window, the two men approached her, grabbed her and pulled her hair. She was then dragged out of her car and beaten up. The men even injected her with some liquid twice, on her neck and her arm. They then pushed her into the drain. A passer-by spotted her crying in the drain and went to her aid. She was then sent to the hospital. "I thought I was going to die!" she said. The news on TV interviewed her in the hospital and she was still in shocked, with bruises on her arms. The police were called in to investigate. However, their investigation revealed otherwise. There was no evidence of the two guys on motorcycle. The only thing visible from the image of the TV3 building surveillance CCTV, which was surprisingly in working condition, was her Mercedes Benz. Tests on her blood samples also turned out negative for any foreign substance, and the doctors could not find any wound/holes caused by the syringe. The police kept saying they are finalising their investigation report, and I am still waiting for the result.

Malaysian Idol
Jaclyn Victor was announced the first Malaysian Idol when the show ended on October 2004 after 6 months of competition. Jac, 25 of Kepong, KL received a whopping 76% of the total vote of nearly 1 million SMS, beating Faradina Mohd Nadzir. She won a BMG recording contract and a chance to perform at World Idol. When 8tv's Chief Operating Officer, Ahmad Izham Omar, was saying ‘For all we know, the first Malaysian Idol could be from Kepong!’ while launching Malaysian Idol show, he had no idea he had hit the jackpot.

Papimami's readers
Last but not least, blogging has given me the opportunities to know some of the wonderful people out there who read my blog. Some of them have a blog of their own (which I thoroughly enjoy), some don't (or maybe thinking of starting one?), while some others prefer to be a silent reader. Whoever you are, I really appreciated your support.

Sometime, at the end of the day, Mami will come to me..

Mami : Eh? Got people comment already lar.

Papi : Is it?

Mami : Ya, 2 comments, very funny one.

Papi : OK, I will reply to them later...

Mami : So what u want to say ah? Can't wait..

She is more excited than me.. :)

Well, if you asked me what is the best thing you get from writing a blog, the greatest feeling is when people are coming and reading your blog. It feels good. A sense of achievement.

I am taking this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude and thanks for all my readers out there. For those who have commented and emailed us, I appreciate your comments and ideas. Please continue to do so, and I will continue to keep this blog alive for as long as I could.

Thank you again and have a very Happy New Year!!

Good Bye 2004, Hello 2005!

From Papi, Mami and Yiyi.