When the pawn..

When the pawn hits the conflicts he thinks like a king
What he knows throws the blows when he goes to the fight
And he'll win the whole thing before he enters the ring
There's no body to batter when your mind is your might

So when you go solo, you hold your own hand
And remember that depth is the greatest of heights
And if you know where you stand, then you know where to land
And if you fall it won't matter, cuz you'll know that you're right
Fiona Apple. 1999
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 | 0 comments

On Celcom

I've used handphones since 2003 and my first SIM card was from DiGi's back then Prepaid Plus. 0165425495 to be exact, bought at a dodgy looking cellular shop in Kuala Kangsar on one Saturday morning.

Along the way and after several phones gone and confiscated, I asked mak for a Maxis for birthday present since DiGi's reception was rather spotty back then. By the way kids, back then a Hotlink Starter Kit costs RM123, one SMS is 20 cents and there are no RM5 top ups. Heck, there wasn't even RM10 top ups back then. So anyway, I was stuck to Maxis ever since.

Last week I was having lunch in Baling when a nice chap wearing a Celcom tee came over to me. Unlike most direct salesmen who are excellent public speaker, this chap was possible new. He was begging me to change to Celcom. I told him thanks but no thanks. I'm happy with Maxis. He kept bothering me until I turned and pointed at the TV. Maxis iPhone ad.

He smiled and walked away.

One of my classmate's parents work at Celcom and from what she told me, the company doesn't quite have enough market share among youngsters and is stuck with a rather cold and corporate image. I was like, oh.. so that's why laa.. That is why Celcom is being trying so hard to portray coolness in its ads.. whatever that means.

You know it, you've seen it. The flashy cars, the smokin' girls, the baggy pants, the sideway caps all in a strange purple-ish glow. That is Celcom trying to tell you that you are cool if you use their service. That is advertising. Advertising doesn't promote the physical values of a thing but instead it promotes all the intangible ones. You don't buy an iPod because of its scratch resistance, aluminum enclose, made by the hard working people of China. No. You bought an iPod because it looks cool and it makes you look cool.

A cheap Low Yat MP3 player can do everything an iPod can, but still people go with the premium product. You can thank advertising for that.

Okay, the thing about Celcom's ad is that coolness is rather subjective and its scope is narrow. A scene suggesting cool kids going out clubbing with awesome girls and pimped out car might look cool to some people, but to some other people who don't club and the crowd that loathe clubbing, that is definitely not cool.

DiGi and Maxis on the other hand, skipped the cool factor and go for cuteness. DiGi's Yellow Man ads? Cute. DiGi's yellow rubber duckies? Cute. Maxis' paper art ads? Cute, natural and organic. It's like something you can do at home. Maxis' claynimation? Cute also.

The good thing with cuteness is that it appeals to a broader crowd. Cute quacking rubber duckies are cute in the eyes of the grandparent, the parents, the child and the toddler. Even kids too young to understand what its all about can easily remember and fall in love with them rubber duckies. It appeals to the mind, creating brand loyalty. Kids seeing this things as a child will very likely go for it when they finally can get it.

Looking at the future, I think things will be kind of tough for Celcom if they still couldn't get more market share among the youngsters. Why? The senior crowd loyal to Celcom will soon be replaced by this young crowd of non-Celcom users. Plus the fact that Maxis is the sole carrier for iPhone makes it a tougher battle. Why? Because iPhone is cool. The very thing that Celcom want to associate itself with.

So okay, Celcom is going to bring in the Sidekick soon. So what? Even Blackberry, the corporate businessman's phone is feeling the sting of the Apple effect and is busy churning out half-baked products dubbed as the iPhone killer yet failing to even prick the tough skin of the fruit company's product and Palm is desperately promoting its still under development Pre in hope to gain enough public interest by the time the product launches. With Maxis tapping into Apple's cool factor, Celcom definitely need to buck up.



By the way, I'm just a 20 year old boy/man who talks big. None of this things are scientific, just me observing and thinking. Feel free to lambaste me.
Posted on Monday, March 30, 2009 | 2 comments

Fafa & Riki


Red and Gold

20090320-DSC 5991

The Touch

20090320-DSC 6051

20090320-DSC 6035

20090320-DSC 6048


20 March 2009
Sebelum Majlis Pernikahan Fafa & Riki
Taman Sri Andalas, Klang
Nikon D40 + Nikon SB 600 + Adobe Photoshop Lightroom + Pengantin yang fotogenik

Tiada dalam gambar: Riki
Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 | 3 comments

This and That





Oh Well..



Sukun Bees

Mr. B

Big Mouth





March 2009
Around Equine Park
Nikon D40
Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 | 1 comments


I was talking to myself when they knocked down my door. I dared not look at them and me myself that I was talking to just now was telling me not to. My sight was on the dusty wooden floor as the man walked towards me. The sunlight through the window painted the silhouette of his gun onto floor, like a photo I've seen before.

Look at me, he said. Look at what have you done.

He draw his gun closer to my face. I've smelled that stinking metallic smell before, just a few months before. The circumstances were different then, the gun was in my hand. The trigger I pulled, the bullet it went. The man's scared face is still fresh in my mind. For someone so powerful, he was but like all of us when the shiny metal shard pierced right through his right eyes. Through his glasses, popped his eyes and all the way through his brain.

It was in a way, funny.

A few more men surrounded me in the corner of my small apartment. What have I done to deserve this? All the while my eyes were still staring at the floor, the textures on them are beautiful as any poems could be. I should've noticed this before. Oh the serenity..

Click, click, click.. the sound of banging metals broke the silence.

I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. In my mind, I saw her waiting for me. Her striking red dress, her big round eyes and that beautiful smile.. was it all worth it?

Was it all worth it?

I opened my eyes for one last time. I took a good look at those barrels pointed at my face. I smiled.

I won't go down like him. I'm nothing like him.

I am nothing like you. That was it, my famous last words.

Bang, bang, bang...
Posted on Monday, March 23, 2009 | 0 comments

She's a good girl











Posted on Monday, March 23, 2009 | 0 comments

Blue and Green

Lampu Kebosanan

Itik dalam Perjalanan


Jalan Rural

Jalan Berlumpur

Kabel Lesap


Ben di Pencawang


8 Maret 2009
Felda Trolak

5 Maret 2009

Nikon D40
Posted on Saturday, March 14, 2009 | 1 comments

Forever's Not So Long

by Garrett Murray
Posted on Saturday, March 14, 2009 | 0 comments

The town that tin built

Ipoh Train Station









7 Mac 2009
Lubitel 166B + Kodak Pro 160
Zenit-E + Fuji Superia 200
Posted on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 | 4 comments


I've read somewhere sometime ago that chivalry died the day women demanded equal rights.

Okay, now that I've got your attention.. here goes.

Yesterday was the International Women's Day which weirdly enough was said to celebrate the equality between the genders. Don't we have an Gender Equality Day to celebrate that? Yesterday was supposed to be a celebration for women's achievement throughout history if you ask me. Those two are different things in my opinion. Success comes from you being smart and work real hard.

Speaking of days and celebration, I believe we should cherish and celebrate our loves one everyday and not just on one particular day am I right? That is why we don't celebrate Valentine's Day kan? Kan kan?

Then again, we do celebrate Teacher's Day. Shouldn't we cherish and celebrate the teaching profession every single day instead of just being nice and flower giving to them only on one particular day and go back to being jerks the day after? I mean, it's the same thing right with Valentine's?

Let's not forget Mother's Day. Shouldn't we celebrate and cherish our moms all year round instead of going to Memory Lane once a year to buy her a nifty card for a hefty price for her to stick on the fridge? And what about Father's Day? The man toils all year round to buy you that iPod and PSP, get you that nice Prada handbag, provide you an education in a place that is super awesome and not forgetting those food on the table. Why do we only celebrate him only on one day? And oh! Birthdays. Are we only thankful for our lives just once a year?

What about our other 'special' days? Hari Pahlawan, Hari Merdeka. These are the days that falls into the same concept as Valentine's Day: to remember something. If we are to continue dismissing Valentine's Day with the same lame argument, then let us not celebrate anything again after this. After all, why celebrate on just one particular day when you should cherish it all year round right?

Yeah, I'm struggling to be sarcastic.

The keyword here is remembrance. Yeah love is all around us every single day, between us and our loved ones, between friends, between members of a family. It is essentially a part of our daily lives and as all things like that, we tend to forget about it because it is somewhat routine. A day of celebration is for us to stop for a while and take a good look at this things and notice them. The same goes for everything else, our father and mother, our soldiers, our independence, our lives.

So okay, the origins of Valentine's Day is Christian and it is against aqidah to celebrate it. Just give me that as why I can't celebrate Valentine's. That is good enough for me. Don't go around saying stupid things without thinking about it first. Don't go around preaching that oh, I don't celebrate Valentine's Day because I celebrate my love every single day and not just on one day. I am soooo awesome because of that. No. Just say that I don't celebrate it because I am a Muslim and celebrating it can cause complications in my belief in God, but hey, why don't you go and celebrate it, I'm happy for you.

As far as Valentine's Day goes, I'm happy that such a day and such a celebration exists in our world. I don't care whether it's Christian, or Pagan or Buddhism. All of us are human beings which God created equal. None is a race of space reptilian sent here millennias ago to devour us. I don't care what colour is your skin, which deity you worship, what you eat, what you drink. There is too much hate in this world today and I am very thankful for each and everyone of you out there who preach for love. Even if you are a Christian Saint. God knows me more that all of you do.

After all, we Muslims do celebrate the Maulidul Rasul to remember Prophet Muhammad S.A.W and his teaching when he himself never celebrated his birthday. Why remember the Prophet only every 12 Rabiulawal when we should remember, celebrate and cherish him every single day?

So yeah..

Oh, in case your still angry about that chivalry thing up there, I believe that chivalry died the day men stop riding horses to war. Wester American Dictionary, Chivalry, first meaning.
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 | 2 comments

Medium Format

Benjamin Ujang James Gumbang

Living Room



Lubitel is for lovers.

Lubitel 166B


5 March 2009
Equine Park and Cyberjaya
Lubitel 166B + Fuji Provia 100F
Posted on Friday, March 06, 2009 | 3 comments


Why wasn't our national anthem written by poets? We have an awesome history in literature, thought provoking sayings and witty proverbs and the best we can come out with is Negaraku? A song which the melody we took from Perak's anthem which in turn, is derived from a Sechelles aloha-palm tree skirt wearing-pineapple drinking folk song. I don't think that's good enough.

So okay, Tunku didn't want any marching song-ish anthem for this peace loving country, that's good. But seriously, I'm a lyric buff and there's something quite not inspiring about our anthem. It basically just scratch the surface and didn't really go deep, explore and play with people's emotion. It's a series of one liner innit?

There's one line stating this is our country. Then, a line about how we are willing to die for it. Then a line about the people. Then 2 lines about God's blessing, 2 other for our king. Tada. A king is one man, while the people is 22 million more. Then why do we only speak briefly of these 22 million? Why just one line about 'rakyat hidup bersatu dan maju'? Isn't that a more satisfying thing for a country? To be united and progressive. Why did they summarize this two heavy subject into just one, 24 character line?

The same goes for our currency. So okay, we are a constitutional monarchy country and we need to have Tuanku Abdul Rahman's portrait there since he is our first king. But what about the other side of the paper? So we've shown the world our nice buildings; the Tugu, the Istana, the old train station, the Bank Negara, the museum, the Parlimen. Then on the next series we've printed our progress; our arts and culture, our infrastructure, our transportation, our resources. Awesome. But what about the people who've shaped and made our country into what it is today?

So here's what I think we should do next on our new series of Ringgits; celebrate the people. Maybe we could put our boys winning the Thomas Cup on our 10, some writer or journalist on our 50, Sudirman and P. Ramlee on our 5, our angkasawan (or tourist according to some) on our 100. Or we could put several people on one note. Our popculture icon on the 5, The 10 for sportspersons, the sasterawans on our 50, the big guns on the 100. Wouldn't that be cool? And what's cooler is that we leave out the politician in this series. This is about every movers and shapers except for them. Cool gile kan?

Anthems, flags (let's talk about this later), emblems and the currency is more than just a symbol of a country. It is something that is supposed to embody and inspire a country at the same time. An anthem isn't just for students to sing and adults to forget, it isn't something you play only when there's medal to be given. It should lift the spirit of the people when the tune is played. I've listened to songs long enough to understand its powers and it really is a great power to be left untouched, untapped. Why sing a so-so song when we can sing an epic?

Yeah, there are many things not really perfect about this country and the things I've written isn't that pressing next to the economy and political shit we are in now. Still, it is something worth thinking about. I fell in love with MCKK because of the semiotics, the symbols and history. The red, yellow, white and black. The pillars, the roof, the clock tower and the field. The weird name and history we attach to a simple hallway. The fact that it is my father's school. Come to think about it, the same goes for Malaysia. If I can love that small piece of land in Kuala Kangsar with a few thousand people in it, why can't I feel the same for this land of 22 million?
Posted on Sunday, March 01, 2009 | 5 comments

My Photo
Location: Klang Valley, Malaysia

Rebel, sweetheart.

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