Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No title

I can't think of any.My life is not focused.I'm doing too many things at one go. :)

1. letters get mixed up.Someone screamed.
2. letters got lost.I screamed.
3. Nik's relatives and parents & siblings came to dinner.Nice time playing masak-masak.I like this role.I like putting flowers in the vases (and trying to figure out what flowers match the cushions, the curtains, the sofas, the carpets, the paintings), switching on the garden lights, the fountain, the candles. But if I do this 24/7, I might go gila. Tried uli tepong for 2 hours. :))
4. It's been a busy week.Besok we meet at Mid Valley to sort out stuffs to do with ICC.Kids are planning to celebrate World Environment Day on June 5 for a week.We are going to plant roses (maybe trees) on campus (among others). Dev and IP dah setuju nak tolong.Syoknya! I hope it's the spot by the lake (gradually we'll ask them if they could install a barbecue stand there.Senang nak picnic.I also wonder if we can do boating there)
5.Weekends kerja. Shapx is having his wedding reception on Sunday.Will have to rush from KL Sentral to Nelayan (I hope my flight tak delay).I hope sempat.

Sometimes my life reads like a book without a title. Pulak tu certain pages are missing.Hahaha.

This is one of those moments. :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

JIM's Harmony Carnival

I went to look after ACCIN's booth since everyone's away. Ended up as ACCIN rep to go onstage during the Opening ceremony (I was in my sandals!). You'd see my pic gamaknya mcm makcik nak pi pasar in JIM printed materials on the Opening. Malunya!

The carnival is a reaching out prog.There were reps from other religions talking on spiritual solution to the current econ crisis.Seronok juga berbual2 dgn mereka.And there was a lion dance at the Opening. Very da One Malaysia, ha?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Talk on environment

I thought it went very well.I was worried that the attendance would be so poor. I mean Dato Seri Salleh Mohd. Nor is so big -- we can't have only 3-4 people benefitting from his talk.

I don't know what the team did but the crowd was better than before.We got over 50 participants from different countries and some First Years were there as well (I love them! Comel sangat).So syukur.The talk and awareness campaign will go a longggggggggg way.Sampai ke Nigeria, Egypt, even Russia (satu sudah masuk perangkap.He said there are 15 others.Hokayyy...next time kita tangkap budak ni je to lure the rest.Hahaha).

What we found from Dato Seri's talk were these (am being selective):

1.environment can be a lucrative career which could bring in millions of ringgit/dollar/whatever currency you believe in.He said some people are willing to pay thousands just to have a glimpse of some rare bird, rare turtle etc.

2.some trees can grow faster so if you beli tanah banyak2, you tanam pokok2 jati or teak ke...lepas tu jual..you boleh kaya (say in a period of 5-20 years..depending on type of trees). I never thought!

3. the smart tunnel was Tun Mahathir's idea.It has 3 levels.Kalau banjir, jadi satu (to avoid massive flood in the city)

4.Denmark and other Scandinavian countries are leading in 'clean energy' (by that he meant wind energy, solar energy etc) No Muslim country has done anything about promoting 'clean energy'.

5. We can start to be environment friendly by doing little2 things at home like conserving water (e.g masa brush our teeth, guna a glass of water ...jgn biarkan air paip mencurah2 while you brush). Or make your own fertiliser by doing your own compost. Believe in and practise the 3Rs: Reduce, reuse, recycle.

The kids who came are planning for another environment friendly project (for World Environment Day early June). I like their enthusiasm.

I hope it's infectious! Watch this space for their news.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Employer/employee power relations

Was in a dialogue session with Human Resource Ministry people.I learned a lot of stuffs on employer/employee rights (as well as power structure of the two). Didn't like what I found: Acts too old (1955/1967, etc) and although reps from the Ministry said they made some amendments recently, I still could not see how the welfare of the marginalised, the under-privileged are taken care of.Transparency is still an issue (masih byk lagi nak berahsia2 and certain employees of certain groups are not allowed to berkesatuan.Isn't this a free world? Who speaks for their rights?Where do they channel their grievances) Someone was saying the practice overseas is that union leaders get to sit with Board of Governors (I know EPF does this) and in Japan, the JCC works so well that any grievance raised could be solved amicably. We need to increase our JCC members at IIUM.Kull reps should be there as well.

The current Acts favour employers MORE than the employees esp. Employers Act.What a shocking discovery and I told one Dato (tak pasti apa kerjanya but someone said he's No. 2) how I came out of the dialogue disillusioned.Sebenarnya nasib pekerja tidak begitu terbela with the current Acts.

And I learnt this: if you are not happy with your current employer, your best choice is just to leave.Look for a kinder one. Cos' there's nothing in any Act to ensure you'd get what you want.The best thing any Act can do is to compensate you or give back your rotten job.

I guess that is better than nothing.

3.10 am

I can't sleep. Gara-gara makan alternative medicines! My father in law was right: jangan percaya benda-benda begini.Just makan ubat hospital. And for someone who has EVERYTHING, he seems to be doing OK with his ubat hospital.

I am now convinced.

It all began with friends' recommendations lah ni. You know as we age we have all sorts of health complaints and we talk about them with friends, neighbours, relatives...and there would be among them who'd say go here, go there..so and so was cured, etc etc.

Kita pun akan mudah terjual. And I was sold! :))
Dr S, her friend and I went in Dr S's car to this place.Seemingly famous cos' he got his datukship and well-respected in his community.Big home.Funny (like most alternative healers). Oh yes, we were all nicely entertained.When I said have you duit kecik nak tukar? He said yah sure..gimme your money...I'd tear it to pieces (small change). Funny, kan? :))

Anyway, he charged me RM700 and for 3 days I took his prescriptions (loads!).On the 3rd day I felt real funny.Went to my doctor and I made a decision to stop this RM700 medication (byk capsulesnya weh!). Wough..nyaris tak mati. My bp went skyrocketing!

I decided to write this to advise you guys: do not take any capsules/medications not authorised by Ministry of Health/your medical doctor and I wonder who regulates alternative medicine practitioners.I think kat Msia ni mereka bebas sangat mengubat orang.Don't they have some sort of a license to practise their art?

Tapi I tak salahkan my funny Datuk.I think it worked with some people (it worked with my friends who recommended him to me) and I think he meant well as well.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tak suka baca suratkabar

I don't take newspapers seriously. Unless they report natural disasters which papers can't lie about: like tsunami, earthquakes, etc.

Online news pun I tak suka.I read blogs yang boleh dipercayai.Hahaha.That's how I catch up with news (which is faster than suratkabar biasa).

Tapi today terbaca kat NST (semasa lepak2 takda apa nak buat di rumah after work) pasal isu meritocracy and PSD scholarship.Haiyooo..still at this ah? Berebut duit yang sedikit? I remember as a government scholar..tak cukup makan woh.Kena kerja ladang berries to tampung woh. Kena kira botol at supermarkets during stocktaking for a few dollars a day...semayang pun tertinggal.Banyak dosa if ambik PSD scholarship woh (cos' have to work overtime and langgar waktu semayang.)

If want to fight ah..fight for corporate scholarships lah.Ask them why not give more? They make so much money from the country what..oil habis semua kena sedut...balak sapu habis (apa companies buat semua ni? Why wanna bully the PSD alone? The real culprits yang kaya raya tu semua lepas...yang ambik duit orang through gambling tu...apa pasal tak tanya why don't give scholarships to the needy at a larger scale? )

Gila punya suggestion that only 11As are automatically given PSD s/ships (so small minded one!)
With that kinda attitude we will all be driving our young ones to be suicidal as pressure mounts.I think the government should stop young students from taking more subjects than what is necessary (ambik sampai 20 subjects....soon 30 subjects...gosh..and we just watch?) I worry about my gal preparing for her SPM.In the end I had to tell her it's OK to fail!!! (tidur pukul 1 or 2 am.Then gets up again at 4 am.Then at 6 am prepares to go to school.What is this? Have we as parents given her the wrong message? This 'you must study hard to get PSD s/ship' thingy?)

May Allah save us all from sinning against our own kids.Against our young.
SPM scares me like it never did before.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sell Out, a movie which is truly asia, truly malaysia?

Chye cuba bagi tiket free ke movienya yang terbaru after I said mana ada masa nak tengok2 wayang ni? I ni academic, bukan budak bohsia. Dia cakap pergilah.He has some free tickets for Sat.I kata tak payah lah pree-pree.I boleh bayar (dalam hati.I just told him nicely I'd go on any week day belah malam lepas kerja.Bayar sendiri. Tak suka barang pree).

And Nik and I went out.Kelakar giler movie ni! Nak pecah perut ketawa and mungkin ketawa I yang paling kuat dalam panggung seramai 13 orang tuh (publicity is bad..kalau Chye tak sms, I pun tak tau apa) But dalam panggung lagi, I text-ed my friends suruh pergi.Kelakar gila but at the same time clever (script was written and directed by this lawyer chap..apa ke namanya) and it's also a musical actually.Lagu2 don't play2.Memang ada class.Wahhh..if ALL Malaysian movies can be like this ahhh..I tell you ahhh..Spore finish oh! :))

A few questions:

1. Mengapa TIADA main characters yang berbangsa Melayu atau India? Semua Cina dan pan Asians.I think it's done intentionally.FikiR! Sebab apa? Apa rasa anda bila anda dipinggirkan? (you are only in the background and not key players).Lesson no. 1.

2.Mengapa kita boleh ketawakan diri kita sendiri sebagai Malaysians tetapi tidak jika orang ketawakan kita? (my fav scene with regard to this is the death scene of the towkay penjual perabot..Rafflesia the tv journalist of a reality show asks, "What do you think of our government?".Towkay tu now no longer wants to hold back whatever that may offend, is about to voice his final say tetapi his clan semua goyang2 jari mengisharatkan no, no...dangerous to talk about politics.Ini semua stereotyping minda kaum Cinalah.Tapi cute sangat dalam bentuk wayang begitu!

Lagi satu scene fav is masa the two top bosses pi shopping...semua sales assistants menyorok tak mau layan.Kita ingat sebab bosses ni fussy pot tapi it's just that budak2 ni semua pemalas! Ada satu budak gemok tak sempat menyorok..Chye (playing one of the two bosses) caught him but the fat boy lari...chye kejar...akhirnya budak tu pengsan (hidung pun berdarah2).Chye kata we only wanted to ask 50% label tu.50% discount ke hapa ke.It was not clear.He could not answer.Semua nak tanya supervisor.I'm sure many of us went through this during mega sales! Hahaha. Woiit Zubin, hang dah pi tengok kaa movie ni? Tell me what you think.

3. Soalan no. tiga: Mengapa filem yang low budget ini begitu menghiburkan dan clever tetapi filem yang telan juta2 mcm Pasir Salak ke hapa ke sampai hari ni takda?

4.Mengapa pelakon2 ini semua nyanyi guna suara sendiri dgn gubahan musik yang begitu original dan ada kelas, gitu?

Ya, kami sangat puas hati akan filem ini.Kami harap anda cari masa untuk menikmatinya w/pun Chye dan saya bertekak kat sms isu mengapa takda melayu dlm film ni.Hahah.Chye kata filem P.Ramlee boleh diterima bukan Melayu.Saya kata P.Ramlee ada apek.Dia kata kadang2.

It's not really an issue with me.I like it cos' it's a brilliant movie.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tuesday evening meeting

Kak Oni rang to say ACCIN's meeting is on and Kak Am is away in Pahang so I have to attend it on behalf of IMAN.We missed it last month (bad traffic jam but apparently they had 18 NGOs present.Oh wow! What a spirit!)

So I was the only woman and I expressed my discomfort being the only one : malam2, jauh..nanti timbul fitnah. Hahaha. But the guys took it well.They said they'd change the day to Saturday and will hold the next meeting during the day next month and see if the attendance is better (esp . among women members).I enjoyed being in this group.They are very focused and action oriented people.JIM is organising a harmoni karnival at Summit USJ.Macam2 ada.Must get the students involved : for experience and exposure.Really cool.

You won't believe it.I finally met Darma (the engineer cum remisier chap who converted to Islam after a long search for internal peace and whose story of conversion is so inspiring that I keep sharing it with friends for the last 4 years or so.I was trying to locate him for many years then one day, one of my PhD students told me Darma was her neighbour and gave me his tel no.Still I had no time to contact (maybe I did but no one picked up the ph).Then last nite at the Persatuan India Muslim where ACCIN meeting was held, I asked if they knew Darma.Latiff said tak kenal so I started relating his story.Latiff asked apa nama Islam dia.I said Darma.He said that's a Hindu name.I said it is also a Malay Muslim name..En Darma..are you reading this?I thought of YOUR name.Hahaha)

I told Latif I never met Darma but would like to meet up with him (cos' of his great spirituality and kot2 ada lagi cerita2 best dia yang lain.He reads Sanskrit and is well-read).Lepas tu one member came and Latiff said : ha, ini la dia Darma yang you nak kenal sangat tu!

I was so embarassed! I asked Latiff kenapa dia buat begitu..dok pala ke I cerita pasal Darma and pretended he didn't know him.He said he knew him by another name tapi as I related the story, dia terfikir, mungkin he knew the man. Kerana malu ke Allah, I had to tell Darma how inspiring his conversion story was. But I wanted to bury my head in the sand! Padah suka cakap banyak!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Bday gal

with big momma

time out

bukan itik sula

We celebrate it every day (we try) but we went out to celebrate both Mom's Day and Z's 17th bday today -- after scouting for a place to go, all nite last nite.It's so funny what we found online.There was someone who asked where was good to celebrate bdays.Some smart guy said MacD (MacDonald's) is good.Another wrote, "Pizza Hut is not too bad either." Z and I nak pecah perut gelak! Then we found places with names like Fat Boy Restaurant.Yup, in KL.Fat gals go to Fat Boy.Sapa nak!

I have always loved KL Sentral Hilton so we googled for a restaurant.Z had been to one and I had been to another.We wanted something new so we decided the Senses might be a good choice (dalam gambar nampak mcm bagus je)

Kita pun buat reservation.Bagus.Sophisticated.They sms you and say everything's set, ma'am, at so and so time.
Kita pun pergi.First, the place is tersorok (you have to go to 5th level then take the escalator down to the 4th level).We were promised Australian cuisine, fresh from the farm.We got them! The duck tasted like it's from the farm, unplucked.Z and I nak termuntah! We miss Makcik Yah's itik sula (she's Nik's grand aunty in Kota Bharu who knows how to prepare itik sula..makanan istana raja Kelantan of ancient days.Bau hanyir itik langsung takda!).We joked, Makcik Yah should work at Hilton's Senses.

I ordered organic chicken.Yup.Rasa mcm reban ayam.I thought of ayam percik Kak Leha at Melati.Hahaha.We are so kampong, actually! But makanan at the Senses memang tak sedap.The bill..you won't believe.Dekat RM600! (utk 3 org).

If you are celebrating your bday at Chalet (Equitorial), they'd serenade you yah? Sini, the kitchen staff nyanyi tanpa music.Kesian I tengok dan dengar! I hear at Soul Out, the kitchen staff are trained professionally to sing and dance (while I think this may be a labour abuse, at least diners don't have to suffer so much!)

Anyway, happy bday Z.Bersyukurlah kita akan rezeki kita hari ini walaupun tak sedap!May God bless all your 17 years and more.
And to all moms, happy mom's day.I hope your men will spoil you rotten.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Peace in nature

One of my fav. spots at IIUM

same spot

same spot, different angle

the pride of my life (from my garden)

it's spring!

don't blink!

Post peacebuilding workshop

our bonfire (we got one of the pakcik drivers to find us woods from a nearby hutan.He and Azilee tolong belah kayu.Kenangan kerja kat IIUM.Semua boleh!)

Boys working on peace

Peace ain't easy

Prof Hassan Ibrahim at the opening

There were many surprises over the last 3 events which the office helped organise: International Muslim Youth Camp, the 3-day peacebuilding workshop and the 1989 homecoming tahlil and dinner (hey, we got Mr Gambus and gang to perform at the dinner at a very reasonable price.Thanks Farid Ali and his manager, Paul Augustine..not the judge.I loved Farid singing his jazzy piece 'Fly me to the moon'.) You may like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEUkXccPzrk&feature=related

On Sunday, a few reps from the workshop had lunch at my house to discuss post-workshop actions.I left them with Baibonn to work on these (I had a wedding to attend to).We have some ideas: we want to start with our homefront, working on environment and needy groups.Nanti nak ring up Jeff and Dr Bubbles to help give ideas/projects.

The 3-day workshop went well.I'm so pleased with the whole thing (my colleagues worked very hard too.Azilee sampai belah kayu api for the bonfire! Kesian!) For the first time in my life, discussions over the 3 days really made me feel like this is a world class university (the level of maturity and intelligence of our students, etc.Too bad the Malaysian kids prioritised balik kampong than staying back to be educated and learned stuffs they never get from CNN/BBC/RTM/ASTRO)

I also had fun talking to Bro. Wilmot on Muslim Aid's projects.He's also very knowledgeable over so many things.He reminded the kids over the sins of suicide bombings and killing innocents.There's nothing in the Quran that condones the act, he said.Also I liked what he said about living with contradictions (we cannot expect total purity in our society and that fanaticism caused the fall of Islamic civilisation in the past.He also reminded all that there is only one Islam and that which is compassionate, just, broad-minded and one which prioritises humanity, not just Muslims).I love this man.