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MV Doulos Last Sunday

27 July, 2006 | Written by Patchay at 4:23 PM in

I visited MV Doulos at Star Cruises Terminal, Port Klang (Malaysia) on 23 July 2006. Built in 1914 (2 years younger than the Titanic!), Doulos is recognised in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest active ocean-going passenger ship.

MV Doulos at Port Klang

The Ramblings --- My first impression of this ship was: Gosh! It isn't that big after all! It looks more like a frigate or destroyer or something like that?...lol. Also, I was wondering what in the world is that huge white ball thingy "hanging" on the upper deck of the ship. Isn't it a radar system?

I and of course hundreds more waited in a long long not moving queue before we could get onboard the ship. Some people waited for more than 3 hours (during weekends mah) and guess what happened when it was about their turn to be on the ship? Astonishingly, they turned back and headed to the carpark. Reason: Too hot. The last thing I knew when I got out of the ship was that I had 4 new books under my arms.

Thousands of people lined up under this structure

A bit of History --- The original ship was renamed Doulos after which she was purchased in 1977 by Gute Bücher für Alle e.V. (Good Books for All), a private, non-profit and charitable organisation based in Germany. Since 1977, the ship has travelled to more than 100 countries, welcoming more than 18 million people onboard.

The modern Doulos is now home to the world's largest floating book fair and being acknowledged as the ship of Knowledge, Help, Hope and (also) Unity.

As usual, I'm the photographer...

The Truth --- Staffed by over 300 volunteers representing almost every part of the world, Doulos carries a goodwill message to all ports that she visits. Besides supplying more than 6,000 quality literature titles across many great oceans, the ship continues to promote good understanding between different cultures and (at the same time) sharing a message of hope in God wherever there is opportunity.

Asia's Next Top Male Models

For more pics, visit http://patchay.multiply.com/photos/album/54.


In coming weeks, I'll post topics on current affairs such as the Middle East crisis, perhaps other interesting things that make news in Asia. I apologize for irregular posting and unusual posting pattern.

As Patchay@Blogspot continously seek to increase its overseas readership through various blogging forums, we (the editors) would appreciate if you kindly send us your feedback regarding this website. That's all for today and have fun reading!

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Tsunami Again

18 July, 2006 | Written by Patchay at 10:23 PM in

The Java Tsunami

A 2m-high tsunami crashed into beach resorts and fishing villages of Pangandaran, south coast of Java island Monday, killing at least 315 people (including foreign tourists) and leaving more than 160 missing after no warning alerts were issued. Many hundreds more were injured and treated in local hospitals.

A magnitude 7.7 earthquake triggered the killer wave, and it was the worst after the devastating 2004 Asian tsunami.

Thousands of homes were flattened and bodies were seen under piles of debris. Thousands of people also fled their homes, either because they were destroyed or in fear of another tsunami.

It was reported that frantic tourists and villagers shouted "Tsunami! Tsunami!" as the wave more than 6 feet high approached. Some climbed trees or fled to higher ground to escape while others crowded into inland mosques to pray.

The warning system installed by the Indonesian government after the 2004 tsunami was not effective as it is still in the preliminary stages, covering only certain parts of Sumatera island.

Just seven weeks ago, Java island was hit by a 5.9-magnitude earthquake that killed more than 5,800 people. Thereafter, the nation was frequently rattled by series of aftershocks. The reason for these quakes is because Indonesia sits on the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire"," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

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Avian Flu in Asia

17 July, 2006 | Written by Patchay at 10:24 PM in

The H5N1 Avian Flu Strain

"Achuuu (sneezing)...I have bird flu!" That is what I jokingly said, and people will start running away from you. Also, has it become a taboo subject when we talk about spreadable diseases in Asia? Well, here are some news articles I found about the so-called cure (vaccine) for the disease produced by two Asian giants.

India and China develop bird flu vaccine
People's Daily July 2006

The High Security Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal of India has developed a vaccine for avian flu, according to local newspaper The Pioneer Tuesday.

The vaccine was developed following the outbreak of avian influenza in certain parts of western Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra, early this year, the newspaper said by quoting official source.
Gulf News December 2005

China will begin mass-production of a new bird flu vaccine for poultry by the end of the month that could also help in the development of a vaccine to protect people.

The new vaccine - 1 billion shots of which are expected to have been produced by year-end - will be used alongside existing vaccines from next year, the China Daily said on Monday, quoting chief veterinarian Jia Youling.

In addition to being injected, it can be administered orally, nasally or by spraying, the ministry's chief veterinary officer Jia Youling was quoted as saying.
Is all these a competition on who can produce avian flu vaccine or what? Have these vaccines been proven "clinically", and acknowledged by the World Health Organization (WHO)? What I know is that people are still dying from avian flu (the same deadly H5N1 strain), the latest being an Indonesian man who became the 42nd victim there.

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World Cup Finale

12 July, 2006 | Written by Patchay at 2:08 AM in

Italy has won the World Cup in dramatic fashion by beating France 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out after the match ended 1-1 after extra time.

Just before the 2nd minute, French striker Thierry Henry was down on the ground after running into Fabio Cannavaro. Minutes later he was back in the game, giving the French side a sigh of relief.

Then, Florent Malouda was awarded a penalty when he goes down in the box with an "enhanced" dive. With confidence, Zinedine Zidane chips in the goal-colored ball that hits the crossbar and bounced just centimetres over the line. GOALLLL!!! What a quick lead for France.

In the 19th minute, Marco Materazzi bullet headed it over home from Andrea Pirlo's corner. GOALLLL!!! Now, both sides were levelled. Until the first half ended, Italy was looking dominant in the field with 58% possession.

In the second, both teams played to a more favorable pace. There was plenty of initiative by the French and their shots/passes were well defended by the Italians. Minute after minute, I became so nervous waiting for someone to be a hero. Indeed, I am seeing two very evenly matched teams battle it out tonight. Some finals are decided early on but this one is coming down to the wire.

Sure enough, the game continued to extra time. I was hoping that the game would not be decided by shoot-outs. That is just a cruel way to end a World Cup. If not because of some brilliant saves by the Italian keeper, France may have clinched the trophy. It was Zidane's 15 minutes of great play. The first extra time comes to an end and this thriller match looks to be ended in penalties.

Abruptly in the second extra time, Zidane was sent off for head-butting Materazzi in the chest. That is it for his career and it is a horrible way for him to go. France is now playing with 10 men in the dying minutes. Will Italy score, like the last minute goals against Germany?

The game is now between Gianluigi Buffon and Fabien Barthez. All of Italy's first four penalty takers scored, while the French missed one. In the end, the last penalty taker for Italy who was Fabio Grosso converted the decisive spot kick. Italy are now Champions of the World!

It was a fabulous finale. It was a story of joy and disgrace. It was schizophrenic. Despite red carded, Zidane was named the best player of this World Cup (Golden Ball Award). It is the third time in a row that a player from the losing side in the championship team won the award. Tonight as the Italians returned home, they will be accorded hero status and massive celebrations organized throughout Italy. The World Cup bids farewell to Germany and awaits South Africa in 2010.

World Cup bronze medal

09 July, 2006 | Written by Patchay at 11:19 PM in

Indeed, the first half was not very pulsating. Michael Ballack of Germany was even caught on camera yawning on the bench! Nevertheless, Portugal did show a willingness to keep the German goalkeeper, Oliver Kahn anxious at all times.

The game changed dramatically in the second half. In the 56th minute, Bastian Schweinsteiger cut in from the left and unleashed a long range right footed shot. The ball swerved in mid-air, going through Ricardo’s gloves on the way to goal. Four minutes later Schweinsteiger struck a low free kick from the left. Petit's accidental intervention (own goal) put the host nation two goals up.

To prove the first effort was no fluke, Schweinsteiger cut in from the left again after 78 minute and hit another right footed shot beyond Ricardo. Portugal continued to attack but it was a lot of individual effort. When Germany took the ball, they quickly played the ball forward. The counter attacking passing game looked so deadly! Too often, the Portuguese players were content to give either Deco or Cristiano Ronaldo the ball, then they stood back and watched them dribble near the German defense.

With 12 minutes to go, veteran Luis Figo came off the bench and minutes later he found Nuno Gomes at the far post with a perfect cross. Gomes headed home to give Portugal a consolation goal. It was a fair game but in the end, the Germans claimed a well deserved third place.

Fraser's Hill Outing

07 July, 2006 | Written by Patchay at 8:14 PM in ,

Fraser...Fraser Hill (Fraser or Fraser's?), here I come.... Did we sung any Hillsongs? Anyway, on the 26th of June twenty-eight of us went to Fraser's Hill, Pahang, Malaysia, and we stayed there for three days and two nights. It was a relaxing excursion with many pleasant memories and wonderful experiences as well.

After what seemed to be a tiring, dizzying (such word?) and scary (especially the narrow road along the cliff) ride because of the long winding road, I finally reached the secluded, typical English-looking town at around 2.00pm. Immediately after we arrived, we checked into our rented bungalow. The weather here was fine and thankfully it did not rain heavily throughout our stay.

We've arrived, but I'm missing!

Our first dinner came (we went for it actually!) around 7.00pm. We went out to eat at a small Chinese restaurant (kopitiam). We decided to stroll from the bungalow where we're staying to "Downtown" Fraser, where the kopitiam was located. To my disappointment, there was only a row of convenient shops plus a couple of unknown low-rise buildings around the main square - that's what people called it "Downtown" (Signboard: Pusat Bandar Fraser). Undeniably, the only masterpiece here is a clock tower standing majestically in the middle of the square.

For two consecutive nights after dinner we travelled to and fro the same kopitiam with our foot. The roads and pathways here are generally clean and evenly paved, although they were literally "carved out" from the dense tropical jungle. The night-walk back after dinner was a joy to behold. As we turned our heads upward, the stars, perhaps constellations of millions of miles away could be distinctly seen in the black sky. Here in Fraser's Hill, far away from the glare of the city lights, the universe was clearly visible!

Chop Chilli Chop!!! That was one of the game that we played for ice-breakers. Hahaha...we also managed to watch some World Cup games (everyday!!!) aired Live via satellite to our main television set in the living hall. After one game, we all fell asleep and went to bed at our respective rooms. I lay back on my bed, breathing in the cool night air and listening to the cries of insects. As usual, the mosquitoes were never my friends but this time I never seemed bothered by them at all. Too tired or dreaming or what? In the night, we had our windows opened because our rooms (as in mine) didn't have any fans or air-cons. In the afternoon, we had our windows closed because we are scared of thefts.

The most exciting part of our trip is to the Jeriau Waterfall. In fact, there was nothing much to do there, besides taking photos...hahaha. The waterfall is just right in the background!

Water play...

The boys posing...

All girls group

The Monashians

We had our last picture overlooking the Titiwangsa Mountain Range that forms the backbone of Peninsular Malaysia.

All united

For more pics, visit http://patchay.multiply.com/photos/album/52.

Lee Hom Invitational Part 2

04 July, 2006 | Written by Patchay at 6:29 PM in

continued from Part 1

The event went on smoothly thereafter with speaches by key personnels of Amway Malaysia and the chairman of the holding company Amway Corporation, Steve Van Andel. Mr. Steve is the son of the late Jay Van Andel, one of the co-founders of Amway. The late Mr Jay is the 242nd richest man in the US (2004 Forbes).

Cutting the Birthday Cake...

Much later, the pop diva of Indonesia, Ruth Sahanaya take on the stage to entertain the crowd. Towards the end of the show, there was a colourful display of fireworks that lights up the dark sky around Bukit Jalil.

Like Shooting Stars falling from the sky

The event ended with a dazzling performance by Wang Lee Hom, one of Taiwan's top male singer. Could this be his biggest concert in Kuala Lumpur, considering the fact that about 43,000 roared when he performed?

Playing piano...

C'mon C'mon C'mon

Unusual Midnight Concert

R&B and Hip Hop

Trademark Act: "Down, Down, Then Up! Up! Up!"

For more pics, visit http://patchay.mulitply.com/photos/album/51.

The End

Part 1 of Wang Lee Hom Invitational

The biggest event for me, at least until half of this year has ended. This year's Amway Malaysia National Convention was its largest ever and undeniably the most successful one. The company is also celebrating its 30th anniversary of operations in Malaysia. The theme name for this year's event was "Built To Last".

43,000 people in the background...

Stage dance

When Life Gets Better...

At least 43,000 people from several countries in the region, namely Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia gathered at National Stadium Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur as early as 4.00pm. Even before the show began, thousands of people were already seen queuing to enter the stadium. The event started at around 6.00 in the evening and ended at around 12.30 midnight.

Malaysian Idol Daniel Lee...

Duet Idols

First Idol Jaclyn Victor

The event began with performances by local artistes such as Malaysian Idols Jaclyn and Daniel, troupe dancing and cultural performances. Despite the slight drizzle, the participants watched and listened intently and cheered along to emcee Maziah Harun's shouts of "Amway".

White Giant Balloon

Red Balloon seen on big TV

By 6.30pm sharp, the event officially began with all participants doing the cheer - "Mexican Wave", followed by a parade (something like the Olympic Games opening parade), and then the arrival of VVIPs on Cardilac vehicles. When the song Rasa Sayang was sung, the atmosphere was electrifying with everyone singing their hearts out. Two large balloons bearing the company's logo were also tossed around the stadium.

Opening Parade...on vehicle

Hovering in the air gracefully

The excitement did not stop here. The crowd were even more amazed when a female dancer was seen hovering in the air for about 15 minutes with the help of a floating giant balloon.

To be continued...(See above for Part II)

Artistry Fashion Show

02 July, 2006 | Written by Patchay at 3:44 PM in

I'm back!!! Woo...my apology for not blogging for more than a week. I have been busy last few days -- just returned from a holiday trip. As usual, I'll try to post some interesting pics whenever I have attended a major event, beginning with this below.

On June 17, 2006, I attended/participated in a "National Product Expo" at the Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre. It's an annual event organized by Amway Malaysia, this year's in conjunction with their 30th Anniversary Celebration in Malaysia. No doubt, this is the biggest product expo I've ever seen, imagine that the event lasted for two days, spread over two floors and hundreds or perhaps thousands of people visited the fair.

Hmmm...Artistry Models

Beautiful Possibilities

Artistry Fashion Show

The Girls Finale

For more pics, visit http://patchay.multiply.com/photos/album/49.

After watching the fashion show, it really reminds me of this one, the Jiangsu Silk Fashion Festival May 2005 in Suzhou, China. The presentation style and the rhythm of the background music for both shows are kind of similar.

Silk in Fashion Showcase

That's all for now. Next post: Wang Lee Hom Invitational Concert.

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