Sunday, October 4, 2015
[Pixs of models for illustration purpose only]
Seated at the port side of our rented fishing boat, I feel the salty wind blowing in my face as I cast a right glance to the bow.
Wati (right pix) is sitting on the gunwhale, her shapely legs kicking up water. To my left, I catch a glimpse of Jessica and Chow Kah at the stern. They’re holding rods eight feet long which are baited with frogs, alive and thrashing! A cap jammed on his head, Hussein is crouched at the starboard jiggling a line, hoping to land squids.
“Yipee! Something’s tugging my line,” Jessica says, reeling in what seems like a whopper. “Phew! It’s heavy!”
Chow Kah moves to Jessica’s side. “I’ll help you!”
“I’m going for a swim!” Wati says, lowering herself into the water.
Our fishing boat is just a short distance feet from the shore, bobbing amidst reefs where shoals of fish gracefully swim about.
“Something’s wrong!” Hussein yells. “The fishes are agitated!” He casts his gaze to a spot about ten feet ahead, and I can see fishes darting about. “A shark!” He points in the direction of the bow. “There! Can you see its fin?” He scrambles to the bow. “Wati! Quick! Climb aboard!”
A gasp of horror rolls from my lips. “Why's a shark coming after us?”
“I’m having my menstrual period!” Wati screams, almost in tears. “Oh my goodness! It must have smelled the blood!” She clambers aboard, clamping a firm grip on Hussein’s arms.
“I wish my mother-in-law was here!” Chow Kah says, rushing over to Wati’s side.
“Why?” I ask.
“Her face’s so fierce she can scare a shark away!”
“Wrong time for jokes,” Wati says, drying herself with a towel.
I flick my gaze to the gentle waves to my left. “Look, the shark’s swimming away.”
In the stern, Jessica (right pix) releases a whoop of joy. “I've landed the fish! Let’s grill it at the beach.”
“Not so fast,” Hussein says, stepping towards Jessica. “It looks like a king mackerel.” He scrutinizes the fish hanging from Jessica’s hand. “Nope, it’s not safe to be eaten.”
Chow Kah starts to dismantle his rod. “What’s the problem?”
“Many species of reef fish contain a toxin called ciguatera. Horse-eyed jack, king mackerel, yellowtail snapper, amberjack, black grouper, dog snapper and yellowtail snapper are known to carry the toxin. Better be safe than sorry.” Hussein takes the fish from Jessica and throws it back into the sea. “This toxin’s found in microalgae growing on reefs. Small fishes consume the algae and become infected. When bigger fish eat the smaller infected fishes, those at the top of the food chain get the toxin.” He shuffles to the rear of the boat. “Let’s go back.” He yanks the rope of the outboard motor which roars to life.
As we head towards the shore, everybody’s glum. Wati huddles on the seat, her face pale. “I feel sea-sick.” She looks at her arms. “Sheesh! I’m also suffering from sunburn.”
Chow Kah pops a beer can. “This trip’s a fiasco. We landlubbers should not play in water.” He glugs a swallow and runs his gaze down Jessica’s curves.
“Life is like a sport,” Jessica says. “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but the game always goes on.”
Thursday, October 1, 2015
[Pixs of models for illustration purpose only]
"Mr. Ang Chow Kah, please read the first row," the optometrist says.
Holding his spectacles in his hand, Chow Kah sits up straight. "F - P."
"T - O - Z."
Chow Kah squints. "Blur! I can't see anything."
The optometrist flips on a pictorial eye test chart on the slide projector. "Here's another chart. Can you see the bottom row?"
"Yes! Yes! First topless girl on the left is wearing beige G--string with red straps; second girl's wearing red G-string and showing her back; third girl is topless and has one arm across her boobs; four girl is --"
The optometrist lets out a whistle. "Golly! You've 20/20 vision when ogling at women."
Sunday, September 27, 2015
[Pix of models for illustration purpose only]
Charming Chow Kah, hottish Hussein, jolly Jessica and winsome Wati (aka "The Gang of Four") of Hot Legs wish all readers of The Wordslinger blog a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival. "Enjoy your moon cakes," Wati says, "and may you have a fun time carrying lanterns!" She slaps Hussein's hand away from her butt (pix below). "Eeeeeeek...darling! No touching!"
Friday, September 25, 2015
[Pix of models for illustration purpose only]
Note: Beware that you've to buy tequilas for the coyotes if you wanna chat with them.
1. High Society Club
34, Lebuh Union
2. Cameo Penang Adult Entertainment
6B-1, Beach Road
3. Pink Club
4. M2 Club
Basement 2, Entertainment City
Penang Times Square
Jalan Dato Kramat
Thursday, September 24, 2015
While strolling in KL Chinatown, I stumble up a store with a tiny signboard that says Kedai Goh Shong Fatt. Displayed inside are three wooden phallic symbols. When I whip out my camera to snap a photo, the store-owner (pix below) steps forward from behind his counter.
"This is not just a piece of carved wood," he says in fluent English, taking a few steps towards me. "It's worshipped by a certain tribe of the Orang Asli who are animists. They believe a spirit resides inside the carving." He points to a porcelain container on the floor. "I light joss coils every day to pray to the spirit. Come, you can touch the black wooden phallus to make a wish. That's what it's for."
"Need to pay?"
"No. If your wish is fulfilled, please buy a garland of flowers as a token of appreciation."
For the sake of fun, I grab the rounded tip of the structure with both hands and utter silently, "I wish I can find a literary agent in UK to represent me!"
"Are you Mr Goh?"
"Yes. Good luck in whatever you wished for!"
(Opposite Wildlife Zoological Supplies)
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
[Pix of model for illustration purpose only]
Argusalim Supraman, a 45-year old cobbler in Chow Kit, who was sentenced to 5 years' jail for robbing a wet-market trader last month, offered free shoe-repairing services for the poor and needy for three years in lieu of his jail term. The street-smart cobbler said so to the judge after the latter read out his sentence. The learned judge rejected his offer as "it would lead to a dangerous precedent." Argusalim was arrested in an identification parade in the Chow Kit police station after the victim had lodged a report. DPP Autar Au said he would appeal for a heavier sentence as Argusalim had also violated immigration laws by not having any proper documents.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
The New York Times of September 22, 2015 reports as follows:
The embattled prime minister of Malaysia, facing mounting political turmoil and a parade of inquiries at home and abroad into a sovereign wealth fund that he oversees, is now coming under the scrutiny of American investigators as well.
A federal grand jury is examining allegations of corruption involving the prime minister, Najib Razak, and people close to him, according to two people with knowledge of the investigation.
The inquiry, being run by a unit of the Justice Department that investigates international corruption, is focused on properties in the United States that were purchased in recent years by shell companies that belong to the prime minister’s stepson as well as other real estate connected to a close family friend, said the people knowledgeable about the case, who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it. Investigators are also looking at a $681 million payment made to what is believed to be Mr. Najib’s personal bank account.
Pressure in Malaysia on Mr. Najib intensified on Monday as two separate courts dealt him legal setbacks. And the head of the country’s central bank, which is investigating transactions involving the sovereign wealth fund, said it had submitted its findings to the Malaysian attorney general.
“Right now, we know that the public wants answers to these questions, and they deserve to get the answers,” said the head banker, Zeti Akhtar Aziz, according to the Malaysian Insider news site.
The Justice Department investigation is still in its early days, and it could take years to determine if any federal laws were broken. It was opened partly in response to an examination by The New York Times of condominiums at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan whose ownership is hidden behind shell companies, according to the people with knowledge of the case.
In one article, The Times documented more than $150 million in luxury residential properties connected either to Mr. Najib’s stepson, Riza Aziz, or to the family friend, a businessman named Jho Low. Mr. Low, The Times found, has also been involved in business deals with Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, which is a government investment fund.
That fund, called 1MDB, has run into serious financial problems in part because of aggressive borrowing. Investigators in several countries are examining allegations that money from the fund is missing. This month, Swiss authorities said they had frozen several individuals’ bank accounts, and inquiries are underway in Hong Kong and Singapore as well as in Malaysia.
Mr. Najib’s office did not comment on the Justice Department inquiry. A representative for Mr. Aziz said he was not involved in any investigation, adding that “there has never been anything inappropriate” about his business activities. A spokesman for Mr. Low said that he had not been notified that he was the subject of any investigations, and that his business “adheres to all relevant regulatory requirements.” A spokesman for the Justice Department declined to comment.
The details of the corruption allegations involving Mr. Najib and people connected to him are complex and multifaceted. Authorities in each country are focusing on the aspects that fall in their jurisdictions.
In the United States, officials are examining the real estate tied to Mr. Najib’s stepson and to Mr. Low, which could be seized if a case could be made that the properties had been purchased with the proceeds earned in corrupt practices, according to the people familiar with the investigation. The $681 million payment being investigated falls under United States jurisdiction because it was routed through Wells Fargo, an American bank.
The inquiry is being run by the Justice Department’s Kleptocracy Initiative, which has seized properties in the United States owned by relatives of politicians from Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, South Korea and Taiwan.
Questions about where Mr. Low and the prime minister’s stepson — a movie producer behind films including “The Wolf of Wall Street” — obtained money for the United States properties have helped fuel political unrest in Malaysia, where several political leaders in the opposition and in Mr. Najib’s own party have called for the prime minister to step down. In the last month, there have been mass street protests, and a global network of nongovernmental organizations, the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, has joined the call for Mr. Najib’s resignation.
Mr. Najib has held fast, denying the corruption allegations and saying the $681 million payment, reported in July by The Wall Street Journal, was not improper. His office told The Times this year that he was not involved in the American properties connected to his stepson and to Mr. Low.
He has also struck back at his questioners and accusers. Over the summer, he dismissed several members of his administration, including the attorney general leading one inquiry, and he has barred several opponents from leaving Malaysia, including a member of his own party who was on his way to New York last week. That politician’s lawyer told The Times that he had planned to meet with the F.B.I.
In July, Mr. Najib also shut down a newspaper, The Edge, because of its reports of payments between 1MDB and Mr. Low. On Monday, though, a court in Malaysia reversed the action, ruling that the paper could resume publication as soon as Tuesday. In a separate decision on Monday, a judge ruled that a lawsuit calling for Mr. Najib to return the money that had been transferred into his personal account, and for seizure of his assets around the world, could move forward.
All of that muddies Mr. Najib’s international standing as he prepares to fly to London this week for a trade convention and then on to New York for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly. Since taking office in 2009, Mr. Najib has drawn his country closer to the United States and has used his annual United Nations trips to promote Malaysia as a moderate Muslim partner in the fight against terrorism and as a strategic Asian counterforce to China.
“Najib really, really values his international image, and he was going out of his way to curry favor with America and with the Europeans,” said John Malott, a United States ambassador to Malaysia in the 1990s. In the current climate, he added, “he can travel, but is he going to be shunned? Are people going to shake hands with him?”
The $150 million in American properties tied to the prime minister’s stepson and to Mr. Low include a penthouse at the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle in Manhattan purchased for $30.55 million by a shell company connected to Mr. Low’s family trust. Companies tied to Mr. Low’s family have also purchased a $39 million mansion on Oriole Drive in the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, the L’Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills and part of the Park Lane Hotel in New York. Through shell companies, Mr. Aziz purchased a $33.5 million condominium at the Park Laurel on 63rd Street in Manhattan, a home in Beverly Hills known as the pyramid house for a gold pyramid in its garden, as well as other properties in the Los Angeles area.
The Park Laurel condo and the Beverly Hills home were owned by shell companies connected to Mr. Low’s family before being transferred to shell companies tied to Mr. Aziz. Shell companies — trusts, limited liability companies and other entities — are commonly used in real estate for privacy, wealth transfer or shared ownership. They also make it difficult, however, for law enforcement authorities and others to discover the true owners of property.
In the case of the Beverly Hills home, the property was transferred without any public filings, with Mr. Low’s family trust selling ownership of the shell company to a corporate entity controlled by Mr. Aziz, The Times found.
Mr. Low’s spokesman said this year that the transfers to Mr. Aziz were done at fair market value and at arm’s length.
New York City also appears to be home to at least one other person involved with Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund.
A condo at 23 East 22nd Street was purchased for $4.5 million in 2014 by a shell company called Cricklewood One Madison L.L.C. that listed Ai Swan Loo as its authorized signer, public records show. This summer, Malaysia’s Central Bank announced that a person named Jasmine Ai Swan Loo, a former executive involved with the 1MDB fund, was wanted for assistance in its investigation.
In New York, a lawyer for the Cricklewood declined to comment. Ms. Loo did not respond to a note The Times left for her at the condo building, but the concierge confirmed that a Jasmine Ai Swan Loo lived there.