Sunday, November 11, 2007

Movie Review – Cashback

When Mr. BB require us to write a movie review, I have considered a lot of different choices, like ‘The Day After Tomorrow’, Spiderman, and much more older films which were my favourite movie. However, I still decided to do a review on a recent movie, just to make it more interesting and easier to attract other people’s attention. The reason I chose to do a review on the movie ‘Cashback’ is because it’s the first artistic movie that I like. I personally think that it’s very meaningful. Although it’s rated as an ‘18sx’ film and many people has prejudiced towards it for containing nudity scenes, but the main interesting scope of the movie is the meaningfulness. This film is directed by Sean Ellis and Sean Biggerstaff plays the main character in the film, which is Ben. The movie started with Ben as an art college student in London who just broke up with his girlfriend. After the break up, Ben started wondering about what is love when he found out that her girlfriend was already together with someone else and even slept with that guy. The story started with a question by Ben : ‘What is love anyway?’ The break up made Ben suffer from insomnia for several continuous nights. This extra eight hours which was supposed to be used as sleeping time made Ben to decide to work in a supermarket, exchanging time for money, which is why the movie is named ‘Cashback’. Ben had the power to stop time. Every night in the supermarket, he will stop the time and draws a naked poster of all the customers in the supermarket by removing their clothing. He liked the idea of nakedness of women body ever since he was small where his parents rented a room to a Swedish girl and he saw that naked girl walked pass him to her room. He thought : ‘It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. So, as an art student who likes to draw, plus his fondness towards nakedness, he will draw a naked poster for every female customer and keeps them. When he is done and wants to resume the time, what he has to do is just simply crack his fingers. The story progresses as his working days in the supermarkets keep going on with funny things happening. Here is a link to one of the funniest scene in the movie, just in case if you all are interested : . Then, he fell in love with the girl working as a cashier in the same supermarket, Sharon. The story ends when both of them are finally together after some misunderstandings, and in my humble opinion, I thought the story ended perfectly. The ending was when Ben froze the time, dragged Sharon out to the stagnant snow( it was snowing ) and having a background voice : “Once upon a time I wanted to know what love was, now I just have to say that it is wrapped in the beauty and hidden away in the seconds of your life. If you don’t stop for a minute, you might miss it!” The connection between the question of Ben in the starting of the story and the answer in the ending of the story was exactly the reason I think the movie is very meaningful. I enjoyed it, if you guys are interested, I strongly recommend it to you and hope you will like it too.

Rewrite of Mock Essay

Social activism and shopping with a conscience has been the main topic of conversation in recent years. More and more people realize the importance of each and every individual to play their role and do their bid for the environment. However, there are several problems which hinder ethical products from entering the mainstream consumer market in Malaysia.

One of the main problems is the price of the environmentally-friendly products. Tan ( 2007 ) mentions that according to Mr. Vincent Ng, the product manager at Koh Motors, “Eco-friendliness is not cheap and not accessible to everybody. ” He also mentioned the fact that the act of “pay more to save later” is not a good consumer sense. This strongly supports the fact that consumers nowadays long for price-for-value products more than eco-friendliness, and so ethical products are not favoured as their costs are relatively higher compared to normal goods. This problem can be solved through raising the consumers’ awareness towards our environment. Besides that, government can also reduce taxes or even provide incentives for ethical product. This might at least enlighten the situation even though no guarantee of success for the solution.

Failure of supermarket giants to improve sourcing methods and cut waste pollution is another problem that is faced in Malaysia. Most food in Malaysia is exported to other countries to be processed. Then, they import back the processed food to be sold in the supermarkets. This causes pollution towards the environment as the transporting process is using flights which greatly damage the environment. One possible solution is to urge supermarkets like Giant and Tesco to channel more local-sourced and seasonal organic food product. This might enhance the purchase of organic food.

One more problem is that supermarkets provide insufficient reusable shopping bags and organic products. Unlike Ikea in Singapore, Tesco, Jusco and other supermarket giants in Malaysia does not provide the urge for customers to minimize the use of plastic bags and choose paper bags instead, which are reusable. This again contributes to waste of non-biodegradable plastic bags and causes a major threat to the environment. Ikea in Singapore came up with an excellent idea where they does not provide plastic bags for customers and sell plastic bags instead. This indirectly encourages customers to use other materials like paper bags or even carry the goods themselves home without any carrier. This solution is a good way to reduce the usage of plastic bags and raise the awareness of the consumers.

In conclusion, there are a few problems which hinder ethical products from entering the mainstream consumer market in Malaysia. However, these problems can be solved through effort from government, supermarkets and most importantly, consumers. Let’s save out world together!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Academic essay(rewrite)

Is it possible for people from different races and cultures to coexist and blend well in a society? Many people have this question in heart, and the answer is yes, definitely! Take a look at Malaysia; it’s a good example to illustrate this situation. The society in Malaysia is mainly made up of three major races: Malay, Chinese and Indian. Although these three races have great differences in terms of religion and culture, they still blend well and coexist within the same society. The key for a peaceful and harmonious society is emotional intelligence. On May 13th 1969, Malaysia witnessed the first ugly race riot. “Officially, 196 people were killed between May 13 and July 31 as a result of the riots, although journalists and other observers have stated much higher figures” (Wikipedia (n.d.), as cited in May 13 incident, 2007, para. 1). This is the ultimate defect of lacking of emotional intelligence whereby people of different races (mainly Chinese and Malays) felt offended by each other and started to fight and kill one another. According to Rowland (2004),”Official figures left 196 dead, 439 injured, 39 missing and 9143 arrested, although speculation puts the mortality rate much higher. While sporadic violence continued until July 1969, the damage inflicted upon the psyche of the nation has had a much longer life” (para. 6). This indicates that lacking of emotional intelligence in citizens will greatly disrupt the peacefulness of the society, causing unnecessary friction and disordering the harmonious scene.

In order to achieve social harmony, one of the characteristics that Malaysians must have is empathy. This attribute of emotional intelligence enables them to take the effort to understand other races’ culture. An empathetic person will try to understand and at the same time, be considerate towards other races’ culture and practises. For example, being empathetic, one does not eat in front of the Muslims during the fasting month. Lacking empathy will cause misunderstandings between the local ethnics of Malaysians and ultimately racial disharmony. Consider Chinese or Indian consuming pork when eating together at a same table with the Muslims, the Muslims might mistaken it as an insult to them. This most probably will result in a fight between them where it might as well light up the rage of racial discrimination.

Besides that, tolerance is another important attribute for Malaysians to master. With tolerance, one will always try to be as understanding as possible and bear with each other’s mistakes. Generally, a person with tolerance will have the forgiving characteristic as well, and this minimizes the friction between different races and therefore enhances the peacefulness of the society. Let us take the Chinese as an example. One of their traditional practices is that they will hold a prayer on the night of a funeral for a couple of days. This might disturb other neighbours, especially Muslims where they need to pray at certain time frames in a day. In this kind of situation, tolerance comes into picture and enables them to be understanding and try to bear with the disturbance caused. In the situation stated above, absence of tolerance will result in a fight between the neighbours and again, it offends the sensitivity of racial issues.

Another very important characteristic that Malaysians must have is respect. Generally, we can conclude that different races in Malaysia have different religious beliefs and therefore different religion leads to different culture and practices. Now, respect has its importance in the sense that it avoids offending actions towards other races and religion. Through respect, one would understand about others’ practices and beliefs avoiding others feeling offended or insulted. Without respect, the impact to the social harmony of the society is unbelievably serious. Imagine an Indian making fun of Allah, which is the God for Muslims, or imagine someone drawing nonsense on the Holy Bible, the outcome of these lack-of-respect actions may even tear the society apart.

In conclusion, lacking of emotional intelligence in citizens has a great negative impact on the multicultural country as what we have seen in Malaysia. However, the existence of a peaceful multicultural community is still possible if characteristics like empathy, tolerance and respect are greatly instilled into each and every citizen. Everyone can blend well and coexist in the society if and only if people practice high emotional intelligence. This is the only pathway to build a solid and united community in a multicultural country like Malaysia.


Rowland, K. (2004, March 29). May 13 in our minds
Retrieved October 15, 2007, from

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). May 13 incident
Retrieved October 15, 2007, from

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Cause-effect (8)

Emotional Intelligence is an important aspect to survive in a multicultural community. Lacking of emotional intelligence may result in a racial conflict and cause unnecessary friction which disturbs the peace and harmony of a society. Malaysia would be a good example to illustrate this situation. Having a multicultural community, difference in background is a major obstacle to overcome in order to achieve a peaceful society. Therefore, the ability to handle emotions and sensitive issues has always been a skill that each and every Malaysian must master. Back in 13th May 1969, a major racial conflict took place in Malaysia whereby different races felt offended by each other and started to fight and even kill one another. This is the ultimate defect of lacking of emotional intelligence and respect that we, Malaysians don’t want to come across ever again. Since then, everyone realizes the importance of emotional intelligence and relevant attributes are included in the education system to foster the togetherness among different races and culture so as to build up a strong and united community like what we have in picture today. In conclusion, emotional intelligence plays an important role on creating peace and harmony in a multicultural society and it is everybody’s responsibility to master this skill to avoid conflict and contribute to the growth of the society.

Friday, August 31, 2007

My first post

This is my first blogging experience as I prefer face to face conversation rather than posting a blog. To me, it’s always better to have someone responding to my words rather than writing through the Internet and waiting for someone to comment. The risk is that, if no one responses, the piece of my ‘hard work’ will be like vanishing into thin air, quite pathetic though. At least this was my perspective before Mr Blackstone made it a compulsory for us to write and post a blog. But most importantly, he told all of us to read one others’ blog and post a comment respectively, which would make me feel much more appreciated (warm my heart :P) as most of us realize it’s really not that easy to write a blog after all, especially when it is the first time.

What makes life meaningful? To me, it is all about interaction and communication. Living in society that we are having now, despite earning money to survive and to improve our lifestyle, there are things that are much more important and meaningful – stay happy and optimistic. Through interaction, we can learn how to make others happy, and consequently we will happy too. By mastering this skill, we can always communicate well with others, and this is the main key to strive and success in our lives. Apart from that, some additional optimism can help us to improve our emotional intelligence. Being able to control our emotions, we can sail through victory much further than we expect, and that’s what I call a meaningful life.