Tuesday, December 30, 2008

For A People Far Away

Indeed, several did ask, of what great use we stood and voiced out against the mass murder in Gaza? I ask back, if not us, then who else should? Or perhaps, the poem below would make sense.

Unknown Author

First, they came for the Communists.

and I didn't speak up,
because I was not a Communists

Then, they came for the Jews,

and I didn't speak up,

because I wasn't a Jew

Then, they came for the Catholics,

and I didn't speak up

because I was not a Catholic,

Then, they came for the Protestants,

and I didn't speak up

because I wasn't a Protestants...

Then they came for the Palestinians,

and I still didn't speak up,

because I am not a Palestinian

Then they came for the Muslims,

I tried to speak up,
because I am a Muslim
But by then my voice is drowned by my own frenzy

...and there is no one else to speak for me.


The number of people who came to show their support for the Palestinians under siege in Gaza, numbered no more than one thousand. But considering the short notice given, and the year-end holiday period, it suffice. But perhaps, had it been held on a Friday and after the prayers, the numbers may equal to protest at Denmark House, as well as the US Embassy (during Israeli invasion of Lebanon). Still, it was heartening to note that several came from Ipoh specifically for this show of protest.

Cikgu Ali of AlHusseyn (brown kopiyah) came all the way from Ipoh
together with a bus load of supporters.

Just after 11.30am, the Malaysians who came from all walks of life -
muslimin, muslimat, the elderly, and the young -
and had been garthering at Bangunan Tabung Haji,
began their short march to the US Embassy some 500meters away.

Leading the people were leaders from PAS: YB Salahuddin Ayub, YB Dr Lo'Lo',
Dr Syed Azman, and Mohammad Sabu.

While the leaders handed the protest memorandum to a US Embassy representative,
the crowd displayed their flags, banners and placards.

After handing the memo, YB Salahuddin then led a short press conference right outside the gates of the embassy, and later led the crowd back to Bangunan Tabung Haji to disperse peacefully...just as many of the PAS-led protest have always been.

More pictures at Pictures-Only.

*off note:
It does seem sad, that while these group of Malaysians are tyring to stand up for justice, another was not. During the Anti-ISA campaign in Bangi last night, this other group wore T-shirts displaying the words 'Kekal kan ISA', where the ISA itself is against humanitarian grounds and affronts Islamic Laws; their very act can be construed nothing else but provocative. I will not dignify them with their pictures here, but one can always read about it here.

Gaza Latest

Please read

1. Gaza strike is not against Hamas, it’s against all Palestinians’

2. Gaza: The Untold Story.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Seeking Justice From Afar

To all kind visitors of my blog, kindly pass this message from Harakahdaily around. I know many of my friends and visitors do read Harakahdaily, but I just want to repeat it for the sake of justice against oppression and aggression -


The report at Harakah can be read here. There are also fresh articles at Windows Into Palestine here, and an analysis on the masacre here.

Do note that this attack was planned, and not a retaliatory strike as suggested by international media (and Malaysia too!). Read the 3 excerpts from Harakahdaily below and digest it. As we enter the new Hijrah year 1430 with joy, think, and weep for our fellow human brothers in Gaza.

1. "diucapkan oleh seorang pegawai pertahanan awam entiti haram Israel bernama Ofer Shmerling: Saya akan bermain muzik hari ini dan merayakan apa yang dilakukan oleh tentera udara Israel".

2. Dalam keganasan terbaru itu, lebih dari 100 tan bom dihunjam oleh pengganas-pengganas Israel ke atas orang-orang awam, kanak-kanak, wanita dan orang-orang tua di Gaza dan angka kematian kini menghampiri 250 manakala lebih 400 cedera.

3. Dakwaan Amerika itu bertentangan dengan pendedahan akhbar Haaretz Israel yang menyatakan, keganasan terbaru Israel di Gaza itu telah dirancang sejak enam bulan lalu dan bukan disebabkan sebarang provokasi.

Then read and weep at this email:

Zionists continued shelling Palestinian houses in Gaza strip
For the second day, the Zionist massive air strikes continued in Gaza strip a lot of martyrs and injuries reached to more 271 martyrs and 900 injuries, between them about 180 man, women and children in serious conditions.

The last Zionist raids were in what was so called "Kfar Darom", the Zionist war jets targeted two police quarters, in previous time, the Zionist targeting hit Palestinian farms, another raid was in the central of Al Shoja'eya neighborhood ten Palestinians were injured, the last raid was at a building in Rafah city.

Early at this morning, the war planes targeted a medicine storage in Al Jenainah neighborhood Rafah city and targeted in the same time a house, Palestinian medical sources reported that three Palestinians were martyred in the raid.

The number of the Palestinian martyrs according to Dr. Muawya Hassanien, the head of the emergency, reach to 271 and 180 of them are in serious conditions.

The war planes targeted a room for security men in Al Shifaa hospital in Gaza city, in addition to a mosque near the hospital, the raid results was martyring Palestinian man and injuring seven. Medical sources in the hospitals reported that the hospitals received some damages.

Dr. Muawya Hassanien added that last night three Palestinians were martyred in when the Zionist war planes targeted Palestinians east of Gaza city in Al Shoja'eya neighborhood. Earlier three Palestinians were killed and four were injured in two air raids, one of them was on Al Zaytoon neighborhood killed a Palestinian, and the second was in Jabaliya, two Palestinians were killed.

Hasanin added that there 15 victims who could not be identified because their bodies were badly mutilated, adding that at 80 of the victims were mutilated.

He said that the rapid rise in the death toll was due to the recovery of new victims from under the rubbles and the continuing Zionist air strikes which have not stopped until the early hours of Sunday.

Hasanin also said that hospitals are lacking medicines and medical materials necessary for treating the wounded calling on Arab countries to provide the essential medical supplies urgently.

Our presence at the US Embassy - you, me, and as many Malaysians possible - may not make a difference, and may not even assist in abating the grieve in Gaza. But, would you rather sit quietly in the comfort of your homes, and go for a stroll with your loved ones, while pretending that this world is all nice and rosy, and the events outside your immediate sphere affect you not? If so - and I have never uttered such remarks in this blog - you are a cold heartless human not deserving of any respect. My apologies to the rest if I sound harsh. But if this is harsh, then think again about the people in Gaza now.

US Embassy KL

If there is any change, insyAllah I will notify through this blog.

Salam Ma'al Hijrah 1430!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thank you, Mydin!

Addendum 26.12.08:
Apart from the activities involving hospital visits, assisting victims of natural disasters, the LKKPP either together with Kami Prihatin (BAKiP) or by itself, will try to embark on the project quite similar as stated by lanh14 in the Harakah 22-25 December 2008 issue above.

This project has been discussed in previous meetings several times already and insyAllah, when it does take-off, will assist many more parents of school-going children to lessen their burden. The main huddle to this project is more towards the pick-up points of books contributed rather than the distribution of it.



The Lajnah Kebajikan dan Kemasyarakatan PAS Pusat, today took more than 15 needy and lower income families to Mydin Hypermart in USJ, to assist the families in preparing their children's needs for the coming shool-year 2009. Most of the family were picked from the Titiwangsa Parliamentary constituency in KL, while a few were from outside.

Arriving at Mydin, they were greeted by the Corporate Officers and Executives of the hypermart and were given a small briefing by a Mydi spokesman. The families were then taken into the hypermart where they were given vouchers totaling to RM120 per child, a joint contribution from the LKKPP and Mydin.

The families were then treated to lunch at Nasi Kandar Padang Kota, located within the hypermart building.

InsyAllah, Harakah will print this story. More pictures at Pictures-Only.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Rare Find - For Stamp Collectors!

While at the Taman Tun Dr Ismail's wet market yesterday, I spotted an elderly gentleman opening his booth and soon later, arranging his wares. Normally, I would not give much notice to such scene as he is like many there, selling his wares. Ironically, it was his wares which attracted me as it does not seem to blend with the other traders there. From afar, I notice his wares were documents and some books, and decided to inspect the booth closely. And I am glad I did.

Its been ages since I last met or heard anything or anyone who is into Stamp Collection. In fact, the last I dare say, was whilst I was in school but I was never into it. The only stamp lines that really intrigued me then was the Magyar Posta, but only because the name sounded so strange, so exotic. Emi and Din though, did give it a try during their primary days but that was all. About a year back while spring cleaning the house, I found one of Din's album and kept it aside should any of his children find interest in it later. Somehow, from the way they are now, I don't think they will ever be. But the future, well, none can tell.

Anyway, the gentleman at the booth introduced himself as Encik Mubarak Ali Rajak, a Council Member of the Philatelic Society of Malaysia. He said he was trying to reintroduce this hobby of his to the younger generations and I was delighted when he began in earnest showing some of his collection, one of which, he puts the value at RM5,000,000, and making it perhaps the most expensive stamp in the world!

I've always had the notion that collectors stamps are valued according to their beautiful design and print. Well, yes and no, as Mubarak explained it to me. Some of the most expensive stamps came to be due to printing fault either by the printers, or the post office themselves. Off course there are perhaps other ways to value stamps, and another, according to him, is the total amount of gate-money collected when a particular stamp is exhibited. But the stamp he holds now, is more due to the misprint on it. For someone who has been involved in the printing industry, that, piqued my interest even more.

As can be seen from the picture above, the stamp is still affixed to the envelope used for postage. Printed in 1967, it seems no one paid attention to it until Mubarak found it (the envelope was posted to his father in Kuantan by the then The Chartered Bank - click here to my Pictures-Only blog for more pictures and related document-image).

Before the digital printing age, documents are printed in layers according to the colour specs, and this include separate layers for some texts as well. Evidently, while printing this particular stamp line, the printers missed out one layer - the stamp postage price! I am uncertain as to how many in the line survived now, but according to the research made by Mubarak, his is the only one. And that, makes them stamp rare and expensive.

Anyone interested, do click on the image-document on Pictures-Only for Mubarak's contact details.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Semi-Old Tiger

Amongst the family of the big cats, tigers are one of the few that lives a solitary life. It does seem odd that for a creature that's known as the King of the Jungle, these big pussycats do not know how to socialise. Or perhaps, it is in their nature.

To some, tigers are seen as aloof, distancing themselves from all other citizens of the jungle. Then again, perhaps due to his very nature, nothing is more correct than the opposite. After all, when one goes to meet another, even if the other is acknowledged as a king, one really do not wish to be served as the main course, do one? I mean, not everyone wants to be like the male specie of a black widow spider - the moment after she's sexually satisfied, the male is then served as the meal. Not quite like breakfast-in-bed, I think. But then...

Anyway, tigers normally live up to 26years in captivity and about half of that in the wild. Born with claws that at a later stage could rip through the tough hide of a wild buffalo or hog, they are basically nothing but real adorable while still suckling milk from their mother. After about 2 to two and a half years of in-house training, each grown cubs would need to search a turf or territory of their own. That, is where the real trouble begins.

In the wild, a male tiger would have a larger territory that would include several female turfs. But as mentioned, that's in the wild; a life some consider barbaric and...well, wild. These wild tigers now number less than 5,000 worldwide and are coming close to extinction due their shrinking habitat caused by human encroachment. Worse still, they are being hunted by some solely for the belief that their body parts contain aphrodisiac for humans. Hmm...not much different than the life of the black widow's male, is it? But that's in the wild. Now, more and more are being kept in a...shall we say, civilised manner? I mean, though the space may be limited, being fed daily like a royalty is not bad.

However, do not ever mistaken a captive tiger for a tame one. Never! For coarsing in their veins, are the blood of a ferocious animal that should never be taken for granted. Like the guy below.

Oops! My apologies. That picture above is of a kitten taken from Alin's blog. Somehow, when you need a real good picture to show your true self, you just can't find it! Sigh...

Anyway, in searching for his own turf, many a tiger travel far and wide, some even to distant lands. Still, there are those lucky individuals who just sit around and bide his time, quite like the very nature of a tiger in stalking a prey. Just as in hunting where a predator average out something like a measly one meal out of 8 or 9 attempts, likewise it is with the tiger who bides his time; many of them meet their maker first, leaving the territory open to others. Poor guys. One particular tiger however, is still holding on as best he can.

Still wild at heart, this tiger has been knocking on fate's door many times before only to be told he's on hold, while the queue keeps getting longer and longer and more younger and physically fitter males keep on pawing at his heels. And keeping all those beasts at bay, is no easy job for a tiger that may have passed his prime. For tonight, at the stroke of midnight, this tiger officially turn 46. And still, that spot of sunlight, that place in the sun, that moment would lead him to greater heights, eludes him.

ROAR! Said the tiger!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rubbish of an Excuse

Once, the view from where the picture above was taken, may have been beautiful, and even majestic. Perched on the slope of a high hill, it may have offered resident and visitors a commanding vista of the Klang Valley. And at night, the lights from the houses and streets of the cities below, mirror the star-lit skies above. A heavenly picture, if one may say.

However, that was in the past. Now, though the view outwards still exist, the immediate area looks more like a rubbish dump.

Reading Malaysiakini report of JKR's refusal to hand over their report to the MB of Selangor (read here), I can think nothing but further cover-up by the Sarkas in trying to protect their toyol as well as officers from the previous state government.

"JKR sebaliknya hanya memaklumkan "terlalu banyak implikasi" sekiranya salinan laporan itu diserahkan Abdul Khalid" as quoted in the report, what else can anyone think of? This is nothing but total rubbish, just like the Sarkas and all its goons.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bkt Antarabangsa Sunday 14Nov 2008

Foremost, I would like to highlight a point or two: this posting and any related to it, are not meant to capture the scene of the tragedy, rather, another perspective of the site other than the mainstream media.

Another is that, the mainstream media would only showcase the 'heroic' acts of the Sarkas while rarely or never ever, show the unselfish assistance of the common people, most especially those from the Pakatan Rakyat. An example of how a Sarkas goon was trying to hog the limelight for herself was printed in The Star today.

While visiting the relief and support center, the lady noticed many PAS Muslimat and PKR Women assisting the Red Crescent (PBSM) there. She immediately directed those from PAS and PKR to be sent away. But a PBSM officer told her bluntly "There ladies have been assisting us here since Day1 without any fanfare from the media. Had it not been for them, we could not have managed by ourselves!".

Sincere Assitance.
The members of Unit AMAL were on hand from Day1, providing what assistance they can to the victims, stranded residents as well as authorities. When Wak and I began our coverage, none of them knew we were coming. Nor were they expecting anyone to cover their story.

In an area smaller than Petaling Jaya, AMAL was as elusive as perhaps, the Yeti - we simply could not find them on the first 2 days we were there! Operating without communication equipment except for handphones, we finally managed to find one AMAL unit on the morning of the 3rd day. But by then, Wak and I had to split where Wak made coverage of B Doc Lo'Lo' while I took shots of the AMAL unit in Impiana Selatan Apartment blocks.

Top left: Residents of Bkt A'bangsa in a jovial mood.
Top right: An Amal member (l) with an apartment owner.

Bottom left: A friend of an owner lending his hand.
Bottom right: The owners driving off perhaps, for the last time.

AMAL members in the midst of moving the belonging of an apartment unit.
Bottom left: Whle the truck provided free by MPAJ is equiped with automatic lift platform,
the furniture and other belonging still needed manual labour
which was provided by these AMAL members.

Soon, if not already, the apartment blocks will be left empty, left as a desolate monument
of a tragedy
that could have been avoided.
No amount of money or valuable possession such as the (abandoned?) sports car (bottom left),
can equal the treasure of a human life.

The only true possession a Muslim has are: A pious son, sadaqa,
and good knowledge imparted towards the betterment of others.

Road Closure.

Rain or shine, AMAL has come to the fore in many occasions, locally and abroad.
They were there during the Johor Floods, Kampung Berembang,
Kampung Rimba Jaya, and a host of places.
Off course, they were also there during the 10-11 BERSIH March.

Internationally, many of them have been to Acheh, Mindanao, Thailand, Pakistan,
and several more, assiting the citizens with what they could.

YB Doc Lo'Lo', was a difficult subject to capture on camera; everytime I tried,
she would be face another direction at the last minute. Either that, or the lighting were bad.

Limping from the apartment block up the hill towards the tent,
I was caught unaware when she she said
"Why didn't you call AMAL (to assist you)?"
But, what a lady.

Due to confusion in communication, many people were left stranded on the hill
when the authorities closed the only road available for the above reason.

While many understood and relented, a few bickered with the security personnel
for blocking their road and even hurled abusive words at them.
Someone then came up with a bright idea to use AMAL's whiteboard to convey
the message of road closure.

Bottom right: Asri(l) and Farhan - the good Doc's assistant and son respectively
- helping to carry supplies to LKKPP's tent.

During the heavy downpour on that day, many had to huddle in this small tent which lay some 200meters from the landslide path. It was also where LKKPP and Unit AMAL used to distribute food.
Top right: Unit AMAL members performing the Zohor prayers within a small confine.

Soon after performing Zohor prays, only then did they have their lunch.

Shamsul of LKKPP beside the AMAL whiteboard which had another use later.

The Man of the Day! Nik Shahrul was a very busy man throughout the days on and after the tragedy.
He however accredited OCPD Ampang, Tuan Khalid (if I am not mistaken of the name),
for allowing him to assist.

To many people I met and spoke, the tragedy here is not in the event itself. Rather, the development of a hill which is largely made of soft earth. That, is beside the fact that the whole area is a water catchment area.

Due to the road closure, I did not get the chance to take any pictures of the volunteers at the support center.

Single Mothers' Day

Kindly spread the news, please.

ps. Will update the Bkt Antarabangsa later. Somehow, my body is still aching...legs, actually.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bukit Antarabangsa Post Tragedy Close-Up

They say a picture paints a thousand words. Somehow, when I look through the photos I took yesterday and today, I think I fail to live up to the expectations. Perhaps, because the tragedy has passed and thus, the pictures cannot convey the sadness of the victims, nor the actual destruction of that day.

When Cornelius Ryan was commissioned to write the accounts of D Day at Normandy during the 2nd World War, he did not even know where to begin, and asked for the soldiers and their next-of-kin to write to him telling the accounts of the day from their eyes. Thousands did! And from there after interviewing many of them personally, the mental map he needed was formed and the book "The Longest Day", written. Do forgive me then as I try to put as many things on this blog, and failing in the process;
I am far from being anywhere even near his status.

The Base Camp.
As mentioned in the previous posting, I had not wanted to go to the scene of this tragedy, but changed my mind on Thursday night soon after a meeting with Doctor Lo'lo' and the LKKPP. The next day, on Friday afternoon, I arrived hoping to find PAS volunteers as well as record the ongoing rescue work. I registered as a volunteer at the base camp on Jalan Antarabangsa, introducing myself from LKKPP and was issued a tag. To ensure the security of the area, different tags are issued - one, for the residents; the other for security personnel, media and volunteer workers.

For volunteers, the tags issued are valid only for 3hours, after which, one must re-register again.
This is to prevent the abuse of the permission given and to allow authorities to identify
and keep tabs of the people there.

The Road.

The only road up.
The above road, was where the media had painted as 'pesta makan'.
I was told by Nik Shahrul that it truly did happen, especially on the first after the landslide.

The authorities has set up at least 2 base camps - the one above is the main camp where commands are issued, while the other is a support camp or relief center, situated at the Sekolah Kebangsaan Ulu Klang (am not too sure of the name). On both days of my being there, I did not have the chance to visit the support camp. InsyAllah, I will do so tomorrow but have been told that there are lesser activity there as compared to previous days.

Since the road above led to the temporary road built by the army and later upgraded by the JKR, all vehicles had to form a queue as the temporary road can only support vehicles in one direction at a given time. Vehicles going each direction had to wait up to 30minutes while vehicles from opposite directions pass through. Somehow, it reminds me of Frasers Hill of old.

The path of the landslide cannot be seen aproper unless from air. But it lies there, not more than 50meters after the crane.

Fit for 4wheel drive.

In total, there were 3 bridges built. 2, were by the authorities meant for vehicles - one pontoon and the other as the one above. The 3rd bridge, was hand-built by several volunteers and residents, and was led by YB Tien Chua. It was built to facilitate residents to travel by foot to another road via a small valley. In fact, this 3rd bridge was unofficially named 'Tien Chua Bridge' by some of the residents as well as workers.

Temporary Road.
When the army built the temporary road, they built it in the only way they know best
- using materials such as above to provide traction for the vehicles' tyres.
Perhaps best used only by 4wheel drive, the drive up and down may cause heavy tear
on the tyres as well as
shock absorbers of normal cars.

On the first day there, I picked up passengers while going up and down the hill. One of them was a Mr Richard Foo, the Manager for Oakleaf Club. He recounted several events of the actual day, which would be too long for me to write here. Earlier today just as when I was about to go up, I met him again. This time however, he had just come down the hill. When I introduced myself as being a representative for the LKKPP and hence, PAS, he was delighted and highly praised the AMAL unit. It was Mr Food and an Azhar who helped snapped the photos from within as my hands were already full trying to maneuver the car.

A Tough Climb.
Credit must be given to the Army, JKR, as well as TNB in trying to facilitate
all concerned with the building of the temporary road, in the shortest time possible.

A Smoother Ride.
Within several hours of early morning Saturday - 12midnight to 6am -
the JKR managed to build a tar road for half of the stretch of the temporary road.

The Scene.
Many reporters as well a volunteers were adviced not to proceed to closely to the landslide path as earth movements are still being felt and recorded. Thus apart from this restriction, Wak and I did not concentrate too much on the actual scene of the tragedy. Further, such photos have already been splashed on almost all dailies. We did however, managed to take shots where it all began.

One almost demolished, the other on the edge.
Notice the row of houses on the edge of the now crest at the far background of the photo.
Unless there is a miracle, the houses there are in grave danger.

From a slightly different position.
The trees swayed first, many said.
The creaking sound produced was eerie.

Then the earth gave way.

When the earth moved.
This was where the nightmare began.

The Front Line.

Once a small park and playground, the area is now deserted save for the few
who are either brave residents, or workers trying to salvage what they can
from an almost hopeless situation.
Several rows of apartment blocks lie on the edge
of what can be a raging torrent of water brought by heavy rain.

Personnel from various military and para military units work round the clock.

Taking a much needed break.

I managed to mingle with the security personnel above who were taking their much needed break. Many look tired...and some, frustrated. It seem, some snobbish residents had accused them of not doing their job and even name calling them. Truth is, as men and women of uniform, they cannot act according to their whims and fancies, and have to await orders from their command post. This is most especially true when each are assigned particular task and cannot leave their post unattended.

During a light moment with several FRU personnel, we caught them with a jibe "next when you confront us (Pakatan Rakyat party members) on the streets, do have a heart before swinging your baton". They, looked at us with a shock and were unable to utter any reply.

These employess of a company engaged by JKR to study the earth movement there,
should also be considered front-line heroes as they sit under the apartment
which is next to the raging flood of water.
But, it is a job they must do with 2 teams, each on a 12hour shift.

Some of the many volunteers represent various organisations. Clockwise from top right:
Zun Arif of Jemaah Islah Malaysia (JIM) with Wak Kasiran from webtv8;
Shahrul Niza, one of the first few on the scene (in my previous posting I noted his name as Nik),
posing with Sasha, formerly of the singing group Elite - she lives in the area;
some volunteers whose names I did not get;
and Kem, who heads the AMAL unit for the area.

Have We Not Learnt?

Top left: An abandoned project nearby to the tragedy.
Top right: A new project taking off along Zoo Negara road.
Bottom: A clubhouse under construction about 2km away from the tragedy.
Will it now be abandoned?

InsyAllah, tomorrow Sunday, will be my last day there. But I will try to get as many more pictures and stories possible.

Whether man-made history, or natural tragedy, no single person can convey the magnanimity of destruction that was brought onto the population of this planet. For all the money spent in astronomy and the search for life in outer space, would it not be wiser to spend more towards the betterment of the the society here on Earth? For this society we have here, comprise of humans, animals, plants, and the earth itself. Can't we, the human, teach ourselves to co-live in peace and harmony with the rest of the population?

Friday, December 12, 2008

News Bits

Due to time constrain, this is a hasty entry and some parts may jumbled up.

The Lajnah Kebajikan dan Kemasyarakatan PAS Pusat held their monthly meeting last night which your truly was able to attend. One of the meeting agendas was the landslide in Bukit Antarabangsa which certain quarters are trying to hijack the media attention and portray themselves as heroes. The truth is however, uglier than the scene of the tragedy.

When I first heard then read about the tragedy, my heart cried for the victims. Then, when the media began displaying charitable acts (of courage?) by namely the Sarkas, I turn my back and refuse to read anymore. However, an account by Athirah Aliman, one of the leaders of PAS Muslimat in Harakahdaily made me think twice. Then in the meeting last we were presented with first hand report of the situation there which I think is best for me to put in point form.

* One of the first person to come to the rescue is a certain Nik, a well-off youngster who seem to dedicate his time to welfare works. It was he who went up the hill and began assisting the victims there. Doctor Lo'Lo' gave this account as she is close to Nik.

* The so called 'Pesta Makanan' may have been exaggerated slightly. True, many people have come forward with all sorts of food and what not, but they remain at the bottom of the hill and seem for the rescue parties, volunteers and 'volunteers'. Precious little of the food prepared from this place made it to the victims.

* Many PAS volunteers were there from the early stages of post tragedy. But since many of them do not wear identification such as vests, hats or badges, the media either did not know or were told not to report. PKR volunteers were also at hand to assist the victims.

* YB Azmin Ali is there daily in his bid to provide assistance but have to 'fight' his way in as Sarkas and certain people in uniform tries to hamper his every move. YB Zuraidah is currently in Mekah performing her Haj. Many PR YBs are also giving what assistance they can from behind the scene. YB Khalid Samad of Shah Alam is in the midst of preparing further assistance and volunteers from PAS Shah Alam.

* Unit AMAL and many other organisations from PAS are there daily to provide food and assistance to the victims directly instead of through parties there. Some 'Volunteers' from Sarkas do try to prepare food for the victims, but get their materials from Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat, which is then packed in Sarkas bags - how so very kind of them.

* Without electricity, one 8month pregnant lady walked down from her 11storey apartment and was met halfway by Doc Lo'lo'. The Doc helped her down and took her to a helicopter nearby. The crew initially refused but the backed down due to the Doc's persistence.

* YB Iskandar suffered a mild stroke due to media's lie - it was reported that the relief centers were packed to the hilt! When he went to the center, there were actually only 2 families seeking shelter there.

* Hj Zainal of LKKPP cooks and pack about 300 rations twice a day which is sent directly to the victims. Several other organisations under PAS are doing likewise as there are still a sizeable number trapped. This is in contrast to Sarkas food which a media report was thrown away - food meant for the victims with raw materials from Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat.

* Soon after the either the pontoon or bailey bridge and temporary road was built by the army, a long queue of vehicles was formed in a bid to move out. At one point of time, a vehicle veered off the bridge and into the small ravine. It was very soon after that a Sarkas Aman vehicle tried to jump the queue but was forced back AMAL volunteers under the orders of Doc Lo'lo'. The Doc mentioned that the PGA (auxilary unit) had only 3 personnel there to mainain order.

InsyAllah, I will try to write more as and when I receive the news. Wak Kasiran and I will try to give coverage through webtv8 so that Malaysians can get a truer picture instead of the distorted news from mainstream media which is mainly for the benefit of the Sarkas and not the victims.

On behalf of Doc Lo'Lo and Lajnah Kebajikan dan Kemasyarakatan PAS Pusat, I invite Malaysians to give their small contribution to the victims; it may not be in monetary form as many times has proven your time and energy may prove to be more valuable. Should one wish to give monetary assistance, the account number for LKKPP is as below:

Bank Islam 12113010026150

If you do, please do inform the Treasurer, Puan Raja Rozita at 019 357 5857

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


The 2 kids had their run up the steep staircase leading to the attic stopped right at the first rung. Many times in the past they had been told of scary tales about the attic, and many times after that they would hear strange sounds emanating from it; the attic, or loteng, as it is known in Melaka, was built above a room adjacent to the living hall where the children would sleep whenever they follow their parents back to Melaka; in the dim light of the kerosene lamp at night, the 2 kids huddle close to their mother, fearing they would be snatched away by some unknown forces of the stories told to them by their elder siblings.

Looking up the staircase, the 2 kids must have had second thoughts about climbing up. On a rung or 2 leading to the attic, dried red droplets can be seen clearly. "Its just red ink!" cried Eli, a girl younger than the 2 kids as she rush past them up the staircase. "Honest!" she cried to her elder brother and sister "I saw Emi and Din put them just to scare both of you", and she dissapeared from view.

Ana and her younger brother looked at each other then braved themselves up to the attic.

Aje had explored every inch of the old house in Melaka Pindah save for this loft. For a kid who has never been there, it was a near majestic feeling. Here he was in this distant past, in the room which he had been afraid of entering, and found every item laid out in the open of a room which is as large as the 'rumah ibu', had a magical touch to them. He was still afraid, but could not help himself exploring as much as possible as even then, he knew he might just not find the courage to climb up again. He never did.

With the passing of time, the house now belong to the third generation of the original occupant, a Haji Jetti Ahmad. Quite rightly so, its original architecture too has been changed either to suit the comfort of the new owner, or due to ravages of time where many of the wooden panels, walls and flooring cost more to upkeep than the cement and bricks that replaced them. The facade of the house however, remain largely the same.

Back in the attic, Aje found a large chest, one which could have held several kids of his size within it. At that age, he did not know what to make of the chest. But as he grew older, he is reminded of it every time he reads or watch a movie where normally, chests as such hold treasures beyond dreams. Aye, quite like a pirate's chest. Any romantic notions for this particular chest Aje had however, were dashed when at a later age he learnt that the chest belonged to his late grandfather and grandmother, and had been used for a Haj trip way back when Aje was just an infant.

Back then in the mid 1960's, Haj pilgrims did not have the luxury of air travel and made their way by sea. Their voyage then, may take up to several weeks at sea. Together with about a month at Mekah and Medina, they may spend a total of 3 months away from home. And thus, into the chest went all that is precious to their survival. Amongst these items would include a stove, some cooking utensils and simple crockery, and...maybe hard to believe, but batu lesung meant for the preparation of sambal belacan. The latter, after all, is a dish which very few Malay can live without for a long duration. Off course, today, with all the convenience of Haj travel and lodging, it is no longer necessary to lug anymore. Besides, the very weight of the batu lesung can tear through the fabrics of today's luggage.
The chest above looks quite like the chest found in the attic.
Picture credit: Pirates Lair

For a pilgrim, performing the Haj then is almost akin to saying the last farewell to his kampung folks. Without the convenience of modern day travel and pilgrimage, there was a high fatality rate. Off course, when one compare to generations and age way before even then, the conditions were much tougher. Thus, whenever a man leaves for the Haj, almost the entire kampung would bade him farewell, accompanying right to the gates of his departure such as Port Klang. And it was at one of the gates at this port that a 5year old Aje waved goodbye to an elderly man boarding a ship destined for the Holy Land.

Belated now as it is, I pray for all Muslims, especially those performing the Haj this year:

"TaqabbAllahu minna wa minkum "
May Allah accept our good deeds.

"Kullu am wa antum bi-khair

May you and the whole world be well


* Had wanted to write this entry earlier but I was disturbed with the tragic events of the landslide in Ampang and the accident involving the express bus at Pagoh. As always, bad news sink slowly into me.

Though I am unable to verify, I was informed that hillside development in Ampang area was prohibited by the British Authorities way before Merdeka. If true, then the Be-End government has taken Malaysia back to before colonial days, perhaps heading back to primeval times. Curses be on you Be-End. May you rot in hell for every anguish a Malaysian suffer.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Educating Cakapaje

It was not an unexpected meet. But it was, an unexpected topic in a conversation that lasted till 2.30am. Aje however, came a whole lot wiser after that long conversation with 3 wise men.

Caught unaware, Wise Man 1 asked Aje "You are 46 already, when are you going to settle down?". Before Aje could reply Wise Man 2 butted in "I'm sorry if this offend you, but you are aware about birds and bees, aren't you?".
"Heck, having been a science stream student during secondary school, off course I am. I mean, we learn in biology class about animals, and even dissected several bees but not birds. Off course, I know what birds and bees are. The former is feathery with wings, while the latter is small, and can be hairy. But the thing is, BIRDS (and I stress the pronunciation there), eat insects, don't they?" Aje replied.
Dush! Aje suddenly felt a slight dull pain on his head as the third Wise Man smacked him with newspaper.
"Aje!" shouted WM2 "we are serious here!"
Deep in his mind, Aje whispered "I thought I was!"
Anyway, soon after they caught whiff that Aje may not be aware of the metaphor, they explained it in length.
"Oh that...." said Aje half blushing "say lah".

To cut short a long conversation, the 3 parted their thoughts and experience about married life. WM1 mentioned about Saiyidina Omar alKhatab who, when berated by his wife, accepted it willingly. "She (the wife)" WM1 quoted the Khalifah, "washes, cooks, cleans the house, bore and raised the children, and do many more things which very few other people would for me. Thus, if she feels irked about something and make noise about it, it would not be right for me to not to listen to her".
"In other words" WM1 said "everyone make mistakes and no one is perfect. Accept your partner's imperfection, for it fits her perfectly".

WM2, perhaps the wisest of the 3, then mentioned that marriage is not all bed of roses. Sometimes, and there are many of those times, the thorns do pierce our skin. But without the thorn, then the bed of plant there would certainly not be of the rose variety.

WM3, who did not say much all during the conversation, finally put in his words "You remember the book 'The Icon' by Frederick Forsythe?"
Aje shook his head, his mind unable to concentrate on that.
"Well," said WM3 "towards the end of the book and as the Masterspy was talking to his protege, the Masterspy's wife called out to him to follow her in gardening, which he later did. To show how much the Masterspy loved his wife, Forsythe cleverly inserted a line telling though the Masterspy hates gardening, he does so willingly and ungrudingly out of love to his wife. So sometimes Aje, you do have to do things which you do not like, but you do so without showing your feelings towards it. Comprande?"
"Si!" replied Aje with his face tilted down.

Right at the end, WM1 bluntly asked "So, when are you getting married?"
To that, Aje replied "Wa per sher tau!"

The 3 Wise Men walked away rather disappointed. 1, 2, 3.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Yet, Another Tag!

I've been tagged...again! And this tag is again, from Rerama Salju. So, if ever anyone tag me next, I'll know who to top the list next ;) <--- evil grin.

Anyway, it start with:

1. Do you think you're hot?
You got to be crazy asking such a question to a guy who lives where there is no midnight sun! And the fact that its an hour to midnight and with the rain-cooled breeze blowing, no, I am not hot. (was that the question?).

2. Upload a favourite picture of you.
Yvonne Ridley and cakapaje.

3. Why do you like the picture?
Well, I actually do not like the way I dressed in there (what, with a vest and long sleeve?). What I like though, is the thought that an amateur reporter like yours truly, was able to grab the time and attention of a world-famous journalist!

I remember asking her how she find it now that her role has been thrown completely reversed - though she still is a journalist, she is more of a celebrity to the Muslim world. She said she's taking it well and not let it go to her head. Her siblings, she said, does the reality check for her. So, she's quite alright there.

4. When was the last time you ate pizza?
Honestly? I think its been more than a year now.

5. The last song you listened to.
'Don't Leave Me This Way' by Thelma Houston. But only because it was on the radio before I got out of the car.

6. What are you doing right now?
This must be a trick question similar to asking what a person should do first when he gets into a car. Anyway, pretty obvious I think - I'm typing this tag down in my blog! :)

7. What name would you prefer besides yours?
I gather this is meant to suggest other than real names. Well, I certainly would like 'Sayang', 'Darling', 'Abang' (in the softest tone possible), and...

Wak Kasiran dropped in my house the other day. He lost his handphone and all the contact numbers along with it. Thus, all he wanted was my number. After he keyed in my number, and as he was about to type my name, I said "Hensem". Thus yes, I would like like to be called "Hensem", too.

Now, the tag calls for me to name several individuals. I only know of 2 who does not mind doing so, where one, I believe, is now in Mekah performing her Haj - kema. The other, well, there's always kerpie.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Blogger's Meet: The Finals

As expected, the Bloggers's Meet on Nov29 was quite, shall we say, explosive? It was, like The Finals of a Championship - Makan Championship, that is. It was, after all, the final meet for the year 2008. InsyAllah, many more meets will be planned for next year. Perhaps, as Jeejah of ...in deep thots and Doc Toakasid mentioned, the Melaka Bloggers will host it next. The pictures below were taken from different cameras, but many, off course, from our bro, Mat Salo. Download speed may be affected as I try to put in as many pictures of everyone, my apologies.

The Finals.
Continuing from the first Bloggers' Meet in Asam Pedas, the Knights and Knighties reassembled again, but this time at The Terrace, opposite their old castle Asam Pedas which has been torn down.

Then the Championship began.
Ansara and MCOBA however, seem to patch their difference here through bangkai and Mat Salo.

A Yellow T-shirt guy reporting for duty while bangkai and Jeejah notes his particulars.
Hey! Didn't this guy wore the same yellow T-shirt at the last meet?
Think, that t-shirt is his only wardrobe.

A Bookie arrives.
On being told of the Championship, how can a bookie not?
Salah is warmly greeted by

(l to r)
Mat Salo, Yellow T-shit guy, Cikgu Nazir, Doc TA, kerpie, and Razlin.
Wonder what the odds were.

One can take the profession away from a man, but not the man from the profession.
Cikgu Nazir seen here seeking volunteers to help him with the marking of his students works.
Mrs Nazir however, seem preoccupied in a conversation (left).

Champions mesti ada gaya!
Haslizam seen giving Doc TA the finer tips of wearing Bally shoes.

Million Dollar Babe!
"I'm gonna beat you to a pulp!", Elviza seem to be saying as she picks up a camera,
perhaps mistaking it for a pair of boxing gloves.
MS, her trainer echoes her sentiment while the YTG - one of the officials - looks on.

"I'm ready!"
says kerpie, in response to Elviza, and getting the support of wanshana,
who's telling her hubby-doctor to give kerpie a clean bill of health for the Final Match.

The match begins.
Saiful (hubby Queen Raden), DocTA (kerpie's trainer)
and an official watch from afar.

The spectators.
(l to r) Fauziah, Queen Raden, Nuraina, and Elina,
totally immersed watching the match.

A Free-for-all?
A tussle nearly breaks out during the match.

(l to r) kerpie and MS (partly hidden), Doc TA and son, Hafiz.

Match over.
Melvin and Galadriel, as match officials, explaining the decisions made to MS.

Jeejah stated a rumour that Melvin may soon head the Kelab Penyokong Sarkas,
due to his in-depth knowledge.

The Champion's Pose.
(l to r): Jeejah (partly hidden) and hubby, Saiful, Cikgu Nazir (match promoter, ala Don King),
Doc TA, Cikgu Ali, and the Champ, kerpie.

A Sad YB.
YB Khalid Samad feeling sad at the outcome of the match,
while the Ipoh-mali fans try to console him.
(l to r): Cikgu Ali, YB Khalid, Zainal and Azizul.

A Happier YB.
In an effort to cheer him up, he was given the honour to blow the candles on Elina's birthday cake.
However, someone forgot to bring the cake. (Elina did celebrate her birthday a week earlier).

The Dispute.
Players and officials in disagreement about the match outcome.
In the background, 2 ladies hug each other in joy. (No fair! They did not hug me).

The Appeal.
Pak Idrus, presenting his case to former High Court Judge, Dato' Syed Ahmad Idid.
Looking on is Pi Bani and MS.

The Evidence.
Pokku, as the appointed Independent Investigator, looking at the evidence MS presented,
while Dato' Syed Ahmad looks on.

The Denial.
"I'm innocent!" cries Nuraina as the former Judge listens on.
The court was adjourned and will resume at the next meet.

When the dust settled.
A brotherhood of bloggers got together the night after at Ayam Golek Halim.
(l to r) MS, Muteaudio, Doc TA, kerpie, cakapaje, and Cikgu Nazir.

To all: while the pictures are real, the accompanying text are not. Should anyone feel offended, do forgive me - the text were written in humour and nothing more.