The Tempinis diaries

December 29, 2007

Chicken Rice for the Soul

Filed under: family, food — Tags: , , , , , , , — toru @ 1:51 pm

So Christmas lunch was at Tian Tian Chicken Rice at Maxwell Hawker Centre.  I could tell Mom really wanted to try it (my fault – I told her it was famous) when we went there the other day to eat Zhen Zhen porridge for breakfast in the morning.  Problem was that it wasn’t open in the morning.  We tried again after walking around Chinatown at night one day.  When we tracked down the stall, it was closed!  Mom was disappointed again (she even confronted the stall owner as he was closing).

So I decided to try again on Christmas day before bringing Mom to visit Mrs. T’s mother.  I thought it might be closed but it wasn’t.  But the problem was that many people had the same idea as us to have chicken rice for christmas lunch.  The queue was absolutely mad – I queued 30 minutes for it (I wouldn’t normally line up for chicken rice).  We ordered three plates of rice to share between the four of us (Mom, Ah Kim, Mrs. T and I), a plate of chicken and a plate of bean sprouts with cuttlefish.  Mom and Ah Kim loved the chicken rice!  Mrs. T and I thought the chicken rice was pretty good but way too oily for our palate.  Mrs. T was completely put off by the greasiness of the rice that she only had a quarter of the rice.  Mom loved it so much she brought Auntie and her family the next day to eat the chicken rice again.  We also had the famous Xing Xing tapioca cake and the Fuzhou oyster cake.  The tapioca cake was really good – even better than the stuff you find in Malaysia.  The texture was fantastic and it was not too sweet.  Fuzhou cake was a bit too greasy but quite tasty.  The cincau dessert I ordered was a complete disaster – horrible texture.  I took one bite and refused to eat it.

 The meeting between Mom and Mrs. T’s mother went pretty well.  Mom can be very charming when she wants to.  And everyone loves Ah Kim who is such a simple and kind hearted lady.

Benazir Bhutto, 54 Weathered Political Storm

Filed under: historical events — Tags: , — toru @ 3:06 am

Benazir Bhutto was gunned down a few days ago when mom was in town.  This looks like an absolute disaster for Pakistan.  But it is a brilliant move for the Taliban/ Al-Qaeda.  The ensuing chaos in the country should be good for them to thrive.





December 22, 2007

Green Island Serenade – Lüdao Xiaoyequ

Filed under: family, malaysia, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — toru @ 2:52 am

I was having breakfast with my mom, aunts and uncles when a busker sang this song.   It brought back a lot of memories because it was my late father’s favourite song.  My father told me when I was a little kid about the origins of this song –  it was originally a poetry written by a prisoner in Taiwan on an island called Green Island.  The inmate fell in love with a female inmate who was imprisoned in the female quarters.  Obviously, the ill-fated lovers couldn’t be together and could only trade longing glances.  The lyrics and the tune of the song is quite beautiful.  I rewarded the busker with $ 2.  It is strange isn’t it, the things you remember?

Anyway, I found the translation of the song and a version sung by Vienna Teng.



Green Island Serenade
translation by Ed Peaslee

This green island is like a boat,
floating in the moonlight.
My darling, you too
are floating in the sea of my heart.
Let the sound of my song follow the breeze,
blowing open the curtain of your window.
Let my love follow the flowing water,
endlessly pouring out its feelings for you.
The long shadows of the palm trees
cannot conceal my love;
the bright beauty of the moonlight
casts its brilliance into my heart.
This green island night is so calm and serene —
my darling, why are you silent, saying nothing?

December 20, 2007

Mom and Zhen Zhen Porridge at Maxwell Food Centre

Filed under: family, life — Tags: , , — toru @ 9:07 am

Brought mom and relatives to Maxwell Food Centre for breakfast.  Got lost for a while before I located the food centre.  Damn – I need to work on my sense of direction.  I have a mental block when it comes to Shenton Way/Tanjong Pagar/Chinatown area.

 Anyway, Mom saw a long queue at Zhen Zhen Porridge and wanted to try.  I took turns queuing for it with my aunt.  I think we queued for at least 25 – 30 minutes for it.  Was it worth the wait?  Definitely no!  The stall holders were very generous with their ingredients.  But really how good can porridge taste?  Rather than wasting your 30 minutes of your life in line, it is better to grab a bowl of porridge at Crystal Jade.

 Came back cleaned the house while mom & gang went shopping.  Hope they are enjoying themselves in Singapore.

Hostels for Asean Scholars

Filed under: education — Tags: , — toru @ 8:32 am

Bobby Ong has a pretty informative post on hostels for Asean scholars here.

December 13, 2007

The Use of the Internal Security Act in 2007: A Retrogressive Step

Filed under: malaysia — Tags: , , — toru @ 2:13 pm

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) — Five leaders of Malaysian Indian activist group Hindraf were detained Thursday under controversial internal security laws that allow for detention without trial, a spokesman said.

The Internal Security Act (ISA), which human rights groups are campaigning to have abolished, is currently being used to hold more than 100 people, including about 80 alleged Islamic militants.


December 12, 2007

Hindraf leader nabbed

Filed under: malaysia — Tags: , — toru @ 4:19 pm

I am really sad it has come to this.  If the government puts Uthayakumar in jail on sedition charges, this will only make him a matyr and his followers more militant.  This cannot be good for the country.


Hindraf leader nabbed, freed on bail, nabbed again over alleged sedition

KUALA LUMPUR: In a dramatic sequence of events, Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) legal adviser P. Uthayakumar was arrested twice over alleged seditious offences yesterday. 

At 9.20am, policemen picked him up outside a shopping mall in Bangsar and brought him to a Sessions Court at noon to face a charge of publishing a seditious letter on a website. 


December 11, 2007

Singapore biotech drive loses star Dolly-creator scientist

Filed under: education, singapore — Tags: , , — toru @ 2:46 pm

Things are not all hunky dory with Singapore’s biomedical drive.  The jury still seems to be out as to whether importing superstar scientists will work.  This recent report is from Reuters.


SINGAPORE, Dec 11 – British scientist Alan Colman, who helped clone Dolly the sheep, is leaving Singapore, dealing another blow to the city-state’s biotech ambitions.

Stem cell scientist Colman, who had been lured to the city-state with grants and research facilities, now heads a Singapore consortium in stem cell research. He will leave next May for the Stem Cell Centre at King’s College London, the city-state’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research said in a statement.


December 10, 2007

Your Baby Never Looked Good in Blue

Filed under: songs — Tags: — toru @ 2:26 pm

I heard this song on the radio today by Exposé.  When this song first came out, I taped this song from the radio on a cassette and kept on listening to it .  Never thought it would come to this – I have become one of those inane people posting cheesy music videos on their blogs.


December 9, 2007

The Hindraf Crisis: Lessons from Sun Tzu’s Art of War

Filed under: malaysia — Tags: , , — toru @ 7:30 am

Always allow the enemy To continue their retreat To their homes.  When you surround the enemy Always allow them an escape route. They must see That there is An Alternative to Death Indeed, be fearful of The enemy who is cornered With no way out

Sun Tzu Bingfa (Art of War)


I think both parties (UMNO and Hindraf) ought to take a leaf from Sun Tzu’s Art of War.  On the ruling party’s side, they shouldn’t oppress people until they feel that they have completely no way out.  As Sun Tzu said a foe that sees no alternative to death is a formidable enemy.  After all, remember that Hindraf was started when the Everest hero N. Moorthy was buried a Muslim.  Even in death, the Hindus feel that they are oppressed.  Threats of arrest under the ISA, parang being wielded and allegations that Hindraf has terrorism links will not defuse the situation.  On Hindraf’s part, it should try to give UMNO a face saving way out while getting something positive for their community.  Perhaps, a concrete proposal to build several good Tamil schools, the setting up of university scholarships for Indians or extra funding for pre-existing Tamil schools is something that comes to my mind.  Otherwise, this stand off is not good for both sides and the country.

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