Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Strange Phone Call - Sounded like Con Man

This morning, I received a call (from +6016-3364092) with a Malay-speakiing man asking for my full name. Then he introduces himself as a staff from Chartis Malaysia, responsible for "1-Malaysia Insurance Policy". He claims that all credit card in Malaysia will be covered by this insurance policy and mine is expiring soon.

I have not heard about something like this before and thought how come the government 1-Malaysia campaign is so good to the extent of offering us insurance coverage for credit card. So, I asked him what is this all about. He explained again the same thing (basically not explaining anything), saying this is a 1-Malaysia insurance for my credit card.

When I asked him, which credit card you are refering to? He paused and said "the credit card that you have. There is only 1 credit card right? You use credit card correct?"

At that point, I started to feel strange and something is not right. I then asked him, so which credit card are you refering? Since when my credit card has been covered under this insurance policy that I am not aware of?

He did not answered any of my question, and repeatedly asking me if I am using a credit card. I believe he wanted to trick me to tell him my credit card number. If he is really from Chartis Malaysia and if there is already a policy, for sure he will know the credit card details.

Okay, I am being nice to him. I told asked if he is trying to sell me insurance by Chartis. Maybe my malay is not good enough or he is not interested with my question, he responded with the same question, "you use credit card right?"

I started to piss-off and told him, I don't trust you and if I really have a policy with you, please email or post to me.

Well, I can't deny that this guy is really good menace. He says no problem, thank you and then hang up.

I really don't know how they got my full name and contact number. I don't know if this call is genuien or with some bad intention. The world we are living now is too scary. With the advancement of Information Communication Technology, there are more ways that we can be taken advantages of. What can we do to stop all these spam and con business? I really don't have the answer....

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How we perceive the 'guardians of the peace' today?

Guardians of the Peace

In Ireland, the police are called  Garda Síochána, meaning, the guardians of the peace. They are the people assigned and empowered to enforce the law, protect property of the public, and also to limit civil disorder. It has always been my hero of the rights; well, a more realistic side of me although I do belief that there are more heroes out there that does the job of a police - Batman!

If I may make an assumption here as a person born in the late-70's; many of us could have written at least once on our ambition during school time as 'to be a policeman' when we grown up. Why? Why we want to be the guardian of the peace? We may be young and naive but what do we knows about enforcing the law or to limit civil disorder?

So, let us reflect on our past to see how our perception on police being formed.

1984: Police Cadet

In 1984 (when I just about to enter primary school), there was a hit on TVB drama series, the 'Police Cadet'. We see a group of young and rebellion teenager joined the police force and being transformed into good and committed policemen. It was so cool to be wearing uniform like the police and got to carry a gun, protecting the people against the criminals. The image of the police was well establised when we were young, naive and innocent. We learned how to be a good person. If not, the police will catch us and put us in jail.

That should be the first encounter on what causes me to think a police is a hero, and subsequently influences me to have an ambition to become a police. I started to ask my parents to buy the 'police set' plastic toys:

As usual, my brother and sister will always be the criminals that I am chasing for. Sorry bro, I used to handcuff you with these toys, and you always broke it easily with your strenghts. That time, I really wish I can get a steel-made handcuffs!

1985: Police Story Legacy Begin

All these childhood dream of becoming a policeman got amplified when action Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan began the legacy of the 'Police Story" in 1985.

The movie is filled with all the daring stunts by Jackie Chan as a normal, low-ranking policeman playing his roles a 'guardian of the peace'. In the movie, he is willing to sacrifice his life, even his job in order to make sure the protects the people from bad guys. With his small little .38 revolver that can load only 6 bullets at a time, chasing criminals that uses automatic and machine guns - a real HERO to many fans. This has resulted many sequels of the original movie: Police Story 2 (1988), Police Story 3 - Super Cop (1992), Police Story 4 - First Strike (1996) and New Police Story (2004).

It is very obvious now that many of us (in the same generation) grown up together with the dedication, commitment, and 'good' force of being the 'guardian of the peace'. However, the big twist started in the 90's when we see how social factors change our many years perception of the police.

The Revolution: Young and Dangerous

Remember these 'heroes'? Yes, they are the 'Young and Dangerous' (1995) which successfully made many sequels too (matching the success of the Police Story): Young and Dangerous 2 (1996), Young and Dangerous 3 (1996), Young and Dangerous 4 (1997), Young and Dangerous 5 (1998), Young and Dangerous - The Prequel (1998), The Legendary of Tai Fei (1999), Those Were the Days (2000). Starring Ekin Cheng and the famous side-kick Jordan Chan, they are the successful triad members in the movie that made the glamour of being a 'bad-ass'. Imagine that every year, you were exposed to how brilliant, glamour, cool and macho being a triad member, joining forces with other bad-ass with tattoo everywhere (not everywhere I guess), having out at nightclubs, spas, and karaoke, beating up people; and many people follow you everywhere. Even the police have to be caution.

Well, at least the Malaysian version of Young and Dangerous got edited where they made Ekin Cheng as an undercover cop for the Police force. Actually, it does not change anything as being the bad-ass was more 'Gaya'! At this point of time, my perception of being the 'guardian of peace' got shaken. It is not just the police whom can be peace keeper. It seems like the underground force is also playing the role to keep peace, with a style. I belief during that period of time, for those 80's and early 90's kids, those were not been exposed to the "Police Cadet" and "Police Story" would felt into the Young and Dangerous world. To them, the rebels and underground is the way to be HERO!

More Affairs

Things got more complicated and confuses our younger generation as what is the real meaning of 'guardian of the peace'! Here comes the Infernal Affairs (2002), which became a bit hit as blockbuster and won many movies awards, with awesome casts like Andy Lau and Tony Leung (the return of 'Police Cadet' - he still played the police role as undercover cop, sorry Andy Lau, you are the bad ass). It made successful sequels too: Infernal Affairs II (2003) and Infernal Affairs III (2003).
Hence, the 21st Century begin to show that there is no more definate good or evil in thiss world as people whom we think is police, can be a triad member and a gangster from underground might be an undercover cop on duty. The perception of police gets very complicated and the 'guardians of the peace' can come from any forces, as long as this force can bring real peace. That is why many people today may accept that there is no need to define good guy or bad guy. Some may dream to be like Ekin Cheng or Andy Lau, and some, still insist that we need someone like Tony Leong or Jackie Chan as the 'guardian of the peace.' To me, I think the character played by Tony Leong and Jackie Chan are slowly fading as it is loosing the preferences to be a protector. Why? Because a protector like them got to make major sacrifices, scolded by bosses, risking their life, abondon the family and mostly not able live a normal life. Yet, the Young and Dangerous gained much more preferences as it is more relaxing, entertaining, glamour and exciting.

Many may not agree with me that because both thought has their pros and cons. I belief this is what makes the Infernal Affair to be a winner! Yup, we want hybrid today, able to corssover on anything, easily and enjoy the best of both world. Sounds good?

The Perils of Hybrid Guardian of the Peace

At this point of time, if you agree with me on the hybrid (after my efforts to influence your perception), meaning we are all living in a dangerous world now. If the hybrid thought is acceptable, there will be no more good 'guardian of the peace', who is willing to sacrifice to protect the people, not taking bribe, never be influenced by the materialistic world - a true "Tony Leung a.k.a Chan Hou Yan".

Look around us and see if the 'Police Cadet/Story' type 'guardians of the peace' still exist. Let us play our part to bring back the "Real" Hero as 'Guardians of the Peace'!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Something Just Happen for A Reason!

It has been awhile since I last posted a historical event in English Premier League. There were lots of changes and emerging events took place around me during this period of time. As usual, there are always pros and cons for everything in this universe. So, no exception to myself.

I come to believe that there must be a reason why things happen and why are there pros and cons. It could be a force that we may not able to see or detect using our bare simple senses. This powerful force is to keep things balanced in order for us to sustain in the environment. The moment we challenge this balancing force, we could end up causing more dramatic problems for your world.

Crossing Between Universe

A very simple logic proposed by one of my favourite TV series, 'Fringe'. The moment Walter Bishop crossed over to another universe, he has already challenge the balancing force of our world. Every action made by him then has triggered greater imbalance to both the universe
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From the series, there were some people from an unknown group (from the future), trying to observe and making sure major events to happen accordingly in order to keep the balance of the universe, our world. Some may easily assume that these are the power of religion or some energy source belief to be alien to us. As far as we (normal human being) are concern, we are going to live our daily life according to how these power wanted us to live - fate!

Of course, it is just a fiction-logic in TV series. I think our actual life in this world would not be as challenging and interesting as what has been illustrated in 'Fringe'. However, I do realise that major events around us happens for some reason for the good of our future, either it works like a neutralising force, a lesson to learn from the past, or the commitment we need to have after a specific experience in the past. No point for us the question why, or to force ourself to resist the things that are meant to happen. Even if we succeed, it may cause more damage to us in the future.

The Final Destination - fate?

Another concept used by a movie that I think would justify my thought at this point of time; The Final Destination. Remember the guy called Alex whom dream of an explosion while taking a flight, and it really happen later.

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When Alex and his friends escaped the deadly flight accident, they were then got killed one by one according to the sequence of the dream from Alex during the explosion. This again illustrate that we cannot escape from the force that trying to balance this world.

Perhaps, we should discuss this topic from a more logic and academic view point. When Adam Smith coined the theory of 'Invincible Hand' (Sullivan & Sheffrin, 2003) that describe self-regulating nature of the marketplace, it is to believe that ignorants refer to explain natural phenomena otherwise unexplainable. There is always a force that we cannot see or easily identify that works very hard to keep the balance everything.

The Theory of Ying and Yang

Same goes to Theory of Ying and Yang. It is the contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn in relation to each other. Many belief that it is the complementary opposites, unseen (hidden, feminine) and seen (manifest, masculine), that interact within a greater whole, as part of a dynamic system. Hence, it is recognized as the preference to the idea of balance.
As suggested by (2012), the within the darkness of yin, there is a small part of the light of yang and vice versa. This could explained my initial hypothesis that within the forces that balance the world, there are always pros and cons. It depends on how we maneuver around the forces and if we are able to be resilient in adapting to the forces. Failure to do so would causes damage and self-destruction as we are just simple living being in this universe. Unless, you are meant to be special and the chosen one to make history or major events in the world; 'wake up my friend, how many of us can be like Peter Bishop in Fringe'!

As conclusion, I still believe that 'something just happen for a reason' and we have to live with it no matter what happen to our life. We just need to be optimistic and always remain positive. As long as we can stay on with our life, we can do something that were meant to be done by us, as we are part of the forces to help this world to remain in balance. So people, know your roles, play your roles and enjoy your roles!!!! Cheers!!!

Sullivan, A; Sheffrin, S.M (2003). Economics: Principles in action. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458: Pearson Prentice Hall. pp. 32.