Friday 31 October 2014

by Kong Xin Mei, Form 4 Science 1, Class of 2014

Malaysian spooks have made quite the legendary mark around the community. Just the mention of the ghoul Pontianak can get the hair at the back of your neck rising, with it being the subject of far too many local and Indonesian horror movies. Even the Pocong, a dead soul trapped in its shroud, has made quite the household name of itself. And of course, when something goes missing, who else is there to blame besides a miniature oil-covered man known as a Toyol? 

To merely overlook the rest of the local ghouls believed to be lurking in the shadows would be an insult to our country's rich culture and diversity of beliefs. There are many other mythical monstrosities that aren’t quite as popular yet - but not to fear (pun intended), because we at YJC have decided to satisfy your hunger for the unknown - or at very least, rob you off a few hours of sleep tonight.

1. Hantu Penanggal

This ghost could easily be classified as one of the most gruesome-looking creatures of all time. You could even say that it has quite the unique look, mainly because it does not have much of a body. Yes, you read the right - all that you will be able to see is a head floating in mid-air, some strands of hair, and a trail of organs attached to it. Nonetheless, these creatures could be very deceiving as they appear as ordinary women in broad daylight, but bodiless demons at night. Terrifying, isn't it?

It is believed that this female supernatural creature lives off human blood, with the blood of babies and unborn fetuses being its favourite. So it comes as no surprise that the Hantu Penanggal is often blamed for the sudden miscarriages or drastic blood loss in a pregnant woman. Fortunately for us, every creature has its weakness, with the Hantu Penanggal being no exception.

In this case, the Hantu Penanggal is terribly afraid of a local plant known as 'Mengkuang' and pineapples. The sharp thorns of this plant and fruit would either trap or injure the ghost’s exposed organs. So always eat your pineapples, folks!

2. The Mohini

Famous in the Indian community, a Mohini is commonly seen as a women dressed up in the Indian traditional costume, the sari. To put things a bit more into perspective, you could say that this ghoul somewhat resembles the famous Pontianak given the fact that it preys on men as well. The main difference between a Mohini and a Pontianak is its origins - the Pontianak is believed to be a lady who passed away with a fetus in its belly, while the Mohini is a suicidal soul who failed to achieve love in life.

This creature also does not devour its prey, but instead lures them into a trap using its powers of seduction. These unfortunate men are forced to spend the rest of their life with her, and will eventually wither away and die.
Victims have described the 'Mohini' as a beauty covered in a white sari, with a baby in its hands. In this appearance, it then starts to allure men. Once prey has been taken, the ghoul will ask the victim to hold its child while it reconstructs itself into its original form, which has been described to be a hideous blood-dripping, zombie-like figure. 

3. Jiangshi

Originally from China, Jiangshi has gained popularity in our country and is now feared by predominantly the Malaysian-Chinese community. These creatures are actually rotted corpses dressed up in traditional Qing Dynasty costumes. 
Jiangshi is created when a soul is unable to leave its deceased body, often due to its tendency to stir up trouble, or a suicide.

What makes the Jiangshi so distinctive is how it travels from one place to another - it hops forward, with its arms outstretched due to a disability leaving it unable to bend its limbs and body. It also has a greenish-white complexion, which was believed to be caused by the fungus or mould growing on the corpse body.

These parasites suck the life force out of living creatures during broad daylight and hibernate through the night. However, they do not have the sense of sight, speech, or consciousness, and catch their prey through their keen sense of smell. 

So kids, if you ever encounter a Jiangshi, hold your breath and who knows, you might just be able to escape with your soul intact. (keyword: might)

After reading about these three horrifying creatures, you may feel a little frightened. And with good reason - Halloween is said to be the time where the line between the other world is at its thinnest, allowing even more unknown creatures to roam freely through the night. Who knows, maybe one of them could be standing behind you this very second and we may not even know it. 

Happy Halloween! 

Thursday 16 October 2014

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Time is running out - you're gripping your pen tightly as you struggle to come up with the final Maths answer, but to no avail, the teacher calls for your pens to be put down.


October. The month filled with two kinds of horror, the classic Halloween and the academic horror of taking exams. In less than, we will be sitting for our final examinations. The design team has come up with a number of designs that may both advise and motivate you, as well as let you relate to the overwhelming stress. These designs convey most of the prime components that contribute to exam stress. From all the designers to you, a student, we hope you find these designs appealing and relatable and we wish you all the best of luck!

P.S. You might need to zoom in on some designs for clearer view. 

Submitted by Alysha Kyra, Sophomore Terra, Class of 2016
Sources 12

Submitted by Aaron Lim, Junior 1 Venter, Class 2015
Sources 12

Submitted by Law Jeng Yee, Sophomore Terra, Class of 2016

Submitted by Gillian Phua, Junior 1 Venter, Class of 2015
Sources 1234

Submitted By Ian Lim, Junior 1 Venter, Class of 2015
Sources 12

P.P.S. Here's the link to the designs that were submitted last year in 'Exam Stress', be sure to check them out if you're interested! 

Wednesday 8 October 2014


If there was a beauty pageant for the ‘Most Terrifying Month of the Year’, you’ll be sure to see October take the title.

In fact, you’d probably watch her parading around in a skimpy glittery tube dress, seconds after stealing the crown from May as she had done time and time again. And rightly so: May might have been a solid contender with the stress of our first major exam of the year, but October has an added advantage - Halloween. A month filled with gory horror movie marathons, creepy pranks and reenactments of sinister rituals (that you'll probably regret later on at midnight as you keep close eye on the door). Not forgetting, ghost stories - because what Halloween would be complete without some gruesome tales to freak you out?

Being the sadistic little month October is however, a mere ghost story is probably the least of our worries.

Exams unfortunately are right around the corner, and the next two weeks are going to be filled with endless panic and sleepless nights - unless of course, you are one of those few wonderful students who actually study CONSISTENTLY WITHOUT FAIL, an otherwise dying art in this day and age. Weeks before, we revelled in the fact that we had a week off in conjunction with Deepavali....until the exam timetables revealed that in some wicked twist of fate, all the science papers were conveniently placed before the much anticipated holiday.

October vs General Human Populace: 1-0

October is also the month where we look majestically to the future. Tomorrow, the seniors - people who have come to become an almost unquestioned constant in our school lives - will be graduating. They may not have studied in the same classrooms as us, but many of them have been in this school since we first wore the checkered white-and-yellow dresses of a Reception student, and it's almost terrifying to think that we won't be seeing those familiar faces pass us by in the hallways anymore. 

Leaving the security of the seemingly endless five year routine, they'll be heading off on their own paths through the unpredictable world.

Meanwhile, the Form 4s and Junior 1s will officially become seniors, stepping into the now empty shoes once deservedly filled by the graduating batch of 2014. Feverishly (and almost desperately), we hope that it fits - which is pretty daunting, considering that the seniors have left us with some of the biggest pairs of shoes in Cempakan history. And yes, who else could we be talking about besides Manda and Mun?

This is a month of terror and fear, inevitable truths and accepting the grim reality of knowing that there is nothing much you can do to prepare yourself for the unknowingness of the future. But that is exactly what this issue is about - capturing the hopeful moments and essence behind the attempt of evening the score in this furious battle against October.

Once we make it through these 31 days of horror, all of us will truly be embarking on yet another crazy roller coaster ride (be it preparing for life after high school, or facing the reality of having to write monthly Editor's Notes). It will be tough, and many will consider yielding to the pressure halfway, but not to fear - we from YJC will be there with you every step of the way.

Wishing you the best in whatever you do,
Alisraa and Akhilan

P.S. Bonus points to those who spot the reference to Mr Sheat (which was completely necessary, namely because we are oh-so-prepared for his potentially fatal Chemistry paper)

Sunday 5 October 2014


It is quite rare to see designers making notes about anything at all on the Lumen Studet. Our role as designers is typically to present information in the form of visuals. Even the text or typography used in designs are a form of art, today I would like to make a small little exception. (I honestly had considered making this entire post in design form but I figured that everyone would probably be sick of my designs by now.) 

I really had not realised that my position as Head Designer for the Young Journalists’ Club was ending so soon, not until the other day when I asked Amanda (the Head Editor, read her last note here) about our new theme for October. Once the words left my mouth, the word “graduation” flashed in big (font size 72), red (#ed2024), bolded letters (Futura medium).

My position as the Head Designer was basically handed to me on a silver platter since there were no candidates and I was the only one who submitted pieces of work that year. #TrueStory. Being a designer is tough. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve sat on a chair just waiting for indications of a good turn-up for the upcoming meetings. We are probably the smallest group in YJC and to give you an idea of how small our team is, we only have one head and no board of directors. However, I also cannot tell you how happy I feel when somebody notices our designs. It makes all the sleepless nights, changing colours over and over again just to see with one is the best match; all of that, just so much more worth it. 

So before I go, I would like to take the opportunity to express my appreciation and endless gratitude to a few people who have been an absolute joy to work with.

Firstly, of course, to my amazing and extraordinary (senior) design team, 

(From left to right: Ashley, Rachel, Wei Xin, myself, Jade and Sarah) 
Jade, who has been my constant companion since I was eight, my partner in crime and sometimes no-sleeping-until-we-publish-this-design buddy; Wei Xin, the single goofiest yet most serious person I have ever had the joy of meeting; Sarah, you design God; Rachel, you quirky ball of laughter and Ashley, the youngest yet the tallest cutie: thank you so much. Thank you for staying up late to complete a design, thank you for enduring my constant nagging, thank you -  just thank you. I could not have asked for a better team and a better group of friends. Sorry if I have ever ever offended you guys in any way, you guys are my rock(s) and for all you guys have done for me, I am eternally grateful. 

(If you guys are reading this, you must be thinking: could Val have chosen a better picture? The answer is no.) 

To the greatest fellow-heads in the world, 

Probably 2 of the most famous students in the school, do they even need an intro? 

Amanda and Wye Mun, thank you for not rolling your eyes when you hear me shouting “MAAAAAAAAANDAAAA” or “MUUUUUUUUUN” across the classroom, hall or anywhere else. Thank you for paying me quick compliments when designs are posted on the Lumen. Thank you, because I don’t know if I could have survived being paired up (tripled up?) with anyone else besides you two.

To my new head designers, my prodigies, my little minions,  

(From left to right, Ian Lim, myself and Choo Li Ling)

I wish you both the greatest luck in the world. Work hard and never give up! As Dato' Freida says, nothing is impossible. (especially not programming)

So, on the theme of this month, what's next?  What's next? Well, I think I speak for everyone on my 2014 design board when I say: who knows? With the future unknown, I can only hope that my talent of choosing the best font will be of assistance when I am writing an application. 

Yours, with greatest gratitude and appreciation, 

Law Veng Yee
Head Designer of 2014
by Anonymous 11:16 692 comments | in , , ,
Read More

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Written by Amanda Lee Yue Ping, Junior 2 Cempaka, Class of 2014

Have you ever heard the phrase “throw a stone in the middle of a crowd, and chances are you’ll hit a datuk?”

Well if you throw a stone into our schooling community, 99% chances are you’ll hit someone who doesn’t know what the Lumen Student is, sadly. Or so it seems like it. Especially looking at the attendance during meetings. We once got questioned on twitter, what is the Lumen? I can think of numerous ways to answer that question. 

We are this online newsletter. With minimum contributions from the student community, all articles you see are almost 99% by force, the other 1% a happy accident. 

We try our utmost best to cover the 101 school activities in Cempaka. Or at least we try our best to cover them interestingly - there are only so many times you want to hear about the whole five days of Games Carnival, or the exact details of each and every poem recited during English Games. We run on nonexistent deadlines, iPhone-quality pictures and our Whatsapp group chat which sometimes make me feel like I’m talking to a wall.

Our editors write more than they edit. Or at least, they write, then edit each other’s articles. Our VLE page proudly says 210 members, but I can count the number of active members on one hand, all of which whom are editors. We are pros at persuasion, coercion and ruthlessly cutting down the number of words in an article, knowing that people rather see pictures than read text. (In fact, I don’t even know how many of you will make it through to the end of this article, but please bear with us)

We follow more people than we have followers on Twitter. We shamelessly advertise, we crave retweets (even though we sometimes question them - an article on Prom got more retweets than an article on MH17..) and idolize the comments we get. A simple “nice article” always makes our day.

Knowing all this, would I call being an editor a thankless job? Well, whenever I’m near thinking along that train of thought, I stop and look through the replies we get on twitter, all the popular articles we have - Goodbye Damansara still remains as the most viewed article at 2000+ (yes that was a shameless bit of advertising right there) and how far we’ve come since Dr. Rizal’s brainchild of changing the Lumen. 

“If you throw a stone into our schooling community, 99% chances are you’ll hit someone who doesn’t know what the Lumen Student is, sadly.”

You know that? That was perhaps at the beginning of the year. But when you throw the stone now, maybe, just maybe. Someone will throw it back and say “you mean Lumen StuDET right?” 

With 70000 views under our belt in the past year, I am so thankful to each and every single member of the YJC board of how far we’ve come. And how far they will continue to go. To my mentor, Jamie, thank you for putting Lumen on the map, and for making us who we are today. 

To say there is no where else to go but forwards from here on, is a bit optimistic. There will still be dry spells. There will still be days where the views curve downwards, mirroring your sad face. But I can assure you, there will be greater days ahead as well.

The Editorial Board of 2015!

Thank you to the dedicated team of designers, for their lovely designs which never fail to brighten up the lumen. 

The photographers for their not-always-punctually sent but still rad photographs. You’re one of the reasons people even click the link in the first place.

The writers, for your timely contributions be it by force or not.

The editors, Wye Mun & Valerie for your dedication and usually last-minute work that somehow or other always miraculously pulls off in the end, saving the day.

And at last, to my dear, dear readers. You may be far and few in between, but I know you’re out there, the views chart tells me so and if anything, I believe in that. 

It has been a privilege to write for you.

Much love, from your Editorial Board of 2014 (Missing Chua Zi)

by Anonymous 20:44 118 comments | in , , , , ,
Read More