Tuesday, 27 April 2010

African Singer Sings in Cantonese and Hokkien in Genting

If you've never heard an African sing in Chinese, Cantonese or Hokkien, don't worry, you're not alone. Neither have I, until two days ago. Tony, our buddy who's a weekly Genting visitor, has been telling us about an African singer who can sing in Chinese, Cantonese and Hokkien beautifully, with perfect pronunciation. 

Last Sunday, we had a chance to witness this 'phenomena'. Phenomenal because it's not usual to come across an African who sings in Chinese language or dialects, and he could do both.

Phillip is an African who has lived in Hong Kong for the past twenty-five years. He is married to a Chinese, and has a 3-year-old boy. I would describe him as a very entertaining performer. He likes to interact with the crowd by getting off the stage and going onto the floor. He even remembered Tony, telling him in Cantonese "wa yin tak le" (I recognise you). Tony, if you're reading this, I'm not sure if it's a compliment to be recognised as a weekly Genting visitor....LOL. 

So, if you haven't seen Phillip in action yet, do drop by at Genting before May 9, 2010. His shows are at:
- Celebrity Lounge (the stage at Hollywood): 5:45pm and 10:30pm
- International Room (for silver card members): 6:45pm 
- Starworld (at First World Hotel): 7:45pm
(Daily performances except Tuesdays)

He will be flying back to Hong Kong on May 9, and won't be coming back, so don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, brought to you courtesy of Genting.....the show is FREE, in case you don't know how to read between the lines!  :)

Here's a little 'snippet' to show how the audience in Genting appreciates Phillip's rendition.....even the show manager is not immune.......  

Many thanks to the show manager who very kindly allowed me to record & photograph the show, and gave me the additional info on Phillip.

Lastly, I'll be back in Genting on Friday, on the Labour Day Eve, to watch Phillip and the fireworks display. While playing Three Picture, I was dealt with just that.....3 picture cards. I didn't even know that I had got a free room until a very kind player next to me told me that. Neither the croupier nor the floor supervisor (not sure what his official title is) observing the game told me that I was entitled to a room, nor was there any notice displayed to that effect. Had that fellow player not told me, I would not have known. 

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Malaysia Excels At Giving Inaccurate Figures To Look Good

Last night, while watching American Idol - Idol Gives Back, a two-and-a-half episode with big names like Sir Elton John, Mary J. Bligh, Black Eyed Peas, Carrie Underwood, Alicia Keyes, Annie Lennox and a duet performance by Joss Stone and Jeff Black, I kept hearing this: "one in six people in America are living in poverty". 

This can't be true, I told myself. If it's true, it's a very high figure. The poverty rate in America surely can't be 16%. I decided to check for verification, and found that, YES, America's poverty rate is between 13% to 17%, at any given time. 

Curious, I compared it with Malaysia's official poverty rate of 5.1%.

And what I found is this:

1. The US poverty threshold - those considered living in poverty actually own a telephone, a car, a home (albeit a trailer home), a microwave oven, in other words, items considered basic necessities.

2. Malaysia poverty threshold - only those with a household income of less than RM500 in a family of four is considered to be living in poverty.

Hello!!!! This figure is unrealistic. A monthly rental of a small low-cost flat ranges from RM450 to RM650, depending on area. Near towns, it would be RM650. 

Anyone earning below RM1000 (I'm not even mentioning combined household income) would have difficulty making ends meet. Why do you think those who earned RM1000 from one job has another part-time job? Why do you think those with a household income of RM2000 need part-time jobs to supplement their income if they can make ends meet? 

Let's take a real good look at the raw data. 

There are 5.8 million households in 2007. Out of these:
1. 8.6% of the households had a monthly income below RM1,000
2. 29.4% had between RM1,000 and RM2,000
3. 19.8% earned between RM2,001 and RM3,000
4. 12.9% earned between RM3,001 and RM4,000
5. 8.6% had between RM4,001 and RM5,000
6. 15.8% had an income of between RM5,001 and RM10,000
7. 4.9% had an income of RM10,000 and above
(source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Malaysia)

What is a fact is that, with development & urbanization, any family of four with a household income of less than RM2,000 is not likely to make ends meet, and they are not going to be able to own a car or a home. And if you have a car and a home, RM3,000 is barely enough for a family of four. So, how could a household income of RM500 be the poverty threshold??!!

And RM5001 and RM10000 should not be lumped into one income range. There is a huge disparity of what a household income of RM5001 cannot afford which a household income of RM10000 can afford. Ask the man on the street and he'll tell you that surviving on a RM5001 household income is not easy.....why else do office executives with a combined household income of RM5,000 work part-time after office hours? 

So, what should the poverty rate in Malaysia be in order to reflect the actual state of affairs? On a very conservative level, I would say 38%, although 57.8% would be far more accurate. That brings us back to the time of independence in 1957 when half of the country’s households were living below the national poverty line, with very little changed up to 1970, at which time 49 per cent of households were poor. (source http://www.undp.org.my/malaysia-measuring-and-monitoring-poverty-and-inequality)

Conclusion: Nothing has changed till today. Half of Malaysia's households are still living in poverty, like it or not. Rather than spend time trying to window-dress and hide the brutal facts, the government should instead work on solutions to increase the income of Malaysians.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

The Moon Has Passed.....

If you have been watching Chuno, a Korean historical drama, you would know one of the OST called The Moon Has Passed by Beige.....well, last night I couldn't resist taking a photo of the moon as it was super bright and reminds me of the song.

~~Credit to Sammi Wu~~

Thanks to my good friend, Sowon Zio, who took the trouble to hunt down the lyrics, romanized and English translation.... :))

English Translation(by 1minute.1second)
Even if my heart cries, I can't go
with my clumsy self.
When the scent of a lovely flower lingers,
and the birds' song is silenced,
is this all a vanishing dream?

The moon is crying sadly,
The moon is smiling sadly,
Like your two teary eyes,
Like my withering dreams.
The wind is blowing, the wind blows together
Even when the lovely flowers wilt and becomes stars
My heart is still by your side.

The person who left behind pain
My foolishness bring me to tears
Like yesterday's radiant sun
and your brilliant smile,
is it all just a dream
that's buried in the winter's sorrows?

The moon is crying sadly,
The moon is smiling sadly,
Like your two teary eyes,
Like my withering dreams.
The wind is blowing, the wind blows together
Even when the lovely flowers wilt and becomes stars
My heart is still by your side.

The wind is blowing, the wind blows together
Even when the lovely flowers wilt and becomes stars
My heart is still by your side.