Sunday, September 28, 2008

Does it happen to you too?

If you blog with blogspot, ada tak you dapat amaran they will delete your blog in 20 days? Haiyo..if that happens, I will lose all my pics since 2006.I don't have backups! And I would also lose jottings that go with the pics/events. Inilah nasib menompang kat tempat orang! Orang boleh tendang kita bila2 masa. Cheh!

Anyway, hari ni sibuk buat rambut.Hahaha.Tengah buat rambut Marzuki of NTV7 beritau berita project I akan keluar news pukul 1 pm.Mana ada TV kat salon tu but I tanya juga.Hairdresser I kata kedai sebelah ada (kedai reflexology) so jam tepat 1 pm I dengan rambut berbungkus pi ke kedai sebelah nak tompang tengok TV should have seen mulut clients dia bila tengok I dgn kepala berbungkus dgn penuh confidence duduk sebelah dia yang sedang buat foot reflexology.Then when the slot came out, everyone asked is that you? I said yah yah yah.They all laughed with me.Nampak lucu pulak. :))

Hairdresser I charged RM30 more but I fought with her.So she managed to charge me RM2 more than the price quoted to me before she saw me on TV.Apa daaa.

Lepas tu pi hantar Homam and Vernes to Datuk N's home at Tropicana Golf Resort..weeiii..banyak betul rumah besar kat dalam golf resort ni! Some are as big as ships! But Datuk N and her hubby are very down to earth people.Sincerity is transparent, bak kata Kak Oni. Plumber dia pun orang asing! (orang Irak). They are so used to hosting foreign students so I guess Homan and Vernes will have a good time over Raya.When the good Datuk ajak berbuka kat rumah dia yang ada garden yang begitu cantik (they were having Korean bar b q for berbuka) I politely said no.Nanti Nik and Z cari I pi mana pulak. :)

Oh well folks, besok dah nak start pack suitcases. We have to bertolak awal ke Raub on Tuesday sebab nak kejar makcik buat lemang (susah nak cari dah.We just buy) tu before 12 noon.My sisters dah beritau dia suruh spare 4 buluh lemang for the boys to try and melemang (lepas tu they are going to terjun dalam sungai belakang rumah makcik tu ..kalau depa tak malu.I will not sit around to watch of cos'!)

I hope blog ni tak kena delete in 20 days' me in another space.Hahah.

Selamat Hari Raya, maaf zahir batin sekali lagi.Stay safe.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Last Iftar Out

Phew..relieved rasanya cos' last nite was my last iftar out.Tak larat iftar kat luar almost every day of the week.But last nite was fun sebab we did it with our Campus Ambassadors (good samaritans from SHELL).These young and energetic people are truly inspiring.They seem to enjoy their "community work' with us.We are grateful.Memang patut la ada tanggungjawab dari pihak korporat2 begitu, kan? SHELL is doing it with style.Hilang lah sikit rasa 'geram' I over pollution/environment issues often associated with it.The kids were good as well.I thought there would be many who would have gone home for raya but I think we got close to 50 people last nite (from Kull of Engineering and Econs/Management).

Yang kelakar kisah Azry dah pindah ke Bintulu.His friends (termasuk MD dia, Yang Mulia Raja!) teased him about being in the outback.Nak dapat roti gardenia pun susah, mcdonald pun takda.Hahaha, I won't be able to survive without my malls.

But it's nice to know budak2 muda ni memang brilliant.Sayang we don't have too many of them working in the government (tak macam brains semua gomen absorbs.Officers dia ramai dari ivy league unis.I met one young chap..a poet but he's in gomen.Graduated from Yale.Bila la Msia nak capai taraf ni?)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Raya Mood, Part 2

Nasib baik I pakai cantik sikit today (cos' I went to the API Fellowship interview at Nikko in the morning -- which was tough juga.Ramainya interviewers! Patutnya 10 mins but I think it went beyond.Penat juga I buka kung fu nak defend my proposal.Lepas tu just as I was allowed to leave, Kee Thuan Chye pulak masuk.Dia terlewat sampai so I was asked to sit again nak jawab Chye's questions.Chye and I kan selalu 'gaduh'? Kecut juga perut I but they were all very nice and professional.Chye pun tak menyusahkan I.Baik juga dia. :))

Balik office, orang-orang Hotel Imperial (siap bawak Chef) datang nak tau setting cocktails kita on the 8th Oct nanti.Rasa lapar tengok menu depa.

Lepas tu Nora beritau NTV7 datang nak interbiu pasal projek jom balik raya (with 'adopted' children) Kaossar dapat tangkap 3 orang je: Adnan from Bosnia, and someone from Algeria and another from Bangladesh.So kita pun disuruh berlakun.I kadang2 menyibuk jadi Pengarah shooting ni.Hahaha.I told Marzuki (TV journalist tu) kalau ada tawaran berlakun, kami terima. :))

Besok people from the newspapers pulak nak interbiu participants of Jom Balik Raya. Memang rasa nak raya betul dah ni sebab we have to discuss pasal raya and activities surrounding it.

Dr. Solehah came to discuss the Islamization of Knowledge project and we both agreed she should be the principal researcher (even though the idea was mine) sebab I want to apply for another grant and need to be the principal researcher to this project (I can't be principal researcher to two grants).She will do a nice job sebab dia tau Arabic.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Raya mood

Tak percaya that at last my Raya mood datang juga! Semalam tat nenas sampai satu kotak besar.Memang sedap.It kinda melt in your mouth. Then a friend in Macedonia said how he missed Malaysia this time of the year sebab he misses biskut kelapa (he is our alumnus).Dah lama I tak makan biskut kelapa.Tak nampak pun dijual kat pasar.Used to help my sisters bikin biskut kelapa masa kecik2. Ask me now, satu hapa tak reti.My daughter is good at making chocolate cookies.

Sibuk nak sembelih sekor kambing Australia this raya since I bawak balik 4 guests from all over the world.Kita nak buat bar b q. My bro in law yang pandai masak will buat nasi arab (he lived in Medinah many years).My mak yang paling excited.Memang untuk dia pun.

How's your raya preparation? (mana my regulars ni? Habis tidur ke? Hahaha) Shima, Zul, DrBubbles, Hashimah Osmond (hee2) dan rakan2 seperjuangan.Dengan pertanyaan: sedang buat apa tu?

Selamat menyambut raya.Maaf zahir batin.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Iftar with the kids

Well, not all are "kids".Some are bapak and mak orang.But the last couple of weekends had been really good as we took turns hosting IIUM foreign students. I hosted one yesterday with 10 gals.Hari ni another 10 boys.It's not that difficult.Angkat je telefon call Shahril mintak masak nasi bryani gam johor for 20 people.Lepas tu order je kuih bakar makcik Damansara Utama tu.I just need to prepare my Polish salad, drinks and desserts.Amat mudah.

It's so sad to see Ramadan go so soon (maklumlah women get to puasa 3 weeks je).This year takda mood nak pi shopping Raya.I just got two pairs of shoes tailor made for me ala ala Jimmy Choo gitu.Hahaha (not exactly for Raya).Maklum byk functions now.Selalu I am happiest pakai kasut/selipar buruk je.Senang nak kung fu. Kalau kena curi pun tak sakit hati.High heels slow down my movements.Nak ikutkan hati, pakai je roller blades. Can do the job twice faster. :)))

Nik cuti next week so I think whatever raya shopping we need to do, mcm biasa: last min.Yang tinggal nanti barang2 yang buruk or mahal (stuffs people don't want to buy).

I tak kisah.Too many things to do after Raya.May have to travel to China and Korea on work.It'll be cold. :(

I got shortlisted for the API Fellowship.The interview will be at Nikko next week. Kalau dapat, boleh retire in Cyprus. Hee hee.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Nuzul Quran

Tomorrow will be a public holiday for us in Selangor.It's Nuzul Quran.Happy Nuzul Quran to you and yours.

The day ended on a high note for me.First it was a meeting on the Alumni Trust Fund.Later on, it was on the German youth orchaestra.The team managed to sort out some key issues. After that it was on strategising our coffee table book sales.We gotta sell all copies by year end.The team was confident we'd be able to make it.I hope.I pray.Sebab nak membuatnya penat betul.

Zul came to discuss how to get more sponsorships for next year's Nov. event.What a big help.I hope our plans work.Lepas tu I can retire in Cyprus.Haha.

Read surah 21 (Al Anbiya') on the plights of a few Prophets. How inspiring to read about Prophet Ayub (Job) and Prophet Yunus (Jonah). Ayub was tested to the maximum.He lost his family, servants, friends, health, wealth, etc.The footnotes said he cursed his life and only repented later but this was not what I read of him in other secondary sources.Anyway, his prayer is beautiful (even more in the Malay translation):

And (remember) Job when
He cried to his Lord
"Truly distress has seized me.
But Thou are the Most
Merciful of those that are Merciful." (al Anbiya' : 83)

But when I got to read about Prophet Yunus and the whale, I began to understand what Prof Syed Naguib Alatas meant when he used Nabi Yunus' story to explain why he would never migrate to another country no matter how bad Msia would turn out to be (this I heard years ago). Reading the footnotes of`Yusuf Ali's translation of the Quran, I began to compute what Alatas meant.Nabi Yunus left his plight out of frustration (yeah..that 'I quit' thingy).It's like he had no faith in Allah (he didn't think/believe that Allah had the power to make things right no matter how bad).Listen to verse 87 same surah (Al Anbiya'):

And remember Dhu al Nun ("the man of the fish or the whale")
When he departed in wrath:
He imagined that We
Had no power over him!
But he cried through the depths
Of darkness, "There is
No god but Thou:
Glory to Thee: I was
Indeed wrong!"

Footnotes detailed how after Prophet Yunus left the Assyrian capital Nineveh, he took a ship but the sailors threw him out as a man of bad omen. And the rest is history (he was swallowed by a big fish, cried and admitted his weakness in the depth of darkness, Allah forgave him, cast out ashore and continued his mission, relying on the power of Allah)

How inspiring indeed! No one should quit! AI never! Neither would Pak Lah.Haha.Kantoi betul.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I see red

A friend sms-ed to share her disgust over the ISA arrests. I had not been reading newspapers or watching TV news for a long time so the ISA news was news to me. I felt nothing.I had lost that feeling for a longggggggggg time now.No anger.No joy.Lumpuh perasaan ku.This is not a country for anyone anymore but ironically, I plod along.I continue to hope and plan for better things. What choice do we have? We cannot say we quit! Politicians are so fond of doing that.I quit! when things go wrong.Apa ke jadah.

Lantak kau oranglah. ACSD's progs berjalan lancar, alhamdullilah. Our iftar with the kids dah melepasi sasaran kita (we aimed for 100 participants but we have passed that targetted mark today.Syukur).But Malaysians are still pretty slow in opening up to other people of different cultures (esp. of the same faith) Pelik juga when offers to host foreign students were turned down dengan alasan iftar (or raya) is meant for family je.Luckily we still have some good samaritans who signed up (most of them had lived abroad and would have understood what Ramadan/Raya meant, living berkelana). A friend's friend (a CEO of a large corporation) who organises student exchange prog. has voiced similar grievance.That it is hard to get Malaysians to host students from abroad.Entah apa pasal. I thought yang paling generous hal2 begini are orang Melayu.Nampaknya sasaran meleset.

But I am so proud of those who participated in our iftar and raya progs.They are very interesting people, with many experiences and very pleasant personalities and I think we become friends as we get to know one another.

Semoga Allah lipat-gandakan rezeki mereka.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Chye's book

I must get a copy.Kata Chye I'm featured.Entah macamanalah keluarnya dan apakah response masyarakat umum akan short comments I tu? Masa Chye tanya apa pendapat I tentang GE yang bersejarah tahun ini, I pun tulih aja.He said he was touched walaupun kita selalu juga bertaki on issue NEP dan Melayu-Cina.Dia kata tak semua Cina kaya (I pun tau) jadi NEP tak leh le bagi kat Melayu je.I pun setuju.Bagi pada yang memerlukan tapi jgn la dok hantam semua Melayu macam kita takda depan dia atau macam kita ni buta hurup as the race bash bermaharajalela in English dailies and blogs.Kalu acap buat gitu,nanti orang tuduh anti-Malay, kata I kpd Chye(kawan-kawan mat saleh I selalu kata ramai penulis dan cendikiawan bangsa Cina di Malaysia are anti-Malay. Analisa mereka jarang seimbang bila bercakap tentang isu Malaysia). Lagipun bukan semua Melayu pun yang benefit from NEP.Mak I pun bergolok gadai to put my kid sister in universiti sebab kita tak da political ties nak minta scholarship walaupun layak.I pun suffer the same fate with my daughter walaupun As nya berjela since UPSR dan co-curriculumnya pun impressip (naib johan English debate for Selangor babe).I wonder if it's becos nama depannya Nik? Kot depa ingat cucu Nik Aziz? Haha.

Iyalah, response I utk buku Chye tu dari hati. Itu takda sapa boleh edit.But I'm curious to read what others had said of March 8.Moh kita beli beramai-ramai.Kalau tak suka versi Chye, kita tulih buku kita sendiri.

Tapi inilah dunia yang merdeka.Sapa-sapa pun boleh cakap.

Um..hari ni KSN (merangkap Prez IIUM) will launch the coffee table book my colleagues and I bertungkus lumus buat last April (as part of our fund-raising activities). Dato Rector patut bagi a short speech telah berkata bahwa I pulak yang kena bercakap.Ayoo mak datuk..gue malu! (dalam pada tu, terlupa pulak nak bawa camera-cum videocam tadi)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Kalau tak mahu jadi APEK university

This is a press statement given by my friend Prof Manan (Presiden Persatuan Pensyarah USM):

4th September 2008
USM Selected as Apex University: PKAPUSM's Reaction

The Universiti Sains Malaysia Academic and Administrative Staff Association (PKAPUSM) welcomes the move by the Ministry of Higher Education to categorize USM as the Apex University in Malaysia. We congratulate USM and her staff for their continuous effort in proving that they can and will achieve ¡§world-class status¡¨ through the Accelerated Program for Excellence (APEX) initiative. USM is the second oldest university in Malaysia and will commemorate its 4Oth anniversary next year. Having been selected as the Apex University will be a great challenge to USM and it will have to prove its worth and capability to be one of the world's top universities in the near future.

However, without cooperation of all segments of the USM staff and students, it will not be easy for USM to realize its plan of action. Words have to be translated into hard work and academic dynamism. To be categorized as an Apex University is not like being given a crown, but it is accepting the duty and trust for USM to pursue higher and leading the higher education edge in Malaysia. The people of Malaysia and the world in general will witness what USM is made up of. We are of the opinion that to be a world-class university, the immediate thing to create or achieve is the culture of excellence on campus, it will encompasses the academic culture, research culture and intellectual culture. With respect to creating the culture of excellence which is the prerequisite towards achieving a world-class university, several factors have to be taken seriously.

Teaching and Learning : There must be improvement in the quality of teaching and learning, recruiting more academic staff and expert with the best qualifications. The quality of students also needs to be assessed before admission to the undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

Research: Even though the research track record in USM can be proud of, nonetheless, research activities need to be increased and upgraded in all fields with immediate effect. The immediate benefit of research can be presented in the classroom for both postgraduate and undergraduates apart from being disseminated in peer-reviewed journals of discipline concerned or presented in conferences. Research is the engine of economic development, it will contribute expertise, skills, knowledge generation and dissemination. However, the overzealousness for research should not be at the expense of teaching. Ideally, research and teaching should complement each other, and one of the attribute of a world-class university is to be able to strike the right balance between the two.

Academic Freedom and University Autonomy: University autonomy normally refers to the independence of universities from the state and all other forces of society, to make decision regarding its internal government, finance, administration, and to establish its policies of education, research, extension work and other related activities. History has shown that those universities which retained their autonomous status have a long tradition of scholarship and at the forefront of research in their own societies. Autonomy will promote academic freedom and intellectual dynamism that is central to a world-class university. Academic freedom refers to ¡§the freedom of members of the academic community individually or collectively, in the pursuit, development and transmission of knowledge, through research, study, discussion, documentation, production, creation, teaching, lecturing and writing.¡¨ Thus, unless academic freedom is given its due place and respect within a university, significant contribution to the quality of the institution as a whole cannot be promoted to an excellent level. In this respect, USM should exercise its university autonomy and academic freedom through greater autonomy and flexibility that was enshrined under the Apex initiative.

Academic Leadership : One of the important attribute of a world-class university is self-governance, where internal self-governance by ensuring that the academic community has control over the main academic functions such as admission of students, curriculum, criteria for graduation, selection of new members of the professoriate, and future direction of the institution. A university is neither a government department nor a business agency. A university of excellence will require a democratic leadership to be able to cater to the needs of various disciplines and coordinate them in such a way that the mission of the university will be fulfilled. Academic leadership is essential to navigate the university to achieve a world-class status. Appointing the right person can lead the institution to the platform of excellence, while promoting the wrong individual can be a journey down the mediocratic path. PKAPUSM belief that the campus community need to unite their forces to make the Apex initiative a reality. The academic staff will play a major role in realizing the Accelerated Program for Excellence (APEX); however, other groups should not be marginalized. We may need new thinking and new negotiation, particularly in relation to terms of services. Under the Apex scheme the university should be able to attract more academics and researcher with calibre from within and outside Malaysia.

However, those people who have given their long service and have been loyal to the university should not be neglected.. A world-class university is not about producing scientists, engineers, doctors and technicians with higher degrees. What we are lacking are thinkers in our universities in particular and our society in general.

Abdul Manan Wan Muda
President, PKAPUSM

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Ramadan Kareem

That's how we wish each other at IIUM.Ramadan Kareem.Siapa yang nama Karim tu syok le. :))
The family has vowed to go slow on food this year.We went to our first food bazaar yesterday at Kelana was like a little Mekah! It put me off buying cos' it was too crowded (tak nampak apa benda pun).I ended up buying rendang Minang and sirap bandung cincau.We were trying to look for stall ikan bakar.Tak jumpa.Only after we had bought gulai kawah berkawah2 did we find it.By then we eleh...

Iftar was at my in law's.I thought of my own mom, berbuka on her own (possibly with my nephew or other sister). We had offered her to stay with us, dia cakap dia nak mengaji lah, etc. Sigh.

Anyway, for those reading this, have a blessed Ramadan.Banyakkan ibadah. I already feel very old.Every morning I get up feeling the body does not belong to me anymore. I think we have to take care of what we eatlah.Am exercising more now.