Sunday, August 31, 2008

Diving in Manado, North Sulawesi

A small school of Cardinal fish....
Hiyo silver.... the kind of underwater horse you find here...

A frog fish that crawls underwater.... one of the sights to behold and capture on video!
Not a very sharp picture.... but you can imagine the dazzling beauty of sunset after a full day's diving in Lembeh Straits.
Not a tangled bunch of banded sea snakes. Just the friendy mimic octopus in the area...
Hmmm, a pretty shot of a wise Napolean Wrasse humming along the depths in North Sulawesi.
Nothing like the black-tip shark to zap your adrenalin level up on a typical dive here.

Now that AirAsia is flying to Manado, we can enjoy the fabulous underwater world around the islands off North Sulawesi.

Pretty soon, many divers will throng this place and operators will explore options from Malaysia.

If you want to be among the first to dive on an AirAsia ticket (Heh heh, not promoting for AirAsia ya....) you may join me and my wife on this fun dive.

We're flying off Sept 26 and back Oct 3. While the fares are still cheap from Sept 28 to Oct 3 at about RM400 inclusive of taxes for return flight, go ahead and book your aeroplane first!

I anticipate the whole package for a 5 day 4 night to be ranging from RM1500 to RM1900.

For more details, email me at

Monday, August 18, 2008

Can Muslims Become Christians?

Most of us who grow up in Malaysia have come to reject the idea that a Muslim cannot become a Christian.

The recent Malaysian Bar Council forum on issues related to this came under fire and drew the ire of a rowdy bunch of demonstrators allegedly instigated by certain political figures. The mainstream newspapers did not seem to provide information the public could get hold of online, thus casting doubts on the reliability of our media. recently posted an exclusive interview with the son of an influential Hamas leader and even provided the transcript of the discourse detailing at length his thoughts on leaving his Muslim faith and embracing Christianity.

Mosab Hassan Yousef, 30, attends an evangelical Christian church, Barabbas Road in San Diego, California. He renounced his Muslim faith, left his family behind in Ramallah and is seeking asylum in the United States.

Did he have to flee his homeland after he became a Christian? Like Lina Joy, could he not remain and impact his family and friends and community? Could and did the church provide him moral, spiritual, and physical support?

Mosab told the media that unlike the past, the generation today can seek the truth about their faith. He being the product of this search, concluded that more than 95 percent of Muslims don't understand their own religion and know little about the faith of other people.

Does this apply to the Muslims in Malaysia? Most Malaysian think that a Muslim is a Malay and when you converted to Islam, you also become a Malay, and enjoy the rights and privileges of a Malay. Is this true?

Would a Malay cease to become one when he choose to NOT become a Muslim?

Are the indigenous "sons of the soil" in Sabah, Sarawak, and Peninsular Malaysia Malay? Does the Malaysian constitution say that a Muslim who speaks Bahasa Melayu is a Malay? Does someone who embraces Islam and eventually speaks fluent Bahasa Melayu qualify to become a Malay?

Is there such a thing as a Christian Malay? Does that person cease to be a Malay when he stops becoming a Muslim?

Mosab explained to that embarrassing stuff like the Prophet Muhammad's wives are not mentioned in mosques, saying that most Muslims are not aware of other such information that go against the grain of today's free thinking generation.

He said Islam try to destroy Christianity distorting the truth of Jesus's crucifixion and the redemptive plan of God. When he asked these among many other difficult questions from young, he was told off.

Mosab described Islam as his father. "I grew up for (one) father — 22 years for that father — and another father came to me and told me, 'I'm sorry, I'm your father.' And I was like, 'What are you talking about? Like, I have my own father, and it's Islam!' And the father of Christianity told me, 'No, I'm your father."

Mosab discovered all these on his own. But he did say in the interview that if a Christian tells the truth to a Muslim, it will definitely increase the vacuum between both religions. But with the help of Christians, he can reach his people.

However, there had to be a starting point. Mosab left everything behind: culture, civilization, traditions, society, family, religion, his Islam God. He went on to make his decision public by announcing to the world.

And now, Mosab is calling all Muslims to open their minds to read the Bible and study the religion of the Christians.

Can Mosab succeed on his solo mission? Is there any one like him who has gone ahead this path to preach the Gospel? I'm sure there are many.

Perhaps this is the season that we will find a gathering a believers and disciples of Jesus Christ from the four corners of the world to preach the Gospel of Truth beyond the walls of the physical church.

A random search brings up the site of Photios Michael Burkland, a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer who is an Orthodox Christian, seeking to express himself writing what is true.

Someone can verify this report perhaps?

Hundreds of thousands of Malay Muslims have filed for apostasy

Tue Feb 14, 06 06:15:44
By Oleh Ekmal Yusof

IPOH, 14 Feb: Head of the Malaysian State of Perak Mufti (religious head) Dato' Seri Haji Harussani Haji Zakaria announced that there are close to 250,000 Muslim apostates in Malaysia .This figure includes about 100,000 Malay Muslims who have declared themselves Christians.

This announcement was made on a TV Forum entitled "Pekerti Islam" in the Malaysian State of Kedah recently which was aired by RTM (Malaysian TV & Radio Department) at 2 pm this evening.Another 100,000 Muslims are in the process of filing for apostasy while the rest are filing to have their Muslim name changed to "other religion name""This figure does not include individuals who don't do salat, doesn't fast and breaks all the tenets of Islam" he said.

According to the Perak Mufti he has personally received a letter from the American Christian Missionary Association which accuses the Malaysian (?) / Perak (?) religious authorities of being cruel (or mean) for not allowing about 30,000 Malay Muslims to convert out to Christianity.

Even in a religion where the penalty for apostasy is death, and in a predominately Muslim country where one must publicly file with the government to apostasize, Christianity is growing.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Live Life Live

Are we living in the past? Or the future? But never or seldom in the present?

That's what this blog title mean: Live (verb) Life (noun) Live (adjective)

Bukan Siaran Tergendala.

Siaran Langsung.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sipadan Friends at Sea

Relaxing on the rig after a hearty lunch of fresh fish, squid, prawns, chicken and mixed vegetable.

From left: Canadian Josh, who teaches English in Taiwan. This guy can speak Chinese. Cool. Maybe not a whole lot but enough la.

The girl behind my wife, Jessica, is June Pak. She is Korean and just finished medical school during housemanship. Right now, she is taking time off to dive and chill away from home.

IN the next picture, June with Jessica on the beach front near the Jetty to Sipadan.

Danish model, Pil, with Jessica, after coffee break from our morning dive at Drop-Off and Barracuda Point.
Swiss Romain leaving us in gags when we realized he was trying to get the coffee out of the point. Finally, Oooh, just depress the top cover. Wondering how coffee pots in Switzerland works.
A nice group picture before we jump onto the speedboat for our next dive. From Left: Pil and her Danish boyfriend, Nikki, Peter (from England), and another Danish, Helle, who is on a year long break with her boyfriend to explore life beyond the comfort of their home.

Last day picture. Taking the lift from the rig to the waiting speedboat at the bottom. The tall guy is Helle's boyfriend, Michael. Real cheeky dude who's playful and fun to have around.

Enjoyed fresh coconuts on the way to Tawau from Semporna. Got a video of them scraping the flesh off the nuts. Messy business.
Hmmm. This is Yong, one of the rig's divemaster who took us around. This guy has gone to 60 meters depth. Just for fun to feel how drunk he can get with his buddy. I wouldn't want to be his buddy, you can count on it. Sixty meters is a long way up to the surface.
Long long way.

Here are some pictures of the fabulous people we met on the Rig in our dives. More to come....