Friday, April 30, 2010

Greetings from Batu Ferringhi

Flew yesterday afternoon after a hectic day (Z had her motivational talk at her old school ~ chosen one of three of 2009 SPM high achievers to inspire current SPM candidates.All 3 were debaters who won the national championship so speeches depa memang inspiring..for 17 plus young minds)

I sat with her teachers (sungguh dedikasi walaupun hampir ke umur pencen) and chatted with them about how scholarships are won today (big organisations still favour string of As as point of entry.Then they will look at co-curricular activities at all levels especially international level.Just how much more blood and tears do they want to squeeze out of our young people? At least in the US, you get to choose which line you wanna excel in: sports ke academic...dia tak suruh buat dua-dua! Kesian ke budak2 kita.Takda langsung zaman remaja to look back to except trips to tuition centres, etc)

Anyway, Zafirah will have her phone interview with Shell on Monday.If she does not get it, at least she will have the experience of being interviewed kan? We are still waiting for the other interview results (at least 2 more and another call for another interview).

Now Penang.Sampai je I terus berkejar ke St Gregory for my body massage.Haiyo..lega rasanya.Ini akibat marathon in KL.

I will have to leave early sebab my mom is back in the hospital (high fever) and Nik is still recovering from his eye surgery (he seems fine but needs the wifely support, he says).

The meeting discusses the possibility of having Track 3 for promotion.I tak setuju sgt kalau dipermudahkan nak dapat promotion ni (via community engagement). Haiyo...nanti ada kasta pulak di kalangan Professors kita: yang itu Prof Track 1 (by research whose works are published in high impact journals etc), yang Track 2 (based on excellence in teaching and although still researching and publishing, more weightage is given to teaching) and Track 3 to those doing more in Industrial-University linkage termasuk community engagement (but work must be related to specialisation bukan yang jenis gotong royong tu). Mengarut betul depa ni (it seems US dah lama buat ni.Habis, kalau US terjun laut, kita pun nak tiru?)

I asked if we are turning academics into social workers (bukankah itu kerja NGOs) and just how many hours more do we need to get lebihan gaji celah gigi tu (about RM1K more? You can get more if you do consultancy work!) I'm glad tak lama I nak pencen or have the options of doing other things.Tak suka system mengarut ni. Inilah akibatnya bila kita ada lebihan posts: TNC yang ke empat (industri dan jaringan masyarakat) dan ministry pendidikan sampai dua. Bila takda kerja, mulalah cari kerja!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Wei, jam 11.11 pm.Just got home from one day marathon.

The workshop for student leaders went well.Natalie sampai hilang suara! Kesian dia.So kawan2 kat ofis bought her satu balang madu to soothe her sore throat.I left mid day to Putrajaya to present our 1 IPTA 1 million employability enhancement projek (baru tau last week dik.Zurul did a nice job pruning actual budget of our other partners who drafted the proposal as well.Semua pakat I should go.Haiyo!)

So I went with all 5 agencies involved.I think it went well sebab I got everyone to speak of their prog. (harta karun kan akan dibagi 5?)Hahaha

Balik dari Putrajaya, managed to catch students' presentations.Quite impressive.Some had started to sound like some Presidents in Africa.

Hantar Nat balik Flamingo to collect her luggage.Trapped in traffic jam sampai loya.So kita took dinner dulu and I sempat Maghrib at Flamingo.Agak2 traffic dah reda, drove to drop Nat at Maya.Then Sal rang for mak's wheelchair.Haiyo..patah balik ke Gombak.

Letih lah amoi.Besok cuti.Nik ada minor surgery at SJMC (they have a new name now huh?ada aku kisah?)

Found my long lost foster family (Joan wrote me an email as response balas I cari dia melalui my old school.It's been 30 years! They have moved to Wellington and had lived in the Middle East.Nak tau Nana kita idup lagi tak.Watch this space.Nana tu mak mentua Joan yang kita anggap macam nenek kita sendiri)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Changing cultural landscape

We heard the Advisor to King Abdullah of Saudi speak yesterday of reformation taking place in the Kingdom.Very interesting indeed.Isn't Tun Mahathir an Advisor to the King as well? So when Dr Rahman spoke of knowledge-based society, I thought hell, this sounds familiar.

But it's nice that Saudi is opening up to so many things.They should lead or at least be seen to lead the ummah.Otherwise, gimme da monehhhh.

I raised the issue of high divorce rate in the country (and other rich Gulf countries).Dr Rahman said don't you believe what the media says.Hmmm.But media tu media depa juga (part of the reasons is couples marry young then discover they could not cope.Ini bukan impact of globalisation/modernisation/reformation.Ini tradition!)

Anyway, he said I was insightful when I raised my concern over family institution ((rapuh sekarang..even in Msia..kes2 buang bayi nih..semua sebab people have lost respect for the sanctity of marriage) and the need to create a balance dalam kita terkejar2 mengejar globalisation kaa, reformation kaa, modernisation kaa.

I think Bahrain has an Institute that looks at Family Institution.Ni I ingat many years ago dah ada...CEOnya orang putih.Can you beat that? Orang putih nak ngajar orang Islam bagaimana nak berkeluarga atau menjaga institusi keluarga. Malu betul.Konon kita ni khalifah.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Massive traffic jam on MRR2 ke Sg Buloh

I was stuck on MRR2 heading to Sg Buloh from Gombak for almost 5 hours yesterday.An hour into the jam, I rang up the traffic dept.The guy said he heard nothing and said it was common to be trapped at such an hour.I said no...I go through this route daily.This is mother of jams.He said oh.He'd investigate.I thought "don't we have sophisticated gadgets to detect accidents ke hapa ke when massive jam like this happens.Why so 4th world one?"

I was tired, hungry, nak pi loo, etc.So when I saw the next available sign to go back the opposite direction, I blah.Was too tired by now to take the alternative route (Duke yang mahal itu and there's no guarantee that it would not be jammed up as well yah?) So I did the wisest thing..stopped over at my sister's place in Gombak and slept over (rang up Nik to explain).

About 5 am I drove back home.

Lepas tu I rang up traffic to find out what happened (it was not in the news).The guy said bukan dia yang on duty semalam so he didn't know (how odd..again I thought don't they have records flashing somewhere in the system?) I told him I was going to call up a few Ministries to highlight a few things (like don't they have KPIs to clear up accidents within certain2 timeframe but not 5 hours! My fren sampai rumah 11 pm semalam) so can he find up what happened before I put in my report even traffic dept didn't know what was happening.

So the chap was kind enough to call me back and said it was an accident motor and kereta kat Kepong (but I went through Kepong...takda apa pun...ambulance and police car went further!) Anyway kalau motor and kereta takkan sampai 5 jam nak clear? Macam treler and treler je berlanggar!

But I emailed Dr Tan, MP for Kepong.Besok I nak call up the two ministries.It is so counter productive allowing rakyat jelata spending time and fuel so long like that just becos' there is inefficiency somewhere (and we want to know where so that we can tackle the root problem) The policeman said ini perkara biasa.My! Should we live with perkara biasa dan terus merana? When perkara burok jadi biasa, something is wrong somewhere.Someone is definitely not thinking to be better!

Monday, April 12, 2010

when network does not work

This is really kelakar.

You have 7000 bidders for a thousand placements.You need cables to be among the lucky 1000.
Know what I'm talking about?
Government or Corporate scholarships for colleges/unis.

Everyone we know, our cables in the 'right' places have switched off their handphones, tiba2 email messages 'out of town'.Nak tergelak pun ada.Dulu semua kata no problem, no problem..but if we are competing with their own children or sedara mara, it would be tough I think.I understand.But isn't it kelakar?

I'd never switch off.I'd just say Insyaallah, I'll do my best. :))
I told Z to just pray and ask Allah.Itu lagi senang.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Dr. Robert Fisk:The real journalist

Me, Shan and Dr. Robert Fisk
(during his IIUM talk)

Thanks to Dr. Isham's insight, we got to listen to the famous Independent foreign correspondent, Dr Robert Fisk. Fisk was born in Maidstone in Kent, UK on July 12, 1946 (64 years old).He received his PhD at the Trinity College in Dublin in 1985.Based in Beirut for more than 30 years, this 7 times British International Journalist of the Year is a walking history who has written at length on the origins of contemporary conflicts.Think of any trouble on Earth: Dr Fisk has covered them all: from Northern Ireland troubles in the 70s to the Portuguese Revolution in 1974 to the Lebanese Civil War to the Iranian Revolution in 1979; the Soviet War in Afghanistan, the Iran-Iraq War, the Gulf War, the Invasion of Iraq in 2003 and he will update us on the most recent coverage in a new book/doco soon, I’m sure.

Fisk is a vernacular Arabic speaker and one of the few western journalists to have interviewed Osama ben Laden, not once but thrice! Osama tried to convert him to be a Muslim the first time around and the conversation went like this:

Mr Robert, one of our brothers had a dream. He dreamed ... that you were a spiritual person ... this means you are a true Muslim."

Dr.Fisk replied; "Sheikh Osama, I am not a Muslim ... I am a journalist ... A journalist's task is to tell the truth."

Bin Laden replied: "If you tell the truth, that means you are a good Muslim."[

Fisk believes that journalists must challenge all authorities especially so when governments and politicians take us to war and that our job is to monitor the centres of power and not allow Presidents, Prime Ministers, Generals even journalists to set the narrative of events instead of challenging the authorities.

He’s a pacifist and has never voted.

Fisk is also a best-selling author whose books include The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East (2005, latest edition 2007), Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War (1990, latest edition 2002) and The Age of the Warrior: Selected Essays by Robert Fisk (2008)

Fisk is on Facebook (possibly created by a fan) because he does not use emails which he describes as “the death of literature”. He still writes letters to friends and fans.
(against portraying war as something NOT bad ~ something surgical. Tell war as it is! Use proper language.A wall is not a fence."Jewish occupied" not "Jewish neighbourhood", etc)

An interesting write-up on him (he's divorced.Ex was this beautiful Observer journalist Lara Marlowe)

More war drama here

Friday, April 02, 2010

HUKM again

Some days ago I was the one who helped my mom check out of HUKM after her fistula surgery and besoknya dialysis.As always, you'd see how disconnected staff are at HUKM.I think it's just loss of passion to work their best.Can you imagine the young docs duduk bersibai atas counter (tempat nurse and doc menulis2 at the ward).It looks so unprofessional.These kids ingat depa kat sekolah menengah lagi ke? Duduk bersibai kat tepi jalan.

Anyway, in another scene I waited so long for the doc to sign my mom's discharge letter so mcm biasa, I sought permission to send her home dulu.Nurse kata not after the doc had seen her.Fair.So I waited.Meanwhile my mom komplen tangan fistula dia bengkak.Doc came and said he'd call the pakar.I went down to pray in surau level 1.When I came back my mom said pakar had come and he said can balik.Told the nurse pagi besok we'd collect doc's letter memandangkan it was getting late and doc tak da nak issue surat.My mom was getting restless and tired.

So I balik.

Then my mom's kaki and tangan got worse (bengkak).My 2nd sister yang garang tu pi call HUKM...war in mind.We went through the event and came to this conclusion: I may be in the wrong sebab jarum yang patutnya nurse/doc tanggal was still in my mom's arm! (but the doc and nurse one told me anything! And nurse knew I was going home.No one accused me of breaching any law)

Anyway, after work besok harinya, Sal and I went back to HUKM.Went to the emergency.Waited hours! Had it not been for this doctor called Ayub, I swear I'd collapse with fatigue, anger, hunger.The minute we walked into Dr Ayub's room, he was so cheerful, jovial, all those feelings I mentioned above hilang.It is this Dr Ayub also yang selalu ring up to ask how she is, etc.If only all docs have that kinda humour/PR, yang sakit akan cepat sembuh, yang marah akan tenang! We laughed so much when Dr Ayub kata antara pantang larang org sakit buahpinggang ialah jangan meminum beer.Wakaka! Mak aku tu dah 77, minum pun tak leh banyak...inikan beer.My mom said itu haram..bukan minuman kita.But she laughed too.

I think I'll email Prof Lokman, HUKM Director and give him some feedbacks.Emergency Room tu kotor, toilets hancing (I nak ambik air semayang nak semayang kat surau situ pun tak jadi..luckily I found my way to Level 2 of the Admin Building...wakaka..Jaga takda masa tu)
But I will mention Dr Ayub to Prof Lokman too.He should be an inspiration to others in health service.

Thursday, April 01, 2010


Taken from a blog but first, my questions:

1.Is this caused by a family feud? Sudahkah Benjy bercerai dgn isterinya ? (anak seorang tycoon Cina). Adakah mereka berebut hak penjagaan anak kecil itu?

2. Why was he denied a lawyer?

3.Mengapa Ben menyewa condo dan siapakah perempuan bersamanya?

4.Mengapa seorang yang begitu berbakat dan pintar jadi begini?

Semoga Ben dilindungi Allah sekiranya ini fitnah.

the following is written by a very dear friend of mine, Inessa Irdayanty, and the one below, by her sister Elza Irdalynna. there isn’t anything for me to do about this predicament she and her family currently face, except to help spread the news about injustice that is prevailing right here, right now. by re-posting this note, i hope im doing her a favour – it’s the least i can do, besides keeping her in my prayers.
my heart goes out to her family. they’ve been holding on to each other and not giving up in times of adversity – and i do know for a fact that this is one very, very strong family who has been, time and time again, been thrown into the many difficulties of life. may they pull through this!
please do take the time to read. i mean it. and re-post it if possible, and if you feel strongly about this.
thank you.
the latest news is, as written by Star Online,
The 800gm of “powder” found at actor Khaeryll Benjamin Ibrahim’s condominium unit in Kepong is not cocaine, said the police.
“The 800gm of powder confiscated was not cocaine and we have requested the Chemistry Department to conduct tests again,”.
why the retest is necessary, i do not know. just like how they needed about 10 plain clothed cops to rearrest my brother after the bail was posted, i do not know. and as much as i try to comprehend, i can’t.
i’m just hoping that all of this end soon enough, before my mother breaks down – she has been very strong about this; before my father speaks up – we all know how quiet he usually is; before my sister loses her patience – God knows she already has very little of that; and before my 4-year-old nephew is old enough to realise what is going on, and have these bullshit questions running through his head the way they run through mine.
thank you very much to all of you out there who are supporting us, praying for us, or at the very least ask us how we are. it means a lot to us, trust me.
one favour i would like to ask from all of you, is to please read the note below, written by my sister Elza Irdalynna, and to perhaps re-post this, if you may. please, and thank you. God bless.
On March 11th, he was arrested at his apartment’s parking lot in Segambut. Police brought him to an apartment he rented in Kepong, and after entering, claimed that in that residence, he possessed 800grams of cocaine, and 140grams of methamphetamine, and accused him of processing and trafficking, putting him under the risk of being charged under Section 39B, which carries the death penalty.
On March 12th he was remanded for 7 days. When my parents inquired if we can engage a lawyer, the Investigation Officer told us “No need”.
On March 17th, after our family waited more than an hour, we were allowed to see him for the very first time, under supervision.Again my mother asked if we should get him a lawyer, again the I.O advised against it, claiming “Lawyer tak boleh buat apa-apa sekarang. Buang duit je. (Lawyer can’t do anything now. It’s simply a waste of money).”
On March 18th, his remand was extended another 7 days. The magistrate enquired why there was no lawyer present for him, and whether he was made aware he had the right to a counsel of his choice. He replied “No.” Therefore, he requested for one, and only nine hours later, did the I.O call to inform my mother, who promptly engaged Amer Hamzah Arshad.
But the very next day, the police used their Executive authority under Section 28A that vetoed his right to a counsel. All requests made by our lawyer to visit him was denied.
Only after we complained to SUHAKAM, did the police allow Amer to visit him.On the last day of his remand.After the investigations were concluded.For only 15 minutes.
On March 25th, he was brought to court, and charged under Section 12(2) for possession of 0.24grams of metaphetamin in his Segambut residence. Nothing the police claimed they found in the Kepong residence, the cocaine and shabu that was “already packaged to be distributed” or the so called “cocaine processing mini-lab” was brought to court.
Because there WAS none.
He was released on bail. A trial date was set. He was so close to being free, and seeing his 4 year old son again.But as he was signing the papers of his release, the Plainclothes were outside waiting.
Not two steps after he came out of the bail department, without any explanation, they re-arrested him. Amer was restrained from protecting him, and only after Amer repeatedly asked them to show their I.D, did they do so. Still, no explanation was given to the family. We were merely told to go to the Headquarters and speak to Inspector Kang. The same guy who claimed my brother possessed the cocaine they NEVER found.
He never saw us, he was “in a meeting.” He wasn’t too occupied to give the press a statement, but was unavailable to see us.We were told by the new I.O for this case, and the DSP (the guy who signed the papers denying my brother the right to a counsel) that they are detaining him for 60 days under the Special Preventive Measures Act (LPK), after which, they could further detain him for 2 years if found guilty.
Guilty according to THEM. For under this act, it is a detention without trial, like the Internal Security Act. Any information gathered from “witnesses” and “investigations” will never be disclosed to him or his lawyer, or the court. He will also not be able to defend himself against any allegations. Under this act, he will never have his day in court.
On March 25th, my brother, Ben, was denied his Constitutional rights.
For 2 weeks, our family went through hell. Sleepless nights, press waiting outside our door, Ben had asthma attacks after the police delayed themselves in acquiring the requested medication for 3 days, Mama, who is a cancer patient herself, suffered chest pains and lost her voice.We felt it was all worth it, for we would be able to have him back.
But now, a new nightmare has begun.Whether or not Ben is guilty, should not be for the Police to decide. If they HAD the evidence to strengthen their warrant for re-arrest, why was it not brought to court? Why is Ben not given a chance to defend himself? How can we ever know the authenticity of these so called witnesses and their statements? If there were ANY to begin with?
Under this act, I could simply be caught for any crimes of drug offences the police accuse me of, because they can claim they have enough information (even if they have absolutely nothing) and detain me. For 60 days, for 2 years, and even EXTEND it after.
Acts like this and the ISA are licenses for ARBITRARY arrest and detention. Anytime. Anywhere. Anybody.
My family and Amer will not back down. We will fight for Ben’s right. We will speak up for all of those who were silenced before us, who will be silenced hereafter.
But we seek your help. In any way at all, help us fight this. Re-post this, write on your blogs, write to your local representative, to our newspapers, and together we shall use our voice, our art, our space, to stand up not just for Ben, but for all our rights.
Liberty is a Constitutional right. It’s time to get it back.