Saturday, November 22, 2014

Armstrong, M. M. Ann, Borneo Research Bulletin

Ann Kit Suet Chin-Chan/Chen Jie Xue, 2013, from China to Borneo and Beyond

Armstrong, M. M. Ann, Borneo Research Bulletin

Ann Kit Suet Chin-Chan/Chen Jie Xue, 2013, From China to Borneo and Beyond. Auckland, New Zealand: Ann Kit Suet Chin (privately published), pp xi + 299. ISBN 978-0-473-23900-8.
Ann Kit Suet Chin-Chan with the blessings and assistance of her eight siblings, set out on a journey of discovery when she wrote an account of the lives of her paternal and maternal great grandparents, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and her siblings and their children. This account follows the Chan and Kong families as they migrate to Sarawak from China, their trials and triumphs, journeys and homecomings and, finally, their worldwide Diaspora, with their father, John Chan, always the central point of reference. The account starts with the great grandparents of the two families and finishes with the passing of the author's father, John Chan Hui Fei, on February 18, 2006, exactly 18 years after their mother's (Kong Wah Kiew) death. For the most part, the Chan and Kong families' histories are related chronologically with personal anecdotes and recollections, as well has historical events woven into the account. This is a work of love and is a vital record of one family's history.
Family members included are identified according to their relationship with the writer. For example John Chan is always referred to as "Father." Personal names are also used, but the complexities of the relationships of aunts and uncles in Sarawak, China and around the world become confused for a reader who is not intimately tied to the family. A family tree might have been useful to help sort out these relationships. It might also have helped nieces and nephews of the writer better understand their relationships to the people they meet in this account, if nothing else, by providing a visible the framework on which to hang family stories and historical accounts.
The first of the 24 chapters sets the context by describing of the arrival of Chinese in Sibu, Sarawak. The Chan and Kong families were part of this exodus from Mainland China. The Chan family moved back and forth between Sarawak and China. Eventually their Grandmother remained in China with her children, while Father and Grandfather returned to Sarawak. Grandfather Chan married a second time to Step Grandmother Wong Sam Ying, Say Bo (small wife or concubine). Her story as a pioneer woman is recounted in Chapter 5, "The story of Say Bo," with surprising detachment considering the difficult situation she encountered.
Like the Chan's, the Kong family was a family of scholars. Great Grandfather Kong opted to migrate to Sarawak and he settled in Durin (approximately 45 minutes by boat from Sibu) in the early 20th century. However their Grandmother Kong, who was a young widow, through hard work and business acumen became a wealthy and highly respected member of the community. The Kong and Chan families were joined through the marriage of their father John Chan and mother Kong Wah Kiew during World War II. John was trying to escape conscription and Mother, Wah Kiew, to escape becoming a comfort woman. They were married for 43 years and yet they agreed if it were not for the war, they probably would not have married.
The chapters are chronologically ordered or are about Father's education and career or the homes the families occupied. The book pays special tribute to Father, John Chan, and his life. We follow him to Singapore, to his posting in various government schools, to England for more studies, to postings in the Sarawak Teachers' Training College, his promotion as Divisional Education Officer and finally his retirement and migration to Australia. Anecdotes and brief stories bring us closer to the present and personalize the account. Most of these center on Father.
It was in Australia that Mother died in a horrific car accident on February 18, 1988. The remaining chapters talk about the family until John Chan passes away 18 years later. John Chan was loved by the family and touched all who came to know him; he was the center of his children's lives of no matter where they traveled, studied or lived. His sense of justice, moral fibre and passion for learning molded all his children and contributed to their success.
The Chans and the Kongs have lived and continue to travel the world and for the reader to understand the global nature of the families, maps, too, would have been helpful, particularly ones locating Sibu, Pulau Keladi, and Durin, plus the villages in China from which the two families originated (and returned).
This book records with humor the life of a busy and active family through World War II, the formation of Malaysia and Confrontation. It is a personal reflection of a way of life that has moved on and provides insight into a family and its relationships. It is most of all a work of love and respect for the Chan and Kong families and for Father and Mother.
(M M Ann Armstrong
Lodge International School
Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia)
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Ann Kit Suet Chin-Chan/Chen Jie Xue, 2013, from China to Borneo and Beyond. Contributors: Armstrong, M. M. Ann - Author. Journal title: Borneo Research Bulletin. Volume: 44. Publication date: Annual 2013. Page number: 332+. © 2008 Borneo Research Council, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2013 Gale Group.

Friday, November 21, 2014

PhotoHunt for this week is 'Feather'

 Ibises are scavengers, and pests in Australia.
The PhotoHunt for this week is 'Feather' 


Save the world: emergency survival sleeping bag


Many years ago, a friend from England studying here in New Zealand went trampling alone. He was ill equipped in our ever changing weather. He took a wrong turn, and slipped into a deep creek. He hurt his ankle and was in pain.

He told us, he was praying hard because he felt he really was going to die.

I was given this emergency survival sleeping bag. I have seen them used on TV.  I thought of my friend, freezing cold in the creek. If only my friend had a sleeping bag like this, his night in the bush alone won't have been so harrowing.

The bag is very compact and folds up slightly bigger than your palm, and won't take up too much space in your back pack.


I borrowed this photo from http://www.1staidsupplies.com/products/emergency-mylar-sleepingsurvival-bag. I didn't want to open up my bag.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

David Lai, only Mentalist in Malaysia

David Lai, my nephew

Director, Tess Management

The only Mentalist in Malaysia to receive the prestigious Merlin Award in 2012, David Lai first learned to perform magic tricks in his teens. Today, his production company produces numerous local and international illusion shows across the world. He’s also the winner of the RHB Excellence Award for Talent category.

David is a success story on the home ground. When he wanted to go into magic when he was still in school, his parents objected. He promised his parents he would finish his formal education, and he trained as an engineer.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

School fair Race against the radar

The Police clocked Sam at 24kph. His record stood while we were there. It was a great PR exercise for the police to be there with the radar camera, undercover car and the official car.


Stay mellow with yellow!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Facebook Must Block Illicit Images and Videos of Children

An old school mate sent me this.  I not only signed the petition, I am blogging about this. In my book, I wrote about the bad things about pornography.


Ray Sison has invited you to sign the petition:

“Your voice will make a difference. Please sign the petition.”

A petition from the campaign to

Facebook Must Block Illicit Images and Videos of Children



Sign the Petition to

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook

As a Facebook user, I was appalled to recently learn of the extent of child pornography on Facebook. I was even more disturbed to learn that Facebook does not currently have a comprehensive or effective strategy to prevent or address crimes against children on the site.
Keeping children safe from sexual abuse should be of primary concern for Facebook as a responsible, ethical, publicly traded, and law-abiding company. Therefore, I ask Facebook to take the following steps:
- Devote sufficient financial, technological, and personnel resources technology necessary to prevent these images, videos, and profiles from being posted, at no less than 0.05% of annual profits;
- Establish a Facebook-initiated user reporting system for child abuse material within the existing abuse reporting system, with an option to directly contact law enforcement and a transparent strategy to investigate those reports;
- Develop and maintain an open channel of communication with INTERPOL, the FBI, and the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, including designated Facebook liaisons to all entities;
- Remove files of identified child pornography from Facebook servers, so that those those images are no longer accessible via direct linking or cached web browsers; and
- Designate a Facebook staff member whose sole duties are oversight of Facebook's child pornography reduction efforts, including technology and software acquisition, collaboration with law enforcement and NGOs, and prevention efforts.
As a Facebook user, I strongly encourage you to take these steps. By refusing to take action to address child pornography on Facebook, the company will be implicated in the facilitation of this heinous crime, and thus alienate millions of users.
Heroes Rising

How this will help

Facebook is a household name for millions of people around the world who use it to make friends, share pictures, and discuss common interests. But increasingly, those people include pedophiles who...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Remembrance Day

On the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month, we will remember them. Remembering all those who lost their lives and health in World War I,

Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth of Nations member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. The day, specifically designated by King George V on 7 November 1919,[1] or alternative dates, are also recognised as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. wiki