31.1.08

Muhibbah Tag

I was tagged by Shah of Cakap Aje about a post started by A Voice on Muhibbah. I am supposed to write something on Muhibbah.
However, one thing that’s evocatively certain, I can’t possibly write as meaningfully as Shah’s. So I’m in big trouble really, what with this clever brain of mine still not working properly. With that, please excuse me if you find this Muhibbah entry is particularly juvenile. Here goes…

Muhibbah is when:

a. My best friend in primary school was a Chinese boy named Lee Kwek Seng. He’s a clever boy. So I always ended up copying his homework. Good friend indeed.
b. My good friends while in secondary included names like Adzman, Nawawi, Yih Jiun, Wai Seng, Chee Wai, Murugan and Rajendran, among others. There were many more…naturally. And there’s Ranjit Singh too.
c. I was the only Malay boy in the school’s photography club. And usually after our weekly Saturday meeting, I rode pillion on one of my friends’ bicycle where they sent me to the bus station, five minutes away. Other friends would normally tagged along. All 15 bicycles. One Malay boy and many Chinese friends.
d. When I fell sick, friends like Lili, Yuen Pen, Christine and Radiance (yes that’s her name) became concerned and used to call me at home to bertanya khabar.
e. Once when I was already working in NST, I went out to lunch with Sivakumar, Juhaidi Yean and Hew Pit Ling. It was a Friday. After lunch, Siva dropped Juhaidi and I at the UM mosque for our Friday prayers. Both him and Pit waited for us in the car.
f. During one Chinese New Year, many many years ago, my colleagues (such as Shukor and the wife, Noq, Che Mat, Husaini and many others) and I went to Michelle’s house. We ate kacang-kacang , oranges and drank soft drinks. Then Michelle treated us to a KFC! Finger lickin good!
g. And once during Deepavalli, my Malay colleagues, our wives and kids, drove up to Klang to sample Chandra’s deliciously wonderful chicken curry and other makanan yang sedap-sedap.
h. Back at the office, more goodies awaited courtesy of Prasanna and Kody. Of course, once Raya rolled by, we’d returned the favour.
i. Speaking of Raya, my wife told me that her school friends would come in droves to her place to celebrate Raya. All her Chinese friends. And they would spend practically the whole day at my wife’s place. Really berhari raya. Makan and makan lagi.
j. Her best friend Doreen Fong would go one up. She would spend a night or two at my wife’s place. Regularly. And then they would turn the kitchen upside down experimenting with new recipes.
k. A neighbour whom my wife called Kak Yap would come over practically everyday to sembang-sembang and more importantly cooked dinner together with my sister in-law. During Ramadan, Kak Yap would masak-masak for them too. They would break fast together. Ms Yap would then sit quietly at the back of the room while my wife’s family performed Maghrib prayers. More often than not, she would be sitting in while the family did a tadarus (Quran reading) session too.
l. And did I mention that once when I was in my first year at the Third College UM, a Chinese coursemate of mine, whom I only remembered as Leong, woke me up early one morning. He said, “Mior, bangun sembahyang subuh!”

There. The spirit of muhibbah in action. No slogan needed. One thing for sure, I treasured all these friendships. Forever. I am blessed!

Apparently, I have to tag 2 others whom I feel are very qualified people to talk about this subject. Therefore, I’m tagging my dear friend Fauziah Ismail and my friend in Dubai – Idham of Clear Blue Sky (I know you are a good sport, Pak Payne. I’m sure you have a lot to share)

27.1.08

KLPac, Sentul West and Tudung

To egg on my daughters’ interest in performing arts, I decided to bring them to the KLPac Open Day earlier today. In Sentul West.

Now those of you, who have been there, will surely agree that this is one cool place. Not just the KL Pac but the Sentul West area as a whole.

Apparently what used to be KTM’s area, this part of Sentul now boasts a perfectly manicured garden around the 35-acre park, with its crystal clear lake and an International Koi Fish Centre next to the KLPac. It is all pretty surreal, I tell you.

There are still a few KTM’s old buildings around the area. Some have been renovated to house ..er.. a developer’s office. Why, even the KLPac building itself is an angular contemporary structure with two 103-year-old brick fa├žades. It is really a former train warehouse with funky glass walls.
And we had an interesting session at the KLPac Open Day. It was a fun outing with wonderful activities and interesting talks and workshops. Of course, there were also mini performances all around KLPac featuring music, theatre, dance, film and art.

One of the performances at the open day
One of the many interesting landmarks at the park
Asma and Arissa saw a microphone stand and started clowning around.
Of course Alia need to have her 5 second fame too
They went berserk posing for the camera. Sooo many tempat cantik
Then depa berangan jadi model... first is Alia
then Asma... berangan jadi orang yang kehilangan sesuatu (kot)
then finally Arissa.... pose world peace dia (kata depa one of the mamat in the background is a celebrity.)
On the way back, singgah kat Jalan TAR. Alia borong tudungs for her best friend Sakinah. Sebab Sakinah emailed kata kat London tak de orang jual tudung. Really?

26.1.08

The Magic of Reading Al-Quran

I went bloghopping (thanks, Yah!) and chanced upon this delightful story. Read on...

Why Do We Read Al-Quran Eventhough We Don’t Understand A Single Arabic Word?
An old American Muslim lived on a farm in the mountains of eastern Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading his Quran. His grandson wanted to be just like him and tried to imitate him in every way he could.

One day the grandson asked, “Grandpa! I try to read the Quran just like you but I don’t understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Quran do?”

The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and replied, “Take this coal basket down to the river and bring me back a basket of water.” The boy did as he was told, but all the water leaked out before he got back to the house.

The grandfather laughed and said, “You’ll have to move a little faster next time,” and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again.

This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was impossible to carry water in a basket, and he went to get a bucket instead.

The old man said, “I don’t want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water.You’re just not trying hard enough,” and he went out the door to watch the boy try again. At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got back to the house.

The boy again dipped the basket into river and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty.

Out of breath, he said, “See Grandpa, it’s useless!”“So you think it is useless?” The old man said, “Look at the basket.”

The boy looked at the basket and for the first time realized that the basket was different. It had been transformed from a dirty old coal basket and was now clean, inside and out.

“Son, that’s what happens when you read the Quran. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, you will be changed, inside and out. That is the work of Allah in our lives.”

I'm humbled!

Beware of Carjacking tactic

This arrived in my inbox recently. From my colleague in the office. Sama-sama kita berhati-hati dan berjaga-jaga...

Dear friends,
The latest tactic used by robbers to stop you while driving and to rob, rape or slash you has come to my attention after a friend of mine was trapped in this situation.
My good friend was driving along Kesas Highway with his wife just after Plaza Tol Puchong towards Kajang last Sunday 23rd December at around 11 pm after attending a dinner function at his relative's house in Bandar Sunway.
Suddenly, a motorbike overtook them and the pillion rider threw 2 eggs onto his car windscreen. Within seconds, his whole windscreen was smeared with the messy broken eggs. His immediate reflex action was to turn on the windscreen wipers which naturally covered the whole surface and blurred his vision in no time.
So he immediately slowed his car and brought it to a halt along the emergency lane. Then he got out of his car and was trying to wipe and wash the windscreen while his wife was seated inside the car. All of a sudden a Proton Satria stopped behind his car and 3 guys came running towards him with Samurai swords screaming at him to surrender his car and wallet.
Luckily my friend, who is attached to the police CID, managed to pull his gun out and fire two warning shots in the air. The 3 guys ran helter skelter back into their car and drove off at a very high speed.
He called up for assistance and was told the getaway car had a false number plate.
Apparently, this tactic has been used quite often in the latest string of road side robberies especially with lady drivers or men driving alone or with women and small children.


So please, should you encounter such a situation, REMEMBER to make sure:
1) Not to turn on your car windscreen wipers.
2) Continue driving, with whatever available vision, to the nearest petrol station, police station, 7-Eleven store or any other crowded or brightly lit place to attract attention.

Be Safe All.

19.1.08

Jalan-Jalan Holiday

The five of us haven't been going for a family holiday for a longest time. It means just the five of us. When the girls were smaller (pre-schools days), I made it a point to go for a holiday at least once a year. Just us. Sure, there were instances recently where where tagged along other family members for jalan-jalan- like last Raya when we, on the spur of the moment, decided to go to Lumut. But it's not the samelah.
So during the last Maal Hijrah long weekends the other day, with rezeki from Allah, we decided to go for a road trip up east coast. The Five of Us.
The plan was to drive up to Kuantan, stay overnight there and then make our way to Kuala Terengganu the next day. We would then spend three days in KT exploring the many wonderful attractions there (actually the only attraction for the ladies of my life was that Pasar Payang, more about that later.) Kuantan was chosen because I've never set foot in Kuantan town itself. The few times that I made a trip east coast we somehow always skipped the town. So I resolve to visit the last remaining state's capital that had so far "eluded" me. And KT because I haven't been there oh for many years. Kota Bahru would be a nice additiion in the agenda but that would mean extra day or so. No more cuti. Next time perhaps.
Alas, we can only plan but Allah knows best. Whadaya know? As we were approaching Temerloh (on the east coast highway no less), our car came to a stuttering stop. Siap dengan asap lagi. And I have sent the car for thorough servicing the day before. What luck. We called for the highway tow truck service before being towed to Temerloh exit. And when the mechanic came, he dropped the bombshell that they needed at least two days to repair the damage. And both Yan and I were really dejected by the news that Yan said that we could very well forget about the whole thing. The good mechanic sent us to the nearby Seri Malaysia where we checked in for the day.
Yan and the girls while waiting for the tow truck at east coast highway.
We spent two nights in Seri Malaysia Temerloh while waiting for the car to be repaired. That experience left us not wanting to return to that Seri Malaysia Hotel. In that short of time, we occupied three different rooms (because all the air-conditions were not working properly), and its rather dusty and dirty (better not get into it lah). And having cooped up in one room for more than 24 hours was certainly no fun. But alhamdulillah, the mechanic (whom I called Along) managed to speed up the repair and delivered the car back early Saturday morning (instead of Sunday morning). Which means, we still got time to drive up to KT. So in no time, we gladly left the hotel at the earliest possible time. And we rolled into KT around 2pm later that day. Traffic was quite bad that day but janji dapat pergi.
After performing the solat jamak qasar, Yan wasted no time by herding us all back into the car. First stop, where else, Pasar Payang. Oh by the way, we checked into YT Midtown Hotel. Such a cool hotel as it is situated right in the centre of the city. Within walking distance to Pasar Payang and many other attractions. And the room is by far superior than those of the ones we had in Temerloh.
After Round One in Pasar Payang, we decided to check out the popular Pantai Batu Burok. Asma wanted to ride a pony there. But as usual she chickened out at the last minute. Arissa and Alia of course rode on those ponies gamely.

Ni ha, orang yang nak naik pony sesangat. Duduk buat muka poyo.

It was hot in KT. Super hot. It shows here in the pix. But the sea breeze was rather nyaman.
Alia is one girl who would gamely try on many games ke, ride ke or anything that catches her fancy. Macam this kite. She wanted to cuba (actually the bapak also want to) so she bought one. Alia is the one you would want team up if you are trying out for The Amazing Race. And forget about Asma.
An interesting tourist bus in down town KT.
Of course, we did the tourist round in Cendering. The next day. Here we were at Noor Arfa Batik sprawling new centre witnessing the batik making process.
Then we went to Pusat Kraf for songket weaving demo. Very tourists kan?
Then we visited the waterfront. And were delighted to see boats like these.
We parked our car along this road. In front of the waterfront oblivious to the fact that the building on the right is the now my girls' favourite place - yes Pasar Payang. We spent a few moments here while waiting for Yan's nephew to come over. Raziman or Im is a CID officer at the KT PDRM here. The girls remembered him as we attended his wedding in Bagan Serai last year. Now they were very impressed as they thought he works as a CSI in KT. Apa-apalah.
Im belanja us minum at Pasar Payang while waiting for another Yan's niece Shida to come over from Setiu to join us. Of course lah when you are in Pasar Payang you did not simply minum2 but turut serta shopping. That's Round 2.

Another view of Waterfront Bazar. Katanya those hawkers at the pasar Payang will move into this building soon. Ye ker?
My love . After that we went for lunch with Shida (Im has gone back to work). Balik Hotel sat to solat. And then it's Round 3 at Pasar Payang. While there, Im called asking us to join for tea somehwere in KT. Nasib baik ada Shida who seems to know her way very well. Hmm. Kena bagitau mak dia nih.
Shida showing Alia how to eat Laksam (ker Laksan?)
That's Im and wife Diana. Perfect hostlar.Bagus dapat anak sedara macam ni. That evening he belanja us again at one of the seafood joint in Seberang Takir. The place was quite dark tatau apa nama. But thanks a lot.

Anyway, the trip was delightful. Although Alia and Asma still can't accept the fact that the Floating Masjid Tengku Zaharah is not really a floating mosque. And they still couldn't figure out why the Pantai Batu Burok is named as such. "Apa yang buruknya?" tanya Asma. Sapa nak tolong jawab?
P.s: there're round 4 and 5 at Pasar Payang. Hik hik!(Imagine if we go to Kelantan?!)

9.1.08

Selamat Tahun Baru

When I was growing up, we called it Awal Muharram. Then one fine year, it became Maal Hijrah. Anyway Salam Muharram To All. Moga-moga kita jadi hamba yang lebih baik ibadah, budi dan sifat kepada Allah. Be grateful always! Insya Allah.

P.s: I'm going on a holiday. Yipeee!

7.1.08

What A Start!

Been Busy. Work. And Play. Also School Reopened. Triple Busy. Parents Were Told No More School Fees. Yip Yip Hoooray! But Other Fees Awaited. Haaa! What? Many Grumbled. And More Protested. Education Minister Merajuk. Said The Government Has Subsidised Millions. Parents Very Ungrateful and Still In "Subsidy Mode". How To Move Forward, Like That?

The Thing Is, Wahai Datuk Minister, Why Bother Announcing The Removal Of School Fees Only To Replace It With Other "More Expensive" Fees. Fees Like Yuran Tandas Or Yuran MSSM. For The Record, My Daughters Never Ever Participated In Their School Sports Day Let Alone MSSM Event. And My Sister In Law (In Small Town Perak) Is Paying Significantly More For Her Son Than Us Here In KL. Why Like That? So Datuk Minister, No Need To Merajuk lah. Just Standardise The Whole System. We Pay. And The Election Is Coming, Kan?

So That's Basically The Start To My 2008. Nothing Exciting, Really. (And I Still Owe Pak Zabs A Tag). Anyway Happy New Year Again.