Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jai Ho (You are my Destiny) to Slumdog Millionaire

I don’t actually care what the critics say about the movie whether they deserve the Oscars or not when they have portrayed the colourful and real depiction of life in the slums of India.

On 22 February 2009 Slumdog Millionaire won eight out of
ten Academy Awards.
Set and filmed in
India, Slumdog Millionaire tells the story of a young man from the slums of Mumbai who appears on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and exceeds people's expectations, arousing the suspicions of the game show host and of law enforcement officials.

This is a beautiful story with a notorious scene in Mumbai;a universal themes of everlasting love, betrayal and redemption, compassion and justice, set in the chaotic yet picturesque landscape of the Indian slums.

Since the Oscars, India's media has been caught in a patriotic frenzy and politicians have jumped on the bandwagon to praise the Indians involved in the British film.

Some people may not agree with Slumdog’ Millionaire’s story but you cannot lie to others when a movie came out and brutally capturing the real life of certain countries’ people or dare to do a true story e.g on how certain countries developed through other countries’ pain?

For Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle portrayed that slums really exist in India. If not, I doubt that this movie will grab 8 Oscars. It is the reality that not many want to admit, do we ever dare to portray about brutality in our own country? These brutality truths that actually will make great movies! Then only audience would feel what real people thinking through their life, how they survive, how they move on..and what actually that keeps them going through this cruel life!

Wish that one day our own country will have a movie that portrays the real life on our hope and strength…that motivate us to live life to the fullest in pursuing our goals and dreams, that will give us positive approach to life , a movie that contributes to our community and not to forget a movie that will win an Oscar!
Jai Ho!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Akademi Fantasia 7's Transformation (Transformasi Akademi Fantasia 7)

I believe most of Akademi Fantasia (AF) lovers watched this NO 1 reality show in Malaysia during last night's first concert.

For those outside Malaysia and Brunei who wondering what AF is...

Akademi Fantasia (commonly abbreviated as AF) is Malaysia's first reality television show in which a number of contestants called students compete for the winning title and a chance to start their career in the entertainment industry.

The first season premiered in June 2003 and was one of Astro Ria's highest rated show.

The format of the show is taken from "La Academia", which originated in Mexico. Malaysia is the first country in Southeast Asia to have its own version of this show. Subsequently, it has also been followed by Indonesia and Thailand, which garners positive response in comparison to the Idol series. See Wikipedia for more info on AF.

AF already came to session seven and it means that AF is seven years old now. In previous six sessions, AF has produced good quality artists and it had give new challenge and hope for Malaysian music industry.

History in the making for AF 7, Tiara Jacquelina is the first ever women principal of Akademi Fantasia. Previous principals of Akademi Fantasia were Freddie Fernandez, Ramli MS, M Nasir, Ramli Sarip dan Roslan Aziz. Previously Tiara Jacquelina has told that she will bring “transformation” in Akademi Fantasia .

I know most of AF fans were not agree with last night's transformation. Some of the obvious transformation would be the stage which was smaller than the previous season's,seating arrangement of the students, additional space for standing fans on the left and right side of the new stage,no more tag lines,no introduction dramas, and also no extra dances sessions and the most noticeable change would be the missing of the theme song "Menuju Puncak" which was always performed during the end of every concert.

In my opinion, I prefer this kind of transformation. This concept is more simpler, no need to mess up with other unnecessary things; just concentrate to students' singing and performance like another my favorite reality show, American Idol.

It is still quite early to predict what would happened next in this Akademi Fantasia session and what more of transformation will be done as they would have at least another 9 concerts to go..

Whatever it is, all the best to Akademi Fantasia and its principal, Tiara Jacquelina. Wish for the best AF's season ever!

Friday, March 13, 2009

My Photoshop experience

I used to struggle in photoshop since I was a student and now I am trying to get back into the design and editing world and here is my first "simple" design that I have put together after 2 hours tutorial...:) :)! Thanks to my online tutor ruzzlan2312 with the Thinking Batik method. I will definitely do more advanced designs soon!

Combination of my dream car Bugatti Veyron with my recent batik motif

Monday, March 9, 2009

Your 10 questions-Thanks to Datuk Farah Khan,President of The Melium Group

Thank you so much to Datuk Farah Khan for answering my questions. I really appreciate it. She inspired me to dream BIG!

Your 10 questions http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/2/21/business/3286809&sec=business

Local fashion entrepreneur/guru Datuk Farah Khan takes on questions from fashion and lifestyle to business from readers.

1.What are the cardinal rules for dressing to suit your body shape? – Bulbir Singh, Seremban

There is an endless variety of books that give you regular tips on this. Personally, I would suggest you refer to popular magazines and study the looks that suit your own taste. Tear out the sheets and carry them in your bag. Together with a friend whose taste and style you respect, you will find similar products at large-scale brand stores. Try them on and play around with the styling and proportions as these are ways to wear what you like and discover what suits your figure. Ultimately, dressing is an expression of yourself. Always reinterpret what you like and what you see on screen and in reading references into a style that exudes your personality.

2. At what age did you get interested in business and have you always wanted a career in fashion? – Sharimar, Kuala Lumpur
Local fashion entrepreneur/ guru Datuk Farah Khan takes on questions from fashion and lifestyle to business from readers

At the age of 8, I was already seriously interested in business, fashion and food. I had a lot of local and international exposure. My parents were in business. My favourite friend was a Barbie doll and my mum loved food and cooking. All of these have shaped who I am today.

3. My 12 year old daughter aspires to be the next Farah Khan, but people say it would be easier if she were from a wealthy family. What’s your advice? – Edd, Penang

Teach her that the two most important possessions are confidence and compassion. You can develop her confidence with your guidance, educating her and exposing her to anything and everything. Drive her towards any good opportunity that comes along. At 12 years old, encourage her to do a lot of research. The Internet gives you so much information for free. Talk to her about her findings. Follow her interests. Learn the chosen subjects well. Money certainly helps, but not everyone has it and it is certainly not everything. I suggest she later works in an established and reliable company to gain experience, to find her niche and hone her skills. Life is one transition to another.

4.In business, we often face obstacles. How do you motivate yourself and regain the momentum when facing challenges?– Sarah, Seremban

Challenges are a part of daily life. I consider and think about them deeply before making any serious decision. I am rather practical. I don’t do anything hastily. I am very motivated and challenged by my colleagues and friends. I think of others and this is seriously a great motivation. Everyday I choose to live my life in a way that is meaningful to me. I understand the opportunities I have been blessed with.

5.Do you think the sales of luxury brands can be sustained during these hard times? – Selene, PJ
There is certainly a downturn in the economy. Our industry is not spared. However, people continue to buy, but in a more considered manner. Our fashion buyers order items which are: (1) more practical or (2) exceptional collectible must-haves. We are the entertainment of daily life. Most people realise that The Melium is where one can reap enjoyment. Something beautiful and meaningful bought lasts a lifetime of pleasure and appreciation. This is the world of luxury that I love.

6.You’re the creative director of the Farah Khan label. How involved are you in terms of design? Who is your muse/inspiration for the collections? – Melissa, Penang

As the creative director, I steer the way for the entire look and feel of the brand – from the research of pattern and design to the cut and materials. When I started the label, I used to design the collection completely, but since last season, I have the opportunity of having two designers to assist me. The Farah Khan brand is about glamorous wearability. Put one on and you will feel like a goddess of style instantly. I am inspired by celebrities and my best gal pals, which is why each dress is given a name.

7.What or who gave you the determination and push to start The Melium Group? – Riz, Malacca
The Melium Group was started from a passion for things that I enjoy – business, fashion and food. I was lucky to be able to follow it through. I commit thoroughly to achieving my goals. There have been extremely challenging incidents and hard times, but we overcome it by adapting with workable and innovative strategies, staying the course and moving on when the storm has cleared. The important thing now is sustainability, the need to reengineer and do things differently, both in a personal and work context. Life changes with the times.

8.Of all the brands under The Melium Group, which is your favourite, apart from the Farah Khan label? – Jarrad, Petaling Jaya

I don’t have a favourite brand. What I love most about Melium is its diverse portfolio of brands. This was done selectively and intentionally. Each of the brands we carry develops its own following.
We must not forget the food and beverage division of our Group. Our F&B brands – DOME Café, YO! Sushi and Aseana CaféBar – all together make up a total of 20 outlets.

9.Is fashion serious business? Has anyone implied to you that the industry is less important than, say, shipping or banking? – Mindy, Subang Jaya

Absolutely serious! The luxury brands’ turnover last year was estimated at US$220bil, and is expected to increase up to US$450bil by 2012 – and this is only the fashion category in the luxury business. Shipping and banking are necessities of living. Fashion is the emotion that makes life colourful and playful. It is to be enjoyed.

Every business has its own importance. Fashion has its own history and shapes its own future. It is a universal subject that binds different nationalities and cultures together. It is highly sought after by any realised individual who understands and accepts what it can do for them. Dressing and presenting yourself well helps in making an impact and your personality shines immediately. This has shaped the fashion industry at all levels. If you look at the history of fashion, you will see that there is a look that expresses the sentiment of each passage in time.

10.What are the glamorous and the not-so-glamorous sides of the job? Is it all parties and fun? – Casper, Damansara Utama

This job appears all glamorous. The front-row seats at the Milan and Paris fashion shows. The exceptional events. The celebrities, the luxuries, the delicious brief conversations with highly alluring individuals. The buck stops here! The dedication to the industry is far and deep. The work is hard. The hours are long. The people are not always fair. The industry is a highly interesting but complicated and competitive one. I adore fashion and I love business. I have dedicated a huge part of my life to my work. I will do it as much as I continue to enjoy the journey. The day-to-day commitment and hard work behind the scenes are extremely far from what it appears to be. But the results are gratifying and what keep us going. It’s not that different from show business.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Relax with a song from Alif - Akan Tiba..

A relaxing song from Malaysian young singer Alif..

It is a calm soothing song with a nice mixture of R&B and Jazz.. Truly nice work from the songwriter, Amylea who has also contributed her voice in the acoustic version of Akan Tiba..

Akan Tiba—Alif

Hey hati ku..

Selalu mendambakan cinta namun tak kunjung tiba

Hatimu itu

Seperti apa yang ku mahu selama ini

Ertikanlah pagi ku yang kaku tanpa kamu

C/o Kau ku cinta

Engkaulah yang ku puja

Tertunggu selama ini takku jumpa

Dengan mu ku di lamun indah

Ku harap cinta akan tiba di hati kita..

Lihat kamu

Tak ku sedari

Waktu dah mulai tinggalkan ku

Kau kau kau

Buatku lupa mengapa ku disini pada mulanya..

Ertikanlah malam ku yang sayu dingin tanpamu

Setiap hari bersama mu

Ku ingin selalu dekatmu

Ku hitung saat dan waktu

Hingga hari esok kembali lagi

Written By: Amylea Lyrics By: Amylea

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Lessons from The International Malay Oratory Competition Finals 2009 (Pertandingan Pidato Antarabangsa Bahasa Melayu 2009 Piala TPM)

Last night I watched The International Malay Oratory Competition Finals 2009 (Pertandingan Pidato Antarabangsa Bahasa Melayu 2009 Piala Timbalan Perdana Menteri) for the first time. Most of the participants were neither native English nor Malay speakers. But they all debated in Malay language, even the Australian student! I was amazed on how well foreign students speak Bahasa Melayu fluently after only 2 years but most of Malaysia people cannot speak a word of English after more than 11 years in school!

It reminded me on the few months back’s issue of whether to revert back to teaching Maths and Science in Bahasa Malaysia instead of English.
For me, by keeping Maths and Science in English, it helps our people to speak English properly in order to get on in the world.

Winner of The International Malay Oratory Competition Finals 2009, Novavy Sies (middle) from Cambodia with 1st runner-up Ayleen O’ Hanion (Australia) and the 2nd runner-up from Netherlands, Shavira Alaydrus (right)

I still remember. I was 14 when I was admitted to hospital 13 years back due to an appendix operation. At that time most of the doctors and nurses were non-Malays who speak English most of the time. They asked me if I need a Malay nurse for easier communication during the admittance. I said no as I can communicate quite well in English, and they were quite surprised as from their experience, Malay kids cannot speak or understand English well. Thanks to my late father who never stopped speaking to us in English at home back then.

I know most of Malaysian parents now are taking incentives by speaking English to their children at home. This will definitely create a balance language environment where students will polish their mother tongues and naturally pick up other local languages through exposures from school.

Excerpts from our Deputy PM's speech during the event last night:-

Do not be “overly obsessed” with protecting Bahasa Melayu that we overlook or reject some aspects of foreign civilisations which are good for Malaysia.

“Foreign elements” which helped to enrich knowledge, enhance technology and even the local culture should not be pushed aside,

“One has to be rational in choosing and determining what is good and beneficial and not reject globalisation and changes outright.
“While language reflects a race, the ability to speak, read and write in other languages must not be seen as an erosion of one’s intelligence and identity.

DPM and Mohamed Khaled with Novavy (second from left) and Mohd Syamsul (right) after the prize giving ceremony last night
“In Malaysia, knowing another language does not mean Bahasa Melayu will be weak and meaningless,”

Despite the language being relatively young in terms of terminology in science and technology compared to English, it did not mean Bahasa Melayu has been set aside.

He gave the assurance that the Government will continue to be committed in enhancing the importance of the Malay language.

“We will continue to uphold Bahasa Melayu as the premier language of this country.

“Even though we allow room for the English language to exist in the country’s education system, Bahasa Melayu will continue to be the official language of this system,” he said.
Source: Berita Harian and Utusan Malaysia

Friday, March 6, 2009

Malaysian crafts in limelight at Harrods

Our heritage, our pride..let's hope it will not end here..:):)

London, 26th February 2009- IT was the moment everybody was waiting for. Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah, dressed in a pink outfit, walked the short distance to the podium at Georgian Restaurant to declare open the month-long Malaysian craft promotion at the prestigious Harrods department store.

Queen Tuanku Nur Zahirah of Malaysia receives a gift from the owner of Harrods Mohammed Al-Fayed while attending the launch ceremony of a Malaysian Craft Promotion at Harrods on February 26, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

She was accompanied by Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and Harrods' owner, Mohamed Al-Fayed. To the thunderous beat of the kompang, she then signed a plaque to mark the occasion.

The grand opening marked the culmination of a year-long collaboration between the ministry and the management of Harrods, which sees 3,173 types of products from 66 designers -- ranging from home furnishings, fashion wear and accessories made from forest-based, earth-based, metal and textile-based materials -- being put on display at the store.The designers include Kirana, Edric Ong, Suhairi Marlina, Kartini, Nazari Maarus, Raziah Yusof and Yayasan Tuanku Nur Zahirah.But even as the launch was taking place, there were enquiries and sales have been encouraging.

King Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin of Malaysia is met by the owner of Harrods Mohammed Al-Fayed as he arrives at a Malaysian Craft Promotion at Harrods on February 26, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

"I have been informed by the management of Harrods that not only enquiries are increasing, people are also buying. I hope that we will be able to sustain this," said Shafie after the launch."What is important is that we keep abreast with the current needs of the market," The minister said he had discussed with Al Fayed about selling the most successful products under the prestigious Harrods' brand.

Queen Tuanku Nur Zahirah of Malaysia is met by the owner of Harrods Mohammed Al-Fayed as she arrives at a Malaysian Craft Promotion at Harrods on February 26, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

"What is important on our part is to ensure quality. At the same time, we must ensure there is ample supply."Al Fayed said he was impressed with the quality of the products and that his daughter, Jasmine, who has a boutique at the department store, was also interested in the Malaysian products.

Traditional Malay dancers entertain at the launch ceremony of a Malaysian Craft Promotion at Harrods, attended by The King and Queen of Malaysia on February 26, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

The launch was graced by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin and Sultan Ahmad Shah and Sultanah Kalsom of Pahang. Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, said she hoped the government would continue to support and aid fashion designers and handicraft makers to enable them to develop products fit for the global market.

A model walks down the runway wearing a hand drawn batik satin silk dress at the launch ceremony of a Malaysian Craft Promotion at Harrods, attended by The King and Queen of Malaysia on February 26, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

Guests and shoppers were entertained by a traditional dance and a fashion show during the launch.Dancers from the Istana Budaya gave a delightful performance that offered glimpses of a multicultural Malaysia.The grand opening was attended by some famous names, including Lady Raine Spencer, stepmother of the late Princess Diana and Malaysian designers Datuk Jimmy Choo, Datuk Bernard Chandran and Justin Oh.Earlier on Wednesday, the Malaysian High Commissioner to Britain, Datuk Abdul Aziz Mohamed and his wife, Datin Munah Razak, hosted a dinner for the royal couple.

Another hand drawn batik satin silk dress at the launch ceremony of a Malaysian Craft Promotion at Harrods, attended by The King and Queen of Malaysia on February 26, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

The promotion at Harrods, which began on Feb 23, will end on March 28.

Source: Zaharah Othman for NST

Thursday, March 5, 2009

81st Academy Awards Red Carpet Arrivals

Hope it's not too late for me to summarise on the recent 81st Academy Awards red carpet arrivals. :)

Natalie Portman with her very smart choice-she looks pretty in pink in a Rodarte dress by designers Kate and Laura Mulleav

Jennifer Aniston looks so classy and sparkles in a silver Valentino gown

Anne Hathaway wears an elegant silver Armani Prive gown

Beyonce Knowles looks bigger wearing her own House of Dereon dress

Miley Cyrus is like a Disney Princess in a silver Zuhair Murad gown

Penelope Cruz wears a romantic vintage gown by Pierre Balmain

Kate Winslet wears a gorgeous shade of blue evening gown in grey degrade satin and embroidered black silk tulle Atelier Yves Saint Laurent by Stefano Pilati

Freida Pinto looks stunning in a royal blue one-sleeved John Galliano gown-even it is not the original runway design.Look how she showed a little color with the blue on the carpet while everyone else was either wearing red or black mostly and she suddenly popped in blue!

Angelina Jolie opted for a classic black strapless dress by Elie Saab at the 2009 Oscar’s. She looks kinda boring and she should have taken a risk.

For Evan Rachel Wood, the colour looks glorious next to her skin and it is dramatic without overwhelming her in this Elie Saab dress

Marisa Tomei's dress is the Oscar glam! The pleat design by Versace does in a very interesting pattern all the way around and is perfect...it fits her great and she looks amazing

It is hard for a large woman to find a pretty dress that doesn't accentuate her size. Queen Latifah has done it with this navy Georges Chakra Spring 2009 couture gown.It is a lovely dress, beautiful color and it fits fairly well.

The lovely Alicia Keys wore a lilac Armani Prive gown, which chaperoned her lithe style rather elegantly.

Taraji P. Henson opted for a beautiful Roberto Cavalli gown

I can say that most of the dresses for this year's Oscar were quite safe with a mixture of modern and classic designs.

The celebrities may excel on the silver screen, but it seems that they prefer to maintain in a safer way when it comes to the red carpet.. Better luck next year!