Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Merdeka

We did some plumbing work at the Desa Moccis house, where almost all the water pipes for the upper level of the house were replaced with new ones. Something to do with rusty pipes and low water pressure for the showers. As a result, not only do we have better water pressure for the shower but ayah also erected two "flag poles" for the Jalur Gemilang :) Instead of some flimsy wooden pole, our house nows resembles the Malaysian Embassy (according to ayah:)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Congratulations to Sdr Miga

I would like to congratulate Sdr Miga (Mohd Shah '92) on his posting at the Matrade office in Taipei.

Also, congratulations on his Pingat Jasa Kebaktian (PJK) which was conferred during the recent Hari Keputeraan TYT Pulau Pinang. The state government of Penang has surely appreciated Miga's contribution to the state during his posting as the Pengarah Matrade, Penang.

Tahlil.. Class of '92

We had a tahlil last nght at the MCOBA penthouse for our recently departed batchmate, Allayarham Sdr Ismadi Ismail (a.k.a BG) and also for other 2 batch mates, both by the name of Syukri who passed away about 5 years ago. Considering that it was in the middle of the week and with KL experiencing a very heavy downpour during the rush hour, 23 members of class of '92 came for the tahlil. There were of course the many "usual suspects" (read: faces who turned up at batch activities, namely annual buka puasa ) but the presence of those like Shahrul Azmin (Ella), Rizal Hafiz (Bunt) makes the event a mini reunion of sort. We actually had four doctors at HUKM during the tahlil (Bai, Wak Keppel, Webb and Ella) and a lot of questions were asked with regards about "health", heheh.

As usual, although in the email the tahlil was suppose to start after the maghrib prayers, it started more towards Isyak. Bunt, being the most "pious" among the lot (though Peejoun look more the part that night:) led the Yaasin recital and the tahlil. Dinner was served immediately after that and all of us took the time to catch up on each other's life.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Innalillah.... The Passing of Ismadi Ismail.. Ahmad House '92

Late on saturday, I received an SMS from one of my batchmate which read :

"Askm Brothers, to inform that our friend Ismadi a.k.a BG passed away peacefully on wed night due to cancer (confirm by MPOB friend). Alfatihah for arwah"

It was indeed a shocking news as none of us knew that he had cancer.

Alfatihah.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Amin Shah Booted From Bolton's BOD

Taken from The Malaysian Reserve (Thu, July 12 07)

"The majority of shareholders of property developer Bolton Bhd have voted against Tan Sri Amin Shah Omar Shah remaining a board member of the company. Chairman Datuk Mohamed Azman Yahya said 68% of the shareholders, reprsenting more than 140 million owners of the company sharesm decided to vote against the re-eletion of Amin Shah"

Among the bone of contentention mentioned in the news is the dissatisfaction over the lack of commitment of Amin Shah, by virtue of his poor attendance to the board meeting. With an almost 22% stake in the company, he is the single largest individual shareholder of the company.

Without any more representation on the board, one wonders whether he will still retain the stake.

At the Movies : Harry Potter

The latest installment from the Harry Potter movie is actually the fifth one. To be honest, I have only watched the first Harry Potter at the movies but since Honey Dearest is a great fan, we went to watch it at GCS One Utama during the first day of screening last night.

Having only watched the first one, its amazing to see how the three main characters of the movie has grown up. The first Harry Potter, with its first day of school atmosphere and the different sport houses really reminded me of the prep school years in MCKK. Therefore, if I were to equate the fifth movie, it would seemed like the senior years in school, with lots of angst and displeasure with the authority.

Of course, no magic involved :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bye Bye Malaysia

No, I am not leaving Malaysia to migrate to some place down under or any part of the world for that matter. I love the country too much to even consider such thoughts. I have spent 5 years living abroad and at the end of the day, there is no place like home.

To quote NST today (July 10, 2007)

106,000 Malaysians emigrated between 1996 and 2007

Home Affairs Ministry statistics showed that from 1996 to April this year, 106,000 Malaysians have given up their citizenship. Of these, 79,199 were Malays; 25,107 Chinese, 1,347 Indians and 350 of other races.Deputy Home Affairs Minister Datuk Tan Chai Ho said that more women than men were emigrating, with marriage being cited as the most common reason by these women.

The number is indeed staggering. Of course, there are many reasons for people to emigrate; economical and personal to be among the common reason. During the economic downturn before the 1997 crisis (circa 1985) a few of my primary school friends migrated to Australia with their family. Of course, when you are in std four, your can't really fathom the significance of such act.

I sometime gets a bit worked up when people complain about how bad the country is and how it going down the drain, etc. Granted, Malaysia has its fault and downside but to those people, I ask them about what they do make it better.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

TJ... again ?

My Volvo S70 2.5 SE (it actually belongs to the bank, heheh) has a name.

TJ.

That stands for Tok Janggut. We had this thread in the VOCM forum about whether do we have a name for our ride, so for me, TJ it is. Tok Janggut, the Kelantan warrior, not TJ Hooker, the TV series.

Anyway, last month, TJ went to a very major repair job and left me with a RM2.5k dent in my wallet.

Today, TJ is at the aircon workshop and was told that either I change the whole compressor for RM1.6k or just the clutch for RM600.

With the kind of weather we have lately, I really need the aircon...

...aaarrghhhh...

what expenses can I cut ?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Weekend in Kota Bharu

Once again, courtesy of Mr Fernandez's low cost carrier, Honey Dearest and I got ourself onto the spanking new Air Asia A330 en route to Kota Bharu, for the princely sum of RM1.99 One way (excluding tax etc).

Eversince Star Shuttle started its service from Subang Parade to LCC-T, vice versa, it has been relatively easier to get on the Air Asia. We took the 11.30am bus and arrived around 12.20pm at the terminal. The plane took off on time and it was quite full. As usual, Honey Dearest and I would get the Nasi Lemak Pak Nasir sold by Air Asia and although RM7 can get us several plates of Nasi Lemak on the ground, this particular Nasi Lemak is quite good!

Nadzmy picked us up at the airport. Its amazing how time flies by.. I still remember him after his PMR result, eager to get into a boarding school (specifically, MCKK) and he ended up in SHAH, Pekan for about a week. He was so homesick that the water tower next to the school even reminded him of home! Anyway, he did quite well in Ahmad Maher, KB and is about to graduate from Universiti Tun Hussin Onn.

After the customary "bertukar khabar" with my grandparents and aunties, Honey Dearest and I took a leisurely drive to Pantai Cahaya Bulan. Since it was a friday, traffic was quite heavy (in the KB sense la:). What we like about PCB is the various types of battered deep fried seafood on skewer. Fish ball, prawn, squid... all battered and eaten with a chilli dip.

The following day, right after breakfast, we drove to town. OK, despite being one half Kelantanese, I hardly venture into KB town unless its really neccesary. This is because most of the time, we would be back in KB during the Hari Raya and this is possibly the worst of time to drive into KB. Anyway, we parked our car near the Pasar Siti Khadijah and wow, has things really changed! Honey Dearest bought a very nice batik material from one of the vendors and would have love to venture more except that our flight back is at 5.00 pm on the same day.

Don't worry baby... nanti kita balik for buka puasa during the fasting month.. :)

Friday, June 29, 2007

More Than Meets The Eyes

"I am Optimus Prime"

The audience in cinema 10 @ GSC One Utama applauded. Really, they did.

The movie was awesome. Really took me back to the old childhood days.

Hmmm, I wonder how much would my Optimus Prime model fecth on E-Bay ? :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

TV Ads

I sincerely wish for this particular advertisment on TV to be removed.

It's just so... corny!

The company is a successful MLM company. I am sure they can afford to produce a much better ad than the one on air now.

The actresses in the ad... oh, so fake!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Congratulations to the MCKK Wind Orchestra

The Inter SBP Wind Orchestra Competition was held last Sunday at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC). Despite coming up third place behind Sekolah Alam Shah and Sekolah Datuk Abdul Razak, it was a commendable position considering that the wind orchestra was only recently introduced in MCKK.

Good job boys!

Champion next year ? :)

Which Cinema?

Honey Dearest and I are movie buffs. Really.

It helps that Honey Dearest is rather efficient at booking tickets online, thus ensuring that we would watch the latest release either on its first day or the first weekend.

Even during my bachelor days, I am a regular cineme-goer. Prior to the mega cineplex days, my favourite cinema would be the Cathay Cineplex behind Central Market or the cineplex at Subang Parade (both no longer around now). Occasionally, the Rex cinema at Petaling Street or State PJ would be an alternative to the above.

Nowadays, we would normally watch movies at the Cathay Cineleisure @ Mutiara Damansara. Honey Dearest and I dubbed this as the most "Muslim-friendly" cinema because the Surau is just next to the cinema. This enable us to perform our maghrib prayer and catch the 7.30-7.45pm show!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Down The Memory Lane

Kudos to TV9 for showing some of the tv series from the late 80s/early 90s.

TV9 was showing the drama "Naik Tangga Turun Tangga" while I was writing this. It's fun to see all the cast looking so retro.. (Azwan Ali, a few kilos ago, looking suave in a blazer with t-shirt ala Miami Vice). Hussin Abu Hassan, Aunty Ruby, Arwah Hani Mohsein, Rosnah Mat Aris (sans the blond hair, of course) reminds me of what it was like back then.

Raja Ema is also one of the cast. I can see Honey Dearest giving me that look and laughing at me whenever Raja Ema appears on TV.

Why... heheheh... for me to know and for all of you NEVER to find out...:))

Lessons in Life

The best lessons in life are learnt through personal experience. No amount of theory or case studies can prepare your for the things that you will go through in the course of your life.

I have learned many such lessons, albeit some rather expensively.

Lesson well-learnt.

Club AGM

Ayah wasn't feeling very well that day, in fact he was down with a very high fever since he came back from KB on friday night. However, he has promised to attend the AGM and vote as proxies for of the members who can't attend the meeting. So there we were, driving to the club for the Annual General Meeting.

I started attending the club AGM since the last four years or so. Club AGMs are totally different from the company AGMs. Where company can AGMs normally last not more than 10-20 minutes, our club AGM seldom ends before one p.m. Most shareholders attend company AGM for the food spread. I know this for a fact because I handled a few AGMs for my previous company and its a wonder if any meeting last for more than ten minutes. So much about shareholder activism:)

However, our golf club AGM is totally in the elements of its own. Members are vocal and very passionate about the issues raised at the AGM. I guess unlike being a shareholder of a company, club members are directly affected by the issues pertaining to the club (the more so because many of them can be seen almost daily, whether on the golf course or at the terrace). Over the years, there were many issues brought up and it is actually fun seeing the members putting across their points, sometime to the exesperation of the club president who chairs the meeting. Normally its the same people who speaks at all the meeting; so much so that sometimes these people are voted in as management committees of the club. Walk the talk la..:) Then again, perhaps they were trying to make themselves known, in order to be voted in as member of the MC ? Hmmm...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The First Six

It's been six months since I sat before Honey Dearest's father and professed the "akad nikah"

Six months of living together.

Six months of fun and laughter, of sadness and tears.

Six months of man and wife.

Six months of waking up in the morning and sitting by the bed, waiting for her to open her beautiful eyes.

Six months of looking at her when she gets ready in the morning and grateful to Allah for being blessed with her.

Here's to the many more six months to come.

... and I am enjoying every second of it.

Love you so much, Honey Dearest.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

YM

The best thing about the net is the ability to keep in touch with so many of your friends from all over the world.

Just had a very enlightening conversation via the YM (Yahoo! Messenger) with a very close buddy of mine who is now based in Miri. I remember the time during my university years where letter writing was still the main form of communication (handphones at that time - the gigantic Nokia that looks like a brick, on a 010 line) where we would write letters to each other. How time have change!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Result

I got my blood test results from the doctor today.

Coming from a family with a history of the "big three" (diabetes, hypertension and heart problem), the risk for me to get one of the three is quite high. Prior to the blood test, I went to see the doctor for a different reason and I asked her to check by blood pressure. It was quite high and she requested me to do another reading within a week. My second reading was also quite high (only a minimal, insignificant drop) and she asked me to do a blood test.

The numbers, though not as bad as thought it'd be, doesn't really put me in the pink of health and there are certainly many areas that I need to work on.

A lot of things certainly need to change...

Well Done Cagers!

Congratulations to the MCKK Cagers basketball for winning the Piala Hamdan Tahir for the fourth time in a row. The Piala Hamdan Tahir is the ultimate trophy for the inter residential school basketball tournament and the Cagers has really stamped their mark by lifting it for the record of 12 times since its inception.
Even way back when I was in MCKK, it always amazed me on how dedicated these basketballers are. For most of us playing for college, the training session starts about two or three months before the tournament (be it at district or state level) and the team would be disbanded once it is over. However, these group of dedicated athletes would begin their training the day the school starts and last day of training would be the last day of school. Despite having the state and district level tournament to play for, these cagers only have one goal in mind : to lift the Piala Hamdan Tahir.
In 1992, the Piala Hamdan Tahir was held in Sekolah Tun Fatimah, JB (together with the Piala Perdana Menteri - English and Bahasa Malaysia debate championship). Despite my promise to my parents to stay in KL and attend tution for my add maths (a lost cause I would say) while they perform the Hajj, I managed to coaxed the tution teacher to postpone my last two sessions to another date and managed to convince my aunt and cousin that it is important for me to be in JB for the PPM/PHT. There were some ulterior motive to be there as well but since I am now happily married to a TKCian, I'd rather not elaborate on that! I took the night train and arrived in JB just in time for the semi final game against SEMSAS. Our English debating team had earlier lost in the quarter finals but our BM team will be competing in the semi finals later that day. The cagers won the semi final, and will face RMC in the finals on the last day of the tournament.
The PHT Finals... MCKK vs RMC. Gosh, this was almost 15 years ago so I can't really go into details but suffice to say, the atmosphere was magical. We were shouting ourself hoarse and was on the edge of our seat for the better part of it. However, when the final whistle blew, all of us stormed into the court. After a very long wait, PHT is coming home to Kuala Kangsar.
1992 turned out to be a good year. We made it to the finals of the PPM BM debate and in August '92, at the Dewan Muktamar Pusat Islam, we lifted the PPM, again after the absence of so many years.

My Langkawi Escapade Prt 2

We boarded the Air Asia flight which was only half-full. The weather was great during the flight and we landed in Langkawi as scheduled. Upon disembarking and collecting our luggage, we made our way to the the car rental counter where a friend of Hafiz waited for us to hand us the car key. I initially reserved a Proton Wira, for a very good price, but we were told that only the Nissan Sentra was available and since we are friends of Hafiz, we got it for the price of the Wira. No complains here !

We drove the car to the Kg Tok Senik Resort, using the map handed out by the Tourism Authority at the airport as our guide. Not a great map to begin with, but this being Langkawi, I am quite sure we'll not get lost. After missing a few turns and having to stop at a petrol pump for directions, we finally reached the resort.

The resort was quite lovely, with its authentic malay village settings. It was really a wise decision to rent a car as the rooms (or villas) are scattered all over hilly terrain, overlooking the paddy fields. We got to our room, which is quite spacious and fashioned after the traditional malay houses. The place was incredibly calm and peaceful and pretty soon after unpacking, we felt asleep.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

My Langkawi Escapade Prt One

It all started when Mr Tony's airline advertised in the papers for free tickets in conjuction of his airline's fifth annivessary. Honey Dearest and decided to pick Langkawi as our destination and she went ahead and purchased it online. We managed to get free fares for both ways and lnl had to fork out the tax and surcharge etc. May 16th - May 18th was the date we chose, for the sole reason that it's before the school break.

May 16th, 2007...

We made our way to the airport on the Star Shuttle bus from Subang Parade at around 1.00pm for our 4.10 pm flight. There were only 5 of us on the bus (with a capacity for 40+ passengers) and it makes me wonder how this fella can sustain such operation. However, after chit chatting with the lively driver (while Honey Dearest took a nap), I found out that the bus line actually belongs to a very big transportation company. Ok, now things make more sense.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Updates

My honey dearest gave me a journal for me to pen down my thoughts about two months ago. At that time, I was bitten by the creative writing bug and was in the midst of coming up with a plot for my ever elusive "great Malaysian novel". Anyway, just like my previous attempts, the novel got stuck at the "character naming" part.

I used to enjoy creative writing (I have been known to use my creative license rather "creatively", heheh) and I have volumes of short stories from my school and university days. When I first got my laptop, I thought that I could finally complete my own novel. I guess not... yet.

I have been quite tardy in terms of updating my blog, to the extend that friends and families have been calling me up to ask whether I am still blogging. I guess that certainly puts me in the not-so-disciplined blogger. That's why I have resorted to penning some of my thoughts in the journal that Honey Dearest gave me and later I can post it online.

Its actually a beautiful saturday morning (I wrote this in 5/5/07) today and under any normal circumstances, I would drag my Honey Dearest to the lake for a morning walk. Apparently my twice weekly gym routine only last me for a month and whatever motivation I got from talking to Aizal and seeing his 30kg weight loss in two years simply... poof... into thin air.l

I am spending his weekend (and the following four) attending the Kursus Asas Agen Kastam (KAAK) at the Wisma SFFLA in Port Klang. All forwarding companies are required to have at least two members of the staff with the certification and in fact, we used to have three. However, two of our certified senior staff left rather abruptly and with only one left, I decided to take the course myself.

The KAAK is not exactly cheap; RM1,200 for SFFLA members and RM1,500 for non-members. It comprised of lectures, quizzes and finally, a comprehensive exam to be held in July. This is certainly a good business forSFFLA (Selangor Freight Forwarders & Logistics Association). Based on my rough calculation, it stands to collect almost RM100,000 per session for 90+ students. Deducting the RM40k-50K plus for lecturers, food, course material etc, the association can easily net around RM50k!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sunday Morning Coffee

Sunday mornings usually means having breakfast at home with the whole family, reading the sunday papers and turning on the Astro to watch whatever is on.

However, today is a bit different as at the time of writing, I am having coffee with Honey Dearest at Starbuck@The Curve, while waiting for the 11.30am screening at the Ciniplex. Its acually nice to have a routine switch once in a while, no matter how simple it may be. In my twenty minutes or so of being here, I spotted a few celebrities leisurely strolling (Daphne Iking, do look GOOD in the flesh:) and saw a few friends too.

I wish we have more shopping malls like The Curve where one do not feel so confined as we may feel in our typical urban mall.

Okay, times up. Gotto go to the movies :)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Another Election

The whole country now turns its attention to the constituency of Ijok, where another by-election will be held due to the passing of its representative.

Whadda ya know.. almost overnight, roads are being re-surfaced.

Hmmm..

Monday, April 02, 2007

Election Fever - N.08 DUN Machap, Melaka

It so happened that Honey Dearest's hometown, Hutan Percha, is part of the DUN Machap, where a by-election will be held on April 14th. The passing of the late YB Dato' Poh Ah Tiam has left the seat vacant within days, the whole area was transformed almost instantenously. Suddenly, road resurfacing work become a norm around the constituency and lamp post appeared out of nowhere to lit the road. With a few Felda settlements within the constituency, most of the road borders the vast rubber and palm oil plantations and without street lights, the night drive can be nerve-wrecking, hehe!

Down The Memory Lane

Last Saturday, on the way back to my wife’s hometown of Hutan Percha, we decided to take the inner federal road by exiting the NS highway at the Seremban toll due to the congestion. Upon entering Seremban town en route to the road leading to Tampin, I said to Honey Dearest, “Why don’t we pass by your old school?”

I vaguely remember the way but I told her that let me try to see if I can still trust my memory. I turned left, passing the A&W drive-in restaurant on my right and headed up to Wisma Negeri, where at the roundabout we took a turn, passing the Istana. The road is quite different from when I was there last (instead of the old quaint two lane road, it is now four-lane) until we reaced the traffic light at the army camp and a signage to the left that said “Jalan Tunku Kurshiah”.

“Honey, what ever happened to Jalan Dato’ Siamang Gagap?”

Anyway, our intention was to just passed by the school but once we were at the gates, we looked at each other and said almost instantaneously, “Jom, let’s go in!”

Entering the gates of Tunku Kurshiah College evokes many memories, not just for Honey Dearest but also for myself. You see, way back when I was in primary school, one of my cousin was a student at the venerable institution and almost everytime on our way back from our kampung in Masjid Tanah, we would drop by to see Kak Long and passed her the lauk that my aunt prepared for her. At the rate of going back to Masjid Tanah every one and half/two months or so, I am guranteed to passed by the gates and drive up the corner hill at least 6 times a year. By then, I could remember all the names of the houses (Selindang Delima, Mahsuri, Siti Zawiyah, Tun Fatimah and Mahsuri – how about that eh ?:) and could essentially make my way to the canteen blindfolded. We would park our car next to the field and would have our small picnic with Kak Long.

It was only years later when I was in MCKK did I visited TKC under the pretext of “exchanging information on the prefectorial system of single-sex fully residential school” and things were almost exactly like how I remembered before. Little that I know that, 14 years on, I would marry a Selindang Delima girl from TKC.

We drove past the Headmistress’ house and on seeing all the hostel building, Honey Dearest’s eyes lit up as she showed me her hostel etc. Since it was a Saturday, there were many parents visitng their young ones. We drove past the Great Hall (supposedly haunted) and of course, the canteen. She showed me her classroom and the library. It was nice to see how delighted she was as I am sure she had many many wonderful memories here as I had in MCKK.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Club

There is just something about belonging to a club that gives a person a certain sense of belonging. When you have something in common, its always nice to be able to group together and share experiences with one another. Sometimes a club is formed "unofficially", where it so happened that people who share something in common happens to congregate at the same place until one such day that everyone seemed to know each other. My father happened to belong to such a club. Its something he does every three month or so, and usually when he is there, he will come across people he has met or even some friends from his golf club. You can see a certain camaraderie among them, as they have gone through life threatening episodes in their life and they now resolve never to be in the same situation again.

Despite that, I do not wish to belong to such club.

Place of meeting : IJN, Kuala Lumpur
Common interest: Angioplasty procedures or by-pass surgery

I'll make sure I won't join your club, dad :)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Reminiscence: Madison, WI Prt 3

I made the decision to attend University of Wisconsin, Madison when I was asked by the JPA officer to decide between UW and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. When the placement office at PPP/ITM applied for my university, University of Michigan wasn't in the list. The other two universities that offered me a place were Purdue University and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In fact I was later told that initially the placement office wanted to place me at NYU but JPA was not keen on sending anybody to New York city. I have always wanted to attend Uof M and when I went to see the Head of Program, she told me that I should go for it and they will assist me in my application. The only thing is that I need to pay for the placement fee on my own (USD65).

In fact, University of Michigan was the first university to send me a Letter of Acceptance but something in the literature that they sent me prevented me from jumping with joy. It read "...students applying into the School of Business must complete their Freshmen and Sophomore year at University of Michigan..."

Wait a minute.

So, when the JPA officer told me to take both I-20 forms from both UW and UM to a small room and think it over, I basically have less than five minutes to decide something that will shape the rest of my life.

Oppps... again :)

For the past few days, the media was highlighting KLIA's (Kuala Lumpur Internatinal Airport) win in the 15-20 million passenger catergory for the best airport in the world.

However, barely two days after the victory, the airport was hit by massive blackout, apparently caused by a thunderstorm that strike one of power plant supplying electricity to the airport. According to the report, the incident happened during non-peak hours where passenger arrival and departure were minimal.

Anyway, I was reminded of an incident that happened when I was in Madison, WI. The city chief of police proudly announced in the media that Madison went for a whole year without any murder crime. Guess what happened the next day ?

Someone was found murdered.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Reminiscence: Madison, WI Prt 2

The next day we had our orientation with the MSD officers. I can't really recall what was actually being said, except for the spattering of "you have to study hard" and "taxpayer's money". Halfway through, one of the MSD officer called me out (no, not just any officer but the head of MSD LA and waiting for me at the lobby was Pak Long Mail and Mak Long Yasmin. Pak Long was the Counsel General in LA (and an old boy of MCKK) and since I gave them a call last night, they decided to drop by. They were asking the MSD officer whether they could take me out to their place for lunch but to my dismay, the officer told Pak Long that the orientation will provide me with "much needed" information and alas, I was back in the hall after saying good bye to Pak Long and ever stunning Mak Long.

After one full day of orientation, the next day was the moment we were waiting for; our flights to our respective universities...

-to be continued


Oopps...

Apparently, the girl who supposedly scored 19 1As actually managed 18 As (14 1As, 4 As and 1 B). To think that for the last week or so, the media (well, one of them anyway) was trumpeting her achievement. To be fair to her, what she achieved was already quite good but I am so sorry for those folks at her hometown who were putting up buntings and banners on her "19 1As" achievement..

...oopss.

Cost of Living (and retiring)

I drove my father to his blood test at the IJN (Institut Jantung Negara, or National Heart Institute) this morning. Ever since he did his angioplasty last June, he has been diligently going for regular check ups at IJN. I was not around when he suffered his first attack. It was in '97 and I was still in Madison at the time. I only found out about a month later when my mum finally told me.

He has been on a steady regiment of pills for the last ten years and boy, they do cost a lot. To add to the matter, about two years ago, he was diagnosed with diabetes more medication comes along.

Anyway, as I was waiting for my father, I saw the headline about how someone who is 35 years old today would need to have at least RM1.4 million by the time he/she is 55 in order to retire comfortably. Excuse me.. RM1.4 million?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Reminiscence: Madison, WI Prt 1

Somehow, I am more in a very nostalgic mode after watching, of all things, Desperate Housewives :) I am not going to divulge what particular scene it was but suffice to say, it brought back many happy memories of my universities days. I did not keep a journal of my days in Madison so in a way, it's going to be a form of journal for me. Just to make it easier to distinguished from present day posting, I will used italic when I am in my "nostalgic" mode, so here goes.

Come to think of it, it all took place ten years ago.

I departed for the United States on 20th January 1996, which happens to be my 21st birthday. How often do you get to celebrate your birthday twice ... I departed in the morning of the 20th and arrived in LA, also in the morning. I couldn't really recall the flight (it was a 21 hour flight, with a stopover in Tokyo, thank God) but I can remember vividly the moment the MAS flight landed at LAX. There was excitment in everyone's face and we were like "Finally, we are in the US of A"

In fact, we almost did not make it to the states. We were scheduled to fly off in batches in January of '96 but towards the end of November '95, the US was experiencing a government shutdown (fiscal crisis, Newt Gingrich, the works...) and among the casualties were embassies all over the world. We were not able to get our Visas and in fact, our sponsor (JPA) were contemplating of sending us for the Fall session. Luckily the crisis was able to be resolved and we were duly issued our visas. Talk about close shave.

If I recalled correctly, there were forty of us in the flight; I was among the 12 to be shipped off to Madison, WI while the rest were sent to places like Wyoming and Montana. We were to have our orientation for two nights before we depart on the domestic flight to our respective universities. I can't remember the name of hotel we stayed but what I remember is that, upon checking in, a group of us actually went to the nearest news store and purchase various adult magazines! That night, we went to Ralph's, a supermarket located nearby and I purchased a phone card to call home.

-to be continued

19 1As ? What's Next?

It was recently published in the Malay dailies that for the last SPM examination, a girl from Johore achieved another record-breaking 19 1A, beating the previous record of 17 1As (or was it 18?), set also by another lass from Johore.

First of all, I never knew that much subject existed in the SPM exams. Even way back in koleq, the nine subjects we took (ten, if you include English 1119) were wee bit too much for me. Even with the nine we took, the aim was to score an aggregate of less than ten. Not many of us were thinking about straight A's, except for the few who actually believed they could and they did. Yes, even with that, I managed to overshoot by one point.

So, were we less smarter back then or the exams are much easier?

Also, what is it that they put in the water in Johore ?

Signs of Aging.. Part I

I was down with fever since last friday and it was then that I realized how much I have aged.

You see, way way back (yes, way way back) if I have a fever, I would take two dose of Panadol and voila, the next day I would be A ok...

... but off late, I am still feverish on the third and fourth day, only to recover fully on the fifth. Statistically speaking, my recovery rate is down by 400% (did I get that right ?) and that's not good.

Innalillah.. The Passing of Mak Lang Barirah

Barely three months into the new year, I have lost two very close relatives.

Mak Lang Barirah passed away on saturday morning, March 3, 2007 after a long bout with cancer.

Mak Lang is the mother to my cousin, Intan who is also a regular blogger. Check out her blog at http://melopong.blogspot.com/

I visited arwah Mak Lang at Hospital UKM a few months back when she was warded at the Makna cancer ward. Despite all the adversity, arwah Mak Lang displayed some admirable fighting spirits.

Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmat ke atas rohnya dan semoga ditempat bersama para-para solehen dan syuhada. Amin.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Syukur Alhamdulillah

(taken from an email I sent to my close friends, moments ago)

Dear all,

To be honest, the last few weeks ni wasn't the best of times.... work-wise that is. The only joy I have in a day is waking up in the morning next to my beloved wife and going home after a #@&*$!! day at the office,to my wife again.

Today is no different.

However, I received a call from her today.

She just got back from seeing a doctor.

Something about two lines.

Something about four weeks.

Something about November 7, 2007....

insya Allah, I will be registering someone at either koleq or TKC in 2020...:))

In Pursuit of HAPPYness...

On Saturday (Feb 24, 2007) I went to watch "In Pursuit of Happyness" at Cathay cinema, Mutiara Damansara with Honey Dearest. During our courting days, our normal haunt is the GSC at Mid Valley (due to the proximity to our offices) but of late, we have been frequenting the Cathay at Cineleisure, Mutiara Damansara. I guess being a new cineplex, the layout and seats (yes, the seats! Check out the generous legroom) are much more user-friendly. Being close to Ikea, Ikano Power Center, The Tesco and The Curve is also another plus point.

Enough about cineplex.. back to the movie..

...the movie touched me in very personal way, because honestly, I can relate to what the main character, Chris Gardner (played wonderfully by the ever-talented Will Smith) goes through, albeit on a lesser scale. I knew that the movie was about the struggle of father to bring up his son (played by Jaden Smith, Will's son) in the face of economic difficulties but I never expected it to hit home in such a way. I have been though many moments that was potrayed in the movie and to see him succeed in the end only strengthened my resolve that the things I am going through now are just setbacks.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

RapidKL

A lot of people has been wondering about my obsession with public transport, especially the RapidKL bus system.

Truth be told, I'd rather take the public transport anytime of the day rather than driving to work. However, the nature of my job does not seemed to allow it.

I was back at the office on Wednesday after the four day Chinese New Year break. There was one payment due from one of my client in KL and being a very good client, the cheque is promptly available on the 15th of every month.

So, instead of driving to KL, I decided to take the bus. It was a slow day anyway, so I boarded the No. 608 local bus (green line) and swithced to the T81 inter-city (blue line) to sentral. Took the LRT at KL Sentral to KLCC, had lunch with my buddy Deen , pick up my payment, did a little "market intelligence" at the aisle and repeated the whole LRT-T81-608 routine. Was back by three p.m.

.. and I throughly enjoyed it :)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Xinnian Kuaile

Xinnian Kuaile, Gong Xi Ging Xi..

I am pretty sure my three semesters of Mandarin classes at UiTM would certainly allow me to speak beyond Chinese New Year greetings but due to lack of practice, this is all I could manage. Of course I remember all those important "ayat" (read: lame courting lines) but when Honey Dearest already by my side:)

Anyway, I've been wondering this for quite a while already. According to my year of birth, I was born in the year of the rabbit. However, if I remember correctly, my BIRTHday (which is in January) was before the Chinese New Year, so techinically, I should consider myself born in the year of the Tiger, right ?

.. help!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Window to the world

I decided to shift my place at the office to the one next to window. Not that I have a magnificent view of KL skyline (does looking down the roof of shophouses and makeshift factories count) but with the latest development at the office, I need to some change of view.

You see, two very key staff left the company.

The office seemed a bit emptier now but hey, business goes on.

I can't pretend that I don't see it coming, in fact, I am surprised that they lasted this long.

I wish them all the best in their future endeavour.

As for me, it just mean that I have to work harder. I do, after all, own this company.

Innalillah.. The Passing of K.Miah

Exactly one week ago, a close relative of mine passed away.

She was at my wedding in Sg Buloh and though she lost some weight, she did not look like she is down with any illness.

She was hospitalized for almost two weeks at the newly-opened Ampang Hospital and was in the ICU throughout. Her intestine actually burst open but unfortunately it was too late to contain it as it spread to the lungs, causing infections. She was practically on life support and at 10.15 pm on January 31, she passes away.

May Allah blessed her. Amin.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I am 32 :)

I turned 32 years old last sunday.

At least, for this year, I can strike off one item from my "to do" list...

... getting married before I age another year. Heheh..

Anyway, I do believe that age is just a physical indicator for the wear and tear of the body. Somehow, deep inside I still feel like I am 26.

Then again, I could say that I still feel 24 or 28 but frankly, I can't really remember what it was like when I was really 24 or 26 or 28.

In denial ? :))

Four

Its finally over.

I actually had four receptions for my wedding. I would prefer to just have one but unfortunately, as far as my parents are concerned, this is the only wedding they will have as I have no other siblings.


The first was of course the nikah on December 8th, 2006 at Hutan Percha and the reception at Dewan Bistari, Ayer Keroh on December 9th, 2006.

The second was the reception held on my side at Desa Moccis, Sg Buloh on December 16th, 2006.

The third was held at Pengkalan Chepa on January 1st, 2007 for my relatives on dad's side in Kelantan.

The final one was held on January 20th, 2007 (also happened to be my birthday and also on Ist Muharram) in Masjid Tanah Melaka, for you might have guess, my relatives on my mum's side.

Cukup la tu...

Friday, January 05, 2007

The First Four Weeks....

Today, Friday January 5th 2007 marks the fourth week of marriage...

...and I am loving every moment of it.