The Three Little Police Ladies

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Sunday,  30  January 2011

The three little Police ladies are Wani, Lati and Priscilla  who are  based at  the Selangor Police Headquaters, which is incidently, located quite near my house  in Shah Alam.  The three lovely ladies are smart and clever as they are beautiful  and they  make great  students and friends ....... ......................   that's why I like teaching so much.

 That's Wani, sitting on the left and Priscilla standing in the middle.  Norlidah, the fair maiden is sitting on the right.

Ms Lati  is standing on the left .This picture was taken when they were about to hurry for home.  Class started at 3.00pm but they left at 7.00pm !!! Norlidah was referred to me by Zahirah Zainuddin of Zahirah Folk Art & Crafts

Wani's basket of eggs........ the rest needs more time..................................................

In the course of my teaching career in Decorating painting insofar, ,I've had the opportunity to teach and make friends with both  the professionals and lay people alike -  I've taught several  engineers, nurses, lawyers, architects, physiotherapists, beauticians,  teachers, editors, managers, secretaries, school leavers, bakers, insurance agents, interior designer,  gym instructors, dance teachers, finance manager,  horticulturist,   homemakers, retired employees and  ladies of leisure ( read titled ladies ala Datins)  .   Almost all of them ( except the school leavers )  came with one thing in mind - to learn something for themselves without any outside  pressure and to take their mind off from work at the same time. 

Well, judging from their painting, I'm sure they were not thinking of anything else but their hobby.
Students attending the  weekend Saturday classes get to have some tea and cakes too as I usually bake a cake or two for family tea. Most often, they get to take home a few slices as well.

Let me see, last week it was a butter cake and this week (today) I baked some apple  turnovers  ( more on that later )

Happy reading and painting


Folk & Decorative Painting Workshop

Posted by Lakshmi
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Friday , 28 January 2011

Remember I wrote in my last article that my stars are shining brightly ?  Well, it's definitely starting to shine alright!  My long held  wish of conducting a Decorative Painting workshop  is finally starting to get off the ground and  I'm so so excited !

Details are as follows :

                         Date               :   29 May 2011 ( Sunday)

                          Venue            :   Kompleks PKNS Bangi ( Chempaka Room )
                                                     Bandar Baru Bangi

                           Time              :   10.00am - 5.00pm

                           Fee                 :  RM210.00  per person made payable to
                                                       Maybank a/c No: 512101234607    *

                                                     ( fee includes : Lunch  &  Tea and all painting materials needed )   
                                                        * email  Bankslip No.  to - )

                           Closing Date  : 30 April 2011

Tengku Norashikin and I will be conducting the workshop together and if you had read my previous article about her, you'd know for sure how the workshop will be - full of fun and laughter and camaraderie .  That's how we plan to conduct the workshop.  You get to learn and have fun  at the same time for doesn't  all work and no play make Jill a dull girl ?

It would be great to see all my readers and budding artists / ladies at the workshop and exchange ideas. Come for the adventure of learning a new skill or hobby, or come just to  explore your creativity  and hidden talent.   You'd  never know until you've tried.........................................

We've kept the cost to the barest minimum to enable everyone to participate,  right from students to the ladies .  Everything needed for the workshop, including boards/plaques,  brushes, acrylic paints, stylus , basecoat colours,  tracing and practise papers , transfers, patterns, varnish  and other required items are provided for.

All you have to do is just  walk in with a willingness to learn and walk out with a head full of creativity and confidence. How fantastic is that ?  And all these for just RM210.00 only .

 Phew !  If I had known something like this was organised  when I started painting, I would have had  grabbed it with both hands and legs, instead of doing everything by myself from trial and error and spending  more time and even more  money  than I should have .

In case you wanted to know,  as a complete dud beginner, I tried to cut cost by buying cheaper quality paints, brushes, etc. [ I thought beginners didn't need good quality stuff to work with, you see  !] and ended up penny wise and pound foolish, spending  triple the amount I had budgeted for .  How naive and dumb I was then !

But, of course, we become experts on hindsight and so, as an  "  expert on hindsight " believe me when I say RM210.00 is a real bargain  for learning Decorative Painting  with Lunch and Tea provided !.  

Certificates will be awarded to all participants 

Happy reading and painting


MIDI article in Bahasa Malaysia

Posted by Lakshmi

Saturday 22 January 2011

This is the article about me which appeared in the January 15th issue of the MIDI magazine. As this is written in  Bahasa Malaysia ( Bahasa Melayu?) , please google translate it for those who are unable to understand. 

When the interview was held in mid  December, I did not expect it to be published  so soon in their  mid January 2011 issue ! I was led to believe that normally these kind of interviews/articles will take months to be published. So I guess, my stars are shining brightly this 2011 to have got it this fast .  I think MIDI has written a good article based on what I had said  ( except for mis-spelling my name from Lakshmi to Lakhsmi  )and I would like to record my sincere   thanks and appreciation  to them.

Of course, my readers input ( ahem.... compliments...!.)  will rock me straight to Cloud 9,  but, knowing how most readers just like to read and find it too much of a problem to get a copy ( the reason for this update actually )  or give any feedback , much less write anything (!) I'll just assume that you are very happy for me............................................. la !

Happy reading and painting


Decorative Painting Class 22 January 2011

Posted by Lakshmi
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Friday 21 January 2011

Hi there

Just to inform that my Community  Decorative Painting class will be conducted at the 3C Complex tomorrow, Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 9.00am - 11.00am.  Good for beginners and all those staying around  Subang Jaya.

Just bring your boards/plaques ........

Happy reading and painting


PS:  My MIDI magazine interview article can be read in their latest issue dated 15 January 2011

The Great Malaysian Saga

Posted by Lakshmi
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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

I'm just your average Malaysian citizen, , doing what I know best, teaching , be it be the  English Language or Folk & Decorative Painting. 

But, somehow and somewhere along the line, I've developed an extra interest on the great Malaysian politics and I mean  INTEREST.  I don't take part in it but I do like to keep abreast by  reading interesting articles by various bloggers, political and apolitical alike.  This way, I get to listen to  both sides of the argument to a problem . 

Most times, it is the  social   issues like gender based inequalities which target women in general  which I feel  so strongly about.  That definitely rubs me the wrong way so I write about it to get it off my chest., like the 14 year old  female student  who married the 24 year teacher !( whose  marriage was sanctioned by the Government , no less , but  then, we have 18 year olds who can get a driving license but cannot vote ! ) Haiyo ! sometimes, our  Government is so blinkered la ......... 

Ahem,..... so I've been busy busy reading and browsing some interesting blogs, just to get the feel and pulse of our great nation and that is how I came to read this article written by blogger and social activist , Art-Harun of ARTiculations  ( ) 

I like the way Art-Harun writes his article, quite satirical at times and tongue-in-cheek of Malaysian politics .  I reproduce below his take on the current topics  of the nation.  It's a rather long article but it's worth the read...........     

Happy reading  ( for now ) and painting


The Three Faces of Malaysia by Art-Harun

In just 10 days this year, I witness with absolute disbelief three faces of Malaysia.

A non-Muslim lawyer - apparently, he is an MCA man, whatever that may mean - allegedly wrote a letter to the Prime Minister and carbon copied the letter to some other parties. In the letter, he complained that he has been awaken from his nightly sleep, even at 5.45am, by the azan (Muslim's call for prayer) which is broadcast loudly from the nearby mosque every morning.
He obviously found the azan annoying. Not to mention disturbing. That's because the azan would wake him up from his sleep at 5.45am.

I am not going into the issue on whether in Islam, it is mandatory or even encouraged that azans be broadcast loudly over the loudspeakers, especially in areas where non-Muslims are known to reside.   I am also not going to delve into the practice, by some mosques and suraus, of not only broadcasting azans but also morning lectures and recitation of the Quran loudly over the loudspeakers. This is because the letter written by the lawyer was only about azan.

Let's start from the obvious. 

We live in a multi-ethnic-faith country. On Fridays, non-Muslims have to endure traffic jams in areas where mosques are located and near such areas. Muslims would be parking their cars - some double park and some even triple park - near the mosque during Friday prayers.

On Sundays, Muslims and non-Christians would have to endure traffic jams in areas where churches are located when Christians, in turn, do the same in order to attend their Sunday mass.
Off and on, Muslims, Christians and people of other faiths, have to endure some Hindu celebrations. Take the Batu Caves processions for example.

Then we have the Buddhists or Chinese celebration. Loud drums and firecrackers for example.
As a people, we accept those kind of things as part of our daily metropolitan life. Even if some of us do not accept them, we tolerate them. We do so out of respect for our friends and their faith. We do not question them. We do not oppose their acts.

We don't do so although sometimes we are inconvenienced by such acts. But the colours of our life and the conscious joy of knowing that by not objecting we are deliberately partaking in this beautiful celebrations of life far outweigh the inconvenience that is caused to us and our daily life.
Frankly, I find the lawyer's complaint about the azan rather unreasonable, if not downright rude. If he was complaining about the loud recitation of the Quran or the whole morning ceramah being broadcast  from 6am, I might say a different thing. But to complain against the azan is, I think, unreasonable.

This is the face of Malaysia which is becoming more and more conspicuous nowadays. More and more pronounced. More and more frightening. The face of intolerance. 

This is sad. Because Malaysia used to be one not only in display but in substance. And really, if no effort whatsoever is taken to address this underlying cross-race-faith intolerance or un-acceptance, a bigger and uglier disaster awaits all of us, I am afraid to say. 

If I find the first act unreasonable and sad, the response the act was almost, in current climate, predictable. After Friday prayer, about 100 members of Pekida demonstrated outside the mosque. Banners were unfolded. Effigies were burnt. I mean, why am I not surprised? 

Muslims around the world just love burning thing. In Malaysia, we not only burn things (this is not restricted to Muslims as the recent burning of the book Interlok would prove), we spit and stomp on things. We even severe a cow head and carried it all over town, blood and all.
(If I am permitted to digress here. Why is it that Muslims only demonstrate and burn things when non-Muslims are perceived to have insulted Islam? Muslims are not seen to have done so when fellow Muslims kill other Muslims. Like when the Shite kill the Sunnis and the Sunnis bomb the Shite mosques and kill 67 non-Sunni Muslims, for example. I don't understand.)

That the demonstration reeks of political motivations is obvious. YB Nurul Izzah, the PKR Memeber of Prliament for the area concerned, was asked what her stand was on the issue. Her calm and collected response and call for calm was, in my opinion, a measured one. And the correct one too.

If anybody needs proof that the next General Election is not going to be fought on issues affecting the economy and well being of the nation, he or she just need to look at the utterly sickening issues being churned out over the last two weeks.

Umi Hafilda. The azan issue. The Selangor state secretary issue. These are the three main issues creeping out from the bowels of our politicians in the past two weeks.

Yes. Forget about how Petronas' money is being used. Forget about what economics plans we have to counter our over-dependence on the US economy. Forget about how in a country hosting and boasting of the largest oil palm company in the world there seems to be a shortage of cooking oil. 

Forget about the real issues.

Because I foresee the next General Election is going to be the worst General Election in terms of utter madness and gutter politics. Mark my words. Zaid Ibrahim's photo-shopped picture with some bottles of brandy during the Hulu Selangor by-election would be chicken feet as compared to what will be forthcoming in the next GE.

Thus the second face of Malaysia over the last week was predictable. And there is no hope of it going away. All that we can do is to pray hard. Pray hard that it would not affect our sanity.
The exact aftermath of this whole azan issue is almost comical. According to a certain Minister, the issue was resolved when the "MCA man" has agreed to move out from his home. 

Yes, ladies ad gentlemen, in Malaysia, that is how we solve problems. If you do not like it, you leave. 

At this juncture, it would not be out of place to quote what Zaki Azmi, the Chief Justice, said last week. He said he is so proud of the judiciary as it is now the best in the Common Law countries. He is even prouder because, according to him we do it "the Malaysian way."

Yes. The Malaysian way.

And that, to me, is the frightening part of it all. The Malaysian way. We do not have space technology. No problem. Buy a seat on a space tour and call our participant an astronaut. Better still, get a space agency to certify that he is an astronaut. 

Industrialisation anybody? No problem. Form a company. Use someone else's engine. Knock it into some old chassis. Impose APs and stratospheric taxes for export cars. Make our "national cars" cheaper than the rest. There you go.

The Malaysian way.

Back to the issue at hand. Yes. The "MCA mystery man" has agreed to move out. And so the problem is solved. 

What about his deep seated intolerance of the azan and his underlying anger? What about the mobs who demonstrated, burning effigies and carrying wild banners, displaying a serious disability to engage in a civil manner? What about the larger picture of current Malaysia in a boiling broth of inter-race-faith discontent? 

No. Problem is solved. Move on please.

Taking this third face of Malaysia to its logical - and probably comical end - may I suggest the followings? 

In Selangor, in order to solve the Khusrin issue, perhaps PKR or Khusrin should be asked to leave Selangor. 

After all, in Tenang, there is already a report that a teacher was asked to leave Tenang to Johor Baru for failing to "control his wife" as the wife was reportedly going to be PAS' candidate for the Tenang by-election.

In addition, in order to solve the Teoh Beng Hock death, why don't we ask the MACC to just leave Malaysia? 

Then, in order to solve all the police death issues, why don't the police force just ask the IGP to leave?

Or perhaps the whole Home Ministry should just pack up and leave.

The three faces of 1Malaysia. And just in two weeks in this spanking new year.

Now, who was it who says that Malaysia is a boring place, eh?


A Big Fat Turkey and Workshop !

Posted by Lakshmi
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Saturday 8 January 2011

New Year came and went as most new years do.  Only difference is we had a big fat turkey with
all its trimmings for New Year's lunch  which was downed with  glasses of Savignon Blanc  all round.    New Year is a big event in our family calender and is celebrated in similar style like the Chinese reunion dinner .  And so started a boisterous 2011...............

I have made no new year resolutions for the past few years and I'm not making one now either.  I'm just grateful for what I have now .  Along my life's journey,  I've  also learnt to appreciate the present than  think about the past or worry about the future.   I have just two mottos to guide me  now - i) Trust in God  and ii)  Everyday is a Gift .  Period.

My community classes at the 3C Complex are  ongoing .  I have just finished my class today and my next class on Decorative Painting at MPSJ 3C Complex is on Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 9am.  All those interested , please call Cik Balkis at  MPSJ tel:  03 -56370279  or call  me at 012-6709459 ,  email : for any further info.

1 Day Workshop on Folk & Decorative Painting

Since the beginning of last year, I've received tremendous support from friends and readers with regards to learning Folk & Decorative Painting and with this in mind, my good friend, Tengku Norashikin and I are intending  to conduct a 1 day workshop sometime  in May 2011.  It's in the planning stages and I will update the details as soon as we have finalised it.

Conducting a 1 day workshop on Decorative Painting  has been on my mind for quite some time and it would indeed be a great event for me .  It would be truly lovely to be able to  meet all my blog friends and like minded painting enthusiasts and spend time together at the workshop.  To make it a fun  and happy event, I would  very much appreciate and welcome  your  suggestions and  ideas  in all sincerity. .  We gals can handle both  learning skills and have a whale of a time at the same time, can't we ?

On the same matter, I would sincerely like to thank all my students and friends and readers who have supported  me and contributed to my blog through your comments and input. It has been a journey of self-discovery for me  since I first started blogging ..... and along the way, I've learnt and experienced  a multitude of life's facet .  I  am still learning  and I would like to thank all those who have come into my life these past years and enriched  and helped me to become who I am today.

A humble and grateful soul

Happy reading and painting