Saturday, October 2, 2010

Nostalgic Weekend - Rocky Teoh & The Falcons

ROCKY TEOH BENG HOCK (1949-1990) could be considered as Malaysia's first and best Elvis Presley Impersonator, was born in Taiping, Perak on the 2nd of April 1946. His love for singing was inspired by no less than the King of Rock 'n' Roll himself.

During his teens, Rocky won many school talentime contests and also later, went on to win many "Elvis Champion" titles throughout Malaysia. At age 18 he was already singing and doing "live" shows in and around Taiping and Ipoh. A year later, a local Recording Company sign him up. He recorded his first 45rpm 2 tracks Single when he was 19 years old. Both songs were his personal Elvis
favorites "Crying In The Chapel" b/w "There's Always Me". In 1965, he released his first EP (Extended Play) compilation. The song that took the Malaysian pop scene by storm was "JACQUELINE" a self-penned composition to the tune of "Yeh Lai Shiang" which was popularised then by the late Teresa Teng. He dedicated this piece to his childhood girlfriend who later, became his wife.

Today when you mention Rocky Teoh, older folks still remember him fondly and also remember those catchy hit songs of his "Jacqueline", "Selina", "Goodbye" and "Thinking Of You."

He made a total of 9EPs and 2 LPs (Long Playing) vinyl reord albums.
Rocky and his excellent band The Fabulous Falcom toured around Malaysia and Singapore from 1965 to 1967 performing in Cathay Organisation Theatres playing to packed audiences everywhere. They also toured Thailand in September 1966. "The Falcons" backing Rocky Teoh is not to be confused with the other KL group, also known as The Falcons, led by Brian Felix.

He died tragically in a car accident on 9 September 1990. This was coincidently the date on which Elvis Presley made his debute performance in the Ed Sullivan Show in 1956.

Previous Features:

The Saints, Kuala Lumpur

The Quests, Singapore

The "Little" Falcons, Kuala Lumpur

The Crescendos, Singapore

Rose Iwanaga, Sarawak

Naomi & The Boys Singapore

Friday, October 1, 2010

The passing of a film legend - Tony Curtis (1925-2010)

The late Tony Curtis acted in many films but the ones that stood out most in my mind and which have left a lasting impression in me are SPARTACUS (with Kirk Douglas), THE GREAT RACE (with Jack Lemmon) and THE DEFIANT ONES (with Sidney Poitier).

Actor Tony Curtis, star of "Some Like It Hot" and many other top Hollywood comedies, has died at the age of 85, US media reported Thursday, quoting his daughter Jamie Lee Curtis and his ex-wife, Christine Kaufmann.

Curtis died late Wednesday in Los Angeles after a serious illness, according to a German gossip magazine, Bunte, which quoted Kaufmann saying, "I am sadder than I realized I was going to be. It seems like an era is over."

Actress Kaufmann was Curtis' second wife, from 1963 to 1967, and they had two children. He married five times in all. His last wife, Jill Vandenberg, a horse-riding instructor, was at his deathbed.

News reports in summer said Curtis needed hospital treatment for asthma.

Curtis acted in more than 100 movies. He shot to world fame in "Some Like It Hot", a 1959 comedy with Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon and about two men on the run who disguise themselves as women.

Mostly Curtis played comic roles, but he also portrayed darker characters such as murderers and pirates. -

Get ready for Internet Explorer 9

Just when I have yet to warm up to the current IE on Window 7 which was installed onto my PC three weeks ago, here comes Internet Explorer 9. To add salt to the wound, after I have installed Window 7, I found out that my HP LaserJet 1015 and my HP ScanJet 4370 are no longer compatible. Heck I have to cough up an addition RM800 to acquire a new printer and a scanner. I sincerely hope that there will be no more changes in future versions as I am sure, like other PC users, it is slowly burning a hole in our pockets.

Microsoft Malaysia has announced the beta availability of its new web browser, Internet Explorer 9 (IE9).

According to Microsoft, the new browser delivers a fast, clean, trusted, and interoperable online experience to the users.

The IE9 focuses on a comprehensive approach to performance which includes the introduction of a new scripting engine, Chakra, that uses common multicore central processing units (CPUs) in PCs to deliver significant performance gains.

IE9 is also the first browser with full hardware acceleration of HTML5. It harness the power of the graphics processing unit (GPU), reallocating much of the graphic processing to the GPU instead of the CPU.

By using the GPU, IE9 unlocks 90 per cent of the PC's power that went previously untapped by Web browsers.

It has a robust set of built-in security such as SmartScreen Filets, In-Private Browsing, and Filtering, to keep customers safe online.

The new browser has built-in support for HTM5L, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), CSS3 and other modern Web standrds.

These new set of capabilities allow developers to write one set of markup and know that it will work and look the same in all modern browsers.

Some of the notable features of IE9 include pinned sites which allow users quick access to their most frequently visited websites from the windows taskbar; and tear-off tabs by simply dragging it out from the browser.

Notifications no longer appear as pop-up windows but at the bottom of the browser, and the search box is integrated with the address bar.

To experience some of the new sites using IE9 Beta and to download, visit

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The video that UMNO is afraid of

The 12th General Election did not only result in the change of government in four states or the lost of Barisan Nasional two-thirds majority in Parliament. It brought along many practices never seen before in the governmant system. In Selangor, a body under the state assembly was formed to monitor the use of public funds.

In the federal Parliament the increasing presence of opposition representatives has resulted in more serious debates. Today, UMNO and Barisan Nasional has started speaking the language of change. However, the real reform process is not as easy as voting on polling day.

This documentary discusses the meaning behind those promised changes.

The video is being hosted by Haris Ibrahim, a lawyer and the founder of SABM (Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pontius Pilate, dinosaur-thinking and then some

In just two days – Sept 23 and 24 – three developments summed up the sorry state of the ruling establishment. And caused sensible Malaysians to lose further faith in the government. In the first, the deputy prime minister played the role of Pontius Pilate by washing his hands of a responsibility the public had expected him to fulfil.

In the second, a former prime minister showed his racist true colours and desperation when he said Malays would lose power if Pakatan Rakyat took over the government.

In the third, the police arrested a cartoonist, just hours before the launch of his latest book. On what charge? Wait for the government to decide.

What we are witnessing is not surprising. These three events are manifestations of dinosaur thinking, which by now should be extinct. But those who adhere to them seem to think they’re still effective, which must mean they cannot be qualified to lead a progressive nation.

Muhyiddin Yassin may have some fine print in some rules of procedure to back him up in regard to the Kedah school principal who uttered racist remarks to his students. On Sept 23, he said any action against the principal can only be taken by the disciplinary board of the Public Services Department (PSD), headed by the director-general.

However, the public is asking: “But you are the education minister. And also the deputy prime minister. Surely, you have certain powers to act on something as heinous as racism, to send out a positive message to the people?”

The public is also asking why the report by the Ministry of Education team investigating the incident is taking so long to be considered. It was given to the PSD on Sept 4. Has the time been mostly spent instead on digging up the PSD regulations to provide Muhyiddin with an escape clause?

If you asked any sensible Malaysian, they would tell you Muhyiddin has simply “copped out”. He is not thinking like a Malaysian Leader No 2, one who must do the right thing in the Malaysian interest regardless of other factors.

His action shows he is thinking as a party leader, bound by considerations of race. On that score, you might be able to excuse Umno – and Muhyiddin – for thinking that no action against the principal means no loss of votes for the party. Better that than appeasing other races and risk losing Malay votes. That’s dinosaur thinking of the second highest order. Very un-1Malaysia.

Meanwhile, what has happened to the case of the Johor school principal who allegedly told her Chinese students to go back to China and insulted the religion of her Indian students? It seems all quiet on the southern front. Which also happens to be Muhyiddin’s territory. And Umno’s.

Dr M, the top dinosaur

I alluded earlier to dinosaur thinking of the second highest order. What about dinosaur thinking of the highest order?

That honour must go to Dr Mahathir Mohamad. On Sept 24, he said that if Pakatan Rakyat came to power, even if the resulting prime minister were Malay, he would be a tool of others. As an analogy, he said when Mohamed Nizar Jamaluddin was menteri besar of Perak, “he followed the DAP’s orders”. He was heading “a Chinese government”.

This is actually nothing new from Mahathir. He has expressed these views before, in his bid to instil fear in the Malays that they will lose power and be overrun by non-Malays. Lately, however, he has been stepping it up. He is working more and more on conditioning the Malay mind into believing who the enemy is, even if it’s imagined.

This is dangerous divisive politics, but does Mahathir care? This is regressing to the politics of fear, which he generated when he was prime minister, but which many voters rejected during the 2008 general election. Again, does Mahathir care?

What seems clear from his recent sustained onslaught is that he’s getting more desperate in wanting to keep Pakatan out of Putrajaya. He apparently fears the consequences of Pakatan in government. From all the talk that has been circulating about aspects of his administration – and we’ve seen just an example in the recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on the VK Lingam case – he might be hauled up to answer some questions. Understandably, he would not want to live through that ordeal.

Meanwhile, Nurul Izzah Anwar of PKR has challenged Mahathir to a debate “to clarify if his ‘fear’ for the Malays is really about loss of power or, in reality, loss of wealth for the chosen few”. Would the old man of the past have the guts to take on the young leader of the present and the future?

Govt cuts off its nose

As for the third event, the arrest of cartoonist Zunar (Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque) has merely created a new popular hero in the movement for a better Malaysia. And it has made the government look worse for stifling free expression. Which is why it doesn’t make sense that it should resort to

What’s even more damning is that there was no clear indication of what Zunar was being arrested for. According to his lawyer, Latheefa Koya, the authorities were not sure whether to charge him under the Sedition Act or the Printing Presses and Publications Act.

In this age of the Internet and speedy communication, arresting someone for producing a book of political cartoons is reflective of dinosaur thinking. Even if the cartoons are critical of the government, it speaks better for the government to tolerate its right to be published and disseminated, and to acknowledge that its creator enjoys the freedom of expression.

This is guaranteed in the Constitution, and we are supposed to be living in a democratic state. So let a thousand flowers bloom, let a thousand voices vie for attention in the marketplace. Perkasa is given their voice, why not Zunar?

Is it due to the fact that he is Malay and therefore more of a threat, because his ideas might appeal more to the Malay masses? Is it because cartoons transcend language and can express in one picture what a thousand words might not?

Whatever the reasoning, it overlooks one crucial point. Zunar is not alone. There is a resistance movement. Not an organised one, but it’s there. And it’s like the mythical Hydra. If you cut off one head, another will grow to take its place. Perhaps more.

So, to put it idiomatically, the cutting that has been done in the Zunar arrest is not quite what was intended. It is more a case of the government cutting off its nose to spite its face.

That's what happens as a result of dinosaur thinking.

[Source: Kee Thuan Chye]