Saturday, December 23, 2006

The 3 Amigos

Once in a land not very far from where I'm writing, there lived 3 brothers under one roof. Fate has it that each brother took different course in life leading them to where they are now. We shan't be bothered about the course they took for that was the past as this posting is solely for the benefit of the eldest of the 3.

Of the 3, the eldest grew to be the Prince Charming. With oriental looks, he had bevies of beauts clamouring for a piece of him throughout his life...till he got hitched. He also happened to be the most trendiest and creative of the lot. He made his name as a Creatice Director in the advertising industry, and is now into landscaping and interior designs.

The second brother is the brains. This does not mean to say he's not good looking though. He too had his share of 'excitement'. But unlike the eldest, the second brother has a norther Indian or Bangladeshi looks...comparande?

Now, the third brother...suffice for me to say, he's quite like Don Quixote; an ultra-Javanese lookalike Don Quixote.<- that's a full stop! :) Anyway, when they're riding together, no stranger would believe they're siblings. Hence my reason for naming them the 3 Amigos. Anyway, like I mention much earlier, this posting is specificaly for Emi, the eldest of the 3. He seeked my assistance to advertise his landscaping and interior design business. If you're interested, please visit I've tried to cut and paste two of the pictures of Emi's designs from his website. If they turn out, well and good; if they do not, you may just have to visit the link.


Cherio! :)

Musibah Membawa Berkat

Ok, got this from my elder brother and thought I'd put it here for the benefit of anyone who haps upon my blog. Honestly, it is from him...much unlike a previous posting. Ooops! :) Only thing, I don't think the Arabic script would turn out right.



Dari Abi Sa'id Al Khudry dan dari Abi Hurairah (mereka berkata), dari Nabi s.a.w. sabdanya : "Apa saja yang menimpa orang Islam seperti kepayahan, penderitaan, kekecewaan, dukacita, gangguan dan tekanan batin, hatta duri yang mengenainya, melainkan pastilah Allah menghapus dosa-dosa kesalahannya (dengan sebab-sebab hal tersebut)"

(Hadis Sahih Riwayat Imam Bukhari)


Sabda Nabi s.a.w. dalam hadis yang kita bahas ini dengan jelas menunjukkan bahawa seorang Islam akan dihapus dosa-dosanya atau kesalahannya disebabkan adanya musibah yang menimpanya, seperti payah, penderitaan, kekecewaan, dukacita, gangguan, tekanan batin dan gangguan fikiran yang memberatkannya, hatta terkena duri sekali pun. Bahkan di dalam riwayat yang lain juga dari Imam Bukhari dikatakan :

"Terkena duri atau yang lebih kecil daripadanya".

Penderitaan yang dapar membawa berkat (kebaikan) bagi orang yang di timpa musibah itu ialah jika ia sabar (tabah) menerimanya dan tidak keluar daripada landasan Islam. lni sebagaimana yang digambarkan oleh Rasulullah s.a.w. :

Ertinya: Dari Shuhaib r.a. ia berkata: Telah bersabda Rasulullah s.a.w.: "Sungguh menakjubkan (keadaan) urusan orang mukmin, semua urusannya itu baik, dan hal ini tidak dimiliki oleh seorangpun selain orang mukmin. Apabila ia mendapat sesuatu yang menggembirakan maka ia bersyukur, maka hal itu baik baginya. Dan apabila sesuatu yang mudharat menimpanya lalu ia bersabar, maka hal itu juga baik baginya".

(Hadis Riwayat Imam Muslim)


Dikatakan sesuatu itu musibah jika hal itu berlaku atau terjadi dengan tidak disengaja. Apabila disengaja mencari-cari penderitaan maka ia bukan lagi dinamakan musibah. Dan sengaja mencari penderitaan itu bukan sikap muslim, kerana setiap muslim wajib menjaga semua yang berguna dan yang bermanfaat seperti akal, keturunan, rohani, jasmani, harta, dan yang paling utama sekali ia menjaga agamanya.

Dan dalam penjagaan dan kewaspadaan muslim itu, lalu datang musibah menimpanya. Maka timbullah di sini keadilan Allah terhadapnya iaitu dengan mengurniakan pahala baginya ataupun penghapusan dosa daripadanya. Dan kurnia tersebut, apakah dalam bentuk pahala ataupun penghapusan dosa itu diukur menurut berat ringannya musibah yang menimpa dan dirasakan oleh orang yang mengalaminya.

lni sebagaimana riwayat :

Ertinya: Dari Abdullah (Ibnu Mas'ud) r.a. (ia berkata): Aku mendatangi Nabi s.a.w. pada waktu baginda sakit dan baginda dalam keadaan menderita yang hebat. Dan aku berkata : Sesungguhnya tuan benar-benar terkena penderitaan yang hebat. Aku berkata (lagi): Sesungguhnya dalam hal itu tuan benar-benar telah mendapat dua ganjaran. Lalu bagindapun menjawab: "Sudah tentu, (dan) tidak ada seorang muslim pun yang ditimpakan padanya gangguan (sakit), melainkan pastilah Allah menggugurkan kesalahannya seperti halnya berguguran daun-daun (dari) pohon".

(Hadis Riwayat Imam Bukhari dan Muslim)


Di antara cara untuk menimbulkan sifat sabar ialah dengan mengucapkan kalimah istirjaa' iaitu kalimah :

Ertinya: "Sesungguhnya kami adalah milik Allah, dan sesungguhnya hanya kepada-Nya-lah kami akan kembali"

Kalimah istirjaa' ini hendaklah diucapkan dengan sepenuh hati sehingga maknanya benar-benar meresap dan menggugah kesedaran dan selanjutnya akan menimbulkan kesabaran yang mendalam dan tulus ikhlas kepada Allah S.WT. lstirjaa' adalah pernyataan kembali kepada Allah. Kalau seseorang menyedari bahawa dirinya adalah milik Allah, apalagi terhadap apa yang dimilikinya, seperti : suaminya atau isterinya, anak-anaknya, ibu bapanya, keluarganya, harta bendanya dan lain-lain. Pokoknya semuanya adalah milik Allah S.W.T.

Dan dengan meresapkan pengertian yang dikandung oleh istirjaa', maka akan timbullah kesedaran bahawa apa saja yang dia miliki selama ini sebenarnya secara hakikatnya bukanlah miliknya, bahkan dirinya sendiri pun bukan miliknya. Selanjutnya dengan istirjaa' bukan saja menimbulkan kesabaran malahan lebih dari itu ia akan memperoleh berkat, rahmat dan hidayah Allah S.W.T. lni sebagaimana firman Allah S.W.T. :

"Dan sungguh akan Kami berikan cubaan kepadamu dengan sedikit ketakutan, kelaparan, kekurangan harta, jiwa dan buah-buahan. Dan berikanlah berita gembira kepada orang-orang yang sabar (155) (iaitu) orang-orang yang apabila ditimpa musibah mereka mengucapkan: "Innaa Lillaahi Wa Innaa Ilaihi Raaji'uun". (156) Mereka itulah yang mendapat keberkatan yang sempurna dan rahmat dari Tuhan mereka, dan mereka itulah orang-orang yang mendapat petunjuk". (157)

(AI Baqarah 2: 155-157)


1. Musibah yang menimpa orang Islam itu boleh mendatangkan kebaikan untuknya iaitu mendapat pahala atau dihapuskan dosa-dosanya.

2. Musibah yang boleh membuahkan kebaikan bagi orang yang ditimpa itu ialah apabila musibah itu menimpanya tanpa disengaja dan ia menerimanya dengan sabar serta tidak terkeluar dari landasan yang telah ditetapkan oleh agama.

3. Besar kecilnya imbalan (ganjaran) yang diterima itu disesuaikan dengan berat ringannya penderitaan yang di tanggungnya.

4. Dengan mengucapkan istirjaa' boleh menimbulkan kesedaran serta penyerahan yang tulus ikhlas kepada Allah hingga mendatangkan berkat, rahmat dan hidayah (petunjuk) Allah.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Back Online! I definitely glad to be able to go online again! Somehow, due to some technicalities, I was not able to go online for more than a month! Initially when it happened, I thought I would go nuts not being able to go online - I, was like an addict to it! So, I decided to take it easy and, alhamdulillah, I managed to remain sane over the matter. That's not to say I'm insane elsewhere but, one can never tell :)

Anyway, an organisation which I am a volunteer to, noticed my absence from the net and kindly lent their hand. So, here I am again. But, where's everyone else? Especially Kak Teh and Esah? Their blog have been dry as mine was.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Shifting Gear

With Raya now more than a fortnight passed already, several houses are already running out of dishes and kuehs to serve guests. Likewise with this house which I only realised when serving 2 dear friends whom I have not met for more than several years. Amidst our conversation, I found to my dismay, that we're at the tail-end of our madu angsa and wajik, not to mention the raya cookies. My facial expression must have been pretty obvious that A offered to take me to a shop in KL that still sell delicious raya cookies as soon as S leaves. And soon we were on our way there in his brand new BMW.

Not bad, I thought to myself. For a chap who comes from a small town somewhere in Sabah, A seem to have it made. So I asked him what he does now. Off course, I cannot reveal his story, only that he asked me to join the rat-race. mind was going like 'I've never been a rat, how do I join the race?'

As he is one of those 'once started, difficult to stop talking' guy, I just listened. All along the way he was telling me of how well he was doing and the contributions he'd made as a supplier to some of the major developments in KL, and how those developments would contribute towards the flow of furthers successes, especially for the common good of the people. It had begun to rain even before we reached KL, and traffic was begining to pile. But he did not seem to be bothered about it, and may as well not have noticed the crawl we were in. I mean, we were really in a milimeter-by-milimeter crawl that even those padestrians who were braving the rain seem to be moving faster than us.

Anyway, after a long while, the traffic situation improved. As we approached a bank, he suddenly pulled over and said he needed to make a rather urgent transaction, and asked me to drive the car around the block till he comes out. I was like "huh? Is this guy serious?" I mean, I've never really been in a 6xxx series BMW, let alone drive one! But, I was also like "wow! Here's my chance to drive one!"

As I moved to the driver's seat, I began feel the adrenelin going through me and thought about the invitation to join the rat-race. Hmm...not a pretty bad idea, I thought. And I was really begining to get fire-up about the whole idea when a car behind sounded a horn rather rudely. 'Ok! Ok!' I shouted by myself as I put on the belt and revved the engine.

The mere touch of the steering wheel was electrifying for me to want to be a monster. Oops!, rats, I mean, rat. My right leg kept revving the engine as my left hand reach for the gear. My left leg..."Hey! Who stole the clutch pedal?"

The Life and Time of a Party President.

At the time of writing this, P.O.B. has yet to be registered neither as a party nor as a society. It should be stated, however, that the fault of this non-registration does not lie with the Registrar of Society, contrary to the opinions of the party members. The ROS, it must be stressed here, have been most responsive, responsible, and even cooperative, to say the very least. The fault in this whole fiasco lies within the party itself. To be precise, the membership of the party leaves much to be desired.

It is with a heavy heart that I, as the interim party president, have to document this confession in a public manner; but I do so for the greater good of this nation, particularly, the very party itself: we have failed!

POB was initiated more than a decade ago by a group of individuals who believed that its formation would, and could, harness the creative minds and seemingly boundless energy of the untold number of individuals in Malaysia whom, the party pioneers thought, their pursuit of a common interest are being laid to waste without the leadership and direction of an organisation that would charter a path towards the successful realization of the ideals that is shared by these like-minded individuals.

Sadly, this party has been betrayed from the very beginning, not only by its members (party membership provides for automatic qualification or disqualification based on information and updates - provided on weekly basis – by the Ministry of Information, Ministry of (then) Welfare, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Internal Security, and the various government agencies such as LHDN and even bodies of all the faiths in Malaysia), but even by the pioneers themselves! Even before the first anniversary of its interim formation, several of the pioneer members betrayed the ideals of this party, to the point of denouncing the party at private gatherings where, by Malaysian Standards, would be witnessed by at least a score of individuals from other parties who are bent on the destruction of POB!

That the funding of such gatherings have been derived from sources which are anything but legal have never been questioned by these individuals, nor thrust to their unthinking minds; acts which are politically and morally wrong, as their mind and even soul are being controlled by the enemies of P.O.B., using every media available to discredit, tarnish and slander, while at the very same time it – the media – glorifies the leadership of our enemies to the point where not a single fault lies within them. To borrow the words of a former leader of this nation: the playing field is not level; the treachery and injustice upon us goes untold and unbridled.

Ogilvy once wrote “I am so old, so tired…”, and I now begin to understand his words.

There still remain loyalist amongst the pioneer members, but the number is thinning. Together with them, I have tried my best so that P.O.B may rise to be an equal, but that now seem an elusive dream. As such, I have no alternative but to offer my resignation as the interim President of P.O.B., in hope that another may succeed where I have failed.

To my comrades who remain loyal to the ideals of P.O.B, and even anyone who may chance upon this document, I have not a single doubt in my mind that I will be seduced to betray P.O.B. and that the seduction may even succeed. But know you, friends and foes alike, I will not give up without a fight.

By the way, especially for those who may not be aware of the existence of P.O.B., its full name is Partai Orang-Orang Bujang.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Riddle of the Sphinx

Myth has it that the Sphinx was a figure of half man and half lion. It stood guard near a road in Egypt, posing a riddle to all who pass by; those who fail to answer correctly were consumed. On its part, the Sphinx promised to turn itself into stone should the riddle be solved by anyone.

Centuries may have passed with not one person able to give the correct answer. Till one day, a young man approached the Sphinx and challenged the Sphinx.

‘What goes on four legs in the morning, two at noon, and on three legs in the evening?’ asked the Sphinx.

To its horror, the man replied with the correct answer, forcing the Sphinx to honour its pledge.

I do not know what happened to the young man as the story I read as a child ended there. Nor do I remember his name. But I do remember the logic of the reply: As an infant (morning), we use all four limbs to crawl. As we grow (noon), we learn to walk upright on our legs. In the later part of our life (evening), we are forced to use a walking stick.


I was reading kak teh’s 'Memories of Pak this Ramadan' about the old man in the television ad, and could not but be reminded of the riddle above. As the only child living with emak, I think can understand and relate to kak teh’s story and the old man. 74 this November, alhamdulillah, emak is still going strong and able to fend for herself. She still does her own cooking, sewing, cleaning, and even gardening. When she is able, she would refuse any assistance to the chores she has assigned herself to. But now, slowly, she’s beginning to accept.

Her other children may not notice it, but emak is getting to be slightly forgetful than before and she is often hard on hearing. These may be minor, but at times I do have difficulty dealing with it. For one, I now have to speak louder which has made me feel very much guilty. Another is that I may have to repeat things many times over as she may have not heard it, or forgotten what was said.

We still joke and laugh with each other. I still play antics with her in hope of keeping a lively atmosphere at home. But slowly, I’m beginning to see the signs of old age on her.

This Raya, she had the rendang ayam outsourced to a neighbour. I cannot ascertain the motive yet. She claims to be tired of having to cook too many things for Raya. Then again, I know she’s beginning to take a liking to the neighbour’s daughter who may be a divorcee. Honestly, I do not mind at all…to both! Perhaps the reason why I’m still single is that Allah would like emak to have a daughter-in-law she could live with. No, its not that her present ones are a bad lot, its just compatibility, I suppose.

Emak like to prepare things in earnest, and Raya is the time when she really tries to outdo herself…but not anymore. She’s given up on our favourite biskut sultana for sometime now, citing the tedious task of baking them. Can’t blame her there as the task of pulping those prunes is indeed tiring.

This Raya, emak has confined herself to making the lodeh, nasi empit, ketupat, rendang peparu, but no ayam goreng this year, unlike before. Alhamdulillah, her sambal daging is a dish that she herself insists on, one that I still dream of eating with the sweetest ketupat palas I can find. Sadly, there’s no such thing as the latter in KL.

Also, rather sad development that has taken place this year is that we – emak and I – are spending the Raya in KL. In the so many years that I can remember, never had we not been back to Melaka for Raya. At the very worse, we would be there by the morning of the third. But not this year. This year, it’s a concrete jungle Raya. We might only go back next week.

There are other things…but they’re things which can never be mentioned, little family secrets that best remain as such. Oh, nothing precious which certain daily tabloids would scavenge for, but, a secret nonetheless. Every family has one. Still, when I look around, I’m grateful that emak is still emak. Perhaps one day, when the riddle no longer applies to her, someone would take the pen and write her life story; the pain she has gone through, the sacrifices she has made, and the betrayal she received. I have asked her to write it all down so that her other children too would know, and weep, for the sorrow she has felt for every one of her children, including me, and more. But emak being emak, I know she will not.

May Allah subhanawata’ala bless, protect, guide and have mercy on emak, for truly, if there is a heaven here on earth, then surely it is at the feet of a mother.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Pleasing a friend

A close buddy sent the below to me. For some reasons not made known to me, he insist that I put it on my though mine is a widely read one. But, since he almost pleaded, I guess there's no harm to it.

Theme From Mahagony Pt1,

Do you know where you're going to
Dunia semakin tua. Pelbagai kekotoran meracuninya. Dan hari demi hari
ianya terus diracuni dan di cemari oleh durjana durjana bernama manusia,
bersama syaiton dan sekutunya. Kemanakah arah tujuan kita?

Do you like the things that life is showing you?
Korupsi, maksiat, jenayah minda dan fisikal berluasa tanpa batasan.
Adakah ini yang dinamakan kehidupan?Dan adakah ini kehidupan yang dicari?

Where are you going to?
Bukankah arah tujuan kita untuk kembali?

Do you know?
Tapi tahukah kita walau sekadar membaca kompas untuk arah tujuan?

Do you get what you're hoping for
Jauh di dalam hati, ramai yang bermohon dan berdoa untuk, walau sekadar
kedamaian, ketenteraman, namun kesemua itu akan sia belaka

When you look around you there's no open door
Kesejahteraan abadi tiada lain jalan nya melainkan Ad-Deen.

What are you hoping for?
Atau adakah kita meminta perkara yang sementara, yang bathil

Do you know?
Tahukah kita di mana yang bathil dan yang Haq?

By: Lekaran.


Abu Hurayrah (radhiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah
(sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: "Whoever believes in Allah and the
Last Day, let him say what is righteous or keep silent. Whoever believes
in Allah and the Last Day, let him be kind to his neighbor. And whoever
believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him be generous to his guest."

[Saheeh Muslim]

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A House in Melaka Pindah.

When the Japanese invaded Malaya in World War II, Jetty Ahmad was serving as a Lieutenant in the British Army. Though conferred several military medals for bravery in the line of duty, his name is one of the many that was never mentioned and perhaps will never be in the history books - only to be remembered by the military as one of their unknown heroes.

It was slightly just after midday when we arrived. The front gate was locked and I had to gain entry to the rear compound via a neighbour. Somehow, the whole place was eerily quiet - there was no one at home. And the chicken house and coops are no longer there.

I could not have been more than 7 of age then. As dusk approached, I stood transfixed looking at the two elderly figure talking to each other. Can’t remember why, but perhaps it was the sight of the tall and slim figure of the man that mesmerised me. Perhaps, it was the sight of his bald head that did. Still, I remember blushing – as a child would when smiled upon – as this man would with all children. Yet, the smile was only there when he wants. Other times, he has a serious look that command respect. His life seems regimented by a daily routine which include reading at a table near his bed, deep into the early morning. Even then, it is not he which the adults seem to fear, but his wife; a stout 4feet 10inch disciplinarian whose body was literally dwarfed by the husband’s 6feet odd. In fact, one would be forgiven to take her as the military figure instead of her husband.

It has been a very long time since I even had a look into the rear compound. So much has changed since the old man and his wife passed away. The squatting toilet here had disappeared, as though it was totally uprooted by a hurricane. With the thickening layers of dry leaves, I could not discern its exact spot. But as my leg shift the leaves and sand, I found its unmistakably – a square slab of cement hidden by sands, pebbles and rotting leaves. I couldn’t help but smile to myself. Here I stand on one of the two spots I dread most as a child. This particular spot now lay buried, complete with its own grave-mark. Gone too the intricate carvings of the dish-dryer placement that juts out the rear of this house. They do not exist anymore, except in the corners of my childhood memory.

At this particular time mentioned, the elderly couple had lived in this wooden house for more than 2 decades. The house comprised of 4 sections: the main house or ‘rumah ibu’; the kitchen; the middle section which housed one of the only two bedrooms; and the ‘serambi’ or what is now termed as the living room. The two latter parts of the house were a later add-ons while the kitchen was separated from the ‘rumah ibu’ – joined only by wooden planks that were rather loosely placed but with no roof of what-so-ever covering it; when it rains, the whole area would be soaked to the skin, and the kitchen seem, temporarily, a totally different structure altogether .

There used to be a small pond beside the kitchen. It served a dual need; one of a drainage system, the other as a duck pool. It is no longer there, again covered by sand, pebbles and rotting leaves. And a little further to the front near where visitors would park their automobiles, the rambutan tree still stands with its splendour of delicious yellow fruits. I plucked one peeling it open with my fingers. The tree still bore sweet and juicy fruits as I remember it.

Like most house of its era and location, it was built on stilts with attap roofing which was later changed to zinc, a supposedly a better material. But when it rains, even the roar of a Regimental Sergeant Major could not be heard over the din of water dropping on it. And when the sun shines – especially in midday – the house is more of an oversized oven rather than an abode. But, it was a beautiful house of split level architecture and steeped roof, and a lovely front staircase linked to the serambi giving it the distinct look of a typical Malacca house complete with an attic and that tangga Melaka.

I look around and notice the presence of a wider open space and soon realise that the kui – a tool shed cum small rice silo - is no longer present. My uncle and his daughters – the present occupants – had found no use of it and had had it dismantled only a year or two back. Its wood lay quiet beside the rubbish burning area. But in the minds of the many children that once crowd this house, the kui remains in our memory as the castle fought for in mock battles that children play world over.

As night approach, one of the old man’s children would light-up some 4 or 5 kerosene gas lamps for night use; Electricity would not reach this are for another 3-4 years, and like many villagers then, this house too turn in early each night. The humming sound of the lamp was romantically soothing. Together with the night sounds of a typical village, which include the sound of a tapping woodpecker or two, of crickets, the hooting of an owl, and the occasional buffalo’s grunt - its sleep briefly disturbed by some small creatures of the night; they were like an ensemble serenading us to sleep.

In the distant, I could hear voices; my uncle had returned from Alor Gajah for some grocery needs. As they walk in towards the house, I walk out towards them. It was like scenes from the past when families would greet one another especially during Eid Fitri. But this is not Eid Fitri. Some burglars had broken into the house and ransacked it. My mother and I had made the trip back out of concern for the only brother she has alive.

With little or no modern structures which absorb the day’s heat and release it in the night, a village night can be a very cold night. Children and adults alike pull blankets to keep warm especially as dawn approach. But for the old man, it is time to begin the day, faithfully awaken each morning by his wife to prepare for the dawn prayers. The wooden floor panels began to creak as more and more feet begins to shuffle, no doubt, they too were awaken by the old man’s wife.

The driveway is a path about 100 meters long and flanked on both sides by trees that still bear fruit till today. Rambutan trees of different colours and textures, palm, durian and the odd belimbing tree, stands testimony to the old man’s untiring effort to make the house a slightly more than decent home for his family. But it was his wife that put grace to the entire surroundings with flowering plants and pots of various sizes and shapes. How each morning she would sweep the entire compound while he was away teaching, and how the grandchildren were ‘press-ganged’ into her service by their parents.

When the war ended, the old man resumed his teaching post and was appointed the Headmaster of a school quite nearby to the village, a post he held till his retirement. Sometime in 1972, an automobile accident made him almost cripple and he was immobilised till his last breath sometime in early 1990’s, some 10 years after his wife passed away.

On our way out of the house heading back to KL, we passed several elderly people who had come to visit my uncle. My mum waved to the ladies and I could hear them saying: “Awa! Anak Cikgu Jetty…”, the rest of the sentence was lost as the car drives out of the gate.

To the people in the village, the old man will always be remembered as ‘Cikgu Jetty’. To the British Military, the records may show him as Lieutenant Jetty. But to us, his grandchildren, he will always be remembered as Datuk. And his wife as Encik.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Pain: A Blessing in Disguise

Early yesterday morning while I was working online, I received a rude shock: a virus sneaked into my system! Unlike their normal modus operandi - via emails and bursts of attacks online - this email came in through a message on Yahoo Messenger. Initially I was pleasantly surprised to receive the message. But as I was working and did not want to veer my attention, I left the message window open thinking of replying once the work was done. But horrors! The moment I pressed the 'Enter" key, the whole system went bonkers!

Multitude of windows suddenly sprung up; the cursor was irritatingly sluggish; various sounds - some unheard before - suddenly kept repeating themselves; and the screen was intermittently flashing red as though it was dancing to a John Travolta disco era music! After almost 5 minutes of indecisive actions, I decided to reboot the system.

Alhamdulillah, though the system was chugging heavy, I managed to activate one of the two antivirus software. What should have normally been a 5-minute operation, took almost 90 painstaking minutes to complete. But when it was done, the virus was contained sufficiently for me to activate the other a-v. And after a 15-minute battle, the virus was at last defeated leaving only several files as casualties. Otherwise, the whole system seem intact and operational. But what a pain it was.

Needless to say, I was fuming mad and angry at the episode, and was cursing the people who invented such inconvenience for other people. As my mind was conjuring the various and most inhumane torture methods on those virus inventors, I am suddenly reminded of a verse (cannot for the moment remember whether its Quranic or Hadith): Pain, even if its as small as the thorn, serves to expiate one of his sins and cause a rise in ranks.

MasyAllah! Allah the Most Beneficient and the Most Merciful, and He is the Most Compassionate. As strange and ironic it may seem, but pain - something which human as a whole try to distant ourselves - can, and is a 'method' which would help us to be closer to Allah. We are reminded - during those moments of agony - that we are nothing but His servant, and that we are helpless except that which He wills. It should go without saying that we, off course, have to readily accept His wills. That, I assure you - and ashamedly - try as I might, is a platform I have yet to attain.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Abdul Malek Hamzah bin Abdullah

Allahyarham Abdul Malek Hamzah bin Abdullah.

We were friends, classmates, busmates and neighbours for slightly more than 5 years.

We were young, stubborn, full of energy, and rebelious.

It was not the best of circumstances we came together. I was the guy hated most by the class in Form 1. He was a meek, skinny and the only child of a Chief Auditor of a government agency. On that particular day, he showed me a letter from his father addressed to the Headmaster of the school. The letter was a request that Abdul Malek be exempted from school that day, as he has to prepare for a religious duty. I was also told that the Headmaster had agreed to the request. Thus, I allow him to walk out of class. What aroused my suspicion later was that he and a friend climbed over one of the gates. But I made no fuss about it then.

When the Form Master walked in, I presented Abdul Malek's letter to him. Immediately he went into a furor! The Headmaster, it seems, was not and has not been to the school for the day! He was called to the Education Department for a meeting of some rather urgent matter. And soon, the manhunt begins. The entire Prefect Board with the Discipline Master began combing KL, searching for two Form 1 truants as though they were

Can't remember what really transpired after that. But the boys were caught and subjected to disciplinary actions which include public caning. Life, for Abdul Malek soon changed after that that; he was no longer the meek guy in school.

Cannot remember how I was sucked into it, but soon, his father appointed me as Abdul Malek's guardian angel. Huh! If only he knew better. No, I was not the Devil. Then again, neither was I an angel. Fact is, we were young and growing. Each step, each day, brought new charts and challenges; new grounds to explore. Unknown to us then, our exploits were like a self-made initiation rites into manhood.

We began mixing with the 'big boys', and that paved the way for us into the triads. It was at this juncture, Abdul Malek found a new fascination - the 'occult' of martial arts. In simple words, he began delving into supernatural powers - ilmu batin. Wali Suci, Rimau Berantai, and a host of new 'disciplines' had begun to rear its head then. While I step back to watch from afar, he immersed himself into it with gusto.

Time passed and soon, after Form 5, we each took a different path. Less than a year later, we began meeting again but only for brief moments. He had found a new friend, a guru! It was with this guru he said the syahadah and became a muslim. Thus was born Abdul Malek Hamzah bin Abdullah. (Abdul Malek means Servant of the Almiighty King; while Hamzah was taken from the Prophet Muhammad's s.a.w. uncle - a feared warrior who became a martyr in a battle)

No matter hoe many times my mother advised him to register with Perkim, Abdul Malek would always refuse citing his guru's advise against it. He became elusice and soon, just stayed away from me and my family, no doubt under the advise of his guru.

Not too long a time after that, I received a call from a mutual friend saying Abdul Malek had been involved in an automobile accident and was lying in coma in Kuala General Hospital. Several friends and I got together and visited him in the emergency ward. When the police began questioning us about his identity, we left for we knew he did not have a valid driving licence.

Early the next day I received word of his death. My friends and I visited his parents but only for a brief moment. We were angry and feeling very much helpless. That afternoon, Abdul Malek Hamzah bin Abdullah was cremeated as M Siva Mailsvagnam.

We were young, stubborn, full of energy, and rebelious. We were also foolish.

For the 25 years or so since his death, I have never really bade farewell to him. Perhaps its time for me to do so.

Abdul Malek Hamzah bin Abdullah, may Allah bless you and forgive all your sins. AlFatehah.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Yvonne and I

"Yvone who?" you ask. Yvonne Ridley, that's who.

"Yvonne Ridley who?" another ask. Sigh...

Hang on, I'm in two minds already. Should I continue writing this, I would have to put my silly mug up for display. Hmm...let me just 'lat tali lat tamplung' with myself awhile.

Ok, I lost.

In May 2006, the Islamic Information Services, together with Saba Islamic Media, organised the International Islamic Fair at PWTC, KL. The fair showcased a host of Islamic products from several countries in an effort to promote products which are suitable for the muslim community worldwide. Apart from that, seminars were also held as well as an Islamic concert featuring some international astistes including Sami Yusof (if my mind serves me right). For the seminars itself, several big names were invited to speak which, among others, include : Tun Dr. M, Dato' Mustaffa Ma, Ustaz Nasharuddin, and Yvonne Ridley.

As I was then still a volunteer with wtv8, I negotiated a deal with IIS: allow wtv8 to shoot some footages and make several interviews. In return, wtv8 will give a copy of all raw footages to IIS for their disposal. Alhamdulillah, they agreed. And soon, there I was with a colleague with our newshound equipment. Nothing so grand as most of the money for the equipment came from a single well-wisher with the rest chipped in be the members of the wtv8 team.

My colleague - Wak Kasiran - and I, did turns being the cameraman. As for the reporting, interviewing, driving, PR, and even equipement handling, most mostly handled by this wanna-be reporter, that cakapaje bloke, that is.

It was our 2nd major assignment. The first was in February which was Kongress Ekonomi Nasional 2006 held in Subang Jaya. But then, the whole team plus some extras were there. This time, it was just the two of us.

The 1st day went fine. We even managed to join Tun's Press Conference, mingling with the big boys of media. Cakapaje even managed to throw in a few question, though the rest of the media team did not take it kindly. Oh well, what do you expect from a couple of 'bidan terjun' journalist.

On the 2nd day however, I stuck to my guts ( and thick hide) to hound Yvonne Ridley for an interview. Though the international media has played her interview numerous times, this was a first for wtv8!

For our purpose, we were given the exclusive use of the VIP Room. Or so, we were told. But halfway through it, a rather noisy lot entered the room and had Yvonne quite bemused.

A lady reporter from an Islamic magazine asked permission to join in. I didn't mind. To be honest, I was getting some butterflies in my tummy then. I mean, there I was, a wannabe journalist, trying to interview an internationally reknowned journalist from UK; just what exactly WAS i thinking of when I requested for her time? But as it was, she was kindly accomodating and we managed to wrap it up within the hour.

Now, for those not very familiar with Yvonne, kindly permit me to bring you slightly up-to-date.

During the Toliban rule of Afghanistan, Yvonne and several of her colleagues sneaked up the border from Pakistan, to make a reporting on the 'evil' regime. They were caught and held in a prison for a period of time. They were later allowed to go - with apologies from the government! They were thought to be spies! When the Toliban realised they were not, they were given safe passage to the Pakistan border. However, prior to their capture, they found out some interesting facts:

1. Yes, the Toliban did not allow women to go to school. But, they also did not allow men too! The country was reeling from the effects of infighting between the various factions and situation was quite chaotic; all schools were closed - male and female!

2. The women of Afghanistan were treated equally in accordance to each faith.

3. The Toliban were not barbaric and cruel. In fact, throughout the captivity period, the Tolibans were kind and polite.

Before her release, Yvonne made a promise to the Toliban that she will study the Quran. Though it took her a while keeping to the promise, she did so and soon after became a muslim on her free will and 3 years after release in the safety of her country of origin, England.

Sometime later, Yvonne performed the Haj. Now, her exact statements here was something that astounded me:

"I was in my hotel room when the azan was said. Knowing I was already late, I rushed down the hotel into the streets to head towards the mosque. The street was already packed with people with the same intention, and we all jostled one another to get ahead. As we neared the mosque, the Takbir was heard. Immediately and all of a sudden, all those jostling people including myself, stopped in our tracks and began standing in line for prayers. I looked around in total amazement and wondered alone: This (muslims) has got to be the most disciplined army in the world!"
The interview ended soon after that and wtv8 played it for a whole week - minus the statement above as the person who edited it could not make heads or tails of the content...sigh.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings. My reason for writing this - apart from wanting to share the experience - is that I have just only received the still photographs. That's my mug up there, mind you. Wanted to put it below, but just did not come out that way...sigh

Monday, September 25, 2006

Early morning ramblings

Its 1.11am Monday morning now. Can't go to sleep. May be had too much of it earlier in the day. But there was a time when I hated the very idea of sleeping - sometime between the age of 17 to 23. No, I did not have imsomnia, just hated to go to sleep. To me then, it was a real waste of time. In fact at one point of time just after MCE, a buddy and I went 72 hours without sleeping. But off course, on the 73rd hour, we were a total knock-out and slept for more than 12 hours. Yup, we were plain crazy.

Also then, I was slightly on the mushy-mushy kind of guy. Usually at this time, my mind would begin to make poems and those sort of things. But, that was then. Now, I think its a bit dried-up up there.

There was also a time then, when I would just get into the car and drive aimlessly in KL. I do love drinving especially when alone and doing long distances. To me, the solitude gives the mind a time to think and reflect on oneself...amid all the din of the radio, I must add. But then...

This 1st Ramadhan, I had the urge to press the accelerator pedal to the floor. I did, though only for a short while. Then I was suddenly reminded of the many road fatalities and the two I nearly had. Well, actually, I've had several close calls. But these two were the ones that crept into my mind today.

It was around dusk and I was near Taman Mayang on my way to my brother's house in Taman Tun at what is now the LDP; it was a dead-end there then. The traffic light had just turned green and I begun moving. On the left lane was a Daihatsu Charade. As soon as we entered the now LDP, my eyes picked-up something wrong on the curve ahead. The lights of the opposing traffic seem to flicker. I could not make out the actual cause. Little did I know it then, but I was soon to find out.

The divider of the road were cement slabs which the road contractors could move according to their - it seems - whims and fancy. On that particular day, the contractors had moved the slabs to facilitate their work. But like any other driver, I hugged to the rightmost to prevent my car from accidentally jumping lane, especially at the curve. To my horror, there stood the culprit of my suspicion earlier.

Not 25 meters after the the curve, my mouth was agaped at the sight of a lamp post that stood in the car's path! I really cannot remember what transpired, but my right leg must have jammed the brake pedals even as the occupants in my car was screaming. Still, the car rammed into the lamp post, climbed up some several feet, and did a 180 degrees, turning to face the direction we had come from. By the time my mind snapped to reality, I could see people rushing to the scene to assist in whatever manner they can. My two cousins at the back was groaning in pain as did the other on the front passenger seat. I was like, dumbfounded - in a momentary state of shock.

The rear left passenger door was forced open by someone and both cousins were dragged out. Then, they assisted the other cousin in the front. All I could do then was...watched! It was when all 3 passengers were out did they come to my door and tried to force it open. But I could see the door would not open as it was slightly bent in the middle. Calmly, I told them to leave it be as I tried to crawl out through the passenger's door. It was then I felt a sharp pain on my left ankle. Somehow, the crowd got to the other side and pulled me out to the grass.

Moh, my fat cousin, had fainted, while the other two were eerily quiet. I could do nothing but kept apologising to them even as I was clasping my left leg in pain. I looked at the car and realise it was a total write-off. How, despite all the damage done, did we survive, I totally have no idea. Later, I had my first ambulance ride to the University Hospital in PJ where the only great damage to my body turned out to be a badly bruised ankle.

The episode did not end there. Some 3 weeks later, I received a letter from a woman demanding I pay a certain amount of money to her for the hardship she experienced from...hitting my car from the rear! Her car, a Honda, was badly damaged and she was trying to sue me! Though I was fined RM100 for damaging public property - though I entirely refuted it - no court in the world would find it the favour of the driver hitting another car in the rear! In fact, I learned later that it was due to her that my car climbed the lamp post and did the 180 degress turn. However adamant she was, I just brushed her off. And the traffice police allegation that I was speeding does not make sense at all. For heaven's sake, I was driving my brother's Mercedes 240D - D marks the vehicle as having a diesel engine. And diesel engines - then - just do not have what it takes to accelerate especially the short distance between the traffic light and the scene, which could not have been more than 150 meters? But, pay the fine, I did.

It was a totaly different story some 3 years back. For one, I was not blamed nor did I have to pay any fines. In fact, this time, the real culprit was identified, though he still does not admit it.

I was driving on Jalan Parlimen heading towards Bank Negara's traffic light/roundabout. My mum was beside me as we were invited to a Buka Puasa in KL. There was a motorcyclist on the left lane. Even from afar, I could make out he was an off-duty Security Officer from the bag he was carrying; it peculiarly long and does not need a genius to note that it was intended to carry a rifle/shotgun. There were not many cars on the road, and as I overtook him, the traffic light turned green. I noted the road ahead was clear and maintained my speed.

As we approached the traffic light, I saw this motorcyclist ( and a pillion rider) coming from the opposite direct (Jalan Tun Perak). All of a sudden, he began to turn to his right. As though he suddenly noticed my approach, he tried to make his turn into a u-turn or was trying to bring the bike to a stop. I do not know which nor do I truly care. But his evasive action was far too late.

Exactly just under the bridge, the motorcyle rammed into the front right wheel of my car. The whole episode, though only a few seconds in reality, was etched in my mind like in slow-motion.

I had pressed the brakes then. As soon as the motorcycle rammed, I saw bodies floating. The rider was thrown to the front and hit his head on the right rear passenger door. The pillion rider, flew front across me to crazh onto the windscreen right in front of my mum. He rolled down the front side of the car to land on his buttocks. Miraculously, the car screeched to a full stop only inches from his face. My mum and I were both somewhat shocked. Then, the funny part happened. The part which actually had me thinking then whether or not to laugh!

Its the norm for motorcyclist to come to each other's aid in times of crisis. In fact, they even band together against drivers of other vehicles. Its like a camaderie between them. An unwritten bond that exist and could only be understood only if you happen to be a motorcyclist. Remeber the Security Office I passedby only earlier?

As soon as the accident happened, he rode to my side. My mind was going like: "Oh no! Not another one!" And, it was not. His very first words shocked me more than the accident itself. Verbatim:"Bang! Saya nampak kesemua kejadian ini bang, nak saya tumbuk mereka?" With my mouth agape, my mind was going like:"Huh? Is this for real?"

I later called my brother to inform him of the accident and that we may be able to make the Buka Puasa with him. Oh! Incidentally, its the same brother whose house I was on the way to when I met the earlier accident. Anyway, he came by, took my mum, and left me to clean up the accident at the police station. When it was done, I drove back on an empty stomach thinking of all the good food I had to miss, and not knowing the bill to the damage would set me back some RM3,000 without the paint. Still, something good must have come to even with all these. What it is, till now though, I have yet to figure out.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

In the Limelight?


Hang on, foremost, Esah, thank you very much for your comments. I must admit I was flattered by it. Interesting eh? Hmm...that's just like saying Sofian is a one-dimension, politically blurred, full of spite, intelligently charming with ladies, but down on his luck of an ingrate. Incidentally, come to think of it, he is!

Oh! Don't get me wrong! He IS, a nice guy. When he wants to be-lah! Otherwise, he can be a real pain in the you-know-where. In fact, had he not told me about your comment, I would not have known at all. Last I logged-in, I believe, was a couple of months back or so. That was when I was still a volunteer with wtv8. Now, I'm not.

Anyway, even after Sofian informed me of Esah's comment, I've been putting off logging-in. Why? Don't really know. Perhaps, fear. And true enough, what greeted me here was something that shocked me quite a bit. I mean, over 300 people suddenly appeared out of nowehre to view my blog! Shocked and pleasantly surprised, I admit. But hello! I'm a private kind of an individual. Though 300 viewers is just a small number to many a bloggers, its HUGE to me! Furthermore, with all the grammatical errors and what-not mistakes, this can be very embarassing! But if its any consolation - to myself, actually - I don't plan what to write nor do I edit them. I just allow it to flow. To heck with the mistakes, hehe.

Geez...I'm blank now. Really! Cannot think of what to write. And to be honest, this has been the state of my mind for several months. But if you ask Sofian, he'll tell you it been like that for the lifetime he knows me. So, don't ask him.

There' actually a Malay word for the situation I'm in: terkedu - shocked and disheartened, that's what it is.

I had wanted wtv8 to be more than just a politically-inclined internet TV. I wanted to it touch base with the viewers by airing social news such as events at orphanges and such. As we were all volunteers and not gainfully employed, leeways should have been given for us to produce programs which would ordinarily not see the daylight in c0mmercial tvs. What irked me most was when a request to air the latest news during the Israel invasion of Lebanon was denied. An Ustaz had sms-ed me from Lebanon requesting for time and I relayed it. But for some uncomprehensibly unfounded and invalid fear, wtv8 turned it down. To me, its like "how insensitive can you get to the plight of the innocent". Thus, I left them. Eversince then, I've just been wandering my mind. Its like being jilted. Then again, I was the one who walked out. So end another chapter of my life.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

From Another Blog...

Thought I'd add here what I wrote in the other blog...just for safekeeps. Think I'll do it this everytime I add there and vice versa. There's two parts here. mind you.

Assalamu'alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

I belong to a group of 9 brothers and 3 sisters working on a webtv project. The webtv, wtv8, can be viewd at, with new editions every Saturday, 9pm Malaysian time, and repeats daily.

Wtv8 is relatively new with most of its content based on the local political scene. We are, in the midst of searching for Islamic material, local and foreign. However, as we are all volunteers in wtv8 and that it is not a profit generating body, we hope to make some form of arrangement for mutual benefit.

Other than that, viewers may contribute news or even comments by joining Thank you.

Mood: Tired
Date: May. 06, 2006

Assalamu'alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

Today, I shall enter my first writing into this blog...I think.

My previous try in this blog was a dismal failure as somehow maybe due to a glitch somewhere - or was it my ineptness - it did not register. Thus, I pray this time it will. Otherwise, I would be wasting what little energy I have for this day after using most of it in the studio earlier.

Through experience - though new as we may be - we at wtv8 have come to learn many things about webtv production. Perhaps, the oddest thing is that it is not as difficult as we originally thought. Then again, neither is it a walk-in-the-woods either.

With the many failings that we have now, we are nonetheless still confident that we will, be better. InsyAllah.

In a Quran class recently, I learnt that Imam Shafie was once asked: What is the secret to his learning the Quran?
Imam Shafie replied: Repeat 1,000 times and you will memorise.

In our context here in wtv8, it would mean that we have to keep on trying and learning to adapt and adopt new knowledge in producing our programmes.

Though currently limited to 4 productions only: News, Islamic Entertainment, Tazkirah and Talkshow, we do have the intention to produce more. This is our endeavour to produce quality Islamic programmes as an alternative to those non-Islamic whether in presentation or in production.

It will not be easy. Foremost, as all of us volunteered for this project when many have daytime jobs and family, as well as other social respobilities. But the commitment given by several of the brothers, masyAllah, I have no words to describe.

Especially to the brothers and sisters in Malaysia, give us your moral support as we strive to bring you news to counter propoganda by... We are not CNN nor Al-Jazeera; we are wtv8.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Not a Good Monday...

Foremost, when exactly is Monday a good day?

Having spent the entire weekend with your family's constant pleading to take them places other than a relative's house, you are left wondering whether the word 'I' or 'my' does exist in a family. I mean, having worn yourself out during the weekdays, many would give an arm just to laze on the sofa watching nothing on the television.

Even then, while you're watching nothing, your ears just cannot help but pick up the sounds of kids fighting, bawling and yelling their little lungs out. It may even reach the extent that you begin to think that you are like Bethoven, writing loud music hoping to hear even if the sound is more like a whisper. Except, in this case, the unwarranted music is being written by your family. as a parent must be tough!

To placate the kids and your wife/husband, you take them out to places, wherever that may be. Normally, for a husband, that's the best part as the wife tend to be the parent kids cling to. For the wife though, it can be quite a torrid moment I imagine. Apart from the kid, there's the husband that needs tending to as well! Oh boy!

Anyway, by the time you reach home, its almost dusk. Your weekend dream of lazing on the sofa watching nothing soon turn to lying on the bed watching the ceiling and wishing its Friday evening already. You're worn out by the weekend's activity, only to be worn out by the weekdays' activites! Like I mentioned earlier, it tough to be a parent! Good thing I'm not one...yet!

Still, that does not mean my Monday's are better off. For one, only this morning, after spending more than an hour cleaning the fish water-tank, I'm almost drained out already. Not for any reason, but the fear of my fishes. Remember the ammonia pollution to the water supply in the Klang Valley? I fear it may have happened again.

On that particular day, I had just cleaned the water-tank. To my horror, several of the fishes were soon to be found floating dead! Over the next several days, the scene repeated itself killing some of the best species. The whole episode ended only when the pollutants to the water supply was drained out.

This Monday morning, soon after I cleaned the tank, several of the larger species began to surface for air even though the water and air pump was running as per normal. This behavior is simiilar to the episode mentioned earlier, leaving me to dread what the evening will bring. I can only pray that the whole epidose will not repeat itself as this time it may wipe out all the fishes in the tank.

But come to think about it, my fear for the fishes may be real silly. I mean, I'm worrying for the fishes when it is my neighbourhood I should be thinking of! If indeed the situation is repeating itself, then the whole Klang Valley will again be eating and drinking ammonia-polluted water! When will this end?

Sunday, April 30, 2006

New Kid On The Blo(g)ck.

Hehehe...I'm back! I'm back! I'm back...don't know for how long this time. though.

Its been several months now since I last wrote anything anywhere. In the world of emails and what not in this cyberage, that's like eternity! Hmm...its a wonder though I can still remember my password.

What brought me back? Good question! In all honesty, I really do not know. But if there is a reason for it, guess a little episode several days ago drove me back here. And hey!, here's not a bad place to be. I mean, I can go rambling and mumbling forever, and no one, not a shit would care. After an eternity's of absence, who would want to be looking into this blog? No one! Unless you count that mosquito hovering between my face and the screen and wondering "Now, where am I going to get my life juice from next?".

Anyway, that little episode I mentioned earlier goes like this: I stumbled into a website which, I would call cool, if cool is word that transcend all age groups with the very same meaning:, that is what its called.

Now, like anything and everything else in my life, I like to go rushing headlong into things, only to stumble on the minutest of pebble and fall few centimeters short of, horse droppings. Ok, I'm exegerating. But such an episode was a true life event sometime back in 1986. Later though.

Back to Muslimspace: Like Custer at Little Big Horn, I rushed into MuslimSpace and found myself gaping in wonder (more like lost, actually) at the things there. Never have I been in a website or portal with so many muslim...ah!

As I browse through the site, I did what I would normally do in such a situation - I went googoo-gaga! That, is the typical 'cakapaje' bloke who's writing you're reading now.

Ok. It seem to the law of nature that anyone who goes googoo-gaga to fall flat on their face. Yup!I was indeed not an exception to that law.

Anyway, with so many '..'ah's' around, I found one that strikes me the most and had me thinking she was a foreign muslimah from a land where muslims are like natural diamonds in Malaysia! Turned out, she's as Malaysian as I am but with a mix of Arab. Who? Now, now, now, that would be telling wouldn't it?

Having found her there, I tried to emulate Custer's charge in the Battle of the Bullrun. Unlike Custer then, I misreably failed. But like Custer in Little Big Horn, I was...massacred. Well, if you consider a broken heart flayed over and over again a massacre, then yes, I was massacred. If you don't happen to think alike, that's your problem fella.

Thus, what else could a guy do in such a situation? Yup, I followed Napoleon and the Wermacht army example of making an abrupt retreat. Still, all is not lost.

Glancing over the episode like Napoleon did while in Elba, I decided to salvage some pride and brave a new front., I decided, shall be the international launching pad for the webtv I'm associated with now.

Unfortunately. Don't you hate it when such a word is brought into play when you least expect it? (You did? Oh!).

Unfortunately, due to a glitch in their system caused by the migration to a new server, neither the blog space nor the general information area is not working for now. After several futile attempts to get the host to assist, I have decided to temprarily give up on it. What remains in my page now are 2 photographs and some biodata, which makes the page looks like the remnants of a civilisation long gone.

Alas, perhaps its for the better. For I soon found out to my further dismay, that I was very much in the company of young people - many, many, very young people! Its such that there was now way at all I could introduce myself as...a new kid on the blo(g)ck! Sigh....