25 November 2006

god bless the child

Some of you may remember how this blog got it's title. Two days ago, the last of the great jazz divas that was featured on Verve Records 'The Diva Series' passed on. A woman of immaculate style. Anita O'Day.

And the music plays on. Rest lovely lady.

13 September 2006


Lots of madness, tons of fun and a bagfull of wonderful memories. Thank you for these pictures Puteri. Thanks Old Man.

24 August 2006


W!LD RICE in collaboration with Five Arts Centre and The Actors Studio


“The most satisfy­ing two hours I have spent in theatre… Encore please.”
SPH The Straits Times LIFE!, Singapore

“Daring… it skillfully brought to life the way local writers are testing the boundaries.”
International Herald Tribune

Directed by Ivan Heng.

Curated by Eleanor Wong, Alvin Pang and Leow Puay Tin.

Featuring an All-Star Singapore-Malaysia cast!:
Anne James
Edwin Sumun
Fahmi Fadzil
Gani Abdul Karim
Jonathan Lim
Karen Tan
Lim Yu Beng
Neo Swee Lin
Reza Zainal Abidin
Sukania Venugopal

SECOND LINK is a provocative, insightful and humorous performance celebrating the work of Singaporean and Malaysian writers. Directed by Ivan Heng and featuring a stunningly accomplished company of 10 actors from the two countries, SECOND LINK will surprise, delight and reveal the obsessions and concerns of the cities' denizens and artists.

This explosive physical theatre showcase of more than 50 celebrated texts was a hit with audiences and critics in Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Singapore. Expect laughter and fresh points of view as the Singaporeans and Malaysians perform each other's stories, icons and idiosyncrasies, even as they playfully invite you to make up your own tale of two cities.

Venue: The Actors Studio Bangsar, Level 3, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Kuala Lumpur.

Dates & Tickets: 8.30pm, 30-31 August ’06 – special 49th MERDEKA price RM49!
8.30pm, 1-2 September ’06 – RM57.
3.00pm, 2-3 September ’06 – RM57.

Student & senior citizens (55 and above) – RM25 for all shows.

Box-office: The Actors Studio (tel 03-2094 0400 / 2094 1400).

For more information, call/fax Five Arts Centre at 03-7725 4858, email fivearts@tm.net.my
or visit Five Arts Centre Online

17 July 2006

for those with the masks

everybody wants to be a winner and take their place at the top
everyone wants their name up in lights, for the good times never stop
sometimes the bad luck will creep up and catch you by surprise
your mind's confused, you feel misused
you've got to leave those troubles behind

sometimes you win, sometimes you lose
sometimes you wanna cry
sometimes you play the fool

when you cry the whole world laughs at you
they don't seem to understand
but the time will come when the tables turn
and you're gonna have the winning hand

hold on a little longer
try to be a little stronger
and you can win
you can win
and everything is gonna be yours

sometimes you win, sometimes you lose
sometimes you wanna cry
sometimes you play the fool

you gotta hold on
the time will come.

~ patrick moten/sandra sully

Like the title of the post says. You don't have to hide behind a mask just to make yourself feel better. People aren't blind to your fears. The more you hide, the easier it is to see. Take off the mask before it all comes crashing down. If you need to be a bitch, then be one. If you need to be a baby, do it. If your insecurities are making you insane, embrace them. Don't brush them aside. Don't pretend that everything is roses. How many diets can you do? How many pretentious Yoga sessions can you go to? How many lies?

The wall gets higher and higher. It's best you kick it down yourself. Because if someone else does it, you'll suffer the consequences. All on your own. Good times are just that. There will always be bad times. It's how you experience what is laid out on your cards. There's enough crap happening around the world. We don't need another friend turning into a stranger.

12 July 2006

sorry seems to be the hardest word (for you to tell me)

Roger Federer is KING!!! Italy... too bad France. At least there's Zidane. The news has been depressing for the individual. A RM 200,000 fine for not carrying your Identity Card. Now that's been knocked down but still. Who the hell came up with that figure? Criminals get away with less. Priorities people please!

If some of you are wondering why I'm irregular with my Diva postings, it's because I'm postiing over at Kuala Lumpur DP on a daily basis. Completely absorbed. Head on over if you miss me.

Till then. Go buy The Body Shop make-up. Well, not until the new range comes out in August. Wonderful stuff!

And Rafael Nadal needs to come over for dinner sometime.

5 July 2006

blah blah blah-ing

Wimbledon Open women's draw: As expected the top 4 seeds have made it into the semi-finals and what a pleasure it was watching them all win their QF matches last night: Amelie, Justine, Maria and Kim. Let's see how the men fare today.

Then I wake up today to find out that Germany failed to make in into the finals. Tough. There's goes the free meal I made a bet on. Now, I have to pay for dinner.

Not much happening on the local news front (none that I care to shed a word on that is) and that leaves me wondering, where am i going to get my fodder from? No canon blasting for the moment. Well, it has been relatively quiet. Everyone absorbed in a month of hooliganism I think. Notice even politicians have taken a break. For fear no one takes the time to hear them perhaps?

I don't know. I've been enjoying these days and shudder to think how life carries on when Monday comes around. The same or will there be a new twist? Will the end of the World Cup actually bring about a sense of realisation that we are living in a supposed First World country but have the mentality of a Third World nation? Does anyone actually care? Will customer service finally exist here? Will there be taxis when you need one? Where's the next cup of coffee coming from?

That's it. I'm going out to take some pictures.

ps.(for the Malaysian viewers) I'm a guest on NTV7's Thursday Night Live tomorrow night.

2 July 2006

ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive

marriage is a conspiracy. read the agony aunt section of the papers.

friendship is an over-used word to describe a selfish existence between 2 or more people.

and people still don't smile enough.

am I having a bad day? on the contrary, I'm having a wonderful day.

27 June 2006

today. so how?

Bless Star World Sports for it's live coverage of the Wimbledon Open. My fever is still on the tennis circuit. The rest of you can take your M.C.s from work to do your fancy footwork on the sofa or at the mamak stalls, who, by the way, are making a ton of money while you sleep at the desk. You snooze, you lose.

I'm sitting here pondering the next step in my illustrious photography career. Only just started and already I'm sending in my pictures for competition. Why not? All in the name of finding the perfect balance between theatre on stage and theatre through the eye of a camera. This new hobby has opened my already wide eyes even more to the subtle details of the humdrum of KL life. I even got a chicken to pose for me. I say that's quite an accomplishment! Chickens don't even stop for on-coming traffic. It seems harder for humans to stop though. Everytime I ask someone to pose, they run. Just stand still ok? Where you in a hurry to get to? Football? You can kiss my balls! You may have been the winning picture, twat!

Oh, Steffi Graf is watching her husband Andre play! I love Steffi! By far, the most talented female tennis champion. Ok, time to stop and watch the lawns of Wimbledon. I forgot to turn on the telly. Can't you believe that?

20 June 2006

you go to my head

Back from a wonderful trip. JB is great, Singapore is good for the soul and KL is home sweet home. Got Randy back yesterday and he looks smashing (no pun intended)!

Care United Club Johor Bahru, kudos to a job well done! You are truly a charity everyone should use as a model. The amount of effort that you ladies pour into your work only humbles me. Thank you so much for letting me be a part of you if only for the weekend.

I haven't had much time to read the news and crap since coming back yesterday. Anything interesting I should worry about? Sugar still a crisis? Siti Nurhaliza married yet? No? Well, tough titties. Doesn't leave me much does it?

I think I should be an Apple Computer consultant. I seem to getting a higher buzz from helping the KL sales staff sell iPods and computers. I'm avoiding watching any theatre work. I'm getting just a tad bit tired from the same-ole same-ole. Funny innit? My passion right now is thinking of ideas of keeping open The Top Room. The most wonderful place in town to listen to Jazz. It's only 3 months old but the owners are thinking of possibly shutting it down. Why? Not enough bums on seats. Last weekend, the incomparable Mike Veerapen Trio performed to an audience of 6. That's right, S-I-X. This is the very place that I'm supposed to sing one day (lord knows when, I'm never good enough it seems) and if it closes down then what? Pay the daylight robbery rental of KLPAC and TASB? You can fuck that!

I just don't understand why the Top Room isn't jamming with people. The only time I've seen it filled was opening night. What a fun night that was! The music then, as it is now, FANTASTIC!!!

So, if you, like me, don't want to see the end of a dream, head over to The Top Room and leave your comments and suggestions. Can?

14 June 2006

diva im-mobile

The weather is dreary and I have meetings and errands before I drive down to JB/Singapore tomorrow for an event this weekend. On my way back to meet a friend who had to pass me something to take with me, I met with an unfortunate accident. An accident that I have been expecting for the last 2 years. You must think I'm a tad bit looney for saying so but it get's loonier. A Feng Shui man I consulted a few years ago predicted my career would take on new levels but I had to be careful cos I would get into an accident. He said, "In between 2-3 years lah."

SCREEECCHH!! BAMMMM!! White smoke billowing from my bonnet!!! And half an hour later, I'm booked to fly instead (courtesy of my gracious clients) and Randy is in the workshop. Here he is!

So now, I'm going to 'mandi bunga' and 'buang sway' (in foreign tongue: Wash myself clean of negative energy)

And you know, the funny thing is, I was dreading the drive down. And now I'm flying. Oh, how the Universe works!

13 June 2006

new vintage

Lightning cracking, a threatening storm and it's only 12 pm. I come back to The Diva Series with only minor changes happening in this little world of ours. Federer tried and failed yet again. Henin-Hardenne showed why she was once World No.1. Schumacher and his team's excuses. Our Malaysian government and their excuses. In Singapore, people would be hanged for a saying a bad word against Minister Mentor Lee. Here, a Tun, a title bestowed only to the worthiest of worthy, faces ridicule of the nation.

Yes, Mr.Tun hasn't been the most popular of leaders with the supposed elite. But dare I say this? Piss off! The man has made some very suspect decisions but really, where would we be today? Still that jungle people (foreign) think we're living in. As a past leader, he is entitled to comment on the policies of the present government. The press, of course, milk it for all its worth. As residents, we have a choice of reading the news or not. Today, front page, a sugar shortage with a picture of a man with a trolley looking at empty shelves in a supermarket. Ground-breaking reportage innit?

And now the rain falls. The sun will rise again. But when?

Until then, I savour the cool breeze wafting through the window-panes.

9 June 2006

Are You Ready?

for the return of the Diva himself (yes, that's right - ME!)?

5 April 2006


I remember when I started The Diva Series, I asked myself how long the attraction would last. Sitting in traffic today, I realised that it had long faded into a mere memory of a forgotten lover.

Thaksin has won the elections in Thailand, Car prices dropped, petrol prices are up and an employee of Strüdels was killed as he opened his outlet one early morning. Like I said, the news depresses me.

Today, during an important script writing session (I accidently left my phone on) I got a call from a woman named Jackie. She's from something-something TV Australia. Her news to me was this: Candice and me have been short-listed for Amazing Race Asia. Candice missed the call and now she's pissing in her panties. Just as exciting is that American Idol comes on in an half hour.

So, what I'm getting at is this: I'll be blogging elsewhere from now on. The Diva is on sabbbatical. Thank you so much for being here these past few months.

I leave you with one last Diva shot.

Don't close your eyes, run into my arms, so that I can hold you tight.
Don't close your eyes, lead into your charms, baby let me hold you right...

Do right everyone. Till then.

postscript: I'll be back

1 April 2006

Many happy returns...

April Fools Day. The day that marks SUMUNDA's birthday. We are 2 years old!

Winning awards, collaborating with foreign theatre pratitioners, difficult clients, generous sponsors... But all this doesn't compare to the reception of the audience. Thank you so very much for making my work all the more meaningful.

and Happy Birthday to Apple for making the most desirable products and my designing life easier

29 March 2006

scene one, take one

In the last two insomnia-fueled nights, I watched 3 excellent movies: 2 of them starring my much-admired idols and one that just blew my mind with clever cinematography and editing. Is this a movie review post? Possibly but according to some twats I'm too critical and too much of a perfectionist. So, let me prove them right (just for now) and not do a review per se. I'll just be all warm and glowy and rave on the excellentness of these movies.

Mrs. Henderson Presents with Dame Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins, directed by Stephen Frears. Wonderful costumes. You don't even notice the amount of CGI used. Flawless execution on a beautifully crafted script set during the Second World War. Simple at times but tells the story of a woman who has lost both husband and son, who, in her old age, decides she wants a hobby. She buys a theatre, hires a manager, gets some dancers to go full monty. The chemistry between Dench and Hoskins... you just can't buy it, priceless.

Keeping Mum with Dame Maggie Smith, a serial killer of sorts, Rowan Atkinson and a scrumptuous performance by Kristin Scott Thomas. Labelled as Black Comedy, this is British humour at its best. Patrick Swayze (him of Ghost fame) makes an appearance and I was pleasantly surprised by his comedic prowess. The scene that really got me was... Oh no, can't tell you, can I? Kills the surprise. Directed by Niall Johnson. Clever. Incredibly clever.

This next one, I don't know where to begin. It's simply brilliant albeit the questionable American accent of one Mr. Ewan McGregor. Good performance but that accent... Aiyo! But less than 10 minutes into the movie, you forget about the accent as Stay sucks you into the world that crosses between reality and illusion. The cast includes Naomi Watts, Ryan Gosling and appearances by Janeane Garofalo and Bob Hoskins. A psychiatrist, played by Ewan, meets a strange and mysterious young man, Gosling, who claims to want to commit suicide in three days, the day he turns 21. Naomi plays Ewan's girlfriend who was once his patient. Ewan's sense of reality gets questioned everytime the young man seeks his council. The editing (Matt Chessé) and excellent direction (Marc Forster) takes you on a roller-coaster ride. Twists and turns and even at the end, you, the audience, questions whether it's the end. If I ever had the opportunity of directing a movie, this would definately be one source of inspiration.

Present film-makers, especially the younger generation, seem to have a firm grasp on the MTV culture that is prevalent in the society. Fast cuts, minimal dialogue, catchy graphics/imagery and music that I thought would remain locked in my private library.

Tonight, I battle insomnia again but will have to win as I have an early day.

26 March 2006

Demi Negara Yg. Tercinta

As I wait for more answers to the question I posted lord-knows-when, here's another one. This year's theme for the Cameronians Awards Night is 'Your Malaysia.'

What is Malaysia to you?

All bloggers' answers welcomed.

23 March 2006


So, it's 11 A.M. and I arrive at the Mandarin Oriental just in time to have a cup of BOH Cameronian tea and mince into the press conference. The Cameronians are divided into 3 categories: Dance, Music and Theatre. I cut my nails earlier in the day to prevent any unnecessary nervous biting trés un-glam. The wait was killing. The Dance nomineess were announced first followed by the Music nominees. You know, I was kicking myself silly inside. The wait was killing (I said that already, haven't I?)

Cue dramatic music in my head. The orchestra plays the overture. Ladies and Gentlemen, the nominees for Theatre are...

Okay, so I got that one nomination that I expected. Best Lighting Design. Yay! A tear formed in my eye. Yes. That was the one. Up till today, people still talk about the impeccable lighting design in Electronic City. Happy lah I! BUT, it didn't stop there.

Best Set Design, Best Costume Design and, pour moi, Best Music and Sound Design. 4 Bloody Nominations!!! Yeeeeeehawwww!!! (one short of last year's 5 but 3 more than my ego expected.)

After all the cheshire cat grinning, I had a quick lunch and rushed home to take Henry to the vet. Finally, he let me carry him into the car. I'll leave out all the gory details at the vet (he was screaming blue murder!) and three hours later, he's home recuperating. He better remember his lesson learnt and not do another runner. He's up and about already. Supposed to be sedated till night but he was trying to get up 30 minutes after sedation. My boy is a hero! One lucky dog he is and I'm one lucky owner. Woof Woof! Bow Wow! It's the year of the Dog and I think I'm getting another one soon too. That brings my canine tally up to 4.

Those of you who want to check out the nominations: Cameronian Arts Awards 2005 and there's an Audience Choice Award hint hint (ChiQ, you know what to do...Again!)

'Tis a cheerful day despite the traffic, storm and falling trees.

What's on the news today eh? Electronic City, Sumunda and me, that's what. Screw the rest! Yeah baby yeah!

22 March 2006


Henry looks miserable, Avian Flu has well and truly taken over the headlines and I missed Alexandré Despatie win the 1m Springboard Gold. And yet, I have a smile on my face.

Tomorrow is the Cameronian Arts Awards Nominations Announcement press conference. Butterflies in my tummy as I breathelessly wait to see if Electronic City, the play I directed last year, will garner more than one nomination. It's not that the awards are something I need to validate my theatrical existence. I just want to win a couple. Note that the operative word is WANT. If it does win, that would put Sumunda in a win-win 100% success situation. A company that's only 2 years old, only done 2 productions and both are award winners. That, for me, would be a great present for Sumunda's coming birthday. Why do I want these awards? I can go on doing the work I believe in without the awards. However, with a trophy or two, the corporates sit up and take notice. With that comes the job of getting sponsorship. They see awards, the more likely they are to part with their dosh. Fingers crossed.

Avian Flu. No more poultry for me. I think not. I will eat duck and chicken. We had a beautiful aviary but no more. The authorities decided to kill every single bird in the enclosure. I'm sure a few of those birds were endangered. No need to worry about being endangered anymore. Dead. No more chirping. Dead. Ahh-choooo... BANG! Dead.

Malaysian diver Yeoh Ken Nee was second to Alexandré. That's a great accomplishment for Malaysia. Alex is the reigning World Champion. Which means if Ken Nee was trained properly from now on, he could well take on the Russians and Chinese. The next World Diving Championships and the Beijing Olympics will be a test of his abilities. Good luck but my hard earned emcee fees are on Mr. Hotty Despatie. Oh yeah baby yeah!

What else is in the news today? Who gives a crap!

21 March 2006

the prodigal son returns

I finally fell asleep at 5 A.M. I waited by the door hoping that Henry would find his way back.

Two years ago he ran out and he came back a day later with a 2-inch wide gash on his neck and a couple of puncture wounds on his body. The neighbourhood gang of vicious hounds got him. But he found his way back. That's why I only let him out if I have the leash on him and we walk for an hour or so. I worried so much more this time because my mother claimed he went as far as the main road.

At 4:30, when I was about to give up my wait and head to bed, I heard him howling. Henry was at the gate. Yes, looking very dishevelled but he came back! Gave him a big hug first and we walked into the house. That was when I noticed the gash on his neck, a cut on his testicle sack and scrapes all over him. I tried to clean him but he wouldn't let me. Left him to sleep.

Today he just sits. I've to let him just recover. Tomorrow I'll take him to the vet. Thanks for all your well-wishes.

xx always.


Earlier this evening, I came home from a meeting and was about to get ready to go to the launch of KL's brand new jazz lounge when my mother comes in to tell me that she let Henry out and instead of getting him back into the house, she let him follow her as she walked to the shops...on the main road! So, 3 hours later, in the rain and with a friend helping, the search returns empty handed. Of all my dogs, Henry is my baby. The scariest of thoughts is that I live in a Malay area. I asked all and the looks I got... I just hope he finds his way back. I continue searching in the morning.

Did I forget to mention that my mother does not like Henry? She is not the least bit concerned that he's gone AWOL. This puts further strain on an already strained mother-son relationship.

19 March 2006

my common wealth

I've been too busy to flip to the Commonwealth Games coverage but I know I will be watching the moment the Aquatics begin, especially Diving. Why? For only Canadian diver Alexandré Despatie will lure me to drop all business engagements and glue my eyes to the telly.

If this champion of a male specimen isn't competing for his country, I'll continue being busy. Somehow the games hold no attraction for me. Oh look where the Maple leaf is on his Speedos!

And yes, please keep answering the question from the post below. The mystery is yet to be revealed. Remember, the more you give me, the more I can do with it. Muah muah and all that! xx

15 March 2006

autumn tactics

100 watt lightbulbs flashing over my head. Humour me if you will.

What is the one most loved thing you like to do?
(when you're down, sad, dissappointed, etc. to give you a boost)

Please leave your commments. I have something up my creative sleeves.

13 March 2006


Hello y'all! Howdy do? Apa khabar and Selamat Welcome of my city! I hope you semua buat very the enjoy and sit-sit for a nice timing here!

Before you wonder if I've gone even further off my rocker, take a gander at my newest blog: Kuala Lumpur Daily Photo. I've joined a worldwide family of photo bloggers who, everyday, show us what their city looks like. KL Daily photos are sights that are interesting and amusing to my diva eye. Today's photo is hilarious! But it shows the state of the English language we are currently in.

Go on. Take a look and explore the world from very colourful perspectives.

lost & found

I'm back! Completely rejuvenated from a much needed getaway. Who doesn't destress when put up in a Club Lounge room on the 23rd floor of the Raffles Plaza hotel? "Hello, Good Morning Mr.Sumun. Is there anything we can get you?" "Yes, can you make me a teh-tarik?" I then sit on my chaise lounge looking out the balcony window facing the Drama Centre where I'll be performing in August.
"Will you be checking out at 8 tonight Mr.Sumun?" 8pm check-out! What a dream not to have to lug around baggage while I roam the streets of the Lion City.

With a load lifted of my shoulders, I'm ready for KL once again. See you soon everyone!

8 March 2006


Where was I? Oh yes. A busy week. So many appointments and no time to do much else. No news to crap on either. That has led me to post on one of my other blogs, one that I've neglected for way too long. So, that's where I've been (for the 10 of you who are wondering) and I'm here to say that's its gonna be another couple more days before something gets my goat. I'm out of town for the week and will be computerless. Yay! The next few days will give me the opportunity of watching the world go by. I'll be down south: Johor Bahru and a quick jaunt into the Lion City, Singapore. Bear with me while I go live a life that's more than virtual. Oh, and not having to answer emails. That is such a blessing for me.

I cordially ask all government bodies and world leaders to hold off making any irrational decisions until my fingers get back to the board. And wasn't this year's Oscar ceremony disappointing? Please, it's time we saw the Baftas on telly. I'd rather get some British dry wit and humour than watch a bunch of Uhmericans patting themselves on the back for doing next to nothing. Dato's should also just stay in Malaysia (or Hong Kong) and give up having a career in Hollywood. Felicity Huffman was robbed. I'm in love with Jake Gynllenhal. And thank you Keira for your overbite. My friends and me have had a great time mimicking you. Countless moments. Have I left anything out? OH! Candice and me have sent in our Amazing Race Asia application! Fingers crossed.

Onwards to disc 5 of Rome!

3 March 2006

agua por favor!

Polluted water in Kuala Lumpur. That's what happens when you teach pigs how to swim. And it gives a whole new meaning to the word 'septic' tank. Now I understand why everyone around me is ill. Drinking water my ass. Stinking water more like it. Someone is going to blame someone and no-one is going to take responsibilty for it. It took them this long to admit there was a problem. I want clean water. I can't afford to fill my bathtub with Spritzer. It's no wonder my morning coffee has had a muddy taste to it. And all this weight I'm putting on round my waist. I've been drinking several mugs of pork-fee everyday! And did I mention that this queen hasn't held court this past few days? At least I'm saving on the loo rolls.

All hail our developed nation!

28 February 2006

no sleep over it

Okay, Torino is over and it'll be another 4 years before I get to watch any winter sports on the telly. Such a shame. Such displays of strength, control and grace now left to the summer winds as we return to football, football, football and the occasional tennis match. And if you pay extra, you get golf. That's just amazing. If Nicole wasn't a World Champion, no one would give a shit about squash. We Malaysians only want IT if it involves the superficial accolades that come with it.

Just like the work I live in. Theatre. We claim we want it. We claim we are a Arts and Culture savvy society. So, why doesn't everyone want to watch theatre productions that don't involve comedy?

I understand that daily life is tough and you want to let off some steam by getting your laughter medication. That's great. However, theatre is so much more than just comedy. Everytime someone asks me what my next show is, the question that follows is, "Is it funny?"

I was trained in all elements of theatre, and I love dramatic pieces. My career began in a serious piece which made the critics take notice.

A couple of nights ago, I came out of the theatre to greet our audience. This lovely girl came up to me and said how much she enjoyed my making her laugh and how she wanted to see me in my next project. I told her it was a serious piece and how drama was where I shined best. With a saddened look, she sighed an "Oh" and added, "So, it's not funny?" For a brief moment, I felt my heart break from her disappointment. But only a moment.

What hurts is how much of a bum rap drama gets. Unless you're a cute actor people want to drool over regardless of the genre of the play (they'll come in droves), drama is destined to live a theatrical life in arts obscurity. But it is all the genres that make theatre Theatre. Like watching movies, Theatre contains all the amazing, wonderful and subtle elements of our lives. There is nothing truly as breathtaking as a powerful performance seen right before your eyes. Coupled with a script of substance, you are guaranteed a ride of the senses.

I guess that's why I carved a place for myself in this medium. The sensation of experiencing the moment far surpasses the crap money we earn from it. Movies and TV I don't mind doing but nothing gets my heart pounding like a great piece of theatre. And what makes it great? It becomes great when you, the audience, become part of the process of theatre in its entirety.

We do have a growing audience base. We've also lost a lot thanks to the mediocrity that sometimes escapes onto our stages.

We will continue to present theatre to you in all its many faces. We know you're ready.

Come in. We've been waiting.

27 February 2006

c'est wunderbar!

Actorlympics ended tonight with a wonderfully big bang thanks to all of you who cheered us on. The fullest night this whole run! I would like to thank all the cute young men who allowed me to use you for my funnies (and merci to all the girlfriends who sat by and let it happen!) Most of all a big thanks and muah muahs to Visionworks for, once again, the opportunity of exercising my comedic muscles. 

Love to y'all. I can finally play with Macallan.

25 February 2006

pretty much broken

48 hours sleepless, a chronic lower-back problem, a knee that goes weak from lack of sleep (it's a dull pain), a new computer waiting anxiously for my tender touch and three evenings of amazing hilarity. 2 hours more and my head collaspes on my four pillows as I stare into nothingness. My addiction to American Idol is keeping me awake just to catch the repeat. I still can't face the news.

Today the headline was Malaysian Airlines losing RM1 bil. That's a lot of Ringgit. Not making any sense. In the New York Times, it was reported that the Danish cartoon uproar has taken a turn. In what direction is left to be seen. After 11 churches burnt down in Nigeria, revered Muslim figures are now asking for fellow Muslims to take a hold of their emotions. The outburst only fuels the media and world people's image of Muslims as angry, irrational and terroristic. They have asked for the people to go back to the teachings of the Qur'an: contemplation and understanding. Don't destroy something as beautiful as the Islamic religion just because you think your personal belief in Allah and his Prophet has been tainted by 'yellow' minds.

A wise friend recently said, "Don't beat yourself up too much about your life. Just take it in your stride one day at a time because there are enough people out there that will do it (the beating) for you."

Your beilefs, usually personal, are yours. If you wish to share them then fine. But you have no right to impose them on others. So, if some fool wants to draw a cartoon, let him do it. Get angry if you want but what gives you the right to torch a place of holy worship? It's very different from burning your cheating husband's belongings in his BMW ala Angela Bassett in Waiting to Exhale.

Where is all this fear and hatred coming from? Insecurities of a loss of identity. The rich get richer they say. Someone somewhere wants cheaper oil prices. Tell me, who will benefit from cheaper oil prices, eh?

I dare someone to do a caricature of Buddha and Jesus in a back alley sauna. Why? I want cheaper Happy Meals and Pop Tarts.

Sleep it off.

24 February 2006


Bloggers are such boisterous people. A very colourful bunch that just can't help posing for pictures with their favourite comedians (hint: send the pics over girls!) Just seeing your satisfaction after the show is enough to make me smile for the coming day. And don't forget to pimp my blog! If there's Kodok, I wonder what I'll be nicknamed?

Not going to be a long one. Just got home. About to hop in the shower, have a hot beverage and watch the next repeat of today's American Idol.

Oh yes, I would like to announce that I am the first person in KL to own the 20" Intel iMac. It's here! Here comes my shameless plug: Go get all your Mac/Apple products from MacStudio (Low Yat Plaza, KL) and tell them Edwin sent you. They really are a great bunch of people. Nothing against the other Apple retailers but they're bound to Apple Malaysia's policies. MacStudio goes out of its way to make you happy. The owner himself called me today to tell me my new toy had arrived.

I may go missing the next few days as I will be getting acquainted with my as-yet to be named desktop or maybe I'll be blogging about my daily activities with it.

All I can say is this: It has been a wonderful day thanks to the bloggers, Colin Chong, the Actorlympians, Gustina Putri Orow, Mike Tan, all at Imaginex, the TASB Box Office boys, Nick D and you.

No crap world news can get me down (well, for this next week at least.)

23 February 2006

I don't know what you want but I can't give it anymore

Listening to Mel Tormé and the Pet Shop Boy's Pop Art album after the repeat of this evening's American Idol episode surely must have some kind of subliminal residue in my mind and body. I guess there must be as I'm here writing when I should be nursing my aching lower back by getting some sleep.

Are the Danes afraid that they might one day be citizens of an Islamic country? How threatening is this new strain of bird flu? Should I just leave this song on repeat? Am I gonna blog about something worthwhile? And many other thoughts swimming deep.

It's one of those nights. I know I have something to say but finding the words... This song is just too good. I'm getting up to dance.

20 February 2006


I'm not one to make big promo sessions but this poster looks damned ganas (fierce) and my friend Reza, in the Hatsumomo getup, is making his return to the game. He's one hellulva comedian and we don't see much of him doing comedy. So, to herald his return, as well as the coming-together of the city's wackiest individuals, I present the first of 2006's Actorlympics runs. Those of you who are in Kuala Lumpur, I hope to see you there. And please, this time when we ask for imaginative suggestions, leave the "Toilet!" one at home. No cottaging allowed on Malaysian stages (much to my chagrin.)

15 February 2006

dick with a gun

Today's News: Dick Cheney's friend, whom he accidently shot while they were out hunting, has had a heart attack. Does that come as a surprise? I would have a heart attack too if I was shot "accidentally" by someone who was helping to run my country.

What is it with Americans and their guns? Never-ending saga that one.

And the bird flu which has affected most of the world is now, according to the Americans, a threat to the world only because it has finally hit them. So big in fact, it called for a whole episode on Oprah Prime Time. Wasn't it a world-wide threat anyway? Where were they when it happened? Where were they for the Kyoto Treaty? I'll tell you where: Out hunting their friends and shooting their animals accidentally.

I just realised something. Countries whose first alphabet is A seem particularly accident prone. America (idiot presidents), Australia (racist politicians), Austria (little man with a funny moustache), Africa (apartheid). Didn't Argentina have some kind of war too???

I think I'd better stop watching and reading the news for the next couple of years.

14 February 2006

7 February 2006


In the news today, a woman in France who went through facial reconstruction and religious fanatics challenging the biased beliefs of freedom of expression because of the doings of arrogant Europeans. What is the common denominator between the two? Both are victims of history. Fortunately the woman is the lesser of the two evils. Why? Her suffering led to salvation albeit personal (let's not get into the scalpel of fame her surgeon now wields.)

The religious bunch. Thought nations have been at loggerheads for centuries, it still irks me how simple words can be misconstrued. Granted that some people should be more sensitive when dealing with topics of religion. Yet I can't help but blame ourselves for the situation that we are in.

I was watching CNN today while dancing on the treadmill. Images of Muslims shouting and screaming at policemen. Then the question flashed across the screen: What is the extent of "Freedom of Expression?"

I read it. Twice. Then it dawned upon me. The freedom of expression edict doesn't exist. Has it ever? Is it different for an individual? To me it looks like something someone came up with to cover a guilty ass.

I studied Political Science and when I studied freedom of expresssion, I held it to be a most wondrous thing. The right to express an idea, the unbiased exchange of information, the human justice of living. Now all it is is one big joke. Racial slurs is not freedom of expression. Asking your government for more funds to keep a war going because of freedom is not freedom of expression. Go express yourself somewhere else.

So, we are to blame. The intelligence of Man. As the world grows and becomes truly global with open channels and borders, people regress and become tribes again. Tribes of people that never venture further than the surrounding jungle. Dare I say, narrow-minded.

With every convenience available at the swipe of plastic, it's no wonder we allow our narrow minds to jump at the slightest inconvenience. Freedom of expression is a poor excuse for the common man to raise a club to hurt another. It's like my sorry relatives who snigger behind my back and say I'm a bad muslim because I'm not a pure-bred Malay. What does my race have anything to do with my religion? That's between my God and me. A holy man then told me not to be concerned with my relatives. These were words spoken through lips laced with insecurities. A loss of cultural and racial identity, and religion as a substitute. He added, "If you believe in God, he will believe in you. It doesn't matter what everyone else has to say."

Doesn't every religion teach patience, tolerance and understanding? It doesn't seem the case with hundreds of thousands around the world bearing clubs and weapons of mass destruction.

In our history, wars came about when a sovereign wanted to stake claim on a foreign land or defend his own. Then some idiot decided that religion had to come into play. Now we suffer for it. Just like with everything else we suffer. And most of the time we don't even know why. We follow only because our buddy next door said so.

All that's left for us to do is open a fish & chip shop and run for government. Oh yes, let's not forget a race riot on a beach in Sydney. That's always good for releasing stress. That, and a nice cold beer.

Now that the French woman has a new face, she can live a normal life in a world where at any moment she could lose it again. And I mean really lose it.

3 February 2006


Music is the verse of the soul, and the melody the quiver of a sweet breeze on a heartstring. It's a fairy's magical fingertips fluttering over a sentimental doorway, opening to reveal hidden memories from the depths of the past.

It is the quivering of a chord, penetrating your ears through the waves of ether, only to exit in the form of an ardent teardrop leaving its langorous trace of long lost love or the painful bite of destiny.

Maybe these notes could exit through your lips as they widen with the joyful smile of fulfilment. Music is a body composed of weary sighs, the breath of souls and the spirit of hearts...

~ khalil gibran

2 February 2006

bubble POP!

Just when you think the sun will keep on shining, it rains. And it ain't rainin' pennies from heaven.

I was winding down my car window and came this crunching sound. now my window is stuck midway and can't wind back up. The workshop I send my car to doesn't reopen till next week.

My youngest, Henry, hurt his paw yesterday and is a nightmare when he's hurt. So, I took him to the vet today. That was a thrill. It took all the strength I had to hold him while he was growling at the vet who tried to take a look at his paw. To top it off, it rained when we were in the clinic. With the window down, my car seats got wet.

Then, when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I get a message that No Black Tie, the jazz bar I was going to do Moodswings at, was closed down by the authorities. No licence. It's not that this is going to stop me from doing what I want, it just means that I need to get a couple more corporate emcee gigs to rent a proper theatre space. This is going to set the show back a couple of weeks or months.

I'm looking at it as a blessing in disguise. With the extra time, I get to perfect the music. Just wishing for these gigs to come along. Rental at our local theatres don't come cheap. I'm feeling pretty optimistic still.

I mean, why not? Only when everything goes wrong can the really good things happen.

Henry's sitting at my feet now. He's not limping as much now and he's smiling too.

I don't have to drive anywhere these next few days.

I'm listening to some CDs I picked up yesterday. Mel Tormé, Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone. It helps to find my own voice when I listen to a singer's interpretation of my most loved songs. Each singer has his/her own way of wrapping the lyrics in their own silky emotive style. I think I'm very near in achieving my own style of sparkly wrapping.

So, the bubble may have popped and as my other baby, Bella, joins Henry at my feet, I know I'll be blowing another bubble soon.

29 January 2006

in memoriam

"goodnight sweet prince.
may flights of angels sing thee to thy sleep."

Godbless you Richard. Gucci forever.

25 January 2006

you'd be so nice to come home to

I was driving along, as I usually do, when it struck me, 'what the hell am I waiting for?' I want to do it and I've earned enough this month to pay for it. One phone call and it's set. It took me all of 5 minutes to make the decision. Why so long? Because I was playing with the idea of how it should be done.

Sumunda heads into the world of music. A little bit of jazz, a bit of pop, a dose of Soul, and West End musicals thrown in for good measure. And I'm calling it Moodswings: Edwin Sumun - A Love Life in Song featuring the David Gomes Trio.

Oh yes, if mohammed can't go to the mountain then the mountain comes to him (is that right?).

The idea for this show is welcomed solace to my restless and sleepless nights. The only thing I have to battle against is publicity. I can't advertise it. Why? Because the place I want to do it in hasn't got its licence approved yet. So, it's all gonna be done via email and sms, and hopefully 100 friends and their friends will come fill the 2 nights I want to perform. Oh, and I ain't gonna see a return in profits either. I'm pumping in my own hard earned dosh because I want it done. Thank heavens it won't cost much. I would love to get sponsorship. However, it would be impossible to 'put their names in lights' without advertising. Who knows maybe some philanthropist will come along?

All that's left is to figure out the songs with David and Junji (his wife and the most talented Jazz singer in our country) and get them transcribed. I already know which musicians I'm working with: Vincent Ong on bass, Charles Lim on drums, David on the ivories and guest appearances by Julian Chan on Sax, Junji Delfino and Maya Tan on vocals.

Another rub. PGL the Musical goes on February. So does a show thats being planned by Sean Ghazi. Then in March, is M the Opera. Moodswings either happens in the middle of all that or I wait till April, which doesn't seem that far away now. April 1st perhaps as it will be Sumunda's second birthday.

I'm writing this because I want feedback from you. My ardent reader and I would like you to be there so I'd like to book the day when everyone can come.

Let me leave you with this. Hopefully I'll be doing an original as well as standards. And a teaser shot of what I may look like. I'm getting so excited!

Do you want beauty and grace
Do you want to find another place
Do you want to live a life in love
Do you think that really is enough

Can you try and take it all away
Can you try to make a move to play
Can you really live a life in love
Can you say it really is enough


"The arts cannot thrive except where men are free to be themselves and to be in charge of their own energies and ardours."
- Franklin Roosevelt

23 January 2006

hallmark stronghold

You have angered Zeus and Hera will not answer your prayers. Three hours later, I watch the re-run of Hercules on the Hallmark channel. It wasn't a very good show but I'm tempted by the tales of Greek gods. As a child, I made my parents buy me books on mythologies of ancient worlds. I read of the great Egyptian pharoahs, the superhuman tales of the gods of Rome and Greece, the legends and myths of Ancient China. There were a great many tales that lulled me into fantastic dreams. Stories of Hang Tuah and Mahsuri didn't fascinate me as much. Pity. The curse bit was fun though.

In retrospect, I now see that maybe it was these childhood readings that sculptured my perceptions of life. Great stories of mortal men who become heroes battling all that the angered gods unleash. Very Barbara Cartland, don't you think? I think so.

Now the bestseller lists list books by Danielle Steel, that Da Vinci code and a million other thriller paperbacks as the words for the mortal man of today. How do we live our dreams if they are filled with conspiracy theories, shopaholic confessions and a really bad movie version of a geisha's ramblings?

We dream anyway. No matter what. I dream of being a father. I don't think that'll come true. The world I frolic in doesn't allow such dreams to come true. However, mentioned in my previous posts and in my daily steps, some do come true. Sometimes luck plays a part, sometimes I become the luck and make my dreams come true.

You have greatness in you. Time will reveal it.

That's a line of dialogue from Hercules (which I watch as I write) and it's been said to me by two people I hold very dear.

I believe greatness lies in all of us. It (greatness) is interpreted however you feel fits your walk of life. I want to learn and share these lessons with as many as I can and be remembered for the presence I've left.

Don't fight for what you believe you deserve. Fight for what you believe is the truth. And that is another way of explaining greatness.

Hercules now begins his first task.

20 January 2006

quando quando quando

I want to experience wisdom. What is it exactly? I mean even wise men seek jesus.

According to the dictionary on my computer, Wisdom is the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise. I looked up wise and it came up about the same.

Is sound advice wise? What makes someone a wise person? I don't know. A lot of people tell you things. All sorts of things, from the inanely obvious to downright ridiculous.

I was recently asked by a fellow director to return to a production I walked out of a year ago. It'll be a groundbreaking show (I think) and I've been talking to friends about it wondering if I should walk back in. But something in my gut says I shouldn't. My head and my ego say otherwise. Since I started Sumunda, I've lead my life by my gut feeling and it has never failed me.

Is it time to let the twain meet? How do I decide? Something about the show doesn't feel right. When I walked out a year ago, no ties were broken and I walked away with a load taken off my shoulders. However, I've always had that nagging feeling of what if. I left one of the leads and I've been asked to return to fill a smaller one. This is where ego kicks in. With a career and reputation driving in high gear, it is a quandary for me. I have 5 days more to reconsider my involvement in the production.

As I listen to keroncong from Indonesia, soothing as it is, my heart and mind are torn asunder (how diva-ly dramatic!).

Agar hati rindu, ku kan senyum.

I think I will stick to my guns. Decisions must be made. Decisions made on gut feeling always lead me to the appropriate place, and I wonder where it'll be this time.

Success has a price and I've misplaced my chequebook. Will cash do? Or can I write an I.O.U.? Should I do it?

I'm going to watch people hit fuzzy yellow balls now.

18 January 2006


These past 2 weeks have been great! A wonderful start to the year. I guess that's why I haven't blogged about the things that happen around me. Well, I could if I wanted to. There have some minorly annoying people that I had to deal with but nothing that warrants a full-on blog post.

So, where does that leave me, the Diva? I'm still observing the world but this time I've flipped the coin. I wonder what I'll find on this side? People who don't return a smile still annoy me. Hey, I don't think people will change anytime soon. Their need for 'speed' overwhelms their internal need for whatever it is they need to live a contented life. The Australian Open is on so I'll be spending most of my days watching the baselines and volleys. I'll pay attention when someone steps up to the net and takes that risk.

Godbless the little miracles.

I leave you with another set of lyrics from my now very overdue album. Maybe this will be the year. Who knows?

Back to Mine

I’m waiting for that day
When the rain stops and the clouds roll away
Ushered to a faraway place by the winds of time
Waiting for that day when I get back to mine.

I’m waiting for that day
When I can walk proud on the streets and say
That I braved it all, no longer pine
Knowing I will smile when I get back to mine.

Now I’m hiding alone in my halls
Seeing the light only when it calls
Only on stage do I stand tall
Back in my room I cry and I fall

Back in love with you
Everytime I hear your name I do
In love with you
There is only me
Cuddled in my room
Wondering of you
Come back to mine.

Now I know hiding is no longer right
All we did in love was fight
But here I am
And once again
Dreaming of your smiles

Back in love with you
Everytime I only wish the best for you
You know I do
The very best of me
Is what you need but
It’s yet to be until
I get back to mine.

13 January 2006

la la la...

Been a whole week since my last post. And the week has been financially rewarding. So good in fact I'm considering purchasing a new desktop computer for my work. Considering being the operative word. And what, I hear you ask, is the lucky item? The newly unleashed Intel Core Duo 20" iMac. It's a beauty and a bloody excellent piece of hardware. I've been eyeing the iMac for a couple of months now and with the Intel processor I'm ready to make the leap.

I've been a Mac user for just over a year. Before that, like the billions, I was on a home-built desktop running Windows XP. 10 years of crashes and headaches, I decided I was migrating to a system that only a select few claimed was THE system to use. Okay, Apple products have always been things to things your saliva drips on and owners are people who don't mind burning holes in their pockets. One fine day, I walked into the store with my chequebook and got myself an iBook. I must admit I got a Mac because I knew it was a status symbol more than anything else. It looked good but never in a million years did I think it could do so much. In the 13 months that I've loved it, I've managed to do more work on it than the 10 combined years on my 'other' PC. It all boils down to the OSX user interface. Many people have said it was daunting but after a couple of days of getting used to the system, I found that it was literally one click of a button to get the job done. I have since convinced 3 of my friends to 'Mac' up themselves.

So, now with Intel on their side, Apple has built the most powerful home-user computer. Soon will come the professional editions.

The world where form meets function.

And if you think this is a shameless free plug for Apple, you're right!

Beauty isn't always skin deep.

7 January 2006

philatelic society

What is it about first impressions? Some of us are first attracted to how gorgeous the person is. I used to be like that. Nowadays, I wait. The first impression is made when I meet the person, we have a brief conversation and then we part ways. Based on that first encounter, I'm 'impressed.' On first impressions, people I meet say I'm funny, intriguing, enigmatic, commanding. Depending on perception, they then say I'm physically attractive. I wonder sometimes what goes on in the minds of men.

There is no right or wrong way of making an impression. You do what feels right. I enter a room and you know I'm there. I never make it a point to be seen. It just happens. We shouldn't force something to happen all because we want it to. Someone once said that I had an aura. Well, everyone has an aura. I think it boils down to personality and confidence. Knowing who you are.

Then in walks the most good-looking person you've ever seen. You jaw drops and you start behaving like a lovestruck little schoolgirl. You forget your senses. And the game of mental cat-and-mouse begins.

It doesn't hurt to allow first impressions to guide your perceptions. You may find out later you were wrong about a person. I sure as hell know I've trusted the wrong person but it's all part of what you need to go through. The lessons take you to another part of your journey. I'm still on it and not planning to find the final destination. I'll get there when I get there. Maybe you do know where you're going to. But you'll never really know how you'll get there. Either way, enjoy the experiences that your life has granted you. And if you like roller-coasters, you're in for one helluva ride!

6 January 2006

sense & sensibility

If Jane Austen was alive, she would be extremely pleased with how her words have been reinterpreted for the modern day reader.

My friends and me went to watch Pride & Prejudice. We were expecting just a good movie. But we were captivated. The cinematography was breath-taking, the performances compelling and the screenplay was, to say the least, astounding. My humble words will never do justice if I were to describe it to you. Never in recent times has a movie been so engrossing. I have a bladder problem but it had me gripped to my seat for close to 2 1/2 hours. I am in love with Mr.Darcy (yet again).

The language was music to my ears. Then after that we went for a late night sup. Nevermind the language heard then.

The Brits just know how to make a great movie. I guess, unlike the Americans, they aren't driven by the market of posterity. Great actors come first. I have had the great pleasure of seeing many of my idols on stage, Dames Judi and Maggie, Ian McKellen, Rhys Ifans just to name drop a few. The magic of their performances never fail to renew my hope of one day being an actor of unrivalled presense. I've come pretty close I think.

Anyway, it's not that I'm knocking the Americans, but looking back at the history of American cinema, you understand why beauty reigns supreme. Talent a very close second. Up till this very day, looks sell the tickets. A handful of actors make it past that veneer. However, the world subcribes to the universe of stars that make you drool when they appear, a world created by Americans unrivalled by any other movie industry (Bollywood excluded).

I would like to thank the Aussies for Cate Blanchett. Good on ya!

Beauty is the word. How we have fallen for it. We don't often see an 'ugly' actor on film, TV etc. The theory I have is this: The Americans use beauty to mask the crap that happens in their country. Maybe Bush Jr. could learn a thing or two because the mask he wears is downright pathetic.

And now, all we ever dream of is Prince Charming (who looks like Tom Cruise) and Amelia Erheart (Angelina Jolie). Unless our chosen partner for life fits this bill, no one will have a chance in hell of coming close.

Anyone watched Carnivale? Great series (and everyone in it isn't drop dead gorgeous). American, of course, so there may still be a chance for us.

4 January 2006


One of my favourite things to do is to sit somewhere with a hot cup of coffee, my headphones on and watch the people around me. Sometimes, I make up little stories about them. Sometimes I write my silly poems. Yesterday was one of those days. I would like to thank Telekom for this. If it wasn't for my crappy broadband service lately, I wouldn't have started again. I used to write a lot. It complements the writing I do for theatre. Now it's back. I ended up writing into the wee hours. To tell you the truth, I'm writing lyrics. I'm hoping this will be the year when I begin recording.

My personal writes usually deal with love (boohoo me!) but here's one I'd like to share. One of those 'people-walking-past' type of poems. Bear with me.

Staring out the window
Is it worth it all?
All the pain imagined
Just to stand up tall

Looking at the people
Living out each day
Second best decisions
Still waiting for that call

Glaring at the mirror
Smiling for myself
Until I see the camera
My smile broadens again

Wanting needing breathing living
The world is a better place
Just keep on believing
The mess is just a phase
Gifts we are receiving
Are simply thrown away
Where are we going?
The day begins again.

copyright edwin sumun 2006

2 January 2006


The second day of the year. Has a nice ring to it. Some noticable changes and some that will never change. Like my broadband service. For the past few weeks, it's been on the blink. Goes off when the rain gets too heavy. Today was the worse. I'm crossing my fingers that it won't get cut off before I have a chance to post this.

Living in a semi-developed country does have its perks. What are they? Well, if you were educated abroad or have parents that stressed the importance of learning English, then it'll be easier to travel. If you weren't as fortunate, then I hope you listened to your teachers in school. However, Malaysians still speak the language...no no no, they don't speak it. They pretend they don't understand you and speak in Malay. Funny isn't it? You can walk straight up to the counter at McDs, place your order in English, the girl behind the counter feigns indifference, looks at you funny, answers you in Malay and still manages to give you exactly what you ordered. The expats here must be having a whale of a time!

But, for those of us who have had the amazing opportunity of seeing the world, we understand that language is never a barrier. Children don't care what you say to them as long as they know the care and love that comes from you when you hold them. Hello is hello in most languages.

I have some 'friends' that constantly complain of dealing with malaysians that don't properly, or can't, speak English. Okay dude, get a grip on yourself. We were lucky we had parents that helped. The education system only encourages teachers to teach the kids of today. But we all know for a fact that English isn't as important as Maths, is it? It's that whole Borrow-Lend debacle that gets my goat. And let's not even start on grammar.

Well lets. A little girl named Judith showed me her homework book. Her teacher made the class draw a series of pictures and then describe them in words. Not only that, they had to write this descriptive sentence 5 times for each picture. The picture Judith drew was of a tree sprouting from the ground. Her sentence was, and she was given a 'very good' marking, 'The tree still not grow yet.' I told Judith it was incorrect. She was puzzled. "But my teacher said correct what? Can you borrow me your pen so I can write it down properly?"

I told her mother and we both had a good laugh. It seems she's at tethers end explaining to her kids about the borrow-lend concept.

Yes, it's tearjerkingly painful what our kids learn in schools in Malaysia. Why? Because they're not going to understand the Aussies and the Brits. Have you seen a Malaysian struggling with the man behind the deli counter at the market in Selfridges? It's a sight to behold.

And what is this 10 subjects minimum for SPM (our O Levels)? Oh, I don't know anymore. We, the system, stress the importance of education. And what is this stress really for I ask you?

Tomorrow I'll be calling Telekom about my broadband disruptance. It will be a very long call. The operator will be speaking in Malay and I will be speaking in tongues.

So, as long as I get my Happy Meal, I'm happy. Ya, large boleh...Large lah...LARGE...Besar? That's all.