Friday, August 31, 2012

Merdeka 2012 : A Reflection

Google Commemorating Malaysia's Merdeka with a simple Bunga Raya Google Doodle

55 years. Are we really Merdeka? I've struggled to write about this topic to commemorate the day we obtained independence from the British on August 31, 1957. lets stop segregating ourselves. This is not about I Chinese, You Indian and You Malay. We should leave religion and any religion-phobia out of the equation. Stop being hypocrite and be moral police to show we are holier than the next person. In short, we all should just be Malaysians. Have a good Merdeka. Perhaps, it is time to make the change.
Negaraku, Tanah Tumpahnya Darah Ku.
Have a good merdeka Malaysians. Lets all stop "trusting the devil we know". Make the change.

Then along came Tengku Razaliegh Hamzah and his speech. While admittedly, he has always been a politicians  and i am taking what he said with a pinch or two of salt, he has conveyed the message pretty clear. 

Pre-National Day – An excellent speech by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in UK
Thank you for inviting me to speak with you. I am truly honoured. I have played some small role in the life of this nation, but having been on the wrong side of one or two political fights with the powers that be, I am not as close to the young people of this country as I would hope to be.
History, and the 8 o’clock news, are written by the victors. In recent years the government’s monopoly of the media has been destroyed by the technology revolution.
You could say I was also a member of the UKEC. Well I was, except that belonged to the predecessor of the UKEC by more than fifty years, The Malayan Students Union of the UK and Eire. I led this organization in 1958/59. I was then a student of Queen’s University at Belfast, in a rather cooler climate than Kota Bharu’s.
Your invitation to participate in the MSLS was prefaced by an essay which calls for an intellectually informed activism. I congratulate you on this. The Youth of today, you note, “will chart the future of Malaysia.” You say you “no longer want to be ignored and leave the future of our Malaysia at the hands of the current generation.” You “want to grab the bull by the horns… and have a say in where we go as a society and as a nation.”I feel the same, actually. A lot of Malaysians feel the same. They are tired of being ignored and talked down to by swaggering mediocrities.
You are right. The present generation in power has let Malaysia down.
But also you cite two things as testimony of the importance of youth and of student activism to this country, the election results of 2008 and “the Prime Minister’s acknowledgement of the role of youth in the development of the country.”
So perhaps you are a little way yet from thinking for yourselves. The first step in “grabbing the bull by the horns” is not to required the endorsement of the Prime Minister, or any Minister, for your activism.
Politicians are not your parents. They are your servants. You don’t need a government slogan coined by a foreign PR agency to wrap your project in. You just go ahead and do it.
When I was a student our newly formed country was already a leader in the postcolonial world. We were sought out as a leader in the Afro-Asian Conference which inaugurated the Non-Aligned Movement and the G-77. The Afro-Asian movement was led by such luminaries as Zhou En-lai, Nehru, Kwame Nkrumah, Soekarno. Malaysians were seen as moderate leaders capable of mediating between these more radical leaders and the West. We were known for our moderation, good sense and reliability. We were a leader in the Islamic world as ourselves and as we were, without our leaders having to put up false displays of piety. His memory has been scrubbed out quite systematically from our national consciousness, so you might not know this or much else about him, but it was Tengku Abdul Rahman who established our leadership in the Islamic world by coming up with the idea of the OIC and making it happen.
Under his leadership Malaysia led the way in taking up the anti-apartheid cause in the Commonwealth and in the United Nations, resulting in South Africa’s expulsion from these bodies.
Here was a man at ease with himself, made it a policy goal that Malaysia be “a happy country”. He loved sport and encouraged sporting achievement among Malaysians. He was owner of many a fine race horse.
He called a press conference and had a beer with his stewards when his horse won at the Melbourne Cup. He had nothing to hide because his great integrity in service was clear to all. Now we have religious and moral hypocrites who cheat, lie and steal in office but never have a drink, who propagate an ideologically shackled education system for all Malaysians while they send their own kids to elite academies in the West.
Speaking of football. You’re too young to have experienced the Merdeka Cup, which Tunku started. We had a respectable side in the sixties and seventies. Teams from across Asia would come to play in Kuala Lumpur. Teams such as South Korea and Japan, whom we defeated routinely. We were one of the better sides in Asia. We won the Bronze medal at the Asian games in 1974 and qualified for the Moscow Olympics in 1980.
Today our FIFA ranking is 157 out of 203 countries. That puts us in the lowest quartile, below Maldives (149), the smallest country in Asia, with just 400,000 people living about 1.5 metres above sea level who have to worry that their country may soon be swallowed up by climate change. Here in ASEAN we are behind Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, whom we used to dominate, and our one spot above basketball-playing Philippines.
The captain of our illustrious 1970′s side was Soh Chin Aun. Arumugam, Isa Bakar, Santokh Singh, James Wong and Mokhtar Dahari were heroes whose names rolled off the tongues of our schoolchildren as they copied them on the school field. It wasn’t about being the best in the world, but about being passionate and united and devoted to the game.
It was the same in Badminton, except at one time we were the best in the world. I remember Wong Peng Soon, the first Asian to win the All-England Championship, and then just dominated it throughout the 1950. Back home every kid who played badminton in every little kampong wanted to call himself Wong Peng Soon. There was no tinge of anybody identifying themselves exclusively as Chinese, Malays, Indian. Peng Soon was a Malaysian hero. Just like each of our football heroes. Now we do not have an iota of that feeling. Where has it all gone?
I don’t think it’s mere nostalgia that that makes us think there was a time when the sun shone more brightly upon Malaysia. I bring up sport because it has been a mirror of our more general performance as nation. When we were at ease with who we were and didn’t need slogans to do our best together, we did well. When race and money entered our game, we declined. The same applies to our political and economic life
Soon after independence we were already a highly successful developing country. We had begun the infrastructure building and diversification of our economy that would be the foundation for further growth. We carried out an import-substitution programme that stimulated local productive capacity. From there we started an infrastructure buildup which enabled a diversification of the economy leading to rapid industrialisation. We carried out effective programmes to raise rural income and help with landless with programmes such as FELDA. Our achievements in achieving growth with equity were recognised around the world. We were ahead of Our peer group in economic development were South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, and we led the pack. I remember we used to send technical consultants to advise the South Koreans.
By the lates nineties, however, we had fallen far behind this group and were competing with Thailand and Indonesia. Today, according to the latest World Investment Report, FDI into Malaysia is at about a twenty year low. We are entering the peer group of Cambodia, Myanmar and the Philippines as an investment destination. Thailand, despite a month long siege of the capital, attracted more FDI than we did last year. Indonesia and Vietnam far outperform us, not as a statistical blip but consistently. Soon we shall have difficulty keeping up with The Philippines. This, I believe, is called relegation. If we take into account FDI outflow, the picture is even more interesting. Last year we received US$1.38 billion (RM4.40 billion) in investments but US$ 8.04 billion flowed out. We are the only country in Southeast Asia which has suffered nett FDI outflow. I am not against outward investment. It can be a good thing for the country. But an imbalance on this scale indicates capital flight, not mere investment overseas.
Without a doubt, Malaysia is slipping. Billions have been looted from this country, and billions more are being siphoned out as our entire political structure crumbles. Yet we are gathered here in comfort, in a country that still seems to ‘work.’ Most of the time. This is due less to good management than to the extraordinary wealth of this country. You were born into a country of immense resources both natural and cultural and social. We have been wearing down this advantage with mismanagement and corruption. With lies, tall tales and theft. We have a political class unwilling or unable to address the central issue of the day because they have grown fat and comfortable with a system built on lies and theft. It is easy to fall into the lull caused by the combination of whatever wealth has not been plundered and removed and political class that lives in a bubble of sycophancy.
I urge you not to fall into that complacency. It is time to wake up. That waking up can begin here, right here, at this conference. Not tomorrow or the day after but today. So let me, as I have the honour of opening this conference, suggest the following:
Overcome the urge to have our hopes for the future endorsed by the Prime Minister. He will have retired, and I’ll be long gone when your future arrives. The shape of your future is being determined now.
Resist the temptation to say “in line with” when we do something. Your projects, believe it or not, don’t have to be in line with any government campaign for them to be meaningful. You don’t need to polish anyone’s apple. Just get on with what you plan to do.
Do not put a lid on certain issues as “sensitive” because someone said they are. Or it is against the Social Contract. Or it is “politicisation”. You don’t need to have your conversation delimited by the hyper-sensitive among us. Sensitivity is often a club people use to hit each other with. Reasoned discussion of contentious issues builds understanding and trust. Test this idea.
It’s not “uber-liberal” to ask for an end to having politics, economic policy, education policy and everything and the kitchen sink determined by race. It’s called growing up. Go look up “liberal” in a dictionary.
Please resist the temptation to say Salam 1 Malaysia, or Salam Vision 2020 or Salam Malaysia Boleh, or anything like that. Not even when you are reading the news. It’s embarrassing. I think it’s OK to say plain old salam the way the Holy Prophet did, wishing peace unto all humanity. You say you want to “promote intellectual discourse.” I take that to mean you want to have reasonable, thought-through and critical discussions, and slogans are the enemy of thought. Banish them.
Don’t let the politicians you have invited here talk down to you.
Don’t let them tell you how bright and “exuberant” you are, that you are the future of the nation, etc. If you close your eyes and flow with their flattery you have safely joined the caravan, a caravan taking the nation down a sink hole. If they tell you the future is in your hands kindly request that they hand that future over first. Ask them how come the youngest member of our cabinet is 45 and is full of discredited hacks? Our Merdeka cabinet had an average age below thirty. You’re not the first generation to be bright. Mine wasn’t too stupid. But you could be the first generation of students and young graduates in fifty years to push this nation through a major transformation. And it is a transformation we need desperately.
You will be told that much is expected of you, much has been given to you, and so forth. This is all true. Actually much has also been stolen from you. Over the last twenty five years, much of the immense wealth generated by our productive people and our vast resources has been looted. This was supposed to have been your patrimony. The uncomplicated sense of belonging fully, wholeheartedly, unreservedly, to this country, in all it diversity, that has been taken from you.
Our sense of ourselves as Malaysians, a free and united people, has been replaced by a tale of racial strife and resentment that continues to haunt us. The thing is, this tale is false.
The most precious thing you have been deprived of has been your history. Someone of my generation finds it hard to describe what must seem like a completely different country to you now. Malaysia was not born in strife but in unity. Our independence was achieved through a demonstration of unity by the people in supporting a multiracial government led by Tengku Abdul Rahman. That show of unity, demonstrated first through the municipal elections of 1952 and then through the Alliance’s landslide victory in the elections of 1955, showed that the people of Malaya were united in wanting their freedom.
We surprised the British, who thought we could not do this.
Today we are no longer as united as we were then. We are also less free. I don’t think this is a coincidence. It takes free people to have the psychological strength to overcome the confines of a racialised worldview. It takes free people to overcome those politicians bent on hanging on to power gained by racialising every feature of our life including our football teams.
Hence while you are at this conference, let me argue, that as an absolute minimum, we should call for the repeal of unjust and much abused Acts which are reversals of freedoms that we won at Merdeka.
I ask you in joining me in calling for the repeal of the ISA and the OSA. These draconian laws have been used, more often than not, as political tools rather than instruments of national security. They create a climate of fear. These days there is a trend among right wing nationalist groups to identify the ISA with the defence of Malay rights. This is a self-inflicted insult on Malay rights. As if our Constitutional protections needed draconian laws to enforce them. I wish they were as zealous in defending our right not to be robbed by a corrupt ruling elite. We don’t seem to be applying the law of the land there, let alone the ISA.
I ask you to join me in calling for the repeal of the Printing and Publications Act, and above all, the Universities and Colleges Act. I don’t see how you can pursue your student activism with such freedom and support in the UK and Eire while forgetting that your brethren at home are deprived of their basic rights of association and expression by the UCA. The UCA has done immense harm in dumbing down our universities.
We must have freedom as guaranteed under our Constitution. Freedom to assemble, associate, speak, write, move. This is basic. Even on matters of race and even on religious matters we should be able to speak freely, and we shall educate each other.
It is time to realise the dream of Dato’ Onn and the spirit of the Alliance, of Tunku Abdul Rahman. That dream was one of unity and a single Malaysian people. They went as far as they could with it in their time. Instead of taking on the torch we have reversed course. The next step for us as a country is to move beyond the infancy of race-based parties to a non-racial party system. Our race-based party system is the key political reason why we are a sick country, declining before our own eyes, with money fleeing and people telling their children not to come home after their studies.
So let us try to take 1 Malaysia seriously. Millions have been spent putting up billboards and adding the term to every conceivable thing. We even have cuti-cuti 1 Malaysia. Can’t take a normal holiday anymore.
This is all fine. Now let us see if it means anything. Let us see the Government of the day lead by example. 1 Malaysia is empty because it is propagated by a Government that promotes the racially-based party system that is the chief cause of our inability to grow up in our race relations. Our inability to grow up in our race relations is the chief reason why investors, and we ourselves, no longer have confidence in our economy. The reasons why we are behind Maldives in football, and behind the Philippines in FDI, are linked.
So let us take 1 Malaysia seriously, and convert Barisan Nasional into a party open to all citizens. Let it be a multiracial party open to direct membership. PR will be forced to do the same or be left behind the times. Then we shall have the vehicles for a two party, non-race-based system.
If Umno, MIC or MCA are afraid of losing supporters, let them get their members to join this new multiracial party. PR should do the same. Nobody need feel left out. Umno members can join en masse. The Hainanese Kopitiam Association can join whichever party they want, or both parties en masse if they like. We can maintain our cherished civil associations, however we choose to associate. But we drop all communalism when we compete for the ballot. When our candidates stand for Elections, let them ever after stand only as Malaysians, better or worse.
The world is a dangerous place not because of people who do evil, but because of good people who look on and do nothing about it. Albert Einstein

Original script can be obtained here:
http://mwputrajaya.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/pre-national-day-an-excellent-speech-by-tengku-razaleigh-hamzah-in-uk/

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Awesome Raya Trail Run

Five superb run squeezed into five days of Raya Holiday. I can't complain much especially when the runs are of good quality with superb workout for the legs and heart. Some migth cringe at the repeatative route, but we as human as creature of habit - and this trail running is one hard habit to break! The running weekend started with a 12km run on the road with my dogs, which then got upgraded the next day to a 7km run in Kiara on Saturday and Sunday, then an easy 9km in KDCFP, a wet 6km in the evening in Kiara and capped off with the longest trail run in Kiara I ever did to end the Raya break.
38KM of Fun In Trails
The average speed of which i ran the 38km is a slow 8:30pace, which I would equate to a 6:00pace effort on the road. With undulating surfaces, softer ground and unknown roots, one has to remain flexible and nimble while running in trails. Running on the road is much easier as one just need to zone out and concentrate on the strides. In the trails, split-second decision has to be made and that include the decision to run after a pack of Mountain Bikers going at 15km/h and jumping over them as they fall down to avoid (possible) collision.

With each run, a trail runner will gain more confidence with their footing and will actually be able to see everything moving in slow motion - falls included. Inspired by how some of the world class trail runners run, the common ability within all of them are the ability to read the course and trust their steps and bounces off the surface. This minimises the pressure placed on possibly softer ground that could give way under pressure resulting in slip and fall.
Trust your shoes. Trust your Footing. Trust your Instinct.
The undulating surface forces you to work the heart and the legs. With every elevation gain, you losses speed in exchange for higher heartrate. 
Statsitic Geek
At times, the opposite could be true as running downhill will elevate your heartrate as well if you ran like you saw a ghost in the trails. Which for me, often happens especially when i run the last 2km.
Speed vs. Heartrate vs Elevation vs Distance - Last 2km always fun!
The one instance I ran outside of Kiara would be in the Kota Damansara Community Forest Park (KDCFP). With a 4.5km loop, it is sure way to work on the intensity as only 1km is uphill with the remaining 3 to be flat and fast. Here is a video of me chasing Chin Ann, an Ultramarathoner. 
One thing about running in trails is how heavily one would sweat. The humidity and the constant intensity will work up a great sweat (as "good" will be an understatement).
Hafidz giving "5" his way
There is a certain runner's high running trails and it is tough to explain it when compared to the usual run on the road. I guess like life, running in trails is an adventure and the obstacle in the trails constantly forces you to adapt and adopt to the changes.
Posing in Trail. A must.
How high was the high? Here is me running while holding the camera to my face. You can hear my breathing and my footsteps, including some of the leaps than bounces i did on the trail.

For all it's worth, being with nature is a sure way of enjoying every steps of the run. Fresh air and being "there" in the green sure perks up my day. If any of you want to or need someone to lead you in the trail, let me know. I would gladly show the route.
Running Into the Light

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Brooks: Trade-In Your Old Shoes For RM150

Many of us runners has many shoes for different purposes. Some of us has more than "just 3 pairs" that we use for training, race or even as a spare. Rule of thumbs dictates that each pair should be replaced after 500-700km of run - and on the legs of a high mileage runner, that could easily meant one new pair every quarter.
My Arsenals of Gears
Apart from the above, I have retired 3 other shoes over the period of 6 months due to "over-distance". Not being a sponsored amateur athlete forces me to utilise each pair until the very last meter. 
Brooks, Running, DNA, BioMoGo, Hydroflow
Looking at my "mileage" above, My Brooks Cascadia5 and Ghost3 will be due for retirement soon. Throwing them away would be a waste and I am constantly looking for a bargain. So when i found out that Brooks Malaysia is offering a "trade in your shoe" campaign - my eyes lit up.
RM150 trade in offer!
So, if you have a pair or two (or three) shoes laying around that needed replacement, or that wrongly bought shoes that fitted you so badly, perhaps it is time to head over to Brooks outlet in Malaysia and get the RM150 trade in to purchase other shoes. The trained product specialist would be able to assist with the correct type so you can Run Happy again. If you do not know or not aware of the pricing structure of Brooks shoes, they average about RM375/pair (with some coming in slightly less than RM350 and some as expensive as RM499). For that price (before discount of RM150), you are getting a FUNCTIONAL running shoes and not just a FASHION shoe. I am a Brooks convert, so is wifey.
The varities to suit!
This campaign runs for the whole of September (1st to 30th, both days included) and at participating outlets only. Correct at this point of writing, it is at all Brooks outlet. If in doubt, please contact BrooksMalaysia@gmail.com

For a full list of outlets and resellers in Malaysia, click here

Update September 1, 2012: 
I just got news from Brooks Malaysia on the RM150 trade-in offer. Good news if you are buying online ;-)


What kind of shoes can you bring to qualify for a rebate? Any shoe, and any brand is acceptable! You can bring your old  running shoes, walking shoes, badminton shoes or football shoes.  You can also bring your old high heels, flats, sandals, or slippers. You can even bring your old rubber boots, school shoes or scouting shoes. Or even your baby-grow-big-cannot-wear-anymore shoes!
As long as it is something you wear on your foot, by definition it is a shoe. It's that simple.
The RM150 rebate is applicable off the retail price, for the following 10 models -Glycerin 10, Ghost 5, Ravenna 3, Trance 11, Adrenaline GTS 12, Cascadia 7, Pure Connect, Pure Flow, Pure Cadence and Pure Grit.
That's right. Bring an old pair of shoes, and save RM150 on a new pair of Brooks! As part of our Go Green campaign, we would like to help you recycle your old shoes. And make you happy at the same time.
For online purchases from Brooks Malaysia, we can offer you a RM150 rebate on any of the 10 models. Just promise us you will recycle your old shoes properly, and we can deliver your new Brooks shoes to you for free! Anywhere within Peninsular Malaysia.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bring Lunch To Work

There were some excess cooked rice from yesterday's dinner that me and wifey did not want to throw away.  It is enough portion for two person (one serving of rice is one light bulb size). To save money and for those that MUST have rice for their lunch or dinner, this is one easy way to bring your own food, or in this case, lunch to work.
The ingredients
As the fridge did not have carrot or french beans for making simple fried rice, i resorted to use pumpkin, raisins and eggs. Again, key to sustainable eating and diet is to use whatever you can find and modify from there. I seasoned the rice with salt and pepper and started by cooking the pumpkin in a non-stick pan until a bit softer. I then put in the rice with the raisins and just stir fried it for a while before breaking 3 eggs into the rice. As expected, the portion was sufficient to provide two serving for myself and wifey.
Simple and Sufficient
When you prepare and cook food from home, you know what goes in and in total control of your nutrition. It takes the guess work out of the meal you are eating especially if you are watching your food intake. While some need the "binge" of fast food and such, care must be taken, as we can always bluff ourselves that the food we took will "be burned off during the afternoon gym session"...and we have to remember that a typical one-hour workout (run) covering 10km will only utilises 700kcal at best. Malaysian typical food averages at 650kcal/serving and that is assuming you follow the serving sizes.
Complete meal - add in a homemade smoothie
Many of us will order a drink or two when eating outside - that is pure disaster as the drinks outside, no matter how healthy they claimed to be, has sugar added. Best alternative is to invest in a simple blender and make your own smoothie that you can prepare and bring to work. Micro and macro nutrients in the food you take is a winner - and skip those Ice lemon tea...which has no lemon, or tea in them.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Art Exhibition : Rapt In Maya

For the first time in my life, i attended something i would not find myself attending. An Art Exhibition. I received an invitation by my boss (at work) that her mum is conducting an art exhibition at University Malaya Art Gallery or UMAG as it is known.
Wow! This will be kept for a long time! Personal invite.
Little do i know after joining the company for almost 9 months, that my boss' mum is a renowned artist. Imagine my delight when i found out that those paintings in the office were "art pieces of a private collector". Sivam Selvaratnam, a 75-years old artist of whom hundreds of abstract art pieces are currently being exhibited at UMAG.
On time for the official launching of the exhibition. We were tailing Royal Prof Ungku Aziz
Located at the 5th Floor of the new Chancellery Building in UM
The New Building past the iconic Dewan Tunku Cancelor
Seeing the chance that i could have as a blogger, i registered myself as "Media". I took it upon myself that i would want to write about this exhibition - and immortalise this exhibition in my blog. After all, i write about everything  and a little culture goes a long way.
Kajang Girl. Read about a separate interview in The Star here
The event proper started sharp at 4pm with no delay. This is not your typical Malaysians' appointment. The MC took the floor and welcomed everyone to the event. A few art pieces by Mdm. Sivam were used as the stage backdrop. With wonderful lightings, the setup was just perfect; undertone but sophisticated.
Very classy
The office mates were all there to see the exhibition. Some of us (including yours truly) did not dress up to the occasion - partly because it was Friday. We truly owe Madam Sivam an apology. 
All single, take your pick.
As the event progresses, someone caught my eyes - Datuk Seri Samy Vellu was also there as a guest. I missed the chance to say hello to him and for a photo opportunity.
He came alone. No bodyguards or driver. 
After the opening speech by the MC, he invited Ramli Ibrahim for a few words. Many of you that know Indian classical dance would know Ramli Ibrahim. If you don't, he is a cultural icon in Malaysia who has performed for more than three decade. You can read more about him here.
Ramli Ibrahim.

Captivating the crowd even when not performing
For myself, the common bond between us was that we came from Royal Military College. OP Ramli Ibrahim was the recipient for OP of The Year in 2009 for his contribution to the art, society and the country. 
Starstrucked. 
The event then went on with Madam's Sivam daughter and grand-daughter welcoming and giving a little private insight to her mother's life as an artist - with a studio at the basement of their home in Bukit Damansara. It was filled with proud emotions of how Madam Sivam's journey as an artist for the past 50 years and has finally had an art exhibition showcase of her own. Rightly so, it also coincide with Madam Sivam and Mr. Selvaratnam's 50th wedding anniversary.
Then it was Royal Professor Ungku Aziz turn to welcome and officiate the exhibition.
Strong at 90
 It was indeed a proud moment for the artist.
All smile. Madam Sivam (second from left)
I did not bring my dSLR and had to rely on my outdoor camera for the event, which explained some of the very grainy photos above. Enjoy some of the photos I have taken of the event below.
One for the camera. Madam Sivam explaining to Ungku Aziz the significant of the painting
Some of these were in my office

Abstract with most painted in the 1960's.
Simple geometric lines with colors that evoke the artist's emotion

One of my favourite
This was residing in the conference room
So was this
And this...
You see, I have no idea these were drawn by her. All i know from the day i walked into the office for an interview, these paintings were there on the wall. The above was her personal collection which aren't for sale at any price.
Colorful. Cheery. Interpretation.
Being an artist, she does not limit herself to just painting on paper, canvas or the usual media. In fact, she has even painted shoes. These beautiful heels were original design by Nelissa Hilman. These shoes aren't for sale and are considered as Madam Sivam's private collection.
Shoe Fetish - i know many of you are...
Simple shoes that acted as an artist canvas
Hey...maybe I should request Madam Sivam to paint my Colnago Dream. 
No two pairs the same
Open Toes Rainbow Wedges
Madam Sivam has even dabbled into "wearable" art. Here is a very retro dress made in 1968. I wonder if this dress is still with her. Would be great to see it in full color.
A Photograph worth  40 years of history
The Malaysian Sunshine 1968. Designed, Painted and Fashioned by herself before the Mayor of Manchester. Awesome.
Not for sale!
Another piece of exhibit that caught my eyes was a textured drawing. Titled "A View From My Window", it was painted in 1961 and was given to Peter Harris (her mentor) as parting gift -which during a visit in 2008, Peter actually returned the painting to her. I see this as a full circle and a home-coming. Perhaps even a greater inspiration for the exhibition and why it was shown in this setting. I could feel the nostalgic in this painting.
A View From My Window - 1961
A short story - nostalgic as it can be
Nice.
 As i work in a small setup, everyone is like family. Naturally, almost all of us were there that evening. 
Boss in chequered long sleeve and Boss' father in Batik in middle.
As I walk around UMAG, i saw a familiar face sitting at the corner, and it was none other than the artist herself. Smiling.
Interview. 
 And how can i not take a photo with her?
The artist and me
The exhibition is open for public viewing until September 15, 2012. As the UMAG is part of the UM's establishment, the opening hour is per below:
Monday to Friday : 9.30am to 5.30pm.
Closed on Weekend and public holiday - unless by appointment only.
For those of you that love arts, UMAG has a collection of paintings from Malaysia's renown artistes and their work are showcased here. Must see is some paintings from the "Picasso of India" M.F. Hussain.
Self Portrait. These are behind armored and secured doors
Local artistes works were featured too, and this "Mencari Kutu" by Harris Ribut was really nice in my opinion.
Mencari Kutu
 For those of us that live passed the KBSM syllabus, you will know who Latiff Mohidin is. 
Latiff's painting on the left and right
If you are free and has time to spare - perhaps an afternoon of "lunch break to feed the soul". Visit UMAG for some "food". I came back satiated and has learned to appreciate these scribbling of wild paints hung on the wall. 
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