Archive for the ‘New Year Resolutions’ Category

Lifting the veil on the ego

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

GONG Xi Fa Cai, everyone. And, if you are a Hokkien from Penang (or Klang), Keong Hee Huat Chye to you. It’s a time for festivities.

The Chinese New Year holidays are over, but the celebrations are going on and on. It’s “everybody’s birthday” today, the Pai Thnee Kong or Jade Emperor’s feast is set for tomorrow night, and then to top it all off, there’s Chap Goh Meh on Feb 11.

Of course, between the first two and the last, there’s that other big celebration in Penang – Thaipusam.

The Year of the Rooster is a rather special one for Thaipusam celebrations. After all, the presiding deity of the event, Lord Muruga has the rooster as his coat of arms.

Mythology has it that Muruga’s mother, the Goddess Sakthi gave him the vel (a spear) before his quest to defeat the demon Sura­padman. En route, he killed the demon’s brothers Tarakasura and Simhamukha. Then, it was down to Surapadman. The warrior god had him beaten, but the demon transformed himself into a mango tree.

The youthful god then threw his vel at the tree, tearing it into two.

Defeated, Surapadman gave up with the two parts of the tree becoming a peacock and a rooster.

The peacock became Lord Muruga’s vehicle and the rooster his coat of arms, seen on his flag.

This story is also about the sub­duing of ego. The peacock and rooster – animals that preen, strut and crow – are but manifestations of mankind’s ego.

This year, at least in Penang, we see those egos in a battle over what should be Lord Muruga’s vehicle.

Two sides, both adamant that they are right, are at loggerheads over the chariot procession.

A festive event that has been a highlight of Penang’s tourism calendar for decades, has now become an acrimonious one.

On the one side are the chettiars, who have been organising the procession for more than a century.

On the other, the Penang Hindu Endowment Board, led by Deputy Chief Minister Dr P. Ramasamy, which is introducing its new chariot carrying the vel.

Friends in Penang now talk of the golden chariot versus the silver chariot and Ramasamy’s chariot vs the Chettiars’ chariot.

They joke about the champion (gold) chariot and the runner-up (silver) chariot and hope there will be no third-placed (bronze) chariot joining the podium soon.

The question though is: “Which is Lord Muruga’s chariot?”

In the clash of personalities, egos and personal pride, the main reason behind the festival seems to have been forgotten.

The anger spilling over on social media is strong. Good people and good friends are using nasty words against one another, words they have never been known to utter.

People are trying to drag others through the mud, making allegations of all sorts. It is happening on both sides. And it’s ugly.

Me, I stand by my assertion that all this is more about the money that is poured into the festival by the devotees than piety and faith.

Both sides have their eyes on the kitty. The board (or at least its representatives) have been tarring the chettiars and telling devotees not to give their money to “these outsiders from India”. That’s a strange cry from Malaysian Indians.

The chettiars, for their part, are not coming clean on their accounts.

They claim it is all audited and accounted for, but why not take the moral higher ground and make it all public?

by DORAIRAJ NADASON

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/why-not/2017/02/03/lifting-the-veil-on-the-ego-the-chinese-new-year-holidays-are-over-but-the-celebrations-go-on-especi/#keiXc1XvySfJqEPA.99

Feng Shui master: 2017 the year of new opportunities

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017
Filepic of a ba zi

Filepic of a ba zi

KUALA LUMPUR: 2017, the year of the ‘fire Rooster’ in the Chinese zodiac is dubbed as the “Year of New Opportunities”, says a feng shui master.

Kenny Hoo said based on the annual ‘Ba Zi’ and ‘Gua’ in feng Shui, there would be light at the end of the tunnel and a lot of good opportunities this year.

“Basically, there will be challenges in various fields during the first quarter of the year; however there will be signs of improvement after that,” he told Bernama during a Chinese New Year dinner organised by AkzoNobel here.

Hoo said 2017 would be a good year for business players to plan ahead with greater innovation and creativity for their greater advancement.

“There will be more new and innovative business opportunities emerging this year. Wise selection of business partners can bring about unprecedented returns in the mid to long term.

“However, for those who cannot withstand the wave of changes and challenges, they will be easily wiped off from the market space,” he cautioned.

Hoo said ‘water’ is the key element for 2017 as shown in the annual Ba Zi chart, which is the mediating factor to bring about agreement or reconciliation for better harmony and prosperity.

“Water is synonymous with blue, hence Blue is the colour of 2017.

Incorporating more blue into your home or workspaces, or using blue items such as daily wear and furniture will boost one’s luck and energy level,” he said.

In regard to the 12 Chinese Zodiacs, Hoo said 2017 would be “a lovely and romantic year” for those born in the year of the Rat, Monkey and Dragon.

“There will be lots of couples lining up for marriage, moving into new houses and having babies… Painting some Red or Purple colour in the southeast sector of their house can further enhance the baby luck for married couples.

“It will be a more fruitful year for them too as obstacles and challenges in 2017 will be resolved with help from good noble persons,” he said.

However, Hoo said, the three zodiacs must take extra care in health, particularly with regard to the digestive, respiratory system, liver and eyesight, in the months of February and August.

He said those born in the year of the Snake, Rooster and Ox, would also have lots of advancement academically this year but must be extra careful in personal safety when travelling in March, September and December.

“For Rooster – they must particularly take care of their health and are highly encouraged to go for regular checkup this year,” he said.

2017 will be a busy year for those born in the year of the Boar (pig), Rabbit and Goat as there will be more travelling; thus they must be extra careful while on the road in the months of March, May and September.

“There will be higher chance for them in property transactions, move to new houses or office space in 2017; minor renovations such as repainting the existing house or office can enhance health and wealth luck,” said Hoo.

For the Tiger, Horse and Dog, this year will be fruitful and prosperous as they will have greater wealth and better luck, especially when it comes to love, relationship, wealth and career advancement.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/01/18/feng-shui-master-2017-the-year-of-new-opportunities/

2017 – expect a bumpy year

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

This will be a year like no other, as there will be a thunderous clash of policies, economies and politics worldwide. We should prepare for the challenges ahead and not be only spectators.

THE new year has dawned. Everyone agrees 2017 will be very interesting.

It will also be most problematic. From politics to economics and finance, we’ll be on a roller-coaster ride.

With his extreme views and bulldozing style, President-elect Donald Trump is set to create an upheaval, if not revolution, in the United States and the world.

He is installing an oil company chief as the Secretary of State, investment bankers in key finance positions, climate sceptics and anti-environmentalists in environmental and energy agencies and an extreme rightwing internet media mogul as his chief strategist.

US-China relations, the most im­­por­­tant for global stability, could change from big-power co-existen­ce, with a careful combination of competition and cooperation, to outright crisis.

Trump, through his phone call with the Taiwanese president and after, signalled he could withdraw the longstanding US adherence to the One China policy and instead use Taiwan as a negotiating card in overall relations with China. The Chinese perceive this as an extreme provocation.

He has appointed as head of the new National Trade Council an economist known for his many books demonising China, including Death by China: Confronting the Dragon.

Trump seems intent on doing an about-turn on US trade policies. Measures being considered include a 45% duty on Chinese products, extra duties and taxes on American companies located abroad, and even a 10% tariff on all imports.

Thus 2017 will see protectionism rise in the United States, the extent still unknown. That is bad news for many developing countries whose economies have grown on the back of exports and international investments.

Europe in 2017 will also be pre­occupied with its own regional problems. The Brexit shock of 2016 will continue to reverberate and other countries facing elections will be less open to the world and become more inward-looking.

As protectionism, xenophobia and narrow nationalism grow in Western societies, Asian countries should devise development strategies based more on domestic and regional demand and investments.

2017 may be the year when resource-rich China, with its deve­lopment banks and its Belt and Road Initiative, fills in the economic void created by Western trade and investment protectionism.

But this may not be sufficient to prevent a finance shock in many developing countries now beginning to suffer a reversal of capital flowing back to the United States, attracted by the prospect of higher interest rates and economic growth.

In 2017 Malaysia will be among the countries most vulnerable to this, due to the large foreign ownership of local bonds and shares.

As capital flows out and the currency depreciates further, the affected countries’ companies will have to pay more for servicing loans contracted in foreign currencies and imported machinery and parts, while consumers grumble about the rising cost of living.

On the positive side, exporters will earn more in local currency terms and tourism will increase, but this may not be enough to offset the negative effects.

Thus 2017 will not be kind to the economy, business and the pockets of the common man and woman. It might even spark a new financial crisis.

by MARTIN KHOR.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/global-trends/2017/01/02/2017-expect-a-bumpy-year-ahead-this-will-be-a-year-like-no-other-as-there-will-be-a-thunderous-clas/

Make 2017 what you want it to be

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

EXCEPT for time travellers and the extraordinarily gifted seers among us, we do not know what exactly will happen in 2017. And so, there are two basic choices as we greet the New Year – be hopeful or feel hopeless.

We have to decide between anticipation and dread, between getting ready to work for worthwhile victories over the next 12 months and giving up before the game has even begun.

It is a no-brainer, and yet, some of us still prefer pessimism. Then again, given the kind of year 2016 was, the gloomy outlook is understandable.

The world news seemed like an endless barrage of terrorist attacks, civil wars, natural disasters, divisive debates on prejudice and extremism, listless economic developments, sabre-rattling, farewells to beloved heroes, and the rise of insular and populist politics.

For us in Malaysia, it was hard to shake off the perception that we were spending way too much time and effort on politicking, hate-mongering, the blame game, hand-wringing over our economic direction, and misinformation.

We fell into the trap of allowing the negatives to drown out the positives. We often focused on what went wrong and rarely acknowledged the things that we did well.

Yes, there have been moments when national pride mightily lifted our spirits, such as during the Rio Olympics and Paralympics, but it did not take long for our attention to swivel back to the issues and actions that discomforted us.

But 2016 is over. There is no reason to repeat its harshness and dissonance. None of us enjoy being sapped of confidence and trust.

When we bring bad vibes into the new year, how is it reasonable to expect something pleasant in return?

Bear in mind that in business and the economy, how we collectively feel about what lies ahead can be highly influential.

If we are convinced that we are heading into a rough stretch, many of us will postpone projects and purchases. As a result, we consume and invest less, and that will slow down our economic growth. In other words, we help fulfil our prophecy.

And here is another example of anxiety turning into reality. A country’s political journey takes its cue from the mood of the population.

Leaders need popular support, and that does not come easily if the leaders are insensitive to the issues that are uppermost in the minds of the people.

But this knowledge alone is not enough; the leaders have to respond accordingly, which often means erasing doubts and blunting fears. The best leaders do this without sacrificing the greater good. The less capable ones often opt for short-term solutions that may in the end do more harm than good.

We certainly do not have to go down this path. We are a nation with unique and proud achievements. We have worked hard and endured plenty. We have come far and we dream of more to come.

The Star Says.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/the-star-says/2017/01/01/make-2017-what-you-want-it-to-be/

It will be a helluva ride!

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Expect 2017 to be a busy year as the general election might be held. Also, Hadi’s Bill will come up again, we will celebrate our 60th birthday, and host the SEA Games.

FASTEN your seat belts. Get ready for a roller coaster ride. A political roller coaster that is, as 2017 is set to be a super eventful year.

With the general election speculated to be held this year – most popularly thought to be in September, as of now at least – the competing political parties are set to kick off their campaigns over the coming months.

And whether we like it or not, everything will be political. The new year will start off with a bang all right.

Even the first quarter of 2017 is set to be a hot period.

The proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 – commonly known as RUU355 in its Bahasa Malaysia abbreviation – is still unresolved and it’s expected to crop up again when Parliament reconvenes in March.

The Private Member’s Bill, tabled by Marang MP Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, was read out a second time last November to include several tweaks to the Bill that the PAS president read out for the first time the previous meeting.

It is set to be a contentious issue that has rattled Barisan Nasional component parties, with Umno seeing the Bill as merely a way to enhance punishments under Syariah laws while many other Barisan component parties see it as a back-door effort to implement hudud laws.

Many non-Muslim Barisan leaders are also asking why they should be supporting a Bill initiated by an opposition party.

The Government has said that the Cabinet will set up a Parlia-mentary Select Committee that will involve Muslim and non-Muslim MPs to study the complicated matters in the proposed amendments, especially those related to the separation of powers between the civil and Syariah courts.

But Abdul Hadi is not sitting idly by. He has served notice that the Islamist party will hold a “monster” rally to garner support for the Bill.

“God willing, PAS will organise a himpunan aman raksasa (peaceful monster gathering) representing Muslims from various political parties and NGOs, including those who supported the Bill. Wait and see,” he told a press conference at Parliament lobby here.

Although the date has yet to be confirmed, Abdul Hadi said it could be held before the new Parliament session kicks off in March.

The PAS president also reportedly likened the non-Muslim MPs to Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known as Ahok, for openly criticising the Bill which governs the lives of Muslims. Ahok is currently on trial for allegedly insulting the Quran.

“Unfortunately, the amendment has shown how non-Muslim politicians try to interfere in matters pertaining to the Muslims and the Rulers,” he said.

In Jakarta, following the mammoth protest by Islamist groups, a huge gathering to promote diversity and tolerance was held to counter the earlier gathering.

It will also be a busy year for Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng as his trial over his two corruption charges involving his RM2.8mil double-storey house along Jalan Pinhorn in Penang starts in March.

High Court judge Hadhariah Syed Ismail has fixed the hearing for both cases to start from March 27 to 31, April 10 to 14, April 24 to 28, May 15 to 19, May 29 to June 2, June 13 to 16 and July 17 to 21.

The prosecution and defence teams have been ordered to submit all relevant documents for the cases by Jan 6.

Malaysia is celebrating its 60th National Day on Aug 31 this year and we can be sure that the Government will use the occasion to pump up patriotic sentiments ahead of the polls.

by WONG CHUN WAI.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/on-the-beat/2017/01/01/it-will-be-a-helluva-ride-expect-2017-to-be-a-busy-year-as-the-general-election-might-be-held-also-h/

Ushering in 2017 with fun and fireworks

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Thousands of Malaysians welcomed 2017 with a party-like atmosphere in the Klang Valley and other places.

People of all ages turned up in huge numbers at various tourist spots such as KLCC, Bukit Bintang and Dataran Merdeka here, and at popular places in Penang, Johor Baru, Kota Kinabalu and Sibu.

They were treated to entertainment shows before fireworks lit up the skies at the stroke of midnight.

At KLCC Park, many people brought electronic hairbands to wear on their heads to light up the area. Some bought vuvuzelas to make a noisy welcome to 2017.

Retail store administrator Amir Hassan, 19, said the highlight of 2016 for him was when he met his girlfriend.

“For 2017, I hope to find a new and better job and improve my income,” he said.

Japanese tourist Ami Sato, 28, said this year she finally managed to fulfil her dream of coming to Malaysia to celebrate the New Year.

“I have been wanting to come here since high school. I wanted to see the fireworks and the festivities at the Twin Towers,” she added.

In George Town, merrymakers bid farewell to 2016 in style with some dining at the highest point in the city – CocoCabana Bar and Bistro atop Komtar Tower.

At the Level 68 rooftop, revellers had a splendid view of George Town.

A laser light show brought part of the Komtar Tower facade to life with imagery.

At Gurney Paragon Mall, hundreds of colourful balloons were dropped on Festive Square, transforming the place into hues of gold, blue and white.

At the stroke of midnight, fireworks lit up the skies in many places, including Queensbay Mall, Bukit Jambul Complex, Straits Quay Retail Marina and Gurney Plaza.

In Johor Baru, huge crowds of revellers enjoyed watching the fireworks display and cultural performances which showcased the strength of Bangsa Johor.

Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) football club fans – the Boys of Straits – showed off their drumming skills just before the fireworks brightened the skies at midnight.

State Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumerism Committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong launched Persiaran Muafakat Bangsa Johor or Johor Street of Harmony along Jalan Trus.

It was chosen in view of its various places of worship that reflected how people of different races and faiths can live in peace and harmony.

In Sibu, people thronged the town square to witness a dazzling 15-minute display of fireworks to usher in the New Year at the stroke of midnight.

In Kota Kinabalu, an afternoon downpour kept away crowds from the popular Tanjung Aru beach for a midnight swim in conjunction with the New Year.

The beach, which used to be packed with people camping and organising barbecue parties while waiting for the clock to strike midnight, was sparse at 7pm.

Each New Year’s Eve, thousands of people would throng the beach in the belief that a midnight dip in the seawater will wash away their bad luck.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/01/01/ushering-in-2017-with-fun-and-fireworks-crowds-come-together-to-celebrate-new-year/

Farewell to one long sigh of a year.

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

LIKE many other years, 2016 was personally a year of ups and downs. The highlight of my year was secu­ring this column; allowing me to continue writing following the closure of an online portal back in March that used to feature my articles.

There are many things to be grateful for, yet there are also many sad occasions. The loss of The Star’s Executive Editor, Soo Ewe Jin, after barely six months of my working with him, made me feel robbed of time and opportunity to know good people, good Malaysians.

2016 was dubbed “the year the 80s died”.

As I write this column, my newsfeed is filled with condolences for Carrie Fisher, most famous for her role as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars.

I was quite impacted by this, seeing as Princess Leia was a role model in what was a boys-only movie franchise in my childhood.

Fisher’s passing came barely two days after the world learnt of George Michael’s death on Christmas Day. It is bittersweet to imagine there’s an afterlife superstar-studded concert featuring Michael, Bowie, Prince, and many other greats the world lost this year.

What I consider a new low for this year was Donald Trump being democratically elected as the next President of the United States. From my own experience as a US State Department Fellow in 2015, I am fearful, anxious, and still uncomfortable that Trump will follow President Barack Obama.

Then there is the news from Aleppo, Palestine, and Rakhine state. It somehow seems hypocritical of us Malaysians, who are willing to rally and demonstrate for these causes, but are not willing to learn from the lessons of such wars.

While solving wars or genocides seems complex, there is no denying that those affected are human lives and those of us with power to make things better or with potential solutions, should strive to do so. While those of us whose actions potentially hinder progress should learn to sit quietly.

2016 also saw a few frustrating news items doing their rounds on local media. The exposé of online paedophilia by The Star’s R.AGE team should not just increase public awareness, but also push the public to demand action, either through pushing for comprehensive sex education at an early age or for implementation of anti-grooming laws.

The law on child marriage in Malaysia needs to be revisited. While there has been a push from women’s rights groups over the years, there still exists the loophole for child marriage under syariah law (where a child under the age of 16 can be legally married with permission from State authorities) that unfortunately, more often than not, is abused.

2016 also proved a confusing time for most Muslims in Malaysia. In addition to the tabling of the 355 Act – now to be tabled as a Government Bill in the next parliamentary sitting after being originally a Private Member’s Bill by an opposition party, Muslim Malay­sians saw our intelligence challenged over the use of the word “pretzel dog”. That is, after we had fought over which chocolates are halal.

We also saw a widowed mother of three being detained with no clear charge for her offence(s). Meanwhile, a tweet stating one’s opinion could result in a police raid at our private residence in the wee morning hours.

In her commencement speech at Monash University’s recent convocation ceremony, Jo Kukathas broke down the reality for the graduands in two simple words: “Be afraid.” While I agree that we all need to be pragmatic when it comes to living our lives, being afraid should not make us ignorant, uncaring or vengeful.

After all the lows that 2016 brought, we should take Michelle Obama’s advice to go high. If Trump indeed goes on with his plans to have Muslims “registered” or build his wall around the US, we should respond by showing to him and the world that a moderate Muslim-majority country can be great and inclusive.

by LYANA KHAIRUDDIN.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/naturally/2016/12/31/farewell-to-one-long-sigh-of-a-year-as-we-look-back-in-sadness-lets-play-our-part-next-year-in-going/

Goodbye 2016, a strange and difficult year

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

The year will be remembered for the West ending its romance with globalisation, and its impact on the rest of the world.

JUST a few days before Christmas, it is time again to look back on the year that is about to pass.

What a strange year it has been, and not one we can celebrate!

The top event was Donald Trump’s unexpected victory. It became the biggest sign that the basic framework and values underpinning Western societies since the second world war have undergone a seismic change.

The established order represented by Hillary Clinton was defeated by the tumultuous wave Trump generated with his promise to stop the United States from pandering to other countries so that it could become “great again”.

Early in the year came the Brexit vote shock, taking Britain out of the European Union. It was the initial signal that the liberal order created by the West is now being quite effectively challenged by their own masses.

Openness to immigrants and foreigners is now opposed by citizens in Europe and the US who see them as threats to jobs, national culture and security rather than beneficial additions to the economy and society.

The long-held thesis that openness to trade and foreign investments is best for the economy and underpins political stability is crumbling under the weight of a sceptical public that blames job losses and the shift of industries abroad on ultra-liberal trade and investment agreements and policies.

Thus, 2016 which started with mega trade agreements completed (Trans-Pacific Partnership) or in the pipeline (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the US and Europe) ended with both being dumped by the President Elect, a stunning reversal of the decades-old US position advocating the benefits of the open economy.

2016 will be remembered as the year when the romance in the West with “globalisation” was killed by a public disillusioned and outraged by the inequalities of an economic system tilted in favour of a rich minority, while a sizeable majority feel marginalised and discarded.

In Asia, the dismantling of the globalisation ideal in the Western world was greeted with a mixture of regret, alarm and a sense of opportunity.

Many in this region believe that trade and investment have served several of their countries well. There is fear that the anti-globalisation rebellion in the West will lead to a rapid rise of protectionism that will hit the exports and industries of Asia.

As Trump announced he would pull the US out of the TPP, China stepped into the vacuum vacated by the US and pledged to be among the torchbearers of trade liberalisation in the Asia-Pacific region and possibly the world.

The change of direction in the US and to some extent Europe poses an imminent threat to Asian exports, investors and economic growth. But it is also an opportunity for Asian countries to review their development strategies, rely more on themselves and the region, and take on a more active leadership role.

China made use of 2016 to prepare for this, with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank taking off and the immense Belt and Road Initiative gathering steam.

Many companies and governments are now latching on to the latter as the most promising source of future growth.

The closing months of 2016 also saw a surprising and remarkable shift in position by the Philippines, whose new President took big steps to reconcile with China over conflicting claims in the South China Sea, thus defusing the situation – at least for now.

Unfortunately, the year also saw heart-rending reports on the plight of the Rohingya in Myanmar, and the deaths of thousands of Syrians including those who perished or were injured in the end-game in Aleppo.

On the environmental front, it is likely 2016 will be the hottest year on record, overtaking 2015. This makes the coming into force in October of the Paris Agreement on climate change all the more meaningful.

by MARTIN KHOR.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/global-trends/2016/12/19/goodbye-2016-a-strange-and-difficult-year-the-year-will-be-remembered-for-the-west-ending-its-romanc/

Sink or swing with the monkey

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

There’s a lot to learn about this simian which can be lovable and loathable in equal parts.

WELCOME to the third day of the Year of the Monkey!

I must say it’s a great relief to say goodbye to a wild and woolly Year of the Yang during which we witnessed much sheep-like behaviour and had quite a lot of nasty things rammed down our throats.

A year ago in this column, I shared that yang is Mandarin for a horned ruminant mammal which can mean either sheep (mianyang) or goat (shanyang).

I argued the case for celebrating the Year of the Goat as the animal has more attractive and positive traits than the sheep.

Sheep have been documented as dependent, nervous creatures that require close supervision and are known for being mindless followers.

Goats, however, are a lot smarter, independent, nimble-footed and full of fearless curiosity.

Well, as it turned out that while some Malaysians tried to be goat-like, there were more who were sheep-like and got spooked by scare-mongers who, as usual, used the race and religion cards, and the sheepish ones ended up bunching together even more tightly in fear and suspicion.

So, what now in the Year of the Monkey? What sort of traits does this simian have that can give us some pointers to go by?

But first, we should get some basics right. Just as we had to separate the goats from the sheep last year, I have learned there are 264 known species of monkeys, but the chimpanzee is not one of them. The chimp, like the orang utan and gorilla, is an ape. Monkeys are different from apes, the most obvious difference being apes don’t have tails. So, let’s not confuse monkeys with apes.

Primatologists will tell us that monkeys in the wild behave very much like humans. They are intelligent creatures with the capacity to learn, innovate and live in social structures.

According to monkeyworlds.com, “the hierarchy of the social structure is very detailed. It doesn’t matter if there are only a few members or hundreds of them. They all have their role within that group”.

Interestingly, like humans in political parties, the monkeys can form smaller groups (what we would call factions) within the larger group. What’s more, if the monkeys aren’t happy about their social status within that group, they can leave and create a brand new group.

by JUNE H.L. WONG.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/so-aunty-so-what/2016/02/10/sink-or-swing-with-the-monkey-theres-a-lot-to-learn-about-this-simian-which-can-be-lovable-and-loath/

Feng shui expert: Work on Friday for better luck

Monday, February 8th, 2016

THE fifth day of the Chinese New Year, which falls on Friday, is the best day to start work in the Year of the Fire Monkey, China Press reported.

The best time to report to work on that day is from 5 am to 11 am and from 1pm to 3 pm, according to Feng shui Master Wei Xuan.

However, Wei Xuan said it was not a good date to start work for those born in the Year of the Horse.

He said other good dates to start work are on Feb 15, 16, 19, 22, 24 and 27.

According to Chinese belief, a person will have a prosperous year if he or she starts work on an auspicious date and time at the beginning of the lunar calendar.

Wei Xuan also advised the employees to be dressed decently and not to be late on the first day to work as it will affect their luck.

Bosses and their employees should also give Ang pows to each other on an auspicious day, he said.

Sin Chew Daily reported that DAP had suspended its Kota Melaka MP Sim Tong Him and Duyong assemblyman Goh Leong San, for a year for tarnishing the party’s image and integrity, with immediate effect.

Its disciplinary committee secretary Tai Xing Piao said the decision was made after several disciplinary hearings had been conducted.

Tai said the hearings were called as the committee had received many complaints about the two state leaders by Malacca DAP grassroots. He added that they could appeal within 14 days.

When contacted, Sim said that he would comment after the party officially informed him of the matter, while Goh refused to respond.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/02/08/feng-shui-expert-work-on-friday-for-better-luck/