Sunday, August 31, 2014

Merdeka lunch and dinner

I thought once our parents were gone, our siblings and us would drift further away from each other.I thought wrong.

Every opportunity we have,we'd do a get together.It is difficult to agree on a date..there are a few in the family who would be busy gracing and officiating events so every time we whatsapp one another, masing2 tunjuk sibuk: am in giving a speech, here cutting a ribbon in Perak..wekk wekk..haha.Yang sorang tu: can't come - ikut suami berdakwah di kg orang asli (yg dah Islam).
Today siapa yang sempat je (almost cukup quorum-nya).We buat potluck...after round 1, semua ckp pun dah slow, pergerakan slow motion cos' terlalu kekenyangan.Buruk betul!We did tahlil for our loved ones.After makan, semua pressured Yayan to sing cos' he has a band and they hv been performing in KL.Yayan wrote a song for aruah Irsyad and we tried hard to get him to sing it.Dia tak mau.Then finally he sang a song and the sporting aunties and older cousins jadi backup singers.:)) It was a nice get together.We are doing it again next raya haji in sya Allah.

Masak lemak itik salai Ummi was so yummy.I brought sambal tempoyak terong manggor and petai with ikan bilis (my mom's recipe and one of her fav dishes).Yang lain-lain tu bwk makanan "modan" - shepherd's pie, eclairs, lontong, soto, dll.

Akhirnya some people tertidur bawah meja! Buruk! :))

And now: to the other side's do.Nik's sister is hosting a merdeka dinner.Tak sabar nak tengok Nazeer.

Merdeka weekend

         At The Curve with Z and Nayli
Paddington House of Pancakes

A hectic August.What didn't I do in August? Even on the brink of merdeka, I was away sharing the joy of many A level students getting their awards tonight (proud moments for parents).

We also had a tribute of Prof Kazmi yesterday (I had to cancel meeting a client at The Mines but Dr. Harris and Dr Alizi went to nego further our jv).I missed Prof Kazmi's speech cos' Prof N kept calling me to meet Dr. S from Germany.Akhirnya I angkut pakcik ni sekali to the reception so that I got to attend and chat up with Prof Kazmi and family members who flew from New Jersey and Spore.

And this evening, this:

Most of our IIS A level students are from outside Selangor so we are really proud that they did well in the Cambridge A level exams (ramai dapat 4As...they can also lead prayers, ok? - Kemerdekaan yang kita impikan!)

Happy Merdeka Day.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Is it enough to (just) pay back your bond?

Z triggered a discussion at breakfast table today: of people who broke their bond with their studies' financiers (orang Msia kata "sponsors") and not returned to work in Malaysia.

Is it justifiable to do that because the contract allows it? Legally, yes.Morally - so wrong and so bad.Very self-centred and not forward thinking.You do not go beyond yourself and this is the issue why I get so frustrated when intelligent and talented people leave the country.If it's to get a few years' work experience abroad (with the intention of returning to serve the ummah), it is much applaudable.But very often, your kids - who would be so culturally uprooted will be the reasons why you can't go home.The little ones will not be able to fit in Msian ways of doing things..Msian attitudes etc.I don't buy that line why people leave the country: so that our children will get a better education cos' here the non- bumis are second class citizens, no scholarships etc.These are just excuses because there are more people who do not get the scholarships than those who get and they still live and are successful.The key to success is hard work. You can do this anywhere.

I pray to Allah Z will return and serve the needy people here and not over-serve there.Yang sedih, I know of two cases where our brightest quit to serve a zionist organisation!Yang sorang stayed back in London, the other is doing the branch in KL.Sayang betul because the one in KL mmg a Muslim activist.Adakah ini satu rancangan jahat Zionist? (yah, salahkan semua kpd zionists).Remember my earlier blog entry pasal that accomplished engineer who came back to serve not only his parents but also his little city upnorth?I guess it was easier for him to return cos' he's still single and has no kids.I do not think it would be that easy once you have this other commitment.

It is a choice, indeed but even in making a choice, we need to think a bit more.Go beyond the self.That is the actual indicator whether you are really an intelligent person.Remember, you do not take government's money (rakyat's taxes) to be your jumping stone for a self-indulging life elsewhere.You would have denied a person who had competed for that scholarship and who would have returned home to serve the country.It is just not about money.

Kepada sesiapa yang berasa hati dgn entry yang agak keras ini, saya minta maaf.I'm just offering an opinion.Heh.

Monday, August 25, 2014


Saya lari dari workshop semalam sebab dah kasi input pada organisers on Saturday (checked in to sleep over at AKEPT tapi changed my mind and checked out hari yang sama balik rumah..selepas memberitahu tuanrumah) Hujan lebat and I had not driven so long distance like that for a long time.GPS pun hampeh.Syukurlah I made it in time for Maghrib.Kesimpulannya: percayalah kpd GPS sendiri. :)

Hari ni pun I lari from one function.Flu - very bad.Must be something I picked up from AKEPT (someone was having a flu and I shook her hand)or ulam served tak dibasuh betul (usually raw veges would give me this prob).Pagi Ahad lagi dah bergegas ke klinik and slept early. Dreamt of the palace in Sweden.Apa ke hel? Nak bermenantukan anak raja? Haha.

Mek told me rupanya masa my aruah mak was hospitalised the week she was dying she did ask Mek bila we were taking her out for the mother's day lunch I was supposed to organise.Sedihnya hati saya.Luluh!

Tak sampai 3 bulan dia tiada.Rasa macam dah lama sangat.There are days I miss her so much.Nasiblah saya ni penyabar (a-cheh konon!)saya teruskan juga kehidupan saya sebagai anak yatim piatu.But someone (orang bkn Islam commenting on MH17 masa jenazah sampai) said kita jgn ingat mereka yang tiada itu pergi terus..roh mereka ada dan kita akan berjumpa mereka kembali.Weiii..yang bercakap tu bukan Islam (psychologist).Malu! Malu!

So that is why I tak bergulung-gulung hiba cos' my mom is no longer here (how often I think of how I could have been much kinder masa dia hidup).

Friday, August 22, 2014

National mourning

I missed the lintas langsung but the uni had special prayers both at the mosque and at the Multi Purpose Hall of IIUM Sch.

We had to downplay the eidul fitri/merdeka event where Dato K and Dato Siti Nurhaliza were special guests.Datin Suliza Salam whose child got the best A level student was also at the main table of which I was the key guest (Chairman could not come so I sat in as one of the board members rep the Board).Of cos' I was overshadowed by the guests of honour (not that I minded)... Dato Siti kena serbu but Dato K was so sporting that he said it's OK for the standard 1 and lower primary kids to sit on the floor when Dato Siti offered to sing lagu merdeka.Nak pengsan I when the table I was at was surrounded by bdk2 kecik.One child practically sat next to Dato K.Haha.Cute sgt.I'm impressed that the kids know Dato Siti and loved her. Her skin mcm porcelain cantiknya.I berborak2 kecil...told her I shared the same birthday date as her (ada aku kisah? Haha).She said yes, Siti pun 11/1.I said Capricorn.She said Siti pun. :)) But she is such a nice person.Tak sombong lalu.Datin Suliza's daughter yg kat LSE tu kawan baik Amir and Z had slept over at her plc at Bayswater.We (the mothers) had agreed to get our daughters to help the A level kids write personal statements for their UK unis termasuk anak Dato K who's just joined the A level sch.A decent young man who hopes to go to LSE too.InsyaAllah.

Balik frm the event (where I gave a short speech and rasmikan the merdeka gimmick and then..a little gal gave me a basket of sweet), we rushed to penjara Kajang for our writing workshop.What an experience.Will keep a diary on this (bkn utk tatapan umum).We finished late.Dr. N ajak makan nasi Arab at her house..both lamb and chicken.Her hubby just got back frm Turkey and gave us baklava.I thought wei..if baru satu trip pi Kajang dah murah rezeki mcm ni, syukur alhamdulillah betul lah! :))

I came home to pics of sadness..jenazah victims of MH17 dah sampai.The kids yg paling kesian.Semoga ibubapa mereka ditempatkan di dalam syurga firdaus and they will meet again as a family.Alfatihah.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mother-daughter talk

I don't see much of Z since she started interning.We meet at breakfast and dinner je. She's busy meeting companies to sell her startup project with Amir.Mcm2 cerita.Today it was her meeting one of the accomplished corporate figures who went to Cambridge to do his PhD cos' that was the point of entry to be employed by giant companies of his field.He got the job..working with firms which built the Opera House in Sydney, another that built high-rising buildings in London, taught for a while at Cambridge,was offered a tenured job there but he wanted to return home cos' his parents makin tua and also he wanted to share his experience and knowledge and help build the nation.

Isn't that sssssweeeetttt? And he was pleased to share his stories with Z.Bagus betul dia ni.Patrioticnya.Z said it must be easy for you to work here with all those experiences.

He said no, it is more difficult cos' he had to adjust to so many things especially dealing with the attitude of people he worked with.Recently his dad (also an engineer in a city upnorth) won a bid to build the highest building in their city.His competitors tried to snub him: but you never worked here, right? (dismissing his overseas experiences as a builder).The tallest building his competitor ever built was a 7-storey building.For him, if he could build 7, he could build 23-storey building. Walhal, the structure requirements semua berubah as you build higher and higher.

I thought kelakar tu.He said his brother from London was also joining him cos' he didn't want to suffer alone. :))

Lesson to be learnt: not all successful people are into themselves.This guy (at the height of his career and life) came back to care for his parents and contribute to the nation.He does not need to return home, kan? So heart warming to hear this story in August!

Nak apa?

Bukan pertama kali saya beranggapan kalau orang menelefon mesti ada sesuatu mereka ingin dari saya (untuk saya bantu atau saya sebagai pendengar masalah mereka).

I know it is bad to think so.Banyak kali sudah terkantoi!

Dulu seorang bekas pelajar dari Dhaka datang dari jauh mencari saya semasa dia datang ke KL urusan perniagaan.Saya sudah lupa siapa dia.Bila dia datang, saya tanya ada apa-apa saya boleh bantu? Dia cakap hanya datang nak say hi.Silrahturrahim.Saya masih tak ingat dia.Kemudian dia beritau dia yang bawak kami menziarah sana sini semasa rombongan UIA melancarkan alumni branch di Dhaka.Sangat malu rasanya!

Tadi, Kak Id telefon.Dah lama kami tidak berhubungan.Kak Id bantu saya setiap hujung minggu kemas rumah basuh dan seterika baju waktu kami tiada pembantu selama beberapa bulan (menunggu yang baru).Dia boleh buat semua..jaga garden pun boleh.Dia masih bekerja as cleaner di UIA but not in my zone (agak jauh di hostel budak2 so we don't meet).

Hari ni dia telefon.Saya fikir mungkin dia nak sesuatu pertolongan.Kenapa Kak Id? (short of saying kenapa Kak Id telefon).Katanya tidak apa2.Kadang2 Kak Id rindu dengar suara Prof.MasyaAllah..saya sangat tersentuh! Sebenarnya dua-tiga hari kebelakangan ini pun saya teringatkan Kak Id.Mungkin telepathic.I must learn how to be more sociable.Semalam I visited my spa friend (phone rosak, semua nombor hilang).Dia pun kata dia kol but I was away in Europe waktu tu.I wanted to inform her my mom died.Baru semalam dapat berjumpa.Nasib dia tak tanya datang rumah ni nak apa!! She just said bagus you datang.I kol you tak berjawab.Dia nak ajak pi tempat spa baru.And that was how we a spa place. :))

A reminder to myself, bila orang mencari, jangan tanya atau fikir: nak apa.Terimalah mereka seikhlasnya.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Stories from the rivers

They have all gone polluted.And forgotten.

Sg. Koyan misalnya was the first place where I worked as a part time teacher.I stayed at the teacher's apartment (more like a hostel).Water was not reliable.Zaman tu mana ada internet or mobile phone.We had (there were two other teachers with me) lots of insects in the apartment.Every weekend I would travel back to my mom's plc in Raub, tompang kereta Cikgu Subra (an adopted Chinese child given to an Indian couple)He drove a Mercedes with his eyes closed cos' he knew the road too well.Allen and I used to squirm but Allen had been a longer companion so he was used to Mr. Subra sleeping and driving on the Raub-Koyan road.

Pagi Isnin we'd travel bck to Sg. Koyan and stayed on till Friday. The kids and parents were nice.They'd give me bananas as gifts every now and then.I taught the kids indoor aerobics.Sekali tu Allen termasuk and saw us without our tudung. Allen masuk Islam some years later.

Sg Pusu - masih cokelat warnanya.Bertambah cokelat apabila pembangunan menggila di sekeliling UIA.Biawak Sg Pusu on campus is now as huge as a croc.It has become a regular sighting..something we'd proudly show to our clueless visitors: there goes a crocodile. :))

Hari ni Sg Pusu mengamuk.Ada org menyenaraikan kajiannya sebagai kajian dia. Mungkin memaafkan lebih mudah dari menyingsing lengan baju mcm Shahrizat.Dato AS cakap I was the best chairperson hari ni bila badai menggila. Begitulah cerita sungai.

Sg Lipis - diberitahu Ratu Kuala Lipis will be at our raya function.I dropped everything to honour a philanthropist.Semoga rezeki mereka bertambah, kukuh imannya.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Stories from the hills

I must get my family to spend our holidays in Malaysia more.I macam berok keluar dari KL menuju ke Cameron Highlands.We never ever go this way for a longgg time now.My memories of CH were when Tam was living there for a while (if I tak silap).Oh so long time ago.I joined my colleagues on the bus (a night's stay..Nik and Z kerja so they could not join me).Masa pergi, exciting cos' we went through Simpang Pulai with a stop at Gopeng's R&R (oh so exciting I canggih...lots of stalls utk mkn minum).Along the way up, saw marble mines and air terjun (or streams from the hills). I went look!look! -like bdk kampong baru dapat keluar for the first time!Dr Saodah Ab.Rahman and I were talking non-stop.Her stories at Oxford and other travels were funny.I told her to start writing a travelogue.

The hotel was an old one(formerly the Equatorial). They gave me a room to myself despite me saying I was afraid of sleeping alone.I rang up Kak Long ( my childhood friend and a relative who's living in CH) and asked if they could pick me up.She lives in Tanah Rata.I was in Brinchang but she and hubby came and showed me around.Hatta works with pertanian and told me to get my veges from an organic shop.But I bought some strawberries and CH corns at the Brinchang market anyway.Why do they use too much chemical in their pesticides?Too segar those sayur and strawberries.I asked if Kak Long would not mind her gals (under 15) teman I tidur mlm tu.The gals nak ikut.Phew! My sessions went all night frm 7 pm.4.30 am bangun qiam sampai subuh.Told the gals to get their meals via room service sbb takut hilang if they wander on their own.Well- mannered gals and they slept well.

I think I enjoyed my mosque retreat betterlah but the fresh air was good.Took a walk with another colleague (but we ended up shopping!)

We did tadarus as well.This bit also I liked.My colleagues from IRK ngaji laju..friends in the English Dept said they'd start class tajwid soon sebab malu ngaji mcm org baru masuk Islam (termasuklah dot dot).Qiam pun syok but imam baca ayat panjang sgt.Kat masjid ari tu, ayat pendek but khusyuk tahajudnya.:)Lagi panjang lagi prone to khayal.Haha.

Time balik we ikut Tapah cos tanah runtuh kat Simpang Pulai way.The trip felt so long.But when we stopped at Tapah R&R to solat, sekali lagi I mcm berok...was mesmerised by the open air concept of a surau.Bestnya, awak! No stuffy room with noisy aircons.Stopped to drink longan drinks and some pineapple slices.Sitting nxt to me was a makcik (but she could be about my age tapi from the Felda so she may look older than her actual age).I asked nak ke mana.She said pi Kuala Kangsar dari Johor.Orang kawin? I asked.No..pi ambik hadiah cabutan no. bertuah.I thought payung ke, peti ais ke, oven ke.Belum sempat tanya, she said hadiah kereta.

Wough! I said murahnya rezeki.Apa amalan makcik? (Makciklah konon).She said takda apa but dia ada 11 orang anak.Wow.I said sapa bawak kereta tu nanti since she does not drive and does not intend to learn ( her hubby pun tak drive)...she said anak lelaki dia who lives with her.

I'm sure Allah has plans for her and her family.Maybe they will fall sick one day as they age..the car is there for them to cope.Maybe adalah kebaikan mereka that they got this rezeki.Whatever it is, I'm glad that I bumped into her.There's a lesson to learn from.

Allah tidak pernah lupa pada yang tiada.

Post Cameron Highlands

...spending time with the little ones in the family.

Cameron Highlands