Saturday, September 27, 2008

Calling JACHFRINS - On Behalf of Cikgu Nazir

Some people say that friendship is like a commodity which can be bought or sold. Perhaps to them it is as their friendship too can be bought and sold. But true friendship is one that is lasting. It need not be present all the time, but when it is, it warms the heart beyond imaginable words. It can be borne out of a lifetime of knowing another, or a short particular period where the spirit of comradeship takes place. In rare occasions, it can be bonded within the wink of an eye. In whichever circumstance, true friends will remain as such and cherish their moments together, sometimes passing down the relationship built to their children. This, is especially true in friendships of old.

This entry, is dedicated to Cikgu Nazir and his friends, and their quest in searching for another - a bunch of young boys (then), who called themselves JACHFRINS during their schooldays in Bukit Mertajam. The picture below, was one taken during their final days in school and the story can be read here.
Of the boys in the picture, Cikgu and his friends are searhing for Radzi, who ironically is not in the picture. Perhaps, Radzi was the photographer. Still, if any visitors recognise anyone in the picture and do know of Radzi, kindly contact Cikgu at . May Allah s.w.t. reward you for your kind assistance.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Final: Beans Ununited vs People United

"Welcome come back viewers, to the greatest game ever in the history of Malaysia!" said the commentator Faisal Martin Salo as the cameraman focus on him.
"Right! As we await the 2 teams to come up on pitch for more exciting moments in the extra time, let me introduce you to my 2 new colleagues who will be helping me here. Both, are already well known to everyone already and I should just ask you to welcome Fergie Nazir and Arsne Kerpie! Welcome! Welcome..."the camera pans out to show all 3 gentleman well seated at the window overlooking the fabulous soccer pitch at Bukit Jalil Stadium.

"Gentlemen," adds FMS "what have you got to say about the exciting match just now?"
"Er...before we begin", quips in Fergie Nazir "what happened to the other commentator here just now?"
"Den Cakapaje, you mean?"replied FMS "Oh, he decided to go down to the pitch and be our man there!"
"Den Cakapaje? You mean the guy's from Melaka?"
"Oh no! He's a born and bred Selangorian. Just that, well, he fancies himself to be like Dan Rathers, a famous newscasters from CBS." said FMS with a wide grin, as FN slaps his forehead in disbelief and whispering to himself "Oh well...".
"But let's get on to the match, especially for our late viewers" FMS cuts in quickly, hoping viewers would not notice FN's reaction.

"Now viewers," said FMS "Beans Ununited and the People are currently tied even at 4 each. But, fans of the People are crying foul as 2 of their goals have been rules offside while all 4 goals from BU looks suspiciously to be so. Let us now hear what these great gentlemen we have hear have to say about it. Arsne Kerpie, let us start with you..."
"*&@#*$)"growls AK with words that are hardly audible, minding the fact that he is on live TV. "Of course the BU goals are illegal...all of them! The 3rd goal was scored with a hand, but the match officials have strangely allowed it!"
"Well," FN interjects "I do not find it strange, actually. In fact, had they disallowed that goal, only then I would think so. I see those match officials to be bias from even before the game. Their wearing dark blue colours for example, I see that a delibrate attempt to confuse the PU players who are wearing all blacks."
"Now, that's an interesting point...the PU wearing all blacks. Why that colour?" ask FMS.
"Let me reply that" said AK while grabbing the microphone. "The PU are wearng all black as a sign of protest at having their brilliant midfielder sent off during the semi finals. Yes, in fact, we should all be wearing black in support to Rakyat People Kamaruddin, instead of the yellow of the fans."
"But you are also wearing yellow, as I am" siad FMS.
"True. But when we planned for yellow, we did not know RPK would be banned for this final match as well" retort FN. "We only received the news this morning but by then it was too late to change. That, is why the fans are in force here wearing yellow."

"Talking about the fans," FMS said as he directs the camera to the stands "the yellow wave fills only about a quarter of the stadium. The rest, I see the blue colours of Beans Ununited. How is this so?"
"Well...*#@$()*^@$" this time AK just could not control his tongue, "if you look outside the stadium, the PU fans have been locked out by stadium officials even though they hold genuine tickets for this match! This is another attempt by BU to give a false impression of PU's strength!"
"I agree with AK" said FN. "I honestly believe the stadium officials should have used the indelible ink to mark genuine ticket holders."
"But...if so, then who are those people wearing BU colours then?"
"&&(@() foreigners, I tell you!" shouted AK.
"Ok, we will have to cut this short now as I see some players coming back onto the pitch" said FMS as the camera director punch in another camera's shot onto the main screen.

On the field, all 11 players of People United walk slowly to their side where Ziza, Idah, Rawna holds a brief discussion while Daylight Kit juggles with a ball with his feet. On the other side, Halkap and Bijan are the only BU players seen with the rest still in the changing room. The referee is seen talking to BU officials.

"There seem to be some confusion down there," said the voice of FMS "let's try to get Den Cakapaje to get us the story. Den, what can you tell us?"
"Well," shouts DC as he tries to make himself heard through the roar and din of not only inside the stadium, but outside as well as thousand of yellow t-shirt fans wait in full hope for a well deserve victory. "It seems, the BU players had a scuffle between themselves just now and their officials are still trying to sort matters."
"Do you know what the trouble is all about?"
"Yes, I was informed by a BU official that the players have a disagreement on 2 matters! First, none of them wants the role of striker; then, they want the captain armband worn by someone other than Halkap or Bijan!"
"Over the hill, are they?" ask FMS.
"That's the story I have. Both, Halkap and Bijan thinks they are in the same mould as Roger Milla, and have refused to bow down. Their botak goalkeeper, that Yu Botak Bodoh, thinks he is one too! But hold on...yes, the BU players are coming back on pitch. Yes, there they are and the referee is counting each as they come on. Yes, we now have all...17 BU players on pitch?"
"17? Are you sure?"
"Yes, I've made a count and a recount. The referee's allowing BU to have 17 players on the field!"

"Hang on, hang on!" cuts in FN. "Is this a soccer match we are having?"
"Off course it is" the reply however, comes from a BU official. "We make the rules here and we'll show you how soccer is played," and he walks off throwing a rugby ball to one of the BU players.

For RPK and the many still held under ISA.
Say No to ISA!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Of Flags and Bystanders

Free Online Dictionary states: Bystanders are a person present but not involved; onlooker; spectator.

Honestly, I do not know how to begin this. But let me do so by saying what I'm about to write is not aimed at anyone in particular, and neither is it done with hatred. In anger, perhaps. But not hatred. Even then, I have deferred writing this ever since Sheikh Kick de fella was arrested as I was filled with anger, especially towards some bystanders who not only do not understand the reasons of Sheikh's act, but put it loud for others to hear or read. Had they done so in private I may have not given them much thought, as everyone is entitled to their opinion. But when they do so within the earshot of many, or blogged their minds to it in disgust, I feel their actions were done spontaneously without much thought to the truth of the situation. Like the other day when I was in a queue waiting to pay some utility bills.

Standing in queue directly behind me, 2 young guys were talking out loud about the issues of the day without bothering to lower their voice in respect to the many who were present in the Post Office. While one spoke with a Texan drawl, the other was with an Aussie slang. Both, I presume, are fresh grads and seem very much proud about having studied abroad. Initially I could only smile to myself listening to their brags; they remind me about the time when I was stuck in an 8seater plane filled with some Yankees who have never ventured out of their country, save for a nurse who had just returned from duty in Saudi Arabia. When the Yankees began talking about how great their country is compared to the world, I decided to close my eyes and ears, thinking that this bunch of people are either very naive or decidedly ignorant. But I could not do the same - shutting my eyes and ears - whilst in the Post Office. And when they got to the part of Sheikh, criticising and deriding him with some abusive names, I listened hard hoping to hear some points to justify the topic of their conversation...there were none. By that time, anger was seething within me and I asked them point blank "Have you been following Malaysian politics and do you know the merits of Sheikh's case?" They replied they do not. And when asked how is then they know of Sheikh, they replied they heard it on the TV News. Not wanting to argue with them, I asked that they read his reasons of action as written by Sheikh himself (read here), and understand it first before coming out with their own views.

Now, I may not condone to the act of displaying the flag upside down as Sheikh and several other bloggers did. But at the same time, I understand their feelings and do not condemn them for their actions, simply, when compared to the wrongdoings and misdeeds of the government itself are far too many and worse off than the disrespect Sheikh showed to the flag. Futhermore, if you read his own admission in the link above, though he stands firmly on his actions, he does so with full regret and is equally sad about it. But it is something which he found a need to do so.

Surah Al-Kahfi verse 60-82*, tells of a story about Prophet Musa a.s. and Haidir (Khidir to some spellings. According to some scolars, Haidir was a Nabi but not a Rasul, wallahualam). A brief description about their meet is that Musa a.s. could not understand the 3 actions taken by Haidir a.s., and questioned them at the end of each: Haidir bore a hole in a small boat; slay a young man; and despite the seemlingly dreadful crimes, suddenly turned righteous by rebuilding a half-fallen wall. In the end they parted company as Musa a.s. had reneged a promise not to question the actions taken by Haidir a.s. The latter however, did explain his actions as can be read here.

Now, undoubtedly Sheikh is not a Nabi, and what he did is nowhere near to the actions taken by Haidir a.s. But what Sheikh did, he did so in protest to a law that was passed without much thought to the plight of low wage earners in the retail sector of the petroleum industry in Malaysia. Sheikh was, standing up for these people who are being forced to look for new jobs at a time when the economy is not doing very well. I do suspect however, this is not the only point in Sheikh's objection. As I have mentioned in a past entry, there have been too many irregularities in the BN government. Perhaps, those 2 young grads who were too busy with their studies, were merely being bystanders to the events in Malaysia without bothering to find out the truth, subjecting their minds to the mainstream media manipulation of events. If so, then they can no longer be mere bystanders as they have unwittingly gotten themselves involved simply by listening to one side of the story and making bias comments about it.

Soon after Sheikh did what he did, the PM commented on TV that such act is considered 'biadap!'. True, it may be so. But between being biadap to the flag and being biadap to a fatwa, which is worse? (I'm assuming that visitors to my blog are Muslims). Although there is already a fatwa against the laying or wreath and 'bertafakur' especially at the Tugu Negara, the PM defied the fatwa. Should not bystanders - those who are disgusted and aghast at Sheikh's action - be more so at the PM's? If so, I did not hear nor read anyting about it from them. (read here and here).

Or, take the case of lying and cheating to the people. In one case, MAS was reported to be paying some RM15 (or is it 50) for a tray of Nasi Lemak to be served to their passengers. Whichever of the 2 prices, they are both overly charged. I wonder who the caterers are when in fact, MAS at one point of time, had an in house and profit-making catering division. Also, a company related to the PM, was given a 15years contract to supply food to the Army, which is kind of bizarre when contracts are usually never given for such a long period. I would think this is more biadap as it tantamount to lying and cheating the people of Malaysia; whose money do you suppose are being used to pay the bills after all? (read related MAS issue here)

Or, recently that Bijan fella announced a bonus to Felda settlers saying it is out of the goodwill of the government, but when you consider this report here, that tantamount to another bloody lie. Another biadap act, I would say.

Recently, the MP for Titiwangsa, Dr Lo'Lo', requested the list of hardcore poor identified by DBKL which the good Doctor would like to offer some form of assistance, true to her role as a Member of Parliament. In a biadap reply, DBKL rejected the request stating that the list belong to them, implying it is for their use only. Hello! Does that not also imply that those hardcore people also belong to them? They way I look at it, it does to me. Perhaps, a new form of slavery where the poor would be forced to feel indebted (and belonging) to a certain party only. (read here).

Let's not forget about Teresa Kok's case where the government said it was solely Police discretion to detain her under ISA, based on a newspaper as well a blog's entry. But not so recent in the past, I distinctly remember the Police issuing a statement that they cannot take action against anyone merely based on articles in newspapers or blogs. How is this so now? Who is lying and who is being lied to? Not biadap? (read here). And while we are on the ISA, that there are still more than 60 people detained under the deplorable act on mere suspicions alone. Is that not a bigger biadap? (read here).

When the government withdrew the petrol subsidy according to surge in world price, they did so without much thought to the consequences of their act. Now that the world oil price has dropped to below USD100, they keep mum about it, preferring to study the market direction before lowering current price. As I have stated in a past entry, Singapore has at least twice brought down their domestic petrol price. And that city-state, is a non-producing oil country! Don't you consider that inaction by our government to be biadap, riding on the the hardship of their own citizens?

There are perhaps a thousand and one more instances where the government is more 'biadap' for a single individual to remember. Perhaps, Maverick's entry here suffice for the moment to cap my point (and his, as well as many others). The thing again is, how is it I don't hear or read all this from those bystanders? If you do not know where to find such news of abuse of power and corruption, just click on my readscentral. There's about a hundred links there where perhaps 2 out of 3 will have one news or another.

Before anyone gets the idea Sheikh and I are buddies, please note that the only link we have is a mutual friend by the name of Hazrin, a film producer cum director, and one that I mention some months back. Other than that, I only know Sheikh as the Kick de fella guy. But sure as hell I will not kick him for this flag issue here.

* Thanks to Doc TA for pointing out the relevant verse.

ps. When I wrote 'A Play' , scene 2 (Pipes and Hydrant), it was specifically meant for these 'bystanders'; people who know nuts about nuts, but think they hold a Masters Degree in it already.

Raya Cookies Time!

No, this is not a sarkas political gimmick. With Raya approaching soon, I thought I'd just help a friend, and a bakery I just found in Gombak area which sell good looking, great tasting Raya cookies. The prices of the 2 are comparatively low especially when one consider Alin's brother - the friend - makes lovely homemade faemesAhy cookies.
That the banner for the cookies up there. To know more, kindly do visit Alin's entry here. Perhaps it may interest some to note that Alin is the wife to Zunar, a political cartoonist who does not need any introduction.


And if you need some good old fashion coookies like the Biskut Mazola but are unable to find any, Hidayah Bakery in Gombak is the place to go. Situated in Taman Samudera and quite near to the Giant Hypermarket, Hidayah Bakery offers a wide range of cookies such as Almond London and many more which they sell at wholesale price. Its also a good time for anyone interested to make some small fortune. Do visit their website at

Friday, September 19, 2008

Charge of The Sarkas Brigade

Cikgu's entry here helped lent an idea to this entry.

In a fictionalised battle that could well be reminiscent to a real life situation, newly appointed General Halkap, brought his brigade of the 5th Sarkas Rangers up the slopes of Putrajaya Hill for a better defensive position. An open terrain of some 300 meters wide all around the hill would give the men ample time to spot and mercilessly shoot down any enemy approach. Such, must have been the thought of the General, who, like most self-deluded leaders in history, now command an army not only in the hope that it would bring him honour in the eyes of his followers, but also that it - the army - would not be used against him at any point later. The fact that the only thing he knows about military affairs were from the books of 19th Century wars he read, were of little consequence to him. Or, to anyone by his reckoning.

Soon as all the units have reached the top, General Halkap called for his Second-in-Command, Colonel Bijan, a man afflicted with same delusion as the General, but off course, about himself rather than his commander. In a manner of speaking, Colonel Bijan may have made a better commander as he has had some experience with the military, albeit a rather controversial and explosive one.
"Form a Square!" ordered the General.
"But Sir," objected Bijan "this is crazy! That defensive formation has been made obsolete in modern warfare!"
"Don't you ever object nor countermand my orders, Bijan! I can have you replaced as easily as I can indict you in court (martial). So, be a good officer and have the men form the Square."

No sooner had the men formed the Square, they begin to hear the humming and clanking sounds of armoured vehicles all around them. The sounds grow larger by the minute and the soldiers in the ranks and files soon begin to perspire in fear and anticipation of the enemy.
"General," cried an officer "the enemy have brought up their armour! There is no way we can ward them off with light weapons!"
"He is right, General Sir!" said Bijan. "We need a change of tactics! What are your orders?"
"I...I, don't know!" replied the General. "I was hoping to hand you the command soon after this battle, but now..."
"Let me have the men for now, Sir!" cried Bijan as the noise of the armour steadily drowns his voice. "You will still be Commander-In-Chief, but let me take the men to the enemy!"
"Very well, Bijan" replied General Halkap, "the men are yours for now. We shall talk of your command after this battle. Go! Go and bring us victory."

Just as Bijan were about to issue an order, the armoured vehicles of the enemy comes into view. The men of the 5th Sarkas Rangers faces turned white at the sight of Challenger tanks accompanied by Strykers and the ageing Bradleys. All around them were metal monsters of death and not a flesh of the enemy can be seen.
"Men of the 5th Sarkas Rangers!" cried Bijan at the top of his voice, "fix bayonets! Chaaarge!". Those were the last words of a Pekanite, immortalised in comedy sketches and books of Fools, as a reminder to Malaysians to the idiocies of 2 leaders of the past.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Another Story of Old

Over dinner just now, Emak tells me of an old story in reference to the current scenario now. It is an old story told over generations, and was told to Emak by her mother many decades ago.

Once, there were 2 individuals by the name of Haji Bebal and Abu Dajjal. These 2 grew up and lived in the same village somewhere in the mideast. As the story goes, both men are not well off to do. And as the names suggest, one was not too bright a fellow, while the other is certainly not a saint.

One day, while AD was playing in the desert, he noticed HB walking alone and decided to follow him from a distance. After a short while, AD observed HB digging a hole and later, crouching beside it. After HB had gone off, AD approached the spot where HB dug the hole and saw HB had scrawled something on the sands which read "There is no money hidden here - HB."

AD, keeping to his namesake, dug the hole and took all the money. He then covered the hole and then scrawled "I did not take the money - AD".

Since HB's note mentioned that there was no money there, and AD admitting not taking any, the case was rejected when brought to the courts.

Emak told this story in referrence to a change of portfolio by some people of late. I guess, one does not have wonder far to guess who.

ps. Got a text from Elviza:
Solidarity vigil in front of Commercial Crime at 8.30pm, 18 September 2008.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Play

The actor stood on the stage with both hand clasp at the chest. "The Day!" he said loudly as his right hand reached out to the empty seats of the amphitheater, save for several people sitting in small clusters.
"No! No! You fool! Its not The Day, its D Day!" cried another actor on the stage.
"The Day!" said the first actor again.
"No! No! How many times must I say it, it is D Day! D, as in Donkey!" again cried the 2nd actor as they rehearse for a play consisting of several small sketches. And while they were at it, 2 people sitting in front were busy talking.

"What's this to be?" asked kerpie, one of the 2 men.
"It says in the synopsis that the 2 are arguing about the proper pronunciation of the military term", replied Nazir.
"You mean as in Normandy? Man, that's like **** old, don't you think?"
"Kerpie, the date is not the issue here, but the message they are trying to get across".
"Oh! OK, I can buy that then. So, what's next?"
"Next!" Nazir shouted to the stage. "Its about a broken pipe or hydrant, I don't know."
The stage rotate slowly, bringing an end to one sketch while introducing another.

3 men in overalls looked busy working on a long pipe that stretches two-third of the stage, and another dressed casual walk towards them.
"What are you guys doing?" ask Aje in a high pitch voice. "That pipe is not broken! Its the hydrant there that needs fixing, not this pipe", and he points to a hydrant on stage where several children were playing around in a scene that is suppose to portray a very hot day in the city. But instead of water gushing out of the hydrant, the stagehands use confettis and a huge blower; it just wouldn't do to have the stage flooded with real water, not with electric cables lying around, or the thought of getting the audience wet.
"Hey! Are you listening to me," cried Aje. "That pipe is not broken, why are you fixing it instead of the hydrant?"
One of the men in overall stood up. Much to Aje's surprise, the guy stood tall in front of him. Real tall, and Aje found himself looking straight at the man's chest.
"Look here you scrawny little man. We've been working on this site more than 12hours now. Yeah, we see the hydrant. But its not broken...we simply opened it to give the people here a respite from the heat! You live around here?"
"" replied Aje as he was trying to control his fear. "Just visiting a friend".
"A visitor! You don't know what's going on and you want to act clever by showing us the obvious, is that it?"
The man continued even before Aje could reply "You see that pipe? Its been there more than 20years now and has accumulated lots of stress. See that cable? Well, we just put it there along with the beams below to arrest the stress..."

"What's this all about then? Think it will sell?" asked kerp to a blank looking Nazir.
"OK, next!"
Again the stage rotate slowly to intoduce another sketch.

The lights of entire theater was dimmed to the minimum and an eerie silence fell. After several moments of darkness, the entire theater revebrated to the sound of a song by M Nasir.

"Woi! Kau buat apa?" shouted a voice from the darkness on stage.
"Aku junjung langit! Kau siapa?" replied another.
"Aku? Aku lah langit! Yang kau junjung aku ni apahal, beb?"
"Aku wira bangsa..." before the 2nd voice could finish his reply, the first voice cuts in.
"Di mana bumi ku pijak...yada yada."
"Woi! Kau tahu tak aku ni yang kau junjung tu, dah nak roboh?"
"Ya! Aku tahu! Kerana itulah aku ada di sini...akan ku pertahankan bumi ini hingga ke titisan akhir."
"Alahai..."moaned the first voice, "wira idealis rupanya".
"Woi! Kau tahu tak engkau ini bak mencampak garam ke laut?"
"Apa pulak?"
"Woi! Aku ni dah rosak. Engkau tengok sekeliling aku...penuh dengan lubang lubang ozon. Engkau tidak terdaya menjunjung aku! Dah terlalu banyak kerosakkan berlaku pada aku disebabkan bangsa engkau sendiri!"
"Jadi...jadi apa haru aku lakukan?"
"Woooi! Engkau buang segala tunggul tunggul yang ada di tempat engkau dan gantikan dengan tiang-tiang yang kukuh. Dan engkau bisikkan kepada tiang tiang baru itu agar mereka ingat sikit pada Yang Maha Berkuasa!"

Nazir looked at Kerpie. But Kerpie was already beginning to doze off. "Next!" shouted Nazir.
"Huh? What happened? asked Kerpie, awaken by Nazir's loud voice.
"Nothing. That's why I called for the next sketch. You might like this one though."

This time, instead of the stage rotating, the curtains were dropped down and the theater was litted again. A small girl, about 5 or 6 years, stepped out from the curtain and made her way to Kerpie.
"Dey macha," but his eyes were still fixed on the girl "what gives?"
"Tengok saja lah" said Nazir.

Soon, the girl stood right in front of Kerpie and grinned to him, revealing 2 missing front teeth. In the background, Kerpie began to hear a music which sound peculiar. The girl curtsied to the 2 men, and began singing.
"All I want today is to oust Sarkas!
Oust Sarkas!
Oust Sarkas!
All I want today is to oust Sarkas!"...

Mentera Semerah Padi 04 (bersama Spider) - M Nasir

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sharks! (Or Is It Shucks!)

Sharks, are said to be mean killing machines. Ruthless and efficient, they are unlike predators on land who may have to starve for days before succeeding in a hunt. Sharks on the other hand, have a near perfect killing ratio. But they do have a main weakness, if we can call it that. Sharks, do not have a ballast system to keep it buoyant. Hence, they find the constant need to swim, or sink to the bottom. To make matter worse, certain species of the shark are unable to breathe while in a state of motionless.

About 2 days ago, I was in a queue at a cashier of a hypermarket. There were not many people as one would normally expect. Perhaps, it was near middle of the month where most people normally don't shop. And perhaps in knowing this, the manager of the hypermarket decided to have only several cashiers opened. Anyway, soon after the guy in front of me moved off, I began to unload my cart onto the conveyor belt, only to be stopped by the cashier. It seems, the belt was not working and he requested that I unload my stuff nearer to him. Not a problem.

As I was unloading, a middle aged Chinese lady stood in queue behind me. I looked at her and we both smiled at each other. Then I said "The belt's not working. Thus, the store is giving everyone a discount". It was an icebreaker, and it bloody well worked as it had her in small stitches. Not only were we friendly after that, but she voluntarily assisted me in unloading my cart.

Not all sharks are man-eaters. In fact, the number of species that are, are much smaller than those not. However, if there is a specie widely feared by many, it has to be the Great White. It, is said to be the ultimate killing machine of the depths.

Normally, a shark such as the Blue Shark, would circle its prey in an ever tightening loop before launching a head-on attack. In doing so, the fins of the shark protrudes menacingly for all to see. But the Great White, executes in a different manner.

Before heading home, I headed to a nursery farm along Jalan Sungai Buloh to get several packs of fertillisers Emak had asked for. Since the road is being upgraded to a dual carriageway, certain stretches of it are notoriously congested with traffic, especially heavy vehicles carrying tons of earth either to or from a worksite. This, as it otherwise normally does, gives pedestrians a hard time crossing the busy road most especially since it is now wider.

At the RRI junction, I was in a queue of cars trying to either turn into RRI or make a U-turn. On the opposite direction from Subang, a huge truck came into view. Normally, drivers of such monstrosity would not give a hoot to other road users, what else if you are pedestrian. This driver however, proved to be an exception.

As there was a small break between his truck and the vehicle upfront, he flicked his headlights with long beams. In driver's language, this means he is allowing the traffic ahead to have the right of way. When the truck came to halt, the driver put out his dark hands and waved a group of pedestrians across.

Maybe one would not give much thought to the driver's chivalry. But at a time when certain people are stoking the fire of racism, trying to instill fear into the hearts of the people, I see a mountain out of this molehill; the driver of the truck it seems, was a nice Indian chap. The pedestrians on the other hand, were a mixed group of elderly Malay couple and some young Chinese primary school students. My point is: What the bloody heck was a leader of some obscure NGO talking about on 8pm News on TV3 just now? What racism?

I liken the the hot air the sarkas keeps blowing out to the shark's ballast system*.

The very sight of a shark's fin protruding out of the water strikes fear into the hearts of many. Perhaps, quite like before a submarine launches its torpedo attack, the captain has to peer the precise location of its target. But unlike the submarine which stays a safe distance away, the shark itself is a living torpedo.

During breaking of fast just now, emak mentioned her worries about not reading any statements from Anwar of late. She, a hard copy reader, finds little interest in the use of PC's, what else the Internet. To ease her worries, I gave her the shark analogy.

Once the Great White have identified its victim, it moves into the attack phase. The prey, may be lulled into a false sense of security seeing the absence of the menacing fin and in fact maybe jubilant about it and drops his guard, which when one come to think about it - being on guard, that is - is utterly useless when a hungry shark is around.

To strike, a Great White would normally move into the depths and come rushing up straight at its victim. It is silent till the very moment it makes contact. The prey or victim, would in all probability be taken in by the shock of the attack, though it is has been observed it to be normal for the prey to strike back. When they prey does, it would try to go for the eyes. But in there, lies the irony of it all.

The shark's body is lean and as aerodynamic as any waterborne creature can be. As mentioned earlier, its body itself, is the torpedo in an attack of purposeful destruction of a prey. However, it finds the need to protect its most weakest spot which is the eye. And for that purpose, Allah s.w.t. has given it lids to do so; at the very last moment, the shark is blind for all intent and purpose. The success of its strike lies solely on the input it fed to its brain much earlier. To the victor, belongs the spoils - if its the shark, he gets to eat; if its the prey, he gets to live another day.

But mind you, DSAI or Pakatan Rakyat for the matter, is not a shark.

*Back in the mid 1970's when the Penang Aquarium was newly opened, I was informed that they had a 'yu bodoh' as one of the exhibits. Up to recent, I have never figured what it is. Guess now, I know.

I wrote this entry half sleepy. After reading Eskapisminda's comment, I found that I had actually cut corners in the last description. While its true that at the moment of an attack sharks become temporarily blind, it is not entirely true it is due to the lids.

The eyes of a shark is place at the rear of its snout and jaws. When a shark open its jaws, the snout is pushed upwards to the back. This action causes the eyes to roll in and the lid effect takes place.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sumbat and Sumbat Again!

Of recent, I have been feeling very guilty whenever I look at the fishes in the tank at home. The guilty feeling sunk deeper after I bought a couple of Lionhead Fish. Oh, they are still alive and even look somewhat happier swimming about in a tank which is undoubtedly larger than the ones in the fish shop. Like the Swordtails, Loaches, Tetras, and Mollies, the 2 Lionheads are like many living beings, find the need for compassion, especially from a fellow living being, especially a biped that goes by the name Human. After all, were we not appointed to be Khalifah - holding a trust to manage a just society which include, the flora and fauna, and the lands and even bodies of water on and in it? Surely if we are to hold true to this, then we must exercise an even greater care towards fellow humans, irrespective of their belief or skin colour. But sadly this has not been the case with a government that claims itself as civilised (hadhari).

Irrespective of what one may feel and think of another human, one is bound to be give him fair treatment especially in matters of conflict. When we reflect back in history, then we may be surprised to find that fair and equal treatment were already in practiced by people living in an age where education is considered a luxury rather than a need. During the times of Saidina Umar r.a., he accused a Jew of stealing his battle armour. But because he could not provide proof of ownership, the judge ruled in favour of the Jew. That, happened while Saidina Umar was reigning as the Khalifah of a growing Islamic nation. Yet, he did not use the powers of his office to overturn the verdict, nor to harm the Jew. Today however, several leaders stoop lower than a barbarian in the Dark Ages, using force and cruelty onto the people they have been sworn to serve, merely to put a stop to the truths from being revealed to the public, or to they - the leaders - themselves. Hiding behind their stooges and the cruel ISA, they swooped down on 3 people whose guilt, is very much questionable to the public: What, are their real crimes?

I may not know all 3 personally, but I have had the pleasure of being with RPK on several occasions, and even interviewed him twice whilst with webtv8. On one occasion, I even teased him as being an anarchist. But that, an anarchist, he is not. RPK, is a man strong in his convictions and can be more than a trifle loud with his words. Yes, he may have crossed the lines at one point of time or another. But haven't we all? Or do we think that we are saintly creatures who have not committed a single wrong in our life? Do bear in mind, the very act of NOT doing something for or towards the betterment of a person or persons who may be in dire need, is wrong itself. And the very act of NOT doing anything towards curtailing or prevention of a misdeed is also wrong. If we can agree with the 2 statements, then what have each of us done to expose the wrongdoings and abuses of this government? Or has the government been squeaky clean all this while? What about the BMF scandal and the murder of Allahyarham Ahmad Nordin while investigating it? What about the wanton destructions of Suraus, homes, and places of worship simply because the land that was resided were awarded to a developer who cared hoots about the people living there?

Though its been rather recent, many too seem to have forgotten about the loss of nearly a billion ringgit in the The Crooked Bridge fiasco. Or much earlier - and this is for the Malay Nationalist - that Bank Bumiputra was swallowed by a bank smaller to it in terms of assets and manpower, and that the smaller bank is related to a politician; do you remember that? Or even that BBMB was 'systematically' destroyed by members of the sarkas who saddled the bank with huge debts that may have been written off already. If RPK truly did insult Islam, why wasn't he, as adviced by a certain Mufti, brought in for counselling? Heck, why didn't they charge him in the Syariah Courts, then? Perhaps, we have forgotten that a certain leader in the 1990's clearly insulted Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. and many of us decided to keep mum about it. And that an illegal regime cricket's team was invited to Malaysia where a group of Malaysians protested and in turn, was dragged off into Kamunting Camp. There are, far too many crimes and questionable acts committed by the government itself for one to remember comprehensively. The question is, have the 'crimes' of RPK been above all stated? Let's take another glaring example then.

When Tan Hoon Cheng reported what a clown from Bukit Bendera said, it was Tan who was arrested instead of the clown. Alhamdulillah, Tan was reported to have been released already. But the question remains: Was it wrong for her, as a reporter, to jot down criminal words mentioned by another? If not then, how is it the real perpetrator is still at large?

Teresa was said to have issued a directive which supposed raised the ire of Muslims in Selangor. For that, she has been brought in with the use of the repulsive ISA. In contrast to what was reported as well as her supposed crime, I reproduce a comment found here, and then let us together ponder on what actually is the crime commited by the YB.


Adalah saya selaku nazir Masjid Kota Damansara dan jawatankuasa ingin merujuk kepada isu larangan penggunaan azan oleh orang bukan islam yang kononnya didalangi oleh Teresa Kok @ DAP seperti yang diwar oleh Melayu Net dalam laman ini dan juga kenyataan Bekas Menteri Besar Selangor (Khir Toyo) dalam Utusan Malaysia bertarikh 9.9.2008.

Pihak jawatankuasa masjid melihat isu yang sengaja ditimbulkan oleh pihak yang kecewa ini berniat jahat, fitnah dan cuba menimbulkan suasana tidak harmonis dan prajudis dikalangan pelbagai bangsa di Kota Damansara.

Adalah amat malang lagi dangkal seorang bekas Menteri Besar (Khir Toyo) boleh mengutip khabar angin (berita sampah) lalu bersedia untuk menjadi jaguh mempertahankan islam. Walhal sejarah telah terpahat tentang isu menutup surau, menangkap penceramah, mengadakan pelbagai sekatan terhadap perkembangan syiar islam, zakat dijadikan senjata mengugut pelajar Al-azhar yang tidak sehaluan (banyak lagi) sewaktu beliau berkuasa di Selangor dulu.

Sebenarnya apa yang berlaku bukan atas tekanan dan bantahan oleh orang bukan islam, tetapi sistem pembesar suara masjid dalam proses ujian oleh pihak kontraktor. Untuk makluman semua Masjid Kota Damansara baru 2 minggu digunakan. Sudah pasti terdapat kekurangan dan kelemahan disana sini. Masih dalam jaminan pihak kontraktor selama setahun. Disamping itu, berlaku masalah elektrikal pada pembesar suara ekoran masalah cuaca baru-baru ini.

Bagi mengatasi untuk tujuan kuliah, tarawikh, tazkirah dsbnya, pihak masjid berterima kasih kepada Pengurusan Sekolah Menengah Seksyen 10 Kota Damansara yang bersedia meminjamkan PA Sistemnya. dan telah digunakan dengan sempurna. Insya-Allah sistem pembesar suara masjid dalam proses pembaikan dan dijangka siap pada hari ini (9.9.2008) mengikut janji kontraktor. Namun untuk mengatakan azan tidak kedengaran langsung adalah satu pembohongan kerana pihak masjid menyambug sistem tersebut ke menara.

Justeri itu, pihak masjid meminta Melayu net dan pihak berkenaan memohon maaf diatas fitnah jahat tersebut yang menyebabkan timbul sipa prajudis dikalangan umat islam KOta Damansara.

Sekian, wassalam.


Reading through the comment, it does beg one to wonder the true criminal of it all.

My only wish now is that Pakatan Rakyat will make their move sooner before Kamunting becomes like the Black Hole of Calcutta.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Story About Tauhu Sumbat

Every year come Ramadhan, streets in certain sections of townships all over Malaysia are crammed with food stalls, vehicles, smoke, and endless trail of people buying and selling foodstuff which are arguably, normally not easily found in other months. It does however, seem ironic that in the month where Muslims are under obligation to practice restrain, that is the time where delicacies of varying sorts are found in abundance. Hmm...quite like little devils rearing their ugly heads, one might think. But then, all the devils are under chains and thus, the temptations that are there, are goaded by our very own nafs. This is most especially true when one consider that most of the food offered are mainly fattening and in many cases, high in cholestrol. However, if there is one which can be said to be healthy, then it must be the humble tauhu sumbat as in the picture below.

Picture taken from airtanganliza blogspot here.
Her preparation of it though, differs slightly from cakapaje.

Mmmph. The picture above looks inviting enough to me. What, with sliced turnip, cucumber and beansprouts, stuffed into the tauhu and immersed in a sauce that must have been mixed with vinegar, grinded chili, and a sprinkle of sugar added, then chilled in the fridge to let the tauhu soak in the sauce, why, I can eat 4 or 5 of it in a single sitting. That is off course, as a side dish.

A tauhu sumbat to me, has to look bulging fat just like a pita bread kebab, and not like those normally sold at the stalls which looks like an undernourished tauhu laced with a sauce that is not only pale but thin as well. The very look of a good tauhu sumbat has to be tempting enough for one to have eat it as a main dish. This, can be especially true if one is a vegie lover like that cakapaje bloke is. Then again, he's also a meat lover and just about anything halal that can be loved. But that, is another story.

Anyway, the tauhu sumbat we know off now, has not always been this way. It has, over time, evolved from who-knows-when-or-what. Back sometime in the mid of last century and in certain parts of Johor, tauhu sumbat had only the cucumber and beansprouts stuffed into it, and was eaten not with the sauce we see today, but with the ever lovable kicap. Over time, who knows who, how, or why, some people experimented with different kinds of sauce. Thus the sauce we see today is the labour of some unsung food heroes who, for the sake of wanting to eat something different and nicer, went against the norm of the day.

Now, since we are on the subject of tauhu sumbat, or rather the word 'sumbat', it reminds me of the balik kampung rush which is expected to take place in about 3 weeks from now.

Each year, Muslims and non-Muslims take the opportunity of the Eid to either return to their hometown, or take a break from their daily schedules. The same thing also happens with the Chinese New Year Celebration. While many would drive or fly, most would take the express buses, eventhough many do own vehicles. They do it simply to avoid the traffic congestion on the highways, namely the North-South Highways which at times can stretch kilometers long. Several past travels to Melaka during this time, the snarls actually can stretch from Pedas, N9, right to the toll gates of Alor Gajah, Melaka. And the return trip would normally see a slow procession all the way to Seremban and sometimes, right up to Nilai Interchange. Perhaps, the highway authorites and concessionaire learned their business from the old mini-buses operators that used to ply the roads of KL: "Masuk! Masuk lagi!". In other words, they sumbat as many business in to the brim. People like you and I, we are just business to them. And the gomen, the supposedly authority of the land, looks the other way or plain do not know the trials the people have to put up with in wanting to spend Raya with their loved ones. Then again, how could they - the gomen - know, when they are chauffered around complete with police escorts upfront who clears the road for the gomen's car.

Each year too, the news would air stories about how commuters are cheated when the ticket they bought are found to be worthless as the bus, and the company selling the tickets are just non-existent! After about 2 decades, the gomen still seem helpless to put a stop to such connivery. To make matter worse, scoundrels would surely add the petrol surchage which the gomen have allowed the operators to charge the public, in lieu of the increment in ticket price they seek. Whether by the name of surcharge or increment, its still the public who have to fork out the extra ringgit. And what was it that the gomen and FOMCA are encouraging the public to use...Public what? And we have not even begin with the condition and safety of the buses, nor the deplorable conditions of the stations, where many time than not, the public are made to inhale the fumes coming out of the exhaust pipes of the buses. A case in point here would be Pudu Raya. But oops, I better stop now before I sumbat many more things which can either be related or not. Furthermore, the topic is about tauhu sumbat.

Say, did I tell you about a variant of the tauhu sumbat? No? Well, its called Tauhu Bakar.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Good Read

Been missing the past few issues of Harakah print due one reason or another. However, I did manage to get the latest issue date 8-11 Ramdhan (8-11 September), and as usual immersed myself into the English Section while leaving the rest to Emak. And I am so glad I did get to do so as I do love to read Fan Yew Teng and LanH.

Soon after reading ES, I tried clicking the English Section at Readscentral, but found that the address is now just another link to harakahdaily; the ES, seem to have been taken off for the moment...I hope. Kind of disappointed as I wanted to link or copy FYT's article to my Islamic and Interesting Reads, one of the blogs I have neglected since last March 8.

Anyway, I've scanned the article regarding Italy and Libay's past and put it up here, and in this entry here too. I know many of my friends do buy and read Harakah, but for those who does not, perhaps they may want to read this article which I find moving; just click on the text images to read. InsyAllah, soon after Aidil Fitri, I will continue updating IIR.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Rerun: A Taste of Heaven

I was reading Pak Zab's entry regarding dates - as in the fruit - and that reminded me one of my early entries which I thought I would like to share with my friends here. That - and off course - the blank mind I'm experiencing these couple of days. Thus I thought, why not? It would just like when TV stations ran out of shows to broadcast, they begin transmitting reruns. Not that I mind though as some shows like Star Trek: Generations, are worth another watch. Sadly, those which are really worthy are never shown again. Perhaps, quite like time itself; once past the present moment, it is gone forever. Just like life.


I was about 4 or 5 then, but I remember the day my mother brought me to the school she was teaching. Why she had done so I cannot remember. Nor can I remember whether I had been more than a handful in her class that day. But I must have been.

Sometime during that day, she led me to a bench in the school canteen and later handed me a snack and a carbonated drink. I remember that part so clearly even now as though it was only yesterday: on my right hand I was holding a kacang epang and my left a bottle of ice cream soda. Both, had the taste which would appeal to any kid of that age and I was no exception. Though the very meaning of the word was lost to me then, it was, a heavenly experience.

As time pass by and along with it, the age of innocence, I began to learn that heavenly experience is not within an earthly grasp, but that heaven is.

Somewhere along the line between then and present, I also learnt that when the Prohpet Adam (a.s.) came out of heaven, he brought along with him 3 heavenly items: an Olive tree, a Date tree and Honey. While the fruits of the olive is not well known nor easily available here, honey, and the dates are in abundance especially during the month of Ramadhan.

It is not only norm but encouraged for Muslims to break their fast with dates. This is not only in following the tradition of the Prohpet Muhammad (s.a.w.) but also for the nutritious effect of the fruit itself. Throughout this whole month the date is eagerly eaten, only to be equally and easily forgotten when Ramadhan draws to an end. It is as though the month of Syawal is the much more eagerly awaited month - a month of joyous festivity and endless television entertainment?

True, it is the month of Syawal we muslims celebrate. But the celebration is meant for the dedication in and for the month of Ramadhan. To be precise, it is only the 1st day of Syawal the celebration is called for.

In the month of Ramdhan, Muslims are to self-impose restrain and discipline against the lust and temptations of this world. In reward for these acts which if performed in sincerity, Allah bestows the faithfuls His forgiveness, mercy and bounty. It is then I find it neither strange nor surprising that several friends weep with the departure of this month as though one would with a lover.

Try as I might I constantly find myself falling and failing to attain the platform they have. Perhaps, though I may not taste heaven here on earth, I hope and pray, I may even if just, grasp it. InsyAllah.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Broken Wing

A mynah, just like the above, hops around on the street of my house, trying to seek refuge from a group of small boys chasing it. Normally, I would raise my voice at the kids in hope of stopping them from hurting the bird. But there was something about the mynah which stopped me from doing so, and I, instead, became an observer. As I watch, it became obvious to me that the children had the correct intent; they were, trying to catch the bird and keep if safe - the mynah, was suffering from a broken wing.

The 5 kids, at one point of time, had the bird in a circle. But as they each rushed in to capture it with their bare hands, the bird, even with its right wing sagging, was too slippery for them. Soon, it hops out of my view, taking the kids along with it. At this point of writing, I can't say whether the kids were successful or not. But perhaps that is not so important as what matters more is that the kids have a noble intent, caring for a life which rarely cross their path what else touch them. But their act, touched me.

Its been raining daily here since Ramadhan began, and its not helping me at all with my flu, causing me to have cold chest which in turn, leads to incessant coughing. Perhaps due to the coughs, I have been feeling very tired these past few days, what with the energy used and the lack of sleep caused by it, having to sleep in an upright position rather than horizontal. And the jeli gamat I have been taking again recently, does not seem to help as it once did many years ago. Perhaps its the brand. Or perhaps, I am already in a state of irreparable damage. But to be honest, in all, I would rather have this cold chest than cold feet (literal meaning) which some people must be experiencing now with the approaching September 16 date. That, sort of perks me up. InsyAllah, we will be going through a most interesting time in the history of Malaysia, which makes me glad to be around. What happens next, only Allah s.w.t. in His Infinite Wisdom knows.

Reading through RPK's entry here, I pray we will be able to re-look into some strange laws which were enacted for some industry, but exempted to others. Agreed, alcohol is haram, and so is selling and serving it. But as the man asked though not verbatim "What about MAS and the many Muslims forced to serve it?" That, reminded me of a question many have been asking too regarding a certain 24hours convenience chain store.

Arriving some 20minutes early for an appointment, I stepped into one of those stores looking for something to bite. Seeing the hot servings they have I asked if the food is halal. The staff of the store, some 3 of them and all Muslims, looked at each other and replied in one voice that everything in the store is halal. Alhamdulillah, I thought. But then, I saw another staff was busy rearranging the cold drinks section and was in fact, holding a bottle of beer in each hand with more bottles on the floor and in the fridge. Halal? I think not.

Going by RPK's statement and the act of the religious department as well as RELA, how come Muslims are allowed to sell and serve liquor and beer here, but not in pubs and discotheques and whatnot? Or that there was once a law that whenever a shop wants to sell liquor, it has to put up a notice in a newspaper to inform the public of its intention. A certain lee time is then given for any member of public to object, and the objection taken into view by the authorities concerned. So how come this convenience chain store does not seem to do so? Something's amiss somewhere.

The above, and many other inconsistencies of the current regime is what makes a commoner like cakapaje feeling disgusted and helpless. I pray from the 17th onwards, the people concerned will be more mindful of such matters and not leave a commoner to be like the mynah with a broken wing and left to the mercy of the elements (if not for the boys).
Classic -

Monday, September 01, 2008

Merdeka Day Stroll

The backstreet behind Jalan Raja Laut is small, and littered with discards, organic or otherwise. The drizzle that fell that Sunday afternoon was a mixed blessing; while it helps to wash away some of the dirt, it also help the decaying organic matter to release a greater stench. But in a backlane such as this, such sights and smell are part of the life here. A life where many ordinary people would turn their sights away and would rather not know, or really do not know.

Its been nearly a year now since Lajnah Kebajikan dan Kemasyarakatan PAS Pusat(LKKPP) held an outdoor activity. Apart from assisting the PR in the past General Election, many of the committee members too each have a schedule of their own. And while many of the 20 odd commitee members are from KL-Selangor area, a sizeable few are from outside. Alhamdulillah, for today though, members of the LKKP-Wilayah Persekutuan was able to assist in this Ramadhan activity.

Aje followed the last of the 3 groups that moved out from Bangunan PAS, and made its way to the road connecting Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Raja Laut. Along the short distance, several men sat by themselves in clothes that were ragged and dirty. One particularly, was happily having a conversation with a concrete pillar. Most though, have the sad dejected look on their face. And when they try to smile, their lips looked too heavy for them to do so. They, are the outcast of the society. Some, are old people with no jobs or income. More than a few though, are drug addicts. Yet some, are sex-workers who ply their trade, initially for want of a better life, but now more for mere survival as the dreams they once had has long been discarded, maybe quite like the latex condoms that can surely be found in the dustbins of the rooms on the 1st and 2nd floor of these back lanes.

Sometime back in the 1980's, an issue of Times magazine tells a story of an Imam in Surabaya, Indonesia. While there are lots of Imams throughout the world, the story of this Imam came as surprising (perhaps shocking to some), as he chose to live an the red-light district of that city - all around the Imam's house were the homes cum pleasure rooms of the many prostitutes there. The Imam, in his bid to bring these ladies of pleasure back to a decent life, never admonished them. Rather, he invited them to his house where he and his wife (an Ustazah) gave free lesson in Quran reading and the teachings of Islam. Alhamdulillah, the magazine reported several successes the Imam had in leading these ladies out of their 'pleasure' ways. I believe, this story gave inspiration to a quite recent Malay movie.

Moving in and out of the lanes can be quite a culture shock to many people. Life, here, is a world of its own, with its own distinct culture and social norms. For the many who lives there, the sight of a group of men and women wearing kopiahs and tudungs, and walking towards them, can be quite a scary sight. And it maybe likewise for many of the volunteers at the sight of thick lipstick, multi-hued hair, and short revealing clothes of the people there. Perhaps worse still, is the naivety in ascertaining the gender of the sex-workers, where some can be stunningly beautiful, if not for the deep husky or shrill-like voice they have.

Before leaving the surau in Bangunan PAS, the group of volunteers were given a short talk on what to do and expect when they meet the sex-workers, where the target group for this day are the transvestites. The main idea for today is to break the ice with these people, so that future meets will be more casual and welcoming. Apart from handing out packed food, the sex-workers were also given phamplets containing some friendly words as well as a hadith. To lure them into accepting, a paper rose were tied to each phamplet.

As the group Aje was with approach the night market there, several men stared at us with one having a rather menacing look in his eyes. A quick thinking Cikgu Saleh (actual names not given), one of the streetwise volunteers, quickly put them at ease as he briefly mention of our intention. Perhaps they were legitimate traders, perhaps not; we were not there to judge.

In between the 2 sections of the night market, 2 of the 3 volunteer groups bumped into other. The 2nd group, led by the Chairman of LKKP Pusat, Doctor Lo'Lo' Ghazalie, had covered a shorter but busier route than ours. It was at this same time which Aje decided to retire as he was still recovering from his flu. The 2 groups however, went on with their objective which was scheduled to end by maghrib. InsyAllah, LKKP Pusat will be conducting more meets and outdoor activities quite similar to the one today.

Anyone interested in giving financial assistance for LKKP activities, may do so through BIMB accout number 12113010026150. Alternatively, one can write to my email where I will forward it to her, with a cc to the original sender.

* The actual report of this stroll can be read in the next issue of Siasah, and insyAllah, in the Pemuda Wilayah's website here.