Retrenched? HELP is here!

Star-Jobs h.e.l.p
A project to assist the retrenched

Star-Jobs.com H.E.L.P.

With the economic crisis hitting every part of the world, retrenchment is on the rise. Losing your job suddenly is akin to losing someone you loved. We at Star-Jobs strive to assist the retrenched to go through their career transition as smoothly as possible and at the same time to discover potential talents within themselves.

This is a CSR initiative of The Star. The purpose of this initiative is to bring together companies that are seeking to hire and retrenched people seeking to be hired.

Times are tough, and when the going gets tough, well, we have to come together. Ok?

What you can do

Retrenched persons
Register on the Star-Jobs H.E.L.P. site, with your resume and stuff. Yes, it’s yet another job-seeker site form, and you probably already have registered on Jobstreet and places. Well, there’s no law that says you have to register on only one site, right? Why not cast the net wider? This is your future we’re talking about, after all.

Companies
Need employees? Have vacancies? Wanna list those vacancies online for FREE? Yeah, I said FREE! Contact the good people at Star-Jobs.com to find out how.

Ex-retrenched persons
Share your experiences! Give hope to your fellow man, people who are currently affected by the global economic meltdown, so that they will have hope that things will turn out for the better for them. Be a speaker at an event, or blog about your experiences! Once again, contact the nice people at Star-Jobs to learn how you can be of assistance.

Guys and gals, if you have a job, know how lucky you are. I have friends who have been retrenched, and I can only wish I could do something for them. This is the least I can do, and I hope you can do the same at the very least.

AMBP-RACKL Project Gift A Kid

Project Gift A Kid

It’s that time of season, where merrymaking and gift exchanging (not to mention the stresses of finding the right gift in the first place) is uppermost on people’s minds.

Yet, during this time of joy and festiveness, let us not forget about the less fortunate ones among us.

Recently, as I was at a cineplex in PJ, waiting to go in to the movie theatre, I caught sight of a booth near the cineplex entrance. It was a UNICEF stand. I wandered over to find out more details about what they were doing there, and long story short, I decided to become a regular donor to their cause.

Unite For Children. Unite Against AIDS.

Some people hearing this would think, “well, he must have been suckered into it”. I didn’t. I wanted to contribute to their cause. Despite the economic slowdown, I’m aware that I still have it better than a lot of poor, impoverished people around the world, especially innocent children. I still remember clearly the sight of bedraggled, dirty little kids wandering around the streets of Delhi in India, begging for a little change, something to eat, a little bit of attention, please.

It’s a hard, difficult thing to experience, and it’s made all the more uncomfortable – and unforgiving – when you’re in an air-conditioned car looking out into the harsh, polluted, sun-drenched landscape, to which these kids are exposed every hour of every day.

Which is why I did not hesitate to part with a portion of my take-home income towards helping these children in need, through a reputable organisation such as UNICEF. Hey, it’s also tax-deductible, so really, what reason do I have NOT to help? Like a good friend told me, “it’s better that your money goes towards charity than to the taxman”.

Anyway, if you’re keen on lending some support for another good cause, the AllMalaysian Bloggers Project (AMBP) are calling out to bloggers to help with a project set up by the Rotaract Club of Kuala Lumpur (RACKL) called PROJECT GIFT A KID.

RACKL aims to sponsor 100 underprivileged kids’ aged between 6 – 15 years old back-to-school educational needs (books, stationery, uniforms etc) for the school term 2009. The kids who will benefit from this are:

  • Children of Rumah WAKE 1 (a home for HIV+ children and their affected siblings under the Pertubuhan Wanita dan Kesihatan Kuala Lumpur)
  • Underprivileged schoolchildren from SRJK(T) Cheras (many of the children come from the surrounding low-cost flats and squatter areas and most cannot afford school uniforms let alone school fees)

How can you help? Well, you can:

Sponsor A Child

  • You can choose to sponsor a kid from as little as RM10 to the full pack of RM150. A small step from you goes a long way in empowering these kids’ futures.
  • Let your family, friends and colleagues know about this project and encourage them to sponsor a kid. Alternatively, you could pool your resources together too!
  • This season of giving, why not sponsor a kid on behalf of your loved one (sure beats having to think of a material gift!). We’ll give you a gift card which comes nicely packed with an inspirational quote and ribbon that you can pass to them. That way you’re giving two people a gift at once!

- From the RACKL info page

To sponsor a child, you’ll need to fill out a Sponsorship Form and send it either to RACKL or AMBP (c/o Star Publications). You can get the Sponsorship Form and details on how to go about sponsoring a child from the AMBP Project Gift A Kid page.

Blog About It!

Hey, it’s what you do, so why not wield that mighty pen (or keyboard, as the case may be) and lend your voice towards promoting a noble endeavour. Get more information on PROJECT GIFT A KID at AMBP or from RACKL.

In case you need more incentives, United International Pictures (UIP) has agreed to sponsor a number of movie tickets; your one blog post will send one of these kids to the movies!

And if you really REALLY need more motivation, you can participate in the AMBP-UIP Caption Contest. Just caption a picture from the movies (either Wild Child, or Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging) and you could win yourself some goodies courtesy of UIP and EMI.

Example like so:

Angus
Ommm.. oh dear, suddenly I feel a hankering for curry, sarees, and dancing the ancient art of bharatanatyam! Yoga, thou art teh evil!

Yeah, I know, not exactly prize-winning material, but I’ll bet you can do better. ;-)

To ensure that your blog post is counted, don’t forget to post your link as a comment at the AMBP Editor’s Post: Help us help a kid go back to school.

Ok, c’mon, after all that, and if you still can’t be arsed to do even the slightest bit to help out here, well, be sure to say hi for me to the Devil when you see him in hell, won’t you?

I Knew Qushairi Razali

Funny thing, I was doing some, erm, research on OAG and that song that used to be playing in my head a long, long time ago, you know the one, “I’m watching, (I’m watching), I’m watching, (I’m watching), 60′s TV!”

Well-known fact: the original drummer for the group was this guy called Qi (pronounced Chi, full name: Qushairi Razali). Little-known fact: I was once his classmate.

No, seriously. He was a school prefect, and no, he didn’t have long hair. He was blessed with good looks and an easy charm even back then. I remember he was pretty well-off too.

He did this really cool trick (or it was cool back then for a 13-year-old) where he would twirl a pencil/pen using his thumb and forefinger. He tried teaching it to me once, but I gave up after launching the pencil once too often towards the classroom ceiling fan.

In fact, he even ended up showcasing that trick in a TV commercial for Indomie. (I think it was Indomie. Could’ve been some other instant noodle brand. In my defense, it was a very long time ago.)

We went to different schools after Form 3, he to La Salle PJ (if I remember correctly), and me, not to La Salle PJ.

We never kept in touch after that, this being the era before emails, cellphones and Facebook.

Not long after, OAG’s ’60′s TV’ became a hit. Like any other nerdy teen trying to be cool, I tried to name drop the fact that I used to be this fella’s classmate, but to no avail. And that was that. Not long after, Qushairi left OAG, and disappeared without trace. Or at least as far as I knew.

Now I’ve never really thought about Qushairi since then, until just now. When, erm, researching the song ’60′s TV’, I once again remembered my old classmate, and figured maybe I should Google his name, and.. whoa!

Apparently my former classmate and ex-drummer of OAG is now a TV show host. From this article in Berita Harian, I learned that he had been furthering his studies in business and marketing.

Since then, he has been in 8TV Quickie, and is currently a host on Destinasi Bajet, a highly-rated Malay language travel show.

Google also reveals that there was a bit of a scandal involving him and hottie Irene Santiago. But Qi, being the La Sallian that he is, admits knowing her and clears the air about their relationship. (Ok, being a La Sallian, maybe I’m a bit biased, but as we all know, La Sallians are innocent, and chivalrous, and virtuous, and embody all that is good and noble.)

Wow, he’s come a long way since his pencil-twirling days, hasn’t he?

Anyway, the Berita Harian article included his Facebook profile name, so I’m gonna try adding him to my Friends’ list, and see if he remembers me. He’s either gonna add me cos he does remember me, or he’s gonna add me cos he thinks I’m some kind of fan, or he doesn’t add me and calls the cops.

In which case, this could be my last entry in this blog, and I just wanna say it’s been a blast.

This has been a transparently lame attempt to gain some street cred by associating myself with a celebrity who probably has no recollection of who I am these days. But what the heck, on the internets, there is no shame in being lame.

AMBP Charity Car Wash in aid of Hospis Malaysia

Splashing Charity Car Wash Day in aid of Hospis Malaysia

Hey all, here’s an opportunity for you guys to do some good and earn some karma points with the Big Guy upstairs (some of you know you need it, c’mon, admit it!) – volunteer as a car washer (is that the correct term?) and help raise some money for Hospis Malaysia.

The event, organised by AllMalaysian Bloggers Project (AMBP) in collaboration with Star-Motoring, will take place at Leo Auto Services (Kia Service Centre) located along Old Klang Road on Dec 13 & 14.

AMBP is currently looking for about 30-40 bloggers, in total, to lend a helping hand for this two-day event. You can volunteer for either one day or both; it’s up to you.

If you’re interested to become a volunteer, do register your interest – someone from AMBP will soon contact you with more details and what you’ll need to do.

From the AMBP site:

By volunteering, you’ll be helping out the good folks from Hospis Malaysia who do a great deal in alleviating the pain associated with life-limiting diseases/conditions such as cancer, AIDS, etc.

And what is it that you’re required to do? Well, to get straight to the point: you’ll be washing cars. If you don’t want to get wet, you can place yourself under the vacuuming crew, or the traffic management team.

We’ll be giving out goodie bags on the days concerned, so you won’t go back empty-handed. There will also be a lucky draw at the end of each day on both days; a Gandalf Wizard Hat and a Marvel Trivia Game being the prizes.

For more information on how you can participate – whether as volunteer carwasher, or to have your car washed – do visit the AMBP Splashing Charity Car Wash page for the details.

I rd d post n now hv hdache oredi.

I wish people who post in forums would stop using SMS-speak (for lack of a better term) when writing their posts. SMS-speak came about as a necessary evil, a means to work around the character limitations of many older mobile phones’ SMS and text messaging features.

But such limitations don’t exist for posting in forums. So why do they insist on doing it anyway? Are they just plain lazy? Do they not know how to spell?

I’m not even saying that they should stick to proper English, or have proper grammar (though it would be nice). I make mistakes with my grammar all the time, so who am I to judge? But at least when you write clearly with correctly-spelled words, it becomes easier to understand, and a pleasure to read. Even if you use slang, having them written in its full forms rather than in abbreviated SMS-speak makes it easier to identify as slang, and therefore understandable.

A lot of first-time visitors to a forum would pay attention to such posts, while conversely be repelled by posts laden with SMS-speak. Which means that if you had some valuable information in your posts, they might not reach a certain cross-section of people for whom that information may be of great use.

It’s just so frustrating when you go into a popular forum like Lowyat.NET to read up on something that you consider to be important to you, and you have to spend half the time trying to decipher what the words are before you can even begin to understand them. (Note: Not all Lowyat.NET posters write like that. Some long-timers especially write great posts.)

Maybe this is just me showing my age, but dammit, sometimes clear communication is just a matter of common sense.

So please, if you’re a regular poster on forums, I urge that you write your postings in a clear manner, without using abbreviated SMS-speak, and you and I will get along just fine.

Thank you.

I write here.

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