Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Obama for Malaysia?

Obama for President or Obama for America or Obama for USA! These slogans or battle cry or tagline must have been heard over and over again in the United States lately, especially after Barack Obama overtook Hilary Clinton in the battle to win the nomination as the Democrates' candidate for the Presidency. But Obama for Malaysia? Is he one of the candidates for the March 8 election in Malaysia, the campaign for which is going on in full swing right now?

Not exactly, but Obama's influence and fame has certainly reached Malaysia, halfway across the globe from America. So much so that Malaysia's top cartoonist, Lat, deemed it fit to mention Obama in one of his cartoons which he drew for the Malaysian election and which had appeared in the New Straits Times (NST), a local English tabloid daily, since Parliament was dissolved Feb 13.

In his latest cartoon on the frontpage in today's (Feb 27) NST, Lat depicted a scene from Nomination Day. It is typical of Malaysian politics that hundreds, if not thousands, of party members or supporters would accompany their candidates during the procession to the Nomination Center; carrying their party flags and shouting slogans along the way. However, the whole nomination process takes up to 3 hours during which the supporters patiently wait under the sun outside the nomination center; occasionally engaged in a shouting match with their opponents.

In the first part of today's Lat cartoon, a party supporter is seen dozing off, apparently due to the effect of the heat and hours of waiting and after the tiring march from the party office to the nomination center. A fellow supporter is meanwhile seen trying to wake him up, apparently in time to join his buddies in shouting or yelling "Hidup (Long Live) so and so (name of party or candidate)" as their candidate emerge from the nomination center.

2nd cartoon: However, after being jolted from his nap or day-dreaming, our friend suddenly arose and shouted at the top of his voice "Hidup Obama!" (Long Live Obama!); much to the amazement of his buddies. Obviously our friend has been following the US election and is a big fan of Obama who, if elected, would be the first black American President. Most Asians have no problem relating to Obama, whose father is African.

As I said earlier, Lat started his series of cartoon in NST since about a forth night ago, but I must say that I like this one best. I mean, the fact that the cartoonist can relate our Malaysian election to the US election! Anyway, it also goes to show that a lot of Malaysians are following the American election closely and that their favorite seems to be, who else but Obama.

And in case there are people in other parts of the world who think that Malaysians still live on trees, for your infor apart from the Internet, we can also follow the US election through both the electronic and print media; including CNN and BBC through our satellite TV, Astro.

For those interested to see the rest of Lat's cartoons for the Malaysian election, or simply find out more about Malaysia, the paper's web address is the the ear piece on the top right hand cover of the front page of today's NST. Please click on the image for a larger view.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Wedding at CMI

Last Saturday morning, my wife and I had the honour of being invited to a wedding ceremony at the (Catholic) Church of Mary Immaculate (CMI) at Luyang in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. The Holy Matrimony Mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Michael Moduit was to witness the exchange of marriage vows of a lovely young couple - Tony Chee and Fellyndra Elsa Peter. Tony is a successful businessman involved in the automobile industry while Fellyndra is an officer with a local bank. He is the son of Mr Chee Ah Fatt and Mdm Vun Nyuk Chung and she is the daughter of Mr Peter Wong and Mdm Jane Saliun. Peter is a semi-retired senior officer with a state government agency and together with Jane is now devoting his spare time to serving the Lord through the Bethel Prayer Group of the Sacred Heart Cathedral. He is also a Communion Minister during English Mass of the Cathedral. The church ceremony was followed by a light reception at the church canteen and a dinner reception at the Grand Ballroom of the Magellan Sutera hotel last night (Sunday). Among the distinguished guests present was Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister, Datuk Radin Maleh. Congratulations Tony and Fellyndra and thank you Peter and Jane for the invitation. It's the first wedding that my wife and I attended in this new Year of the Rat. Your wedding date (and anniversary) is easy to remember - Double 2. Feb 2 is also the anniversary of Kota Kinabalu as a City. Below are photos taken at both the wedding ceremony and dinner. Please click on each photo for a larger view. I hereby hand over my daughter to you, please take good care of her....Peter seems to be telling his son-in-law Tony (left) as bride Fellyndra and mum Jane look on.
Tony and Fellyndra with the celebrant of the Holy Matrimony Mass, Catholic priest Rev. Fr. Michael Moduit of the Sacred Heart Parish in Kota Kinabalu.
The newly-weds with their witnesses at the church ceremony, Mr and Mrs George Thien. Geogre, a retired aircraft maintenance engineer, is leader of the Bethel Prayer Group of the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Kota Kinabalu of which Peter Wong is a Core Group Member.

The foursome....From left: Bridesmaid Anthea, Fellyndra, Tony and Bestman.

The newly-weds with the groom's siblings, nephews and nieces. On the right is Tony's brother Peter Chee, another successful businessman involved in the telecommunications industry.

We are relieved now....Peter (2nd right) seems to be saying to his wife Jane (2nd left) after the Holy Matrimony Mass as the newly-weds listen attentively. On the left is bridesmaid Anthea (bride's sister) and right bride's brother Brando.

The flower girls and boys proudly showing off their 'Ang Pows' after performing their duties at the wedding ceremony at CMI Luyang. Timely indeed as Chinese New Year is just around the corner.

Cutting the wedding cake after Holy Matrimony Mass at CMI. Looking on are Tony and Fellyndra's parents.

Fellyndra doing her first duty as wife by feeding a piece of the wedding cake to her beloved husband Tony at the light reception after the church ceremony at CMI. Looking on are their mums.

One for the album before the guests arrive at the wedding reception at Magellan Sutera on 3 Feb. From left: Bride's parents Peter and Jane Wong, newly-weds Fellyndra and Tony, and groom's parents Mr and Mrs Chee.