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[caption id="attachment_2252" align="alignright" width="333" caption="A trip to the Handicapped and Mentally Disabled Children Centre Melaka"]A trip to Handicapped and Mentally Disabled Children Centre Melaka[/caption] Before the Chinese New Year of this year, Patrick and Wendy invited me to the Handicapped & Mentally Disabled Children Centre Melaka and to make donation. However, we thought the centre would receive excessive donation during the Chinese New Year period, so we decided to make a trip after Chinese New Year. Last weekend was the day. When Patrick, Wendy and Wee-Peng came back from outstations, we decided to go to the centre and donate something. We bought sacks of rice, biscuits, chocolate powder, tooth-paste and tooth-brush, soaps, cooking oil, etc. at Tong Hup grocery store and departed to the centre in Bukit Baru, Melaka. According to the supervisor of the centre, Thomas, there are 65 mentally disabled children and 15 caregivers at the centre currently. The centre is a demi-detached house. Can you imagine 60-80 people living in a house of that size? As we observed, the wall of the centre requires repainting, the furniture like cupboards and tables have to be replaced, and more daily supply needed to nurture the children. Most of all, our visits and company are as important and meaningful to the children. I remember when I went to the centre last year; I met a single mother of two. She was pampering her 1-2 year old toddler in a baby bed. The toddler was sleeping and I knew that he/she was mentally disabled. The mother and I had a small chat of her condition. She was living and working far from the town and she was unable to take care of the toddler, her 3-4 year old elder son, and work at the same time. So she was sending her elder son to her parents’ home everyday, and younger son to the centre far away to get a better care. The only free time she could visit her younger son was weekend. When she told me that, I realised how hard it would be to be a single mother and also a mother of a mentally disabled child. We are very fortunate indeed. By saying that, each of us also has the strength to make a difference and change the life of the less fortunate ones. It is very grateful if you can visit the centre, with lots of love and care to the children. If you require any information about the centre and making donation, kindly contact the centre: Handicapped & Mentally Disabled Children Centre Melaka C-5315, Jalan Penghulu Abbas, Bukit Baru, 75150 Melaka. Tel: 06-232 2530 Fax: 06-232 2529 Thanks to Patrick and Wendy for their kindness and also invited Wee-Peng and I to the centre. We didn't stay there for long as we believe we will be there again. It was really meaningful to share something we have -- happiness, with the children. Below are some shots I took:

[caption id="attachment_2217" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="由於目前克莉丝还未委派到其他部门工作,所以她都会在阅读室阅读,让在监狱里的她能掌握外面所发生的事情。(图:星洲日报)"][/caption] “爸爸,我真的悔过了!” 28岁的女子克莉丝因藏有大量的软性毒品而被捕入狱,自那天起,父亲就不曾到加影监狱探访她,她知道她的所作所為伤透了父母的心。 不敢奢望父母原谅 她不敢奢望父母原谅她,也不敢想像以后孩子知道她曾经沦為囚犯的情景,此刻她内心的痛无人知晓,但错已经错了,回头时已沦為阶下囚。 她从2007年被捕后至今,一直痛爱她的父亲不曾前来探访她,妈妈也是去年才来看她,当她问起爸爸的情况时,妈妈说,爸爸的身体状况不太好,不适合到较远的地方。

[caption id="attachment_2213" align="alignright" width="390" caption="曾经自卑 (image from http://www.e-duzhe.com/)"][/caption] 小时候家里很穷,同学们有的东西,我总是没有,所以很自卑。 小时候觉得自己长得很丑,那些长得帅的同学老是得到师长们的好感,我却往往让他们踢到一边,变得更自卑了。 小时功课虽然还勉勉强强过得去,上了中学就不太好了,加上下了课还要帮忙家里到田里工作,便再怎么努力,也追不上其他的同学。我真的觉得自己很渺小。 每个人都有自己的极限 我的小学和中学便在自卑及自我感觉渺小之下过去,长大了,自卑便紧紧的跟我。 自卑让我不能说出我想说的话,因为我觉得我比別人差;自卑让我不敢做我很想做的事情,因为別人都没有去做,我何德何能?自卑让我连很想得到,也已经得到的东西(比如说:爱情)都不敢伸手去拿,因为我觉得自己不配。 听起来很好笑是吗?可是这就是我的前半生,而且还认识很多和我一样不断鞭笞自己一生的人。 我要走了很多痛苦不堪的路后,才发现原来我是可以不需要自卑的。 假如我功课或工作比不上別人,我只需要加把劲就好;追上他人很好,追不上他人也很好,因为每个人都有其极限的,就好像我怎么努力,我的歌都没法唱得比蔡琴好。 假如我很努力赚钱后,还是一个月只能赚1000元,我还是不需要自卑,因为我尽了能力,我就好好的享受我的1000元;因为自卑或自我鞭笞是於事无补的。 假如別人觉得我很丑,那也是没有甚么问题的,因为美丑是天生的,而且美丑也是主观的,加上美丑都是別人的看法。所以,別人觉得我很美,那很好;要是別人觉得我很丑,那也很好。 我就是我,我不需要別人的肯定来过日子。 假如你有孩子,假如你是老师,假如你认为你关心孩子,请告诉孩子们:人是可以不必自卑的。 请让下一代从他人的眼光下,活出他自己的一生。 星洲日报/副刊 ‧作者:大潘、吴风辉‧2010.01.30 [source: http://www.sinchew.com.my/node/150890?tid=3]...

[caption id="attachment_2206" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Baba Pongteh by Jason"]Baba Pongteh by Jason[/caption] When we speak of Nyonya dishes we are first to think of Nyonya Pongteh. It is basically chicken (ayam in Malay) or pork (babi in Malay) or both, with potatoes and mushroom braised in soybean paste. If you google for Pongteh recipe on the web, there are heaps of result coming out. However, I tried a few web recipes and did not get the taste expected. The real Pongteh is always made by the authentic Baba (refers to male) and Nyonya (refers to female) folks. 2 months ago, Jason’s mother invited my mother and me to their place and to learn how to cook Pongteh and also for a lunch together. Jason’s mom was guiding and supervising us. Jason was interested in learning too so he did the cooking most of the time while I was helping him to prepare the ingredients. What I could remember is, about 300g-500g of pork was cooked in water (to remove the strong taste of pork), cooled and cut into pieces. Another 300g-500g of chicken was cut. Ratio 1:1 of shallots and garlic were peeled and chopped, then fried with oil. A few table spoons of Cow brand soybean paste were added to the wok followed by the pork and chicken. Then the Pongteh was fried until we got a strong flavour and the gravy was thick. After that, a bit of water was added and salt, sugar, soy sauce, dark soy sauce were added to taste. I didn’t take down any notes of the Pongteh we learned to cook; rather I enjoyed eating than cooking. And regrettably I didn’t take any shot of the final product of Pongteh because I couldn’t wait to eat when it was served. It was really delicious. Besides Pongteh, there were other Nyonya dishes cooked by Jason’s mother. They tasted not so different from those I had in Nyonya restaurants, yet as yummy. Thanks to Jason and his mother for inviting us to their place and teaching me how to cook Pongteh. I would call the Pongteh I had at Jason's place, the Baba Pongteh, as Jason the Baba cooked it. Below are some of the shots I took while I had time:

[caption id="attachment_2183" align="aligncenter" width="468" caption="Mr Harrison, dubbed 'the man with the golden arm', is still donating every few weeks at the age of 74. He is thought to have saved 2.2million babies"]Mr Harrison, dubbed 'the man with the golden arm', is still donating every few weeks at the age of 74. He is thought to have saved 2.2million babies[/caption] An Australian man who has been donating his extremely rare kind of blood for 56 years has saved the lives of more than two million babies. James Harrison, 74, has an antibody in his plasma that stops babies dying from Rhesus disease, a form of severe anaemia. He has enabled countless mothers to give birth to healthy babies, including his own daughter, Tracey, who had a healthy son thanks to her father's blood. Mr Harrison has been giving blood every few weeks since he was 18 years old and has now racked up a total of 984 donations. When he started donating, his blood was deemed so special his life was insured for one million Australian dollars. He was also nicknamed the 'man with the golden arm' or the 'man in two million'. His blood has since led to the development of a vaccine called Anti-D. He said: 'I've never thought about stopping. Never.' He made a pledge to be a donor aged 14 after undergoing major chest surgery in which he needed 13 litres of blood. 'I was in hospital for three months,' he said. 'The blood I received saved my life so I made a pledge to give blood when I was 18.'

[caption id="attachment_2160" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Blood donation campaign at Mahkota Parade, 21st March 2010"]Blood donation campaign at Mahkota Parade, 21st March 2010[/caption] Recently my friend, Wee-Peng was asking me about blood donation. Since the last time he donated years ago, he wanted to make another donation. I read newspaper about the blood donation campaign which would be held at Mahkota Parade yesterday and I told Wee-Peng about it days ago. He immediately agreed to participate.
"It isn't pain at all"
"It isn't pain at all"
Both of us went to the blood donation campaign yesterday. The response of the campaign was good. When we reached the venue, there were public from different backgrounds were queueing up for blood donation registration. We were delighted to be part of such a meaningful event. The atmosphere was so peaceful. It was much more laughter than pain for us. Since local anaesthetic was used, the only pain we experienced was very minor. In fact, it was only 2 seconds when the needle injected to the artery. After that, we just sat and relaxed, waiting for the pint of blood to be filled up. The minor pain we experienced was nothing compared to the trauma victims due to accidents and burns, heart surgery, organ transplants, women with complications during childbirth, newborns and premature babies, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or other diseases, such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia who need our blood for a cure. Blood donation is an act of kindness and makes us realise that this simple act could save lives. Every pint of blood donated can save up to 3 lives. It is more blessed to give than to receive. Special thanks to the organisers, volunteers and donors who made this wonderful event  going. I would like to thank Wee-Peng for giving me an opportunity to participate in this event together. May everyone be happy. While Wee-Peng was donating, I snapped some photos to share the event with you: