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Thursday, 30 August 2012

Just The Way We Are

It’s the Merdeka week and I guess you’ve heard enough about unity this month, and I'm afraid if I mention it once more, you maybe at risk of bleeding from the ears. Looking at it carefully, there aren’t many things that Malaysians can draw parallel, (although we say we do). Let's admit, we disagree on a lot of things. Diversity, equality and independence isn't quite an ideal formula to be mixed in a test tube called Malaysia. We're slowly getting there. But not yet.

In the midst of all this, I somehow find there’s this one thing which can bring the whole nation to agree in a resounding chorus. It’s the love we have for “free stuff”.  Whenever something is given free, Malaysians regardless of race, religion, age, status and looks - can be seen together under one roof.  Oh, I forgot to mention, and this is regardless if they vote for BN or the Opposition. People will just flock in numbers, without missing anyone from the family tree and line up for hours.

It’s normal if you see something like this in Somalia. Then again you think about it, hey…..it’s normal too in Malaysia. So normal, that it has become part of our culture.  After all, who doesn’t like free stuff right?  With free-stuff, people can save some money. With money you improve your life. An improved life results in happiness. Seems logical! 

So here,
55 years of Merdeka and it’s almost impossible to miss it. The 'staple for happiness'. And PETSTER knows exactly what it is.  They say: “keep your money, because the magazine is absolutely FREE!”. Evidently, it’s not a seasonal gimmick. PETSTER has been distributing free magazines for over 4 years now. Talk about sustainability? There you go. Plus, it comes without the hassle of needing to be early birds, queuing up, the pushing and shoving that you normally experience in the process of getting freebies.( Not to mention tolerating the smell of people who’ve never heard of deodorant and shower.)  You just need to effortlessly walk to a petshop or a vet clinic, grab the magazine and before you could sweat, you’re back at home. If you feel like doing it, then just subscribe. It will be sent to your doorstep. It’s free, and more importantly, hassle-free. So pet lovers, PETSTER may not be able to play badminton like Datuk Lee Chong Wei in the Olympics for your free scoop of ice cream (if you remember the Baskin Robins free ice-cream phenomenon). But they certainly can produce a kick-ass pet magazine, that doesn't cost you anything. So grab one today.Selamat Hari Merdeka!!! And here's the irony...... Merdeka means independence…independence means, being FREE! Awwww……

Monday, 27 August 2012

The Rabbit and Tortoise Race Sequel

Rolling back few decades to your childhood, I’m sure you’ve heard the story about the arrogant rabbit and the humble tortoise. The race was over, the tortoise won and conquest all over. But what happened to them after that? Why no Part2 you ask? Okla okla.., here it is.


There's only one thing that's better than forgiveness. It's forgiveness with a pinch of madness. Salam kosong kosong. Salam Aidilfitri

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Boarding Swap!

While your kids return from boarding schools, your furkids do the opposite.

Malaysia’s major celebration is here again. Aidilfitri, an occasion of togetherness and reconciliation.  Joy and laughter.   But last year’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri season was marred by a tragedy  in the petworld. More specifically among cat lovers . Yes, it’s that name again.  The name that makes you loathe. PETKNODE.

Hunger and thirst has taken its toll.

Hundreds of cats became victims of negligence and sheer cruelty at this filthy and greedy boarding kennel.  Owners who thought their cats will be looked after well, unknowingly shunned them into the pits of hell. Multiple cats squeezed in small cages without food, water and space to move for days.  Lucky enough oxygen was free. Otherwise that too would’ve been cut off. Many cats even died in the ordeal.  And to add insult to injury, the punishment didn’t even fit the crime. A measly RM6000 fine and perpetrators walk free. I shall discuss more on this in near future. For once, I’m glad that I’m not the incredible Hulk. Because the way my anger-meter shoots up when I’m typing this.., it’s clearly unsafe to be the HULK!

Takes deep breath….calming down..think  zen…Ok. What’s more important now is for us to take a leaf out of this bitter episode. Our beloved cats are facing inevitable separation for a short space of time during this festive season. 

In case you forgot what happened.

Extended version of the PC.

The first option before considering to send your cats to boarding, is obviously not to consider this option lah * cricket noise* . Guess not many of us can afford that. The next best thing is to ask the help of your friends (mostly non-Muslims) who are not travelling. They may understand your predicament and “babysit” the cat for you.. If you’re an important friend, and if your cat is a sweetheart among your social circle, the problem can be considered solved.

What if this outlet is not an option? Then comes the inescapable boarding. But before you send your cats there, do some research about the caretaker. Boarding had never been this tricky, until history reminds us otherwise.

Look for recommendations. Ask the cattery to allow you access to see the boarding area. Is it clean and hygienic? While you’re there, imagine the place being packed full house during the festive season. Visualise…Will your pet find comfort? Find out how often the cats go out of their enclosures. Are the cages spacious? How many workers the cattery has? Can they handle the influx of cats?

Also, ensure the catteries only accept promptly vaccinated cats. You may even test the catteries saying that, you can pay more and urge them to accept your unvaccinated cats. If they agree to do it, ban them from your list.

And I’m a firm believer of what you get is what you pay for. So be willing to dig your pockets slightly deeper for that extra professional boarding service. Sometimes, that extra few ringgit, will make a whole lotta difference and even save your cat's life.

While the Eid celebration is all about embracing forgiveness, don’t commit to something that your cats will never forgive you. Something that in turn you will never forgive yourself for.

Selamat Hari Raya, have the safest balik kampung trip and happy meows when you come back!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Generalising Generously!

A day later ...

Don’t quite get the story?? Well its slightly an unorthodox way to kick-off this blog.  Rather than beginning with ‘My sweet 16’ story, I’ll start with bad news.  I’m sure you’ve heard the recent case of a dog killing a senior citizen in Subang. This is something that really saddens me.

Courtesy of NST Online

First of all, a life had been taken away in an unlikeliest way one could imagine. I can't even begin to imagine how hard it is for the victim's family to accept this. It's probably as traumatising as losing a family member in a murder. It is very sad indeed . My deepest sympathy to the brave family of Yip Sin Hua.

 The moment I heard the news, I also sensed and predicted a huge outcry especially with swerving direction, that will eventually NOT hit the target. Well it came inevitably. The city council of Subang Jaya or MPSJ tried to find a swift and amicable solution to halt such incidence again.  Yes, note that I said TRIED.

They were contemplating to ban restricted dog breeds in Malaysia in order to provide a SAFE and SOUND environment for the public from man-eating dogs. ( Alright, let’s pretend  we don’t know that people are dying from accidents, being stabbed to death, children being kidnapped, armed robberies, snatch thefts, rape, incest, corruption, domestic violence, and all the other evils of society ) . Suddenly dogs are mentioned in the breath as monsters. 

Courtesy of The Star Online

Some newspapers helped the cause, portraying images of dogs showing their fangs, where vampire movie posters were defeated flat.  Some also used various terminologies as if it's a “Caption Contest” . "The beast that killed the man"… "Dangerous animal"…."Canine Nightmare".. and etc.   First of all let’s look at the dogs placed under the restricted list. 

Some of the breeds placed under the restricted category does not even justify why they’re there. For example, the dog closest to my keeping- German Shepherd  dog or GSD.  More commonly known as  Long gao, police dog, polisnai, or anjing polis among the ignorant breed noobs.  Dogs in the restricted list are said to be dangerous breeds.  First of all, why would police use a breed that could be aggressive and of an unstable temperament?  

GSDs are proven to be intelligent, loyal and have sound temperament . Proven as in not since yesterday, but for decades mind you. That’s  exactly why the police use them. I’m not only  talking about the local police but all over the world. There is no single case of a GSD killing a human in Malaysia.  Wait.., there’s not even a single case in the whole world. So why? And now, the talk of banning them had been brewing for sometime.  Ridiculous by all means I know.  Let’s go back to the case. Or I should say the isolated case. The dog involved in mauling the man was a bull terrier mix .  What’s the relation with other innocent dogs? That’s exactly what the cartoon illustration above means.  It's like a man died eating an apple, and all of a sudden, everything related to apple is banned despite the magnitude of ridiculousity it serves.  Generalising much?

Ok fine the bull terrier mix killed the man. But there are so many variables in this case that led this to happen. It wasn’t solely about the dog being bull terrier.  The main reason was negligence of the owner. Bad parenting means, bad children.  Bad owner, equals to bad dog.  As simple as that. Knee-jerk reactions like this won’t solve the problem.  And let’s not even delve into the amount of fine imposed on the perpetrator. That’s a different can of worms. 

Having said all this, I’m not in defence of every single dog out there. I’ve had my fair share. I’ve been chased by dogs when I was young, I’ve seen people falling off their motorbikes under similar circumstances, and more..But that doesn’t make all of them bad. You don’t dry the river because someone drowned.  

Have you seen anything like this in newspaper? No right??

The intervention of Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh and MKA President Larry Yuen to put some sense into this whole outcry was applaudable. There were some logical recommendations made by them to protect the innocent citizens as well as the innocent dogs.

I personally hope the authorities will review its list of restricted dogs and call for harsher penalty for bad dog owners. Ban bad dog owners, not the dogs! I call for dog owners to be responsible and understand a breed’s characteristics and needs before keeping them. I call petshops and breeders to not commercialize dogs with volatile temperament as so-called good guard dogs. That’s a wrong selling point altogether.
While the issue will ebb in time, I hope knee-jerk reactions will no longer be the culture of Malaysians.  And finally, I call for the public ( mostly dog haters) not to jump into this bandwagon that all dogs with tooth are evil. 

But then again, we all want to live in a safer environment don’t we? Fair enough. Let us check out the recent statistics of street and organized crimes in the country. You might want to reconsider your worries, if you initially thought dogs were your worst nightmare. Far fetched? You bet!