1 2 3 4 5 6

On Thursday, May 4, 2006, at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 AM in the morning, the time and date will be

01:02:03 04/05/06

This will never happen again in your life.


Time flies. I remember we have just finished all the festivities. Starting off with Deepavali, followed by Hari Raya Aidilfritri, then Christmas and later the New Year of the Chinese. Aren't these still fresh in our mind?

Yet for the Chinese, Cheng Beng (Ching Ming) suddenly crept in: the festival of the deceased, who do not now exist but the Chinese still pay homage to their departed relatives.

Like in previous years Chan See Phong never missed coming up to pay homage to his mum and dad: both deceased. What a filial son See Phong is!

On his way up with his missus and son See Phong made a sojourn. He checked into the Sunway Lagoon Hotel in Subang Jaya to visit his brother. But he was pressed for time, for work duty was calling for his son Hock Yan. In spite of that See Phong called me up to meet him for a chitchat to make up. He apologized through me that he was unable to meet our mentor and his closest buddy.

Mr. Miles and Harwan Singh, for not been able to meet you, Chan See Phong apologizes. "Though out of sight, you are always in my mind." See Phong really spoke his mind.

The area around the Sunway Lagoon was like a fairyland at night. The lights and architectures really mystify - something like the beauty they described in the Arabian story of One Thousand and One Nights. What a sight!



Do not use microwave for boiling water alone.

Adrian wrote:

A 26-year old person decided to have a cup of coffee. He took a cup of water and put it in the microwave to heat it up (something that he had done numerous times before). I am not sure how long he set the timer for, but he told me he wanted to bring the water to a boil. When the timer shut the oven off, he removed the cup from the oven.

Cup Steaming

As he looked into the cup, he noted that the water was not boiling, but instantly the water in the cup "blew up" into his face. The cup remained intact until he threw it out of his hand but all the water had flown out into his face due to the build up of energy. His whole face was blistered and he has 1st and 2nd degree burns to his face which may leave scarring. He also may have lost partial sight in his left eye.

While at the hospital, the doctor who was attending to him stated that this is fairly common occurrence and water (alone) should never be heated in a microwave oven. If water is heated in this manner, something should be placed in the cup to diffuse the energy such as: a wooden stir stick, tea bag, etc. It is however a much safer choice to boil the water in a tea kettle.

General Electric's response:
Thanks for contacting us. I will be happy to assist you. The e-mail that you received is correct. Microwaved water and other liquids do not always bubble when they reach the b oiling point. They can actually get superheated and not bubble at all. The superheated liquid will bubble up out of the cup when it is moved or when something like a spoon or tea bag is put into it.

To prevent this from happening and causing injury, do not heat any liquid for more than two minutes per cup. After heating, let the cup stand in the microwave for thirty seconds before moving it or adding anything into it.

If you pass this on... you could very well save someone from a lot of pain and suffering.

Please forward the above message and the next to all the people you care about.

HEALTH CARE - BEWARE Leptospirosis


A woman went boating one Sunday... taking with her some cans of coke which she put into The refrigerator of the boat.

On Monday she was taken to the hospital and placed in the Intensive Care Unit.

She died on Wednesday
The autopsy concluded that she died of Leptospirosis.

This was traced to the can of coke she drank from, not using a glass. Tests showed that the can was infected by dried rat urine and hence the disease Leptospirosis.

Rat urine contains toxic and deathly substances.

To prevent this from happening and causing injury, do not heat any liquid for more than two minutes per cup. After heating, let the cup stand in the microwave for thirty seconds before moving it or adding anything into it.

It is highly recommended to thoroughly wash the upper part of soda cans before drinking out of them.

The cans are typically stocked in warehouses and transported straight to the shops without being cleaned.

   Coke        Coke        Coke        Coke        Coke        Coke       

A study at NYCU showed that the tops of soda cans are more contaminated than public toilets (i.e.) full of germs and bacteria.

So wash them with water before putting them to the mouth to avoid any kind of fatal accident.


Robber in Jail

One day Wong Yeng Kee shot off to his petrol station early. He even sent his maid off. He dumped her in the shop.

Nowadays, buglers are not that greedy for things that are bulky. They only searched for valuables and money. Thus Yeng Kee lost some personal decorative items like some priceless jewelleries and a watch. Yet he suffered a great loss. The thieves ran off with his international passport.

Oh my, Yeng Kee often uses that document for he travels a lot. So he reported his loss hoping to get a replacement passport. Now he is keeping his fingers crossed. Good luck buddy!


Video Tape

When I met Chan See Phong at Sunway Lagoon, he handed me three CDs. One for our mentor, one for Harbans Singh and one for me. His son Yan who was with him told me that he had prepared those CDs from the videotaping that he took while he visited us last.

When an auspicious Saturday came, I took the one for our mentor to him. Immediately Mr. Miles wanted to view the video show. We went up to his sleeping quarters and viewed the show.

The show started at Harbans Singh's house. The main characters in the show were See Phong and his spouse. Then there were Harbans Singh and his missus. As a supporting character there is the now-in-and-now-out me.

The show was about our conversation and on the cooking and our feasting on chappatis.

Video Camera

It was a good video taping. Thanks to Yan for the free show and the free CDs too.

After viewing the video tape on that auspicious Saturday, I turned my attention to showing how to solve one of the more than 10 of his mind boggling puzzles.




One fine Sunday I drove down to Klang to visit Harbans Singh. Mission: to see how that guy fared and to deliver to him a VCD ware. The VCD was with the compliments of Chan Hock Yan, who is Chan See Phong's son.

We talked about all and sundry over a cup of home brewed tea. Harbans was lively and very loquacious.

So how did the blah, blah, blah go?...


The conversation suddenly touched on his younger days living in Bentong. I came to realize why Mr. Miles went all out to help Harbans Singh even up to the point of carrying grass for Harbans's two cows.
Cow Milk

For their survival, the family depended on about 5 or 6 bottles of milk from the cows daily. Poor souls! If the cows starved, so went hungry for the family's four people. Harbans said he sold the milk at 70 sen per bottle.

For their schooling, Harbans and his brother were given scholarships by our mentor.

Harbans also told me of an interesting encounter at the Ketari perimeter gate put up by the British during the emergency. One evening he discovered that he was late on reaching the emergency gate - after curfew hours, you know. Harbans Singh was locked in as his house and cows were outside the perimeter fence. He wanted to go under, squeeze himself in and crawl through the culvert to reach home.

Car Red

Just before he was about to do so, he saw our mentor coming in his Ford Prefect from the other side of the fence. Mr. Miles was locked out! If he were a local, the police would have picked him up and lock him in the police lock-up.

But no, those were the times and days of the Mat Sallehs. The police came and opened the gate for him. He added in a few words for the police to let Harbans Singh out, too.

On that night Harbans Singh studied at home with the light from a flickering kerosene lamp. He accidentally fell asleep on his charpoi - the famous so cool Punjabi bed. The kerosene lamp at one corner of the manja (synonymous with charpoi) tilted and the bedstead caught fire.

"Help! Help! Help!" Harbans shouted in his sleep, for he dreamt of a conflagration. How accurate and prophetic this dream of his! He woke up to discover that his string bed was on fire. Harbans quickly extinguished the blaze to save his bedstead. What a narrow escape!

By three, I left and drove back. But alas, I had to drive down to see the couple again! This time to retrieve my hand phone. It had slipped out of my pocket and slid into a sofa crevice. On my second consecutive visit, we had tea to cool me off from the built up heat! What a wonderful treat!!!

Thanks Harbans Singh and Gurmail Kaur for feting me with a delicious home-made and home-cooked meal of chappatis - the genuine cuisine of the Punjabis.



In February Lee Yew Kwong brought his whole family including his missus, his sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law to China. He wanted to visit his kampong in the new China built by Mao Zedong. Yew Kwong and his entourage made a sojourn in Hong Kong.

In the River of Fragrance, as the Chinese attached its name to the former British colony, Yew Kwong wanted to savour some culinary delights. No, not in the five-star hotels where the bill comes hidden with a knife. He went down to the hawkers stalls. There he was led by one of his daughters to a place to taste some Hong Kong specialty.

Cup Red

Yew Kwong asked for a cup of tea and he said what he used to say "teh". But he could not get his order across to the waiter. He explained "Ceylon tea" as it is called by the Chinese. What a pity not to say "Ceylon tea" the guy didn't even know what "Ceylon" is. In fact that former name for Sri Lanka famous for its tea nowadays never exists!

"Milk mixed with tea," Yew Kwong said with emphasis. "Oh, milk tea," replied the guy. Then he asked, "Mr. where are you from?"

"From Singapore," Yew Kwong lied. But what he did was really like many people's mentality. Lie to hide your nativity.

"Where are you going?" inquired the guy just to put his customer at ease.

Yew Kwong like what he is was a bit talkative. He blared off saying, "we"re going to Shenzhen tomorrow and then we would travel to our ancestral village to trace our roots. We have our people there."

Yew Kwong also ordered some snack - the specialty of the stall. The stuff tasted so good that he ordered a second round. People eyed him around. But of course, all the eyes could not beat his crave for the dish that tasted so delicious. So he ate to his heart's content. He thought after all how often he comes here to taste this delicacy

The cost : simply exorbitant when compared to what he later paid in Shenzhen. (It was something like you eat in Singapore after crossing over from Johore)


From Hong Kong Yew Kwong and his retinue hopped over to Shenzhen the southern most bustling city of modern China. According to him, Shenzhen is a city with all its glitters and modernity - including sleuths, touts and all other agents of human fallacies. Yew Kwong had been warned by friends and love ones that they have to be alert at all times when moving around. So they were all on the look out when they went out.

There was a world of difference comparing Hong Kong with Shenzhen. Things were at rock bottom cheap. Food was great in taste and in abundance too. Yet prices were but a quarter of what they were charged in Hong Kong. That surprised Lee Yew Kwong.


Yet there was more surprises waiting for him. When he returned to the hotel someone called him. The caller asked, "Are you coming to China to visit your relatives? Your people here have sent me to bring you around. Then I will pack you all off to where they will be found."

"No," said Yew Kwong. "We haven't made such arrangement for any local tour or anything thing like transport to our kampong. You must be wrong!"

"Aren"t you the guest from Singapore?"
"How do you know?" retorted Lee Yew Kwong.
"Remember, while you were dining in Hong Kong, you said you were from Singapore?"

That woke up Yew Kwong. He suddenly realized that while talking to the boss at the food stall in Hong Kong, someone was listening behind the grapevine. That someone had rushed up to Shenzhen or he could have informed his down lines in Shenzhen to snarl and snatch some tour business from the honoured guests! See how efficient their business tactics are!!


Sure the next morning someone with a van came for him hoping to take the whole family sight-seeing around. Then they would send them to the village of origin in the country. But the touts missed their quarry for the whole family had got up early. They were ready to board the coach for their village bound journey.

Finally, they met their long-time-no-see relative at the bus terminal. That guy had waited for them at the station for more than 3 hours. But three hours wait was not long compared to the years they have never ever met since either one was born.


Back to his relatives living quarters, they wanted to treat Yew Kwong's family to a home-cook dinner. Yew Kwong declined and so to a local restaurant they went to dine. There was a large round table for 18 famished people. Yew Kwong thought that the sumptuous meal would cost at least RMB 1,000. But no when the bill came, it was around RMB 350. That was only about RM100. Food there is dirt cheap though people's wages might be low!


Some of Yew Kwong's relatives in China are doing very well. Many nowadays do not find it hard to put food on the table, but to work harder to purchase things that make life more comfortable. They are reaping in the harvest after a long period of hardship and frugality. Isn't that a form of natural economy for many countries?

We Welcome New Sponsors to ensure the continuation of this newsletter.

Written and edited by Chan Suy Sang

You had just read MESSAGE 54