Saturday, December 29, 2007

2007 Takeaways - Hai 2008

Kuala Terengganu from Heritage

As usual every year we strategize and plan for best performance in terms of works, family and social achievements. Some of us pass with flying colors while others may just scrap through. But one of the most important aspects of the exercise is the lesson learnt and our ability to share it with friends who may benefit from our life experience.

I would like to kick the ball rolling by sharing some of my key takeaways for year 2007 and the lesson learnt from them, hopefully it’s a reminder for me and beneficial to my cyber friends. Further on I will tag three other friends to share their 2007 key takeaways that may be useful for us to navigate the 2008 challenges.

After more then ten years of its inception the company I am working with decided to undertake major reorganization exercise to meet the current and future challenges and expectations. Being a subsidiary of corporate giant and member of the fortune 500 companies the exercise has to go through proper process, procedures and facilitated by the competent person from Holding Company. We spent a few days in Cameron Highlands, Kuala Terengganu and five star hotels in KL to brain storm on the reorganization. There were two school of thoughts on the reorganization, one in favor of putting all company business under one division (option 1) while the other putting it under two divisions (option 2). By putting the business under one division the Head of the Division will certainly get his grade promotion while by having two business divisions the Heads may get their promotion or may not depending on their hay points and accountabilities.

The option 2 will better suit the company for current and future business expansions while giving more opportunities for the young leaders to progress in their career. Of course there were big deliberations and arguments on the two options. Being the proponent of the option 2 it was rather tiring trying to convince what I felt was the logical path to be taken for the future of the company and staff. At last with some modifications option 2 was accepted and named Option 3.

Lesson learnt was that to push through noble ideas we need persistence, intelligence and majority support. You may end up not popular to small quarters but the majority will eventually see your sacrifice and in the years ahead you will be proud of your contributions to the organization. The set back be ready to miss your quick gain/promotion.

It is normal for working couples to strive very hard to ensure their career success at times forgetting that their children also need much attention and support to be successful in their studies and life. The beauty about God creations is that our children may look the same but they are full of differences in terms of their capability, endurance and emotional stability. My first daughter was smart, fast learner and scoring straight A’s is not much of a problem to her but my second daughter is a bit slow in learning. She did not get straight A’s in her UPSR but then worked very hard to ensure she did as well as her sister in PMR. With her determination, hard work and full support from us, especially my wife she scored straight A’s in her PMR. Her success gave a real joy to all in the family.

Lesson learnt we should not quickly give up when our children fail to achieve excellence in fact we must spend more time to assist them. We must help them overcome their weaknesses and sharpened their strength. In the process we will understand each other better. We must also be ready to sacrifice some of our personal success to ensure we could achieve more wholesome success for the family.

For many years my family and I have been blessed for being able to give out some Zakat to the less fortunate. The sweetness of giving could only be felt by those blessed being able to give ….. actually the amount doesn’t matter but most importantly the spirit to give, what more to give when our business or financial position was on the decline.

Usually I will give part of my Zakat to “ Pusat Pungutan Zakat” and the rest to less fortunate family members and orphanage centers. In 2006 I have decided to give all my Zakat to the “ Pusat Pungutan Zakat “ and my less fortunate family members only. It was an easier option without going personally to the orphanage centers and most of my payments can be deducted from my income tax. The result was my life was less cheerful and blissful in comparison to the previous years. May be it was just a coincidence or my subjective feelings for the year.

In 2007 I decided to go back to my formal routine and improved on it by giving more to the less fortunate directly. I was also given the opportunity to give to a Madrasah in Myanmar when I met the Principal by coincidence at my in law house. Despite the various challenges and trying times, 2007 has been a wonderful year for my family and me. The good old feeling is back in me, I guess the lesson learnt here is that the more we give direct to the needful the more blessed we are …….. blessed in knowing the real person who received our gift and seeing the light in their eyes.

I hereby cordially invite - Zabs, Elviza & Mat Salo to share their 2007 Key Takeaways to our bloggers friend. Happy New Year & All The Best for 2008 to all my bloggers friends.
Some of the Takeaways 2007 from our bloggers friends. Many thanks for sharing .

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Kak Teh & Awang Goneng @ BTS

Isn't it Lovely ... Kak Teh & Awang Goneng
It was a very special occasion for very special friends. Happy 28th Wedding Anniversary to Wan A Hulaimi and Zaharah may the past happiness flourish as the years goes by. Of course to Awang Goneng well done on the success of GUiT, it is an inspirations to other bloggers who may in future follow your footsteps in publishing their exciting entries.
Bowl of Tea .... Bloggers Tea Session

Many thanks to fellow bloggers Zawi, Akmal, Zabs, Mat Salo, Elviza & Luqman, Dr Bubbles, Ancient Mariner, Kak Teh and Awang Goneng who made the meeting possible, full of laughter and memorable. We finally put a face to the virtual names. Many thanks to Kak Teh and Awang Goneng who made the time to be with us beside their hectic scheduled and having to rush for a wedding after that.
Name to a Face, Zabs, Akmal & Zawi

Based on the success of the Bloggers Tea Session ( BTS ) we should try and arrange similar BTS in the future. It’s great to be able to communicate virtually on a regular basis but the meeting will definitely foster higher level of friendship, sharing and comradeship among us.
Mat Salo @ Work
Dr Bubbles in Actionnnn

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Voyage 3 - First Trip

For the seven of us the midnight flight to London was our first experience on a plane but everybody was rather well behaved and excited on our first trip abroad. The service and food on the flight was better then what you get flying MAS today. We landed at Heathrow Airport early in the morning and it was still dark when they took us to our bed and breakfast hotel. It was cold but the heather and excitement of finally in London kept us warm.

Before noon we were taken to the Malaysia Hall to meet Pak Wan the student council. After the registration at MSD we were given a pep talk by Pak Wan for us to keep our focus on our studies and not to be swept away on the new culture and lifestyle that we are going to face in Liverpool. Being fresh and obedient we listened without much questions. We were in London for a few days before taking a train to Liverpool. My quick observations, there were two types of Malaysians in London. One was the very friendly and concerned, especially to us the new comers and they were willing to spend time talking and advising us on the life in UK. The second type was arrogant and unfriendly Malaysians, they will not even response to your greetings or talk to you, maybe they felt that their eyes were already turning blue and hair creeping blond.

We were more then happy to leave London for Liverpool, our final destination. At the Lime St. Station, Liverpool we were received by Cadet Officer Manoharan. He was very angry with me for mistaking him as a porter when I asked him to carry my luggage. Sorry Sir your uniform made you look like a porter.

Anyway we were taken to Aulis the training centre and hostel for Ocean Fleets Ltd the famous and one of the largest shipping companies in UK those days. The facilities and hostel was quite good and the warden friendly. The first few weeks in Liverpool was quite challenging because the local could not understand our English while we were lost on their scouse slang. The only positive part was that all the girls and Mak Cik Salleh there called us “Love” …. How are you Love ….. Charrr Love ….. some of us began to feel that the girls were falling in love with us.

We did go to the Malaysia & Singapore Club at Jermyn St, Liverpool 8 to get the taste of Malay food. The Pak Cik sailors there were very friendly and happy to receive us …. the budding mariners. We kind of remind them of their adventurous and care free sailing days. In fact they started sharing with us their sailing experiences and gave various good tips to survive the sailing life.

After undergoing two months induction course on seamanship and maritime safety we were ready to be sent on board as Midshipman. Three of us were sent MV Flintshire, a Glen Line general cargo ship trading the Far East route. The ship will take us back to Penang, Port Klang, Singapore, Manila, Cebu, Hong Kong, Taiwan and back to Rotterdam and London. Fancy that sailing back to Malaysia just after two months of flying out to London. By now we were clearer on what going to happen to our life for the next ten years. It will takes us about ten years of sandwich courses between college and sea time for us to become a marine professional - Master Mariner or in my words Master of the Sea. In fact two thirds of our time will be spent on board roaming the seas on all types of ships, like Vasco Da Gama, Magellan and Henry the Black @ Panglima Awang in the early days. At College we will be taught on the theory of seamanship, navigation, ship stability, cargo work, shipping business law, meteorology, astronomy, naval architecture, marine engineering etc. While at sea we are expected to put the theory to works. In fact we are going to do a parallel program where at the end we will receive both our academic and professional qualifications. In the end we must be competent to sail the ship to any parts of the world …… takes her pass the storm and depressions to reach the port safe and sound. I know ten years going to be a long voyage but then it’s the route that I have chosen …. So open sea here I come.

The crew of MV Flintshire was all British with the exception of three of us Malaysians. But they were all friendly and professionals, in fact I could say that all seafarers are global people without much prejudice on culture or race. We settled in the half deck behind the ship funnel separated from the crew and officers …. It’s going to be the home for the six of us midshipman for the next four months. Our ship sailed down from English channel to the Mediterranean Sea, Suez Canal, Indian Ocean and finally to the Straits of Malacca before calling Penang and Port Klang.

As a Midshipman, we have double life on board, one as ship crew and the other as budding deck officer. As a crew we have to do all the dirty and heavy jobs like chipping, painting, greasing, washing down the deck, rigging and securing derricks, lashing and securing cargoes and all other jobs that the crew chose not to do. This is what they say learning from right at the bottom ….. some of my friends start to wonder why the hell we were doing all this after scoring good grades in MCE and given multiple choices to study abroad. Have we chosen the wrong course or getting soft??? The other life as budding deck officer wasn’t that bad at all. We put up smart uniform learn how to use all the navigation equipments on the bridge, shoot the sun and stars using sextant to get our ship positions in open seas, practical aspects of ship handling and emergency maneuvers/drills and many other duties including to be an officer and a gentleman.

Before we took off to sea all the six of us helped the crews to secure cargoes on deck and in the holds. Secured the twenty four derricks that we have on board and took the soundings of all tanks and cofferdams on board. It was important to ensure that the ship was fully battened down to face possible bad weather at sea. Any heavy movements of cargo or equipments in bad weather will change the ship stability and may result in the capsizing of the ship. Sailing was not much of a problem to me because of my experience on fishing and passenger boats in Mersing, the difference was that I am now on board a bigger ship and oceans.

The weather was good to us even as we crossed the famous Bay of Biscay but as we entered the Indian Oceans heavy depressions hundreds miles away gave us the taste of wind force 4 to 5 resulting in heavy rolling and pitching to our ship. Our Ship Master Capt. Black Mac was an old sea dog, very serious, competent and highly disciplined. I hardly see him smile and he always talked in a Commanding note. Every Sunday morning he will inspect our half deck wearing his white gloves ….. he just runs his fingers on our deck head and beds ….. if his gloves turn brown or dirty we will all be reprimanded. At times he even lifted out mattresses to see if there is any rubbish down there ….. all this are very unfamiliar to me but surprisingly we all take it in stride and as a challenge to become a good officer.

As we approached Sabang to enter the Straits of Malacca, I could see the glitter and smiles on all the crew faces ….. everybody was joking and laughing as if we were going to a party. The thought of reaching our first port in the Far East after one week at sea was such a wonderful feelings.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Artists and me/Back : Hutan Simpan V & Touch the Moon

Sensorial 9 is an exhibition at the Suria Stonor Show Gallery, Jalan Stonor, KL by nine established Malaysian artists namely Suzlee Ibrahim, Fauzin Mustaffa, Zaim Mustafa, Ahmad Shukri Mohamed, Abu Bakar Idris, Ahmad Shukri Elias, Zulkefli Talha, Nor Hanem Mohd Noor and Azman Hilmi. It was one of the best collections of paintings that I have seen – I guess it was meant to be that way since the paintings are supposed to take its place inside the exclusive Suria Stonor high end condominium that command the price of RM 5 million upwards each. Having said that the price of the paintings that range from RM 2K- RM 30 K are reasonable and collectable by art lovers.
Zaim Darulaman

Fauzin’s work exhibited at the exhibition includes Hutan Simpan, Bukit Lanjan, Hijau Damai and I Love You, reminds us about semiotic debate of various issues involving fine arts based on the semiotic approach of which has been proposed by Charles’s Sander Pierce ( 1839 -1914 ) that had developed to become one of the critical theories in the field of fine arts. Through an in-depth observation and understanding towards esthetical green leaves and living process. Fauzin proposed a statement regarding the horizontal and vertical relationship in the contact of nature, people and Al-Khalik. While Zaim works used images from the nature to further exposed the meaning of ancient Malay Traditional pantun by utilizing boat images, the calmness of the water surface and other nature elements such as bananas to symbolize the deepest meaning of Malay thinking philosophy. Another exciting works was from Ahmad Shukri Mohamed "Touch the Moon" series which derived from the excitement of first Malaysian man to the space Dr Sheikh Muzaffar. Shukri told me that in our own ways and means we can all go to the moon – and he did through his "Touch the Moon series". It is about borderless thinking, multi dimensional explorations and spiritual voyage. As for him the reflections of the moon in the water is touchable thus came the "Touch the Moon" series.

Taman syifa-manisnya senyuman & sebiji peria - Abu Bakar Idris

You really have to observe the paintings and speak to the painters to enjoy and appreciate the journey each of them has taken in manifesting their thoughts, communicating their critics and statements to the society. I fully enjoyed the exhibition and discourse with my artist friends. For those who love arts and paintings don’t miss this great Sensorial 9 Exhibition, the official opening is on 23 Nov 2007 @ 5.00pm by Toh Puan Mahani @ Suria Stonor, KL.

Contrast 4 - Suzlee Ibrahim
TIME - Asian Artists Paint the Color Of Money
Thursday, Nov. 01, 2007 By HANNAH BEECH

Yue Minjun is laughing all the way to the bank. The shaven-headed Beijing painter has turned his iconic guffawing self-portraits into one of China's most lucrative exports. In June, a brightly hued canvas of Yue dressed as a merry Roman Catholic Pope sold for $4.28 million in London. That record was shattered last month when Execution, a work depicting maniacally grinning figures in a Tiananmen Square–like setting, netted nearly $6 million in another London sale. Riffing on Deng Xiaoping's maxim "To get rich is glorious," Yue's paintings capture China's exuberant love affair with consumerism. But even as he also satirizes his countrymen's headlong race to make money, the native of Daqing, a grim oil town in China's northeast, doesn't view his shiny new millionaire status with much irony. "What's wrong with laughing?" Yue demands with a serious face, digging into a Shanghai eatery's rendition of braised pork shoulder, a quivering delicacy synonymous with nouveau riche fulfillment. "China isn't all dark anymore. We should be happy."

Throughout Asia's developing nations, once penniless painters are getting used to this most unexpected emotion. The region's contemporary-art market has never been so hot. Last year, a collection of dreamlike portraits and landscapes by China's Zhang Xiaogang raked in just over $24 million — more than British enfant terrible Damien Hirst made in 2006. In March, a sale of modern Indian art in New York City raised a record $15 million, including just under $800,000 for Captives, a stark evocation of desiccated torsos by New Delhi–born Rameshwar Broota. Two months later, an auction in London elicited $1.42 million for a Tantric-inspired oil painting by India's Syed Haider Raza. Even in Vietnam, idyllic rural scenes coated in the country's distinctive lacquer that sold for a few hundred dollars a few years ago are now selling for 10 times that. A gouache-and-ink painting by Vietnamese post-impressionist Le Pho, whose work is part of the permanent exhibition at the Modern Art Museum in Paris, captured nearly $250,000 at a Singapore sale. Overall, leading auction houses Sotheby's and Christie's auctioned $190 million in contemporary Asian art last year, compared to $22 million just two years before. "This is just the beginning," says Swiss art dealer Pierre Huber, who in September oversaw a debut contemporary Asian art fair in Shanghai. "For so long, people did not know about Asian art. But now the world is turning to Asia, and what they see is amazing."

That's a seismic shift for an art world that once rarely set its sights past either side of the Atlantic Ocean. Even today, for many people Asia's developing economies still denote the world's factories — its cheap call centers and efficient manufacturers of every gizmo imaginable. Yet that narrative coexists with another more compelling tale: that of a rising continent intent on recapturing its former glory. The Chinese dragon wakes, mother India rises. Even little tiger Vietnam is finding its roar. Outsiders looking to ride this remarkable wave have invested heavily in prosaic sectors like real estate or manufacturing, but now the region's rich contemporary-art scene is also beckoning. "Wherever the economy booms, art booms," says Ganieve Grewal, the Mumbai-based representative for Christie's, which has seen its annual sales of Indian contemporary art in New York City double between 2003 and last year.
In some ways, given the frothiness of the global art market as a whole, Asia's rise is understandable. Yet the boom in modern Asian art also serves as an important reminder that the region is not just a copier but an innovator as well. Asia's avant-garde artists explore the clash between ancient traditions and pell-mell development, the lure of commercialism, and, most fundamentally, the struggle for individuality on the world's most populous continent. "There's this misconception that art from Asia is static, that it's the same old boring stuff," says Eloisa Haudenschild, an Argentine-born collector who with her husband owns one of the most significant private collections of Chinese contemporary photography and video art. "But this is a place going through such upheaval, and the art reflects this very vibrantly."

The arbiters of Asian art didn't always reward such experimentalism. In the great art academies of India, China and Vietnam, technical skill and an ability to reference the region's rich cultural heritage outweighed social commentary or renegade brush strokes. For centuries, Chinese students spent their school years laboriously copying the ink landscapes of ancient masters. The same held true in India, where artistic merit often was equated either with an ability to reproduce themes from religious epics or mimic the miniaturist details of the Mughals. In Vietnam, the 20th century's most promising painters attended the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de L'Indochine, an academy set up in Hanoi in 1925 by a classmate of Henri Matisse. There, the idiom was Western classical — with a dash of impressionism thrown in for modern élan. Even today, Vietnamese students at the Hanoi Fine Arts University, as the French-founded school is now known, spend an entire year sketching nude models, a rigorous exercise that has been abandoned at many Western art institutes. In all three countries, the emphasis on education means that even the most experimental artists tend to boast degrees from top art universities. "I don't think they taught me anything," says Akbar Padamsee, a leading Indian contemporary artist, of his art-school instructors in Mumbai. "But being surrounded by people who also wanted to be artists was important."

Friday, October 26, 2007

VOYAGE 2 - Balik Kampung

Although there nothing much left in Mersing after the demised of my mother but as usual my balik kampung trip has been scheduled for this Raya. In fact we have been doing this family gathering for the past few years quite successfully. This year 10 out of 12 family members came back for the Raya gathering and visiting of our parents graves. Despite its being a simple get together but it has contributed effectively in fostering the brotherhood among us and for our children to get to know each other better. The family house reminds us of our childhoods and growing up together, thus gave a perfect setting for enhancing brotherhood solidarity. Although the old house has been replaced by a modest two story bungalow but the land reminds us of the struggle and hardship that our mother has to go through to win the land through years of court case. Personally I think none of us will be able to withstand the challenge in getting our family home through court case, we would have gave up rather easily from the owner who has gone back on his words on selling the house to us. Of course my mother will not take that nonsense and took her case even up to the Menteri Besar of Johor ……. considering that she was uneducated and won her case …. she was my greatest hero till today. After my father died in 1974 she single handedly became the breadwinner, schooling and feeding us up to university levels. All this sacrifice has made my Mersing trip always a special pilgrimage and fond remembrance of her sacrifice.

Actually my children have always looked forward for the Mersing trip. They need a good kampung and of course Mersing fit the bill well with its good beach, offshore islands and tourism town status. Their favorite Café is by the Mersing jetty where they sell good western foods ala KLs. Of course there was seafood restaurant by the Mersing beach that sells good cheap seafood dishes. The six of us have a field day ordering all that we wanted and the bill came to only RM 73 …. it’s about the cost per head to buaka puasa in KL hotel.

The trip was made more memorable this year when a group of my former primary school classmates came dropping by. I haven’t seen some of them since 1974 !!!! But when we start talking the childhood days seems to be just a short distance away. The old bonding is still very strong and we are just catching up on lost time, filling in the missing episodes of our life journey. Some of my old friends have been very successful despite their lack of paper qualifications. Sharom who used to spend lots of time at coffee shop talking over nothing is now the Permanent Chairman of UMNO Bahagian Mersing and successful businessman. Man Rabun is now the Chairman of Mersing Bumiputera Contractors Association ( MBCA). Waizman a simple dreamy Island boy from Pulau Aur is now a successful contractor and treasurer of the MBCA. Apandi is now the district education officer. Bidin is still working with JKR, while Karim Dol has retired and opens up his own motor workshop. The great thing is that as much as I am proud of their achievements and friendship they look up to me as one of their most successful friends.. We talked until 2 am before calling it a day ….. and of course the next morning another group of friends came by to catch up with old times. My plan to leave Mersing at 10.00 am was delayed to 1.00 pm due the heavy catching up sessions. Definitely my balik kampung trip this year was made more memorable with the old mates catching up sessions.

Of course in Mersing I also met the two marine officers from Marine Department entrusted to carry out the investigation on the Seagull Express ferry that caught fire offshore Pulau Tioman killing 7 passengers. They were under tremendous pressure to come up with a good investigation report and evading official and politicians who solicits news on the progress of the investigation. I guess prevention is always a more effective means of avoiding a tragedy and if you think safety is expensive then try an accident. The case reminds me of my experience in 1984 as Harbour Master of Perak. The ferry boats that cross Telok Intan to Seberang Perak have never complied fully with safety requirements and overloaded at most the times. When I sent my enforcement officer to check on their non compliance, the officers were threatened by the boat operators and chased away. I responded by sending my armed enforcement officers and pulled both of their boats to Jabatan Laut base. Of course two hours after that all hell broke loose because more then 500 passengers were stranded on each side of the river. I got nasty calls from almost everybody, the public, politicians and other government agencies including my boss from the HQs. They claimed that I was causing hardship to the public and I said I loved the people so much that I would not allow them to sail on un seaworthy and overloaded boats that can capsize in the river any time. After a heavy meeting at the District Officer office the boat operators agreed to complied fully to our requirements and we allowed the operations to resume under supervision. At the same time we charged the boat operators in court for their earlier non compliance. I did regular similar enforcement exercise at Lumut and throughout Perak. Looking back I am happy that during my tenure as Harbour Master of Perak there was no single ferry/ boat incident. I guessed after a while the ferry/boat operators realized that I would not compromised on safety and the best alternative for them is to comply to the safety requirements.

We could not leave Mersing without buying some keropok and ikan masin. I bought my keropok and ikan masin at Hj Puteh stalls at Tanjung with good discount. After all the owner was my school mate. The bonus this time includes RM 160 worth of frozen seafood ( 3 kg of Udang Laut, 3 kg of Sotong & Kerapu ) the good price was compliments from my brother network, since most of this good seafood were either sold to Singaporean or restaurant owner in Mersing. I found out that the frozen seafood was fresher and cheaper then those I used to buy at Labuan and Kota Kinabalu.

As usual while I am away the burglar alarms sounded a few times, but my good neighbors Hj Samsuddin and others were always there to ensure that everything was safe. The special guard we employed to look after our neighborhood throughout the Raya break was effective in ensuring the safety and security of our areas. All and all it was great and nostalgic balik kampung trip for us.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Akhir Ramadan - kembali kepada fitrah

Intipati daripada ceramah Ustaz Zamihan Mat Zain, Pensyarah dari Institut Latihan Islam M’sia di Surau Al Sobah , B.B. Bangi Ahad 7/10/07.

Marilah kita sentiasa bersyukur atas segala nikmat yang dikurniakan Allah kepada kita : Nikmat untuk terus hidup bernafas di bumi ini, nikmat harta benda dan kedudukan dalam kerjaya & masyarakat, nikmat makan minum, penglihatan, pendengaran, pegerakan, akal fikiran, hawa nafsu yang dipinjamkan kepada kita. Tanpa kasih sayang Allah hidup kita akan menjadi hampa, kosong dan bercelaru. Apabila kita diduga dengan mematikan deria pendegaran kita barulah kita merasa betapa cacatnya kita bila tidak dapat mendengar, apabila kita diserang asma dan tidak dapat bernafas dengan baik maka barulah kita dapat mersa betapa azabnya hidup jika tidak dapat bernafas dengan sempurna. Maka janganlah ambil ringan atas segala pemberian Allah kepada kita dan sentiasalah memanjatkan syukur kepada NYA dengan melaksanakan suruhan dan menjauhi larangan NYA.

Dalam melalui akhir Ramadan tidak perlulah kita tercari cari Al Qadar kerana malam penuh kemulian itu akan tetap datang tanpa dicari. Yang lebih penting adalah persediaan kita untuk menyambut malam istemewa kurniaan Allah dari segi Hati, Ilmu, Amal dan Pasarana.

Tanpa ilmu manusia akan sentiasa jahil, sesat dan tidak mungkin membina keyakinan atas segala yang dijanji dan difirman oleh Allah. Tanpa Ilmu akal kita yang cetek ini tidak akan mampu membina keyakinan kepada sesuatu yang tidak dapat dilihat dengan daya penglihatan yang dipinjamkan kepada kita. Tanpa Ilmu bagaimanakah matahati kita dapat melihat dengan keyakinan 100% kebesaran dan kurniaan Allah seperti Al Qadar.

Saya sendiri memerlukan 10 tahun mempelajari ilmu pelayaran sebelum berupaya menjadi nakhoda yang mampu melayari kapal ke seluruh pelusuk dunia. Selepas itu saya memerlukan 10 tahun lagi pengalaman dan pelajaran sebelum diiktiraf sebagai salah seorang tokoh maritim Negara. Maka begitulah juga dalam Ilmu Islam, kita perlu mempelajarinya dengan baik dan istiqamah sebelum dapat menghayati dan mengtafsir firman Allah dan hadis Nabi dan hukum hakam dengan baik yang tidak tercapai oleh akal tanpa ilmu. Sesungguhnya Islam adalah agama orang berilmu kerana kita tidak mungkin dapat menyempurnakan Islam sebagai cara kehidupan tanpa mempunyai ilmu yang memadai bagi penghayatannya.. Allah menerima segala kekurangan amalan hambanya selagi mana mereka berusaha memperbaiki diri dan belajar ilmu yang mereka perlukan dan wajib ke atas mereka. Maka janganlah kita malu untuk belajar atau bertanya kepada yang pakar dalam hal hal agama yang kita kurang pasti atau arif. Kita bertuah kerana di Malaysia kita mempunyai ramai cendikawan Islam yang berkelulusan dari dalam dan luar negara. Kalau dalam masallah perundangan sivil kita merujuk kepada peguam, apabila sakit kita rujuk kepada doktor, untuk membina bangunan kita rujuk kepada jurutera maka kenapa dalam hal hal agama kita tidak rujuk kepada ustaz yang arif tentang hukum hakam Islam?

Falsafah Ramadan adalah melatih diri kita kepada maksima amal dan minima maksiat. Semoga gaya hidup kita dibulan Ramadan menjadi amalan sepanjang tahun dan kita mendapat keampunan Allah dan kembali kepada NYA dalam keadaan suci dan bersih. Kita perlu menerapkan matlamat “ Takut, Bershukur dan Hidayah Allah “ bagi memastikan perjalanan kita menuju kepada Allah adalah selamat. Pastikan segala yang kita lakukan di dunia ini sama ada di dalam atau di luar ibadah adalah kerana Allah. Segala kebaikan yang kita lakukan sesama manusia ada kerana Allah. Itulah perbezaan atara orang orang yang beriman dan yang kufur kepada Allah. Orang orang kafir juga melakukan pelbagai kebaikan dalam kehidupan tetapi kerana mereka kufur kepada Allah maka kebaikan itu tinggal kebaikan tanpa keredaan Allah.

Maka sebagai insan yang tidak sempurna maka sentiasalah kita bertaubat kepada Allah atas kekurangan dan kesalahan kita. Sedangkan Nabi s.a.w yang maksum bertaubat lebih dari 70 kali sehari, maka kita insan yang tidak sempurna ini perbanyakkanlah taubat kita kepada Allah. Dengan cara ini hati kita akan sentiasa bersih dan membawa kepada ketenangan jiwa dan kesempurnaan kehidupan di dunia. Sebenarnya mulia manusia adalah bergantung kepada hatinya bukanlah kerana harta dan kedudukan mereka. Hati merupakan raja kepada segala perbuatan dan perasaan maka jagalah hati supaya tidak di kawal nafsu dengan berzikir, tasbih, selawat dan amal amal mulia.

Marilah kita meningkatkan kuantiti dan kualiti amalan kita dengan menjiwai bacaan ayat ayat suci supaya ianya dapat menusuk ke kalbu dan memberi kenikmatan kepada ibadah kita. Berusahalah untuk memahami ayat ayat Allah yang kita baca dalam sembahyang dan doa. Dalam kita membaca Quran dan Hadis fahamilah terjemahannya. Seperti mana kita selalu taksub kepada Guru Guru Pengurusan daripada barat sepeti John P. Kotter, Alvin Toffler, Subir Chowdhery dll dengan membaca dan memahami karya mereka maka lakukan setidak tidaknya pekara yang sama kepada kalam Allah dan hadis Nabi. Sesungguhnya Allah turunkan Al Quran itu untuk menjadi panduan dan rahmat kepada semua makhloknya agar mereka mendapat kejayaan di dunia dan di akhirat. Kerana kita ini kejadian Allah maka DIA lah yang maha mengetahui apa yang terbaik untuk kita. Kalau kita boleh menggunakan ‘Manual’ yang di sediakan oleh pembuat kereta dalam memastikan kesempurnaan berfungsinya kereta kita kenapa tidak mahu mengikut ‘Manual’ yang di sediakan oleh Allah dalam mengurus diri kita. Atau adakah kita lebih pandai daripada Allah dalam menentukan apa yang terbaik untuk kita dengan berpandukan kepada akal semata mata? Maka pastikan amalan yang kita lakukan mengikut tanda aras yang ditetapkan oleh Allah bukanlah yang dicipta oleh kita sendiri. Janganlah kita sempitkan ilmu Allah kepada amalan beragama sahaja kerana semua ilmu yang kita perolehi di duni ini : sains, teknologi, sastra, kejuruteraan, angkasa lepas dsb adalah datangnya daripada Allah yang maha mengetahui.

Dalam mengakhiri Ramadan dan bertemu Syawal pastikan kita istiqamah kepada amalan amalan baik kita di sepanjang Ramadan ( Maksima amal & minima mungkar ). Janganlah kita biarkan nafsu merajai hati dalam bertemu Syawal. Bersederhanalah dalam perbelanjaan, persiapan dan kawal tingkah laku. Pastikan kita keluar daripada tarbiah Ramadan dengan fitrah dan sebagai insan yang lebih baik dan istiqamah hingga ke akhir hayat. Kalau kita keluar dari Ramadha tanpa pembaikan diri dan peningkatan kualiti amalan & kehidupan maka kita menjadilah orang yang rugi.

Ambillah kesempatan hari mulia untuk memohon keampunan kepada kedua ibu bapa, ahli keluarga, sanak saudara, dan sahabat handai. Berilah penekanan yang lebih kepada kedua ibu/bapa kerana Allah tidak akan meredai mereka yang menderhaka/tidak mendapat keredaan ibu/bapa. Marilah kita membawa ahli keluarga kita bersama menuju ke jalan Allah. Jangan biarkan anak anak kita jauh dari haluan Islam dalam dugaan dunia hari ini yang semakin mencabar dan bercelaru akibat tangan tangan manusia. Sama samalah kita anjurkan Takbir Hari Raya di rumah kita bersama keluarga disamping berjemaah di Mesjid. Dekatkanlah diri kita dengan rumah rumah Allah dan orang orang yang sentiasa berjuang di jalan Allah. Jika berkesempatan ziarahilah kubur orang tua kita bersama keluarga untuk mendidik mereka dan kita kepada jalan pulang.

Semoga Syawal ini kita kembali kepada Fitrah - suci dan bersih, semoga kita keluar daripada Ramadan dengan cermelang dan meneruskan kecermelangan tersebut sebagai gaya hidup sepanjang hayat, menuju jalan pulang. Wasalam.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ramadan - Lailatul Qadar

Intipati daripada ceramah Ustaz Dr Maimun, UKM, Surau Al Sobah, B. B. Bangi 30/09/07, mengejar dan mengimarahkan sepuloh malam terakhir Ramadhan Al Mubarak.
Firman Allah bermaksud : " Sesungguhnya Kami telah menurunkan ( Al-Quran pada malam kemuliaan ( Lailatul Qadar ). Dan tahukah kamu apa malam kemuliaan itu ? Malam kemuliaan itu lebih baik daripada seribu bulan. Pada malam itu turun malaikat-malaikat dan Jibril dengan izin Tuhannya, untuk mengatur segala urusan. Malam itu penuh kesejahtraan hingga terbit fajar" ( Surah Al- Qadar).
Lailatul Qadar berlaku pada salah satu dari malam-malam dalam bulan Ramadhan pada setiap tahun, sama ada pada malam 17 ataupun pada salah satu dari sepuloh malam terakhir. Terutama kepada malam malam ganjil disepuloh malam terakhir. Sesiapa yang beribadat menepati pada malam itu ( mulai terbenam matahari hingga terbit fajar ) nescaya diberi pahala yang amat besar dan bergada ganda oleh Allah, sama seperti orang yang beribadat lebih dari seribu bulan ( 83 tahun 4 bulan ) . Mereka juga akan mendapat keampunan Allah dan di jauhi daripada seksa api neraka.
Oleh itu umat Islam digalakkan supaya menghayati malam malam-malam Ramadhan , khususnya sepuloh malam terakhir dengan menjalankan ibadah wajib, sunat, membaca Al Quran, bertaubat, berjemaah dan sebagainya. Sedangkan Rasulullah s.a.w. sendiri beriktikaf di mesjid dan tidak mendatangi isteri isteri Baginda di malam malam tersebut. Dengan usaha ikhlas dan sedikit panduan di atas insha-Allah dapatlah kita menemui malam Al-Qadar. Sedikit tanda malam tersebut adalah hening dan syahdu manakala paginya tidak terlalu panas dan keputihan ini adalah akibat ramainya malaikat yang turun kebumi untuk bersama mengaminkan doa & memohon keampunan bagi kita pada malam tersebut dan pada fajarnya mereka terbang kembali kearas Allah dengan nur mereka melindungi kepanasan matahari pagi. Apabila bertemu dengan Al Qadar maka berdoalah kita seperti yang di anjurkan olah Rasulullah s.a.w ia itu memohon keampunan Allah sebelum memohon pekara pekara yang lain ..... contoh.... Ya Allah, Tuhan yang maha pengampun, yang suka mengampuni hamba hambanya, ampunilah dosa dosa kami dan jauhilah kami dari seksa api neraka .........
Peluang istimewa untuk mendapat pahala besar ini hanya diberikan kepada umat Nabi Muhammad s.a.w bagi mengimbangi umur mereka yang pendek dan singkat berbanding umat terdahulu. Ia juga bagi membuka ruang yang luas dan mudah bagi kita meraut pahala, keampunanan dan syurga Allah.
Seperi mana kita berusaha bersungguh sungguh untuk berjaya dalam kerjaya dan kehidupan didunia ini, maka kita berikanlah penekanan dan komitmen yang tinggi kepada pencipta kita dengan menghidupkan malam-malam Ramadhan dan mendapatkan Al-Qadar.
Sesungguhnya Syurga merindui lima gulongan, ia-itu :
1. Orang yang berpuasa dibulan Ramadhan
2. Orang yang membaca Al Quran
3. Mereka yang menjaga lidahnya
4. Mereka yang memberi makan kepada orang yang lapar dan yang berbuka puasa.
5. Orang yang suka menjalakan kerja kerja amal dan bersedekah
Alangkah nikmatnya di rindui kekasih namun diRindui SYURGA tidak dapat di bandingkan kenikmatan abadinya.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ramadan Terakhir

Pada jam 1030 malam 10 Sept 2007 aku menerima talipon dari seorang teman bahawa Hj Jamal Othman telah kembali ke rahmatullah. Walaupun arwah telah lama melawan dugaan Allah dengan penyakit kanser dan jantung, namun berita tersebut tetap menyentuh hati ini dan merasa kehilangan seorang sahabat. Sahabat yang telah aku kenali lebih daripada 30 tahun, sejak kami sama sama menuntut di Liverpool. Kami juga pernah berlayar bersama di mana beliau sebagai pegawai atasan, memberi tunjuk ajar ilmu pelayaran dan kehidupan dengan tegas dan ikhlas . Beliau telah bertemu jodoh dengan seorang penuntut Melayu di Liverpool dan jodoh mereka kekal hingga ke akhir hayat. Setelah tamat khidmat di laut beliau berkhidmat di Jabatan Laut Semenanjung Malaysia dan seterusnya berhijrah dan bersara di PETRONAS.

Pada mulanya aku mersa sedih dengan pemergian beliau sehari sebelum Ramadan tetapi setelah dimaklumkan perjalanan hari terakhir beliau, hati ini mersa lega dan bershukur. Beliau telah sempat menjadi Imam sembahyang Zohor di Surau Al Madani dan berjemaah sembahyang Asar di surau yang sama sebelum meninggal semasa mengambil wuduk Maghrib. Dari raut muka yang tenang dan aman semasa di mandi dan kapan aku merasa beliau pergi dengan reda dan aman.
Sesunggunnya Allah maha pengasih lagi penyayang dan telah memberi ganjaran kepada hambanya yang sabar dan sentiasa mengingatinya walaupun diduga dengan hebat. Sahabat ini telah memilih untuk lebih mendekati Allah dalam masa diduga dengan kanser dan sakit jantung. Beliau telah banyak menghabiskan masa berjemaah dan mengajar Al Quran di surau Al Madani. Sembahyang jenazah telah di sempurnakan di rumah dan juga surau dengan semua ruang di penuhi oleh rakan, jiran dan teman yang datang dari jauh dan dekat. Perjalanan hidup sahabat ini memberi pelajaran bagi kita untuk terus hidup dan mati dalam keredaan Allah. Untuk kita berusaha gigih dalam mencapai kejayaan hidup di dunia tanpa lupa beramal untuk bekal kita dikehidupan yang kekal di alam bazrah.


Andai kau tahu ini Ramadan terakhir
tentu siangnya engkau sibuk berzikir
tentu engkau tak akan jemu melagukan syair rindu
mendayu..merayu...kepada-NYA Tuhan yang satu

Andai kau tahu ini Ramadan terakhir
tentu sholatmu kau kerjakan di awal waktu
sholat yang dikerjakan...sungguh khusyuk lagi tawadhu
'tubuh dan qalbu...bersatu memperhamba diri
menghadap Rabbul Jalil... menangisi kecurangan janji
"innasolati wanusuki wamahyaya wamamati lillahirabbil 'alamin"
"sesungguhnya solatku, ibadahku, hidupku, dan matiku...
kuserahkan hanya kepada Allah Tuhan seru sekalian alam"

Andai kau tahu ini Ramadan terakhir
tidak akan kau sia siakan walau sesaat yang berlalu
setiap masa tak akan dibiarkan begitu saja
di setiap kesempatan juga masa yang terluang
alunan Al-Quran bakal kau dendang...bakal kau syairkan

Andai kau tahu ini Ramadan terakhir
tentu malammu engkau sibukkan dengan bertarawih...berqiamullail...bertahajjud...
mengadu...merintih...meminta belas kasih
"sesungguhnya aku tidak layak untuk ke syurga-MU
tapi...aku juga tidak sanggup untuk ke neraka-MU"

Andai kau tahu ini Ramadan terakhir
tentu dirimu tak akan melupakan mereka yang tersayang
mari kita meriahkan Ramadan
kita buru...kita cari...suatu malam idaman
yang lebih baik dari seribu bulan

Andai kau tahu ini Ramadan terakhir
tentu engkau bakal menyediakan batin dan zahir
mempersiap diri...rohani dan jasmani
menanti-nanti jemputan Izrail
di kiri dan kanan ...lorong-lorong redha Ar-Rahman

Duhai Ilahi....
andai ini Ramadan terakhir buat kami
jadikanlah ia Ramadan paling berarti...paling berseri...
menerangi kegelapan hati kami
menyeru ke jalan menuju ridho serta kasih sayangMu Ya Ilahi
semoga bakal mewarnai kehidupan kami di sana nanti

Namun teman...
tak akan ada manusia yang bakal mengetahui
apakah Ramadan ini merupakan yang terakhir kali bagi dirinya
yang mampu bagi seorang hamba itu hanyalah
berusaha...bersedia...meminta ehsan-NYA

Andai benar ini Ramadan terakhir buat kita
Maafkanlah Semua Kesalahan Yang Pernah dilakukan

Sajak ehsan : A.Rahman Azubir

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ramadan - Pesanan buat hati dan teman

Selamat Bertemu Ramadan Al Mubarak – ingatan untuk diri ini dan teman-teman yang di kasihi.

Intipati daripada ceramah Ustaz Zulkefli Ismail, Melaka 10/09/07, bagi mendapat Rahmat Allah di bulan Ramadan Al Mubarak.

Sesungguhnya Allah menjadikan bulan Ramadan sebagai hadiah kepada hambanya yang sanggup berkorban untuk mengabdikan diri, hati dan perasaan - untuk mengimarahkan bulan mulia ini. Hinggakan bagi insan yang namanya telah terpahat di pintu neraka, berkat amalan Ramadan dan rahmat Allah akan dilepaskan dari seksa neraka. Maka namanya akan terpahat di pintu syurga pula. Inilah tanda kasih Allah kepada hambanya, membuka ruang kepada kita, insan yang selalau lupa ini mendapat Rahmat keampunannya supaya dapat kekal dalam Syurga yang abadi.

Maka marilah kita bersama-sama mengimarahkan Ramadan dengan penuh keinsafan dan keikhlasan dalam memburu ganjaran Allah. InsyaAllah Rahmat Allah yang turun bak hujan lebat di Ramadhan ini, akan membasahi diri dan hati kita semoga terus menjadi insan yang kamil hingga ke akhir hayat.

Semoga amalan ikhlas kita sepanjang Ramadan membawa kepada :

Rahmat Allah, di sepuluh malam pertama
Keampunan Allah, di sepuluh malam kedua
Di jauhi dari seksa neraka, di sepuluh malam terakhir.

Sedikit panduan dan ingatan buat diri ini dan teman teman bagi mendapat keredaan, keberkatan, rahmat Allah di Ramadhan Al Mubarak :

Pastikan solat wajib, tarawih dan sunat di kerjakan dengan sempurna

Perbanyakkan solat berjemaah dalam mengerjakan ibadat

Jadikan sedekah dan amal jariah sebagai amalan utama kita

Jagalah makanan agar yang baik, halal dan sederhana

Bacalah Al-Quran dan sebaiknya khatam di Ramadan

Sesungguhnya Allah maha pengasih, penyayang lagi mengampuni dan berkat usaha kita yang bersungguh-sungguh, ikhlas di Ramadan ini dan dengan panduan yang di beri, InsyaAllah ganjaran Rahmat, Keampunan dan Syurga Allah pasti menjadi milik kita.

InsyaAllah juga tarbiah di Ramadan ini akan menjadikan kita istiqamah dalam menjalani kehidupan sebagai insan yang beriman, bertaqwa dan beramal soleh hingga ke akhir hayat.


Saturday, September 1, 2007


Although I was born before Merdeka but on 1957 I was too young to comprehend or even to capture the epic of Independence. In fact I hardly have any attachments or memories of the first Merdeka celebrations or Batu Pahat where I was born.

I remember Kluang quite well because I was there until primary 4. School was fun and nothing to worry, unlike most of my kids today. I hardly remember learning but then remembered well the time I spent catching fish and birds in the secondary jungle and rubber estates near my neighborhood. Yes we played warfare games with neighboring housing estates – raiding their areas with our “senapang kayu “. Technology ? Yes we did make our own wooden motorcycle that glide down from the hilly roads ….. that was fun and like motorcycle GP at that times. I was so playful that when my family decided to move to Mersing, my teacher gave me 50 sen and advised me to behave myself at my new school - not to bring bad names to my Kluang school.

I remember the early good times in Kluang where my father was quite wealthy with Ford Falcon in our garage and changing cars every now and then. We can have anything that we want and even chauffeured driven to school. My father even brought home the Sultan of Johor car for us to take a ride during his peak business collaboration with the Sultan. But then life is a cycle somehow along the line his business came to the lower ebb and I remember hard times too. We survived but the hard way and both my father and mother have to work hard and live in simplicity.

Naturally in bad time the best place to head is your Kampung …. that why we moved to Mersing. In Mersing we got more attached to my mother family and in fact they were very supportive to my family during the trying times. My mother really work hard to keep the family economy going but then my father was kind of lost despite giving his best to help mother in her restaurant business. Here I was a changed person from the playful and careless person to a more responsible person helping out my mother with her business. I was more serious with education and tend to study harder and became more successful then my elder brothers and sisters. Perhaps hardship is a good stimulant for us to perform better. Coming from a big family of 12, I used to complain to my mother on the performance and poor attitude of some of my siblings. Her words always stick to my mind “ Dalam setandan kelapa bukan semua nya elok ada juga yang tidak menjadi “ I guess reflecting her words I must be thankful that I was chosen to be among the good ones not otherwise. From her words again my duty is to help the other family members who are less fortunate then me.

My child hood in Mersing was less playful and fun, except for the island hopping that I did during the weekends with the tourist boat operators. In fact Pulau Tioman, Pu Besar, Hujung, Tinggi, Rawa and the rest of islands offshore Mersing became my playgrounds.
Since I am not much of a sport man I joined the school theatre group and enjoyed the leading roles I played in school drama. We even represented the district to state level drama competition. I was told off by my teacher to focus on my study and stop the drama antics during my MCE year. Looking back I guessed he cared about me and wanted me to do well in the examinations.

I was lucky my hard work paid off when I passed my MCE with good in 1974 and was offered PSD scholarships to UK. It was quite difficult for me to take up the offer because my father passed away on the same year and I was quite reluctant to leave my mother who had to shoulder the big responsibility to feed and educate six other children under me. Of course being a great mother she could not accept my decision to forgo the scholarship. I finally accepted the offer after my uncle and aunties in Mersing told me that they will help my mother on financial or any issues while I am away. I became part of the Malaysian who benefited from the Government policy to send as many as possible Malay rural students abroad.

When I flew to London in 1974 with six other friends to take up shipping course in Liverpool, I created my first millstones by becoming the first boy from Sekolah Menengah Sri Mersing to further studies abroad after MCE. It was a good bench mark for the school because in the following years few more followed my foot steps. It was a big change from Mersing river to Merseyside Liverpool. The home of the Beatles and Liverpool FC.

…….to be continued.

Friday, August 31, 2007

MERDEKA 50 - Magican and Magic Man

As a tribute to Merdeka 50, I decided to pen down my encounter with the magician and magic man around me.


It was a very important occasion for my daughter who scored straight As in her PMR recently and the event was organized by the school to honor more then 100 students that have scored straight As in their SPM and PMR 2006. By 8.30 am the hall have been filled by parents, excellent students and teachers, more then 300 in total. The VVIP was YB Dato’ Dr. Aki who is going to officiate and honor the students. The event was scheduled to start at 9.00 am but by 10.00 am there is no sign of our YB. Everybody was restless including me.

Finally at 10.30 am the YB arrived with his Toyota Harrier, shakes hand with the reception party and went on stage to deliver his speech. There is no apology for being late and he started to tell the students about latest issues including his schooling day’s adventures. He was proud to inform the audience that he was not a bright student while at school and somehow managed to further his studies to PhD level despite having to repeat some of the examinations in his life. He informed the audience that he could not stay back because he has two other political events to attend. In fact right after his speech he just walked straight to the door to his car. The poor organizer has to chase him and gave the memento to him at the car.

A very disappointing act to the hundreds of excellent students and family. I really hope he will never be appointed again as YB next election .


At our get together meeting it was decided that a Cooperative or Association to be set up as a platform to carry out activities that assists our home town especially the students and community. In fact I was told that the idea came from a deputy minister that hailed from our home town. Everybody was excited of the prospect on the support and opportunities that can be given by our deputy minister. After a few coordination meetings it was agreed that a team will make an official call to our deputy minister to discuss on the formation of the cooperative and seek his commitment. The meeting was scheduled at 9.00 am at Putrajaya and everybody assembled at the deputy minister office well before 9.00 am. It was not until 10.30 am that we get to see the deputy minister and he pledged that he was not aware of our visit and could only spare 10 minutes for us. Most of the team member was his super senior and one of them in fact is his uncle. In the meeting he informed us that he could not promise to support our initiatives but advised us to collect as much money from members as possible ( RM 500K ) so that the association will be financially strong for him to recommend us to the Chief Minister for project award considerations. One of our members told him that our main intention is give back to our home town community since we have already made it in KL. To my surprise he unashamedly told us that we should take care of our self and members first and don’t worry about contributing back to the home town. In our post mortem meeting almost all of us agreed that we have been mislead on his interest regarding the formation of the association and definitely he has different value then us in term of sincerely contributing back to our home town community. We have decided that we will move forward and formed the association without hoping of any support from him and maintained our key objective of serving and giving back to our community back home.


For the past seven years Ustaz Idris has carried out his Silat Gayong class at the playground in front of my house. His students are mostly the neighborhood children ranges from 4 to 18 years old. Sometimes the student’s enrollment dwindled to ten only but he kept his class and teaches the children the heritage art of self defense which instill discipline, comradeship and honor among the pesilat.

In fact he also conducts similar class at other places on other nights including UKM, Kajang, and Bandar Putra etc. He has few hundreds students under him now. Each student only paid a mere RM10 per month. I am sure that for most of the time he has to fork out his own money to ensure his silat class moves on. I began to wonder the amount of patience and love he had in ensuring the art of Silat Gayong live on for hundred years to come. This guy never thinks of money to ensure he serves the society and mankinds. I for one benefited from his noble effort with three of my children now holding red and green belts.


Hj. Sam has been my neighbor for more then 14 years now. He is a very simple man who will do most of his work personally instead of farming it out. He is always thoughtful of his neighbors and ready to give a hand to anybody in needs. When one of our neighbors has a martial problem he became a shoulder to lean on, motivating and encouraging the wife to be patience despite the husband taking a second wife. They divorced for a while but later on remarried and now happy ever after. I could not imagine how the wife could make it without his support and empathy.

As for me I very much blessed to have him as my neighbor. Every time I am out station he is there to assist my family on whatever problems that may arise. When my alarm system goes off at 3 am, he will be the one calling me asking if everything is ok and even keep a lookout from his house to ensure we are safe. Sometimes when we were all out of the house the alarm goes off and without fail he will take the troubled to climb over my fence and look around to ensure my house is safe. In fact when one of our neighbor mothers suffers a depression he took the trouble to help her through encouragement and traditional healing.

When the world is going haywire caused by the Magician we kind of lost hope but then there is always the Magic Man that ensures goodness prevail.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Silat Kids

The best time to instill the spirit of courage, discipline and survival among the kids is when they are young. Like what the Malay proverb says " kalau hendak meletur aur biar lah dari rebung ". As they grow older the period of teaching and disciplining tend to disappear and you have to start treating them like friends ..... teach and develop them in a friendly manner.

The silat kids were thought not only the art of self defence but discipline, integrity and bravery. It was reflected in their determination during the grading test at padang UKM recently. In fact I was told by some of the fathers that their children could hardly sleep that night practicing their steps and movements for the test. Early in the morning they woke up and donned their silat uniform and excited to rush to the padang for the test and to meet their silat mates.

The pictures tell the rest of the stories ........

Big and small

Pair of 5 yrs old doing their movements

Breakfast on site

Check up girls

Green Belts club

Age and gender not an issue here

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Orang Utan .... Orang Bandar

Orang Bandar

Orang Utan

MIRA enjoying the attraction ....

MAX .... relax ...and dreaming

ESAH ..... in cage "Meroyan"

Sampan V Dragon Boat

Waterfront Kuching

Kuching oh Kuching

Kuching was cloudy and rainy when we gathered to start off our teambuilding trip to Matang Wild life Centre. There were three bus loads of nature lovers rearing to go despite the threatening weather. We are going to the Orang Utan rehabilitation and conservation centre at Matang Wild Life Centre in the Kubah National Park about 1.5 hour bus ride from Kuching. The 2,230 hectors National Park is part of the Sarawak State government initiative in the conservation of wild life and nature.

By joining the trip I improved my basic knowledge on the endangered species orang utan. In fact orang utan can only be found in two parts of the world i.e. Borneo and Northern Sumatra (Acheh). Its populations was 8,000 in 1989 but now reduced to 2,000 only. Its lifespan is about 40 yrs in nature and 60 yrs in captivity. Its DNA is 97% same with human, making it our closest relatives. Very slow in breeding with 8 to 9 yrs between each pregnancy. The pregnancy period is 8 – 9 months and the baby will stick to its mother between 2 – 3 years before roaming free. They feed on plants shoot with durian as one of the favorite diet. The orang utan nest is made of tree branches & twigs and is 40 – 50 ft above the ground. They change their nest every night????

At the Matang Wild Life Centre we were taken for a short jungle tracking before reaching the orang utan sanctuary. We were first introduced to “Mira” – a three years old orphan that looks very much at home at the sanctuary. She was free to play around and enjoyed the attention given to her. Next was “Esah” with her two years old baby clinging and playing around with her in the cage. She was not allowed to roam freely because of her depression that caused her to act aggressively to female visitors. We were told she was ok with male visitors though!!! Maybe she was having “ sakit meroyan “ like some unfortunate women did after delivery. There was another 19 yrs old male orang utan named “ Max “. They could not set him free because he is very aggressive and unable to survive in the jungle. So used to captivity life – food and lodging provided !!!. Actually the centre acts as an orphanage, training and treatment centre for the orang utan.

Looks like even orang utan have their problems either because of their own doing or caused by human reducing their roaming territories. Despite the close DNA between orang utan and human, they were never close to us in term of intelligence and capability. Capability to do good deeds or destroying the world we are living in. It make me realized the truth reminder given to us by God Almighty that human is a very special creation that can be like an Angel when following the humanly nature but worst then the animal when overcome by animal desires.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Rhythm of the Flame

I have always love art more then science, even at school. But then in order to compete for the scholarship I took up science stream for my MCE. True enough with reasonably good result I easily got my scholarship to further my study abroad. But then science is actually the quantitative rather then qualitative part of art. It is the real rather then abstract part of art. Living is actually an art in many forms depending on one beliefs and idealism.

Now that I have done with studying and intensive working, I tend to spend more time with Art, appreciating the work of art as well as understanding the people that devoted their life to it. My scope on Art covers painting, sculpturing, music, theatre and poetry.

Among my special friend in art are Raja Azhar and Shahimah the husband & wife owner of Artcase Gallery at the Great Eastern Mall, Jalan Ampang. They are just great couple who devoted their life to art. Raja Azhar art work is always par excellence and in a dynamic mode, currently he is very much in Glass Work. My appreciation to Raja is not only limited to his art work but also his love to Shahimah that a bit handicapped due to an unfortunate incident that befallen her many years ago. Their love is abstract and beyond physical attraction. Through them I gained much knowledge in art appreciation and the reality that you can make it rich and good on whatever field you choose provided you give nothing but the best in your work.

On 11 July 2007, I attended the opening of another Art Exhibition by Raja Azhar & Shahimah at the Great Eastern Mall. The exhibition “Rhythm of the Flame “was officiated by YAB Toh Puan Mahani Idris Daim – the Founder / Chairman of Yayasan Seni Berdaftar . The participating artists includes Mark Elliot ( Australia ), Raja Azhar, B. Jane Cowie ( Australia ), Elizabeth Newman ( Aust ), Dominic Fonde ( UK ), Zuzila Zain ( M’sia ), Michelle Mayes ( UK ), Kalil Ibrahim, Rafi Ghani, Ismail Latiff, Latif Maulan and others.

Some of the shots taken for remembrance & sharing with friends. A reminder to me that it doesn’t matter what we choose in life but once chosen we must give nothing but the BEST, then life will be more fulfilling and meaningful.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Merdeka - ANGGUN 50

Beautiful poem by Datuk A Samad Said on the commemoration of Malaysia 50 years Independence.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Al Fatehah

Al fatehah to the 6 RMAF Officers that died in the Nuri crash.

I am both sad and angry that it took 5 days to find them and hope the old Nuri will be replaced once for all. Too many Nuri has crashed ... and definitely we need to equip our SAR Teams with better high technology equipment.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Missing Nuri & Crews

It has been four days of searching for the missing Malaysian Air Force Nuri Helicopter and its six crews. Today more then 1300 search and rescue (SAR) personnel from various agencies have been deployed for the SAR operations. I am really sad that we still could not find the missing helicopter and crews despite its happened only 10 minutes after leaving the Sg. Besi Air Base.

Something is definitely not right in terms of the safety and emergency system for the Helicopter. We should not allow our aircraft to fly without automatic release/ transmitting electronic positioning identification radio beacon ( EPIRB ) . The EPIRB is now mandatory to be carried on all merchant vessels and it will automatically release if the ship sink. Without it and high tech search equipment our SAR team is facing a tremendous difficulty in locating the victims.

I am sure the SAR Coordinator is using all his expertise and standard SAR procedures to find the victims but the failure until today shows that our capability in SAR is still low. The Government and RMAF must take this matter seriously – to upgrade our SAR capability and also to replace the more then 40 years old Nuri.

During my early days of heading the National Maritime SAR operations, I have flown on the Nuri on many occasions and used the helicopter on my SAR missions. The Nuri has served its time and the RMAF deserved better air craft to full fill its responsibilities in air defense and emergency missions.

It is difficult for a layman to comprehend why we failed to find the Nuri & its crews despite its happening 10 minutes from the Base. As a former SAR person I could understand the tremendous pressure on our SAR team but then we must look beyond this incident and mission to ensure we are not shamed again in future as a result of our poor capabilities.

Let’s all pray that the divine help from Allah will assists the SAR team in finding the crews alive.