Saturday, October 11, 2008

Malaysian Maladies - Part 2

Without me realising, it has more than a month since I last update the blog.

I thought nobody cares until I met someone last weekend during a "kenduri" I attended who asked why was it that I have not been updating it. It seems that he has been following the blog closely and finds the blog rather "interesting" to him.

I was naturally glad that I do actually have a following among the surfers. Oh what a wonderful feeling.

So, to keep up with the "obligation" of keeping alive one's blog, I present you the second part of Malaysian Maladies. All these pictures were taken during our "balik kampung" journey early last month.

Rubbish everywhere! We were flat dwellers ourself before moving to our current residence but I never come across a flat that was so dirty everytime I paid a visit there. This particular flat is at Batu Lanchang, Penang.

So used to the dirty environment, the kids in the picture does not seem to mind the dirty environment and find it absolutely all right to them to play futsal.
Park Anywhere! Malaysians in general have no qualms to park their vehicle anywhere, so long that it is convenient to them.

This picture was taken at the junction of Jones Road, George Town and proves the point that we can actually park anywhere, including at the junction of a road.
Emergency Lane, what's that? During our journey back home from Penang during the raya holidays, seeing fellow motorist overtaking obedient drivers via the Emergency lane was part and parcel of the balik kampung scene. Why queue, just "potong" from the left. Everybody does it, one's must be silly to follow the traffic rules. Traffic rules are there to be observed only when there are policemen around.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Malaysian Maladies - Part 1

For some reasons, I tend to think that the enforcement of the social order in Malaysia has been deteriorating resulting in us seeing so many unacceptable practices becoming a norm in our everyday lives.

In this series, I'm posting some of the example of what I'm referring to. So rampant, Malaysians have slowly becoming immune and starting to accept these practices as part of the Malaysian way of doing things.

This "Malaysian Maladies" is of course might not be exclusive to the land known as Malaysia, as I'm pretty sure it is also rampant at other backward third world countries. For sure, you will not find these in our nearest and first world neighbour, Singapore.

The first malady is the hoisting of an extremely damaged national flag even though it is during the so-called Merdeka Month.

Believe it or not, this despicable view was taken at a Kindergarten, a fully operational kindergarten where its students are seeing the "flag" on a daily basis.

Respect for the flag is utterly zero with the management and teachers of this kindergarten, and the neighbours, well nobody seems to be bothered to tick off the the kindergarten or better still the local authority.

While some might be indifferent on the flag that they fly at their premises, there are also those who doesn't seem to be thinking straight when picking a pole to hoist the flag.

This pole for instance was picked to hoist the Jalur Gemilang during the Merdeka month and what do you see? It's a flag being hoisted at half-mast! So instead of celebrating the nation's 51st Anniversary of Independence, the nation is as if in mourning!

Maybe, we do have a reason to mourn, with all the arrest of prominent figures like RPK and Teresa Kok, for reasons beyond the comprehension of any normal apolitical Malaysians like me.
Next is the selfish attitude of Malaysian drivers. Like the one in this picture, there is absolutely no respect to the yellow line which means "No Parking" along the lane, but as you can see everyone parks the car along this yellow line, not on one side of the road but on both sides!

Further up is a taxi stop, guess who stops there? None other than more cars leaving taxi commuters having to waive for the taxis in the middle of the road. And the taxis have no choice but to drop and pick their passengers from the middle of the road!

Very frustrating right? But this is what we at Leboh Ampang, Kuala Lumpur have to endure almost every day and at every hour of the day (especially during office hours). Where are Bandaraya and PDRM? Don't know!
And lastly (for this series) is the nuisance motorcyclists who just refuse to use the dedicated motorcycle lane provided along certain expressways.

This picture was taken along Kesas Highway, I just can't understand the mind of the motorcyclist pictured here. The motorcycle lane (which is much safer)is just beside the expressway but he chose to ride on the highway, racing with the speeding cars.

I wonder who would be at fault if there is an accident involving a car and a motorcycle on an expressway like this. I won't be surprised if the driver of the motorcar is put at fault since it is an acceptable practice to ISA a journalist while the perpetrator (as reported by the journalist) is scot free (and going to be on a nationwide road show soon).

Uniquely Singapore, I don't think so, I think "Uniquely Malaysia" is more appropriate.

Jasni AJ

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Farewell Maal, Welcome Back Nabira!

The Final Farewell
On 1st Muharram in Year 2006, on a day known as Maal Hijrah, JF2 found 2 little kittens, not more than five days old, crawling at the pavement in front of the house. "Ma, Pa, look I found two little kittens, can we keep them?", asked JF2. Looking at the helpless kittens with the mother nowhere to be found, we decided to provide a shelter for the two kittens.

They were named Maal dan Higgy, taking the occasion of the day that we found them, Maal Hijrah. So since then, they have been part of the "household", fed and taken care of by the best of our ability.

Though they are not "bred pets" but rather of "stray cats", the attention and care (which include medical care) given to them was at par to those accorded to Persians or other exotic breeds.

Higgy however left us during last year's Raya holidays while in a boarding facility, leaving Maal alone. But Maal was never really alone as he regularly received visitors from other stray cats in their attempts to share Maal's food.

There is one particular orange cat that Maal would always avoid contact. Perhaps the orange cat was rather aggressive. But he got along well with the others, he will let the "gang" consume his food without ever exerting any territorial dominion over his supposedly home.

However, suddenly, out of the blue, he started to loose appetite and within a day got dehydrated and just lying helplessly last Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Mrs. J brought him over to the neighbourhood's veterinary clinic for medical attention and he was subsequently warded for observation.

Come Thursday, he actually showed a remarkable improvement. He looked healthier but he doesn't seem to be able to move anything other than his head.

And come Friday, the veterinarian confirmed that Maal's brain was infected causing him unable to control his body movements other than the head.

Due to this, he is no longer able to eat or drink on his own. In short, Maal is now paralysed. Maal is now a vegetable!

On the veterinarian's recommendation, it was then decided that the most humane act is to end his suffering by putting him to a permanent sleep.

Maal's Final Resting Place
So today, after all the family members (except for JF1 who is spending the weekend at his hostel)bid farewell, Maal was put to sleep at exactly 11.00 a.m.

He was then laid to rest under a shady tree opposite the house.

At long last, she's back!
Such a sad day indeed, losing a pet, though came by uninvited but had surely brought colour to the house.

The low spirit of the day got uplifted when Nabira, who was "hospitalised" for more than 2 months was brought back home. The car now look brand new and I would say that the workshop had indeed done a splendid job in repairing the damages "she" incurred from the traffic accident that occurred on 4th July.

I have three months to check and see of anything not right with the car and hopefully, there would not be any. The rear sensor was conspicuously missing and the workshop has asked me to send the car back anytime for them to reinstall the rear sensor device which they had accidentally "forgotten" to install.

So we now look forward for happier times ahead, starting with the fast approaching Hari Raya holidays as we will be on our "balik kampung" journey to the northern states of Penang and Kedah.

Till then "Selamat Berpuasa" and if this is not too early, "Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri".

Jasni AJ

Saturday, September 6, 2008

4 Hours to reach home!

Up till last week, my exposure to the Klang Valley's public transportation has been exclusive to the Kelana Jaya LRT line and occasionally the KTM Komuter service. I'm a regular LRT commuter, using the service from Kelana Jaya Station to Masjid Jamek Station almost every working day.

Occasionally, I would also be taking the KTM Komuter service from its Batu Tiga station to KL Sentral, where I would switch back to using the Kelana Jaya LRT line to disembark at Masjid Jamek.

And this has been my routine for the last three years since taking up a position at my current office which lie smack in front of the Masjid Jamek Station.

And from the three years experience I have with the public transporation that I'm used to, I have considered that our Public Transportation was really not bad (despite the occasional hiccups from time to time).

But this assesment of public transportaion is perhaps due to the fact that I do not rely on public transportation wholely as as we use our own car to travel to the stations from home (and vice versa).

This arrangement changed earlier this week when Mrs. J's office implemented a new woking hours in conjunction with the Ramadan month.

Instead of finishing work at 5.30 pm, the office now closes an hour earlier at 4.30 pm but starts at 8.00 am (instead of 8.30 am) and a reduced lunch break from 1 hour to just half an hour.

It's great to have the working hours adjusted as this would enabled its employees to reach home earlier to prepare for breaking of fast with the family members.

Unfortunately, not all offices observe adjusted office hours. Mine, for instance is business as usual, making Mrs. J's adjusted working hours meaningless if she had to wait for me to arrive at Kelana Jaya LRT Station only about 6.00 pm.

So we decided that Mrs. J should just go straight home after office and let me find my own way home using KL's Public Transfortation system all the way. And that's where my nightmare began!

It was on the third day of Ramadan that I experienced the real pain of using public transportation. I started the journey home from office comfortably using the much familiar Kelana Jaya line, but instead of disembarking at Kelana Jaya station, I got out at KL Sentral Sentral instead. And I got there in less than 5 minutes.

Once at KL Sentral, I had two choices, one, switch to KTM Komuter to Shah Alam station or two, take the RapidKL bus from KL Sentral all the way to the Sri Muda Bus Hub.

I opted for choice No. 2 and proceeded to wait at the bus station besides KL Sentral. But I noticed something, there don't seem to be any bus servicing Sri Muda passing through KL Sentral Station. I remember taking the bus from that station once (when they first introduced the service), but where is the bus now?

After going through all the embarkation bays and couldn't find one that could let me board a bus to Sri Muda, I went to check with a RapidKL bus personnel based at the station.

I was then told to walk further to the "other" KL Sentral Station, the one belonging to Monorail as the bus now passes that station instead. (It's funny though that here are two KL Sentral Stations, one the real KL Sentral Station, and the other, the smaller station located about a kilometer away but still bearing the same name!).

So off I went to the other KL Sentral Station and joined to crowd all waiting for their respective buses.

But all other buses passes by but not the one heading to Sri Muda! So after waiting for about half an hour, I headed back to the "real" KL Sentral Station to take the KTM Komuter service instead.

Within minutes (which was already about 6.15 pm), the KTM Komuter to Port Klang arrived and just like the earlier LRT ride it was also a smooth journey of about half an hour to my destination, the Shah Alam station.

By 6.45 pm, I was already at Shah Alam KTM Station. Again I joined the crowd waiting for the feeder bus that would take me to the Sri Muda Bus Hub. But there I was, waiting in vain, 3 other Komuter passed but not a single bus arrived. At last there was this bus that finally arrived but its destination was to the other part of Shah Alam and not the one heading to the Sri Muda Bus Hub.

So at 7.15pm, I decided to walk towards the main road which was about 2 to 3 kilomoters away. And along the way, I could hear the sounds of the azan signalling the time to break fast. But unlucky me, I was all alone walking by myself with nothing to break fast with.

At the bus stop along the main road, came a bus that took me to the Sri Muda Bus Hub. But the bus came only at about 7.45 pm and I reached Sri Muda Bus Hub half an hour later.

At Sri Muda Bus Hub, the waiting game repeated. There were no buses, both the RapidKL Feeder Bus nor the Mini Bus until at around 8.45 pm, and it was the Mini Bus that arrived.

The Mini Bus, which was very much a run-downed bus ( I wonder how Puspakom approed this bus for service with automatic door not working, air-cond kaput, and squeky sounds everywhere) finally brought me home at exactly 9.15 pm. A journey of 4 hours to reach home from office. Wow! What a shame! (I could have reached Penang I were to drive from KL!)

I hope someone responsible for public transporation would re-look our public transportation service again and improve on the connectivity of the various modes of public transportation. It is a shame that while we do have a quite a decent public transporation modes like the LRT, Komuter, RapidKL buses and (eeee) the Mini Bus , the connectivity and synchronosation of the various services is still very much in disrepute.

I have to keep on using the public transportation thoughout the month. For the next trip, I want to change the route. I would take the RapidKL Bus from Pasar Seni
all the way to Sri Muda. Let's see how long will it take. I'll keep you posted, just in case if you have any need to use public transportaton as well sometime.

Jasni AJ

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Conman cum Thief Lurking

The Crime Scene
If my last post was about the streaker who disturbed my maid, this time around I'm going to tell you about a fully clothed conman cum thief.

The story goes like this :-

It was last Tuesday, the second day of Ramadan. I was at Kuala Lumpur's The Mall having a business meeting with a client going through some documentations to be executed accordingly.

Half way through, our meeting was disrupted when my client got a call from his daughter who happens to do some shopping at the very same mall.

She told her father that she had been "caught" for being suspected of shop-lifting. "What, Shoplifting! Is there a mistake or something?" asked the father.

"It's definitely a mistake. I did not shop lift anything. I just bought something from Guardian and got into Parkson when this House Detective stopped me." explained the daughter. "Papa, please come here to help me out. I'm here at the Security's Office on the Third Floor." asked the daughter.

"Okay, I'll be there in a jiffy."said the father.

And so, he excused himself to attend to the more important matter in hand, leaving me alone at the meeting place.

About ten minutes later, he came back along with the daughter. I asked, "So, what's the story?" "I think they're trying to be funny disturbing young girls. The House Detective who stop my daughter for suspicion of shop-lifting was no where to be found. And we were waiting at the Security Office like fools", said the father.

"Emmm, something sounds not right. Why would a House Detective go missing after asking his "catch" to go to the Security's Office", I said.

"Yeah, I think I'll go back there later to lodge a complaint against their House Detective, such a nuisance!", said the father, totally convinced that it was the Shopping Complex House Detective playing the fool.

When we were just about to resume our discussion, the daughter, who was sitting on the next table besides us, suddenly cried "Papa, I've lost my purse!". Yes, she lost her purse, and how did she loose it?

Well, apparently when she was stopped by the "House Detective", she was asked to follow him to the Security's Office. Along the way, at the escalator, the House Detective asked for the handbag to do a search. It was during this time that the "House Detective" skillfully took the purse away.

After successfully and unsuspectingly stealing the purse, he then asked the girl to proceed to the Security's Office while he will follow suit later after getting some documents. And of course, it was just a trick so that he can escape without attracting any attention.

So that's how my client's daughter got tricked. Tricked by an imposter impersonating as a House Detective targeting young and naive girls.

A police report was later lodged and apparently, this method of stealing is a new modus operandi and quite rampant at The Mall.

So for those frequenting The Mall, or any other shopping complexes for that matter, just be careful. Don't surrender your handbag to strangers, even though they might appear to be a person of some authority.

What's interesting is that the image of the imposter was not captured by any CCTV installed at the Shopping Complex. He did his work all at "blind-spots", meaning to say that he has adequate knowledge on the various "blind-spots" in the complex. Who could he be? A former security personnel? I tend to believe that as otherwise, how would he know where to strike undetected!

Jasni AJ

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Psycho-maniac Streaker on the Prowl

Saturday, 23rd August was perhaps my busiest day. Visits to three police stations were made. First, the Berjaya Park Police Beat; second the Section 15 Police Station; and third, the Section 11 Police Station.

All these visits were made in relation to our lodgement of a police report over an incident involving two consecutive nights that scared our domestic helper.
It all started last Thursday night when the maid was awakened by a stranger at 4.00 am. Showing a sign not to make any noise, the maid chased him away and ran to the family hall instead. She thought that would be her last encounter with the stranger but she was wrong. The next night, this time at a much earlier time, at 12.30 pm to be exact, the same stranger broke a glass panel and tried to reach her who was sleeping on the bed placed right next to the window.

This time, instead of just asking her to keep quite, the stranger was bolder as he was completely naked. With one hand reaching out to her, the other hand was holding the penis in arousal.

This time, the maid didn't just run away but she screamed for help. I was upstairs watching a Kopratasa's performance over Prima and upon hearing her scream, dashed down and yell to the intruder. He ran and within minutes, group of security guards and concern neighbours were at the backlane to render assistance.

The intruder was no where to be detected but I strongly believe he must be somewhere near. Hopefully by lodging the report the security guards and the police could intensify their patrolling to detect any suspicious man and eventually capture the psycho-maniac person.
So here's the broken window .......
and the shattered glass panel.

To my neighbours, please be on the alert and light up the back lane. (Actually, our back lane was brightly litted, making it easier for the person to ran away!)

Jasni AJ

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Swing Story

So where will the votes be swinging to this 26th August 2008? Can the act of swearing in the name of Allah by Saiful and Najib able to swing voters over to BN? Will voters be swinging to BN just because the petrol price suddenly got reduced by 15 sen? Will there be 31 BN Members of Parliaments be swinging over to Pakatan Rakyat come 16th September 2008?

We will only be getting the answers to these boiling questions as early as a couple of days from now while the rest on 16th September.

But despite all that uncertainties, the JF Bunch has for certain got a new Swing! Made of Chengai wood, this new swing of ours is basically "home-made", not by me, but by Zali, a friend of ours. Produced out of hobby, this carpentry lover has produced all sorts of furniture for both indoor and outdoor applications.

So amazed with his skills, we just asked one day on whether he would produced a swing for us. And as you have guessed, he gladly took up the assignment and got it installed at the patio last weekend.
And now, and for the last few days, it is the swing where most of us spent time at, all other furniture are somehow went out of favour instantly!

I know I tried to sell my neighbour's house before (without success), but I wonder whether I can at least sell swings. Let me know. If any of you are interested in getting a new, nice and solid swing, send me an e-mail. I'll contact you and would give the details of the passionate carpenter.

Let's Swing.

Jasni AJ

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Birthday Reception, Friday's style

We seldom have birthday parties. But we always have birthday receptions for all the members of the Bunch. A birthday cake is a must, be it being celebrated at home or at other venues.

One of our favourite venue to hold a birthday reception is at Friday's. At the last birthday reception for my eldest two years ago, I was so impressed with the atmosphere created by the staff of Friday's in making the occasion to be a fun and memorable occasion.

So this time around, we returned to Friday's for the birthday reception of my youngest who just turned 6 last weekend.

True to my expectation, the birthday reception this time around was equally fantastic and fun.A group of Friday's staff perked up the day with their lively and charged up rendition of the traditional "Happy Birthday" tune plus another original acapella song.

It is a tradition at Friday's for the birthday boy (or girl) to give a speech using a gimmick microphone, usually a bottle or in the youngest' case, a pepper bottle.

He didn't actually utter a word, probably a little embarrassed, but the Friday's staff was so good in saving the moment by rendering a speech by reading the child's mind through "telepathy". He was so good, so genuinely good.

So the next time you want to hold a birthday reception among family members, do give Friday's a try. Kids have their meal for free. All the more reason to have it there, don't you think so?

Jasni AJ

Homecoming to the "Last Fortress"

The new UiTM
I am proud to be a product of UiTM. I graduated from two programmes of the institution, a Diploma in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Corporate Administration (Hons)(Company Secretary). The Diploma collected in the early eighties while the Bachelor secured just about eight years ago.

Though it has been quite a while since leaving the campus, my ties with the institution never fades as I am still very much involved in the various programmes held at the institution in various capacities, the last as a guest speaker at the faculty's graduation night.

UiTM is special to me. That was the place where I first learned to be truly independent at a very young age of barely 17, i.e. right after SPM. First time detached from the parents, it was at UiTM where we developed our true personality, ability and potential, very much on our own.

New friends were bonded and most of them are still intact in contact. I had a beautiful time there, it was an life adventure that I would never easily forget.

Being so special, I was naturally excited when I got an e-mail from the faculty (which was followed by a phone call by none other than the Dean herself who happens to be my former classmate) inviting me over to join in the fun of a homecoming event specially organised for the alumni of the institution.

One of the Banner and Billboard placed and erected around the campus
So off I went, bringing along my eldest with me, to the Homecoming event last weekend. Instead of being welcomed by banner like "Welcome back dear Alumni", we were rudely greeted by giant billboards and banners like the one here, reminding the world that the land that you have just step in is the last fortress of the Malays, the Malay sanctuary under siege, etc etc. (Actually, there were banners on the Homecoming event hanging at the lamp posts, but the black bannners were more prominent.)

I was actually very embarrassed with all those billboards and banners as I don't see the rationale of putting them up in the first place. Just what is the point barking to tell the whole world that "institutional racism" is your official ideology. A "university" that would only admit students from just a particular race and no other. What ideology do you call that if it is not simply "institutional racism"?

I am so sorry for the VC for turning himself from a respectable academician into a politician who seems to be unperturbed manipulating the young minds to make noises out of practically nothing. Out of a mere suggestion that could not even be implemented if the policy makers currently in power insist on maintaining such policy.

Fun and merry making
Well, I don't wish to be a politician myself, so I don't think it is wise for me to write more on the issue. Let's just talk about the Homecoming event itself.

The Homecoming event is actually a three day event where former students can just report back to the colleges to rekindle their nostalgic memories of their Alma mater.

At the faculty level, most faculties concentrated on just the last day with various programmes lined up. At the Administrative Sciences and Policy Studies Faculty, the Sunday starts with an aerobic session, telematches, various competitions, alumni talk, multimedia presentation, lucky draws and most importantly "luncheon".

It was fun indeed to be there.

Serious talk

But it was not just fun, we had serious session too. Mostly for the benefit of the current students, experiences of the various alumni were shared. Four of us spoke, 2 by alumni who chose to be serve UiTM as its lecturers, 1 by another alumnus now serving in the government sector (diplomatic service actually) and 1 (yours truly) being an alumnus who chose to be a practicing Company Secretary(nothing to shout about actually!).

All of us had the same basic education but we are certainly not the same now as we had chose the various different routes in getting at where we are now.

My assessment of the Homecoming event? Well, I just hope there would be more of it in the coming years and I just hope that more alumni members would pop up to make the event more meaningful, more wholesome and more nostalgic.

Thank you UiTM. Looking forward to be there again soon.

Jasni AJ

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Verdict is Out! 2 out of 3 are just like me!

Stumbled into yet another interesting free software that at long last confirms who your children really look like, their mom or dad. Try it out by clicking onto the link in the attachments.

MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Descendants

My eldest looks more like his Mom.

MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Family history - Genealogy searches


The daughter looks more like me.

MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Ancestors - Family tree software

="">Lost relatives

And so does my youngest!

What about your children? Try it out.

Jasni AJ

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Forever waiting!

Work in progress
It has been more than a month now since we had that freak accident. And since then, the car has been and still is in the workshop for repairs.

Initially thought that it will just be about three weeks to get the car back, taking into consideration of the usual processes of insurance claims etc etc,it has now gone far beyond my expectation.

Not satisfied with the slow pace of things, I tried to find out what is dragging the matter and believe it or not, it's all due to huge discrepancy between the workshop's estimates and the adjuster's report. To the workshop, they need RM25,000 to repair the "small" dent along with the replacement of several other parts. To the adjuster, most of the proposed parts replacements can just be repaired. So in the end, the Insurance is only offering RM10,000 for the repairs to be done and up till the time I'm writing this entry, the offer is still pending acceptance.

So the waiting game is still on. I wonder when I'll be getting back the car. One thing for sure, I've lost the NCD and come end August I would have to renew its insurance again with the full undiscounted premium.

I really now look forward for the RM 650 government subsidy as I would really need the money!

Jasni AJ

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A wedding and a Fruit Feast

A fortnight ago, along with a group of friends from my former office, I went for an excursion to Melaka for a wedding and a fruit feast.

A wedding of a former colleague who is now based in Ireland and a fruit feast hosted by another former colleague of mine.

The trip to Melaka, in a chartered coach, reminds me of a similar excursion to Pangkor several years ago with more or less the same group of people. Though most of us are much older now, the fun and joy of travelling together are still very much intact.

If previously, most of us were bachelors, now we have teenage kids as our children. And the things we talk about are things that we never talked before. We talk about raising children, children's education as well as retirement plans!

In the trip, there were some of us who brought their children along. The fun is now is with the kids, as now almost all of us are known as either uncles or aunties, if not papas and mamas.

So to welcome another former colleague into our world of family land, we decided to make a trip to Melaka to wish him well and as a gesture of strong bond of acquaintance.

And I'm sure the bridegroom must be so glad seeing his friends taking the trouble to travel more than 200 km just to see him wed.

Melaka's wedding reception is of a class of its own. Though the food was catered, the spirit of "Gotong-royong" is still very much alive with aunties in uniform serving as waitress and guys preparing additional dishes in big big "kualis". We were served with "dodols" too, something I had never had at any other weddings that I've attended before.

Entertained with nostalgic songs, I just can't help but admiring the Deejay in charge as he was very different than any other deejays I've seen before. This deejay not only spin songs, he sings too. And he sings beautifully too, very much like a professional singer.

There was not one song that he delivered poorly, all were delivered superbly. From the Malay favourites of the 70s, 80s, 90s and the 2000s to English and Hindi. All the songs were sung by heart, a perfect candidate to participate in the local game show "Jangan Lupa Lirik".

Unfortunately, as our time was limited and the itinerary was pre-arranged, we could not spend much time at the wedding reception. Almost immediately after the arrival of the bride and bridegroom and while they were still on the dias for the bersanding ceremony, we had to leave for the next itinerary of the day, a visit to a fruit orchard. So we left without having the chance to even say a "Hi" or a "Bye" to the bride and bridegroom.

Photo courtesy of Marjit
At the fruit orchard, the uncles and aunties were transformed into kids again. Everyone were overjoyed to see the so many trees bearing so many fruits. There were rambutans, mangosteens, "jambus" everywhere. And all we need to do was just pluck and eat - absolutely free of charge!

Looking at the surrounding and its atmosphere, I guess most of us just can't help but appreciate the good country life, a life that either we had left or never had. I for one, never had a real "kampung", as my "kampung" was another city by the name of Georgetown, the Heritage City of the Straits.

So there were no rambutans, mangosteens or "jambus" to pick, and if we need to eat any of those, we had to buy them from the market! Just like a couple of days ago, getting Mangosteens from MaxValu with half of them could not be eaten as they were already bad!

So there goes the good memory of a short excursion to Melaka, a special thanks to all my friends who shared the experience together and especially to the host of the fruit feast - thank you very much, your rambutans and the side dishes really tasted good. Even your coffee tasted nice, I had cups of it, ummm, yummy yummy.

As for Apen, the bridegroom, who is now back in Ireland with the new bride, "Selamat Pengantin Baru" - thank you for remembering us and letting us celebrate your joyous occasion.

Jasni AJ

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Birthday to Remember (hopefully)

It is not our routine to make visits to the stadiums for whatever occasions. My last visit to the stadium was about three or four years ago when I brought Junior to an almost empty National Stadium to watch a Pestabola Merdeka football match between Malaysia and Myanmar.

Myanmar was luckier than Malaysia as they managed to have more spectators cheering them on, most of whom were Myanmarese nationals residing in the country (along with several other nationals staying here in huge numbers e.g. Indonesians, Nepalese, Bangladeshis and Vietnamese). So I guess, whenever the stadiums needs spectators, the organisers could just arrange for matches involving these countries to be held as the locals have been shunning the stadiums for quite some time now.

But it was different earlier this week. We were at the ecstatic stadium for two consecutive evenings. First on Monday evening and next on Tuesday evening. On Monday it was quarter filled but on Tuesday it was three quarter filled. The crowd was large enough to form rounds of Mexican waves and Mexican waves we did for round and rounds during the half time break.

Yes, we were at the Shah Alam Stadium for the Chelsea's friendly match with Malaysia, the last leg of their Asian Tour 2008. The match was on Tuesday evening but on Monday, there was this training session where fans (with passes) were allowed to get into the stadium to watch the team train.

Junior has been a Chelsea fan ever since he started to love football. He has his room decorated with posters of Chelsea's stars and he had even bought an original Chelsea jersey using his own savings.

So when the news that Chelsea would be coming to Malaysia broke out, I guessed he must have silently wished that his parents would get him a ticket to see his much admired stars in action in front of his own eyes.

Incidentally, two days prior to the match was his 14th birthday. So what greater birthday present could there be if not a ticket to the Chelsea vs Malaysia match! So a ticket he got to get, and I, having the privilege of being his papa, got to go with him as well.
To junior, Happy Birthday. I surely hope that you have enjoyed yourself. I love you son.

Jasni AJ

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bang! You're hit!

You must be worried sick looking at this wrecked car.

And you must be more worried if I were to tell you that this was the car that had actually hit us a week ago. Yes, we got ourselves involved in a motorcar accident last 4th July while we're on our way home en route into the Kota Kemuning township to pick up some medications from our family clinic.

There were Mrs. J, J Jr. I and me in the car. It was J Jr. I's home weekend and along the way we were talking about plans to coincide his forthcoming 14th Birthday.

Upon reaching the junction into the Clinic's street, I look up the road and thought it was safe for me to turn into the street. Turned I did, and before I realise anything, the car was hit by an on-coming car, as fast and as hard as anyone could have.

And as a result, you can see for yourself the damage it had done to the car.

Luckily for us, besides no one was hurt, our car did not suffer the extend of damage as endured by the car that hit us.

Well, we did rushed J Jr. I to the nearest clinic , the clinic that we had wanted to drop by in the first place, and subsequently to the ER of SJMC as he got his head swelled to an "extraordinary" size. Goodness gracious, the x-rays and scans detected no injuries other than the ordinary swelling outside the skull. The swollen forehead is still apparent until now, though the size has significantly reduced. But his face is still not like his normal face as he looks more like a raccoon now, you know, with black circle around the eyes.

The doctor says that it would probably take a week more for all the bumps and black marks to disappear eventually.

And due to the accident he was on Medical leave for the past week and shortly later I'll be sending him back to his hostel to resume his hostelite life.

As for the car, well it was towed to a workshop somewhere in Subang Permai, a place that till today I'm yet to pop up to see the progress they have made on the car.

I was told that I would still have to wait for some three weeks for the car to be fully repaired.

It shall be a long wait, but wait we shall do. What other choice do we have right?
So, in the meantime, "Berhati-hatilah di Jalanraya".

Jasni AJ

A Night in the Woods

It is not an everyday experience to be at a such scenic place pictured here. Most of the time, day in and day out,we would be busily commuting back and forth the office, either by getting caught in traffic jams or caught in a packed LRT coach, everywhere seeing people rushing to their respective destinations, all within the all too familiar everyday and daily view.

But yesterday was different. I was at this place. Enjoying the beautiful and picturesque view of nature, the calmness, the soothing sounds of the river flow, the chirping sounds of the birds and not forgetting the other cranky "noises" produced by the various insects.
I was glad to take up the offer to drop by and spend a night at the Mind Development Camp organised for the Hostelites of Victoria Institution, in particularly for the First and Second Formers.

I checked in at the camp at 8.30 last night together with my son who was not able to participate in the programme fully due to the fact that he was still on Medical Leave.

Undoubtedly, it was a packed programme all right as the boys were presented with almost round the clock programmes from matters pertaining to discipline, grooming, purpose in life, swot analysis, case studies and the all encompassing appreciation of religious values.
But it was definitely not a purely all serious affair solely as the boys were given the space to enjoy themselves while absorbing all the stuff they're supposed to absorb.

They had barbecue .....
... "water polo" and other recreational activities throughout their 3 days 2 nights stay.

But last night, it was a long and spiritual night indeed. The night was filled with a "Qiyamullail" programme, a programme that started at the wee hour of 4.30 a.m. Lectures on the religious perspectives were held, followed by the enchanting of "zikir" , performing of "solat hajat", "solat taubat", "solat witir" before ending it with "solat subuh".

All these took place at a place called The Woods Resort, a place near Ulu Yam, Selangor. It is actually a stone-throw away from the ever busy and bustling city of Kuala Lumpur and it is located along the Batu Caves - Ulu Yam route that passes through another scenic location, the Batu Dam.

The place is currently closed to public but once reopened, there are about 20 chalets available for rental at a most attractive rate of RM100 a night. Each chalet can accommodate 5 occupants. Those not interested to spend the nights in the chalet can also just pay RM2 per head to gain access to the premise and have a picnic within the compound of the resort.

We (my son & me) left the place this morning after breakfast, and I am really looking forward to revisit this place with the whole family once it reopens to the public. And I think you should too. See you there!

Jasni AJ

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Inception of our Dream Surau

We have been staying at Bukit Rimau since Year 2000. In fact we were among the first "settlers" in the then brand new housing estate.

When we first moved in, it was "hell" getting into and out of the estate. Cut from its actual link, we were forced to take a longer route home, passing palm oil plantation, road full of potholes, competing with hundreds of sand-carrying lorries and worst of all a flood prone road.

We (a group of residents) fought and fought hard to get our link road via Kota Kemuning and come August 2002, exactly 2 years later, we got our link road.

Things got better for the folks of the estate as four years later, our own dedicated interchange was completed providing multiple accesses for the housing estate.

While we were busy fighting for our link road, we didn't forget on other facilities that we ought to have as well. One of it is a Surau. Initially told that we had to generate our own funds to build a surau on a plot of land provided free by the developer, it was discovered years later that the developer actually had an obligation to build the surau on a "build and surrender" concept, an obligation that was made mandatory on the developer. A fact that was conviniently not in the knowledge of the developer, the local authority as well as the religious department! Strange but true!

By then, we had actually commissioned an architect to draw up the plans for the surau and we had actually submitted the plans to MBSA. So there was a change in plan. We sought redress with the developer and there were ding-dongs for two years before the developer finally agreed to the demands of the Committee for the developer to build a surau based on the plans submitted to MBSA.

Last month, tenders were called, and last week, the site was surrendered to the successful bidder.

And today, a ground breaking ceremony was held marking the inception of the physical development of our dream surau, An-Namira.

As usual, I would be asked to write something about the event and here they are, my report of the day in Malay as published in :-

YB Shuhami melakukan upacara Pecah Tanah dengan menggunakan jentera pengaut
Penantian lapan tahun penduduk Islam Bukit Rimau yang mengimpikan terbangunnya surau di kariah mereka kini sudah hampir berakhir.

Hari ini, Ahad 29 Jun 2008, Adun Sri Muda, YB Shuhami menghadiri serta menyempurnakan Majlis Pecah Tanah & Doa Selamat Surau An-Namira Bukit Rimau bagi menandakan bermulanya pembangunan fizikal surau tersebut.

Dalam ucapannya sebelum melakukan upacara pecah tanah tersebut, YB Shuhaimi mengingatkan ahli kariah supaya sentiasa bersatu padu dalam mempertingkatkan ukhwah islamiah tanpa mengambil kira kecenderungan fahaman politik masing-masing. Selaku pusat kegiatan Islam setempat, institusi surau dan masjid haruslah merupakan satu institusi yang bebas dari sebarang pengaruh politik yang dikhuatiri mampu mengganggu gugat kesejahteraan setempat.

YB Shuhaimi (kanan) mengaminkan doa yang dipimpin oleh Ustaz Sobri (kiri)
Islam, menurut beliau, menuntut penganutnya sentiasa mengambil berat tentang kebajikan jiran. Penganut adalah dipertanggungjawabkan agar sentiasa memastikan kebajikan jiran tanpa mengambilkira anutan agama masing-masing. Berdasarkan ajaran itu, fahaman politik yang berbeza dikalangan jiran tidak harus dijadikan sebab untuk tidak mengimarahkan institusi surau.

Surau An-Namira, apabila siap nanti, disyorkan supaya menjalankan pelbagai aktiviti keagamaan disamping turut cergas mengendalikan aktiviti-aktiviti yang bercorak kemasyarakatan.

Bercakap bagi pihak Kerajaan Negeri Selangor pula, beliau memaklumkan bahawa pihak kerajaan disamping meneruskan dasar kerajaan dahulu yang mensyaratkan kemudahan surau disediakan oleh pemaju masing-masing, ianya kini mengambil sikap yang lebih terbuka dalam hal pembangunan rumah-rumah ibadat bagi penganut agama-agama lain.

Tambah beliau, ujudnya rumah-rumah ibadat untuk setiap penganutnya adalah sesuatu yang dapat menjamin kebebasan serta kesejahteraan masyarakat dalam mengamalkan ajaran agama masing-masing sepertimana yang termaktub dalam perlembagaan negara.

Beliau mengakhiri ucapan dengan mengajak ahli kariah menyumbangkan dana kepada Jawatankuasa Pembangunan Surau bagi membolehkan Jawatankuasa tersebut melengkapkan kemudahan surau apabila siap nanti. Untuk tujuan itu, sumbangan pejabat Adun Sri Muda sebanyak RM1,000 telahpun dijanjikan.

Hadirin menikmati jamuan yang disediakan secara "potluck"
Surau An-Namira dijangka siap dalam tempoh 16 minggu (akhir bulan Oktober 2008). Rekabentuknya adalah mengikut citarasa Ahlijawatankuasa Pembangunan Surau An-Namira yang terdiri dari kalangan ahli kariah. Ianya kini dibangunkan atas pembiayaan pemaju Bukit Rimau hasil dari rundingan dengan Jawatankuasa Pembangunan An-Namira sejak dua tahun lalu.

Jasni AJ

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