CLEO

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NUFF NANG

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

EMACIATED DOG IN KLANG

Dear everyone,

I have been back for a little over a week now, and have been spending loads of time with Cleo & co, which has been great.

However, as usual Malaysians never cease to shock me with their appaling and disgusting behaviour. Here is yet another article on how cruel Malaysian can be towards their dogs.
I would like to urge each and everyone of you to help Stop Animal Cruelty by advising your friends etc to be Responsible Pet Owners. Also, if any of you witness cruelty towards animals, please report the matter to the DVS or the SPCA.
Natasha


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INDEPENDENT animal rescuers are crying foul and want the relevant authorities to monitor dog breeders in the country after an emaciated, weak and disoriented Doberman was found wandering in Teluk Pulai, Klang, recently.

The dog, which is literally a walking skeleton, is also hairless due to a genetically inherited skin disorder.

The dog, which was wearing a good quality choke chain around its neck, is believed to have been abandoned by its owners who might not have known how to manage its skin condition.

Independent rescuer Leigh Chen said the Doberman’s inherited condition might be due to too much in-breeding.

“Many pedigree puppies come from backyard breeders and unlicensed puppy mills".

“These unscrupulous breeders have no qualms about mating siblings with each other or even offspring with their parents,” alleged Chen.

Chen said the Veterinary Services Department (DVS), as the custodian of animal welfare, must be given the power and legal right to crack down on errant breeders.

“In addition to this, it must also be made compulsory for pet shop owners to microchip the pets they sell, for identification,” she added.

Fellow rescuer Sherrina Krishnan concurred and advised the public to be cautious when buying pets.

“My only advice to people who buy pedigrees is, please don’t just buy one for the sake of buying one. Check the breeding conditions, check the breeders – ask for papers,” she said.

Meanwhile, a passer-by rescued the Doberman and handed it over to non-governmental organisation Community Development and Integration Initiative (CDII), which recently launched its canine welfare project dubbed “Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better”.

The dog has since been sent to a veterinary clinic where it was diagnosed to be suffering from severe heartworm infestation, low platelet count and malnutrition.

The attending veterinarian also said the dog was only about two years old.

According to CDII director Clarence C.R. Chua, his organisation’s canine welfare project emphasised a no-kill policy and therefore the dog would be treated and taken care of until its last day.

“It’s only two years old and therefore deserves a second chance to continue living,” said Chua.
He said CDII’s canine welfare project was a long-term plan aimed at opening a sanctuary and hospice for dogs in Selangor.

“We have a long way to go and need to raise funds to realise our plan".

“We also hope that the Selangor government will give us a helping hand by allocating us a piece of land for our sanctuary and hospice,” he added.

Those interested in sponsoring the abandoned Doberman’s treatment or adopting it can write to malaysiandogsdeservebetter@gmail.com.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Updates soon

Hi all

Just a quick note to say that I will be updating this blog soon...

Have not been able to write anything for the past week cause alot has been happening in my personal life... it has been quite mental this past month a half as I have had to fly back home twice from London...

So juggling work etc has been a nightmare!

Anyway will be back in Malaysia again this Saturday and am looking forward to a long 3 week break! So will be updating stuff about Cleo and co, real soon...

In the mean time Happy Christmas everyone..

Hugs
Natasha

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

LETTER FROM THE MAYHEW

A very big thank you to James Hogan of the Mayhew Animal Home for writing this letter....

**************

Extracted from The Star 18 November 2008

Also published in MalaysiaKini

Tuesday November 18, 2008

Many complaints about KL’s dog catchers

I WOULD like to comment on the recent report of alleged cruel treatment of a stray dog by a team of dog catchers employed by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council but I would first like to explain why an international animal welfare organisation has taken an interest in this issue.

The Mayhew Animal Home & Humane Education Centre has been rescuing and caring for abandoned and unwanted animals in London since 1886 and today our work extends to places as far as Afghanistan, Russia, Romania and Algeria, where we advise city governments, provide special training for veterinarians and animal management personnel and promote best practice across a wide spectrum of animal welfare activity.

We have a network of contacts across the globe and in recent times we have received an increasing number of disturbing reports from Malaysia about the treatment of animals there, especially stray companion animals.

The latest report we have received from Kuala Lumpur is about the dog who was allegedly beaten and injured as he was apparently forced through the railings of a locked gate by dog catchers working for the Subang Jaya Municipal Council.

This is not the first time that concerns about KL’s dog catchers have been brought to our attention.

Apart from the complaints of local animal welfare activists in KL, we have also received a number of critical independent reports from contacts in Europe and Asia after they had visited Kuala Lumpur on business or as tourists.

The concerns raised include the excessively rough methods used by the dog catchers and the primitive conditions observed at the local dog pounds. From a purely professional point of view, I would be interested to know what selection procedures are applied when local councils recruit staff to carry out this work and, crucially, what level of training is provided?

Malaysia is a successful country that thrives on international commerce, tourism and the financial sector and has a right to be proud of its achievements in a fiercely competitive world.
However, Malaysia’s image abroad is in danger of being tarnished by the negative impressions left with visitors to Kuala Lumpur when they witness stray companion animals being treated without respect or compassion, especially when this is done by the very people officially responsible for them.

The Kuala Lumpur Tourism Action Council website waxes lyrical about the joys of visiting KL, exclaiming: “KL offers a wholly unique experience to visitors.”

As someone who has a great affection for Malaysia and its people, I am sad to say that the individuals who contact us about distressing animal welfare issues after they have visited KL make it very clear that they have had “a unique experience” that is very far removed from the image projected by the Tourism Action Council and is most assuredly one they do not wish to repeat.


JAMES HOGAN,
International Department
Mayhew Animal Home &
Humane Education Centre, London.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Councils are at it again...

Hi all...

Another quick note...

I would like to urge everyone to once again write in to the press and voice your concern for the animals, esp in relation to my previous post... Here's a list of addresses that you can write to. Please remember to include your name and contact details. If you wish to remain anonymus, indicate that in your letter.

editor@thestar.com.my
letters@nstp.com.my
newsdesk@thesundaily.com
editor@malaysiakini.com
editorial@sinchew.com.my
bhnews@bharian.com.my
news@nstp.com.my
metro@thestar.com.my
pengarang@utusan.com
editor@nanyang.com.my
tcpb@po.jaring.my
mmnews@nstp.com.my
am@hmetro.com.my
gmkl@guangming.com.my
bgns@bernama.com

Thanks guys...

Monday, November 10, 2008

WHY????

I am very disturbed to have read this in the news today... I wish I could write more, but I am currently overwhelmed with some personal emergency... I, am however, urging everyone else to please help put a stop to all this unecessary cruelty in Malaysia...

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Extracted from The Star; Nov 10, 2008
Dog catchers acted cruelly, alleges rescuer
By WANI MUTHIAH

In pain: The dog with one of its ears injured after the ordeal.


INDEPENDENT stray dog rescuer Amy Foo had the shock of her life recently as she was taking a leisurely morning stroll near her home in Bandar Kinrara, Puchong.

Foo, 32, alleges that she saw a group of five men, several of them in Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) uniform, beating a dog and forcing it out through the railings of a locked gate.

“I heard a dog yelping in pain as I was taking my walk, and went to investigate what was going on.

“What I saw made my blood turn cold as several of the men had climbed over the gate into the premises of the locked empty house and were hitting a dog which had taken shelter there,” she said.

Since the gate was locked, the men proceeded to drag the medium-sized dog out through the narrow railings of the gate, she alleged.

“The railings began to graze and cut the dog in the mouth and ear region and there was a lot of blood, and the frightened dog was screaming in pain,” alleged Foo tearfully.

Foo said she approached the men who scolded her for interfering and threatened to compound her for obstructing them.

“They also began to use more force on the poor dog after I had approached them,” alleged Foo, who added that she believed that the dog was not a stray as it was wearing a collar chain.

Distraught and not knowing what to do, Foo contacted several other independent dog rescuers, who immediately called Selangor executive councillor in charge of local councils Ronnie Liu, who advised them to lodge a police report.

Foo lodged a report at the Puchong police station and rushed to the MPSJ dog pound located not very far from the area.

“What I saw there only depressed me further as the dog was locked up in the pound, bleeding and in pain,’’ alleged Foo.

When contacted, MPSJ president Datuk Adnan Md Ikshan said he would look into the matter as well as speak to the relevant officers.

Meanwhile, Foo and several other independent rescuers are working towards getting the injured dog out of the MPSJ dog pound in Puchong to send it for treatment.

Said one of the rescuers, Leigh Chen, who had rushed with Foo to look for the dog at the pound after it had been brought there: “This dog has undergone a traumatic and merciless ordeal at the hands of the council dog catchers.

“Given this, it is only fair that this unfortunate dog be given a chance to live the rest of its canine life in a loving home after it has been treated for its gruesome injuries.”

Chen added that she hoped municipal council dog catchers and their appointed agents would not resort to cruelty when capturing strays.

“We, the animal rescuers, plead with those who deal with strays to do their job with a sense of compassion coupled with the realisation that animals, too, know fear and pain, just like us human beings,” added Chen.

Those interested in sponsoring the injured dog’s treatment or adopting it can write to malaysiandogsdeservebetter@gmail.com

Monday, October 13, 2008

DOUGLAS LIM on TOUR with Harith Iskander

Hi all,

Douglas will be doing another round of stand up with Harith... Wish I could be there to watch... Anyway here are some details... Please do go and watch the show if you have the time, and tell your friends about it too...

*****************

Harith Iskander takes his stand up comedy show on a nationwide tour for the first time ever! With the equally funny Douglas Lim as support, they will be hitting all corners of Malaysia with a rocking show of Malaysian style humour.

If you've never seen them before then this is your best opportunity to catch them ... but if you have seen them, you know that you wanna go again. If you enjoy comedy and you love stand up, then this is the show you MUST catch.

Here are the tour dates and details. They're coming to a town near YOU!

KOTA KINABALU
VENUE: Shang Ri La Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa
SHOW: Nov 3 (Monday) PRICE: RM143, RM123 and RM93.
TICKET OUTLET:Sabah Tourism Board, Sri Pelancungan Sabah.

MIRI
VENUE: Marriot Resort and Spa
DATES: Nov 7 & 8 (Friday and Saturday)
PRICE: RM123
TICKET OUTLET:Marriot Resort and Spa
Visitor Information Center, Miri

KUCHING
VENUE: Crowne Plaza Riverside Hotel
DATE: Nov 21 (Friday) PRICE: RM143, RM123, RM93, RM63
TICKET OUTLET:Crown Plaza riverside Hotel
Visitor Information Center, Kuching

PENANG
VENUE: Eastern & Oriental Hotel
DATE: Nov 28 (Friday)
PRICE: RM143, RM123, RM63
TICKET OUTLET:Northwind Intellec Sdn Bhd

KUALA LUMPUR
VENUE: Plenary Hall KL Convention Center
DATE: Dec 12 (Friday)
PRICE: RM203, RM143, RM103, RM93, RM63
TICKET OUTLET:Axcess Tickets - www.axcess.com.my

Thursday, September 25, 2008

RULING ALLOWS GUIDE DOGS IN MOSQUE

Extracted from BBC News

An 18-year-old blind Muslim student in Leicester is the first to be allowed to take his guide dog into a UK mosque.

In Islam dogs are regarded as unclean and are not allowed in mosques.

However, the Muslim Law (Shari'ah) Council UK has now issued a fatwa which allows guide dogs inside mosques but not into prayer rooms.
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and the Muslim Council of Britain worked together to support Mohammed Abraar Khatri's request.

Guide Dogs for the Blind said it was "a massive step forward for other blind and partially-sighted Muslims".

Such a facility will highlight the Islamic attitude of helping disabled people

Mohammad Shahid RazaImams and Mosques Council UKAn association spokesman said: "It is also hoped that mosque leaders both in the UK and internationally will now make similar adjustments to enable Muslim guide dog owners to enter their mosque."

Mr Khatri, who owns a guide dog called Vargo, said the religious authorities felt they had a duty to help him.

"They were actually very good and they were the ones who were willing to help because they said it is their duty to accommodate.

"He does just lie down and relax there and sit here. Being a guide dog, their whole manner is to be calm and relaxed and just out of the way."

A special rest area has been set up in the entrance of the Bilal Jamia Mosque for Vargo to stay in while his owner is praying.

The decision was made after lengthy discussions with Muslim leaders"Mohammad Shahid Raza, director of the Imams and Mosques Council UK, said: "I believe that in all new mosques such facilities for disabled people will be an essential part of their design.

The Bilal Mosque is going to provide special provision for such guide dogs to be kept safely and securely within the mosque complex during such visits.

"Such a facility will highlight the Islamic attitude of helping disabled people and enhance the services we provide to the Muslim community."

Mohammed's father Gafar Khatri said: "Now instead of being dependent on other people to take him places he can now go where ever he wants when he wants.

"Obviously it is early days but his confidence is growing daily."

Monday, September 22, 2008

LIFE IN LONDON

Dear all,

It has been a while since I last posted... am trying to adjust to my current life in London. Am missing the kids a whole lot... but at least I got to "see Cleo" on Saturday. Douglas organised a video conference for me and Cleo... She wasn't very impressed but I think she recognised my voice...

Well I have finally gotten an apartment here... it's a really nice apartment out in the Docklands albeit a bit far from civilisation.

I had a very interesting weekend as I visited the Mayhew Animal Home. It's out in Kensal Green and I have signed up to volunteer there on Saturdays. I should be starting in October and am looking forward to that. In the mean time, for those of you who are on this side of the world, please do visit their website... It's quite amazing what they do... and maybe you can contribute in one way or another.

Till my next post..

Natasha

Friday, September 05, 2008

MISSING CLEO & CO TERRIBLY

Am at work in a cold and dreary London...

Missing the kids horribly...

Friday, August 22, 2008

HEART BREAKING....


Cleo climbed into my suitcase as I was packing... It was really heart breaking for me... Sigh... can't believe I won't see her for over 3 months...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

TO LONDON AGAIN

Hi all

A quick note to say that I will be away in London again... My work currently requires that I spend extended periods of time in merry old England... sigh...

Will miss the kids so much as this time I will be away for 3.5 weeks... Am leaving next Monday and will only be back a few days before Christmas...

Please send lots of good vibes to Cleo and co and I hope they'll be fine on their own with their Daddy...

A miserable Natasha...

Monday, August 11, 2008

KITTEN FOR ADOPTION


Hi all,

My friend Davina has just rescued a kitten - Rebound. He's up for adoption. Please contact Davina at funkmebadd@hotmail.com or call Stephanie at 017 280 8526 if you are interested.
For more details on Rebound the Kitten, please click here

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

DOGGIE LICENSE


I finally renewed Cleo's license for this year... and got one for Rascal... will be getting one each for Lucky and Jesse soon...

I know alot of you don't bother, but it is quite important to do so...

I don't quite know if other councils work in exactly the same way, but in Ampang you're allowed 2 dogs in a landed house with a land area below 1000 sq m, and up to 4 dogs in house with an area of over 1000 sq m - subject to the discretion of the council. See my previous post on this...

What do you need to get a license for your dog?
  1. Photocopy of your IC

  2. Passport Photo of yourself

  3. 4R photo of your dog (you must be able to see your dog entirely)

  4. Medical record from your vet of your dog (Your dog MUST be vaccinated before you can get a license)

If you already have ONE licensed dog, and you subsequently obtain another dog - you just need to bring the above docs, and the identification card of your first license and inform the council that you're just adding another dog. The license will be given to you on the spot. The license fee is RM15 per dog, and RM2 for processing, and RM1 for the application form.

You will be given a identification card with the license details for both dogs - i.e. the badge numbers; and the metal badge which must be worn by your dog at all times.


So am hoping that this information is helpful... and for other areas please check with your local council...


Monday, July 28, 2008

CANINE QUOTES

"A dog is NOT almost human, and I know of no greater insult to the canine race than to describe it as such"
- John Holmes

"Labradors [are] lousy watchdogs. They usually bark when there is a stranger about, but it is an expression of unmitigated joy at the chance to meet somebody new, not a warning"
~Norman Strung
This quote is so true... Cleo loves meeting everyone!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

CANINE QUOTES

"We give them the love, the time we can spare. In return dogs have given us, their absolute all, it is without a doubt, the best deal, man has ever made."
- Roger Caras
"I care not for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it."
- Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

CANINE QUOTES

"What dogs?! These are my children - little people with fur who make my heart open a little wider. " - Oprah Winfrey about her American Cocker Spaniels, Sophie and Solomon.

That's exactly how I feel about my kids... Alot of people don't seem to understand that they are really my children - my babies...

Monday, July 21, 2008

ADOPT A PET


My name is Goldie. I'm a loving, friendly & sweet tempered dog looking for a loving home. Can you give me one? Or any of your frens?

I'm a 1 & half yr young lady, a bit on the big side but then again, big can be beautiful. To be exact I'm a 22kg blonde with doleful light brown eyes. I've just been spayed & vaccinated & the vet says I've got a clean bill of health.

My foster Mummy, Kay, says I'm still a bit cheeky but hey, I was just having some fun. What's a dog's life without some fun? Anyway the moment she raises her voice at me, I obey her every command. Aren't I a good dog?

Moreover I never mess up her house with my toilet habits - I much prefer to do it in the garden by the newspapers or the plants. So I'm a good girl, I am.

I'm also very loyal, you know. For eg, I'm really loyal to my foster Mummy who's real good & kind to me. She brought me to her home after I was rescued by Uncle Ken & Aunty HB from the streets where I had to search hard for food everyday, and had to fend off the other dogs to get to the food. Then she brought me for my spaying, which was kindly paid by Aunty Rena.

But Mummy says she can't keep me for long cos there are 4 other doggies in her home. So she says I've to start looking for another family to adopt me. I don't want to go back to the streets anymore, it's really miserable out there. So I'm holding my paws out to you or any of your frens if you can please, please give me a home? I promise I'll be a good & loyal girl to you.

If you can only help me, pls contact my Mommy at

Email: kaywong7@yahoo.com
Tel: 019 326 0233.

I'd be so very thankful to you. May all great blessings come your way.

Love,

Goldie

Monday, July 07, 2008

DOGGIE QUOTES

Hi all,

Haven't been in the right frame of mind to post stuff of late... too many things to think about... But I thought I'd try to at least post a nice doggie quote every other day if I can... So here's the first one:


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"A dog is the only thing on earth that will love you more than you love yourself"

Josh Billings (1818 - 1885)

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

IN MEMORY OF JOEY

Dear all,

Joey has gone over rainbow bridge. He died peacefully on Monday, 23 June 2008.

We didn't expect him to go so soon... but I guess it was for the best as the results of the x-ray showed that he had tumors almost all over his body.

I would like to thank everyone for the well wishes...

Natasha

Monday, June 16, 2008

JOEY IS ILL

Dear all

Am in London already and am rather worried. Received a phone call from my mom about Joey. He has taken ill and was vomitting blood over the weekend.

Please pray for him and hope that he will get better soon. As we only adopted him last year, we're not sure about his medical history. We knew that he was badly treated, along with Jesse...

Anyway my vet will be doing a battery of tests on Joey and hopefully he will be able to diagnose what's wrong with Joey and treat it.

Am feeling miserable and helpless cause I am so far away and will only be back in july....

So would appreciate good thoughts and prayers for Joey from everyone.

Natasha

Friday, June 13, 2008

London...

Dear all,

A quick one again... will be in London for the next 3 weeks...so won't be blogging...

Have really been negelecting this blog for some time now... but life has been hectic - well manic in some ways...

Will try to blog more when i get back...

In the mean time, do stop by to say hello to Cleo and co every now and again...

They will be lonely, but luckily Douglas will be home with them this time...

Hugs to all
Natasha

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

THE KITTEN HAS A NEW HOME

Dear all

Just a quick note to say that the little kitty has finally gone to her new home. Hopefully she will be happy there...

We're all missing her already...

Monday, June 02, 2008

NOTE FROM CLEO

Dear all,

Cleo speaking... Can someone please adopt the kitty??? She's driving me nuts!

Mommy is spending so much time looking after her that she has been "neglecting" me...

See what I have had to resort to in order to get Mommy's attention!!!

Help Mommy with changing the linen...


After a whole load of helping, I finally managed to get a chewy bone...


Luckily Mommy bought me a new soft toy to keep me company...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

KITTEN FOR ADOPTION





This little cutie pie is up for adoption. We rescued her over 2 weeks ago, and she is doing really well now.

She is probably about 10-12 weeks old. She has been dewormed twice already and she has also been given her first vaccination. She now has a clean bill of health and weighs about 1kg (when she first came in she was a mere 600gm).
She is active and playful. If you can find it in your heart to give her a good home, please email me at cleo@cleopatrathelabrador.com or give me a call on 016 322 8816. Please pass this on to any of your friends who may be interested.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

WE HAVE A NEW KITTEN

hi all

have been neglecting the blog for a while... have a new kitten... we rescued it in the middle of the night on Saturday...

it was smack in the middle of the road and didn't run away eventhough our very large and noisy Land Rover approached.

so I got down and went to look at it and realised that it couldn't see cause it's eyes were glued shut from a severe infection.

so we took her home, cleaned and fed her. took her to the vet bright and early the next morning (thank goodness my vet is open on sundays - hayward animal clinic in Ampang).

we then discovered she also had a bad cold plus a chest infection and was on the brink of getting pneumonia!

so have been looking after her and giving her meds 4 times a day and applying eye ointments etc...

the good news is that she is doing very well. she has started to run and play now, whereas she just slept all the time the first two days we had her.

she should be as right as rain real soon! will post pictures soon...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

OUR PHOTOS


We had a grand time in Mauritius. Click HERE for the pictures...

Saturday, May 03, 2008

WE'RE BACK...

Hi all

Just a quick note to say that we're back... will post pictures of Mauritius soon...

Had a fab time, but missed the kids a whole lot! So glad to be home with them.

Natasha

Friday, April 11, 2008

MAURITIUS - HERE WE COME

Hello all...

Just a quick note to say that we'll be away for 2 weeks from Monday... Yes Douglas is finally taking me away for a much needed break...

Unfortunately we can't take the kids with us and we know we'll probably miss them more than they do us... cause Granny will be in to look after them, so they should be fine...

Check back n a couple of weeks for updates on Mauritius!!!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

JESSE & JOEY UPDATES




Hello... here are some new pictures of Jesse and Joey... taken this morning...
They're really spoilt at their Granny's!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

DOGGIE SECRETS

Lucky to Cleo: Right Cleo, here's the game plan...

Monday, April 07, 2008

OUR BED = THEIR BED

Yes, we've been thrown out of our own beds... !!!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

CLEO THE DESTROYER

Yet another basketball totally DESTROYED!!!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

BELLE THE BEAGLE

Hello...

Not sure how many of you remember Belle... Belle is our beagle - well she lives with Auntie Marie and we used to visit very often. Cleo and Belle were fast friends when they were younger... but it has been awhile since we've taken Cleo to see Belle... mainly cause our schedules have been chaotic...

Anyway we went to see Belle last weekend and here are some pictures... :)

Friday, March 28, 2008

MISHKA IS IN A FOUL MOOD

Mishka has been in a foul mood since Wednesday evening...

See he was sent in to the vet's on Monday night to be neutered. The surgery was carried out on Tuesday morning and he stayed at the vet's an extra day just in case... well mainly cause I don't know how to care for a cat that well yet....

Anyway I brought him home on Wednesday evening and he was thrilled to be back. He was really clingy and needy and everything. But then after like an hour, he decided to be all grouchy and sulky...

He slept most of Thursday and wasn't very playful... And this morning he decided to give Grandma several nips which he never does... Is this normal cat behaviour???

Hmm... I hope he gets back to his normal playful self soon...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

INFURIATING DAY AT THE CUSTOMS OFFICE

I have just had an infuriating day at the Customs Office...

So why was I there in the first place? Well my little company Axtra Synergy is liable for service tax this year under the new rulings. So we registered for the Service Tax License early January, and we literally received the notice for payment this week! And guess when the payment was due? Tomorrow...

But never mind that cause making the payment was not the real issue. The issue was how to make the payment. There were no instructions whatsoever on the documents that they sent. There were several forms in the pack, but we had no clue as to which bits of information were supposed to go where. We could only make smart guesses.

There was also no information on whom the cheque should be made out to...

(I only found out when I was at the Customs Office that the cheques should be made payable to Ketua Pengarah Kastam Negeri Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur - thankfully I have very small and neat handwriting which enabled me to fit the entire thing on the cheque albeit with some difficulty!)

Anyway I called their so called Hotline and this lady told me that I had better go to the Customs Office in Kelana Jaya asap cause if it's due tomorrow, i.e. 28th I had better not risk sending it by post. Why? Becaause if it arrives even if it arrives on time at the Customs Office but is late being sent to the payment counters (i.e. by their own internal mailing ppl) there will be a penalty. She also told me that I can go to the information counter and they will advise me how I should fill up the forms.

So we arrived at the Customs Office, and there were like a million people waiting. I went to what looked like the Information Counter - cause there was no information counter at the collections department - and the chap was not helpful at all. Just told me that I had to fill in the details and compute the 5% tax - like I didn't know that??? Except that the columns in the form had various definitions and I wasn't sure if I had to fill in the figures pre-tax or post-tax etc...

So anyway I just filled it in the best I could, and went to the payment counter when they finally called my ticket number. Told them I wasn't sure if it was done right. The lady looked at it - didn't say whether it was right or wrong, and then told me that I needed to submit 2 sets of declarations for Service Tax - 1 for the taxable period from 6 Jan - 29 Feb, and the other for the taxable period 1 Jan - 5 Jan.

I was like what??? Apparently this was because our license was only approved on the 6th Jan and therefore the official taxable period was 6 Jan to 29 Feb, but since we're liable for service tax from 1 Jan we had declare that too.

So then I told her that from 1 Jan to 29 Feb, we only had one invoice anyway dated 18 Feb. So I asked if I still needed to fill up a declaration for the first 5 days of the year??? And apparently I had to...

So I had to go away and fill up another form, and then when I went back to the counter - the lady who served me earlier (and was now standing by her chair) saw me but ignored me for a full 5 minutes and then walked away.

I stood there for a further 5 minutes before the person manning the next counter asked me what I wanted? I told her that the first lady had asked me to come back after filling up the second form which took me all of 2 minutes, but she had gone away. And apparently it was her lunch break???

I was about to lose my cool at this point. So why didn't she tell me she was going to lunch??? And how long was I supposed to stand there for??? Argh!

Anyway then the second lady decided to "process" my payment - well all she did was stamp my documents with full force that I was sure the table was going to give way. So anyway I stood there waiting for her to give me a receipt or something. But nothing happened.

After another 5 minutes she then asked me if I needed a receipt??? I could not believe she asked me that... If I am going to be penalised for not paying or for paying the damned service tax late wouldn't I definitely WANT a receipt???

So I said yes - to which she replied then I will have to wait. And when I asked how long? She said a FEW HOURS??? I mean how long can it take to print a receipt... I was fuming at this point. She realised that and then told me that she could post it to me... So I made her stamp some of my papers with an acknowledged receipt thing...and now I am just hoping for the best.

I have no idea how our stupid government offices work. They all seem to be either really stupid or they just can't be bothered to do their work properly.

Have any of you had any dealings with the Customs Office??? Is it really that bad or is it just my bad luck that I had idiots manning the counters today???

Am really hoping that with a stronger opposition in the Federal Government, things will improve! Argh!

Monday, March 24, 2008

MY INTERNET IS BROKEN

Hi all...

It's been abit hard to blog this past week cause our internet seems to be broken! Can't seem to figure out what's wrong with it! Argh! Am hoping to get it fixed soon...

In the mean time, Ferrari's Kimi won the Malaysian GP yesterday and we were there to catch all the action... will post photos etc as soon as we can... :)

Natasha

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

NOSE BIDETS??? WHAT???

Okay okay, I know this is yet another un-doggie related post.... but I just had to post this.

How many of you suffer from sinus problems? Well I used to suffer from it really bad... but it has cleared quite a bit when I started practising something called HydroTheraphy - i.e. you down 1.5 litres of water as soon as you get out of bed (no food or other drinks for an hour after that), and still take your normal 8 glasses of water or more...

Found that my sinuses improved by leaps and bounds. However I still get clogged noses and headaches everynow and again if I am exposed to severe dust or smoke.

And last weekend, Doug and I were at a pub and he was smoking away - so my sinuses got completely clogged. I could hardly breathe and had a severe headache!

I didn't want to use my nasal sprays cause I have a tendency to get hooked on those - yes there are steroids in there. And once you start using the nasal sprays it's really hard to stop.

Anyway about 2 weeks ago I watched Oprah, and Dr Oz was on it. He recommended something called a Neti-Pot or a nose bidet. Where you basically pour water into one nostril and it comes out the other nostril. Apparently it does wonders for the sinuses. I was sceptical, but I decided to try it cause I was feeling really nasty... and guess what??? It worked!!!

My nose cleared - not 100%, but I would say about 70-80% and I could breathe!!! So I figured I should share this with everyone... this is a safe home remedy that is effective!!! :)

Just for the record - I used a gravy bowl and it worked as well as the Neti-Pot... So for those of you who are considering trying it, you don't actually have to go out and buy one specifically. Just get something similar in your house and fill it with slightly warm water and a bit of salt... :)

********************

Here's what Dr Oz has to say:
Extracted from Oprah.Com

Before you try pouring water into your nostril, Dr. Oz offers some neti pot pointers. First, mix warm water with a quarter teaspoon of non-iodized salt.

"You never want to wash [human] tissue without having saltwater in them," he says. "Your own cells like it more."

Dr. Oz says washing out your sinuses with regular water can be irritating. Cold water may make you feel like you're drowning in a pool.

Amy, an audience member who suffers from sinusitis, demonstrated the proper way to use a neti pot.

"I thought it would feel like drowning, but it feels good," she says.It may look strange, but Dr. Oz says this treatment may be more effective than medication.

"The [ear, nose and throat] doctors who are specialists in this area will often say this is a better treatment than a lot of the other drugs that we try to offer folks, because it mechanically cleans out the problem," he says.

Dr. Oz says the device can help clear mucus from your sinuses using warm saltwater. "It's actually filling up those little nooks and crannies that you have and allowing your body to evacuate that stuff so you can actually begin to function normally," he says.

Since then, Amy says she and her husband have used the neti pot every day! "It is fantastic. I have not had one sinus headache. I haven't spent any money on any cold products," she says.

Rachel, a member of the Harpo staff, benefited from the neti pot, too! "It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that it's been life-changing for me," she says. Rachel is a lifelong allergy sufferer, but since she began using the neti pot, her symptoms have eased up. "I can breathe at night. I'm not blowing my nose, you know, 30 times a day, which is my normal state of being for the last couple years," she says. "So thank you, Dr. Oz, because it was really a huge change for me and I'm very happy."

Monday, March 17, 2008

MORE YUMMY DOGGIE SNACKS

I made more delicious and healthy doggies snacks for the kids over the weekend. This time it's crunchy chicken treats... All you need is fresh chicken meat. Cut them up into bite size or smaller if using as treats/rewards for training. Mix well with a few drops of sesame seed oil. Put in oven and bake for 15 minutes... turn over and bake for another 15 minutes till golden brown and crunchy! try it, your doggies will love you for it....

LUCKY...

Thought this picture of Lucky was so cute...

Friday, March 14, 2008

RIZ KHAN INTERVIEW WITH ANWAR IBRAHIM & LIM KIT SIANG

Riz Khan - Malaysian Election Tsunami - 12 March 2008


And click here to find out what really happened to Anwar in prison...

LIVER & OATMEAL COOKIES fFOR DOGGIES

I have been meaning to bake doggie cookies / snacks for Cleo and gang for ages... But since I didn't have an oven although I moved to this house over 2 years ago, I haven't been able to. I have been instead making pan-fried liver treats which they love - but no cookies.

Finally I got a mini toaster oven which arrived yesterday in the mail. So I got down to work asap! I made the kids yummy liver and oatmeal cookies...

Grandma putting the cookie mixture on the baking tray



Lucky trying to give Grandma a hand...



The finished product - hmmm the shapes could be more appealing... but not a bad job considering it's only a mini toaster oven. Will probably get like a cookie cutter or something for next time...



A happy and contented Cleo after wolfing down several cookies...

Right if any of you are interested in making these yummy but healthy cookies - (it's much better to make your own cause then you know exactly what goes into it and there are no artificial preservatives, colouring or flavourings), here's the recipe! It's really easy!!! try it...

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped or puried chicken liver

1 cup white flour

2 cups Quaker Oats

1/2 cup chicken stock (no salt please)

1 egg

Method:

Mix all the ingredients together until you get a thick consistency.

Lightly grease a baking tray with butter or vegetable oil

Drop mixture onto baking tray

Bake for 15 minutes at 160-180 degrees C or until brown and cripy.

Cool biscuits before storing in airtight jar. Keeps for about a week without refrigeration.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION FOR ALL...

Malaysian across the country would have been glued to the tele, internet, papers etc to glean as much information on the political developments since the election results last Sunday...

I am really pleased that the opposition did as well as they did. Don't get me wrong I do not fully agree with everything that they say or do, but I do believe that our present government needed a wake up call!!! Mainly because the way the country has been governed over the past years has left much to be desired.

My main personal gripe has always been the NEP (New Economic Policy), where affirmative action in various forms have been handed out to the Malays on a silver platter. While I think the "objectives" of the NEP are noble, I also seriously question the validity of it and the manner in which it has been implemented.

As such I am shocked and disgusted that the ruling Federal Government is condemning the new Alternative Government for abolishing the current NEP and proposing a new affirmative action policy that is not race biased. Aren’t all races citizens of Malaysia? Therefore shouldn’t all races enjoy the same benefits from the country?

Please note that this post is in no way anti-Malay cause some of my best friends are Malays, plus I was brought up and cared for by a Malay nanny. It is just stating how unfair things can be because of a race based policy and that a race based policy can in fact cause unecessary racial tensions.

I personally have been severely marginalised by the NEP. I was not admitted into any of the 5 local universities (back in the 90s) because of the race quota system.

The fact that I obtained 9 distinctions for SPM (equivalent to O levels - and at the time the max no of subjects one could take was 10) was irrelevant while my Malay friends with Grade 2 and some even with a Grade 3 could get in.

The fact that my parents could not even afford to send me to a local private college let alone to a foreign university on their miserable income was also irrelevant; while some of my very rich Malay friends with appaling results not only got admitted to the best local university for the best courses – they were also given handsome government scholarships to boot!!!

As a result I decided to take A Levels much to my parents dismay cause that meant going to a private college which they could not afford. Luckily I managed to win a scholarship from the college, which saved my parents from going into debt. Then when I obtained straight As for the A Level exams, I again applied to the local varsities and local scholarships - and again I failed.

I then decided to take another gamble and I applied to universities in the UK. Lo and behold I was accepted into all 6 universities I applied to, including Cambridge University and the London School of Economics – some of the most prestigious schools in the world…

Now wasn’t that strange??? The best universities in the world thought my grades were good enough, yet my grades weren’t good enough for local universities???

I was pretty downcast at the time cause I knew that there was no way I could go to the UK simply because my parent’s meager earnings could barely make ends meet at home… so how were they going to pay for me to go abroad???

Anyway I once again was really lucky cause I managed to win another scholarship from the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust (in collaboration with Sime Darby) to read Land Economy at Cambridge University. (Note that all the local scholarships that I applied for did not come through because once again there was a quota system). And that was how I managed to get my tertiary education. With no help from the government…

So tell me, don’t you think that a policy for affirmative action should be one that is not race biased? Shouldn’t the policy be one that caters to all citizens that are poor? Shouldn’t education be provided for everyone based on merit at the very least???

Other than the education policy, there are many other areas which the NEP provides unfair discrimination. Another prime example would be the fact that the Malays would get a 10% discount when purchasing property. I wouldn’t complain quite so much if the discount was only provided for low cost or even medium cost housing – i.e. for those who really needed the discount because otherwise they would have nowhere to live. But tell me how is a 10% discount for houses costing millions justified???

Therefore I laud the Alternative Government for taking a firm stand in abolishing the current race biased NEP. And I laud the Alternative Government for taking initiatives to ensure that affirmative action is for the poor and the marginalized across the board regardless of race.

For more information on what the Alternative Government has to offer, please visit
http://www.anwaribrahim.com/
http://www.malaysiakini.com/
http://www.suarakeadilan.com/

You can also watch loads of videos on YouTube where Anwar Ibrahim explains what the Alternative Government wants for the betterment of the country.

Some interesting videos from Al Jazeera:

The Inside Story: Chaneg for Malaysia Part 1 - 10 March 2008


The Inside Story: Change for Malaysia Part 2 - 10 March 2008





Plus watch DAP leader Lim Kit Siang and PKR defacto Leader Anwar Ibrahim on Al Jazeera English (CH 513) tonight (13/3) at 6pm

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

GHOSTLY CLEO...

This was a really weird picture... not quite sure how it happened...

Monday, March 10, 2008

THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN!

Poster courtesy of Mob's Crib

The results of the Malaysian 2008 Elections were unprecedented. As mentioned in my previous post, the opposition coalition have taken 5 state governments and denied the Barisan Nasional coalition 2/3 majority in Parliament. This election was very different from all other elections where people no longer voted based on race, but on ideology and principles.

I believe that the people have finally spoken up for that they believe in. I now hope that those who have been elected will prove that the people's choice was the right one. Well done PKR, DAP and PAS...

For more information on the elections, please visit www.malaysiakini.com

Nuffnang