Monday, December 12, 2016

Why Melanau People Cannot Eat Patin Fish?

The Melanau people or A Likou (lit. River People) is an ethnic group of people indigenous to Sarawak, Malaysia. They are among the earliest settlers of Sarawak and preferred to build settlements at the mouth of the river or near the sea. This is because they were traditionally adept fishermen and boat builders.

Just like the Chinese, the Melanau people is divided by their dialects; Mukah, Balingian, Rejang (me), Oya, Dalat, Kanowit, Bintulu, and more. Each has their own different vocabularies just like how how different a Foochow and Cantonese would sound like.

Apart from that, there are also taboos for the Melanau people. Some cannot eat some species of crabs, some species of plants etc. But one universal taboo stood prevalent; eating Patin fish.

There are many version of folktales regarding the origin of the taboo. However, there is one popular version which is generally accepted: the Patin fish saved the Melanau people from their enemies.

Once upon a time, a group of pirates came from the seas and attacked an unnamed Melanau settlement located at an unnamed mouth of the river.

As the villagers were busy with their daily activities, they were caught of guard and could not mount a defense in time.

In the midst of the chaos, the survivors could only boarded their boats without food and paddled upstream to escape. However, the pirates, being pirates, continued to pursue them upstream as well.

After the survivors felt they were far away from their pursuers, they paddled into a small stream before looking for a place to hide. The stream was shallow enough for them to wade.

The surviving villagers abandoned their boats and hid in the tall river grass nearby. They could only peek through the grass anxiously as the pirates arrived and found their boats. The pirates got off their boats and waded in the waist-high waters towards the villagers' hiding place. 

Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, a school of Patin fish swarmed and stung the pirates' legs. Unable to cope with the stings, the pirates fled to their boats and quickly left the area.

After making sure that the pirates were gone, the villagers came out of their hiding place and witnessed the large school of Patin fish swimming on the surface of the stream. Oddly, the swarming fish did not attack or sting the villagers. The grateful villagers thanked the fish profusely and swore not to allow their descendants to eat Patin fish forever.

And so the taboo was created and many Melanaus do not eat Patin today. There were incidents in the last few years where individuals who consumed Patin became insane and had profuse nose-bleeding.
These are the consequences if an individual breaks the taboo or the 'peace treaty' that has been around for countless generations.

Monday, July 4, 2016

How Many Rayas do Muslims Celebrate?

This is what you expect Raya in Malaysia to look like. Source thestar
This is what you really wanted from your friends and families. Source funnymalaysia
We Malaysians have been mixing our cultural practices through our mingling and intermarriages. Nowadays our folks play Chinese New Year fireworks during Hari Raya, serve ayam pansuh (Dayak cuisine of chicken meat stuffed in bamboo) during Chinese New Year and even give angpow (a packet of money concept of Chinese-origin) during Dayak festival of Gawai.

"Wow lemang manok pansuh!". Source wonderfulmalaysia
Sometimes you do have the nice intention to visit your friend's Raya open house and wish him "HAPPY NEW YEAR!" or shout "XI NIEN KUAI LE!" when he welcomes you to his house, as you see it as a major celebration for Muslims with a celebratory level akin to Chinese New Year.

You are right to be merry and wish happiness during this festival, except that Hari Raya Aidifitri is not a new year celebration.

Yeah, sometimes people just smiled and gave no comments to save you the embarassment. Source memegenerator

You see, Muslims in Malaysia observe 3 major celebrations in a year. So let's have a look at what the festival is about and when you can finally say "HAPPY NEW YEAR" to your Muslim Facebook friends.

Hari Raya Aidilfitri

Also known as Eid, or Eidulfitr, this is the first Muslim holiday to celebrate the victory or successful completion of the fasting month. Even those who didn't get to complete the fasting due to certain exemptions, they too along with friends and families, Muslims and non-Muslims alike come to celebrate. I believe it is only unique to this region, specifically in Malaysia, that Muslims have open house at such a grand scale lasting for days and welcome people of all walks of life.

So what can you wish?
  • Selamat Hari Raya! (meaning: happy Eid!)
  • Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri! (meaning: same a above)
  • Maaf zahir batin! (meaning: I apologise if I have ever hurt you physically or spiritually)

Hari Raya Aidiladha

Also known as Raya Korban (sacrifice), or Eid al-Adha, this is the second Muslim holiday to honor the value of sacrifice as illustrated by Prophet Abraham who was willing to sacrifice his son as an act of submission to God. But fear not, upon seeing how far he and his son was willing to go, God intervened and stopped Abraham just before he was about to sacrifice his son by sending his angel Gabriel to tell them his sacrifice has already been accepted. Gabriel gave them a lamb as a sacrifice in place of Abraham's son, and thus the 'Feast of Sacrifice' was born. Today, able Muslims purchase and sacrifice goats, sheep, cows, buffaloes or camels and 1/3 portion of the meat is given to friends and families while another 1/3 or more is given to the poor and needy.

So what can you wish?
  • Selamat Hari Raya! (meaning: happy Eid!)
  • Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha! (meaning: same as above)

Awal Muharram

Also known as Maal Hijrah, this is an event to celebrate the start of the Islamic New Year. The year started when Prophet Muhammad SAW fled from Mecca to escape persecution and migrated to Medina in the year 622 AD. 2016 AD is 1438 Hijriah. So if you do the math the year does not tally. This is because the calendar contains 12 months that are based on the motion of the moon, and because 12 synodic months is only 12 x 29.53=354.36 days, the Islamic calendar is consistently shorter than a tropical year, and therefore it shifts with respect to the Christian calendar.

So what can you wish? Finally
  • Happy new year!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

[SOLVED] Geforce Experience fails to install SHIELD streaming update

Have you ever received this error message when updating your NVIDIA Geforce Experience?

NVIDIA Installer Failed
SHIELD Streaming
NVIDIA GeForce Experience
Not Installed

No matter how many times you uninstall, reinstall, update or download the latest version, it seems to fail to install and update your GeForce Experience. You can try this step by step solution below:

1. Press 'Windows' () and search for 'services.msc'

2. Look for 'NVIDIA Streamer Service' and if the status is 'Stopping...' then this is your solution.

3. Press 'Windows' () again and search for 'cmd' to open the Command Prompt as administrator.

4. In the Command Prompt, type 'sc queryex NvStreamSvc' and remember the PID number.

5. Then type in 'taskkill /f /pid ####' (replace the #### with your own PID number, in my case it is 1956).

ERROR! If you received the access denied message, that means you did not run Command Prompt as an administrator. Please go back to step 3.

6. After the task kill, type in 'sc delete NvStreamSvc'. You should get a SUCCESS message.

7. Run the NVIDIA GeForce Experience installer again and everything should update without a problem.

Enjoy your NVIDA-powered games, and do share this post to help our fellow brothers in need!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Shin Gojira in Godzilla Resurgence

Oh my Gamera have you seen the latest incarnation of Godzilla?

A man in rubber suit stomping cities in Tokyo is back!

That is hands down the scariest version of Godzilla ever! The king of monsters is back looking like a mixture of a praying zombie and a burnt hamburger patty. Shin Gojira (シン・ゴジラ ) is slated for a Japanese release on 29 July 2016 but fret not English-speaking kaiju fans, the movie is set to be available in the Japanese AND English language!

Seriously, Godzilla looks like he's praying here. Source
So far it has been confirmed that Shin Goji is no way connected to other Godzilla franchise (there are already 30 movies in the franchise) and it will ignore whatever happened in the original 1954 film. Hence, explaining the lack of the traditional 'anti-Godzilla' or 'Godzilla Defense Force' insignia from uniforms and military vehicles as well as the seemingly shocked Japanese populace and government (but seriously, if I were in their shoes with or without the knowledge of an angry radioactive force of nature, I'd be shocked too nonetheless and won't be all Ken Watanabe calm and say "Let's them fight"). 

My thoughts?

ShinGoji looks so messed up. I mean how could he fight with those T-Rex arms? Also, if he continued rampaging in different scenes in the trailer looking the same that means Godzilla's well known super-regenerative ability can be thrown out of the window. But at the same time, seeing a towering zombie lizard in those scenes gave him a terrifying and imposing aura. His eyes sunken and without eyelids, his unusually longer than usual tail has what looks like a skull at its tip, his Joker-esque slit mouth lined with rows of uneven teeth. Pure sense of rage and terror there when compared to 2001 GMK 'possessed' Godzilla which only had a pair of beady without pupils.

Why so serious? Source
If you find this incarnation ugly, well don't feel bad just yet because it has also been confirmed that the toasted zombie Godzilla seen in the movie is not his final form. Godzilla will transform not once, but twice into hopefully a Godzilla we all loved and recognised.

So all you Goji or kaiju fans out there, let's wait for our Japanese counterparts to share what the movie has to offer come July 2016, and hopefully we can get ourselves a copy and pray we don't overhype Shin Gojira until we get disappointed with the final outcome. Let's just stay calm, run in the opposite direction and put a decent amount of expectation for ShinGoji. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Ramadhan: A Non-Muslim and Beginner's Guide to the Fasting Month


Quick Facts

Ramadhan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar which revolves heavily on the lunar cycle. On this month Muslims are obliged to fulfill one of the 5 basic acts in Islam:

  1. Declaration of faith that there is only one God and Muhammad S.A.W. is one of his Messengers.
  2. Prayers during Fajar (dawn), Zohor (noon), Asar (afternoon), Maghrib (dusk), Isyak (night).
  3. Zakat or Charity.
  4. Fasting during the month Ramadhan.
  5. Hajj or Pilgrimage to Mecca for the able-bodied Muslims.

Minimum Requirements

Fasting is not mandatory to all Muslims as they must fulfill these minimum requirements. Not fulfilling any of these exempts them from fasting on that period during Ramadhan. The missed fasting days may be replaced after the month ends.

  1. Has reached puberty.
  2. Able to fast where physical, time, work, environment allows it e.g. laborers are exempted, so are those in times of war or famine.
  3. Not on travelling mode.
  4. Not facing risks for fasting, exempted groups include the sick, injured, menstruating, pregnant or breastfeeding moms.

Things that Cancels or Voids Fasting

It's not just about abstaining from food and drinks from dawn to dusk. These are the simple terms and conditions for one to successfully complete a day of fasting.

  1. No foreign objects into any orifices (food and drinks, cigarettes, other's genitals (read: sex), finger stuck up your nose etc. Needles or syringes are exempted if it's for medical purposes which include blood donation, taking blood test, injection etc)
  2. No swearing or harming of others either physically or verbally. Gossiping or lying to someone is considered harming other people. That includes posting falsehood over social medias, so be careful of what you spread to others.
  3. No overindulgence or sinful acts. This is the month to practice moderation so no sleeping well into 12pm just to "conserve energy", shower for hours and other morally wrong acts. If you see someone eating or sexily clothed women or topless men wearing only Abercrombie jeans, then simply ignore or look away because it's a test so no need to ridicule and scold people (refer to condition Number 2).

What does a Muslim typically do during a day in Ramadhan?

Let's take a look at what a day usually looks like, so you can avoid calling your Muslim friends at the wrong hours or invite them dinner at the right time.

The Dawn

Summary: People who are half-awake eat early breakfast before the Hunger Games start at the break of dawn.
This is how you look like waking up at 4am to have your sahur. Source
Usually 1-3 hours before dawn, or anytime before dawn, Muslims will wake up to have an early breakfast called sahur. Think of it like a bear eating up before hibernation, so each individual can have a little as only water to a full-course buffet to prepare themselves for the day. I myself survive on 2-3 H20 and 5 Hup Seng Cream Crackers with Tuna, but oat-based food like Quacker Oats and Weet Bix are the best source of nutrition which can last you well into 4pm.

After sahur, ideally the day activities begin with the dawn prayers followed by whatever you should be doing but *cough* most people that I know proceed with going back to sleep.

The Day

Summary: The Hunger Games begin, and no one can kill nor harm anyone physically or verbally.
Ah yes the typical questions arising during the fasting month. Source

From the beginning of dawn until noon and into late evening, Muslims will be trying their best to adhere to the fasting terms and conditions above in order to be better and learn to be humble by experiencing hardship and nothingness.

So if you encounter such people who are swearing, finger dancing around the rim of their nostrils, buying two large plastic bags worth of food from the Ramadhan Bazaar, then you can remind then nicely to keep the spirit of moderation, good image and holiness. Those you see and hear on Facebook about people scolding non-Muslims who are eating has turned their fasting meaningless. Those you see tapao food like they are going to have a 5-star hotel buffet at home but in the end threw away 70% of the food too has turned their fasting pointless. 

The Dusk

Summary: People eat to break their fast when the sun sets and then perform a 2-hour late night singing and yoga session.

Sometimes this happens when you are late for breaking of fast or prayers. Source
Muslims break fast or have iftar at sunset and this the most interesting part; sunset differs in all locations so Muslims break their fast at different times. If people in Sibu breaks at 6:42pm then those in Kuala Lumpur breaks at 7:32pm due to the time zone (Earth is not flat yea!).

After iftar some Muslims will flock to their local mosques or suraus to perform prayers for about 2 hours. Yes, that is a solid 120 minutes worth of worship. Why? Because during this month all acts of kindness or worships have a multiplier combo bonus so the late night worship is a major bonus for those seeking it. 

Why is it so long? The Ramadhan-special prayer is called terawikh and this takes the majority of the 2 hour time slot. Terawikh itself has 20 rakaat or rounds. 1 round of a prayer involves standing while reciting Quranic verses, then a bow and finally a prostate before standing up for a new round again. However, most Muslims will leave after the 8th round as that is the minimum rounds required, leaving those behind to complete all 20 rounds.

That's It!

There you go! You have successfully gained the knowledge of what is and what happens during Ramadhan. Congratulations!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Very Normal Activity: Strange Creature in Sibu Freaks Plantation Workers + Follow Up

Alright most of you must have watched or at least heard about the news of a strange creature which freaked out plantation workers in Sibu, Sarawak in late January. Well, in case you missed it, below is the video.

The story was that a team of Indonesian workers at an oil palm plantation came face to face with this strange animal. One of the workers claimed that it charged at them and so he hit it until it was knocked out and posed for the camera (pictured left). Fortunately, the creature regained consciousness and was forced to go back into the jungle.

As much as I object hitting a helpless animal let alone a potentially new cryptid in Borneo, the workers may had the rights to knock it out seeing how potentially dangerous the beast was. I mean look at it! Look at those claws! If I were the plantation worker I'd whack it too when I see this malnourished Smeagol with manicure issues come charging at me.

But as it turned out I've seen this creature and its picture floating in the internet (sic 9gag) and the Sarawak Forestry Corporation confirmed my speculation. That strange creature was a Helarctos malayanus or also known as a sun bear. 

"Woi it's 6am why you switched on the lights I wanna sleep cannot ah?!" 
Picture from a-z animals

Well instead of being corrupted by the One Ring. the bear found at the plantation was most likely suffering from a skin condition due to recent floods in Sarawak. And this bear disease which causes it to lose its fur happens to bears in other countries. So imagine the cute furry bear up there turning to look like its cousin in Leipzig zoo as shown below:

"Well, at least I still have my side burns and good personality"
Picture from

But unlike the American counterpart where we capture shaky videos of strange animals and build a cult or TV shows around it, the Sarawak Forestry Corporation viewed the video as a distress call from the bear. Almost immediately the SFC launched the SWAT team to find the creature. 

Nope, unlike the American fully-armed black-clad law enforcement counterpart, the SWAT here refers to Swift Wildlife Action Team which is conducting a search and rescue (SAR) operation to locate and help the sick bear. Kudos to them for taking such prompt initiative to conserve Sarawakian wildlife. 

The SAR is still ongoing at the time of writing this post, but we can only hope and pray the ailing bear will be found alive and in time to be healed.

BONUS FAST FACTS - The sun bear is native to the tropical rainforest of Southeast Asia. They are also called as the "Honey Bear" due to their voracious appetite for honeycombs and honey. It is a protected species in Malaysia but little enforcement occurs. Luckily, there is a special rehabilitation and conservation centre for Bornean sun bears in Sandakan, Sabah managed by wildlife biologist Wong Siew Te. In addition, due to its diet the sun bear has a tongue measuring from 7.9 to 9.8 inch. Whoa! Imagine the things you can do with that!
Picture from

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sago Worms Haram

Photo from

The sago worms or ulat mulong or in Melanau si'et have been declared as haram for consumption by the Sarawak Mufti's Office today.

The reasons given are them being unclean and that they live in dual world or environment. 

Haram means 'forbidden' and is a concept in Islam which is not only limited to food but also prohibits a Muslim from doing something harmful to themselves or to others in terms of health or social standing (e.g. theft, gambling, gossiping, adultery, drinking, smoking). 

Now, this morning's news caught me by surprise. I myself have been consuming this grub for years along with other Melanau and non-Melanau Muslims. For one, they consume the sago tree trunk voraciously until they can undergo metamorphosis into the sago palm weevil or Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (pictured left), not unhygienic carcasses which would be understandable. 

As for the 'dual worlds' or dua alam, this refers to animals living in two different environment like amphibious animals such as frogs, crocodiles (obviously) and the Swamp Creature. In what way is the sago grub considered a 'dual world' creature needs further explanation. Is it because it goes through metamorphosis? One stage living inside a trunk while at the latter stage flying around? If that's so then some species of birds which starts off inside a tree trunk or a hole in the ground before learning to fly are haram.

I may sound like criticising the professionals but then again the Quran has told Muslims to think critically (not follow blindly and chant death to the infidels/insert race like what many keyboard warriors are doing). Not that I'm doubting the research done to prove that they're haram, but I do wish to to receive more explanation on it either in tomorrow's news or in the Mufti's website. This is a sudden kill-switch to the hundred-years of Melanau tradition and culture, just like how telling vegetarians that vegetarian chicken is not okay one day.

P/S: Although haram, Muslims are permitted to consume haram things during the time of emergency e.g. war, famine, natural disaster, where all source of halal food is lost. And if you're wondering, the sago worm is high in protein and suitable if you're lost in the jungle with no food. The sago worm contains:

Protein 25.8g
Fat 38.5g
Ash 2.1g
Carbohydrates 33.2g
Energy (kcal) 583

Amino Acids (g/100g dry weight)

Aspartic acid 2.29g
Threonine* 1.15g
Serine 1.33g
Glycine 1.04g
Alanine 1.37g
Valine* 0.81g
Methionine* 0.27g
Isoleucine* 0.75g
Leucine* 1.62g
Tyrosine* 0.97g
Phenulalanine* 0.73g
Histidine* 1.02g
Lysine* 1.72g
Arginine 1.62g
Tryptophan* 0.23g

*Essential amino acid

Monday, May 26, 2014

Drive Energy Drink

Finally got the first batch of Drive Energy Drink from suppliers and tried one myself. How does it fare?

Well it tastes almost like Red Bull, but milder. This Made-in-Malaysia drink contains 60kcal of energy as compared to Red Bull's 45kcal (all based on 100ml servings).

If you're nearby or hitting the gym near Civic Centre, come to my kiosk and try it out for just RM2.60.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How to Remove Homegroup Desktop Icon

I woke up today and saw this icon on my Windows 8 desktop.

I don't remember downloading or installing anything last night. I can't delete it with the Delete button or right-click. So let's get to the point on how to remove this unwanted Homegroup icon from your desktop.

Step 1: Press Windows + R
Step 2: In the search box, type regedit then click OK

Step 3: A Registry Editor will appear and you'll see a lot of folders. Follow this path;


Step 4: Find the folder {B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93}. Delete this folder.
Step 5: Go back to desktop and press F5 to refresh.
Step 6: Win.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Skin Tight Jeans

Seriously how can people wear this thing? I was shopping for new jeans and to my frustration most of them are not as loose or well-ventilated as the ones I have. I remember what kinda cut I like (even stated on my current jeans) but no matter what size the jeans are, they seem to warp and hug the very soul out of your legs.
I'm a size 200 and I look fabulous with these skinny jeans.

I can feel my children in my scrotum suffocating and that's only in the fitting room. And this problem seems to linger every time I go shopping (during festive season and or when goblins made holes in my jeans). It's just luck I'll find the most comfortable jeans that allows me to NOT look like a hipster.

A typical hipster. Source: Wordpress