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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Are you communicating ? Part 1

I get introduced to the meaning of effective communication in my line of work. While effective communication has become a salary-earning tool and being practiced far & wide in the domain of the office, we may sometimes forget to practice good & effective communication among our friends & family.

A large part of the problem to good & effective communication is that many of us are personally identified with their own opinion. When we discover that someone else’s opinion is different from ours, we may personally feel challenged, as if you are questioning our intelligence or character. As such, I always make it a point to recite the old adage: “opinion is like a**hole, everyone has one” to remind myself that while we are promoting our own opinion (a**hole), we should kindly note that the other person is entitled to his/hers.

For the moment, some of my friends suggest that “the lesser you speak, the lesser the mistake you make”. It is true that we are not keen to hear your opinion, especially about your kids or your pets or your favorite TV program. However like what all communication Gurus will tell you, communication is 2 ways. Therefore it is pertinent to speak your mind and give response appropriately. One of my favorite quotes by Edmund Burke will gladly point out that there are consequences when your opinion is due but you are not giving one.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke

contributed by SC

Are you communicating ? Part 2

As human being, we were taught to be polite and mind our manners when we were young. But do we actually carry these values with us when we grow older. This prompts me to wonder about this incident when I bumped into a stranger in the elevator, where he is trying to “hold” the lift for his friend, literally. I felt that in this situation, a simple few words would explain his needs, and therefore spare the waiting crowd (actually it was just me) precious braincells puzzling over what-is-going-on. Yet, there was no communication and we waited a whole 5 minutes until his friend showed up in a fashionable I-didn’t-know-someone-else-is-waiting manner. Seriously, can’t this be communicated through a few words by either party?

If you are in the customer service or sales line of work, you will definitely be familiar with the effect of communicating through your tone of voice. While I am not a firm believer that you act cute (of which I am guilty of sometimes) to appease who you are speaking to, I do encourage we all tone down a little. If you don’t believe the effect, try this (at home only).

Say the following to your partner, one day in a harsh tone and another day in a gentle tone, watch the effects. Need I say more?

“What are you doing?”

Having said all the above, I personally find that communication is at the very least a singular reflection of WHO you are and the VALUES you represent. On the bigger context, it also speaks volume of your culture & upbringing as well as your societal background.

So, it is not too late to begin improving our communication skill. I hope you will join me to include this as one of your 2010 New Year’s Resolution. Happy New Year!

contributed by SC

Monday, December 28, 2009

condo Living Etiquettes pt 1

Living in our capital, Kuala Lumpur; while one can enjoy the sophistication & modernization of the city, it is inevitable to find oneself living among people, most of the time in close proximity. Though it is generally accepted that everyone is unique, the insensitive nature of some people living among us can pose a challenge to maintain harmony among neighbors.

Neighbor, according to the definition of Oxford Dictionary, means: “Dweller next door, near, same street or same village.”

It is as such paramount for folks living in the same vicinity (i.e. Sinaran Ukay Condo) to maintain a harmonious and peaceful living condition, more importantly be a responsible & sensible neighbor in all aspect.

For instance, if you're going to have a massive renovation, talk to your neighbor. While it's not required, you may find that your neighbor will be more understanding towards the noise & dirt from the renovation therefore less likely to complain. Get the drift?

Anyway, here’re a few tips to being a good neighbor:

1. Maintain the area around your home so that it's neat and clean.

2. Be conscientious about noises that might disturb your neighbors, such as vacuum cleaners, music, loud talk / argument and parties.

3. End parties at a reasonable hour. While you're at it, invite your neighbors to come, too.

4. Respect your neighbor's privacy.

5. Learn from neighbors with cultural backgrounds different from your own.

6. Invite your neighbor over for a leisurely cup of coffee to discuss any problems you may have, or to share any good news.

contributed by anonymous

Condo Living Etiquettes pt 2

While one may consider oneself as good neighbors, here is a checklist to see if you really are:

1. Have you become familiar to the tone of your neighbor before & immediately after you move in?

E.g.: Is your neighbor educated and humble people? Or are they closet millionaire who owns bungalows elsewhere but choose to stay in an unpretentious apartment?

2. Are you overreaching?

Consider checking with some of your neighbors regarding your viewpoint of certain people. E.g. Is a certain neighbor really an evil person? Or is it just rumors created & circulated by few self serving people?

3. Do you remember your Ps & Qs (Please and Thank You)?

Basic manners are not the order of the day, but it goes a long way especially if you are new in the neighborhood or trying to get information. Of course this will not be necessary if you are a millionaire with lots of bungalows elsewhere but choose to stay in an unpretentious apartment.

4. Have you tried communication?

In the unfortunate event when a problem arises between you & your neighbor, always try to communicate with your neighbor directly & politely. This is always the better solution. Though some of the less sensible neighbors will react in a hostile manner, but this put you in a better position.

Lastly, in the least desired case when a hostile situation had built up and became confrontational, it is always advisable to get help. If the neighbor problem persists, it may be necessary to file a formal complaint to the authorities or get advice from a lawyer. This I hope shall not happen in Sinaran Ukay Condo.

contributed by anonymous

Saturday, December 26, 2009


"Charity begins at home ...
but should not end there."

On November 29, residents Yazid & Fazu, neighbours Naserudin, Onn, Jamal, Tuty, Mansur, Intan, Shahril, Diana and their families paid a visit to Rumah Solehah in Cheras.

It is 'home' to about 25 people where 11-13 kids aged between 3-16 year olds are HIV positive (including a couple of single mothers). The home (sponsored by Standard Chartered) is being cared for by its founder 'Kak Wan'.

Not only did they brought food specially cooked by resident Onn of 'Sajian Belanga' but also joy, love and laughter. As explained by resident Tuty, ..."Honestly the kids only wanted attention and they even sang a few songs for us ".

Initiators Yazid & Fazu with fellow compassionate residents of Sinaran Ukay are planning a BBQ party the next time they visit the kids.

"We make a living by what we get,
but we make a life by what we give."
Winston Churchill

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

To all residents of Sinaran Ukay

Merry Christmas

let's keep the spirit of neighborliness
in our hearts all year long

Monday, December 21, 2009

Invade and Destroy

At this very moment when the world is looking for ways to curb greenhouses gases, provide ways to verify countries’ emissions, shield vulnerable nations from the impacts of climate change, and share the costs, we in Bukit Antarabangsa are also doing our part in saving our rain forests.

You would have noticed that the visual pollution around bukit antarabangsa has been reduced to bits due to the timely invasion of the authorities. Hopefully, they would do the same to the old abandoned buildings and put a stop to the clearing of the jungles in the name of development.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, Old Friend

Dear Jamal

Congratulations to you, old friend,
Birthday wishes to you, we send.
You look good for your age, they say,
But you look good to us any day.

..... from your family and friends

All photos courtesy of

Monday, December 14, 2009

high-tea till supper

What initially started as high-tea continued till dinner and eventually ended as late supper. The overwhelming pot-luck contribution by the residents seems more than enough to last till tomorrow morning's breakfast.

Seriously, some folks get to 'tapau' back as there were abundance of good food from 'curry kepala ikan' mee rebus, agar-agar, kerepek, pudding, bananas, rojak etc. all very much 'home-made'.

Topic of the day, 'who stays on top 4 of the English Premier League'.


Another M.U.

Lagi-lagi M.U.

Moral of the story for ..... 'stomach full' - You'll never EAT alone !

All photos courtesy of

Saturday, December 12, 2009

cucur udang, seedless grapes & air suam

Laid on the table are enough succulent choices of food to tickle your palette served on a set of 'bring your own colourful utensils' , a handful of residents sat for an evening of chatting, gossiping and planning while keeping an eye on the kids swimming in the pool.

Hot among the topics are the planned celebration to usher in the new year as practised religiously by a group of residents who would rather stay at home than get caught in the jam-packed streets of KL.

Word has it that there will be another round of 'talks' among the residents who promises to put up a worth while celebration in the remaining days of what is left of 2009.

The jolly good days are here to stay !