Wednesday, April 24, 2013

How popular is Lim Guan Eng among Penangite?

Lim Guan Eng popularity is a myth, the supporter of Penang DAP has been talking against him for years, but mostly in hushed tones, behind closed door because they are afraid of his outlash. Everyone know that he doesn't take critism. Period.

However in the recent development, more so since the candidates nomination, more and more dare to come out and are criticizing him openly, even on national TV. So I say LGE is NOT favored by the Penangites, especially among the DAP old timers. His cockiness and dictator-like leadership is not going down very well among the people of Penang, especially those who has been fighting for a cause they believe in for years when suddenly this chap from Melaka comes, with DAP 'royalty' blood running in him to take over everything, leaving not even crumbs for the DAP people of Penang. 

Most benefiting are his cronies and his staff from his 28th floor office. Check the DAP candidates list, you'll see what I mean. And what about the property acquirement among his staffs? Go check how many of them owning multiple properties that involves the state government one way or another. Kampung Buah Pala anyone?

Let's not even go into the CEC committee election hullabaloo, something that they thought they can divert the people attention from their incompetency by trying to turn the whole thing into a hate campaign toward the Registrar of Society. Claiming that they are unable to use the DAP logo during the PRU13 due to the ROS ruling, crying sabotage. This is absolutely lies, ROS just state that the current CEC election result is not valid, that's all. The party is still as before, only the office bearer are as the previous CEC election. Nothing else. They can still ride their rocket, no need to go to the moon. Who started the sob story you may ask? LGE of course! Crying wolf while trying to get sympathy vote is a new low even for LGE.

The underwater tunnel project and the miscalculations? I think many has spoken of this until their mouths are foaming, so I won't say much, just get new batteries to your calculator or new leader that at least knows basic arithmetic! 

And those who still champion him are just a bunch of disillusioned 'kids' impressed by a new act in town, blinded by 'cotton candies' given out at the concessionaire and mostly various shows during the 3-ring circus. The novelty is wearing off as we speak, hopefully the people of Penang will see past the glitters soon. 

5 May 2013 is the day.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Lost Viable PMs Of Pakatan Rakyat: DAP

PRU13 may well be turning into more than just a battle between potential winnable candidates offered by each party, but a battle of winnable Prime Ministers that will likely lead the government should either side win. As candidates become less appealing or indeed if they remain annonymous to the electorate, the more a party relies on the candidate on offer for Prime Minister.
For the longest time, the battle has been expected to be one between DS Najib Tun Razak as the BN candidate for Prime Minister against DS Anwar Ibrahim as the Pakatan candidate. However, DS Anwar Ibrahim has always lacked appeal to a significant section of the electorate, being an ex-con - having been convicted for abuse of power, being party to much of the suspected corruption in UMNO and BN when he was Finance Minister, even seen as incompetent by some.
And of course there is the 'sex thing' with DS Anwar that seems undignified.
Perhaps this is why DS Anwar's partners in Pakatan Rakyat seem to be pushing agendas of their own, with DAP leader Karpal Singh clearly stating his aim to have a non-Malay Prime Minister chosen, probably referring to Lim Guan Eng, the Penang CM as their likeliest candidate. Of course, Guan Eng's capacity to administer is now put in question as he seems quite incapable of even organising a legal AGM and party elections for the DAP...
Nonwithstanding Guan Eng's apparent popularity as CM in Penang, which is not really a mark of genius considering his predecessor was the supremely unpopular, over-educated yet 'bean-like' and suspected racist TS Koh Tsu Koon, Guan Eng's failure to manage the recent DAP elections is monumental. His management of the aftermath of the Registrar of Societies (RoS) non-recognition of the election results has actually made matters worse!
The idea of having DAP candidates contest under the PAS banner in Peninsular Malaysia and PKR banner in East Malaysia was not just unneccessary (DAP is not de-listed yet, there is time even after PRU13 to recover with an EGM or re-do of an AGM), it undermined DAP's candidates with PAS gleefully claiming that they welcome DAP's support of 'Hudud' laws. PKR of course is a highly unpopular party in East Malaysia, seen as a 'Peninsular' party.
And so at the eve of PRU13, the DAP has lost its only viable candidate for PM and must rely on the DS Anwar Ibrahim offering... surely Karpal is fuming...

from the Tangents: Restless Musings Of A Malay Mind, a blog by the brilliant mind of Akhramsyah Sanusi.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Did you just brush me off, Mr. Prospective MP?

A lot of people has been complaining that they are getting constant text messages campaigning for this and that political parties. Much more to their annoyance, if the message is from a group that they do not support. I have been lucky so far, not even one has gotten through, though I'd love to get a few, so that I can see what the other party is offering.

And then a couple of days ago a WhatsApp from an MP candidate who happens to be an old family friend came in. After verifying my identity, he proceeded to ask for my support, just a one liner "Need ur support please".

This is where it got interesting, I asked him to tell me why I should vote for him as I assumed he knows what my political stand is (I have indirectly said so many times before), he just told me to ask my dad. FYI, my dad doesn't support same cause as I do ;) I went on to tell him that if he can convince me why he'd make a good MP representing me, than he deserve my vote. He just said Insyaallah. Then nothing more.  

Did the man just brush me off? Did he assumed that just because my dad doesn't support BN, I am a sure thing too. And did he want me to ask my dad to explain to me why I should vote for him, like I am not worth his time. Do I look like I am desperate to change my vote?  Am I part of the demographic that's considered surely to be anti-BN, thus I will surely vote for him? Or did he write me off as an old recalcitrant, no campaigning will change my obstinate mind? If he did that, he is deeply mistaken. As much as I am a supporter of UMNO and BN, I believe a good team of opposition is required for the country to run well. Check and balance is crucial.

A friend (who happens to be very knowledgeable in politic) told me to give the guy a chance, don't troll him he said. It's his first time trying out his wings, the guy said. Well I say, I gave him a chance to campaign his cause to me, and perhaps I may change my mind and convince a few others too, but he let it pass. 

What do I have to use as point of reference to decide if he's not willing to talk to me? Has he shown any leadership traits over the years? Perhaps, but only in very small ways, as leader of a large corporation. Top that with his fanatical loyalty to a leader which we all know will 'take care' of people who took care of him during his 'troubled times'. A long time friendship with my family? I don't think all this will even make  me consider voting for him instead the candidate who's party I support. At least that guy took the trouble to talk to me even though he knows I am almost a sure thing.

Too bad for for you Mr. MP wannabe. Why did you do that? Out of what? Arrogance? Or too sure that you will win as your coalition is ruling the state currently. Such attitude will not go down very well with people, especially those you need votes from.

You talk about people's power. Now I, one of the people is speaking. I am not a kid and I do have my own opinion and belief in politic. 
I am a part of the so called new voters, under 40 of age, though this is my 4th election since coming of age, please don't take me for a clueless fool, we are quite savvy with how things work, especially how I want my country to be run.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Greek Style Cottage Cheese, Spinach and Fish Pie

I have been meaning to have a go at making spanakopita for ages. Spanakopita is a greek-style pie made with spinach and feta or cottage cheese. It's the nutmeg powder that gives it the distinctive taste that makes it so addictive. Spanakopita are usually vegetarian, eaten as snack. However, I have added fish to the filling to make a whole meal out of it, you can change this to mince lamb or chicken, sliced chicken breast of totally omit it.

I know there's many out there that don't believe that you can cook great tasting meals without a drop of additional oil, well I am here to prove you wrong. I have made it my mission to cook as many dish without a drop of additional oil or fat as possible, of course without compromising on taste, otherwise what's the point? All you need is a good non-stick pan, which I know almost everyone has in their kitchen, and a bit of imagination plus the willingness to be open to the concept of oil-free cooking.

This recipe has been tweaked to make it a healthy alternative. And what do you know, it's still very delicious, most won't be able to tell the difference. 
As for those that can't make themselves cook without oil, you can saute' the onion and fish cubes in a bit of oil and brush on melted butter or olive oil in between the layers and on top of the spring roll pastries.


Ingredients :

1 cup cottage cheese
1 bunch of spinach, remove bigger stems
300g white fish fillet,cubed (about 2 pieces)
2 onions, diced 
2 eggs, lightly beaten
a handful of pine nut 
2 tbsp spring onion, sliced finely
2 tbsp Hot Chick Spicy Salt, ground
1 tbsp black pepper, coarsely ground
1 tsp nutmeg powder

6 sheets of spring roll skin / filo pastry

Utensils :

non-stick pan
baking dish   

Wash spinach to remove dirt and grits, remove bigger and tougher stalks. Blanch in boiling hot water for 2 minutes then rinse under cold running water. Squeeze out as much liquid out of the spinach. Chop the spinach and set aside.

Toast the pine nuts in the non-stick pan over medium-low heat, swirling the pine nuts in the skillet until they turn golden and have a nutty fragrance, lightly crush the nuts to just break it up, set aside.  

Using the same non-stick pan, add the diced onion and dry fry on medium-low heat until it caramelized, stirring frequently as not to let it burn. Set aside 

Heat up the non-stick pan to medium-high, add the fish cubes in a single layer so that it will singe the fish upon contact and start browning quickly, work in batches if needed. Turn the fish cubes making sure all the sides are caramelized. 

Add cottage cheese, chopped spinach, caramelized onion, spring onion, spices and pine nut to the fish. Pour in the beaten egg. Mix well.

Preheat oven to 170C.

Arrange three of the spring roll skins at the bottom of the baking dish, one on top of the other, in a perpendicular manner. Top with the filling mix, don't press to compress it, let it remain some what loose and piled up. Cover with the remaining  pastry.  Prick some holes on it to let the hot steam escape and not turn the dish soggy.

Bake for 20 minutes, until the top is golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven, let it cool for about 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Serve with a side of mixed greens and cherry tomatoes, or anything that catches your fancy.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Your name is not on the latest electoral roll? It's not a conspiracy, that's just how the system works.


The Malaysian registered electoral roll is updated every quarter. There after, the list will be published and displayed over a specific period of time at designated places according to SPR regulations and only if and when there is no objection shall the list be gazetted. 

For instance voters who registered before Dec 31, 2012, the cut-off point for the 2012 fourth quarter electoral roll was gazetted on 22 February 2013. While those who registered between 1st of January 2013 to 31 March 2013 will only be in the gazetted roll in May 2013. If the PRU13 is to be held in June, then they are considered registered voters and will be able to cast their vote too. 

What about those that registered April 11th or May 7th, you may ask? Well, they will be complaining of the very same thing then if the election is held in Jun or July.

Let's us all not forget that everyday there's hundreds if not thousands of Malaysian turning 21 (or suddenly remembered that they haven't registered as voter). There will always be some that will miss their chance to vote in the upcoming election. 
Why do you think everyone was having voters registration campaign? Definitely not for fun. It's not personal or a conspiracy, it's just how the system works.
From The Star

GE13: Those who registered this year cannot vote 

Tuesday April 9, 2013

PETALING JAYA: Only the 13.3 million Malaysians who registered as voters before Dec 31 last year are eligible to cast their ballots in this general election.

Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said those who applied to be voters from Jan 1 this year would not be able to vote this time around as there was not enough time to process their names for inclusion in the electoral roll that is updated once every three months.

Wan Ahmad said that the commission's special meeting tomorrow to decide on nomination and polling dates would also confirm that the 2012 fourth quarter electoral roll will be used for GE13.

The roll was gazetted on Feb 22 this year and contains the names of 13,291,385 voters who registered by Dec 31 last year.

“This matter has been finalised. Only those who registered by the end of last year will be able to vote in the coming polls,” Wan Ahmad said.

He said the roll would be verified during the EC special meeting before it is gazetted for use the following day.

The electoral roll will, however, be updated to remove the names of those who have died in recent months before it is gazetted, said Wan Ahmad.

The general election will see an unprecedented jump of 2.4 million new voters, about a third of whom will be casting their ballots for the first time.

Selangor recorded the biggest increase in new voters with the electorate growing by 486,214 voters or 31% from 1,565,494 in 2008 to 2,051,708 as of Dec 31 last year.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Devilish Red Velvet Cake

Who would have thought that a light chocolate cake in velvety red coupled with silky cream cheese frosting would work so well together? And cause so much trouble too. I call it devilish evil cake. Because upon meeting it, all your resolutions of sticking to your diet might as well be a pipe dream.

Who's birthday was this for?

I haven't made this 'evil' concoction in ages, because I know, if I were to baked it, ice it, and decorate it, I wont be able to stay away from it. And I won't be able to stop at one slice, or a whole small cake. Yeah, I am but a weak human, who finds pleasure in her food. So there's been sort of a blanket ban on this 'sexy oh so gloriously moist and crumbly crimson chocolatey piece of heaven' here in my kitchen.

So I believe it's now my duty (heheheh) to pass the recipe along with the calories to those who's been asking for it. This recipe makes mild chocolate cake with moist and tender crumbs. The secret to that lies in the buttermilk, so make sure you don't skip that. As with the cocoa powder, go ahead and splurge, don't skim on this, it really makes a difference in the end result. And the satiny smooth cream cheese frosting, what more can I say? It perfectly offset the chocolatey redness of the cake with it's creamy slightly tangy creaminess, making this a very dramatic looking cake.

Don't bake this if you plan not to break your diet. Remember, you have been warned. 

Red Velvet Cake



2 cups (200 grams) plain flour, sifted
1/2 cup (50 grams) cornflour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons (20 grams)  Dutch-processed cocoa powder or the best quality you can get!
1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) caster sugar
2 eggs (120 grams)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon caramel flavoring (optional, if you don't have it, double vanilla extract to 2 tsp)
1 cup (250 ml) buttermilk (refer to buttermilk recipe
2 teaspoons gel red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (60 grams) confectioners' (icing or powdered) sugar, sifted
2/3 cup (160 ml) cold heavy whipping cream (double cream) (35-40% butterfat)



Preheat oven to 175 degrees C and place rack in center of oven. Grease two - 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with baking/parchment paper. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl sift together the flours, salt, and cocoa powder.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft approx. about 1-2 minutes. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla (and caramel if using any) extract, beat until well mixed.
Whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring in a mug. Using the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
In a small cup add the baking soda to the vinegar. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter.
Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Work quickly here, as we don’t want the baking soda and vinegar mix to lose it’s potency.
Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan. Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the refrigerator for at least an hour (or overnight). This is done to make filling and frosting the cake easier and less messy.

Cream Cheese Frosting: 

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat until smooth. Using the whisk attachment, gradually add the heavy cream and whip until the frosting is thick enough to pipe. Add more sugar or cream as needed to get the right consistency. 

To Assemble: 

With a serrated knife, cut each cake layer in half, horizontally. You will now have four cake layers. Place one of the cake layers, top of the cake facing down, onto your serving platter. Spread the cake layer with a layer of frosting. Place another layer of cake on top of the frosting and continue to frost and stack the cake layers. Frost the top and sides of the cake. Garnish the cake with cake crumb and hawaiian coconut.

Serves 8 - 12 people.

I usually make 4 6" cakes with this recipe, making 4 small cakes that each serves 2-3 small eaters or 1 'who cares about calories' dessert lover.

Bon appetit!

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Don't be scared to make your own yogurt!

Yogurt is a very good source of protein, calcium, magnesium, and other essential vitamins. It also contains active bacterial cultures aiding in digestion, improved immunity and lessened food allergies.

We consume yogurt a lot in this household. For cooking, drinks and smoothies plus also for beauty purpose. And now with my new food regime, it's an important part of my diet, I take at least 300ml of it daily.

The health benefits to consuming yogurt in endless. In fact, back in the late 90's, yogurt is what cured me of my stomach ulcer, as I chose not to take any of medications or heaven forbids undergo the surgery as recommended by the gastrointestinal specialist. 

As store-bought yogurt can create a dent in your food budget in the long run, and the hassle of running out of it when you need them  plus it doesn't taste as good as the one you made yourself, why not make it at home. After all it is so simple, that even kids can make it themselves (with adult supervision of course!) Let's not forget the satisfaction of pretending to be such a wonderful homemaker, making things like yogurt, buttermilk and cottage cheese from scratch. *wink*

Fish fillet with Hot Chick Spicy Salt Homemade Yogurt, Oven-Baked in Parchment Paper.
I have been making my own yogurt for almost 20 years, after discovering it is not as daunting as I have always believed it to be. I was first taught to make yogurt by my Aunt Farida. Her recipe seems difficult because it has many complicated steps involving a 'slight fever' temperature oven and loads of old woolen sweaters. She was making them back in Egypt, mostly during winter, so it was crucial to maintain the heat to let the culture grow. 

With a bit of reading and loads of common-sense, I have discovered that you can have great tasting yogurt in as little as 3 steps - heat milk to lukewarm - stir in culture - leave to set at a warm place. 

Anyway, I will give the more detail recipe here too for those of you who doesn't like things to be too simple.

There a whole science to making your own yogurt, which I think is almost magical. The important ingredient to making yogurt is the bacterias, hence you need good yogurt with live culture as starter. This starters contain million of good bacterias that will ferment, curdle and coagulate the milk into yogurt. This process also changes the lactose in the milk into lactic acid giving it the tangy flavor plus making it suitable for lactose-intolerant people to consume.

Homemade yogurt with homemade muesli mix
It is very important to get the milk to the right temperature before adding the culture, too hot the milk, it will kill the bacterias in it, and if it's too cold they will not wake up from their hibernation. So no yogurt in both cases. If that happens don't worry, don't throw it out just. Just reheat the milk to the right temperature, add more culture (plus another tablespoon to be sure) give it the right condition to set and let it work it's magic once more. If all fails, you still have a tub of yogurt drink. Instant lassi!

Homemade yogurt are usually not as thick as the one from the stores as they don't contain any thickening agents such as starch or gelatine. For thicker and creamier yogurt, you can add a few tablespoons of milk powder to the milk before heating it. This will produce thicker creamier yogurt plus adding a few extra calories to it. 

And finally, keep a bit of the yogurt as starter for your next batch, this way you will never run out of yogurt ever again.

Enjoy making them. Do share how yours turn out, and what you used them for.

Homemade Yogurt

1 liter of milk 
3 tbsp yogurt with culture, room temperature
a warm day


  • Heat milk until just before boiling point.
  • Cool milk until it's warm to touch (or you can just warm it to lukewarm then go on from there).
  • Pour the warm milk into the container you are using to store the yogurt.
  • Stir in the the yogurt starter.
  • Place it somewhere warm for the yogurt to set.
  • Ready in 4-6 hours. Refrigerate once ready. Keeps in the fridge for about 10 days.
  • Best made on a warm day.