Long time. Back with a vengeance…..

I know I know. Its been a ling time since I penned (typed) anything here. I suppose I look at the add new post page everyday and somehow I don’t feel inspired to write about anything. Until now.

Lots and lots of photo projects coming up. Some glamorous. Other not so. The highlight over the next 1 month will be my behind the scenes shot of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) performance of Gustav Mahler’s 6th Symphony ‘Tragic’ which is scheduled to be performed on the 6th and 7th June as one of the end of season climax to a very succesful 2008/09 season. Under the able hands of Music Director Maestro Claus Peter Flor, I am sure this is going to be one for the history books.

Read moreLong time. Back with a vengeance…..

Thaipusam 2009 at Batu Caves

Thaipusam 2009
A devotee suspended on hooks attached to the skin of his back

I went to watch the Thaipusam celebrations at Batu Caves yesterday. What an experience. Batu Caves is the location of the world’s largest shrine to the Hindu God, Lord Muruga. The place is normally a quite place but for 3 days of the year, it is a scene where 1.2 million Hindu devotees would congregate.

Many devotees would have spent the previous 40 days adhering to a strict vegetarian diet and engaged in meditation and prayer in preparation to take part in the Thaipusam procession while chanting ‘vel-vel’ as they walk the procession route. Other followers view Thaipusam simply as a day for thanksgiving, or for the atonement of the sins of the past year.

Batu Caves
Batu caves on a normal day

Thaipusam 2009
Batu Caves during the Thaipusam celebrations

Cleansed of all worldly comforts and pleasures by 40 days of abstinence, they carry a kavadi (the simplest way to explain kavadi is that it’s a sort of mini temple to the gods) up the 272 steps at the entrance to the Batu Caves and place him inside the temple within, which is dedicated to the Lord Muruga.

The devotees often have needles piercing all over their body. In some of these pictures, you can clearly see the skin being pulled taut.

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Merdeka Award

‘The Merdeka Award was established by its Founders, namely ExxonMobil, PETRONAS and Shell, on the 27th August 2007. It is an award that aims to recognise and reward Malaysians and non-Malaysians who have made outstanding contribution to the people of Malaysia in their respective fields.

It is named the Merdeka Award to commemorate the true spirit of independence which transcends the conventional definition of national sovereignty. It explores the liberation of the mind and spirit – factors which foster the realisation of human potential and the pursuit of excellence. The Merdeka Award aims at the encouragement of going beyond the ordinary and of stretching beyond comfort zones aspiring to create a new mindset among Malaysians.

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Price of petrol in Malaysia increase by 40%

The Prime Minister has announced that the price of petrol will increase by 40% to a new price of RM2.70 per liter. I wrote earlier that we have to seriously look into the various subsidies that exists in Malaysia and formulate a plan to eliminate it totally. Why? Because state intervention through subsidies should be …

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The movie ‘300’ banned in Malaysia

Sometimes I despair at how decisions are made in this country. The movie 300 was supposed to be shown on ASTRO which has been advertising the movie for the last 4 weeks. Tonight I saw a crawler saying ‘the movie ‘300’ has been withdrawn in compliance of local regulations. we apologise for any inconvenience cause’. …

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Pulau Batu Putih Dispute

The International Court Of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague has just delivered judgement on the Pulau Batu Putih (or Pedra Blanca) dispute between Malaysia and Singapore. By a vote of 12 to 4, the ICJ finds that sovereignty over Pulau Batu Putih belongs to Singapore. The ICJ also held that the smaller Middle Rocks belongs …

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One member, one vote

Not long ago, I was chatting with a close friend of mine and we were discussing (and lamenting) the state of the country’s political landscape. To many people, Barisan Nasional and UMNO (in particular) as well as certain people in positions of power needs to have a serious makeover (I’m downplaying her actual words here). …

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Dewan Rakyat and live telecasts

The Star reported today that the live telecast of Dewan Rakyat proceedings in parliament maybe scrapped due to the uncivil nature of the first few days of parliament. I sincerely hope that the live telecasts would remain and not scrapped. This is a necessary part of getting political maturity in the country. The people need …

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Featured Photojournalism – Malaysia’s Olympic Torch Ceremony 2008

Men On Guard at KLCC Horses On Guard at KLCC The Olympic Flag Spectators watching the event China’s flag in KLCC Rain can’t stop me Malaysia was given the honour of receiving the Olympic Torch in conjunction of the coming Olympic Games 2008 in Beijing. It poured and poured and poured with rain and I …

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