Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Call for Update

I am sure most of you are familiar with an online encyclopedia called Wikipedia. I am one of the frequent readers of Wikipedia as I find some of the information are reliable and accessible from any place in this planet (as long as you are connected to internet). In fact I love encyclopedia and I used to be an encyclopedia bookworm when I was a child (I still remember arguing with a librarian of a mobile public library on why I cannot borrow encyclopedia book).

Wikipedia is written collaboratively by volunteers from all around the world. For more information please read this page.

There is an entry on Music of Malaysia in Wikipedia which have several write up on traditional music, pop music, underground music, Chinese music, Indian music, jazz, classical and world music as well as contemporary music. I think this particular entry on Music of Malaysia need to be updated as the information provided so far is definitely not enough. Though I thank the pioneering volunteers for the existing articles.

For example the write up on traditional music is very general and limited. Its first paragraph talk about silat? and the other two paragraphs just superficially state about ghazal, zapin and dondang sayang. How about inang, joget and asli? The sections on pop music and underground music are more informative than the traditional music. The sections on Islam-influenced pop (why dont just use the term nasyid?), chinese music, indian music require more input.

To all my friends and readers wherever and whoever you are (including myself) I would like to call you to update the entry on Music of Malaysia in Wikipedia so that the readers will have access to a reliable and quality information on our beloved Malaysia's music scenes. I believe the effort will be a great and sincere contribution to the country and ourselves. Don't you love your music?

"Write to be understood, speak to be heard and read to grow"
Lawrence Clark Powell
Librarian, Writer and Critic (1906 - 2001)

Friday, May 2, 2008

I was a sailor, once..

The ship I sailed with
Chocolateeee !
Colleagues and bosses in my department

Me and big boss jamming at sea
My fans..hehe

It has been a long time since my last post here. A lot of exciting and not that exciting events had happened in the past few weeks. One of the exciting events was my cruise trip from Port Klang, Malaysia to Harbour Front, Singapore. My first sea journey of 200 nautical miles (figure out the equivalent kilometers for me please, thanks).

On a sunny morning of 26 April 2008 I together with 43 of my colleagues and bosses set sail to Singapore on Super Star Gemini ship. None of us brought our spouses along so I could see a few nasty faces on board who might be thinking of all the vices they could do without the presence of their other halves (no, this is just a married couple cliche). The trip was arranged a la free and easy style with no plan on formal meeting, brainstorming or group binding programme. I was indeed very grateful for that matter. In fact it was so free and easy that I missed the first lunch on board on the first day because I was busy unpacking my clothes and chatting with my bunker mate. However my fear of starving until dinner diminished when I learned the cruise has a chocolate buffet at 4.30pm. My god, the chocolates were not only delicious but beautiful too.

I hung out at the pool deck after tea enjoying the smell of the sea and the vastness of the horizon. The setting reminded me of my younger brother who sails for a living. He must have enjoyed this session so many times in his life already. No wonder he always looks happy and energetic everytime he comes back for a holiday. The scene of a wide open sea really can change your mood and way of thinking. I took the opportunity of such occasion to review my life, past present and future. Everything changed, evolved and passed by very fast. The day when I first set my feet in primary school to the day I left my university with a degree. Of all the friendship created with hundreds of friends. Where are they now? Some of them become closer to me but some are nowhere to be traced. I even reminisced about the first date with my girlfriend (now wife) and how I forgot to pay for her bus fare. The thought got interrupted when my friend announced about a group photo during sun set time. The photos turned to be very lively.

At night we were entertained by a bunch of professional dancers and musicians from Philippines, China and Belarus. They are multi talented lot. There was a performance on international women's fashion show by gorgeous women but with more closed look, only a handful of them are actually women. In commercial entertainment industry I admire very much the professionalism and dedication of Filipinos entertainers. They train themselves hard since young to be a performer and most of them are multi talented performers who could sing, play musical instruments, dance, act and do stand up comedy. I have not yet found any other races in the world who niche themselves as industrial artists other than the Filipinos. I am not sure whether the government of Philippines has had their part in encouraging its citizen to be international entertainment workers or they regard this human resource service as one of their export sector. The fact is, in almost all entertainment outlets I have been, whether inside or outside Malaysia, I could bet the resident artist are likely to be the Filipinos. Filipinos in entertainment services are like the Gurkhas in military and security services.

On the morning of April 27th, I woke up to the sound of captain's announcement on the ship's arrival in Harbour Front, Singapore. It was a calm and sunny morning and I had my breakfast whilst enjoying the morning scene of the city-state's port. After breakfast my bunker mate and I decided to disembark and shoot photos at the statue of Merlion. We had to switch MRT stations twice before we reach at the Merlion statue. One thing I noticed about the MRT station is that the speed of the escalator is slightly faster than the one in Kuala Lumpur's LRT station. If you are not mindful enough of the speed you could trip on the escalator's first step.

In the evening we sailed back to Port Klang at 1830 hours. I went to the pool deck again hoping to continue the reminiscing session but found out almost half of the guests were there for the sail away party. I joined the partying crowd and danced to the melody of YMCA song under the instruction of a funny Filipino dancer. My bunker mate is such a natural dancer, the organiser picked him up as runner up to the final dancing contest in the party. He should have won but because of the voting was on the basis of how much cheering and applause he could get from the crowd, my bunker mate lost to an Australian who happened to have his group of wasted friends cheered and screamed for him. After dinner I joined a karaoke session with my colleagues and bosses. Almost everybody in the group can sing and the effort were not bad at all. I sang a few Malay and English duet songs with my big boss. I was surprised to find out his interest and knowledge on Malay songs since he is a Singapore educated Chinese. I also found out my lady boss can sing and dance too. What a talented lady.

We arrived at Port Klang at 0930 hours of Monday the 28th. It was a fun-filled cruise trip and a good memory with friends to be reminisced in the future.

"Who is staring at the sea is already sailing a little"

Paul Carvel, Belgian writer and editor


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