Sunday, August 30, 2015

Friday, August 28, 2015

Day 3

Last night I slept late cos' they wanted us to submit a reading list of various genres.

Becky sorang je yang tinggal to give the final paper.Very enlightening when she coined a new genre called Lit of Catastrophe. One of the writers said setiap sesuatu tu ada destruction, ada creation.Ada storm, ada sufi.

Pastu kita semua pi shopping at SM Mall.I had to buy an extra bag sebab byk beli buku and orang kasi pun byk.I just brought a small bag thinking I would not have time for anything. At breakfast, Jomar (rasanya eja nama dia mcm ni) told me he read my green book and said I had strong voice in it. I tak faham apa yang strongnya.Then he said for e.g tak terfikir dia Taliban tu boleh dikaitkan dgn benda yang baik sebab saban hari media bagi gambaran buruk.He wanted to know what inspired pieces like that.So I pun buka cerita...tu semua pengalaman betul..kalau tak alami pun I nampak benda2 tu berlaku kat org lain..Taliban piece tu came after I read an account by humanitarian workers from Japan during the Afghan war.They saw Talibans digging wells for the villagers so that they would not die of thirst.makna kata, setiap puisi I tu bkn I saja tulis suka-suka no matter how playful.Dia ada message tersembunyi. :D

Cerita Jomar dgn cucu Isabella tersangat la funny.Isabella was his Prof and now cucu Isabella pulak anak murid J.J would spy for her..kalau cucu pi keluar berpacaran, J will sms nenek dia.Nenek akan siasat sapa budak lelaki tu.J kata depa dah start pegang2 tangan.Nenak kemudian will slow talk dgn cucu supaya sentiasa bawak "sarung" dalam handbag.Nak pecah perut kami semua ketawa.Mmg lawak depa ni.

I didn't know group ni dgn group Lily/Isabella tidak begitu ngam.Dua2 groups very nicelah.Uni mereka selalu in competition kot?

Dinner tonight was held at this fancy restaurant nama tak ingat apa.But happening le.Kita semua bising.Coroza and wife suka nyanyi (they have their own radio show).Athi pun tak mau mengalah tapi dia dah mcm Charlie Chaplin hari ni but he still made us laugh. Baru I tau Mel ni seorang wanita yang tabah.I was so touched she minta I doa agar segala2nya selamat that I did a special prayer for her & her family.Mel is Indonesian Chinese and not a Muslim but you know what,..bila kawan kita di dalam kesusahan..kita tak perduli dia agama apa pun..dia pun makhluk Allah.

Day 2

Mel and I kemain relaxed le kita punya papers dah over. Tri and Chin from Thailand and Spore pulak tak tidur malam last night.But because these are scholars hand-picked by respective governments, it was easy once they got down to do their job.We learnt so much about Thai lit (they have so many translated works cos' of the SEA Write Award..kalu nak ngajar now pun boleh cos' a decent number of writings had been translated over the last 37 years..that is how old SEA Write Award is..largely supported by the business community in Thailand).

Sebelum tu Prof Athi from Laos spoke.Dia ni very funny.We found out later that he's a diehard fan of Charlie Chaplin..he speaks perfect English (rupanya studied in Thailand, Australia and Sweden).He brought his famous cartoonist friend Arjan who is French mix.Dua-dua ni comedians.We learnt much also about Laos lit.Simply fascinating.

Ptg tu Chin pulak on.Dia ni yang paling muda dalam group tu.Very sweet lady (anak dah 2 nampak mcm single). Next week she and Becky (wakil Philippines also a SEA Write Awardee) will visit KL ..sorang on holiday, sorang on work.Tak menang tangan le I nanti melayan.Haha.

Mlm tu we were given a special treat..Mabuhay singers performed.They have performed for the last 50 stg years.Penyanyi utama ramai dah takda.

Then we had to read poems.I read my ASEAN pieces abt Spore, Manila and satu lagi on the new world order.Becky said I had a strong female voice in my work (org lain baca happy2 poems..I tak bolehlah,I jenis serious.Haha)

Pastu Mel pi cakap kita nak nyanyi lagu Rasa Sayang walhal lagu penutup dah nyanyi by the Mabuhay group.So depa pun suka la..ikut sama..then I had to sing the pantun..dlm van dah rehearsed dgn Mel then I ternyanyi pantun silap.Haha...Lepas dua lines tu I said alamak Mel..I forget the lines..So nyanyi je chorus and Mel did the other pantun.Rasa macam nak suruh lantai telan je saya masa tu.

But my Filipino friends tak kisah.Dr. Salizar said it didn't matter when I apologised for forgetting my lyrics.I tau la dia saja nak sedapkan hati I yang dah termalu. :D Hadoi..I think I kena masuk kelas nyanyi lagu2 traditional lah.Malu kat jiran2 kita,.They all know how to sing (except Spore..haha).

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


With everything that went on with me terkecoh2 lari sana sini after the snatchy incident and August was packed with CREAM activities and MyRA progress monitoring and was impossible to write my ASEAN paper the way I would have done it under normal circumstances.

Pulak tu since 4 ASEAN countries didn't turn up: Mynmar,Brunei,Vietnam and Cambodia,all 6 of us (me for Msia,Melani for Indonesia,Tri for Thailand,Chin for Spore,Arthi for Laos and Rebecca for The Philippines) had to speak for 1.5 hour termasuk 30 mins Q&A instead of the initial 20 mins.Sebaik sampai je I dpt pulun habis writing my paper (I was on the first day after Melani yg juga dpt tau lewat dari kerajaan dia and did say dia bimbang sbb kertas tak sebaik yg biasa dia buat but amboi..begitu terperinci persembahannya dgn slides berwarna warni.Kami terhibur!)

I ni buat slides pun tak sempat but I had a full paper siap dgn rujukan.Alhamdulillah berkat doa keluarga dan teman2.And I just spoke.For 1.5 hour.It was a good session.Lots of good questions and reflections.Symposium ini dibuat di uni kedua tertua di Philippines..Ateneo..sebuah Jesuit uni berusia 152 tahun di mana antara bekas pelajarnya adalah Jose Rizal.Mmg hebat uni ni..ada special library for Filipino women writers,ada art gallery yg bernilai juta-juta berusia 51 tahun tapi nmpk modern.Melani and I told each other: malu yah?This looks like a real university.Kedai buku dia..mak oii! Pastu uni ini owns a huge mall sebagai penjana duit.It's a private uni.Lecturers nya ramai paderi.When I spoke about Islam..semua dengar dgn teliti.Mereka begitu ingin tahu.Lepas talk,Mel said it was an excellent presentation.Prof Coroza,himself a SEA Write Awardee came to shake hands.Alhamdulillah..terasa luarbiasa kemudahan Allah beri.
After tht they took us on a tour and dinner at the UP mall.I bought locally made syampoo and conditioner dari tree bark called Gugo tree.Grey hair can turn black and will stop rambut gugur katanya.:D.Beli jgn tak beli.'s always good to be back in Manila.Orangnya lembut2 dan baik2.Sanchez took a cab then naik train to buy me my international adapter which I terlupa nak bawak.Takda tu tak leh tulis paper or charge my hp.

Semoga Allah beri dia hidayah  for his kindness.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Greetings from Manila

As always, I forgot to pack many things (tupun Z tolong pack-kan).I was running around like a zombie to get my IC, cards done on Monday.Mlm pulak dah promised Prof McKim and Harry Aveling to dine with the family at Mandarin O.Harry bawak kawan Mark Orlando.Balik dah lewat.Memengsan kata orang.Sisters I kata if I sabar with this ujian, Allah will give me more.Comfortinglah bila dengar "more" tu.Haha.

Tuesday pagi dah pi airport.Tupun almost missed my flight sebab I missed the train frm satellite terminal back to my G gate (Golden Lounge dia tak byk choice). I boleh naik train and upon disembarking found me at the same station.Maybe when it got to the other terminal I tak sedar ...sibuk texting! Haha.

I just stopped a buggy and said I'm late! I'm late! Nasib naik Biz.No fuss.5 mins later, they shut the door. :))

Gotta polish up my paper.
It's always a joy to be back in Manila.Kemain "modan" lagi dia now..mcm KL..highways sana, flyovers sini..but train tu kena buat took 3 hours to get to my hotel from the airport (sebelum 6 am, boleh sampai in 30 mins)..

Kira KL hebat lagi le..ada KLIA Express tu to avoid jam. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

IIUM Merdeka Parade

I'll post pics of the day later but our team won 1st prize in the IIUM Merdeka Parade. Punya la ngutuk earlier about how like sch kids we were being treated...pagi-pagi kena tunggu VVIPs (who would always not be on time..wal asr lah sangat!)..hampir 2.5 jam  nunggu..gosh..can we have some respect for time and us as researchers and scholars?? In two hours I could have done 50% of my paper for next week.

But winning 1st prize healed the sakit hati. :)) Ours was the largest and brightest (Prof Ridza kasi red caps and with more than 100 staff waving enthusiastically..siapa tak suka kan? Haha.Puji le diri sendiri cos' no one will)

I have workshop in the afternoon, gracing an award giving ceremony in the evening..paper to complete...hadoi..

Catatan malam

While at a traffic light jam on my way to Sal's before the award giving event, my front door car window was smashed and my Prada was snatched by two addicts on a motorbike.I didn't realise the loud explosion came from my window bursting into tiny pieces..syukur tak masuk mata etc.I thought it was frm an accident behind my car and when a motorbike hit my front door..I thought dia terjajar and my cermin pecah...rupa2nya dia guna liquid letupkan my cermin to grab my handbag yg kebetulan berisi segala mcm termasuk kunci ofis, rumah etc.We have changed all locks.No one cared as I screamed and honked unless they pasang geng apit me kiri and belakang in case things go wrong.But the driver on my left tanya akak kena rompak ke? I said yes.Did he see the guys.He said no.I told him I didn't know wht to do.He said go report at a nearby police station.I mana tau.I only knw home-work-Giant Batu Caves.

Then I called the sch and told them I tak boleh dtg.Cikgu Neela got Cikgu Kahar to escort me to the police.So sweet.They were both busy for the event.But when my nephew arrived,I told Cikgu Kahar (he's actually a sch principal) to attend to the impt event.But I appreciated their kindness.Nik sibuk tukar locks.Takut perompak dtg and he was busy making calls to my banks etc.

The scene at the police station lagi lah lawak.Later.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

South Australia government 's gala dinner

Guess who I bumped into at the Gala Dinner. Kawan kami bergaduh at WA! :D Imran Ho! Adakah kami terus bertekak? Jawabannya iya. But takdalah sampai nak bermusuhan. Met the old gang : Kris, Patrick, Yvonne, Nikky, Nithy and Azimah. The new VC is incredibly young. We should hire young VCs here too.

Our research strategic planning went well but it would depend on how aggressive our Deans are in meeting their kull KPIs.Prof Ridza asyik nak memberi BRIM. :)) But tht would be a good incentive really.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

LinkedIn gila

I'm sure someone put a virus on mine tiba2 requests were sent to everyone who had been on my mailing list (walaupun some apek once upon a time jual insurance ke hapa). A few emailed back they appreciated me wanting to be in touch but they weren't on LinkedIn.Buat malu muka I je! Cheh!

So I apologise to all for the unwanted intrusion.Byk kerja lain I aih dari nak berlinkedIn.Takkan LinkedIn has gone that cheap that it has to resort to this? (tick siap2 and then send secara berjemaah?)

A long day.I certainly don't need this. :)

Sunday, August 16, 2015


The little fish semua dah mati so I bought new red sepats and ikan bandaraya.Ah Kong or his Erikson never turned up.Kata pukul 12.. I told Nik Sabtu semlm jadual I padat...nak pi wedding anak Dr Farizah, nak visit my sister tak sihat at Putrajaya, Seth (cucu saudara) hospitalised at Sime, Subang Jaya, nak dropby rumah baru Azura (Ruzy, Jai, Azah semua tak leh datang), yada yada.

The night before sibuk beraya at Epah's.Ramai juniors I have not met but got to know better.Mana yg sempat.Got hooked up with Helmy psl sejarah Melayu and Az and Ju pasal Badri di Timur Leste.Tht was a laugh.Epah shared with me detik2 cemas Malik early this year.Alhamdulillah he's OK now.

I must also record this: Farizah put me at a VVIP table with Shuhaimi Baba but she bumped into her friends and never made it to the table she was supposed to be at.I saw the Alatas family.Masa nak balik, Farizah said tunggu la, pengantin dah sampai.So I waited at the entrance.Then I saw Zeti.Takda org sambut dia and line was so clear.So dgn muka tak malu I greeted her Tan Sri! We support you! She went hihi..tak sempat berselfie cos' Farizah's daughter came to greet her.I can tell my cucu I shook hands with Msia's first female governor who almost brought down Msian PM.Heh.

Pastu went for a quick chat at Azura's.Her hubby and gals were in so dari nak singgah kejap jadi dekat 2 jam! Nik had to attend his raya function at Rahman Putra and Z and I drove to Putrajaya to visit Long (lepas Maghrib). Mlm2 tu we drove to Putrajaya cos' Long dah bising I janji nak sleepover tapi tak timbul2 juga.She's really not well..teringat aruah mak I.Mcm tulah...mcm lelah but it's actually the heart.And she had done her bypass years ago.

I can see myself like that at 67.Kalu umur panjang lagi.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Cream Talk no. 12

We had the IDB Southeast Asian Director (Acting) to share with us opportunities IDB had to offer. Another group of IDBs was having another function downstairs so while waiting for Kunrat, we wired up.Sukalah I kerja ginih.Haha.More people, more opportunities to tap on.Gitu.

The session went well but yang registered 70, yang datang about 25.But we had good questions which Kunrat said were like a wake-up call for him to do more. Pastu I buat jahat (as a moderator) tanya pasal global financial crisis.Pandai pulak Kunrat menjawabnya. Smart guy.Pleasant to listen to.

Pastu I pi beraya ke rumah Che Noraini naik kereta Dato Asiah (dari jauh nmpk macam Jag but it's the bigger version of Merz).Che Noraini - macam biasa begitu lavish with her hidangan.I loved her laksam, nasi dagang, satay ketupat and her steamed lamb chops! Sedap betul, bukan sedap sikit2.Must ask her how she did it.Rempahnya macam lain. Masa balik tu I melambai2 ke Syed Azman cakap kita semua dah nak balik sebab dah kenyang.Buruk tak? Dato Asiah gila emas..macam pokok kacang lengannya penuh dgn emas (ada yang ada buah kacang!). I usik her about her being a pokok kacang.Gelak besar la dia.I just found out how pemurah she is.Masa ziarah her former cikgu sekolah rendah..his wife suka sangat one of her she just gave it to her..just like that you know? Wow! Kalau rege RM100 dua ratus, I tak le terkejut...ribu OK? But she said the lady sampai sekarang belum hilang terkejutnya.I said I had told you I like gelang you yang berjuntai2 tu (mix and match type) banyak kali dah today....She gelak besar! Just trying my luck, OK? (I tak berapa gemor emas..mungkin lepas ni can start liking sbb duit menjunam tak berenti2).

Thursday, August 13, 2015

CREAM Talk No. 11

We all loved Prof Raha of MoHE. She looked unbelievably young ..then I found out that she's my age from her TKC friends in my WA group.I told Nura that maybe her youth and beauty came from inside.She inspired us all, boosted our morale.She said our Islamic Finance is ranked 1st in the world and that is actually the country's niche area.But we have to work harderlah, she said..kena improve our international grants via our international staff, kata dia lagi.

Now we know why the job is hers (why Allah puts her there).Memang baik hati orangnya.Moga she and her team can help us (the nation) grow better.Msia is ranked no. 27 out of 50 countries in terms of R&D and commercialisation of ideas.Kira hebat la 30 in the world - beating Spore and Thailand.Yup, translate those into $ and cent.

 Prof Raha and I

 Kita di atas Spore dan Thailand
but jauh beribu batu from South Korea

 Macam kenal je rumah ni.

Roundtable discussion on sustainable development

I was invited to moderate a session in the late afternoon on the above.Managed to catch a session earlier.Missed the opening (we had dept meeting) but I heard some fresh ideas on SD from Islamic perspective: Dr. Chandra Muzzafar: to address the matter, one has to know the Sustainer; Prof Hassan: wars do not help SD; students raised rights to live/protect God's creation; Prof Young offered and further refined some of the ideas esp on financial issues...he said the existing banking system/structure semua menindas cos' no profit or loss sharing ie no ownership between thse who borrow and those who lend the money.Patut dlm Islam..tak pyh pulang balik apa yg diambil e.g zakat, wakaf except to help oneself and/or community; Dato Osman Bakar's response to Pope Francis's encyclical was deep and profound (glad I chaired it).

Too bad besok I hv to miss Imam Feisal's session.I'm a fan.Besok Prof Raha dtg awal to talk on grants.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Family time

Nothing pleases me more than spending time with my family and buying flowers/plants and feeding my fish.

I did all (well..with my two day maids..we decided not to keep the previous maid sbb dia tak ngikut kata.Haha.And now, rasakan diri sendiri! :)) )  I bought new orchids as the ones I had died one by one..there are a few like hidup segan, mati tak mahu.Met Ah Kong who's willing to have a look at my dying orchids but he said to check with Erison first.I said call Erikson? He said yes, Erison.Nik dah gelak2 kat belakang I.He asked you tahu siapa Erison tu? Then he showed me a card with Erison's name.It spelt Edison. :D But Ah Kong is lovable.I hope dia tak mungkir janji.

Last night we were in Rawang ber-open house with the Raub clan at my niece yg kaki masak.Besoknya (today) another niece pulak buat open house so berduyun2 pulak the clan but as always, I arrived late sebab nak nguruskan gardenlah, fishlah.Bonding with my cucu saudara was nice ( I see them like once or twice a year). Umaira semua ada.This time I layan Uwais..dia ni jarang dtg KL but very2 agile and streetwise.So layan dia nak pi the playing ground infront of the house (literally depan rumah!) The test came for me when he wanted to play tarzan..bergayut on the high bar moving frm one to the other! Haiyo! Told him kita tak pyh main yg ini? Wan Dah (boringnya nama ni) dah tua..tak larat nak pegang awak dari bawah.Ada dia kisah? I juga terjerit2 trying to hold him so tht he didn't fall.But actually Wan Dah pun suka the excitement of an innocent childhood! Haha, we had a good laugh in our own definition of thrills.

I wish budak2 ni come more often and spend time with me.We are definitely outnumbered by them..60% of the clan are bdk2 bawah 18 years old.

Friday, August 07, 2015

From Rags to Race

Two research workshops today.The morning session went well, alhamdulillah.Young scholars appreciated the hold- my- hand session with more senior scholars.

Masa lunch I was able to catch up with Prof Faris, Prof Yul and Prof Murni.Give us the space and we'll have loads of ideas on how to improve things! (sampai terlupa raya gathering at the sch of architecture.Depa sedap-sedap makan satay kambing etc..I dok makan sayor lemak petola kat RMC ni.Rezeki mak hari ni.Syukurlah ada lagi petola kat Msia).

Jalan tutup org nak ber-grand prix.Hadoi..byk events in KL this weekend will hangus.

Anis's hotel reception was really anak muda's.Her young friends on both sides nyanyi lagu ciptaan sendiri for the kedua mempelai : original, clever and funny (boys band). From bride's girlfriends - a few dancesteps for the groom (termasuk Z..danced mcm Nadra at her concert, I teased.haha).We all had fun.Anis's mom's speech was moving: we came to Malaysia not knowing anyone, converted to Islam and here we are, with such a huge family.Nik later on told me Awani did a feature on her mom (ship designer, married to a Tganu shipbuilder..they were at the wedding).Mula cerita, Anis's grandma had always wanted to sail around the world.So she built her own ship and sailed with her young children frm the first marriage to a true blue Frenchman (they were frm Paris).Sampai kat Tganu, kapal rosak ke hapa.Anis's grandma fell in love with the place and I guess fell in love with her present husband.I nak cari tht doco..we missed it sbb sibuk beraya!

Menyelami akal budi org Jerman

We had a session with Dr. S hari ni.What an interesting mind.Kita berbual masa lunch sampai akhirnya tinggal kami berdua sahaja! Dari topic German education philosophy to corruption in Southeast Asia to research opportunities in Germany.

Kata Dr. S, di Germany, education bukan utk profit-making.They spend €100 billion a year on R&D and no control over your research.Mrk tak kisah psl ranking ke, ISI or Scopus ke, KPI ke walhal mrk paling byk produce nobel laureates and negara ke 3 besar di dunia sebagai negara pengeksport selepas big bully USA dan big powerhouse China.Org suka produk Jerman sbb kualiti R&D fav kasut tu buatan Germany but commonly sold in France (sandal pun mahal gila but it protects your posture dll - tahan lama).

When asked mcmana German unis byk keluarkan nobel laureates, Dr. S kata bagus ke nobel laureate tu. It's a recognition given to old research, kata dia.Haha..pandai Jerman ni.Uni di Germany put emphasis on new tech, new knowledge tht benefits not only the industry, community and the indiv.They dont do research sbb nak penuh KPI or generate income or world ranking ke.I wish my Rector and Deputies ada tadi.

Ptg bergegas for another meeting at Dsara Heights.New faces ramai juga kali ni.I am now convinced rakyat Msia ni lebih cerdik dari pemimpin2nya.What a joy listening to everyone's thoughts.

Dr. Amani won the UNESCO female scientist award.We are all happy for her.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Kudos to Istana Johor!

When a Sultan reaches out in sympathy to a fallen subject, he earns much love and respect from the rakyat!

Sultan Johor, his Permaisuri and Tunku Mahkota are now talks of town for their courage, support and integrity speaking against abuse of power.Tunku Mahkota in particular has been delightfully vocal.I'm a fan now. :)) 

Monday, August 03, 2015

First day at work

...macam baru masuk sekolah. And it's our first day of CREAM too (research month). Luckily Dato Seri Salleh's session is in the afternoon.I pukul 6 am dah bergegas pi kerja thinking it's in the morning, thinking today is Friday.Still mamai!  Last night punya group WA lawak gila...1MDB ni boleh memecah belah friendship but I think group gila I semua steady.Z thought it's so funny that I should organise another meeting after my juicy open house function at one of my friends'..haha..demand banyak what. :D Azah pulak nak puasa 6 and Ruzy ada wedding on Sunday.Azura and I ready to go, backed by the guys (yang konon nak belanja I for the news.Mengacah je tu). Semi, if you are reading this: make the time yo - for the moh dengar berita (MDB) reunion.Not that it's gonna change anything.But at least kita tidak mudah tertipu by appearance/s anymore.Public image: solat tak putus-putus, tasbih di tangan tak lepas...terserempak kat function ...lain macam...

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Weddings and jetlag

Touched down around 10 pm on July 31. Z terus pi rumah Anis to rehearse for tomorrow's event.She's one of the 7 dulang gals for Anis's akad nikah.She slept at 3 am bangun 6 am today.

I lapar masa sampai semlm.Pi cari McD mlm2 buta.Hari ni bangun almost 1 pm.Cepat2 pi rumah Anis.Semua org tahu we just got home.It was a lovely reception.

Malam another wedding at Felda.One of the Chief Editors' daughter got married.Sat at our former MP's table.Behind our table was Hassan Ali and some said with his no. 2 wife.Ramai le menteris and former menteris sighted.I pun famous what.. ;)

We went to visit our anak2 tut..Nadra and the gang. Nadra loves the bouncing egg we bought her.Semua ingat tu telor betul as she threw it on the floor. Regenya £1 je but we never knew it would bring so much joy to a creative child. A well chosen toy indeed.