Monday, March 30, 2009

Switch off the computer while not in use

If you support Earth Hour,then the next step to continue the noble purpose, is to switch off the computer while not in use or overnight.

The 2009 PC Energy Report revealed that all the power wasted while computers are sitting idle on overnight mode added up to US Dollars $2.8 Billion wasted on excess energy cost each year in USA alone; it is 300 million sterling pounds for UK, and 918 Million Euro for Germany.... and there are many countries,like Japan, India, China ..... imagine the excess energy cost globally?

It was reported by the CEO of IE Mr Sumir Karayi, if all the world's 1 billion PC were powered down for just one night, it would save enough energy to light up New York City's Empire State Building for more than 30 years... it is an amazing figure(visit You can download the report. IE is the market leader in PC Power management software.

The PC will function better, if we start the PC regularly; and nightly shutdown will avoid the sudden reboot during the day while you are in most productive hours.

It is time we support another good act, switch off the computer for 1 hour.

Computer Hour, shut down computer for one hour. Why not?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

清明节 Qing Ming

Qing Ming Festival清明節 is the Chinese equivalent of the All Soul Day. Literally in Chinese, Qing Ming is Pure Brightness Festival, it is the traditional Chinese festival where the family visit the ancestor's grave site and to remember and honor the ancestors. It is one of the eight most important Chinese festivals, which included 上元(元宵节 or lantern festival)、清明(Qing Ming)、立夏(summer begin)、端午(Dragon Boat festival)、中元(Ghost festival)、中秋(Mid-Autumn or Mooncake festival)、冬至(winter coming) 和 除夕(New Year Eve). It is also the time young and old of the family will pray before the ancestor, sweep the tombs, and offer food, fruits, tea, wine, joss paper, hell notes, accessories, to the ancestors. The festival is also called Tomb Sweeping Day.

But actually, Qing Ming Festival is more than sweeping the tomb. It is the annual family picnic, it is the social gathering of the family members, it is courting time for young people, it is time for kite flying, sport, trees planting and other cultural activities. They also called the festival Taqing (踏青 or literally treading on the greeny), which is the time for people to go outside and enjoy the greeny of spring time.
It is also called cold food festival(寒食节),or ready cooked food festival(熟食节) or Tobacco ban day(禁烟节),or cold day(冷节). The time where use of fire to cook is prohibited, it need to take cold ready cooked foods. It is also called The 3rd Month festival(三月节).

The festival normally fall on April the 4th, but if it is the leap year, it is April 5th.The Chinese can start the festival 10 days before or after this date.
The Qing Ming festival has 2,500 years of history.

If you want to know how ancient people celebrate Qing Ming, it is clearly reflected in an ancient Chinese painting by Zhang Zeduan( 張擇端) 1085-1145 AD , the Qingming Scroll with the title "Along the River during Qing Ming Festival(清明上河图)", of Song Dynasty. From the painting, it revealed that Qing Ming Festival was a fun filled celebration.

The picture above is the Song Dynasty painting "Along the river during Qingming(清明上河图)"



清明時節雨紛紛 A drizzling rain falls like tears on the Mourning Day;

路上行人欲斷魂 The mourner's heart is breaking on his way.

借問酒家何處有 Where can a winehouse be found to drown his sadness?

牧童遙指杏花村 A cowherd points to Almond Flower (Xing Hua) Village in the distance.







The cemetery in Penang are located at Mount Erskine, Batu Gantong, Batu Lanchang, Paya Terubong,Teluk Pahang, Balik Pulau. The more modern Qing Ming, the descendants visit columbarium, which are actually a purpose build building with small rooms to store funeral urns. The words columbarium means pigeon house in Latin. Now there are limited land for burial ground, some of the dead are now burnt instead of buried. The Qing Beng will be different, as taqing, stepping on the greenery will not be experienced by the younger generation. But there is another trends for the upper class people, the well planned garden like Memorial as burial ground, it is professionally managed, you can really go picnic with your family members once a year....go taqing.

How the Christian Chinese do during Qing Ming or Cheng Beng?. Christian teach to respect their parents. Some of them will also visit the tomb like the other family members, but they only use flowers to lay at the tomb for remembrance. Some of the family have remembrance service in the Church. Qing Ming is a normal agricultural community activities during the ancient time,especially after harvest, but it has developed into the major festival of the Chinese.Qing Ming is cultural activities of Chinese from ancient time, it is not wise to just look at it on purely religion view. Ancestor remembrance is spiritually acceptable in Christian teaching. It is not ancestor worshiping by using joss stick, it is praying(in Christian way) in the remembrance of the ancestor, and how they have blessed us through their teaching and love, we give thanks to God for their life, and as our ancestor.

Qing Ming is social activities, a family get together,in remembrance of the ancester and God for the goodness given. It is Taqing(踏青), going out to the greenery; it is cold food festival(寒食节), where you stop using fire to cook and eat ready cooked food or cold food(just like the Earth Hour), stop making fire or modern day electricity to save the earth, it is time to rest; it is Pure Bright day(清明节), a day to be pure and bright, in thanksgiving for the living family members still around you,and also praising God for the goodness and the earth, and his blessing to you.

Let us go out and taqing (踏青), eat cooked food(寒食),like picnic in the spring,isn't it good?

World Heritage Site & No 2 must visit destination for 2009

Penang Tourism website, reported the following:-

1)NY Times readers choose Penang as No.2 must-visit destination for 2009

Sunday January 18, 2009
"As reported in The Star, January 18, 2009 by Christina Chin"

GEORGE TOWN: Readers of The New York Times have chosen Penang as the second best destination among “44 Places To Go in 2009”.

In top spot in the recommendations found on the paper’s website ( was Beirut.

The only other South-East Asian destination in the ranking is Phuket, which is in 15th place.

Other places include Washington (fourth), Rome (fifth) and Metz in France (sixth). The newspaper ranked Penang in the 22nd spot while Phuket was placed 12th.

Besides the second spot in the overall readers’ ranking, Penang is also in the top 12 places in the frugal and food categories (both readers’ and the paper’s recommendations).

The New York Times said adventurous foodies are now turning to Penang, the culinary capital of Malaysia, where they are eating their way through one of South-East Asia’s liveliest street-food scenes.

It said there are city-run hawker stands everywhere and even refined dishes like char koay teow rarely cost more than US$2 (about RM7.20)

2. Penang as UNESCO World Heritage Site

On 7th July, 2007, George Town’s rich living heritage, culture and history was officially recognised when the World Heritage Committee in Quebec City, Canada, officially inscribed the city as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Jointly listed with Melaka, George Town was acknowledged as having developed over 500 years of trading and cultural exchanges between East and West in the Straits of Malacca.

The influences of Asia and Europe have endowed the town with a specific multicultural heritage that is both tangible and intangible. Featuring residential and commercial buildings, George Town represents the British era from the end of the 18th century.

Citing “outstanding universal values” as the reasons
for the inscription, UNESCO acknowledged the city as:

A remarkable example of historic colonial towns on the Straits of Malacca that demonstrate a succession of historical and cultural influences arising from their former function as trading ports linking East and West
The most complete surviving historic city centre on the Straits of Malacca with a multi-cultural living heritage originating from the trade routes from Great Britain and Europe through the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and the Malay Archipelago to China
An exceptional example of multi-cultural trading towns in East and Southeast Asia, forged from the mercantile and exchanges of Malay, Chinese, and Indian cultures and three successive European colonial powers for almost 500 years, each with its imprints on the architecture and urban form, technology and monumental art
A living testimony to the multi-cultural heritage and tradition of Asia, and European
colonial influences
A reflection of a mixture of influences which have created a unique architechture,
culture and townscape

“… A unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia.” - UNESCO

(source: my)

Welcome to Penang, in 2009......

Earth Hour together with friends

Earth hour was observed with a group of friends on the night of 28-3-2009, and celebration of my retirement.

We have great time of sharing among the family members; children having great time to mingle around. We started with steam boat first, then some sharing on Book of Mathew by Kwang Yang.

Talking about sleeping in the boat, I still remember when I went for fishing for squids in Marang,Trengannu. The squid fishing will start at the middle of night with light on to attract them. While I am sleeping at the boat in the middle of the sea: the peace, the calmness at night(despite it was raining), you need to be sure and the element of trust that it is OK.The boat is moving with the sea waves,it is not easy to have peaceful sleep. But I slept. There was a guy, who is bigger size, vomit and uneasy during the fishing trip. In the sea, the challenge is different.

Then come 8.30p.m.; the time to observe the Earth hour, the 60 minutes of darkness. It is total darkness, what did you feel? Without light what did you feel? Are you lost?.... if the world is without light, what our life will look like?. Thanks God for the light. I remember the time in the village, when the time to sleep, there was no electricity(& light pollution), we sleep earlier. The city folk,they can sleep late, playing computer games, have late mamak stall session; late night entertainment.....the modern life. Just ponder, did we gain from the better life in this modern era or when the time there was no electricity, no TV, no computer...was the time better, at least we can sleep early and have more rest, more healthy. Just ponder...Oh, why think so much for just one hour of darkness.....

When the time was over at 9.30 p.m.; we see the light. Oh, now we should know how precious is the light. That provide us the ability to overcome darkness. Remember, God said Let there be light, and there was light(Genesis 1:3). To know the precious of light, we must know how to love our each others, love lives. To love ourselves, we must love our body, have enough rest.

Some have another round of steamboat,followed with some song and games. Boon Han played the guitar, Bow Chen played piano. Wah!, Kim Tatt can sing beautiful Japanese song, not bad. He may have sung out of his heart, to pour out all his memory of time when he was in Japan during his college days. The game catch many people in surprise, we realized that we are so weak in memory of names....

We have sharing of family, work, experience, retirement, husband-wife relationship, followed by prayer for those in need.

Then a session of red wine, Teik Leong's face is so red, remember a Chinese song about " Let me see your face, your face look like a red apple". His face is really red! After the drink, hope they are not drunk. We followed with more sharing , more personal, more disclosure......because we have red wine.

Finally,the time is over, it is home sweet home. We need to go home, and start producing the hormones Melatonin..... all in the sleep.

A night well spent as Earth Hour, and a close fellowship.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hours

Earth Hour today

What is Earth Hour? It is an international event organized by WWF(World Wildlife Fund), and it will be held on the last Saturday of March each year. For 2009, it will be on 28-3-2009 at 6.30p.m. at local time.. On the day, WWF requested all household and business to switch off all non-essential light and electrical appliances for One Hour. This is to raise the awareness of the need to take action against the Climate Change. The purpose of the event was not to save money or power, it is a symbolic event to create awareness.

The logo above is the official logo of Earth hour, copy right by WWF. It reflected the 60 miniutes required by the earth and the people of the world, give the earth an hour , it is only 60 minutes. You can do it, and I can do it,just 60 minutes tonight.

Earth Hour was conceived by WWF, Australia in 2007. Sydney was the sole participant in the first event at 2007. About 2.2 Million household and businesses switch off the unessential light and electricity at local time 7.30p.m.. Many other cities followed in 2008, 35countries and over 400 cities supported the Earth Hour,and about 50 Million switch off their light to support Earth Hour.

For 2009, 82 countries and more than 2100 cities has committed, including the United Nation Building in New York..

Visit the official website,, for more information

Earth hour is only an awareness event; action to save the earth need to start individually and not only for hour. Support the earth is like support our life, every hour counts. It is not only electricity or light, it include water, plastic usage, no car(support no car day), ….. to save the earth.

Hi all, let’s countdown to the Earth-Hour.

Why lights off, it is not only to save the Earth for global warming, but it is also very meaningful for people to realize the vanishing night and also the consequences of the light pollution, which has killed many birdlife and wildlife in the city, read the article of “vanishing night” from the National Geographic Nov 2008 Magazine, and you will understand how many birds have we (human) killed in a day or a month.

For people who still on the light while sleeping, as a report dated 5-12-2007 by IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer, an organization under UN World Health Organization(WHO), exposure to light at night disrupts the circadian rhythm of the body , which alter sleep activity patterns, suppress the production of Melatonin, which probably disrupts the timing of when genes switch on and off, one of the things that can trigger tumors.So the depressing Melatonin at night raise the risk of developing tumors. Melatonin is the hormone that is important for regulating our body clock, and is also a powerful antioxidant , and some study on animal show that it stop damage to DNA.(Ref:

What is Melatonin? It is homones produced by human body, pineal grand in the brain while sleep, the production however is inhibited by light and permitted by darkness. It is called the " Homones of Darkness".It is not only an antioxidant which help to fight cancer, but also may be positive to immune system. For a general knowledge of Melatonin,please visit

Let's light off for one hour, perhaps in the future, we should light off after sleep. It pay to sleep early, save light, save the earth, save our life.... produce melatonin....

Save the earth, save ourselves.

It begin tonight at 28-3-2009 @ 8.30p.m........Support the Earth Hour.


Friday, March 27, 2009

A letter from Penang Boy Scout

Coronation Camp is located at Waterfall Road, near Waterfall garden or Penang Botanical Garden. It is a place where all Penang scouts cherish as it was only the last camp sites left , after the Jubilee Camp has been taken away due to expiration of the lease. Jubilee Camp was located at Teluk Pahang, where the 1st Malaysian Scout Jamboree was held in 1966.

I have been camping at these two scout camp sites during my scouting days. Jubilee Camp was near the sea, and the camp site can be at the beach front, suitable for sea activities. Coronation Camp is 6 acres in size, located at the hill side, near a small stream, Sg Air Terjun. It is also near to Moon Gate, where the campers can hike up Penang Hill, and another hill, Strawberry Hill(if the name is correct). It is suitable for hiking and other activities. The camp was discovered by 1st Penang Rover Scout Crew in 1951,under the leadership of late Mr Oon Hoot Ewe during their hiking activity. Mr Oon immediately applied to have it as 2nd campsite for the scouts in Penang.

Until 1952, it was without buildings, bathrooms and pipe waters. Mr Ho Wai Foon was in charge of the camp , as Camp Warden of Jubilee Camp for 1952-1953. The Coronation Camp was named by Mr Ho (my teacher in MBS) as the year 1953 was the Queen Elizabeth II's coronation year. In 1954, the troop hall and store rooms was constructed. It was officiated by Sir Rowallan on 6-11-1954. In 1967, MrYeoh Phee Tin ordered the 10 hutments from 1st Malaysian Jamboree at Jubilee Camp, Teluk Pahang; to be transferred to Coronation Camp. A fixed kitchen was donated by King Scout Council in 1975.

When Jubilee Camp was gone, Coronation Camp was the only campsite for the scouts in Penang. The camp site now had returned to PBA (Penang Water Authority) for the expansion of Penang Botanical Garden in 2006.

Now the boy scouts lost both camp sites.....

If the youth of today is encourage to join the world scout movement , there is no need for national service.

Many of ex-scouts has become a useful citizen in the nation. One of them is our Prime Minister, Dato Seri Abdullah Badawi , & former Chief Miniter of Penang, Tan Sri Wong Pow Nee. It is the scout movement that I learn the race relationship. I am from 24th Georgetown North.

Below is the three open letter from the former boy scouts,there may be others.

The open letter merit for consideration by the current state government. The Boy Scout Movement is in need of proper camp site.

(source of photo unknown, credit to the writer of open letter)

The 1st open letter:

Dear all:

If you are or were a boy scout and girl guide, or if you are concerning of the youth activities, please take a look of this complain and pictures taken many years ago, and a blog by BennyT about the history of Coronation Camp: .

It is very sad and heart broken when I visited and found out that the century old Scout’s Coronation Camp was demolished and moved to no where. The campsite will be turned into a bamboo garden or recreation park. What so ever will be converted to, Penangites still call that place as Coronation Camp, same as the Moon Gate, still a Moon Gate.

Coronation Camp is part of our heritage, many generations of Penangites had camped and spend their teenage life there, so why can’t the state government help the Boy Scouts’ Association to retain the coronation camp? Why can’t the former state government and education ministry or youth ministry support the activities of this international uniformed bodies, rather than spend a lot of money for national service or localized uniformed bodies? there are many unanswered questions around.

We hope more blogs will be up for us to voice our concern/views for the memorable Coronation Camp, we wish one day, the state government will bring back the Coronation Camp for the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides of Penang.

Let’s shine our Scouting Light together… and remember the scout song

This Little Scouting Light:

  • This little Scouting light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. [Repeat twice more.]
  • Let it shine all the time, let it shine.
  • All around the neighborhood, I'm gonna let it shine. ...
  • Hide it under a bushel--NO!-- I'm gonna let it shine. ...
  • Don't you try to blow it out, I'm gonna let it shine. ...
  • All around this world of ours, I'm gonna let it shine. ...

Once A Scout, Always A Scout.

Eu , 13th GTN.

Another 2nd open letter, source unknown:

Coronation camp was belonged to the Penang State Scouts’ Association, but it was returned to PBA by the state government in June, 2006, for the purpose of Penang Botanic Gardens expansion. During the 48th JOTA/JOTI, the the State Commission of Penang Scouts’ Association at that time, has promised to allocate a new campsite for the scouts’ association. But until today, it seems like an empty promise, and the scouts/guides have to organize their annual camp or jamboree at the scouts’/guides’ HQ, located at the traffic busy Scotland Road.

The authority can demolish the Coronation Camp, but they failed to move the noisy shooting club and dare not to touch on the issue of the loud speaker in the garden. Malaysia, sadly Asia.

Another 3rd letter (extract only) from Tan:

......For the record, we have two camps - one in Guillemard Reservoir where camping is impossible as high-rise apartments hover just next door and the other within the National Forest Reserve in Teluk Bahang. The Teluk Bahang camp was paid for by the Penang Scouts through a RM88,000 donation made by the late Tan Sri Loh Boon Siew.

Penang, which saw Scouting being established in 1908, used to have two camps. One was in Jubilee Camp which hosted the First Malaysian Jamboree way back in 1966 under the leadership of the then Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Wong Pow Nee. The other was Coronation Camp near the Waterfalls. The lease for Coronation Camp was finally withdrawn about three years ago, despite strenuous representations made to the Penang State Government

.......I feel there must be adequate facilities for training for our boys since they are the future leaders of the country.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Han Chiang at Penang Teochew Association

Penang Teochew Association is located at 127, Chulia Street, 10200 Penang. It was one of the early clanhouse in Penang, in 1855 the pioneers bought the property at 381, Beach Street under the name of Teoh Chew Kongsi. This is the forerunner of Penang Teochew Association. The Han Chiang Ancestral temple was found in 1864 , and three years later the present site of Chulia Street was acquired. The temple was only built in 1870.

The photo on the left is the office of the association, the temple is next to it. The Chinese signage above the door indicated that the place was once the venue of Han Chiang School. In 10-10-1919, Penang Teochew Association found the Han Chiang School(韩江学校), a Chinese primary school. It was initially at the temple, 4 years later it moved next door when the school building was completed.

The school was named after the river, Han Chiang in Chaozhou(潮州), China. The Han Chiang or Han river(韩江) is the 2nd largest river in Guangdong (广东/廣東) after Pearl River珠江. It is actually the meeting of the three Hakka rivers, one from Fujian province (福建省) Changting county(长汀县) & Ninghua County(宁化县) called Ting Chiang(江), the other is from Guangdong Province , Zijin county (广东紫金县) called Mei Chiang(梅江) , together with another river Meitan He(梅潭河) from Fujian Province(福建平和县葛竹山). The three rivers meet at Shanhopau(三河坝), Daipu(大埔) to form one river called Han Chiang(韩江). The river then flowing down to Chaozhou 潮州(or Teochew) downstream before flow out to the sea from Shantou(汕头市). Daipu is the town where the Hakka come from, and Chaozhou is the town where teochew people come from. Both Hakka and Teochew people drank the water from the same river, Han Chiang. The river is the mother river for people whose ancestral place are located along the river(Han Chiang), they shared the same river. That is why both Hakka and Teochew can joined the Penang Teochew Association. The Hakka and Teochew are of the same family...... 潮州人, 客家人都是一家人 .

The beginning of the education involvement was from this Chulia Street clanhouse. Han Chiang School has now moved to Jalan Lim Lean Teng in 1961 , now is SJK(C) Han Chiang(韩江小学). Currently it has 884 students.

From the humble beginning at Chulia Street, it began the era of education involvement by the clan house. Later as the school was overcrowded, Mr Lim Lean Teng(林连登) donated a 33 acres of land for the school and its secondary school. Han Chiang High School (韩江中学)was set up in 1950 at the premise donated by Mr Lim Lean Teng, it moved to the new school building in 1951, at Jalan Han Chiang, road named after the school. It is one of the largest independent Chinese secondary school in Penang. The school continue its development, and offer Journalism course at Han Chiang High School in 1978, it was then upgraded to Han Chiang College (韩江学院) on 13-7-1999. Now Han Chiang School now provide of primary, secondary and tertiary education, all within one campus, a complete chain of education.

Mr Lim Lean Teng( 1867-1963) (林连登,又名林达科), is a Teochew, from Hui Lai, Jieyang, Kwangdong(廣東揭陽市惠來縣溪西镇鲁阳村). A teochew entrepreneur and philanthropist. There is a life size bronze statue of Mr Lim Lean Teng in front of the Han Chiang High School(HCHS), in remembrance of the contribution by Mr Lim to the school. The statue was opened on 11-10-1958 by the founder and the 1st Prime Minister of Malaysia , Tunku Abdul Rahman. Whoever going to Air Itam town, when by passing Jalan Dato Kramat, when look left, he will see the bronze statute. There is a road in front of Han Chiang Primary School, which is named after him, Jalan Lim Lean Teng (Lim Lean Teng Road). He was the past President of Penang Teochew Association for some time(1931-1946) and later become honorary life President until 1962. The Woodville or Lean Teng Mansion(built in 1925) is the only mansion left after the Theng Hin Mansion was turned into a new hotel. He also donated to built a clock tower in 1936 at Jalan Ibrahim, Sungai Petani, Kedah. He was the founder of Hui Lai Clanhouse in Kimberley Street,Penang(formed on 7-3-1948). In view of his contribution to the school, the Penang people strongly related Lim Lean Teng to Han Chiang High School.

The journey begin here, in a humble clan house at Chulia Street........this is the story of how Teochew people contribute to education, and how Teochew clan house played their role in Penang's education.

Note: The temple(not in the picture) , has won the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Award for Culture Heritage Conservation.