It's been more than a year since I updated my readviewer site.... kanasai.. =)

But today, things are different.. I am posting again!!!!!.... but before you go WWWWAAAAHHHH....... I got selfish intention also lar....
Was doing work as usual, when I suddenly saw this in twitter....

Apa lagi, straight away went to KYcakap punya website and looked for this:

Dengan happynyer, I'm going to send an email to nuffnang and hope that they'll give me some more freebies in addition to the free tickets....

Please yeah nuffnang!!!=)

Now let's hope that this will give me a kick in my lazy @$$ to start writing again.....

Courtesy of Nuffnang, I had the privillege of being invited to a premier screening of the latest movie from Steven Spielberg last month...

The movie: Eagle Eye, starring Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan.

To be honest, the waves that was generated for this movie felt more like tame ripples, but it carried the heavyweight name of Spielberg, whose name is etched in our memories forever because of movies like E.T., Indiana Jones, Men In Black and the very graphic Saving Private Ryan. I need to digress a little, but did you know that Spielberg was also responsible for monster hits in my childhood like Pinky and the Brain, and ANIMANIACS!!

So, back to the movie premiere. After having dinner, decided to head over to the GSC Cinema in 1-Utama to collect the movie tickets. However, before reaching the movie premiere, I saw someone who looked like he could use some serious help... honestly, it's not easy doing this 24-7....

So, obviously being the good Malaysian, I tried to help him out....

The only problem was, I had to go soon for my movie screening... so, with great reluctance, I had to leave Mr. Celcom Monk there......

Went and collected the tickets.....

and of course headed straight into the cinema hall...

Eagle Eye wasn't a film that I had been really anticipating, so I went in with fairly not much expectation.

The movie plot revolves around the plot of two random strangers, Jerry Shaw (LaBeouf) and Rachel Hollaman (Monaghan) who are pitted together by a mysterious woman. The only thing that they know about this woman, is that she can see everything that they do and and she knows EVERYTHING about them. She needs them to follow her instructions, failing which dire consequences await.

The acting skills of LeBeouf and Monaghan were pretty good, but for me, the show stoppers in the movie were actually two very talented actors who I didn't know were in the movie.

Presenting, Defense Secretary Callister:

... played by Michael Chiklis (of the series "The Shield")

and also presenting, Agent Thomas Morgan:

...played by the very versatile and extremely talented Billy Bob Thornton

For this readviewer, these two actors stole the show.

However, besides the acting, the plot wasn't exactly very groundbreaking. It was more just a slicker presentation of previous shows such as Enemy of the State and The Net. Even more heartbreaking was that the villian I suspected (and was desperately hoping wouldn't be the case) turned out to be true...

Someone once told me, sometimes, you just gotta give logic a rest and just enjoy the movie. Do that, and I'm sure you'll enjoy Eagle Eye.

Until the next post, this readviewer is signing off!

That's a pretty provocative statement isn't it? Yes, I will not be surprised if some readers even leave insulting and nasty comments just because of the title itself. But I still stand by my conviction that communism has left its mark on this country's democracy until today without most of us knowing it. Read on....

The year was 1948. Malaya, under the rule of the British, was in a state of disarray, still trying to recover from World War II (WWII). To make things even worse, they were also battling communist insurgents who were organising guerrilla attacks. The British had declared a state of Emergency after 3 European plantation managers were murdered in Perak. They also passed the Emergency Regulations Ordinance 1948 which allowed the detention of person(s) suspected of being communist sympathizers or helping the communists for up to a period of 1 year WITHOUT trial. The British labelled this as "preventive detention", or today's corporate culture, it would be called being proactive.

In 1960, the state of Emergency was ended and by then, Malaya had already achieved its independance from her colonnial masters. However, the threat of these Communist guerrillas was far from distinguished and communist sympathizers were still many. The Malayan government decided that preventive detention was still needed and passed the Internal Security Act (ISA) under Article 149.

Today, 48 years later, the threat of communists planning guerrilla attacks and communist sympathizers have all but evaporated. The only communists left are those who relate to their ideology and yet still enjoy the perks of democracy. Heck, even China themselves cannot be called a true communist regime when they condone capitalism! But yet, the ISA still exists in the Malaysian Constitution.

Even more disturbing, this law that was intended to be used against terrorists and threats against national security has been abused time and time again to serve the interests of those in power. In 1987, the biggest abuse of the ISA was done under Ops Lalang. 106 Malaysian citizens were arrested and detained without trial under the ISA.

More recently, a little over a week ago actually, the ISA keris was again unsheathed and 3 people were detained under ISA. The famous internet-journalist / blogger / expose king Raja Petra Kamaruddin, better known as RPK in the cyberspace was detained along with Teresa Kok (MP Seputeh) and Tan Hoon Cheng, the Sin Chew Daily News reporter.

RPK behind bars

Besides the 3 names stated, others who have suffered under this draconian act are figures like Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng, Karpal Singh, Chandra Muzaffar, Maximus Ongkili and Jeffrey Kittingan, just to drop a few names.

The longest imprisonment under ISA was Loo Ming Liong, detailed for 16 YEARS (1972 -1988) because he was SUSPECTED to be a communist.

As far I know, none of these people have been brought to court to be tried for the charges to which they imprisoned under ISA. Some of these figures have been brought to court and charged, but the charges were either not the same, or amended. How unfair is that?

ISA was an act that was initiated because of the unrest in Malaya at that time and because of the threat of communist agendas. These agendas are gone (the Bangkok treaty is proof of that), and even Malaya is now Malaysia. Why is ISA still here? Why do we still condone it?

And that is why, the legacy of communism still lives in Malaysian democracy through the use and abuse of the ISA.

Here's a question: Have ANY of the detainees under ISA since 1960 till present day ever been successfully charged and convicted with being communists?

NOTE: This very dissatisfied readviewer is totally against ISA, regardless of who uses it and who it is used on. Anyone who is deemed to be a threat should be given their day in court and a chance to defend themselves. Until the day ISA is abolished, this readviewer readily maintains that Malaysia does not practice democracy. Rather, is only practices an illusion of what democracy should be.

PS: For those of you who would like to know more about ISA and speak up against it, there will be a forum entitled Abolish ISA tomorrow. The details are given below:

Date: Tuesday, 23rd September 2008
Time: 8.00pm
Venue: KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Jalan Maharajalela, Kuala Lumpur
Admission: FREE (bring your friends)

Panel of speakers include:
  • Lim Guan Eng (Chief Minister of Penang, former ISA detainee)
  • Teresa Kok (MP - Seputeh, former ISA detainee)
  • Khalid Samad (MP - Shah Alam)
  • Nurul Izzah Bt Anwar (MP - Lembah Pantai)
  • Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan (Lawyer / Bar Council President)
  • Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh (Chairman, Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA aka GMI)
The wives of the current ISA detainees (Raja Petra Kamaruddin aka RPK, M. Manoharan and V. Ganabathirao) wil be present and will be given the opportunity to speak

What do most young working adults in Malaysia have in common? The fact that most don't cook at home. And it's no different with this readviewer, who only ever seems to cook when there is a party or pot-luck to attend. Otherwise, there just doesn't seem to be time. Don't you think so too?

So anyway, right now, my Muslim friends would be going through the month of Ramadhan, the fasting period for Muslims all around the world. We locals call it "bulan Puasa" (fasting month).

But you know what's the funny thing? Even my non-Muslim Chinese and Indian friends eagerly look forward to Ramadhan (yeah, me too, me too!). Why so, you may be asking? Because of the Ramadhan Bazaars (we locals call it Pasar Ramadhan) that blossom all over Malaysia during this time... they sell really wonderful Malay food and let me tell you, this is the BEST place to buy stuff and then stuff your face... so while our Muslim friends buy food to prepare to break their fast, we non-Muslims are basically just being greedy Malaysian.

And so, being seduced by the wonderful evening breeze, the bright evening sun and a greedy lust for food, this readviewer headed over to the Pasar Ramadhan to check out the fair that they had to offer...

It's really hard to miss a Pasar Ramadhan because ANY free place around it is always automatically turned into a parking lot. The wonderful thing that I noticed about this Pasar Ramadhan was the fact they actually got their motorcycles parked in order! WOW!

The other reason you can't miss the Pasar Ramadhan is because the smell of food basically invades your nostrils and you can't help but just walk towards it... in my case, it was the smell eminating from the satay stall....

And right at the next stall, I'm already fascinated... it wasn't so much the fact that it was nice juicy chicken wings for sale, but more the fact that the owner had additional items on sale....

...just what on earth is TONGKEN and PEDAL, I have no idea... I didn't see anything much there to help solve the mystery either...and I was a bit shy to ask the pakcik what it was also... so just pretend bodoh sombong ler! =) Ok, but seriously, anyone can help me out here?

Moving along, I see a mountain of debris right next to this shop. This sugar cane seller is definitely getting very good sales.. I mean, look at the amount of sugar cane he's crushed!!!

And if you guys thought the names tongken and pedal are mind boggling, check out what this stall had to offer!

These guys really bring a new meaning to the term "succulent bone marrow"! I mean, they actually sell the bone marrow with a straw for you to suck it out from! I couldn't help myself this time...

The conversation was in Bahasa Malaysia but I've included an English translation with what was probably happening in our heads while talking)

ignorant fool AKA me: Bang, yang ni macam mana nak makan? Sedut je? (Hey man, how on earth do I eat this funky looking bone? Do I just suck it out like some drink?)

bewildered seller: Ah, ya lah. Sedut je! Nak beli? Cubalah! (Like duh! Just suck it you moron. That's what the straw is for! Say, wanna buy one to try? I mean, you've already wasted 2 minutes and 3 customers of my time)

ignorant fool AKA me: Berapa harga dia? (Well, not to be insulting or anything, how much do I gotta pay for this bone which I would usually get for free from the market?)

bewildered seller: Murah je, RM13.00... tapi kita bagi dengan daging dan soup sekali (because you wasted my time, it's RM13.00. But because you look like nice guy, I'll throw in some beef and soup as well...numbskull)

Well, that was as far as it got.. I wasn't gonna pay RM13.00 of my hard earned money to figure out how bone mush tastes like.

But just in case you foreigners wanna try this soup concoction next time, it's called:

After walking around, I couldn't take it.. I had to stop taking photos and start buying. It wasn't just the fact that I was getting real hungry, but it also had to do with the fact that I was getting a few curious looks about what this clown is doing taking photos in a Pasar Ramadhan when everyone else was more interested in buying the food....

I saw this stall selling corn, but it wasn't your normal corn that is steamed.. it was roasted corn... yummy! Bagi 1 jagung panggang kak!

My greedy tummy then led me to the stall that sold briyani rice. Yes, technically briyani is an Indian dish, but hey, if it's good, I'm not gonna complain. There were a few stalls selling briyani rice, but this shop had the rice that looks SO good.. look at all those cashew nuts just begging to be eaten!

After buying the nasi briyani with beef, it was time to get a drink. The sugar cane stall was kinda tempting, but air mata kucing won in the end....

Then it was time to get more food... I love kebabs.. so off we went to get kebabs... but opposite the kebab shop, I saw something else.. it was Roti John (literally translated: John's bread). And it wasn't just your run of mill Roti John... it was SPECIAL Roti John....

The photo is a little blur, but then again, I was running out of battery and didn't have a spare with me. So, my apologies for that.

So, what is John's Bread? John's Bread is basically a long piece of bread, almost half the length of your french loaf which is cut down the middle. A mumbo-jumbo mix of eggs, chicken, beef, and black pepper sauce is beaten together and then poured onto the middle of the bread which is then cooked on a hot surface (somebody help me with the proper term, I got a word-block right now) until nice and fragrant. Thankfully, I still managed this shot with my battery precariously low on batt....

Usually, this is where a normal post would end... but NO, on the readviewer, we go the extra mile to show you what it looks like just before all the food ends up my greedy little tummy... heheh.....

And of course, the last shot... the picture of the greedy readviewer before he chomps down everything like the glutton that he is....

Until the next post, this is the readviewer signing off.... to go get himself fatter than he already is! =)

So, here's the scenario... it's night time and we're travelling along the main road when suddenly I'm told to turn left into this contruction looking area..... and stop there.

The only difference between a Hollywood movie and the scenario I was in was that nobody died or gets shot in the head. And the other difference, I'm supposed to be on the way to dinner!

Well anyway, after passing this under-construction building, yours truly suddenly sees some bright lights that dance on my car window, enthusiastically beckoning you....

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Subang's best kept secret: Ben & Nick's Diner, or more fondly known as B&N Diner

Looking at the fairy lights already makes me warm and fuzzy... eh, seriously lah... don't tell me even this photo doesn't make you feel all happy and feel like going... aaaaaahhhhhHHHH......puas.

But eh, makan also not yet... sorry... got carried away....ok ok, back to B&N...
Once I got over the very pretty lights, I go in and I'm greeted by none other than famous Jim:

The first thing that I notice is the very homely feeling that you get. The furnishing and decoration is simple, but nice. It's not wannabe, but it's not tacky either....

After that, very quickly, the next thing that hits me is... "WAH, a bit small right the place?"

Seriously, B&N has a very small seating area inside......but after you sit down and look at the table, you feel as if the decoration on the table is there specifically to answer what every other Tom, Dick and Harry is wondering about the space.....

They provide us with menus and straight away I knew that I already liked this place. Anyone with menus like this definitely gets into this readviewer's good books.... funny lines and quirky quotes definitely I like! =)

And just because it's not the most famous eatery right now, it does not mean that it hasn't caught the attention of those whose reviews warrant attention...

So, we order our food... and the first dish that comes along is the garlic bread (RM3.90).

Now, the thing that is good about the garlic bread is the fact that they toast it well. And because it is fresh, it is crispy instead of the "masuk angin" feeling. Plus the taste is yummy with enough ingredients. Presentation wise, not so nice, but hey, if the food tastes good, the presentation can close one eye lah!

Next up was the mushroom soup (RM6.90), which was really creamy and yummy. It goes really well with the garlic bread as well! They give a slice of garlic bread with the soup, but for those who really enjoy soup and bread, you might as well order a garlic basket....

The Caesar Salad (RM18.90) that we ordered was a little special because we requested for chicken meat to be used instead of beef. The vegetables are tasty, and the meat is heavily marinated with oregano herbs which gives the meat a very nice taste... for RM18.90, it's pretty pricey for a salad, but the portion is worth the money and there is enough to go round, even for our party of 6.. of course, don't bring all the food killer friends lah... then that one definitely not enough...

The first main dish to arrive was the Cajun Pasta (RM17.80) and it looked good. It also tasted as well as it looked... the chicken meat was tender without that chicken-y taste, the sauce had a unique flavour, unlike your typical pastas, the cheese plentiful, so yeah.. it was good... now look and drool...

My Combo blanket (RM18.90) was the next main dish to arrive and I was smacking my lips in anticipation when it arrived. Beef and chicken meat are grilled well wrapped in a tortilla served with a generous portion of salad... again, the generous use of oregano herbs makes this something to savour and enjoy...

Next up was the Cajun Chicken (RM13.90).... Served with mashed potatoes, coleslaw and a small bowl of sauce, it's really worth the price. I must also add that the coleslaw wasn't murdered with too much mayonnaise which was a plus..

Then the Chicken Chop (RM13.90) arrived... it looked pretty much the same as the Cajun Chicken, except that the sauce is different (mushroom sauce) with peas and the taste of the chicken isn't as nice as Cajun Chicken.

We all ate to our hearts' content and our plates were pretty clean by the time we were through.. here's proof:

After we finished eating, Sonny (the owner of the shop) comes over to find out whose birthday we were celebrating... and guess what? The birthday boy got free apple crumble AND homemade bread and butter pudding, both of which came with a scoop of ice-cream! Wah, we were SO impressed! And I must say, even though we were quite full, greediness took over. And boy was it worth being greedy that night!

bread and butter pudding

apple crumble

We couldn't possibly move at that moment, so we took some time to talk to the owner. Sonny is actually a retiree who decided to start of shop with his 2 sons Ben and Nick. In June 2007, B&N Diner was born... no prizes for gussing what B&N stands for. Ben is actually the chef in the kitchen, while Nick drops by every now and then to help out.

Sonny and his son / chef Ben

It would be worth noting that B&N does cater for specific occasions and the restaurant can be booked for functions...

Due to that and the fact that B&N isn't exactly the biggest place in the world, it would be best if you made reservations before going there to avoid having to stand around with a rumbling tummy...

B&N's opening hours:

I don't have a map and I'm too lazy to draw one, so here the address:

ben & nick's diner (next to Carrefour Subang)
lot g10, e-tiara service apartment,
persiaran kemajuan,
47500 subang jaya.

tel: 016-2010189

Anyone of you been there? Share your experience with us!

till the next readview, this is the readviewer signing off...

PS: Sonny, if you're reading this, my apologies that this readview came out later than expected =)

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