Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Count and The Rock

The Count of Monte Cristo was a superb novel written by Alexandre Dumas in 1844, and has been filmed at least twice, the latest perhaps, was in 2002, which had Richard Harris outshining the leading cast. Well, at least to me he did. Having watched it again earlier today, leaves me a deep craving to read the book, which sadly is no longer in my possession. The movie however, reminded me of another story of another Count.

Now, the story of this Count intertwines with not only other characters of his time, but of other times as well, to the extent that some have even remarked it as the original Twilight Zone. Well, whether it is or not, one has to read the story from the beginning which, I am NOT about to do. InsyAllah, I will however, try to write the abridged version of the abridged version. The ending, I must stress here, is non-conclusive. As implied earlier, the story goes into a kind of time-warp, making any reader wonder that perhaps, by some incomprehensible possibility, The Count is still alive and battling against the odds that are stacked against him. Though naturally impossible, a reader has to take into accounts 2 factors without which, The Count would most probably have been left rotting in some dungeon, perhaps quite like Chateau d'lf. The first, off course, is the Count's faith. The other, is the prayers of the good-hearted people of the world, who believe in all things good and just. And so the story begins just after The Count lost a battle sometime in April in the year 1899. (Other dates not mentioned here as they are not significant - just imagine you are watching a movie).

This part of the story begins with a couple with the simple name of One, who went to Mekah to perform the Haj. Like any Haj season, the city of Mekah is literally filled with millions of pilgrims - some are there to answer the call to fulfill the obligation of the final pillar of Islam, and at the same time to seek absolution, and atonement. And that, was precisely what a certain individual by the name of Moorid was doing, for he had a guilt the size of The Ayers Rock, weighing on his helpless tiny body. It was at that precise moment he was crying when One stumbled upon him.

Recognising One as former teachers, Moorid poured out his heart to them. To them he sometime whispered, sometime bawled like a helpless baby, and other times talked like a lunatic who had seen or done something insanely horrible. Moorid though, was sane as any person would be, except that, as he told One, he had conspired with a group of people known as the Wiras of the Uneven Table. The WUT, comprised of some very high profile people, as well as unknowns such as Moorid was. Together, they were entrusted with a sacred duty by the managers of another group simply known as Circus. Employed too for this task, was a simpleton who was later infamously called The False Rock.

In each corner of the Uneven Table, assembled a group of people. And each group of people were asked to conjure spells and magics, and even make pacts with the Devil himself; to the managers of Circus, nothing is sacred anymore if it can help bring about the fall of the Count.

After much deliberation, they decided on several course of actions including the use of Witch, a lady of high ambition. But the most treacherous and filthiest idea was to associate The Count with Dracula, simply because the latter was also known as Vlad The Impaler, who literally impaled his enemies while alive, then leaving them dying a slow death. The group also devised the use of Castle Hill, and forcing a man of literature to confess being impaled by The Count, hanging him by his feet for many suns until he admitted. At the same time, the False Rock who had been promised riches beyond his wildest dreams, admitted freely.

Being a simpleton that he is, the FR was also fickle minded. At one point of time, perhaps ravaged by the guilt of his act, he wanted to tell the truth but was stopped in his tracks when his fiancee was killed in a hit-and-run accident by, of all things, a bullock cart! Strangely, for someone who had wanted to give his vow of undying love, FR soon found himself caught wet. It is for these reasons and several more that earned him the name as the False Rock of Gibraltar.

At this juncture, One was puzzled as to why these people have so much hatred for The Count. Moorid was unable to provide with all the reasons, but did provide one which was quite insightful to One.

There was a time when The Count, in trying to unravel a mystery, he had wanted to hold and question a son to the Managing Director of a company, Chersonese Plus Plus. Although the son managed to evade The Count, the action had raised the ire of the MD, who went into a fit of anger never before seen by anyone.

Moorid could not continue anymore for he was choked with tears of regrets. But he did mention of another name, of a man hailing himself as The Educationist.

According to Moorid, he began to realise his wrongdoings when he witnessed the death of The Educationist's wife. The wife, who was sitting at the rear of a high speed sampan, died instantly when she fell into the waters of a canal, where there were no rapid, and hence, no stones or rocks at all. But in a heliography tablet that was widely circulated by stonemasons, it was reported she died instantly when her head hit a large boulder.

When Moorid had finished, he and One parted ways. But the accounts told by Moorid disturbed One. As soon as he returned to his homeland, he sought a community known as the Moon People and took refuge with them.

Sometime later, One went visiting Elder, where they told her of Moorid's story. Unknown to One, Elder's son, Son, was and still is a Moon People, as was Elder's support to their cause. Though Son do not like The Count, he had joined the Moon people for he wanted a society that is based on just cause.

It was just prior to this day - when the story was told - that Son was feeling lost, when he heard the story of the appearance of a new False Rock of Gibraltar. The news, coming on too soon after another - about a new revelation of a brutal murder of Nearsiberia - makes him wonder aloud: "Could there be a Loch Ness Monster in Tasik Cini?".

The story continues.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Plea For Donation

I received this email from my friend, Mohammad Sabri, seeking public donation for a family in dire need of a proper housing. Anyone who would like to, kindly contact either the phone number or the email provided below. On behalf of the family, I thank you and may Allah s.w.t. reward your kindness.

Muhammad Sabri Bin Muhammad Salleh

Mohon bantuan sekadar yang terdaya ... boleh berhubung dengan
Ku Azah Ku Mahmud 03 20514341 untuk keterangan lanjut.


-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2008 3:38 PM

ni kat malaysia tau bukan filipino,,,,

Dear All

With ref. to the email I sent yesterday, this is their house, “The Khemah”! Sesiapa yang berhajat untuk membantu bolehlah hantar terus kepada En Zamri sendiri. Bagi yang tidak berkesempatan kesana, bolehlah wakilkan kepada saya di Aras 75, Tower 1 dan akan saya serahkan kepada AJK Kebajikan Surau Al-Muhsinin PETRONAS untuk diserahkan kepada En Zamri. Silalah forwardkan mail ini kepada para dermawan yang lain.

Terima kasih.

Assalamualaikum wrb,

Tuan/puan yang yang budiman dan prihatin,

Anak perempuan saya murid Tahun 5 (5 Iltizam) SRK Taman Melawati 2 selalu balik menceritakan tentang kisah sedih kawan sekelas dia yang terpaksa duduk dalam ‘khemah’ kerana tiada rumah setelah rumah setinggannya di robohkan. Mula- mula saya tidak berapa ambil kisah kerana anggapan saya manala ada di kawasan Ulu Klang/Melawati keluarga Melayu sebegitu susah, sekurang-kurangnya ada rumah. Tetapi cuti minggu lepas, saya telah dibawa sendiri oleh anak saya untuk melihat khemah dan keadaan keluarga tersebut di Ulu Klang bertentangan dengan Zoo Negara.

Memang amat menyedihkan sekali keadaan keluarga ini, En Zamri seorang guard di Puncak Niaga Klang gate, mempunyai 5 orang anak (15,14,11, 6 & 4tahun) memang tinggal dalam khemah dhaif (sebesar partition Manager kat PETRONAS) tanpa elektrik dan cuma bilik air buatan sendiri. Isteri tidak dapat bekerja kerana ada anak kecil 4 tahun walaupun ingin bekerja. Kepada sesiapa yang hendak lihat sendiri khemah keluarga ini boleh Nampak dari Highway MRR2 – Arah Ampang ke Taman Permata , selepas PETRONAS Hulu Kelang 2, berdekatan bus station ada sign board untuk U TURN ke Zoo Negara.

Menurut En Zamri rumah setinggan mereka di Batu 8 Hulu Klang telah dirobohkan 3 tahun lalu dan mereka telah membeli rumah kos rumah tetapi hingga sekarang tidak siap- siap. Keluarga lain mampu untuk buat rumah ditempat lain tapi beliau belum mampu untuk buat pondok sekalipun walaupun ada plan untuk buat ‘pondok sementara’ di tapak khemah itu…saya ada nampak sedikit kayu recycle terkumpul. Semasa kempen pilihanraya ada ada politician berjanji untuk bantu tapi diam begitu saja. Beliau dirikan khemah di situ kerana dekat sekolah dan keempat empat anak bersekolah di Melewati dapat jalan kaki ke sekolah saja. Menurut anak saya akhir-akhir ni dengan cuaca yang tak menentu, anaknya selalu demam dsb.

Saya juga telah bertanya macamana kami boleh bantu dia sekeluarga. Kalau ada rezeki dia cuma mahu dirikan pondok tempat bertuduh dengan harapan rumah kos murah mereka siap, tapi beliau keberatan untuk memberitahu saya kosnya. Setelah didesak beliau beritahu rumah Indon depan rumah dia kecil tu pun lebih kurang RM 3 ribu juga. Indon pun ada rumah, ini keluarga Melayu, En Zamri orang N9 dan isterinya orang Perak.

Alhamdulilah saya dapat memberitahu kisah keluarga ini pada Hj Zul, AJK Surau PETRONAS dan beliau berjanji akan cuba meminta bantuan ADUN Hulu Klang. Pihak Surau PETRONAS juga telah bermurah hati memberi sumbangan segera RM250. Saya dan suami juga akan cuba ikhtiarkan bantuan lain seperti carikan kerja part time untuk isterinya dsbnya. Menurut En Zamri, sekolah juga memberi bantuan.

Sahabat sahabat yang prihatin, saya mohon bantuan iklas semua kalau boleh kita membantu keluarga ini untuk dirikan ‘pondok’ untuk berteduh…..saya tahu ramai yang bermurah hati untuk memberi sumbangan peribadi , zakat (saya rasa keluarga ini layak mendapat zakat)….atau sebagainya….atau mungkin FOC boleh buat ‘keluarga angkat’ sebagai projek amal jariah kita. Sesiapa yang ingin membantu sila beritahu saya.

Semoga ALLAH membalas amal jariah saudara/i sekelian.

Ku Azah Ku Mohamad.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Were I a visitor to my blog, the first thing that would cross my mind after reading the title would be the musical group, Bread. Well, since that maybe the same thing that cross a real visitor's mind, I thought why not I put up one of their best hits. But mind you, this entry is not about the group, nor the song.

Bread, may be one of the most common food in the world. Yet, it differs in shape, taste, and even the smell, depending on the flour one use, and the mix that goes into it. The same would go with the preparation of the accompanying dishes. However, when the bread is still hot from the oven with its aroma still lingering, it ought to be good enough to be eaten alone. Still, some have to have at least a dish of gravy, without which, then they might as well not eat at all. Hmm...this reminds me of a story about Saidina Umar Al-Khatab r.a.

One day, he was visited by a man from a village, who brought along some 2 food containers, putting them in front of the Khalifah, and inviting the him to partake in the dish which was especially prepared for him by the man's wife. The Khalifah did not say anything, instead stared at the bread, and the gravy which was rich in oil. After a moment of silence, he said aloud to himself "You look so delicious and tempting. But if I were to eat you now, I fear I may be denied of a greater feast in the world hereafter". With that, he politely refused the food.

I should stress here that the circumstance above may well be different than one would imagine, but let's not get into it (tak bertauliah lagi!).

Earlier today I went to Giant Kelana Jaya for our monthly grocery needs. And as I was rummaging through the frozen food section, I came across several types and brands of instant bread, including Roti Paratha and Chapati. Now, normally I would not buy them except that, well, I am trying to work my way to a new client who makes Roti Lebanon, which essentially is pita bread. Well, at least to me, that's what I think it is though the owner - a real Lebanese - may vehemently say its not. But, let's not get into that too.

Anyway, since emak and I are trying to avoid eating rice at night as much as possible, we had the instant Chapati for dinner. I followed the instructions as best I could, except I did not use a pan, instead, just microwaved it. And soon, emak and I tucked into 2 very unchapati bread each; it was thin, small and lacked texture. I don't know about everyone else, but to me, the Sikh community makes the best chapati ever!

There was this premise - only half a shoplot size - in Bangsar, which made real good chapati. I do not know how they do it, but I used to stop over for a meal whenever I pass the area. Unfortunately, now I hardly step into KL, and last I heard, the business had closed down due to the death of a family member. Now, I don't know where to get a good chapati.

Hopefully, not able to get any now, might assist me to a greater feast in the hereafter, insyAllah. But oops! There's still the frozen Roti Paratha to be had.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Friend In Memory

He may not be the best looking lead actor ever. Nor is he the most loved. But he is, one of the finest actor around that I've come to like, hate, respect and admire.

Sometime in 1975 when I had just reached home from school, my dad asked whether I would like to see a movie with him. I was quite surprised when he asked as normally he would take emak with him. But that day being a school day and emak was teaching, I decided why not. Further, I took into account of an episode when I was about 6, and my dad asked me a question while we were out with the family. My mind was rather preoccupied thinking about food, just as any 6year old would when he is hungry, and I just shook my head and said no. At that point of time too, my English vocabulary was pitifully low. Anyway, when we were on our way home later, I began making noise but stopped abruptly when my dad raised his right hand and said "I asked if you were hungry just now and you said no!" And my mind went "So, that's what hungry means".

Back to the movie dad took me to, it was 'The French Connection II', and the first time I saw Gene Hackman acting. Even then I thought him as strange, for he was unlike any other lead actor I was accustomed to - handsome, tall, charming, blah blah. But I ignored it then as the story was good and the acting, superb!

Over the years after that, I watched more of his movies and found myself disliking him for the roles he played. Needless to say, he starred as a villain in many movies which include as the President of US, who covets his best friend's wife, and later accidentally killed her. Though I know he was just acting his part, I found myself hating the man, and his role.

Earlier this evening, emak and I watched the tail-end of 'The Chambers' which Hackman played the role of a man sentenced to the gas chambers. Ironically, though the role was still of a 'baddie', Hackman was at his best. While watching, emak and I helped ourselves to 2 guava fruits (jambu batu) which a neighbour gave. That, and the death scene of the movie reminded me of an old friend who passed away sometime in 1990.

Allahyarham Hazim Harun Hashim, was a close friend during primary school. Though he had a muscular body (even then I envisioned him as the local version of X-Men's Colossus), he was kind and soft spoken. As we were in different classes, we would normally meet every other day, and together with a Chew Kwee Tat, would wrestle each other just as in the Wrestling shows of old which had wrestlers such as Tiger Jit Singh, Killer Kolwalski, Big Moose something and many more big names I cannot remember now. We were kids, and we were having fun the way many kids would - acting out like our heroes. We became separated as we entered our secondary years, each going to a different school.

Sometime in 1989, we were reacquainted briefly when I stumbled upon him in his office at the NST. Can't exactly remember his position there, but he was still the same person I used to wrestle with. That, was the only meeting we had as adults - 2 good friends separated for more than 10 years, only to be separated again, this time for good. Not long after that, I read in the papers that he died due to asthma-related heart attack. To this day, I still remember his face and smile when we met.

The guava I had just now, reminded me of him as visiting his house one day during those early years, I ate, for the very first time, guava with a sprinkle of salt.

Thank you my friend for the memories. May Allah reward you for your kindness and the warmth of your friendship. And may you be placed together with people of faith. Al-Fatehah.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


For the past 2 weeks and more, the piped water in my house have been low on pressure. No, there's nothing wrong with the supply, just that we've turned the tap at the main near to the minimum due to some backflow from the water filter we use. After failing to get in touch with the servicing agent to change or wash the filter, I finally found one on a website. And earlier this afternoon, a technician came over to clean the was filthy brownish-red!

Anyone reading the above might well ask "Why the hell can't he be doing the cleaning himself?" Good point, actually. Problem is, the water filter we use is locked in a metal cylinder, and the key looks very much like a tennis racquet. Then, once the casing is taken off and the sponge filter removed, one would need to use a jet-hose to wash off the dirt. Both apparatus, I do not have and don't think I will in this near future. After purchasing the filter for RM2,400 some 4 years ago, it comes with a 3year maintenance agreement where the agent would provide cleaning service every 6 months at RM50 per visit. I think its a fair deal and do not want to change it. Besides, a handyman I am not, unless in absolute emergency.

Looking at the dirt running off the filter during the cleaning process, makes me wonder how other houses, those not using any, cope with the dirty water. Makes one wonder too, who should we be responsible for the condition of the supply. There were talks about the setting up of a Water Supply Commission (SPAN) quite similar to those for electricity, and communications. Personally, I think for a country of our size, we have far too many Commissions already, each supposedly for a specific industry, but nothing concrete coming out of it in the end. Supposedly, its all in the name of Self-Regulatory.

I ask myself time and again 'If Singapore can provide good clean water which comes from our soil, why can't our authorities do so?' And if water is really becoming scarce now, why don't the government invest in double piping system where water meant for industrial use (cooling, cleaning and maintenance) use recycle water? After all, we already have a company who is supposedly treating used water. Now, instead of throwing the treated used water back to the drains, they should just pipe it for industrial use. I believe several countries are already doing this, namely Singapore.

Shoot! When I began writing this entry, I thought I would not be critical on such matters. For the past few months, I find myself drifting towards issues and matters which I loathe to write about. After reading Raden Galoh, I realised I must have taken a wrong turning somewhere and decide to track back. Don't get me wrong though, for I will still be politically active elsewhere. Speaking of which...

Yesterday, I braved myself to reopen all my working email boxes and had a small shock when one, had more than 23,000 emails! Hullo! I know I only have myself to blame for leaving them unattended for a while. But then, I was like going insane already handling so many news and groups! Or perhaps, I already am. Nah. Then again, denial syndrome is a sign for an ailment! Alamak! Oklah, I am insane. But when I look out my window, the world is already an asylum. Well, at least, Malaysia is. Oops! OK, filtering begins.

ps. This was Cikgu's song, and now its mine.

Not A Donkey's Tale

This is a picture of a donkey. Mind you, we are not talking about the animal as in the ass or jackass.

While these 2 below, are police officers and may well be on their way there. If you had not noticed, there's a full stop at the end of the last sentence, so you have to make your interpretation of the picture and...

The video below though, do not contain any donkeys. InsyAllah, the spot might have one in the future. I can't authenticate the story, taking it as it is.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Passing The Hours By

In the days way before Personal Computers and the Internet as it is today existed, many children had to make do with games that involved other people, namely children, be they neighbours or in school. Though many of the games such as Catch, Police and Thief, Hopscotch, Hardball (can't remember the name, but one throws the ball painfully hard at another), and scores more are near to extinct today, it lives well in the minds of the generation that grew up with those games. Apart from honing a child's social interaction, the physical aspects of the games gives many children the exercise needed to strengthen their body, limbs, and mind, which many would find tiring and find ways to avoid at all cost.

Other than the games mentioned above, there were also Chinese-Checkers, Drought (Dam-Haji), Chess, Country (words game), and numerous more which helps the mind from going idle, especially during rainy days when one has to say indoor. Sometimes though, even these games can grow dull and a child's mind would always wander for new games to be played just to pass the hours by.

At the beach in KT, I came across a clutch of pines of a fir tree on the ground. Though fir trees can be found even in KL, these pines I found at the beach rekindled a memory when we were living in Pengkalan Chepa, Kelantan, and had very little toys or games. Children of a nearby village would often come around and play with us and even taught us a simple game using the pines of a fir tree - a game just to pass the hours by when in extreme boredom.
A pine or leaf of the fir tree grows in sections, quite similar were one to look at those of a bamboo tree. The pine being smaller, off course, makes it easier for a child to detach each section of it till one has about a whole handful. Then, each child would then try to assemble the pines as long and tall possible without having them bend and break. Mindless game as it was, it does take patience and purpose to arrange and assemble the pines, not to mention small dexterous fingers.

The game, as mentioned, was mindless and leads nowhere. It is quite unlike the latest initiative by the gomen to ease the burden of the rakyat due to the petrol price hike.

While I'm quite sure some would not agree, but I think the decision to allow Civil Servants to operate small businesses would only lead to further abuse of their position. The same goes for the licensing authorities who now have more people who will be beholden to them. One only needs to talk to the hawkers on the street to know of the treatment one can expect, and how this decision would lead to case of too many people with too many licenses. And that is just the least of the problems that would arise from a mindless move by some people who just want to pass the hours by.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

It's Not Exactly Bonnie

I don't know who the baby is, nor do I know the parents. But amongst the picks available at you tube, this was the most decent and adorable. And no, this entry has nothing to do with the song, though if ever there is a bonnie, it would be nice to sing it to her. This entry is actually a short story about bones. And it has no medical reference of whatsoever.

My emak likes to tell stories of her younger days in Melaka. Sometimes it would be tales of the days whilst in Pantai Belimbing, other times it would be about Melaka Pindah. Now, I can't recall where exactly this tale took place, but its about an old man who has 2 doting sons; the younger one living with him, the other in a city.

As the tale goes, one day when the younger son was about to leave for the market, he asked the father if he needed or wanted anything. Unhesitatingly the old man said he would like to eat 'sup tulang'. Thus off went the son to the market for the day's buy, as well as some fine bones for the soup the old man wanted.

When he got back, he asked his wife to prepare the soup according to the old man's wish, with no further thoughts about it. But somehow, the old man was not thoroughly satisfied as the dish prepared was nowhere near to the recipe of his beloved wife, who passed away several years before. Thus while he was feeling sad about missing his wife, the elder son came to the house unexpectedly. Like any faithful son, the first question he would asked was whether the father has had his meal. The father, still teary eyed, replied sadly 'Adik engkau beri aku tulang je hari ni'. Enraged, the elder son confronted his younger brother who replied nonchalantly 'Dah itu yang ayah mintak!' Can't remember how the story ended, but it was quite hilarious when I heard it quite sometime back. Perhaps, the ending could have been on the same line as in an old McD TV advertisement "Where's your beef?".

Now, since we have moved on from bonnie to bones, and now beef, I don't mind telling you I'm feeling rather peckish now, even though emak and I had a meal of Otai Burger earlier; while she had a chicken, I had a double beef. Maybe after 2 days without proper meal, both our bodies are craving for some real food. Now, don't get me wrong, or confused this part with the old man earlier as emak and I are still recovering from a minor bout of food poisoning we suffered late Wednesday evening. Due to this, I was unable to assist Doc Lo'Lo' in her Parliamentary preparation. Fat good I would be there, actually, for never have I seen any parliament papers, nor have I seen any sittings. But it would have been a good experience. Talking of which...though it may not succeed, the motion to remove an old bone from the Parliament is indeed much welcome. Let's hope it goes through and with it, the removal of the entire cabinet of old bones too. With them around, life, of late, has not been exactly bonnie.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

100 Days!

During the Ganu trip recently, Azman mentioned about the first 100 days of Pakatan Rakyat in Selangor, and of a comment by his friend "Why do you bother about what PR have done in their first 100 Days? Ask yourself 'What has BN done?'" (Apart from adding misery to the people!).

Received the below from the Lajnah Kebajikan dan Kemasyarakatan:

100 Days Celebration.
June 19: Maghrib and Tahlil at Masjid Taman Tun Abdul Razak.
June 20:
Morning - Carnival at the ground of Shah Alam Stadium, from 9am onwards.
Night - Ceramah by DSAI and Friends.
June 21, 8pm:
Forum at Dewan Kompleks Muhibah MPAJ, Tmn Nirwana, Ampang.
Speakers: YB's Azmin, Khasim, Iskandar, and Janice Lee.

Kindly inform all, thank you.

And from Doc Lo'Lo':
Meet The People.
Saturday & Sunday (21&22 June).
Led by Doc Lo'Lo', the PR will be meeting with the poor, single mothers, OKU, orphans, as well as the senior citizens; need more volunteers.
Those interested, please call Aishah (019 285 2723) or Shidah (019 211 4764).

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ganu June 13, 2008

She is an absolute beauty: Long, slim body that demand attention from all, strangers and kins alike. Her body moves gracefully as though swaying with the gentle breeze of the sea. Yet, she remains shy, almost afraid to reveal her true beauty to many. Perhaps, under her soft appearance, lies a secret to be told. One, that has helped her to mature and make her the lady she is. But I have yet to discover neither her full beauty, nor her secrets, yet.

We left Gombak at around 10.30am, making a 30minutes stop at the Genting Sempah R&R for a light meal. Less than 3hours later, we made another short stop at another R&R for a short break. Not accustomed to having a camera with me when I travel, I did not begin to take any shots until we reached Marang, where we stopped to buy Nira. (Please click to enlarge pictures).
The Nira was not fresh and had some pong when the bottle was opened.

Some of the dried delicacies on sale at the Nira stall. Being a food heaven, Ganu definitely is not.

Driving at an average of 100-110kmph - have to, with the 2 emaks as my passengers - we arrived at KT around 6pm and made our way to the Jambatan Sultan Mahmud to meet the owner of the Homestay, where we spent 2 lovely nights.
Another homestay unit being added at the rear of the one we stayed.
Front entrance of the homestay.

Staying in Pakatan Riverside Homestay was akin to renting an apartment or chalet. In fact, I would rate Pakatan as a better stay. Apart from the family privacy it affords, it is actually located on the banks of Sungai Terengganu! The family who owns and operates the place, also operates a fiberglass shipbuilding and jet ski enterprise. Encik Shahid, the eldest son, was very friendly and accommodating to us and we were very happy and thoroughly satisfied with our stay there; I would seriously recommend their homestay to anyone wanting to visit Terengganu.

Perhaps, the only downside - if there is any - is that they do not have a house fronting the sea. The lapping sound of the waves, can be soothing to the ears at night, serenading one to sleep. For the more creative mind, it may allow their creative juice to escape and be free of inhibitions.
Almost like home - with Astro and a complete kitchen, minus the goods.
I think this blue t-shirt mamat was trying to tow those jet skis to the river by himself!
Fortunately, Azman - my cousin, my uncle - was standing at the rear gate to the Olympic-size swimming pool behind the homestay.

Later that same evening, we went to a kopitiam (name not mentioned due to obvious reasons to be read later) which Makcik Yam had read in the papers. Well, she was actually craving for KB's White House Kopitiam but since we were not heading there, had to settle for a not so satisfying meal. And after the meal, while Azman and his family went off elsewhere, I took the 2 emaks to Pantai Batu Buruk for some night air.
(l to r) Makcik Yam, Emak, Midah, Jazlan, Abby and Azman
A strange concoction - teh tarik and a slice of orange fruit.
About the only notable dish - popiah kahwin.

While the 2 emaks talked their talk, I strolled the beach alone. On the way back, I saw an old man talking to the 2 emaks and saw my emak handing out some money to him. Dressed in sarong and a simple shirt, the man claims to be a patient at the hospital nearby and was suffering from a liver problem. I neither believe, nor disbelieve, as I was reminded of a story told to me on my first solo drive around the peninsular, reaching KT along the way.

Then, a certain official was riding his horse on the beach when an old man coming out of nowhere crossed his path. Perhaps taken by surprise, the official was enraged. He dismounted, went to the old man and slapped his face. The official then went back and mounted his horse. But as he did so, the horse stood on its hind legs throwing the official off. He fell to the ground and suffered a cracked skull. Leaving the hospital many months later, the official went back to the spot where he fell and waited for the old man to seek forgiveness - he did not find him. For many years after that, the official would walk the beach with the same intention, and at the same time handing out money to help the poor he finds there. I don't know how far true the story is, but take it as it is.

Anyway, next morning instead of the planned 2 cars to join the groom's convoy, only Azman and his family went - the 2 emaks decided not to go to rest their aching bodies. With age, I guess a good night's sleep was not enough to rest their body from a 6hours journey. Quite understandable, and I decided to follow suit. Only that, in the later part of the morning just before the ladies have their nap, I went off on my own to Batu Buruk. I could not venture far just in case the 2 ladies needs me. Further, I was also to bring their lunch.
The 2 lovely emaks.
Azman and his family.
Hmm...that same blue t-shirt guy who tried to tow those jet skis...again!
Wonder whose feet and bandaged toe this belong to?

Sitting alone absorbing the sounds and scenery of the beach was perhaps - to me - the highlight of the short stay there. I don't need to visit the Islam Hadhari Park, nor the masjids within, if visiting them was for the purpose of gawking at millions of ringgits that could have been better spent elsewhere. Did I not mentioned I love being alone with my thoughts only? I did not? Oh well...there were more, shall we say, subjects to look at and talk to; what's a visit to Ganu if one does not soak in the beauty.
Fiza and Yatie; 2, er...natural beauty.

If I had not, I don't think its fair to bore you with other details of the day there.

On Sunday morning before departing back, we had a delicious breakfast of Nasi Dagang and Nasi Kerabu.
The Nasi Dagang which was packed in cone shape, had me fooled for a moment thinking it was Nasi Tumpang.

Before leaving KT, we simply had to make 2 stops to buy keropok lekor - once in Losong, and the other along the way out of KT. The second stop, 007 stall, I would highly recommend, even if it is just for the sauce.
Can't say for anyone else, but I do like boiled and unfried keropok lekor.
A delight packing. Oops! I mean, being packed.
Boiled, then fried; not shaken, and not stirred: the 007 stall. Though their lekor is darker in colour, it definitely is tastier.

Now, were I traveling alone, I would definitely have made more stops, taking pictures of the scenic spots and the er...natural beauty, which is found in abundance in Ganu. But when one travel with the elderly, then one has to take into consideration of their needs.
A Satar stall at Kemaman. It was not Aziz Satar as bebee suggested as we could not find it.
Shots on the run - one hand on the wheel, while the other clicking away.

Ganu, insyAllah, one day I will return with a better camera and perhaps alone, as I have done in the past. When I do, I will seek your secrets and lay your beauty bare. SubhanAllah.

Stranger On Ganu's Shores

Well, not exactly. I've been there countless times and one of my earliest childhood memory was when we traveled from KB to Rantau Abang to watch the now nearly extinct Giant Leatherback Turtles(on our shores only). Another, was when we moved to KL from KB, spending a night at one of the many beaches there; but where, I do not know. Still, it was great to be back in Ganu.

Ok, no stories for now - will do so until I downloaded all the pics and till Azman email his to me. For the moment, enjoy the music and the lyrics below. But before that, thank you Cikgu and Doc TA for your concern and communiques. And thank you too shirzad for calling.

Stranger On The Shore - Acker Bilk
Here I stand, watching the tide go out
So all alone and blue
Just dreaming dreams of you

I watched your ship as it sailed out to sea
Taking all my dreams
And taking all of me

The sighing of the waves
The wailing of the wind
The tears in my eyes burn
Pleading, "My love, return"

Why, oh, why must I go on like this?
Shall I just be a lonely stranger on the shore?

The sighing of the waves
The wailing of the wind
The tears in my eyes burn
Pleading, "My love, return"

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Much Waited Friday

Last entry before I scoot off to KT...I think. With KP's meeting scheduled tonight and it, normally ending late, I don't know whether I can get on-line later. And woe me...I can't even join the Pemuda PR's march tomorrow. Been a very long while since I put on webtv8 hat, and I would really love to cover the event. But my priority is with emak. InsyAllah on 12 July though, come smoke and water, I'll be there. And I hope my friends will join too.

InsyAllah, by 9am tomorrow morning, emak and I will be going to Gombak to her sister's house, and perhaps by 10 only we'll be making our way. With emak and her sister sitting at the back, it sure would be nice to have someone else sitting up front with me. Don't get me wrong though. I don't mind the sitting arrangement, just that...well, I think my friends understand.

I do so love long distance driving especially along scenic highways. Unfortunately Malaysian authorities being what they are, they just don't seem to understand what natural beauty is. One of my most favoured spot was just before the climb up the Mantin Hill, along the old KL-Seremban road. It had small rolling hills which was sparsely decorated with trees, making it look more like the Swiss Alps, which off course, I have only seen pictures off, especially in the movie 'The Sound of Music'.

Another, is the East-West Highway which though not as scenic, is still beautiful nonetheless simply because it cuts through virgin jungle. Though once wild animals do cross the road, such scenes maybe rare now - I don't know as I have not been that way for more than 10 years now. And as much as I love the natural beauty of the jungle and hills, the drive along Terengganu coastal road should be rewarding enough, simply for vastness of the ocean scene of the South China Sea. Looking at the ocean alone, is simply breathtaking and takes the weight from one's mind, which incidentally, I was told by a pious man to do so to ease the mind. I believe he quoted it from a hadith about the sky actually, but one which I cannot recall for now.

But if ever I were to rate a highway which is scenic and eerily beautiful, then it must be the Santa Barbara Highway. Recovering from a personal trauma, I had butterflies in my stomach driving through it. The highway snakes through high cliffs almost all the way along the coast, which gives one the feeling of a dangerous romance with death. At times, thick fog would cover the landscape, giving one the thought of reaching the ends of the earth. Though it was a much welcome relief to reach the end of the highway, the memories of it lingers deep in my mind, and my stomach still churns at just the thought of driving through. Still, there is a longing to return. Perhaps when I do so, it will not be as striking; traveling a life, one should always come out the better.

ps. would have prefered Albert Hammond, but the audio was not satisfactory. But, ain't that life?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

In Advance

I had planned to write this earlier but somehow forgotten about it till today. So, I thought perhaps its wiser for me to do it now before I forget again. After all, I did miss the previous occasion recently, and will not be able to log in for this particular day until late at night.

During one of my working trips to Jakarta, the local business manager had offered to assist me around. As we were newly acquainted, we tried to find a common ground. And what other things could be more in common for the people of this world but food. As we were talking I asked about some of the colourful looking stalls we passed by, particularly what food they serve. The guy, Budi by the name, did not look enthused at all to my questions. Perhaps, I thought, he felt I might not like them. I soon drop the matter but after thinking out loud that some of the food at the stalls might be very tasty. The statement was not totally sincere, but I just wanted to make him feel easier.

That evening, around 7, he called my room and asked me to dress up for a meal outside. Trying to be a gracious guest, I accepted the invitation. Now, when I stepped out of my room, I had no idea at all where the destination would be, but guessed it would be one of those fastfood outlets. But to my astonishment, he drove into a small road, and parked right beside a food stall. At that moment, I remembered my earlier statement in the day, and my mind went like "oh, oh! Me and my big mouth!"

But since the host was being gracious to satisfy my curiousity, the guest should never say no. Thus, there I was enjoying the food ordered by Budi. Apart from being afraid of the drinking water served (hot lemon!), the food was actually good, and the stall is just like any stall one would find in Malaysia. After we've had the food, Budi drove me around for a while before dropping me off for the night. Before he drove off, he said he'll be coming at 9am the next morning to fetch me.

Next morning, I was ready and waiting for Budi at the predetermined time. Waiting...and waiting. At 9.25 or so, he gave me a call on the telephone to apologise for not being able to make it - he was suffering from diarrhea! Huh? I thought I was the foreigner! I later took a cab to his office - his officemates and I were had a good laugh on Budi, and a joke I cracked from a statement by Gusdur, the President then.

In a statement that was widely circulated in Malaysia then, the Indonesian President said "Ya, saya mahu menjadi kawan kepada semua bapak bapak di Malaysia", or something close to that.
My mind being my mind, suddenly shot back "Wah! Kalau begitu kata Pak Gusdur, saya kena berangkat pulang sekarang juga!"
"Menapa Pak?" asked one of the guys there.
"Ya...Pak Gusdur mahu berkawan dengan semua bapak bapak di Malaysia, tapi dengan saya tidak boleh!"
"Apa, bapak tidak suka sama Pak Gusdur?" asked one guy in a face that was showing his seriousness.
"Bukan...saya belum bernikah, lalu belum jadi bapak lagi!". My instantaneous reply was received by a roar of laughter, breaking the almost serious mood I had set in myself....much to my relief, off course.

Now, at this present moment, I sit here in front of my PC, writing this to wish all my friends out there, alphabetic wise: Accia's husband Pak Azlan, Cikgu, Dato' Jeff, Doc TA, Pak Kassim, Pak Idrus, Pak MB, Pak Mat Salo, Pak Mior, Pak Shah, Pak Zabs, Pak Zawi, Pak Nora, Pak shirzad, Ustaz Maszlee and many enjoy the song. And off course, several anons who dropped by with a comment or 2.

Happy Father's Day to all of you, and to all fathers in the world! And to you too, bro Zul, if you are reading this and that you are a family man.

Dangerous Time of the Month!

Back some many entries ago, I wrote about the shinyyellowish disc floating in the sky. Tonight, and these past few nights, I an beginning to experience it again. Thus, I tried to search for a Barbara Streisand song which strangely, not many have heard; the song, unlike the singer, is kind of elusive - lots of sites on Streisand, but none seem to have this song simply entitled 'Love', with the lyrics as below:

Love is real
Real is love
Love is feeling
Feeling love
Lave is wanting to be loved
Love is touch
Touch is love
Love is reaching
Reaching love
Love is asking to be loved
Love is you
You and me
Love is knowing
We can be
Love is free
Free is love
Love is living
Living love
Love is needing
To be loved
Hum... hum...

Hang on! I just remembered that the shiny yellowish disc floating in the sky won't be around till the middle of the month! Oh well, that, and in the absence of 'Love' on you tube, I guess the song below will have to do.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Time To Get Sentimental

After last night's entry and memories rekindled, I thought it would be good to listen to a rare oldie, one that use to love quite a bit. Unfortunately, I could not find a good and clear English version, so I guess this song in its original language will have to do. Can't understand a word though. Perhaps, its better that way.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

3 Times Bitten...

Was on the line with Doc TA earlier today and he asked about my trip to Terengganu. Told him it will only be next Friday (the 13th?), and only for the weekend. But then again, when I think about it, hmm...I might as well just not. Off course, that will not sit well with my cousin Azman, not to mention emak - we are supposed to go in 2 cars and rendezvous with many other cousins in KT. From there we are supposed to...what else, but that which Malays very much love to do - form a convoy to send a groom!

Now, don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against going for the wedding. Nor do I have anything against the state of Terengganu. In fact, I rate it as one of the best state to enjoy the sun. I mean, with miles and miles of white sandy beaches, the beautiful sound of ocean waves crashing on them, the nice friendly people...the east coast state is more like heaven compared to KL, with its agonising miles and miles of traffic snarls, the irritating sound of horns by impatient drivers trying to crash their way through, rude and high-strung people; yes, Terengganu must be where heaven is on earth. Except for...

Now, another reason why I have to make this trip, which outranks the wedding itself, is emak. No, its not because she'll beat me to a pulp if I don't, but...

Before her only brother passed away, emak had planned for a trip to Langkawi for she and her siblings. Somehow, she felt like it was going to be their last outing together, and they agreed to go, but the date was never finalised due to one reason or another. Time passed by too quickly. In mid December last year, emak's only brother passed away and with the sad turn of events, the trip was shelved for good - Langkawi was the only place in Malaysia aruah never had the chance to visit. Thus when emak mentioned about this trip, I gladly agreed to her request even though I now have this phobia not about the beaches, nor the nice friendly people there, but...

There is an old saying "Once bitten, twice shy". But being the knucklehead I am, I had to stretch it to 3 times. Hopefully there will not be a 4th time.

For some reasons which Allah s.w.t. only knows, going to Terengganu is like singing the song 'luka (luka) lama berdarah kembali'. Yes, it true - 3 failed affairs of the heart with those pretty lasses from the state of Terengganu. Hey! Its not like when I met these ladies for the first time, I asked which state they are from - it, just turned out that way. Though the fact that it turned out that way 3 times in a row, is something that puzzles me to this day. Hmm...must be a message there somwhere.

Back to the trip, perhaps what I can do is leave emak, her sister and my cousin in KT, while I drive on to KB. Sounds like a good idea, but I think not. Oh well, bring on the 4th!

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Many pet owners, for fear of tear to their expensive furnitures, have their pets declawed - the removal of claws from the pretty felines feet! Though the procedure is supposedly painless, I nevertheless think it is a cruel act, simply because animals that are supposed to have claws, have a need for them. God, has created each creature perfectly suited to its purpose and environment. And just because one value his furniture, or dress, or their own skin, that does not give one the right to such act.

Imagine, if you will, the moment we were born, our parents decided to have our tongues cut out, simply because they do not want to hear us bawling. The initial years may be bliss for them. But from then on...well, we suffer in silence as we can't talk! Not a pretty sight, is it? Further, while the procedure is supposedly painless, the poor creatures may feel the physical pain hours later. Er...I should know, as I was just declawed - had a toenail removed by a doctor.

Ever since 10-11 when my left foot suffered its longest problem, a toenail followed suit. I have tried numerous ways to mend the problem, but it continued plaguing me...till earlier this evening. On my last visit to Dr Bazam for the pain on my left leg, he suggested I have the toenail removed...declawed! Took me more than a month to decide, but finally decided on it last Tuesday, and had the appointment earlier today.

So, how do I know whether the post-procedure can be painful for those cats mentioned above? Well, its now about an hour after the procedure, and the toe is beginning to throb, and at times, quite madly too. I'm delaying taking the painkillers till later, where insyAllah, my sleep will not be interrupted. I am also praying that the small wound would heal sufficiently so that I can take part in the Carnival Rakyat, which, incidentally, is about pain as well...the pain of having the Sarkas around too long, sucking the blood of the people and the nation dry!

Now, imagine this: If each and everyone of us were to join the Carnival, we would be able to remove our pain, especially with regards to the after effects of the Petrol price hike! All we have to do is walk the streets in a peaceful and quiet manner, quite like many of us did during the 10-11. And if Sarkas does not want to go away, we will continue to walk and walk and walk.

For heaven's sake! Take a real look at the situation: the bloody Sarkas is already dying, and we are actually being merciful with them. Now, what's the medical term? Oh, Euthanasia, that's right! Because, if we don't do it, Euthanasia will be applied on us, by them. Except, they'll have no mercy about it. Just like what they are doing now.

OK, let's wheel! Oops! That's private kerpie's battle cry. I mean, let's samba. After all, we don't want to go dancing in the dark anymore, do we?

Street Carnival...Coming Soon!

Rio has theirs, and so does some cities in the US.

We had ours too! It was more beautiful and meaningful, and the streets were filled with waves of yellow. It was lovely, our 10-11 was. But this near future, there is even a bigger carnival being planned, and it involves everyone!

So, get your shoes ready, and join the Rakyat Street Carnival! Or whatever it will be called.

Don't just watch it, be part of the parade!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


As my friends who have been reading this blog would have known, I do keep fishes as pets which I lovingly look after every day. Day in and out, I feed them with dried grains which I buy from 2 fish shops along the Sungai Buloh Road. When I can, and I try to do it regularly, I give those fishes frozen redworms which I would pour hot water so that the fishes don't eat cold servings as living in the water, I think, can be cold enough already. But now, I have to think twice.

That's right, I am, like many of my fellow countrymen, am not a rich man. But even if I were, I think I'd be like the owners of those many luxury cars queuing at many petrol stations in their want to put in fuel before midnight. Petrol prices, as many would have known by now, are unlike the song Spinning Wheel, as rarely ever it comes down.

Now, I'm not going to berate about it as by now, maybe quite a number of people have already. What I would like to do however, is try to give tips - and hopefully get some too - about trying to save those precious RM's in liquid form. I also think there is no point telling people to buy a car with smaller engine capacity, as some makes of higher capacity are more fuel efficient than others, most especially the local production.

Off course, they will always be someone who would say 'no need to drive, take public transport'. Fine. But not everyone can take public transport. This would most certainly apply to people in sales and services, where many time rather than not, they would have to carry some items. Further, while public transport may save one on fuel cost, it may not hold true for time management.

OK. Foremost, make sure your engine are well-tuned - too high a rev would consume more petrol, while too low could mean a shorter lifespan.

When driving on the highway, try to get to the optimum speed - around 90 to 100kmph, depending on makes - and maintain it. Pressing and depressing the accelerator, or changing speed often, should be avoided as unnecessary fuel are being burnt.

When reaching a stop - toll booth, petrol stations, and even junctions - judge the distance, then coast your way to it. Simply means, if you are traveling about 90kmph and the distance is 200 meters aways, just lift your foot off the pedal and allow the car to carry through on its own momentum. Off course, you would have to adjust the speed with slight braking. Do not however, disengage your gear or put it in neutral! Doing so COULD mean losing control of the car and lead to mishaps.

From a dead stop, do not rev or accelerate to high speed. Rather, build up the speed accordingly - not too fast as you'll consume more petrol, nor too slow as you may be the cause of an accident. Driving slow too, does not necessarily mean you are saving fuel.

Avoid applying brakes unnecessarily. Many drivers do so due to their failure to anticipate either the driving condition, or the speed of the vehicles in front of them.

When the weather is sufficiently cooling, switch off your air-conditioner, and breathe in the fresh air...but not when driving behind a diesel transport!

Well, I guess that's all I can think of for the moment. Would appreciate anyone adding to it.

Oh, by the way, I think I misspelled the toll booth up there; believe the correct spelling comes with the letter 'R', as in Troll.

Found this 500 million Zimbabwe Dollar note at Rediff - World's Costliest & Cheapest Petrol.
Just hope our currency will never ever reach such low value.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Flayed Again.

Just when you thought the going was good, you discover it too good to be true - unknown.

Hmm...I guess if you've read the title and heard the song, that you know it's bad news. Minty, the lovely 'lady' ydiana wanted to put me with, is a guy!

Now, as much as I do love cats, I most certainly can't be going out with a guy cat, can I? But I've come to like Minty quite a bit, most especially after hearing the voice again and again. Kind of like the voice of a child. Still, it seems to be relationship that was destined not to be. So, to Minty, this next song goes to you.


Monday, June 02, 2008

Got A New Gal

Got a new gal! Strange thing is that we have yet to be introduced. No, really. This gal and I, well, a mutual friend is arranging the meet. Though I have seen only glimpses of her, I think she's a real beaut! She's also playful darling, and is not a chatterbox. Well, unless she's real hungry, I am told.Anyway, the mutual friend will be arranging a meet, where we will be left alone to get to know one another.

Now, since this gal does not go out much, I am thinking about taking her to my several places. She does, I would think, love the outdoors. So, the first place I'd take her would be some place like Janda Baik where the air is refreshing and the water cooling. Only thing is, I think she does not take to water like ducks would. Hmm...can be rather tricky there, so I'll have to thread carefully.

After spending some time there, we would go for a meal at Sate Shamsuri at the Jejantas Sungai Buloh. Only thing is that it opens rather late on certain days. If it does on that day, we'll just go to the one in Ulu Subang Jaya. I think that would be a better place as its more cosy.

Later on, we would go to see a movie...somewhere. Hey! I've not stepped into a cinema close to 5 years now, so kindly do excuse the cakapaje fella for not knowing which cinema to go to! Heck! I don't even know what's on at where! But its OK, I don't think she will mind.

Anyway, when its time to send her back, I'll park the car a distance from her house and would walk her back. Now, I think that would be nice and quite like the song too. I just hope she is the romantic kind of gal.

By the way, her name is Minty, and ydiana will be arranging the meet...I can only hope is that Minty is truly a gal. Otherwise, I would be in real trouble going for a date with a male cat! Jangan mare :)

Oh please, do listen to the guitar instrumental of the same song.

Another oh! Bebee, my high flying friend, has a new blog here, with some very interesting songs. Kindly do visit her there.