Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Countdown To New Year 2009

In just a few hours' time, we are going to bid farewell to 2008 and usher in 2009. 2008 shall be both cherished and lamented, both locally and globally, in terms of politics and economics.

Economically and politically speaking, 2008 has been a year of turbulence, with ups and downs sending all nations pop-eyed. The swift blows and the harsh impact sent people across the globe off-balance.

On the national front, the so-called political tsunami on March 8 was vibrating with tremendous force, sending BN for the first time in its history wobbly. With its two-third majority in the parliament denied and five of its states falling into the hands of PR, Pak Lah stood to take the blame. In a tough fight for power, Pak Lah bowed to the pressure and compromised to call it a day in March 2009.

In U.S., the subprime mortgage crisis took ugly turns, sending the States' financial system melting down. This created a big hollow in the system and unless it was swiftly filled up, the whole global financial system stood vulnerable to a collapse. The Federal Reserve acted fast against its doctrine of non-interference to come out with printing of 3 billion cash. This saved the system, but it gave a huge blow to the greenback, making the currency in danger of going down much further. The expected superdevaluation has immense implications for the global economy.

The falling dollar may leave several nations in the doldrums, thereby adding fuel to the flames in the global economic downturn.

Therefore, 2009 is anticipated to be a year of turmoil with deeper recession looming large. You may not have felt it yet, but the sluggish prospects are creeping in day and night.

Tighten your belt and face up to the challenging year ahead. Hold on to cash as it is now the emperor!

To all my readers - Happy New Year and may you have all the best in 2009!
The photo shows the countdown at Sibu Town Square with shows and fireworks to usher in 2009. (Photo: Steve Ling)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

MAF of Sibu East District - Now Into The Blogsphere!

Ting Leng Kieh is one of the good brethren of Sibu East District!

By the grace of our God, we are again going to serve Him together in MAF of Sibu East District in 2009.

Sometime last week, whilst planning for next year's work over a cup of freshly brewed coffee in Cafe Palmelia, we somehow bumped into the idea of having a blog for MAF of Sibu East District. We deliberated over it a bit further, finally coming to a consensus that the planned blog shall be owned by Leng Kieh for the entire purpose of MAF of Sibu East District.

Last night at the first committee meeting of the fellowship, I raised the creation of a personal blog to be devoted wholly to the district fellowship. It was well received!

This afternoon, I met up with Leng Kieh to go into the blog details, including the basic principles to run it.

At 7:30 this evening, I received a text message from Leng Kieh that the blog had just come out hot from oven! Gee, it sounds pretty exciting.

Praise Lord that MAF of Sibu East District has now a place of its own in the blogsphere!

You may visit the blog at .

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Care For Environment - SMC's Love Earth Day

Dorcas Service Centre - Donate reusable items to help finance their social work. Guidelines For Making Household Compost & Garbage Enzyme.

Compost - It was such a fun to join in the lucky draw!

Sibu Municipal Council in its relentless efforts to promote a clean and healthy environment in Sibu came out with this care-for-environment project - love Earth Day.
This environment conciousness drive by SMC struck me when I first learned about it - Gee, SMC is getting down-to-earth and green! This is a positive move for Sibu.
Love Earth Day may be just a small step but nontheless it is timely towards upgrading Sibu in environmental awareness. On this note, SMC deserves a pat on the back.
Love Earth Day was extensively publicised to achieve maximum impact. Besides all the press releases, it also handed out book-marks to arouse the interest of the public.
At Hing Hua Memorial Park on Dec. 27, SMC managed to garner a wide private participation in this meaningful project. Included in the particupants' list were Sibu Kidney Foundation, Dorcas Service Centre, Methodust Church etc.
Right from the start, I made it a point to give Love Earth Day my humble support. Yian gathered a total of four bags of reusable clothes for donation.
I popped in with the donation items and felt delighted to have done my part. In return, I was given a lucky draw coupon as a token of appreciation.
At the redemption centre, I drew lot and won a packet of compost for my home-gardening. It was really quite a fun!
SMC, keep it up!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Overweight Santa Claus

The dented and twisted wheel of the tricycle took me by surprise and I was told that Santa Claus did it on the eve of Christmas!

Wah, this year's Santa got to be overwight to have landed the tricycle in this awkward shape.

Oh dear Santa, you need some serious diet programme to trim off the excess!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Masland Methodist Church's Christmas Gala Night - Your Eternal Home

The Masland Methodist Church congregated around 2,000 church members, young and old, in Sibu Civic Centre for the Christmas Gala Night on Dec. 25.
The programme was tightly scheduled into a two-hour duration, running on a smooth flow with minimum lapse. The whole gala show was commendable in terms of efficiency and planning.
The core of Christmas Gala Night's message was conveyed clear to the floor. Pastor Ting in her sharing emphasized that we are the reason for Jesus Christ to come to this world. "He gives each and everyone of you the hope of an eternal home," she pointed out.
The whole night's programme was tied in closely to the theme - Your Eternal Home. From sunday school children to the senior fellowshippers, all the performers gave superb presentations. At times I was mesmerized. Gee, the organisers got to be versatile to have come out with such diverse stage shows. They deserve a big thumb up
One drawback was the PA system. The back portion failed to get the sound effect. In fact the system gave out squeaky sound many a time which was quite a frustration. Perhaps the organisers may reflect on it!
The Christmas Gala Night concluded with a benediction by Rev. Kong Chong Lin.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Santa Claus Coming In Tricycle

I was told in olden days Santa Claus came in reindeer-pulled sleigh to hand out goodies to all kids.

We came out with a modern version of it to suit the trend.

Santa Claus is going to be tricycled in with ho! ho! ho! to give away sweets to all waiting children.

See you at Premier Hotel ( ).

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Xin Fu Yuan Methodist Church - Children's Christmas Concert

It was Christmas party time for children this evening and Xin Fu Yuan Methodist Church moved it to the premises of Public Book Co. on Level 4, Wisma Sanyan.
The venue was jam-packed with lovely children and eager parents when we arrived, making it a hard job for me to slip through.
The street-style concert gave a better sense of closeness, enabling a good rapport between the stage and the floor. This is not what theatre-style concert can achieve.
As the children clapped their hands, tapped their feet and sang along, the mood of Christmas filled the atmosphere. When I looked at the children, I saw a glow of joy and happiness on their faces. Gee, Christ Jesus had got to be embracing them!
When we walked off, our minds kept echoing with the sound of their laughter and the soothing music.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Xin Fu Yuan Methodist Church -" Walk Out To Reach Out" Christmas Celebrations

Xin Fu Yuan Methodist church aims to reach out to wider public the good news of the birth of Christ Jesus through open public concerts this year. In other words, the church is not celebrating Christmas this time within the confinement of four walls in the church building. Instead, it is a "Walk Out To Reach out" - the church is taking the entire celebrations to the open public.
On the run-up to Christmas, the church kept the momentum running this evening with a Evangelical Musical Christmas Concert at the foyer of Wisma Sanyan.
Themed "Rise! Rise! Rise!" (I was made to understand that it referred to the sizzling economic inflation which besieged the consumers at large, landing them in great distress), the live concert was evangelistic in nature targeting at the public at large. Through shows comprising of dances, songs and sharing, the presenters sought to get across to the spectators the message of Christmas and what it meant to you and me.
I was drawn to pop over by the melodious singing after my dinner at Blue Splendour Restaurant. The lively and creative programmes were an attraction for the evening in Wisma Sanyan. The messages getting through were clear and forceful, giving the thronging audience a time to pause for rethinking.
The Christmas concert concluded with a choir presentation, but that did not end the celebrations. The participating brothers and sisters stretched out their hands to welcome you to another show at Sunday Market, Jalan Chiew Siik Hiong on the evening of Dec. 25.
See you there!
If you wish to know more about the church, you may log in their website at( ).

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dong Zhi

Yian's specialty - Roasted Chicken!
Deep Fried Snow Fish with sauce.

Winter Solstice Festival or Dong Zhi is a major Chinese festival marking the start of the first of the 24 seasonal division points. Its prominence was on par with Chinese New Year in the olden days in China. No Chinese, therefore, can afford to miss this occasion.
The mantras or the traditional teachings go like this: Dong Zhi falls on three days before Christmas.
But this year the Lunar and Gregorian calendars defy the mantras! Instead of the old saying of three days, Dong Zhi falls on today which is four days away from Christmas. Those who are unsuspecting might have been caught by surprise!
Yian set her hands in to come out with a satisfying 6-course Dong Zhi dinner for the family. Praise Lord for the delicacies and the wonderful meal time!
The photo shows Deluxe Fried Noodles.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ecumenical Christmas Carolling - Joy To The World, The Lord Has Come!

Sibu Town Square was a splendour this evening as 4,000 church members from different denominations gathered together in the name of our Lord for the annual Ecumenical Christmas Carolling. The congregation orderly lined up for a sing-along and prayer time before they marched off to the streets to sing to the Sibuians the good news of the birth of Lord Jesus to the world.
The birth of Jesus Christ gave to mankind the hope of eternal living and that is precisely the theme of Christmas. Never be caught in the illusion that Santa Claus is the lead player in this profoundly important occasion.
Along with the contingents were more than 10 floats, all creatively decorated to meaningful themes, with the purpose to share with the world the joy of having Christ Jesus!
As the brothers and sisters marched along the streets, they filled the air with joyous mood of Christmas. When they sang out the Christmas songs melodiously to thousands of on-lookers eagerly thronging on the road sides, the contingent members were like angels proclaiming the good news of our Lord to them!
The above pictures show the carolling teams and the floats. (Photos: Steve Ling)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Joy To The World!

The Masland Methodist Church gathered together more than 600 brothers and sisters under one roof in Regalla Ballroom of Kingwood Hotel for a joint celebration of Christmas. I partook of this grand occasion with Yian to sing to the world with all the brothers and sisters the joy of having Christ with us!
The sumptuous meal, wonderful programmes and the posh ballroom were not the essence of Christmas. In other words, the delectable foods and so on should not take the centre stage of this joyous occasion. Then, what is Christmas all about?
Rev. Kong Chong Lin put it aptly by quoting John 3:16-18 :For God so loved the world the he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
Rev. Kong shared that Christmas is meaningful to the world for one reason that Jesus Christ came as a savior to give all believers eternal lives.
So don't make Christmas trees or Santa Claus the themes of Christmas. Christ Jesus should be!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

From Germany With Love

This group of German tourists are travelling overland from Kuching to KK on their tour of Borneo. They are CAN ( culture, nature, adventure) travellers who are attracted by the exotic beauty of the island.
Sibu remains a stop-over in their itinerary.
In our efforts to promote Sibu as a tourist destination, perhaps we may take a serious look at our underdeveloped tourist potentials.
2009 has been officially declared as "Visit Sibu Year". Sibuians are awaiting for some surprises!
The pictures show the group at Premier Hotel's ( ) lobby upon arrival.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Creating A Healthy Environment In Sibu

Sibu Municipal Council has put in commendable efforts to make Sibu a clean town and there are considerably encouraging results. All Sibuians bear witness to this effect.

SMC put Sibuians to another challenge by spurring on them to love our environment.

Lee Yan Sen, a Health Officer of SMC, untiringly promoted their latest care-for-environment project when I bumped into him two days ago. His eloquent talking moved me greatly, convincing me that it is indeed a worthwhile and noble project.

Perhaps this sort of goody ought to be shared with more people! To this effect, Lee started another blog to give a wider publicity to the SMC's environment-friendly undertakings. You may visit his blog at ( ).

Lee is also a renowned poet in Sibu, popularly known as Poet of Rajang Basin! If you are a fanatic of poems, you may give yourself a try at ( ).

A big thumb up to SMC and Lee!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

This Is Our Tradition!

Terima kasih!
Our hotel ( ) said it in a fine traditional Malaysian way to See Hua Daily News, The Borneo Post and United Daily for their support throughout the year. We were short of words to convey our gratitude other than 'thank you" and a cake or two!
The first picture shows Kong Chee Fui (Chief Reporter) of United Daily receiving the cake from me. On the left is Steve Ling (Feature Writer) who is also a blogger!
The second picture shows Nicholas Lo (Chief Reporter of The Borneo Post) and Yong (Chief Reporter of See Hua Daily News) posing with me and their reporting team.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Thank-You Cake For The Press Friends

Our hotel( ) has never failed to be thankful to the local press for the wonderful working relationship!
It is time again for me to go around to show our appreciation to the press friends who are more than obliging to work together with us.
Our pastry-made cake is just a token of appreciation. It is far not enough for us to say it all! The picture shows Shelyn of Eastern Times receiving the cake from me.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas 2008 - Christmas Tree Competition

Once again, Sibu Municipal Council organised a Christmas Tree Competition. The idea is to add more glamour to the season and to spur on more creativity. The competition is very noble and it helps towards creating a beautiful Sibu.
Last year the same competition was well received and the response was encouraging. I personally gave a big thumb to SMC for giving Sibu a colourful season.
Pop in for a visit at Sibu Town Square if you have not seen the stylish Christmas trees!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas 2008 - Premier Hotel Sibu

The season is warming up a bit slow this year, partly, I guess, due to the financial crisis besetting the world. The global slowdown has adversely impacted the consumptions, thus giving a sluggish outlook.
At Premier Hotel, we remain optimistic about the season. Our leaflet for Christmas and New Year 2009 is oven-baked hot, albeit a bit behind the schedule due to certain design hitch.
The thrill-packed and fun-filled line-up of programmes are installed to take you through the season with all the excitement!
Come and join us! Cheers!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas 2008 - Delta Mall Sibu

Delta Mall provides an alternative for shoppers who opt for class and taste. The spacious interior and the classy settings make the mall a pleasurable shopping venue.
Delta Mall was soft-opened about a year ago. Now it is proud to have an occupancy of nearly 90%. This enhances the mall, making it a popular spot.
The latest addition is the supermarket "Delta The Market Place" on the basement. The timing is right since Chinese New Year is just around the corner.
Price labelling was one thing that I noted in particular about Delta The Market Place. All the merchandise that I picked up was not labelled with prices. Instead, the prices were tagged on the shelves. That made shoppers' lives pretty gruelling!
Delta Mall greeted the Christmas with a huge Christmas tree in the lobby on the ground level. The glittering Christmas tree was stylish and attractive.
On the same level was a huge styrofoam-made statue of rat, purposefully created for decoration and to signify the year of rat, perhaps.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

SUPP - Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan To Stay On

As hotly speculated, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan would stay on as the boss of SUPP for another term despite his quit promise made during the last TDC.
The Central Working Committee at its meeting yesterday unanimously called on GC to stay on for the sake of the party.
This has deep implications for the disputed formation of Dudong Branch.
Sibu Branch has apparently gained an upper hand consequent to the above development.

Monday, December 8, 2008

SUPP's Infighting - Wong Ching Yong Dropped A Bombshell

On the run-up to the TDC of SUPP, Wong Ching Yong of Sibu dropped a bombshell yesterday by publicly announcing his commencement of a motion of no confidence on Datuk Seri wong Soon Koh by secret voting during the coming TDC.

This is a complete show-down of the rivalry between Sibu Branch and SUPP Dudong.

The move is clearly a fight for survival for Dudong team.

If GC opts to stay on (and it looks increasingly likely), then the tide may turn against Dudong's faction.

The developments are getting nerve-racking!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

SUPP Wanita - Cheng Yi Versus Susan Lee

Datin Janet Lau formally announced her decision not to stand for a re-election of the top post of SUPP Central Wanita. Instead, she threw her backing behind Susan Lee of Miri Branch to contest against Cheng Yi of Kuching for the post.

That makes Sibu-Miri versus Kuching-Sarikei even more evident, a scenario that is likely to dominate the up-coming TDC of SUPP.

Besides druming up for support at the grass-root levels, Cheng Yi also propagates her views on political ideology through her blog.

Cheng Yi is pretty aggressive. It appears that Susan Lee has to work harder in this race to power!

Friday, December 5, 2008

SUPP Youth - Sih Hua Tong Versus Joseph Chieng

A clear battlefield has been laid out for the TDC of SUPP, with a distinct line drawn up between Sibu and Kuching.
Following Kuching's Cheng Yi posing a challenge against the incumbent Datin Janet Lau for SUPP Wanita's top post, Joseph Chieng of Sibu Branch yesterday declared his intent to take a step further in his political career by vying for the Central Youth's top post. If the music is played according to the present tune, Joseph Chieng would be on a straight fight with Sih Hua Tong of Batu Lintang Branch.
Joseph Chieng stands a 50% chance of winning, judging from the present situation. Of course, circumstances may change for better or worse in the next few days!