UEFA Euro 2012: It’s Spain vs. Italy for the very final match this Sunday!

Time flies, 30 out of 31 matches of the popular football tournament, UEFA Euro 2012 are over, giving way to the last match, the final which is going to take place at Olympic Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine on this Sunday’s night (almost Monday’s morning over here in Malaysia). After almost a month, Spain and Italy successfully made it to the final match, and are going to battle all out for the championship tomorrow, 1st July 2012.

In the two semi-finals, Spain beats Portugal by 4-2 in penalty after both teams scored no goals even after the extra time is allocated while on the other hand, Italy beats Germany by 2-1 in the match. These four teams are expected to get into semi-finals, since their performance are always seen as the best of the best. Spain is seen as a hot favourite in the final for having recently being the champion of several major football tournaments, particularly winning the 2010 FIFA World Cup and 2008 UEFA Euro, thus making it the current reigning World and European champions.

But anyway, do not look down on the other team getting its place into the final; Italy. It is quite unbelievable that Italy defeated Germany in the second semi-final. Germany is seen as a strong opponent in football matches (had won this championship three times, the most), but it seems that mistakes have taken their chance to get into the final away. Italy on the other hand appears to have greatly improve in the performance of their national football team.

So, on this upcoming and much anticipated final, it is going to be an exciting match to enjoy for the audiences and viewers around the world. Which team do you think or predict going to win the UEFA Euro 2012? Or which team do you support but you think the winner shall be the other team instead? I’m not experienced on analyzing all that, but if you ask me to pick one, I’m choosing Italy for the much potential winner of this year’s UEFA Euro. Why? Italy has greatly improve according to many analysts and that it has shown its strength on this sport on recent matches, particularly in the semi-final against the tough opponent, Germany. I also prefer Italy to win just to put a stop to the reigning champion title for the Spain. They took the title for several years. It’s time to give it out to the others.

Let see whether I am going to watch the FINAL or not. It’s going to be broadcast live over here on midnight, which is supposed to be my sleeping time for work on Monday. But this match is something not to be missed, I guess. Ahh…a lot of people would be going to watch the final, and I think I’m going to join in the excitement.

(Images from this post are from variety of sources in the internet)


Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay opened to the public

Gardens by the Bay officially opens to the public on Friday, marking the latest milestone of Singapore’s vision in becoming a “City in a Garden”. The Gardens was officially launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday evening, who together with 700 invited guests, enjoyed a special preview tour of Bay South Garden. The Prime Minister called Gardens by the Bay “an icon” of the redeveloped Marina Bay, adding that it is the latest manifestation of Singapore’s Garden City vision.

The first part of the government-funded development that is ready is Bay South Garden, which alone costs $1 billion. Other sections of the park will open in phases. At 54 ha, the highlights of the newly opened Bay South Garden which is located near the Marina Bay Sands include the Supertrees, the Flower Dome and Cloud forest conservatories, the Heritage Gardens and World of Plants; the Dragonfly Lake. Revealing that gardens are one of his favourite places, PM Lee said that Gardens by the Bay is “a place that Singaporeans can be proud of, identify with, and think of when we talk about Singapore”.

PM Lee encouraged all Singaporeans to visit the Gardens, adding that it is the “people’s garden” for everyone – residents or visitors – to enjoy. He said  it is a great place for Singaporeans to relax after work or bring the family there on weekends to enjoy a concert or a meal. Gardens by the Bay is open daily from 5am to 2am. Entry to the park is free, but entry into the cooled conservatories and 128m-long aerial walkway are ticketed. For more information, visit http://www.gardensbythebay.org.sg.

Previously, Singapore has been known worldwide as the City of Garden already. This project further strengthened the country’s image not only as a successful developed nation but also as a country driven towards green and comfortable living environment. This kind of project run by the government might cost a lot, but in the end, it benefits the Singaporeans as they could enjoy the amazing Gardens by the Bay for free, something not everyone from other part of the world could have. Previously, it is seen as a highly visionary project, and now it turns into reality.

The Gardens by the Bay is expecting over 30 000 visitors on its opening day on Friday. The project gains more and more attention globally from the time of its proposal to its construction, and now finally to its completion and opening. This is going to attract a lot of people, targeting also foreigners. It is definitely interesting to have a walk in this Gardens by the Bay, specially planned and designed with unique structures and vast landscaping. It is no ordinary garden. It’s the first-of-its-kind, state-of-the-art futuristic garden of wonder and luxury aims to open the eyes of the world. I’m looking forward to visit, but I will wait till all the other phases open too. I’m definitely going for it on my next visit to Singapore, a lovely country.

Reference: http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Relax/Story/A1Story20120628-356047.html

Images from:




Now I realize I didn’t watch TVB dramas lately for over few months already…

TVB dramas lately receive decreasing number of viewers, and that is not a good sign to the company which is now facing problem of lacking staff and strong competition from the other TV companies. The main reason for drop on interest to TVB dramas is solely on the quality of the company’s production.

There is no more great series to watch after ‘The Hippocratic Crush’ which is seen as a great success, marking a recovery to regain interest of viewers to TVB productions. I like ‘The Hippocratic Crush’, released way back few months ago. A medical-based drama given a fresh whole ensemble of junior casts led by some senior artistes, accompanied with awesome script appears to open a good path for the rest of the year to other TVB series. However, what comes after this series didn’t do well. Nowadays, I don’t even care what series are playing now. Rating dropped, feedbacks being mostly negative, weak in script are the typical comments we know of TVB recently.

Besides than receiving plenty of complaints (especially for the recent drama ‘Master of Play’) this year as well as accumulation of reports on copying (in many previous dramas), TVB is also facing tough time nowadays with lack of good directors, producers and scriptwriters. Many of them left the company to join the others with much better salary and treatment. That is no doubt proving that TVB isn’t a good company after all. Without them, TVB is now producing very weak dramas with no more credible production like seen in previous years like Heart of Greed, Moonlight Resonance, Rosy Business, etc.

The worst thing is that many artistes have also left TVB, particularly to film Mainland dramas which promises bigger success to the artistes in terms of payment, as well as popularity. Let see one example. Sammul Chan (non-contract TVB artist previously) began his acting career in TVB over a decade ago, similarly to other TVB contract artistes like Bosco Wong, Kenneth Ma, Ron Ng, Raymond Lam, etc. The others have been recognized, presented with awards and most importantly, given major roles. For Sammul, he didn’t get all that despite his performance is generally favourable. It’s a good decision that he left TVB, and now he is so popular in China, as well as in other parts of Asia, receiving recognition and awards from only a few Mainland dramas he starred in.

So you see, it is TVB that do things which puts those talented people away. Now, TVB even face the problem of lack of artistes. Nowadays, I see the same people again and again in TVB series. Boring…Taking this opportunity to train young casts isn’t a good idea also as they are still inexperienced and incapable yet to deliver in major roles. Wrong plan. It’s time for them to change. If not, the downfall of TVB would be further severe, with possibility of only minority amount of people watching their programmes or dramas in near future. Nowadays, their dramas didn’t capture my attention or interest, as well as many other people who love to watch Hong Kong dramas. Right now, what I have to do is just to wait for some TVB dramas which are expected to be good like the ‘Three Kingdoms RPG’, ‘Ghetto Justice II’, ‘The Confidant’, ‘The Prominent Family’ (just started filming),  ‘Triumph in the Skies II’ (not even start filming yet).

Countdown to London 2012: A month away

What’s the date today? It’s 27th June 2012. Something big is going to happen exactly a month later from this date; it would be the opening ceremony of London 2012, the 30th Summer Olympic Games.

The organisers must have been very excited at this moment as the games is approaching very soon and that their effort and contribution for the preparation of the games would be rewarded with the games finally going to start. It took them seven long years for preparation to this world largest sporting event, from construction of venues, upgrade of public infrastructures, to advertisising, and so on.

(Image above from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/olympics/article-2165402/London-2012-Olympics-Rings-unveiled-Tower-Bridge.html?ito=feeds-newsxml)

It’s 30 days left from the day of the much anticipated opening ceremony which is directed by Danny Boyle, a famous film director and producer. The games would be officially opened by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state. Details regarding the opening ceremony remains a mystery, and everything to be delivered on that very lovely night would turns out to be a wonderful surprise and amazement to over one billion people estimated to watch the ceremony. By the way, the theme of the ceremony is ‘Isle of Wonder’. I’m very excited for the ceremony, and all I have to do is to wait for only another month.

(Image above from http://besttechnonews.com/astonishing-cyber-espionage-threat-from-foreign-governments-british-spy-chief.html)

I believe major preparation for the games currently are coming to final touches on here and there. More and more olympic-related decorations are put up all over the city of London lately before the city is going to welcome thousand of athletes and people in media around the world. Things go on track as scheduled without any obvious delay, and it appears that London is now ready for the games without any major obstacles in the preparation. Hmm…eventhough the London Olympic Park doesn’t look as awesome as the Olympic Green in Beijing (back in 2008), but I still look forward to this once-in-a-four-years sporting event.

Well, there had been some previous significant countdown to the games in the past. The major countdown of 1000 days, 1 year, and 100 days were over. Now, it came so far to this day, for the countdown of only 30 days (a month) to the games that they hope would be a very memorable and successful one. It’s drawing near. It’s coming really soon. All the excitement and the best of the best from the world largest sporting event would begin in only another month.

(Image above from http://www.france24.com/en/20120626-gemili-set-take-olympic-place, then edited by myself)

Adele to perform on London 2012’s closing ceremony? That would be awesome if it’s true.

Not long ago, I read a news from somewhere in the internet which reported that Adele is invited to perform for the closing ceremony of London 2012, the 30th Olympiad. That would be great if it is true and confirmed. Details regarding the opening and closing ceremonies have been kept in secret, but one of the organisers have revealed that the closing ceremony would emphasize on the UK’s successful music industry over the years, particularly with theme of celebrating the best of British music.

It appears that from the provided information, famous Britain’s songs from classic to contemporary would be performed to the strong 80 000 crowd in the Olympic Stadium on the closing night of the games. Besides that, famous UK’s artists would be invited to perform with only one pound of payment. Whenever it comes to the opportunity to perform in Olympics, no one would really cares for the pay. It would be a great honour for those invited artists. But who is going to perform on that very special night, not only to the crowd in the stadium but also to estimated over one billion viewers worldwide?

The organisers have mentioned few names, and one of those names that caught my attention is Adele. Adele is no doubt currently the most successful singer from UK. Who doesn’t know Adele? Recently, she won numerous top awards from major music award presentations, from Grammy to Billboard, including the most prestigious recipient of best single from her hit song, ‘Rolling in the Deep’. Yes, I get to know her firstly from this song. That is a very good song. After I started listening to her songs, I eventually fall in love with her songs too, like many others. I can say it’s a bit addictive. Her other hits would be ‘Someone Like You’ and ‘Set Fire to the Rain’.

(Image above from http://www.itv.com/news/london/2012-05-18/excited-about-the-olympics-londoners-say-yes/)

It would be nice if she is going to perform few of her famous hits on the closing ceremony. I believe her powerful voice and performance would definitely bring up the sensation of the crowd. The world would be watching the ceremony, and from her performance, her popularity is going to climb further, to join in the big names club like Michael Jackson or Lady Gaga, to mention a few. Not only me, there would be extremely a lot of people out there that prefer Adele to perform on the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The other rumoured big artists set to perform on that night are Elton John, One Direction, etc. It’s very hard to get further details regarding the ceremonies of the games.

Movie review: Madagascar 3 – Europe’s Most Wanted (2012)

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is the latest and third instalment to the Madagascar franchise. The story continues from the events of the second film set in Africa. Now, on third film, the same group of animals (Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria) planned to return to their home, the zoo in New York City. Along the journey through Europe, they met new friends and had the opportunity to perform in circus while being chased over by a group of animal control force led by a female captain. The circus theme is great, and this movie delivers, outshining its previous two films.

The story sounds interesting. It definitely is. Well, the highlight of the story this time around is now on circus, which is quite interesting and more ‘colourful’ than the previous setting usually in jungles as seen in the first two films. The circus becomes a frame to a whole new layer of development to the story as well as to the characters. Furthermore, few more supporting characters (particularly from the circus team) is added for extra depth to the plot as well as to create some sort of ‘spark’ with the already-known characters. The part when they finally performed together in a circus is extremely well done, further elevated by the playing of Katy Perry’s Fireworks song. That matches very well magically and delivers a very spectacular moment to the viewers.

For a story like this, there must be a villain that stands on their way. This film is not an exception. A heartless woman who is the captain of an animal control force is eyeing for a lion’s head to be mounted on her wall of collection. Alex is her main target after his first encounter with her in the beginning of the film. Things started to get pretty exciting and intense especially on the scenes involving the chase by the cruel captain to capture the group of animals. Eventhough the villain’s character over here appears to be too hard to be defeated and seems illogical, but that all is only intended to provide a bigger challenge and much more interesting climax in the end. Without them, things wouldn’t gets interesting enough in the story.

Things won’t get slow along the flow of the story. At the same time, the character’s development particularly on the new characters introduced on this third instalment is sufficient. Some action scenes are great, and it is always the little penguins again that saves the day with their high-tech stuff, but sometime with some kind of mistakes from them that provokes laughter. Ahh…and there is some comedy going on around from this film too, eventhough I can see some are pretty forced and intended only for the kids to laugh, and not us, the adults. So, for kids, this can be a very funny film, but for the adults, just so-so only.

Happy ending is expected. The group returned to the zoo but then realizing that their life shouldn’t be restricted to the surrounding walls in the zoo. Instead, they find that performing in the circus is what that they are truly happy for. The evil captain returned and expect some final fights before everything settled to a fun and explosive conclusion. Sorry for a bit of spoiler over here. Generally, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is an interesting and exciting animated adventure film to watch, and I have to agree over the majority’s opinion that this is even better than the first two films. Out of 10 points, I rate this film a total of 7.o. It’s a film that stays to the origin but with a whole new level of depth and environment for the group to explore. It’s a nice movie.

Jealous over Singapore…

I’m a Malaysian and it is always usual for Malaysian to feel jealous over our neighbouring country, Singapore. Many decades ago, Singapore is part of Malaysia before it decided to move out to form its own nation, and now Singapore as a developed country is one of the most liveable and beautiful cities in the world. On the other hand, the country I’m living now, Malaysia is still struggling on its aim to become developed country by 2020. We are lacking behind. So, there is no choice but for Malaysians to be jealous of the achievements Singapore had.

I have been to Singapore twice, with the latest one coming back from that awesome country yesterday after a quick study trip. There are several very notable reasons on why Singapore is a much preferable choice to live, mainly based on my own perspective.

1. Singapore’s city skyline is so much awesome with fantastic setting around at the bay where everything is centered in that particular region. KL’s skyline is ranked no.8 worldwide. That is good. But then, Singapore’s skyline even ranked higher in 6th placing. I have to agree to that eventhough I like my city, KL’s skyline too. The setting at the city centre region of Singapore is way too awesome. Located by water is always an added advantage to a city’s skyline. Many beautiful landmarks of the country are situated within that area, particularly the Merlion, Marina Bay Sands, Helix Bridge, The Float, Esplanades, Singapore Flyers, Garden by the Bay, etc. It would makes you to feel so good being in that particular area.

(Image above from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1_gardens_by_the_bay_east_2012c.jpg)

2. Driving on roads in Singapore is like driving in the jungle; comfort with softness within the hardness of the built environment. Trees and flowers all around. First of all, there is hardly any potholes on any roads in Singapore, including smaller ones in suburb regions. Then, trees, bushes and flowers lined up along every roads beautifully, not only providing shade but also producing a much comfortable driving environment. Even the bus stations and pedestrian bridges in the country looks cool with proper design and treatment. It’s no doubt a ‘Garden City’.

(Image above from http://mw2.google.com/mw-panoramio/photos/medium/9767405.jpg)

3. Everywhere is clean and neat, with all comes in system and regulations. I have to say that living in Singapore is restricted by excessive laws and rules. But think on the other side, when everything would be so good and positive to the people in the end. The streets in the country are so clean. You can simply lay down on anywhere you want and get back up still looking neat. Well, the discipline of the Singaporeans plays a role here. The clean environment definitely is a strong point for why Singapore is one of the most liveable cities in the world.

(Image above from http://mithunonthe.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/alexandra-road-singapore-hdb-flats.jpg)

4. Higher salary with better living quality. Singapore is a developed country. Hence, when you are working there, you get higher salary compared to the figure you can earn in Malaysia. Eventhough the living cost is higher in Singapore, but when you do a bit of calculation, it is preferable to live in Singapore rather than in Malaysia. Now, price of any things in Malaysia goes up while the salary remains. Even now, you can see a lot of Malaysians from Johor are willing to pass by immigration stop every day, facing serious congestion just to work in Singapore to earn for better and much reasonable pay.

5. There must be a lot of other reasons…if I am going to list down one by one, then it’s going to take forever.

I still remembered a case really well. It happened some years ago when I played an online game. Someone asked me where am I from. Then I answered ‘Malaysia’. He had no idea on where this place is. There is a question mark popping out from him. Then, I have to reply again; ‘above Singapore’. Then, only the person knows where I came from. Oh…Singapore is much more famous than Malaysia. This is a fact, and we as Malaysians couldn’t deny it either. Petronas Twin Towers alone is definitely not enough to put Malaysia into international stage. We have to seriously look into the objective of transforming the country into developed status by 2020. First of all, the government has to change.