Saturday, May 31, 2008

Of the Idiot Box and Reality

When Television was still considered a novelty in the early 1970's, many people of Kampugn Melaka Pindah would throng my aruah grandmother's house at night just to watch the programs shown. Sometimes when my family travel back for the weekend, we would find the men standing at the door and even on the ledges of the windows, while the womenfolk would be sitting quite comfortably on the floor of the 'rumah ibu', basically the living room of such kampung house. On our arrival, the men and womenfolk would make themselves scarce, perhaps embarrass by our presence.

Watching the TV with my aruah grandmother would sometimes evoke small laughs amongst her grandchildren. I particularly remember a time when we watched a spy movie where an actress was shot and killed by her counterpart. Watching the scene, aruah grandma would say "kesian dia...muda muda lagi dah mati; cantik pula tu". An elder cousin would then tell that it was just an acting and not real. She nodded her head, but my cousin's words seem not to have registered as time and again after that, she would say the same thing. Perhaps, living in a world where her two feet are firmly planted on the ground, the concept of make-believe, or acting, is something totally strange to her.

Earlier this morning I was at a mamak shop to tapau roti canai for breakfast. While waiting, I stood at the shop's newspaper stand and began reading the headlines. A guy came by and gave a loud snort as he picked up one of the papers. He then looked at me - my t-shirt, rather - and gave a louder snort. I think I know the reason for the second snort as I was wearing Harris Ibrahim's 'Boycott Newspapers' T-shirt; but what was the first for? Curious, I looked again at the headlines. I stopped wondering when my eyes caught a news about the death of a pretty 24year old woman who became a victim of a snatch thief. At that point of time, the words of my aruah grandma came to my mind "kesian dia...muda muda lagi dah mati; cantik pula tu".

The crime rate seem to be soaring again of late. My housing area have had several break-ins and many more similar incidents have been reported in the neighbouring areas. This, despite the announcement of setting up of more police beats and patrols. Except for one recently launched 'Balai Polis Bergerak', nothing else have been heard about crime-fighting, leaving one to wonder the effectiveness of the government of the day, and where lies their priority: the wellbeing of the people, or the the wellbeing of the Sarkas. With the continuing rising prices of good, the crime rate is expected to soar further. Meanwhile, those idiots live comfortably in houses of grand design, which when one really look at it, is nothing but an extension of a box designed for idiots of this world. While many of us too live in one, we are comforted in thought that our boxes were designed by one, made by another, but most certainly not for one.

Total garbage, my posting is.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Throw Habit

When people of certain senior age begin doing something uncharacteristic to their age or normal behaviour, the Malays would call it 'Buang Tabiat'. I don't know the actual English equivalent to "Buang Tabiat', so I guess 'Throw Habit' will have to do. Well, its not that I am about to do something or anything of such nature, but referring it to the clowns in our House of Parliament.

To be honest though, I have never watched any of the live telecast, nor do I bother to read about it. But reading a few blogs and glancing at the front pages of dailies, is enough for me to know I do not need nor want to continue reading. In fact, I've gone several weeks without really reading any news, with the exception of the links I have here. This is totally unlike of me, someone who was vigorously active on the Net for 6 years prior to PRU12. Its not that I'm fed up of politics, but I'm taking a long vacation from it. In some strange way and contrary to the actual meaning, I am 'buang tabiat'.

ps. Should anyone have links to a veteran Indonesian singer by the name of Ivon Nalakrisna, kindly inform me. Tried googling and you tubing her without success.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Jamming With Ants

Foremost, no, the ants I am referring to are not Adam and The Ants, but those tiny 6legged insects which can be found in almost every corner of a house...except those houses which have been fumigated.

When I reached home late this afternoon, my nose picked up a rather disturbing smell coming from one of my neighbour's house. I quickly close my nose for apart from not liking the smell, I also think it can be harmful to one's health - my neighbour was spraying one of those canned pesticides to rid a small army of ants feasting on some organic matter. In the past, I too would have done the same but refrain from it now after learning a few things.

Ants are wonderful creatures actually. They live in colonies and each ant within the colony have specific duties of their own. Some are foragers, some soldiers, some feeders, and yet some...well, whatever. In general, some ant behaviorist have even likened them to nature's thrash collectors. No, really.

Ants and many other creatures which we normally treat as pests, are actually doing the cleaning job for us, literally carting away the litter we may have dropped, denying germs or bacterias the chance to bloom and infect humans in one way or another. OK, do so maggots. But, after reading a hadith about ants, I have tried my best not to harm any. There are however, times which I, through the involuntary movement or reaction of my hands, fail to remember the hadith as below:

Hadis riwayat Abu Hurairah ra.:
Dari Rasulullah saw. bahwa seekor seekor semut pernah menggigit salah seorang nabi. Nabi tersebut lalu memerintahkan untuk mendatangi sarang semut dan membakarnya. Tetapi kemudian Allah menurunkan wahyu kepadanya: Apakah hanya karena seekor semut menggigitmu lantas kamu membinasakan satu umat yang selalu bertasbih

Nombor hadis dalam kitab Sahih Muslim [Bahasa Arab saja]: 4157

Like earlier just now, emak and I was enjoying this bar of Hershey's which I had just bought. Off course, when one eats chocolate bars, small crumbs are bound to fall out of one's notice. One, would only become aware of it when one see a small army of ants crowding the table. First thought and reaction: Get the pesticides! But, that would only be contrary to what I'm beginning to learn; had I been more careful when eating chocolates, the ants would not have come. So, next when I do see an army of ants, I'm going to sing this song to them.

Unless, off course, they happen to be an army of African Killer Ants. Hmm...are there any such things?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Long Not Heard

I was at Halim's stall earlier this evening and thought I heard someone whistling a tune I have long not heard. And the moment I got back, I searched you tube for the song, and found only this, where the quality if far from satisfactory; I find it kind of sad that Malaysian and Indonesian songs on video are produced mainly for karaoke sessions and nothing more. But since I love the tune and most certainly used to like the singer, thought I'd put it up. Guess most of my friends are well aware of the song and the singer.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Driving to the shops last night, I felt my wheels not responding well to my steering and in fact, was jerky at times. Initially I suspected it was the wheels alignment and let go off the steering wheel, only to see the car veer sharply to the left. So I rolled down the front passenger seat window and true enough, the flipflop sound heard was as I feared, that of a flat tire. As I was on the main road, I could not stop immediately thus slowly drove the car to the shop which was just a short distance.

Soon as I brought the car to a stop, I got out and took down the spare wheel and equipment, readying myself for a heavy duty job. Alhamdulillah, I did not have to do much as the 'mamak' from the shop offered to help. However, it was not as simple as we both thought it would be.

As soon as the car was jacked up slightly, we tried with all our might to unscrew the nuts and bolts of the wheel, but they just would not budge. Then somebody handed a hollow iron bar which we inserted one end of the tire spanner as a means of leverage, and it worked! And soon I was driving back home.

Earlier this morning, I had the flat fixed and found a 6inch nail to be the culprit.

Arriving back home, I found emak tending to her garden and decided its time I give my fish tank a spring cleaning since its been more than a year I last did. Well, what prompted my action was the overgrowing roots of the waterlily plant. Several times in the recent past, I had added some new fishes, only to find them missing. After a while I figured those fishes must have gotten themselves tangled with the roots. And true enough. Soon as we dragged the plant out - emak gave me a big hand - we found the skeletal remains of few of the fishes. Poor fellas.

It took us a good part of the morning to clean the tank and trim the plant which is now less than a quarter in size of its former self, where I had to laugh quietly to myself as it reminds me of a time in the past when I visited a barber. Then, my hair was extra extra long (and curly). When I requested for the no.2 cut, the barber almost did not believe me. But soon there I was, almost botak and looking like a true homo sapien rather than a sasquatch dressed in one.

Back to the fish tank, I've taken out most of the bricks I put in and meant as a playhouse for the fishes, and rebuilt a new one of smaller size. Now, it has a spacious look, quite like when one moves into a new empty house. It looks better too!

Really glad we cleaned the tank as I can really look at my fishes now. And I find it quite a joy too, watching them play among themselves and even at times involved in a non-violent fight or two. Apart from the original species of Swordtails and Mollies, I've added some varieties of Moon Fishes (I only know the name given but not of the specie); Black Red, Green Yellow Head, and Blue. There's also 2 pairs of Loaches - Yellow, and Black. Together with the Guppies which I am thankful their population have not exploded, the tank is indeed quite a colourful sight.

There's something else I enjoy, and that is watching the fishes swim against the flow of water gushing out from the water pump. The younger fishes, perhaps lacking the strength of their adults, would constantly find themselves swept along the short width of the tank, while the adults would try to swim to almost the mouth of the outflow. Watching them do so is almost like watching salmons swim upriver to the mountains to lay their eggs. Well, almost. As I have thus far been able to watch salmons do it only in TV documentaries, and don't think I will ever be able to do so in real life. At this point, I sure would like to own a camera similar to the one Pak Zawi has just gotten himself. But perhaps, that too will remain a dream. For now, this simple man's toy and hobby will have to do.

Anyway, now that the day is over and fish tank cleaned, emak and I seem to have fallen flat. While she has long gone off to bed, I just can't as I am so used to late nights.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A UPSR Student Composition

I don't know whether the below I received in an email is true. If it is, Heavens help Malaysia!

Having read it, and in view of Malaysia losing the Pulau Batu Putih to Singapore, one has to seriously ponder matters. The International Court of Justice awarded the island to our neighbour solely on the fact that for the past 100 years Malaysia did nothing to justify otherwise. Of the 100 years, 52 of it were after Independence and under the helm of the Sarkas people; goes to show who they really are, does it not? That, would include the below too. God help us!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Way Sarkas Were

For all that it was said to be, I never saw the movie. Never had any reason to, and perhaps never will. From what I heard some people say about it though, it has a sad ending. And I hate sad ending! I don't mind mushy mushy pictures where the everyone gets teary-eye towards the end, but I hate sad endings! Unless, off course, the sadness is meant for the Sarkas, and those in the same time frame. Bet some people there are singing this song now.

Having said that, in no way does it mean I don't like this song though. Just listen to the piano solo.

Sorry palalah, chedet and Sarkas people, this song is too good for you.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Long Walk

The twin engine, 8passenger plane touched down at the community airport around 6pm. But at this time of the year, it was already dark, and cold. Aje did not bother to go to the luggage collection center as he was carrying by hand, and walked straight to the exit. No familiar faces greeted him there, and he hung around a while. By 7pm, he was beginning to get agitated...and hungry. He walked back into the building and tried to make several calls, but none was successful. He searched his pockets and found he had only a measly sum, probably not even enough to pay for the taxi fare to town. And with no buses in service in this small town, all Aje could do was wait. But luck did not abandon him that night.

A tall elderly man sporting a cowboy hat walked out the building and stared at Aje, who in turn returned the stare.
"You and addict, son?" asked the man.
"No, sir" replied Aje.
"That's good to know," said the man "as I sure do hate them addicts!".
Aje did not reply but looked the other way at the headlights of a car driving in.
"You need a ride to town, son?" asked the man.
"I do," replied Aje trying to conceal his delight at the invitation.
"Come on then! The temp will be dropping further. Just make sure you ain't got no stuff in them bag of yours".
"Just my clothes," Aje quickly replied in hope it would convince the man that he is not an addict.

The 30minutes ride to town however, turned out to be joyful for the 2 strangers as they got to know each other. The man Aje found out, was late into his 60's and clearly no redneck. He claimed though, to be a former Intelligence Officer of some outfit which is gaining more ill reputation than not. Aje did not want to dispute nor to believe. If he is, fine. If he's not, what harm could there be? In return, Aje was relieved to note that the term 'addict' the man used was meant to be an icebreaker and nothing more.

Soon as they reached town, the man dropped Aje at the nearest coffeehouse. There, Aje helped himself to 2 cups of steaming hot coffee, before deciding to walk the 5 miles to his destination. With inadequate clothing, the walk became cold and lonely as the dark night itself.

Perhaps, a certain man, formerly of high position, is going through the same now.

ps. Quite a shame Addicted To Love - Power - was not available.

Disaster Talk Re-examined!

When I did the entry regarding 'Disaster Talk', I had a fair amount of reservations about it. Still, in the absence of a Safety Guide for such events in Malaysia, I thought it would assist. And when JT made a comment about it, I requested she look into the matter from her side of the world, she did so as requested and came back mentioning the article listed in (thanks JT).

Now, as far as I do know, is one of the best place to check on unsure 'facts' circulating in the net, especially on urban legends. And the first thing that went to my mind was "Shoot! I gave the wrong info! Someone should kick my leg, hit me on the head, pour molten lead into me, tie me to a tonne of steel, and shove me off into the Marianas!" Honestly, I felt very bad about it. The only thing I can do now is reproduce the comment there, and ask my friends to re-evaluate the matter. Unfortunately, the site is copy-and-paste protected. Thus, one would have to visit the link snopes link above or Then, ask everyone concerned to forgive me.

Tale of A Relationship

Love makes the world go around, so the saying goes. I, however, believe that to be true. For without His love...I just can't imagine what this present world, before, and after, will be like. As His humble servants living in this passing moment, we more often than not forget who we truly are. We wake up, go to work or studies, eat, sleep, and enjoy the finer moments of our days, yet we still forget about many things, mostly that the bounties we had are from Allah s.w.t. And so it is with this tale about 2 people.

As one would have probably watched, the video is slightly dated, but still precious nonetheless. Especially in view of matters lately.

The tale I would like to tell you, is a tale that happens everyday. For it seem to be a common thing for 2 people to meet, and try to develop their relationship from there. Sometimes it works out to expectation...of at least one; sometimes it does not. I, for one, never dreamed it would come to this. How could it have happened?

Unlike the ruins of an ancient Mayan city that was once hailed as the acme of past civilisation, this relationship is now more than just an acne between the 2 people. While one is seen as an ancient addict, the other was seen as the healer to the ails of many. Where the former is proven to be true, the latter has yet to fulfill promises made. Truly sad, and heartbreaking. But such is the tale of these 2 people. I could go on and on and on with their tales, but do fear I may bore you now that it is out in the open. Still, in many ways, I look forward to the coming days that will tell the true course of this relationship.

By the way, I hope I have not mislead anyone into thinking this is a tale about me. It is not, I assure you. This, is a tale about the relationship between Palalah and Chedet. Its an old song sung new.

Boy! Do I love the changes coming!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Disaster Talk

Muha, in his latest entry, mentioned a small tremor at his home in Kajang, sometime late last night. He is not sure whether it caused by soil movement or some structural fault, but it seem the entire residents of the block felt it too and rushed out of their building. Alhamdulillah, though the fault has not been identified, no untoward incident occurred. In light of this, I would like to share with my friends, several tips which I received via email more than 3 years ago.

Before I put the link and the article, I would like to advise caution - I do not know, nor can I verify the website owner. Still, the tips are good and may be a lifesaver. Undoubtedly, living in a country that has had very minimal natural disaster, one may argue some of the points stated. But do remember, our authorities and we ourselves, have almost no experience on such matters, relying on our so called logic and nothing more. Whatever the case, it is up to the individual whether to heed or not.

The website mentioned belongs to Survival Supply at, and the page for the natural disaster tips is or as below:

Earthquake Survial Tips
Critical Earthquake Safety Information!!!

My name is Doug Copp. I am the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI), the world's most experienced rescue team. The information in this article will save lives in an earthquake.

I have crawled inside 875 collapsed buildings, worked with rescue teams from 60 countries, founded rescue teams in several countries, and I am a member of many rescue teams from many countries. I was the United Nations expert in Disaster Mitigation (UNX051 -UNIENET) for two years. I have worked at every major disaster in the world since 1985, except for simultaneous disasters.

The first building I ever crawled inside of was a school in Mexico City during the 1985 earthquake. Every child was under their desk. Every child was crushed to the thickness of their bones. They could have survived by lying down next to their desks in the aisles. It was obscene, unnecessary and I wondered why the children were not in the aisles. I didn't at the time know that the children were told to hide under something.

Simply stated, when buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings falling upon the objects or furniture inside crushes these objects, leaving a space or void next to them. This space is what I call the "triangle of life". The larger the object, the stronger, the less it will compact. The less the object compacts, the larger the void, the greater the probability that the person who is using this void for safety will not be injured. The next time you watch collapsed buildings, on television, count the "triangles" you see formed. They are everywhere. It is the most common shape, you will see, in a collapsed building. They are everywhere. I trained the Fire Department of Trujillo (population 750,000) in how to survive, take care of their families, and to rescue others in earthquakes.

The chief of rescue in the Trujillo Fire Department is a professor at Trujillo University. He accompanied me everywhere. He gave personal testimony: "My name is Roberto Rosales. I am Chief of Rescue in Trujillo. When I was 11 years old, I was trapped inside of a collapsed building. My entrapment occurred during the earthquake of 1972 that killed 70,000 people. I survived in the "triangle of life" that existed next to my brother's motorcycle. My friends who got under the bed and under desks were crushed to death [he gives more details, names, addresses etc.]...I am the living example of the "triangle of life". My dead friends are the example of "duck and cover".


1) Everyone who simply "ducks and covers" WHEN BUILDINGS COLLAPSE is crushed to death -- Every time, without exception. People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are always crushed.

2) Cats, dogs and babies all naturally often curl up in the fetal position. You should too in an earthquake. It is a natural safety/survival instinct. You can survive in a smaller void. Get next to an object, next to a sofa, next to a large bulky object that will compress slightly but leave a void next to it.

3) Wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be in during an earthquake. The reason is simple: the wood is flexible and moves with the force of the earthquake. If the wooden building does collapse, large survival voids are created. Also, the wooden building has less concentrated, crushing weight. Brick buildings will break into individual bricks. Bricks will cause many injuries but less squashed bodies than concrete slabs.

4) If you are in bed during the night and an earthquake occurs, simply roll off the bed. A safe void will exist around the bed. Hotels can achieve a much greater survival rate in earthquakes, simply by posting a sign on the back of the door of every room, telling occupants to lie down on the floor, next to the bottom of the bed during an earthquake.

5) If an earthquake happens while you are watching television and you cannot easily escape by getting out the door or window, then lie down and curl up in the fetal position next to a sofa, or large chair.

6) Everybody who gets under a doorway when buildings collapse is killed. How? If you stand under a doorway and the doorjamb falls forward or backward you will be crushed by the ceiling above. If the door jam falls sideways you will be cut in half by the doorway. In either case, you will be killed!

7) Never go to the stairs. The stairs have a different "moment of frequency" (they swing separately from the main part of the building).The stairs and remainder of the building continuously bump into each other until structural failure of the stairs takes place. The people who get on stairs before they fail are chopped up by the stair treads. They are horribly mutilated. Even if the building doesn'tt collapse, stay away from the stairs. The stairs are a likely part of the building to be damaged. Even if the stairs are not collapsed by the earthquake, they may collapse later when overloaded by screaming, fleeing people. They should always be checked for safety, even when the rest of the building is not damaged.

8) Get Near the Outer Walls Of Buildings Or Outside Of Them If Possible - It is much better to be near the outside of the building rather than the interior. The farther inside you are from the outside perimeter of the building the greater the probability that your escape route will be blocked;

9) People inside of their vehicles are crushed when the road above falls in an earthquake and crushes their vehicles; which is exactly what happened with the slabs between the decks of the Nimitz Freeway. The victims of the San Francisco earthquake all stayed inside of their vehicles. They were all killed. They could have easily survived by getting out and sitting or lying next to their vehicles, says the author. Everyone killed would have survived if they had been able to get out of their cars and sit or lie next to them. All the crushed cars had voids 3 feet high next to them, except for the cars that had columns fall directly across them.

10) I discovered, while crawling inside of collapsed newspaper offices and other offices with a lot of paper, that paper does not compact. Large voids are found surrounding stacks of paper.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

In Death, It Lives

This past week and more, I have been very reluctant to open my working email box, doing it every 3rd day or so just to delete rather than read. Since 2 Fridays ago, I have been feeling very much unsettled; my mind constantly preoccupied by matters, personal at that, but which are out of my control. And in doing that, the things which are within, are left much unattended. Quite like living sitting in a canoe that's moving down a rapid, but not wanting to do anything about it. Or caring.

Then I came across this chapter of a book I am reading. Nothing much, just some thoughts and reflections of a Brazilian writer by the name of Paulo Coelho, an author of some 12 books including 'The Alchemist" which I had just finished reading. The "Alchemist" by the way, I find it to be a very enjoyable tale of a boy searching for a treasure across the Sahara Desert, with a touch of mysticism that would enchant many a reader. It, is has a different writing flair than this book I'm reading. Off course, one is a tale of wander, while the other is not. Still, several chapters of this "Like the Flowing River" is quite a gem by itself. Like this particular chapter where I will reproduce 3 paragraphs which sort of woke me up from my stupor:

"People do not think very much about death. Thy spend their lives worrying about absurdities; they put things off, and fail to notice important moments. They don't take risks, because they think it's dangerous. They complain a lot, but are afraid to take action. They want everything to change, but they themselves refuse to change". - Quite true when you look at the results of the PRU12 where not enough Malays voted for the Pakatan Rakyat. Yet, they are the ones who are making most noise. Hmm...quite like what RPK wrote a few months back too.

"The Indians say: 'Today is as good a day as any to leave this world.' And a wise man once said:'Death is always sitting by your side so that, when you need to do something important, it will give you the strength and the courage that you need'. - When I reflect this back to a hadith, this is quite true; "Perform the solat as if you will die tomorrow. But work (hard and honest) as though you will live for a thousand years".

"I hope that you, dear reader, have got this far. It would be foolish to be frightened by death, because all of us, sooner or later, are going to die. And only those who accept this fact are prepared for life". - Somehow this para reminds me a drive along Karak Highway. I find the twisting mountain highway fascinating and rather romantic, perhaps because of the surrounding greenery and the cooling atmosphere. Upon negotiating a bend, my eyes caught a rather contrasting sight though. High on top of a ridge, stood a tall tree. Though its very sight cannot be said to be majestic, it stood tall distinguishing itself in a very prominent manner from all the other tress and plants around it. While it is very difficult to tell the difference between one tree and another, especially when one is driving, this tree seem to 'scream' of its presence, simply because it is dead. In a sea of green, the deathly brownish-dark colour of a tree which is more of a rotten wood, the tree stood tall - it, is more alive than the surrounding living trees.

When the morning sun comes around tomorrow, I don't know whether I will be dead or alive...none of us do. But I do know it will not make any difference; if I die, insyAllah, I will be buried as a Muslim and there's nothing more I can do. If however I do survive the night, then I have to continue fighting the deathly emotional transition of life I am going through, for there's an awful load of work to do. And its called living.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Have You Ever Been In WL's Situation?

Marinie, or Water Lilly, my friend and also an adik angkat, went ranting today about the unfairness of fellow human beings, or rather their insensitiveness to the wellbeing of WL and her friends. Reading her post, I sense anguish and frustration boiling and I feel for her. Maybe, to many of us, life has been easy. And by many standards, it has.

I am not a good writer. But if you would bear with me, let me try to give you a glimpse of a day in the life of those who not as lucky as many of us are. And what I will be attempting, it may not even suffice to raise the consciousness nor the hardship WL may face each passing day.

Waking up early morning to catch the bus to school, I walk the dark streets to the bus stop. The school bus had come by earlier than normal, and I had to give it a miss. Its either that, or missing Subuh.

I have to walk fast or miss the 6.15am bus to KL. But he road is uneven and barely 200 meters walking, my left leg began to feel pain along the calf, so I slow down my steps and begin to hobble. No matter how I try to hide it, some people began taking notice of the awkward steps I am making. Due to the extra energy I have to use, I begin to sweat. By the time I reach the bus stop, my forehead and hair is wet. A smart looking guy at the bus stop could not help himself with his words "Hai...main hujan ke?", when the nights has been dry for many days now. I look at him and just smile in return.

The bus stop is full of people, and I can only lean on the stand, lifting my left leg a tad above ground to rest it, and putting all the pressure on my right. My face must have shown a grimace of pain or two, as another guy keep turning and looking at me. I begin to feel awkward, like I am the butt of a sick joke, and the feeling of awkwardness shifts to embarrassment and soon, humiliation. Luck was with me as the bus arrive and all of us clamber aboard. Yes, clamber. For this is still a trait in this self declared (by that toyol) Developed State of Islam Hadhari nation, passengers jostle with each other boarding a public transport - a scene quite like any 3rd World Country.

Afraid of having my foot stepped on as it already has a pain of its own, I wait. Soon as the last few is in, I climb aboard. Expectedly by then, all the seats have already been taken. With my bag slung across my shoulder, I clutch the rubbery handhold dangling from a metal bar. I then notice the man who was looking at me at the bus stop, is sitting right in front. I ignore him as he is similar to the pain on my left leg that refuse to go away.

The pain in both legs now begins to throb even more as my body sways with the bus movements as it negotiates corners, bends, and even when it stops to pick up more passengers. With more people, the bus becomes crowded and I stand almost rigid, adding yet more pressures to the left leg. For 40 minutes, I endure the ride to KL.

In KL, I begin the treacherous walk to the school. On mornings such as this, I am faced with a dilemma: either use the road which has a long steep staircase, or use the further route where the gradient of the hill is kinder to my legs but not the distance. Several times in the future of this past, I decide not to use any.

I am now in my classroom with my shirt soaking wet. A mindless schoolmate pass a remark similar to those at the bus stop earlier. Again I choose to ignore. And slowly as the hours pass by, the pain subsides and I can now move around, but as normal as any cripple would. For some reasons, some other mindless students would let out a jeer or two. Later in future life, the jeers would be like 'cendana', quite like Allahyarham Nordin Ahmad's character in the Patung Cendana movie some very many years ago. Sometimes, the pain of these name-calling can be worse than the physical pains of my left leg.

At 1.10pm, the school bell begins to ring, and many of the lower form students begin walking out; their school day has ended while for several others and I, it is time to rest. At 2.30, each of us who have not walked out, will begin our extra curriculum activity.

Even as a toddler, I was fascinated with the Army. Back in Pengkalan Chepa, Kelantan, the road in front of our house was regularly used by soldiers from a nearby camp en route to their foot patrols at a secondary jungle a short distance away. Perhaps, the sight of those soldiers later enticed me to join the School's Army Cadet Corp, thinking my leg condition is as normal just as anyone.

For 3 years, another friend and I had to endure the taunts and shouts of especially a certain senior who was a Sergeant in the Cadet Corp. And because the 2 of us could not execute the 'pacak' drill without the military boots, we became the target of more verbal abuse by the Sergeant and several NCOs. But time pass by too fast, and before we knew it, both of us became 5th year seniors and outlasting many other 'fit' cadets.

Still, the adult life was not kind enough for both of us.

As I mentioned in the beginning, I write this for my friend and 'lift' sister (adik angkat), WL. The pain she and many other people similar to her has to endure in their daily lives may not be visible nor felt by other people. They ask not for pity, but the simple courtesy and kind thoughts one would bestow upon another. Are we, the physically able, mentally handicapped not able to do so? (This is meant for those inconsiderate people mentioned in WL's entry.)

WL, Muha, kerpie, and even Pak Kassim, forgive me if I am unable to portray the true situation each of you face daily.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Where's The Hook?

Saw this video this morning and a friend's blog and well, thought I'd just blog about it. Well, not about the video itself but matters relating to it. Especially how far I am behind times in the progress of music.

A few years back, a friend from Singapore came over to KL. The lady by the name of Lisa, had so much wanted to meet several of her friends here and had taken leave from work especially for the purpose. So on that day she came over, I fetched her from KL Sentral and drove to Hotel Istana where another friend awaits, as he - Radzi, by the name - was attending a conventon there.

After parking the car besides the Kompleks Kewangan building, we walked the short distance to Hotel Istana. Then, out of the blue, she mentioned "Ah, Peter Pan is coming to KL! I love Peter Pan". Hmm...but the thing that went to my mind was "Peter Pan? OK, now they turned it into a musical already!" And we continued to meet Radzi and then adjourned to the mamak shop behind the hotel.

At the mamak shop, Lisa then mentioned the name again but this time to Radzi. And the guy, said he even gotten the tickets already! Deep in my mind I thought "Hullo! I didn't know these 2 are so cultured to be wanting to watch a musical of Peter Pan!"

Look, I grew up knowing Peter Pan as the classical never-wanting-to-grow-up kid of the Neverland. Once you've read the book and seen the movie, do you really need to see the musical? Though its a fairy tale, I like the story and can relate it to Islam as in the hereafter - insyAllah when I make it to Heaven - we will all be at our prime age and not growing old at all. Skewed or not, that's the way I see it. But a musical?

Well, turned out to be I was totally embarrassed that day when I found out that the 2 friends were referring to the Indonesian band. Hmm....malu! But, neber mind, too can come up with the same. If Peter Pan is a band now, my Hook was one way before.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

An Unexpected Pleasant Night

Last night, PAS held the Media Appreciation Night, at a hotel in KL, and I was unexpectedly invited. I was initially rather reluctant to go as I was not informed of the occasion, nor do I know what was on the itinerary. But somehow towards the last minute decided to show up.

Soon as I entered, I saw the familiar faces of our blogging friends and brothers. Apart from RPK, there was Shar, Brick in the Wall (ampun pak, if you happen to read this, keep forgetting your real name), Sang Kelembai, who were sitting around one table and having a jolly good time. Later during the break though, I came across Uncle Zorro, OBE and several other bloggers I am not familiar with. For the night, RPK was given a special mention by Hj Mahfuz Omar, especially in his defiance to pay the bail money and rather spend the night or 2 in Sungai Buluh. Hmm...something I don't I can do.

Anyway, the GoH for the night were TG Hadi Awang, along with the 5 MBs. Unfortunately, only the MB of Perak was able to make while the other 4MBs sent their representatives.

Apart from mentioning appreciation to the media who had helped to open the minds of many citizens of this country, the bloggers too were mentioned as one of the driving force for the unexpected victories of Pakatan Rakyat during the PRU12. Not being a blogger of the same calibre, nor a media crew that's recognised, I just sat there with my mouth agape large enough for a fly to enter. Hehe, I'm kidding off course. But it was nice watching our friends and brother being recognised for their contribution. Nicer still, was the surprise I had.

When I stepped into the hall, I really had no idea who to sit with, and expected myself to be more like one of the decorations. But luck was with me last night when I received a call from a friend who was also invited. And soon, there I was sitting beside my new found friend and blogger, Shirzad Lifeboat. Now, you did not really expect the organisers would call me to the podium, did you? A small fry like me?

Overall, I was really impressed with the MB of Perak. The guy spoke fluently unlike many Sarkas politicians I've seen. Well, when you come to think about it, almost all Pakatan Rakyat MP's are well informed and would live up to the occasion when called for. Looking at it all, I sincerely do hope and pray that the nightmare of our Sarkas days is coming to an end real soon. Amin.

For Muha...My Brother

I am at 2 minds in writing this. But my 'lift' brother (adik angkat - though we have never met; boleh ye Muha), have requested I do this tag. The soft spot in me made me accept though it would mean revealing a past which I would rather not dwell. Still, to write or do the tag, I feel I must be honest, even if it means being ridiculed at. We each have our bad dreams come true, and I am no exception.

The tag's theme is "Age I wish To Go Back To".

Before I begin, I do have to excuse myself for not showing any photographs. Its not that I do not want to, but due to circumstances, its either I don't have any (for this tag purposes), or they are somewhere in this house, hidden under a pile of boxes which has not been opened for ages.

And so we begin...

Age I wish To Go Back To.
There are times in our life when we come to a major crossroad. For many of us, the choice between the 2 roads ahead were made knowing that such choice would reflect in our future, but never fully realising the consequence of such a choice until it reveals itself at a certain future point. For those blessed with religious guidance, the choice made seem to be crystal clear already. But for those who are not so lucky, the battle cry was 'que sera sera'.

Some many years back, I was asked to submit an application for a post in a small organisation. Since my small own small business was not exactly shining, I decided to give it a try. The job description did not seem too difficult to handle, and I have always wondered about working in such an environment.

There were only 2 candidates that came for the interview - a highly qualified and experienced man who brought a pile of papers as his testimony, and I, who had only a piece of paper outlining my qualifications and work experience.

As the man was interviewed in a cubicle with walls half made by glass panels, I sat outside watching but not thinking of anything. Though no words could be heard, I could see the man showing his papers as proof of his capability. I, by then, had given up any thoughts of being employed there as I could see the man was indeed a better choice. Soon after the man walked out of the room and I was called in.

I begged excuse for my single resume paper, and then began replying to the questions put forward. Another office bearer walked in and began barraging me with some questions which I was not prepared for. At the end of the interview, we shook hands and were told to wait at the lobby of the building.

It took the office bearer several hours to deliberate and when the news came, I was made totally speechless. Somehow, the office bearers chose me over the other guy. It was a decision I should have felt happy about, but I was not. Even then, I felt something was not quite right, but most of all, I felt a deep pain for the other guy as he was desperate for the job.

I will not touch on the office affair, but a year later I submitted a resignation letter which was turned down. By then, I knew my gut feelings after the interview had begun to manifest in some shady things which I was powerless to act. Still, I continued on for another year and then again resubmitted my resignation. This time I was adamant; though I have come to love the office for its possible contribution to the society, I had to leave. To stay on, would mean I have a vested interest in several irregular matters.

I cannot say I left with pride intact, but I can say my conscience is clear and that under circumstances then, I have tried my best.

Today, mainly because of some bureaucratic nonsense of a government body which the organisation is beholden to, the office is almost non-existent.

Now, looking back, if there is an age that I could go back to, then it would be the age when I accepted the job offer. For knowing now what I did not then, I would not have accepted it in the first place.

Muha, I hope this entry would suffice. My apologies if its not what you had hoped for. But I do have to thank you. Strangely in writing this, it helps to chase one skeleton out of the cupboard. Now....for the remaining 99. Oops! :)

ps. I will not tag anyone out of respects for any skeletons that may be hiding. But, do feel free to do it if one do so wish. Just kindly inform me so that I too can read it. Thanks :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

If I Only Could...

As usual, I was on my late round visiting the blogs of my friends, when I came across snowflake and ydiana having the same theme for their entry tonight; both had videos of songs on piano. Being a music fan myself, I could not help butting in. And since they put up their choice of song, I too would like to follow suit.

It was originally written for piano but was made famous on guitar as the theme song for "The Deer Hunter", and then re-released on piano, this has to be my all time favourite tune, along with "Bridge Over Trouble Waters", by Simon And Garfunkel.

Happy listening.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


I can't find the singer to this song and have to make do with this video. Quite a shame, as this song reminds me of a time when I tried to run my own small business in Section 15, Subang Jaya, some many years back. With promises of business support from several quarters, I rented a small office as the promised business would need more people to do sales.

Soon after acquiring some secondhand office furniture, and prior to the promised support, I used the office as a place for meditation, or 'berkhalwat' as Muslims would prefer to call it. There, I read the Noble Al-Quran and meditate the greatness of Allah s.w.t. Off course, I could only do that in between my running around servicing my already existing clients.

Then, the first part of the promise materialised and I took one guy as my sale staff. Can't remember how I met him nor what really transpired, but the guy was down on his luck with a broken marriage and no place to go. With promise of providing me with certain related documents, I took him in and allowed him to use the office as his temporary refuge. No, I was not being kind as he had a need as do I.

After initial training, day by day I gave him pocket money to sustain himself, along with some traveling expenses meant for business purposes. Day by day, he came back empty handed till one day, he asked me for RM50 when just the previous day I had given him the same amount. Worse, his breath reeked of alcohol and he looked rather tipsy - at lunch time! He said he needed the money to entertain a potential client and even dragged me to the meeting place which was a pub! I would not have anything to do with it and just drove off.

The next day, I took back the office keys and chased him out. I promised to give back all his stuff if he can produce the documents he promised. But the guy could not and I never returned his personal stuff. By then, the business promised to me had evaporated when a mutual friend stepped in and promising a big cut to the first guy's pocket. And I by then had reached the tail-end of my funds and returned the office back to the owner. In the end, all parties involved suffered losses as the business could not take off. Then, the Short-Message-System involving web portals were still new and not many corporations wanted to invest advertising or broadcasting using the system. Last I heard, a major GLC bought over the business and absorbed it as a parcel of its services.

Don't mind sharing with you, it took quite a bit of my confidence. Perhaps, though wiser now, I can only look back at that part of my life as takdir. But one thing though, the meditation part was beautiful.

Ancient...and Antiquated.

He may not be amongst the best performer. But like his contemporaries and recent peers, he sings good as are his music. Once, he and 2 others hailed themselves as the new voice, or something along the line, only to fall flat on their face. Just when most people think he is a fading star, he begins to make a stir, hoping to get back into the limelight.

Singers, are a dime a dozen, so they say. If one were to go to the streets of KL, New York or even the Underground of London, there are literally thousands of gems out there - uncut diamonds, so to say. And the public sentiment today is they do not want mere singers, but singers who are able to perform too - the days of recording singers are numbered and considered antiquated as the old hand-cranked phonograph of 2 centuries ago; voice alone, do not maketh a singer.

The public of today have different needs and tastes, and are conscious of that. Besides being able to sing, have fairly decent look, perform well under varying circumstance, a singer would also need to touch base with the people, and raise himself above the norms of his contemporaries and peers' standard, leading his band of fans to a greater heights, and not mired in some controversies which raises doubt of one's abilities and especially, honesty. This, certainly has not been the case for the singer. There have been to many questions raised about him and his true ability, as with his contemporaries and peers. I, for one, do not find him appealing at all and certainly do harbour hopes that he - along with his contemporaries and peers - would find a deep hole to hide in and not surface ever again. Let the future generations find their bones in some archeology dig, and let their bones be kept in some future museum as something ancient...and antiquated.

Oh, if by chance you think I'm referring the above to Phil Collins, heck no! I mean, how could I when the guy not only sings well, but writes and perform good on stage! I was, referring to a certain Sarkas guy by the name of Muhyiddin something from Johor.

Whilst at the shop earlier this morning, I glanced at the Star and read that he will be offering himself for one of the 2 top clown post in Sarkas. My thoughts on the subject are, as above. The video? Well, I am just feeling down - have been the past few days - and was just in the mood for it.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Wonders of wonders! All this time I've been reading, I've always liked a particular writer. Though his articles are far in between, I have always tried to track him down but was never successful. Then, Allah wills it that we meet, and that we did at the Harakah's Brainstorming Session sometime last week. Better still, we seem to clique!

Earlier this evening, he texted me to inform he has followed suit the likes of many, and now has his own blog. Went there just now, and really, I love his first posting. Thus, I would like to invite my friends here to visit him as well and perhaps, accept him into our fold, as I have. Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Shirdad Lifeboat.

Komuniti Muda

It was only last night I commented on Muha's blog about about how when one have the intention to do good, Allah s.w.t. would open avenues to make it convenient for the person to do so. SubhanAllah, earlier this morning, such an avenue was shown.

Sometime last week, Encik Mohamed, one of my neighbours, invited me for supper at Halim's Ayam Golek. Having not gone out with him for sometime, I gladly accepted and soon we were enjoying the Ayam Golek, and were deep into a conversation regarding a social ailment which seem to be going out of hand. As the President of the PIBG at a nearby school, and quite active in the activities of a surau, Encik Mohamed touched on the problem of truancy amongst the schoolchildren within Kota Damansara.

It seems, one of the methods to be adopted by the PIBG is to place signboards in strategic areas declaring those designated spots as 'Zon Bebas Ponteng'. Not a bad idea, I said, but countered that such signboards are static and would not do much to deter anyone since it cannot be enforced by either the police nor the public. We then mulled different approaches when Abang Halim proposed that the schools invite various sections of the public to give a short talk about their life during and after school, which led to where they are now - both, successful and the not so successful people - the latter who in their younger days should be truant students themselves. It, Halim said, would allow the students to judge for themselves which of the2 roads would be the wiser: studying for the future, or play truant now and live the consequence later. Encik Mohamed like the idea and would propose it to his PIBG. I was not thoroughly satisfied, as I think there are more to it than just meet the eye but decided to let it go.

Late last night, I received a phone call from Doctor Lo'Lo' Political Secretary, inviting webtv8 to attend an event which would be officiated by the Doctor herself. And what a coincidence it was, as the event was organised by a new Non-Government Organisation called Komuniti Muda.

Komuniti Muda is peopled by young individuals with the intention of assisting trouble students in their studies and approach to life. Formed early March 2008, Komuniti Muda now has about 40 active members, each with a special knowledge, talent, or insight of their own. More importantly, they each have a want to contribute to the society. Currently, they are already assisting several student and are also conducting special classes for 30 students in Kuala Lumpur.

Soon as the event was over, I approached one of the Committee Member and gave him Encik Mohamed's number to contact. InsyAllah, Komuniti Muda will be calling him and that they would be able to work together for the betterment of those trouble students, especially within Kota Damansara.

Any parents interested to know about Komuniti Muda, may call its Advisor, Herman Shamsudeen at 019 216 8577.

Friday, May 09, 2008


Update: Video Malaysiakinitv

At times, and I admit there are many of those at that, I really wish I am a good political writer, able to write about the problems plaguing people not in Malaysia, but the world over. But I am not and I accept that rather grudgingly as there are many issues which needs to be highlighted Even with the availability of the Internet, far too many people are still blinded by the pains that trouble their brothers and sisters.

As Muslims, we are taught that a simple act of kindness in lightening the burden of another human or creature are acts which are looked upon favourably by Allah s.w.t. These simple acts which would include the removal of a nail or potentially harmful objects from a street, or helping the elderly or the unfortunate crossing, were taught to us when we were small. And there is another, a hadith, if I am not mistaken, which says though not verbatim "Amongst the act of kindness would be the building of a road for the convenience of the people". There are many more quotes from the Hadith and the Noble Alquran, which taught and encourage human to be kind to one another as well as all the creatures of this world. Though never a religious student nor person, I was fascinated by those many reads. Unfortunately as I age, I became lost in the temporary splendour of this world. Now, events of these past few days leave me wishing that I had been true to my path.

A glance at the events still unfolding in Bandar Mahkota Cheras caused me to remember of similar events in Kajang and Jalan Klang Lama area, where the resident of the area are being robbed daily by highway bandits legalised by the present Federal Government.

In BMC as was in Kajang (though on a smaller scale for the latter), residents are up in arms over having to continuously pay the toll even for a short trip to a neighbouring residential area. In BMC, a road built years ago to connect 2 residential areas, were barricaded by the authorities on the grounds that the toll operators would lose out on their collection. For the past few days, the residents - backed by the new Selangor State Government - has been seesawing with the toll operators - backed by the Federal Government - in allowing free passage between the 2 residential areas. While the Pakatan Rakyat State Government are thinking about the people, the Sarkas led Feds are thinking about the profit or loss to the toll operator! Perhaps, the Hadhari Feds - like me, previously - have forgotten about the Hadiths and the teachings of Islam, that one of their main roles is to provide and protect the people.

Looking at the situation above, would it be too naive for me to ask "What happened to the voices of the people?". We may not be living there in BMC, but our fellow countrymen does! Let us all join the people there in upholding their rights! If we can't be there physically, then let us assist them by adding more voice and condemnation the injustice, trivial as some may think of it. But all things began small, including the little speck of blackness in our heart. And this too, include the looming food crisis here in Malaysia.

Last night towards the tail-end of KP meeting, someone mooted an idea for KP to be proactive regarding the rising cost and shortage of rice. The idea mooted was for each member to keep tabs on the price and availability of rice within each member's area of residence. Collectively then, we would be able to anticipate for the future. Though this is not withing the scope of KP, it may well be should the people of Malaysia suddenly find rice in acute shortage or with prohibitive cost! Thus, I would like to propose the same to my fellow bloggers and friends to do the same. And one does not even have to go out of one's way to do it.

Each time we step into a sundry shop or hypermarket, just glance at the price of rice and the stock available. Make a mental note of it and later put it as a note when you blog. And if you pass it to me, insyAllah, it will be tabulated by KP - my email address is at my profile page. Let's try to make this a real people's effort to assist, not the nation per se, but people within. What say you, my friends?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

We Care

Should be an interesting night tonight. Ever since even before PRU12, I have not been able to attend Kelab Kami Prihatin meets or event. Well, except for one meet middle of last month, we have not had any actually, and I had to miss that last meet.

Prior to PRU12, we had planned several events which one or 2 may be viewed rather controversially by some people. Now, we should be able to execute those plans which were put on hold. I am half excited to know and be part of KP's plans for this year, especially since Selangor and KL has fallen into Pakatan Rakyat's rule. This, should make it easier for us to hold events which otherwise were heavily restricted even if one is non-partisan. Prior, even if one is non-partisan, one is expected to invite a person or 2 from the Sarkas to officiate and what not. Personally, I think that's a whole load of bull - why should any party wanting to do good for the people, have to invite the Sarkas who thinks of nothing but making profit from the people?

InsyAllah, I'll update on the meet later. Off course, it will have to be with KP's blessings.

By the way, I quite recently realised that my blog's on Pak Bakar's Malaysiakita list. I'm honoured to be there but afraid I might just cause him embarrassment as I am not really a political blogger as my friends would testify. Just hope the whole thing will not be looked upon as a joke.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

RPK On Hunger Strike!

When Doc TA and several friends texted me earlier just now asking about RPK's health and a certain rumour circulating, I called Puan Marina Lee. Sara, their daughter answered and told me RPK is on hunger strike. As of last night, if I heard her right, RPK has not had anything to eat or drink. Later, Puan Marina confirmed the news and had in fact written about it in Malaysia Today. Like Cikgu, I too believe that seldom does people follow a link given and thus, I reproduce the entry here for everyone to read.

Marina Lee : Is Parliament still relevant?

Posted by Erin
Wednesday, 07 May 2008

"... when freedom of speech is being brutally subverted by the present regime and false charges can be instituted against anyone who dares to demand for justice and truth."

As a wife and mother, I want to know from my fellow citizens whether a government that has incarcerated my husband in the Sungai Buloh prison on trumped up charges and brought untold suffering on my family, especially when one of my daughters is sitting for her final examinations, is a legitimate government.

No wife, mother or child should to go through this horrible experience when all her beloved husband did was to uphold justice and truth.

On 2nd May 2008, the Armed Might of the regime was unleashed on my family when they came to my house in search of evidence for some alleged crime that my husband was supposed to have committed.

I thought that this can only happen in a Gestapo state but not in my beloved Malaysia. You be the judge of this.

The police came in the morning and desecrated the sanctity of my home for the fourth time. The fact that this had occurred previously does not make it any easier for my daughter and me. I wish that such nightmares can be forgotten, but let me tell you, especially mothers and wives, that the pain will never go away and that it is only our family's self esteem and strength and our faith in god that has enabled us to withstand and overcome the trauma and pain that we have suffered together.

I pray that no mother and wife will have to suffer and experience what I had with my beloved husband and my family.

Before we had time to recover our composure, the police handed us a summons to appear before the CCID the following day. However, at 3.15pm, we received a call to appear at 4.00pm on the same day.

My suspicions for this sudden change in the time for my husband to be interrogated was to prevent publicity and the exposure of their dastardly deeds.

Can anyone of you imagine what I, as a wife and mother, had to go through emotionally and psychologically when accompanying my husband to be interrogated by the police when on a previous occasion in 2000, he was brutally assaulted in my presence?

I could not express my anxiety to my husband on the way to the CCID, as I know that my strength and resoluteness would be critical to enable my husband to face his interrogators. He must have also felt the same for me and so both of us, thinking alike kept our silence. But we were determined to see this through together hell or high water.

The Petras’ are not some tofus!! We have enough strength and dignity to overcome such adversity. My daughter suffered in silence and despite her age, she held up magnificently and no mother can be more proud than I to have such a daughter.

As we approached the CCID, tears welled in my eyes, but they were not tears of fear, sadness or trepidation, but the expression of my determination and faith that my husband’s struggle will ensure a better future for my daughter and the children of a better Malaysia.

I am proud to say that my husband overcame the intrigues and schemes and came out unscathed. But we knew that this was a mere prelude to more brutality that will be inflicted on my family.

The events of yesterday’s circus are known to all.

But what was most telling was the deafening silence of the judiciary and the bar council which supposedly are the guardians of justice and equality.

The dinner that was orchestrated by Pak Lah, his law minister and other cronies that allegedly ushered “a new era” for an independent and fearless judiciary in upholding justice and human rights, makes me wonder if such an institution that was promised was a fantasy in the light of my experience.

Today, my daughter and I went to the Sungai Buloh prison to visit my husband but we were told that he had no wish to see anyone, not even any member of the family or lawyers. I was shocked and disturbed by this turn of events as it can only mean that my husband is determined to endure the pain of incarceration and humiliation of being subjected to and treated like a common criminal for upholding the freedom of speech and justice.

Being married to him for 35 years, I know only too well that he is capable of making sacrifices for truth, justice and freedom. I suspect that when I was told that he did not want to see me, that he would be taking the ultimate step – to go on a hunger strike to demonstrate his determination to uphold the cause of truth and justice.

I have nothing more to say, as I am thoroughly exhausted by the turn of events and can only hope and pray that my fellow citizens, especially wives and mothers out there, that you would all come together to protest and to demand for my beloved husband's freedom and that you will call upon your member of parliament to boycott parliament as a gesture of support for my husband’s struggle.

His struggle must not be in vain. We as a family will see this through but we will only be able to cope if we know that good and god fearing people like you will be there and standing together with us shoulder to shoulder to strike a fatal blow against tyranny and for justice and truth and for my husband’s freedom.

Marina Lee

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

We Don't Need a Cromwell, Do We?

Of all the Civil Wars of nations in the world, the English Civil War is perhaps the least known, but the most relevant to us now, said a blogger to me while we were waiting for RPK's court case in Jalan Raja Duta, this morning. I argued otherwise for though I like Cromwell, Malaysia is still a democratic country. Or at the very least, even in name.

The argument led to nowhere for the guy is not even a Malaysian. We however, agreed to disagree and went our separate ways within the crowded reception hall of the Magistrate Court.

Not much for me to say as by now, almost all the news websites and relevant bloggers have written about the tragedy of RPK opting to go to jail rather than pay the bail. No matter which way you look at it, the whole thing was, is, and will always be looked as the day the circus came to town - some people felt happy about RPK's decision, some sad, yet some look up highly on his brave decision. I, stand in the middle - sad and angry.
Camera shy Shar (r) and a blogger I can't recognise (l)
- courtesy of Amin Iskandar.

Still, it was good seeing that many bloggers and Pakatan Rakyat leaders there to give RPK moral support. And Wak and I even managed to get Amin Iskandar @ Black for a short say on the camera. Just don't know whether webtv8 will put it up soon or light years from now.

By the way, the charge on RPK is sedition; does anyone really know what tantamount to it. or even what the word really means? I, for one, certainly do not have a clue, even after looking at Sam Harris video below. And if I am not mistaken, neither does the lawyer in Harris.

But looking at the video, does make my mind wonder about my blogger friend's argument earlier. No. We really do not need a Cromwell, do we?

Monday, May 05, 2008

A Head Banged In!

Now, how should I begin this? After my last entry and with my friends kindly enough contributing thoughts and ideas, I may put everyone's hopes - and myself - too high. Perhaps it was the exposure I had in advertising agencies and other offices which led me to think the Harakah Brainstorming Session that was held earlier today, would be similar. In a way it was. But in many ways, it was not. A point to be taken into consideration, is that I was invited only for the morning to afternoon session. Thus, I really cannot say for certain the outcome. Whatever, towards the end of the morning session, I had a feeling that I really should go bang my head against the nearest wall.

The morning started off with 2 invited speakers, which perhaps I would be wiser not to name them as a precaution against any snooping eyes from the Sarkas people or the Sarkas Branch. Won't say much about their talk as - forgive me - they were not convincing enough for me. Further, as they come from rival publication, my instinct tells me not to trust them. The organiser would have done better had they invited media personalities such Tan Sri Kadir and even RPK (though he was invited much earlier to give a different talk). Speaking of the man, RPK had just texted a message as below:

"I have been ordered to surrender at the Jln Duta magistrate court 9.30am 2moro, Tue, to be chagred for sedition" Petra.
Thus, anyone who would like to give him moral support, insyAllah, I'll see you guys tomorrow.

Back to the sesion. Soon after the 2 talks, participants were then invited to voice their opinions on how to further improve Harakah and make it more appealing to the public. More than half took turns at the microphone as did that cakapaje guy. Without any credibility as a reporter, he went shooting his mouth off, but luckily not like a six-shooter. Having received tips from Ahmad Lutfi to 'jack' the staff first, cakapaje then pointed out the weaknesses of the print as well as the on-line daily, as mentioned by Elviza in her comments. He later put forward everyone's suggestions, but the one which was particularly well-received was the suggestion for a consumer pull-out, giving special attention to the daily needs of the people especially with the looming food crises and possibility of another hike in oil prices. When everyone was done with, Ahmad Lutfi (AL) then began to talk of his views for Harakah.

One of the things AL mentioned was that Harakah is in a unique position. It is not a daily paper, relying on the sale of its twice a month tabloid to generate income. Yet it provides daily news quite like M'kini, which does not have a paper of its own, and generate income via its English news site. For its print edition, Harakah would have to include many of the news which is produced free. In other words, they are stale news for the Internet savvy readers.

AL does intend to have a subscribed daily news section similar to M'kini, but on a different scale - to provide the subscribers with quality read which may either be news or articles of noteworthy read. However, to do that, Harakah would need to invest in new technologies as well as reporter staff. That, is the main setback - Harakah is not a cash rich organisation. Its income was severely affected by the twice monthly restriction ruling by Sarkas Dalam Negeri, from the twice weekly sales it enjoyed prior to that.

As I mentioned earlier, I was only present for the morning session and that was all to it. InsyAllah, I will keep everyone abreast of any latest development, particularly regarding the suggestions everyone had given.

Now, this is the part where I feel the need to bang my head in - for seemingly disappointing my friends with high expectations yesterday. Please forgive me.

ps. Point to note: The BS was organised by SIASAH which had their session in a different room, totally removed from Harakah.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A Head-banging Session

Now, before anyone gets the wrong idea already, no, the title does not suggest that the session I am referring to has anything to do with Ecstacy or any designer drugs. Though, if I ever do get to know any of the pushers, I would get them to peddle their business in PWTC come this December. I know it does seem a cruel idea for me to ask the pushers to do so, most especially when you take into account that during that month, PWTC will be filled with people who will be nodding their heads endlessly and perhaps more vigorously than Ecstacy takers themselves. But then, who knows, perhaps we might get the pushers to realise their wrongdoing and 'taubat', upon looking at those 'sarkas' people in PWTC.

Anyway, insyAllah this Monday, I will be attending a Brainstorming session with some news-people in KL. I do not know whether I should mention this, but since no one said I can't, I thought it would be a good idea to put it to my friends and bring the feedback to the session. After all, the whole idea of the session is to attract more readers.

I should feel fortunate to be invited to this Brainstorming session by Harakah. Though I have been active with them for the past 4 years, I was always looked upon as an outsider. It was only till quite recently that several of the people there come to recognise the little contribution I have made, and allowing me to voice out my opinion.

In view of the PRU12 results and the huge gain made by Pakatan Rakyat, Harakah is now looking at ways to improve and gain more readers in order to get the message of PR, particularly PAS, to the public. In other words, Harakah is looking to expand beyond the public's conception of it being merely a PAS news organ; it wants to step out of that mould and make itself more accessible to the public.

One would be surprised, as I was, that much prior to PRU12, there were people, Malays at that, who were afraid even to touch what else read, Harakah! To these people, Harakah was like something totally alien and to be avoided at all cost! This mindset was, undoubtedly, ingrained in them by those 'sarkas' people via RadioTV Sarkas and Media Sarkas Network, as well as Berita Sarkas and Utusan Sarkas. It is this mindset which Harakah harbour hopes to break and I, on their behalf, would be grateful if my friends here can give their thoughts to.

Before putting in your thoughts though, please take into accounts that though Harakah does provide free news through, it still need to generate income in order to give better news coverage. Currently, its main source of income is through the sale of Harakah tabloid which is published twice a month as forced onto it by those same Sarkas people.

On Harakah's behalf, I thank you in advance. But please, in whatever you do in wanting to give out your thoughts and ideas, do not go banging your head at any solid object :)

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Ghost of Crime Past!

UPDATE 8.21PM: After multiple tries to call RPK where I kept going into his voicebox, I finally got through at 8.17pm. Puan Marina answered and after a brief exchange, she passed the phone to RPK. Alhamdulillah, he is OK; his exact words just now was "First round we won". Hmm...let's hope we keep on winning and able to deliver a hook or a jab that would knock out ameno for good!

I was at Harakah's office earlier today to meet the Chief Editor, Ahmad Lutfi. While we were talking, he texted to me a message he received which reads as below:

"Politce ggo to RPK's hs, confiscate his computer, investigate under sedition act, need 2 report 2 cyber crime div, 2moro 11am".

True enough. As soon as I got back, Harakahdaily came out with the news here and here.

Apparently, RPK wrote "Let's send the Altantuya's Murderes to Hell!" was not received well by certain quarters, and they sent him a letter seeking his explanation. That, he did as the reply below which appeared in Malaysia Today as well as KL Pos. And a certain kadetpencen was even bright enough to send the news to various egroups while underlining the facts in RPK's reply, which I reproduce here for everyone's convenience to read. It does seem that the ghost of crime past does not sit well with parties claiming innocence. But as RPK wrote in his reply "we are now at the Court of the People" - you, me and everyone in Malaysia should examine this crucial reply from RPK to pass the verdict. But for now, the jury is still out.


My reply to Datuk Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad

Dear Datuk Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad,

First of all, thank you for writing to Malaysia Today. (Read letter here). As promised, I have published your letter in toto without any amendments, additions, deletions, or ‘touch up’, though I felt some improvement to the language may have been necessary. Nevertheless, I was very careful in not ‘doctoring’ any parts

of your letter lest I open myself to accusations of any sort.

I must admit I am pleased and honoured that the Press Secretary of the Deputy Prime Minister and likely future Prime Minister would take the trouble to write to Malaysia Today. As I have said so many times in the past, the only way to deal with the independent media is to engage it, not ignore it, for you ignore it at your own peril. And note that I have used the term ‘independent’ media and not ‘alternative’ media or ‘opposition’ media -- because that is exactly what we are. In fact, what you call the ‘mainstream’ media, today, could actually be called the alternative media.

Now, on the points in your letter. A ‘trial’ by court of public opinion has been what we, the Rakyat, have had to rely on since 1998. Some say that the judiciary has in fact been compromised since 1988 after the sacking of Tun Salleh Abbas and his fellow judges. The fact that these half a dozen or so judges were recently honoured in a dinner graced by the Prime Minister where Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced that the government will spend millions of the taxpayers’ money to pay these judges their 20 years back-pay confirms that the Abdullah government, in which Dato Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak is part of, agrees with the court of public opinion’s view of events that happened 20 years ago.

This opinion is of course strengthened by your very own de facto Law Minister’s statement, barely a few days after taking office, that the government should apologise to Tun Salleh and his fellow judges. This was of course shot down by the Cabinet, and instead of an apology, they are being paid millions of Ringgit, which Najib said should not be interpreted as an apology. Maybe Najib is right when he says that if the government pays out millions of Ringgit of the taxpayers’ money this should be only taken as 20 years back-pay and not be taken as an apology. Nevertheless, this still tantamount to an admission that the judges had been wrongfully dismissed, apology or no apology.

We must also not forget the statement by Justice Kamil when he delivered his judgement in the Likas election petition case. Yang Arif admitted that he always receives instructions from the top before he delivers his judgement on important or crucial cases. Justice Kamli also said that he is not the only judge to receive such instructions but that many other judges are also subjected to interference and instructions from the top and that they are told how they should rule. When asked who this person from the top is, he replied that we should know whom it is he means and he left it at that. No one had any misgivings as to whom Justice Kamil meant.

One very respected retired Chief Justice, who is known as an extremely straight and no-nonsense chap, remarked, if he had to be tried in court, he would not like it to be in a Malaysian court. He further remarked that the windscreens of the cars of judges are blacked-out not for security reasons but because the judges are ashamed to be seen by the public. This is coming from someone who is placed above normal men and when someone of that calibre makes such statements how can the public not feel that the Malaysian judiciary can no longer be trusted? As they say, let you be judged by your peers, and the judiciary’s peers have made their ruling.

Dear Datuk Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad,

To argue that we should leave this matter to the courts to decide is just not on. It can never be on until we see genuine and real reforms in the judiciary. And when the talk amongst legal circles is that, in September, the President of the Court of Appeal will take over as the new Chief Justice, this just erodes our confidence in the judiciary even further. Putting Umno’s lawyer in charge of the judiciary is like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse or, as the Malays would say, putting the kambing in charge of the sireh. And you want us to leave it to the courts to decide? When you have highly-respected judges and retired Chief Justices openly condemning the Malaysian judiciary what do you expect the lesser-learned Rakyat like us to do?

Of course, you will say that one is innocent until proven guilty. That is a beautiful concept. However, if you believe such a thing is possible in Malaysia, then you probably believe in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus as well. Do you remember Anwar Ibrahim’s trial ten years ago? Anwar was tried in a court of public opinion when they paraded that mattress in and out of court every day. What happened to that mattress? It was never part of the evidence and eventually just quietly disappeared out of sight. Was that not grandstanding for the media and TV cameras?

In Anwar’s case, he was not innocent until proven guilty. Though the Malaysian judicial system, which follows the British and not the French system, stipulates that a man is innocent until proven guilty, Anwar was assumed guilty and he was made to prove his innocence. The onus should be on the court to prove guilt but in Anwar’s case he was considered guilty and he had to prove his innocence. And the judge sent Anwar to jail because, according to the judge, Anwar had failed to prove his innocence.

We are therefore using the same ‘burden of proof’ on the present Deputy Prime Minister just like what the previous Deputy Prime Minister was subjected to. If this system of ‘prove you are innocent or else we have to assume you are guilty’ was good enough for Anwar then it is certainly good enough for Najib. Why should there be different standards between one Deputy Prime Minister and another? Should there not be one standard for all?

Note that Malaysia has a law called the Internal Security Act. When you are detained under this law, you are assumed guilty until you can prove you are innocent. And if you fail to prove your innocence then you are detained without trial indefinitely. Some Malaysians have spent more than 20 years under detention because the hapless person was not able to prove his innocence. Ahmad Boestaman, the famous Malay nationalist and independence fighter, was detained for 14 years or so. You may remember him. His son, Rustam Sani, died recently.

Dear Datuk Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad,

I must remind you that I too was arrested on Hari Raya Haji Day in 2001 after I walked into the police station to be with my wife who had earlier been arrested. Her ‘crime’ was for trying to help an old woman who had a knee injury and who was struggling to walk up a hill. The police arrested my wife, the poor old woman, and her daughter.

When I walked into the police station, Bakri Zinin, the current CID Director, assaulted me when I attempted to step outside to make a phone call. I was trying to step outside because a policeman shouted at me that I am not allowed to make a phone call inside the police station. But when I tried to step outside as instructed, Bakri assaulted me. He then instructed his officers to arrest me.

When I asked what my crime was and as to the reason I was being arrested, they told me they will think of something later. In the meantime they will arrest me first. I then insisted I be allowed to make a police report against Bakri but they refused to take my report. When I refused to accept no for an answer, they reluctantly took my report but nothing further was done after that. That police report made on Hari Haji Day of 2001 is probably no longer in the file.

Dear Datuk Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad,

I am glad you talk about respect for the law. I just wish you and Najib had said the same thing when they beat me up, handcuffed me, and threw me into the lockup without a charge back in 2001. Will I be accorded justice as well just like how you and Najib want to see justice done? Will Bakri Zinin be taken to task for beating me and for arresting me without any charge? Thus far, the only action taken against him is that he has been promoted from OCPD Dang Wangi to Director CID. Let us talk about justice when I see justice done to me as well. Until then we shall rule by law of public opinion, as that appears to be the only ‘system’ available to us.

I understand the concept of subjudice when commenting on an ongoing trial. So allow me to comment only on what the mainstream newspapers have already covered. The mainstream newspapers reported about a green Suzuki Vitara. The registration plate of the car was also mentioned in that newspaper report. Malaysia Today traced the owner of this car to an address in Ijok. On further checking with the SPR registration, it was confirmed that this person exists and his name, address and IC number tally with that in the JPJ registration.

The house exists and the neighbours confirm that the person concerned does live there and that the green Suzuki Vitara has been seen in front of the house. This, according to the newspapers, is the car that took Altantuya away after she was arrested in front of Razak Baginda’s house and taken to Bukit Aman.

Has this man been picked up? And, if not, then why since Altantuya was last seen alive driving off with him? Malaysia Today has revealed his name, address and IC number. And this man’s neighbours in Ijok confirm his existence and that of the car. Note that this was raised in the trial and was reported by the mainstream newspapers. So this is not mere insinuations and innuendoes.

In an interview in 2002 or 2003, Razak Baginda confirmed that his company brokered the submarine deal. He even mentioned the commission he had earned. This matter was confirmed by Razak himself and is documented in that interview. So this is also no insinuation or innuendo. And have we forgotten Razak’s wife’s outburst when she said that her husband is innocent and that it is not he who wants to become the next Prime Minister? Was Razak’s wife talking about Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Anwar Ibrahim or Khairy Jamaluddin? And was not Razak’s wife once a magistrate who would therefore know the law and know what constitutes subjudice?

Dear Datuk Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad,

I can go on but let the above suffice for the meantime. The issue of the changing of the judge after the filing of the Affidavit during the bail hearing (which was raised by Karpal Singh), the defence lawyers resigning because of threats from certain people (which Zulkifli Nordin confirmed), the changing of the entire prosecuting team the morning of the trial (which the prosecutor admitted when he asked for a one-month postponement) , and much more are all documented and are on public record. Let the court of public opinion decide whether Malaysia Today is merely raising what is already well-documented or whether Malaysia Today is dabbling in insinuations and innuendoes.

Again, I thank you for your letter and really appreciate you taking the time to write to us. Let us together, in the spirit of Islam, the religion we profess, seek the truth and oppose transgressions -- as made mandatory by Islam under the concept of amar maaruf, nahi munkar. From God we come and to God we shall return. And we shall be made accountable for all that we have done on this earth. And, in the eyes of God, those defending kemunkaran will be as guilty as those committing it. Let us not fear man for man proposes but God disposes. And nothing will befall us that God has not planned will befall us. Subjudice and contempt of court are creations of man that will not carry any weight in God’s court. So fear God because man even as powerful as Prime Ministers and Deputy Prime Ministers will be powerless to help you in God’s court where we shall all ultimately be judged.

Yours truly,

Raja Petra Bin Raja Kamarudin