Thursday, July 31, 2008

My Dad

My dad, or Ayah to me, has been bed-ridden for a couple of years now.

He was diagnosed to be suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS in short) or Lou Gehric (that American baseball legend) Disease.

ALS is a motor and sensory nerve degenerative disease initiated by chronic uncontrolled diabetes (that what I was told by the doctor over in KLH when he was first diagnosed).

In short, most of his muscles, especially the legs and hands shrink causing progressive loss of motor functions, starting from the power to stand, to walk and now, even to sit up unaided.

To me, the thing that probably hurts him most is his loss of walking-about ability. When he was a policeman, he liked to go on his motorcycle to many places. He used to ride on his kapcai Honda from Kemaman to Kota Bharu and then straight to Negeri Sembilan. Of course, when he was in Kemaman, he preferred chatting with his friends in Chukai.

Now, he spends most of his awake time on the old bed in his 10X15 room, either watching television or looking out of the window.

Despite him being bed-ridden for so long, his spirit is still high. He still talks of him one day being well and able to walk again. That hurts me most, for I know the probability of an ALS sufferer to overcome the disease is almost nil.

My presence, be it for just a couple of minutes, will bring great joy to him. It shows on his face that he really looks forward to be visited by his children. That is why, I do not mind commuting daily from Kemaman to Kuantan. People say that it will exhausting to me...but I just do it for his sake.

In such a difficult time, he needs someone very close to him, like my mother. Sad to say they were separated in their twilight years a couple of years ago. I do not want to talk much about their separation...but it was just unbearable to think that after more than fourty years of marriage and nine children, that divorce was possible.

I know for a fact that he still loves my mother, but sadly the opposite was not so. There is not even a flicker of love in my mother for him.

Many a times he would asked me whether my mother ever asked about him. He also said that there was no divorce as far as he was concerned, but mother was adamant that he had uttered those forbidden words.

I was not sure what had really happened between them. What worries me is that what if he is right all along? Mother will be in sin forever...May Allah shows the right way...

Their divorce has never been registered. He often said that his pension will go to mother once he is no more with us.

We have tried to talk with mother, but she would not listen to any of us. That is what our mother is.

Once I asked her: "After a nearly five decades of marriage, is there a feeling of compassion towards him?"

She did not answer me that time, but I overheard her a couple of times saying that the hatred was so great that there was no more space for him in her life...

Pity father...I will continue looking after you in my rather limited ability and capacity. May Allah bless you and give you peace and patience in facing the great trial.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Searching for Class of 66 SK Pusat Kemaman

I don't know why...

There is this persistent longing to meet friends...

Friends of yesteryears...

Friends from Class 1966 SK Pusat Kemaman

Many a times I went searching for familiar faces...

at the market, shopping complexes and pasar malam..

But found only a few so far...

They are Deramang, Nawawi...

Need to find many more...

Those that I am in contact or know where they are include...

Aminah (Emy), Azizah, Wan Esah (WEH) , Abu Bakar Kassim, Zakaria Osman, Ahmad Zaidan, Wan Azlan, Shamsiah Abu Bakar ( in nursing school somewhere in Middle east), Mat Deris ( Principal of SMK Binjai), Ibrahim Jusuh (Jab Pertanian Terengganu), Hazis Khalid (he was referred to as Wali)

Though I have forgotten many of their names and faces...

It is good if we can meet somewhere...

Talk about the past..

Talk about what we had be through...

All the trials and tribulations..

And the many success that we had...

Share the jokes...

Share the sadness of friends that had left us..

Meet the spouses and children...

Now I am a frequent vistor to SK Pusat...

My youngest daughter is there in Tahun 6 Amanah...

Fetching her from extra classes has been my duty...

I always hope and pray that out there somewhere, all 1966 ex-classmates of SK Pusat Kemaman will read this plea..

It is my dream to meet you all

Man is created to guard the earth's equilibrium...

In his quest to fulfill his endless needs and wants, man always try to bend nature in whatever he does.

Hills and even mountains are sloped, cut and even levelled just to get raw materials like granite, earth, etc

Swamps are mercilessly filled in to make sites for their housing estates and commercial centres.

Forests are needlessly shaved and trees felled just for the greed of costly timber for making houses, furnitures, etc

Wild animals are hunted down, trapped and sold to the highest bidder to be eaten, reared as personal pets and also for the many zoos worldwide. Many animal species have perished becaus of this unsatiable lust.

Little that they know hills and mountains are created by Allah as anchor holding the earth together; forests as oxygen supplier greatest reservoir of water; swamps are the natural air-conditioner...but then after destroying all these they start complaining about global warming, floods, drought etc etc

When they start killing tigers, wild pig population shoots up - crops are then destroyed by these pigs. When they destroy too many wild pigs, tigers will not have enough pigs to hunt, so instead they start hunting human...

When they start felling trees and clearing jungles, monkeys are they then invade human dwellings, causing nuisance and even spread disease to human...the latest is malaria which is caused by Plasmodium knowlesi which is spread by mosquito from monkey to man...

When they start felling and burning trees, fruit bats lack natural fruit trees to find food and so they migrate to fruit orchards near pig farms..thus spreading Nipah virus to pig farmers and handlers...> 100 people died due to Nipah virus...

Many viral diseases, like HIV, Nipah, Hemorrhagic fever are all caused by man disturbing mother nature...

So, please take care of this earth...stop plundering them beyond repair...the earth is an amanah for us to keep for our great great grandchildren....we owe it to them...

Human versus animals

We human always like to put the blame on others. We do not realize that every time we point a finger at others four other fingers are pointing at us!

Examples are many. When a car collided with a herd of stray cattle, we immediately point fingers to the grass-eaters as the cause of the accident. Almost always DVS is made responsible.

When a tiger attacked and killed a man oh we immediately said that tigers are bad.

But the thing that I hate most is when a man misbehaves (to put it mildly), we most often will say that 'he is just like animal'.

Do we realize that animals are never is us who are often bad. Take the case of a tiger or
a crocodile attacking and kiling a man.

Why does it do so? Out of hatred? Jealousy? Fighting for worldly materials? Power? Money?

No! No! No! It does so out of desperation - to eat to live, injured and unable to hunt normal prey, food scarcity, etc etc but never the things that I have mentioned above.

When a crocodile, or a tiger or a shark attacked and killed a man almost always there will be a panic hunting down of the so-called killer. Many innocent (all animals are innocent really) animals are killed out of our uncontrolled rage.

Ironically though, when about 5,000 people are killed on our roads annually we never blame and go driver hunting!

Do you know how many animals are killed daily the world over just to feed our stomach? By the millions or may be trillions!

Many species of animals are extinct because of human hunting - either for food, fur, aphrodisiacs (they just think so, but there is no scientific evidence) etc etc

Do you know how much does a tiger costs in the black market now? RM300/kg, that was I gather from a friend. In a tiger, everything is used - skin, meat, bone, whiskers, hair, penis and even the feces!

When oil palm plantations are ravaged by elephants the first request by the owners is for the authority to kill the elephants. I really hate this. Why do elephants destroy the oil palm trees? Simple, because the planters have intruded their domain...destroying their normal food in so doing...

Yes, I know some of us will say animals kill their own kind too. You may have seen a lion killing the entire cubs of the other lion. A zebra kicking to death a zebra calf. All these are done just to make sure his gene is passed killing the other animal's offsprings, the female will soon come to heat (receptive) and mating will occur and so his genes can be passed down.

But man kills for much lesser reasons...just because the victim overtook him rudely, winking his eyes at his girlfriend, not paying the money he owed on time and so on..

In a nutshell, animals are far better than human if we do not use our mental facility correctly, control our temper etc..So, never says that a bad human being is just like animals...they will never be the same!

I remember seeing this in Atlanta Zoo way back in 1995: There was an empty cage next to a cobra's. There was a big mirror with the following wordings beneath it: "YOU ARE NOW WATCHING THE MOST POISONOUS SPECIES OF ALL"

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Looking out of the window

I was busy giving the final touches to the power point presentation. It was for the individual presentation for my PTK4.

Looking out of the window I saw a mother blue kingfisher busy bringing food for her youngs in a hole in the steep earth wall bordering the Institut Pengurusan Veterinar Cheras.

For the past hour I saw her diligently bringing something in her mouth that from the distance I could just made it out to be lizards and baby frogs. No wonder I had been hearing the knocking sound on the roof - it was the sound of her trying to catch the elusive lizards.

As soon as she landed in front of the hole I herad that distinct chirping of the nestlings. I guessed there were two or three of them baby chicks in there.

It was clever of her to have chosen the steep wall to build her nest. It was surely safe from prowling tom cats and mischievous children.

On the crawlers-covered and rarely cleaned perimeter fence I saw long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) parading precariously as they munched on Micania chordata (selaput tunggul) leaves. A newly born baby was seen clinging fast to its mother's belly as its mother hopped from a jackfruit tree to the fence.

Ten feet away near the swamp I saw a pair of white breasted waterhen busy looking for worms in the soft earth.

A juvenile monitor lizard scurried across the empty field and went straight into the bushes.

Up the power line above brown-throated bee-eaters were getting ready to fly after a swarm of bees in the distant.

An unidentified butterfly flew past the window, probably looking for evening nectar from a row of hibiscus in front of the parking area.

Enough of the nature escapade I finished my presentation....

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Shakirin came visiting us...

Suddenly I remember arwah Shakirin...tears well up in my eyes as I begin to write this story...

He would be 22 today...
But Allah loves him better than us...
He was called to Him on 10 July 1991...
13 days short of his 5th birthday...

For 17 years 13 days since he left us...
We still miss him very much...

His memories are still as fresh as ever...
His cheerful, sense of humour and...
always positive attitude towards life made us all
miss him more...

That was Khairul Syakirin...our beloved son..
He succumbed to Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia after battling it for a year...

Still vivid in my mind how strong and determined he was in fighting the disease...
How he remained still when his small hand was constantly poked for blood sample...
How he yelled at the doctors instructing them to get it in one go...
How rigid he was in taking in all those bitter pills...

But most of all, how he constantly reminded me to write down his story...
Of all the trials and tribulation he had to undergo...
Of how his family had to bear it all..
So that others will understand what suffering from leukemia is all about...

Even at that tender age he was already an altruist...

He was a very intelligent boy really...
Once he amazed the doctors when he said "no" to the doctors who were talking about their plan to do spinal tap on him.

This morning Syazwan woke up with tears (berabok air mata - to use his exact sms to me)in his eyes...he dreamed of meeting arwah Shakirin last night...

My wife 'met' arwah Syakirin in front of her as she was praying zohor yesterday (she called me as soon as she received the same sms from Syazwan)...

Yes, may be our son, arwah Syakirin, he visited us, to see what is happening to his family...

Have we forgotten about him?

For in our 'busy worldly quest' we have not visited him for so long...

Oh dear, please forgive us...

You are still very close to our hearts...still a part of the family...we miss you very very much...

Al- Fatihah to you....

May you always be in His keep always

We will always remember you...

From Ma, Aboh, Sisters and Brothers and all those who knew you

Friday, July 11, 2008

Moments of My Life - Part 15

A few weeks after the Australian trip, Dr. Kadir Osman called me to his room and told me that there was a plan to transfer me to Melaka. He said that he had nothing against the transfer plan, as it would be good for my career.

I was excited with the news. So were my family members, they too were looking forward to our transfer to the historical state of Melaka.

Not very long after that I received my transfer letter. I was given the honor to be the Melaka State Veterinary Director, replacing my classmate, Dr. Abu Hassan Mohamad Ali, who was transferred to the Dairy unit in the headquarters.

In Melaka we rented a newly completed single-storey semi-detached house in Taman Bahagia, Bukit Baru. It was only RM350.00 per month. It was about ten minutes drive from my office that was situated in Ayer Keroh.

It was in Melaka too that another son of ours, Syafiq, returned to us after spending seven years living with my parents-in laws. Diyana and Syafiq went to school in Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Beruang.

I had chosen that school just for the simple reason that it was situated on my way to the office. Others preferred the more popular Sekolah Kebangsaan Dato’ Palembang, but I did not. It was just far too crowded for my liking.

Both of them, Diyana especially, adapted well to the school and soon were making many friends.Among Diyana friends whom I could still remember were Nicolette, Mei Yean, Haniza, Anas, Syafiq, Hizami.

Diyana was so close with a few of them, especially Nicolette, that their friendship remained strong until now. She would always try to meet them whenever we were in Melaka. I hope that their friendship will remain forever, right into their adulthood, and may one day they meet again in the institute of higher learning.

Syazwan was also very happy growing up in Melaka. He too had many friends. He was also very helpful to the family especially for buying nasi lemak in a food stall not far from our house.

Once I could not help myself from laughing when I overheard him ordering nasi lemak from the stall: “Five nasi lemak with separate gravy please!”

He was very good in the details since very small. Like his late brother, he too was a very robust child, running here and there and climbing whatever interested him.

He even had a girlfriend then. They used to ride their bicycles together and shared the sugar cane juice.

Life as a government officer in Melaka was something else. Being a small state, most of us heads of departments and political figures knew each other well. The relationship was even closer in the state agricultural committee. The leading government agency under the agricultural committee, at least financially, was of course the Melaka Integrated Agricultural Development Project.

Its Director then was Salleh Suradi. Most of our developmental projects were funded by his agency. Whatever was said about the then Chief Minister of Melaka, he was still a dynamic leader and he had moved us all as a strong team in the successful running of the state.

Melaka had changed a lot under his leadership, from a sleepy hollow to a dynamic and vibrant industrialized state that was the envy of other larger and richer states.

From the livestock industry point of view, Melaka was the chief producer of fresh milk in the nation and it was an important poultry producing state too.

However, my family liked Melaka most because of its many good tourist destinations within an area. We did not have to travel far to visit all these places. The Bandar Hilir, which was famous for it’s A’Famosa castle, was our favorite weekend destination.

Syazwan just loved the hill, the fields and not to mention the bullock carts. I was especially attracted to the many seafood stalls around Serkam and Umbai where their grilled fish and nasi lemak were something that visitors to Melaka should not have missed.

My wife loved living in Melaka so much because here she found so many good friends, both in our neighborhood as well as my colleagues’ wives. Official functions and dinners were common events when we were in Melaka.

During such events, spouses were usually invited along. It was through such dinners that my wife befriended her closest friend, Suhaibah, the wife of Mr. Nawayai the Director of Melaka zoo. They were indeed very close friends until now.

In Melaka, I did not have much time to actually perform real veterinarian’s work. I was more in the administrative, consultative and public relation kind of works.

I was even appointed as a board member of a state agricultural company that was involved in a wide agricultural activities including cattle feedlotting. I used to give my expert opinion on matters pertaining to feedlotting.

Besides feedlotting, I was also deeply involved in sheep and goats production. I was impressed when youths in Melaka were so dedicated in sheep rearing and transform Melaka into an important sheep producing state.

From what I knew, these youths were also involved in marketing the sheep, and this explained why they were more successful compared to their counterparts in the other states.

My wife began to have more regular asthmatic attacks in Melaka. Her asthma would normally be exacerbated whenever she had colds and flu.

Once I was really in dilemma, caught in between two things - going to Sabah for a meeting or staying besides her and forgetting about the meeting.

The night before my departure to Sabah, she was having her asthmatic attacks. Her asthma continued to the morning that I was supposed to leave for Sabah. I did not know why, but I chose to go to Sabah. Perhaps I thought that her asthma would subside when the environmental temperature increased.

Just I was leaving the arrival hall at Kota Kinabalu airports, I heard my name being called via the public address system, asking me to report to the information counter. At the counter I saw a notice asking me to go home immediately as my wife was in the ICU. After telling my Sabah counterparts of my problem, I then took the next flight to Kuala Lumpur.

Reaching my house in Bukit Baru, I saw a big crowd gathering in my house. Both my parents and parents-in-law were there too. I then rushed to Melaka General hospital.

She was still in the intensive care unit. It was sad to see her lying unconscious like that. I held both her hands and whispered to her ears telling her how sorry I was for leaving her alone in the first place.

According to a doctor there, she was much better that when she was brought in and her condition was now stable. They also told me that they had to put her on the respirator machine, as her system was not functioning.

I was scolded for having left her alone in her condition. I had nearly lost her. An old Malay lady in the ward voiced her amazement at how close my wife was to Allah throughout her predicament. The word Allah was always in her mouth. That was why, she thought, she made it through her critical condition safe and sound. Thanks God for saving her.

It was my neighbor Dr. Baba who brought my wife to the hospital.Diyana was the real heroine behind all these. She was the one who organized everything when her mother was rushed to the hospital. She called both my parents, parents-in-law, and my office telling them what had happened to her mother.

She also called her teacher for help. She even cooked Maggie noodles for her little brother. I knew that she was very independent since she was very small, but I was so surprised to see her being so dependable in times of need.

Since that episode, I would never again leave her, for whatever reason, whenever she had, even the slightest, signs of asthma. On the positive side, that incident had made her more aware that it was important for her to always have her supply of Pulmicort and Bricanyl inhalers at hand.

Moments of My Life - Part 14

Not long after that Dr. Ahmad Suhaimi left for Japan to do his masters in beef science. It was good for him to take a break from the job and come back when everything had cooled down.

Before leaving, he even advised me to follow suit. I decided to stay put in Terengganu and waited it out to see what was going to happen to me next.

For a few months, I was the acting Terengganu State Veterinary Director. Then Dr Fauziah Embong reported duty as the new director, a record in itself. She was the first lady state director in the entire Ministry of Agriculture.

The first thing she did was to renovate the meeting room, giving it her feminine touch. As usual, I just had to adapt to her working style and I was pretty good at it. Of course I was always a bit uncomfortable working under a lady boss, more so when she was still a single lady.

Just imagine how difficult things could be when the three of us (she, my wife and I) were invited to a dinner at the palace. We just could not go there together! So finally it was agreed that we went in separate cars at slightly different time.

One day I received a letter from the training division. I was offered to go to the Philippines for a three-week course in buffalo production. Not wanting to miss the opportunity to visit Philippines, I accepted the offer.

I left Subang Airports on my way to Manila by the Malaysian Airlines System. The course was not that applicable to Malaysia. This was because in the Philippines, buffaloes were regarded as a part of the family of rural folks. Each family normally owned a pair or two, and they were raised in such a way (I was told that the buffaloes were even given rice in a plate) that they became so tame that they could ride on them without any fear of being thrown down.

A lady veterinarian, whom I met during a heat-synchronization programme in a village, performed an artificial insemination all by herself. You could never do that in Malaysia. Our buffaloes, which were mainly kept in a semi-wild state, were almost impossible to even go near them without provoking a stampede.

Food was a real problem for me at the International Youth hostel at Los Banos. Being a great pork-eating nation, pork was served everywhere. In the dining hall, breakfast was served buffet style.

Ham, scrambled eggs, and toasts were served side by side. Spoons and forks were shared between them. So, most of the time I would have plain bread and tea for breakfast and for lunch it would be white rice with two hard-boiled eggs.

For dinner I either walked or got into a jeepney (a common public transport there) to a small food stall owned by the Muslim student association.

Reaching the destination, I just had to howl “Para po!” and the jeepney would then screech to a halt. There were nothing appetizing there, but I was pleased nonetheless knowing well that all food served there was halal.
What irritated me most was that despite my incessant demand to the organizers to supply me with the food from that stall for my meals, they simply ignored them. It was clear that they were not a very good host. I remember when we were the host of such an international training programme, we would try our best to cater for all kinds of food requirements.

The fact that all Indonesian Muslim participants eating all the food served there, ignoring their halal status, confused them further. They must have thought that I was too fussy with my food. They did not really understand what was actually meant by halal food. That was what I thought of them.

Once when we were outside the campus visiting a buffalo project, we stopped at a food stall for lunch. After asking them I could not eat pork, they told me that the soup did not contain pork. So I ordered a bowl of the soup.

As I was bringing a soup-spoonful of the soup to my mouth I looked to my right and saw that they were having the same kind of soup. I immediately stopped what I was planning to do.

I ran to the kitchen and once again asked the chef. He said that my soup did not contain pork. He had just removed the pork from my bowl of soup!

Then I knew that we just could not things for granted as far as our food was concerned. In another incident in a different restaurant, I ordered baked fish and shrimps for my dinner.

Being suspicious, I ran to the grill at the back of the restaurant to see how the fish was baked. Good grief! The seafood was baked right smack underneath a roasting piglet!

The juices from the piglets were dripping freely onto my fish and shrimps. Also, I had lost all my appetite in such a restaurant as a roasted piglet, complete with its snout and four feet was usually served as the main dish.

From then on, I would rather go hungry whenever I was outside the campus area. However, on a few occasions I managed to beg the chef to cook me separately a delicious fish called lapu-lapu. It was really delicious.

A few days before the training ended, we were brought for a sight seeing in Baguio City, a hill resort city just like our very own Cameron Highlands. The road leading to the city was winding like anything. On the way, we stopped at a monument – the head of President Marcos.

Reaching Baguio City, we checked in at a reasonable hotel in the city. After refreshing myself, I went around the city on my own. I was only in T-shirt then. They would not be able to know that I was a foreigner as long as I did not open my mouth and speak.

As in Bangkok, here too I visited all the places that Baguio was famous for. I found that the standard of such places was way below those of in Bangkok. The places reminded me of saloons in many of the western films.

They were crowded, hot and full of cigarette smokes. I had a chance to talk to a grandmother who was accompanying her granddaughter, a barely thirteen years old girl, performing a strip-tease show in one such places.

I asked her why she did what she was doing. She then simply told me that she had to find the money for her granddaughter’s education.
Feeling nauseated at the unsightly scene of a middle-age potbellied couple doing that act, I left the place for more posh massage parlours.

Like always, I was there just to fill my curiosity. There I saw many Mestisangs (crossbred ladies) providing services ranging from honest whole-body massage right to whatever a client asked her to do.

There, I was told that Mestisang Castillo (Spanish crossbred) was the favourite among clients because of their beauty and more European complexion.

Coming back from such excursions, I usually told the stories, with a few exaggerations of course, to the other foreign participants, especially to a Nepalese. Despite of his age, he was so excited with my stories.

He repeatedly asked me to bring him to those places. I fulfilled his wish. I brought him and two other participants to a massage parlor. After explaining his interest, the lady owner called one beautiful Mestisang Castillo especially for him and even provided an exclusive room for both of them.

The lady brought him straight into the room and closed the door. We were all waiting outside, impatient to hear his stories.

Suddenly, the girl came out in a hurry. She was pale and almost speechless. Stuttering, she told us what had happened. The Nepalese fainted as soon as she undressed.

We had to sprinkle cold water onto his face to revive him. I panicked. I could not imagine how such a story could ruin my reputation if it ever came out in papers.

Still weakened from the greatest shock in his life, we took him back to the hotel. As soon as he was well again, he told us all what had actually happened and what made him to faint.

Frankly he told us that back home in Nepal, he was a devout Buddhist. He never drank any liquor in his entire life and he had never seen a lady totally naked under the lights.

“What about your wife?” I asked him.

“For us, it always happens in total darkness. We could not afford to do it under the lights as our children were always with us. We have only one room!”

With such simple explanation, I understood why he was like that, very high spirited in the beginning, but finished dismally as he had to be carried back to the hotel without achieving what he had planned to do in the first place.

The training also taught me a lot about the way of other nationalities. There was this one Burmese who was always thinking of bringing back something to Burma on his way home.

“I could get a lot of money by selling them in black-markets!” he told me. He even asked me whether I could help him in getting a few hundred pieces of corrugated zinc roofs from Malaysia.

He was also always in his suit came rain or shine. When asked, he told me that back home he was always in sarong, and he would never want to miss the chance of wearing the suit now.

He was also hooked to beers. According to him, beers were cheap in Philippines. From him I knew that being a closed nation, Burma had almost no imported goods at all in her market.

That was why black-markets flourished in Burma. He also told me that he had to fill documents about an inch thick and spend almost US$500.00 just to get the forms filled and his international passport issued.

After the course, I got on board our MAS plane and headed for home. On board, I unashamedly asked for another set of lunch after finishing my first. Startled, the stewardess asked me why.

I told her simply that those were the real halal food that I had had since three weeks ago. She just smiled at me.

It was true what Adibah Amin had said in her writing, the thought of Malaysian food would bring us back home! In Kuala Lumpur, I went straight to a satay restaurant in Bukit Bintang shopping complex and enjoyed sticks after sticks of delicious satay kambing!

Moments of My Life - Part 13

My work also involved the Terengganu royalties. Usually Mr. Tan Beng Hwa, an experienced Veterinary assistant, was usually summoned to the palace whenever veterinary services were required.

He would call me only if the case was too complex for him to handle. The Sultan's favorite polo horse was such case.

The horse was suffering from urine dribbling and signs of colic. At times the urine contained blood. As I approached the seemingly painful horse, I saw the horse was restless, looking at its abdomen, going down on its sides and rarely dribbling bloodstained urine.

Only two conditions could result in such behavior, either colic or renal stone. To prevent the poor horse from being in great pain any longer, I reported the horse's condition to he Sultan and asked his permission to put the horse to sleep.

His Majesty asked me whether the horse's meat was safe to eat. I said that the horse had received too much medication, thus making its meat unsuitable for human consumption. His Majesty then agreed with my suggestion and ordered that the horse be euthanized.

After euthanasia, I performed a field necropsy on the horse. I was a bit apprehensive as I began the necropsy.

"What if I found nothing wrong with the horse? How am I going to report to the Sultan? Remember, this was the Sultan's favorite horse!"

All these questions were playing inside my mind as I was cutting the horse open. The lungs and heart were normal. Opening the abdomen, once again I saw nothing abnormal. There was no volvulus or intussusceptions (telescoping) of the intestines.

The left kidney was also all right. By then I was perspiring more copiously. Then I reached for the right kidney. Eureka! I found it. There was a humongous renal stone in the kidney.

The stone had compressed and replaced most of the renal parenchyma. No words could describe how relieved I was at my finding. After cleaning the renal stone, I presented it to the Sultan with a complete report of the case.

The story of the case was widely talked about among the state's VIPs. Even the State Secretary called Dr. Ahmad Suhaimi and asked him for the details of the case.

Our second child was born on 25 January 1985. We called him Khairul Syafiq. As my wife was working and he was having some health problems, we decided to let my mother-in-law to take care of him.

I was a bit hesitant in beginning, but there was no other better alternative. A year and half later, that was on 23 July 1985, we were blessed with another child, also a boy. We called him Khairul Syakirin. Like his sister, he too was a smart boy.

One day in the month of Ramadan that year, Foot and mouth disease outbreak occurred in Terengganu. I was asked to see the Besut OCPD to arrange for roadblocks along strategic roads in Besut. After meeting the OCPD, I decided to stop at my wife's aunt house. It was a hot day. The short rest and a cold bath was the real reason why I decided to stop at the house.

My wife's grandmother was saying that she was planning to leave for Kemaman. I did not give much thought to what she was saying. After a refreshing bath using the well water, I left the house.

Just after a few hundred metres away from the house, suddenly my brain started thinking. "Have I been snobbish for not offering them a ride to Kuala Terengganu?" Then the better side of me decided that I should have asked them. I turned back and headed straight for the house. They were all happy that I had come back.

So, once again I left the house with two passengers, Anwar (my wife's cousin) in the front seat and my wife's grandmother in the back seat. Like any fasting month, that afternoon was hot as usual. I was beginning to feel tired and drowsy.

As I was driving, I kept talking with Anwar telling him that how dangerous it was to drive when you were sleepy and I was sleepy, very sleepy that very moment. Instead of pulling over and having a short nap, I kept on driving, miles after miles on my way to Kuala Terengganu.

Suddenly, for a split second, I dozed off. It was at a sharp corner near Kampong Rahmat. The car went straight into a fifty-metre ravine, knocking down two rubber trees along the way and finally came to a stop when a huge boulder broke the car's engine.

According to a rescuer, I was fast asleep at the steering wheel. In a semi-conscious state, I overheard voices saying that a passenger was killed in the accident. I was literally pulled away from the badly wrecked car by a policeman. I was only fully awake when I was in the ambulance.

"What happen?" I asked Anwar.

"Grandmother passed away!"

I was shocked. I turned and looked in the back seat. My wife's grandmother's body was lying still on the seat.

Then only I realized that once again I was involved in a road accident. I spent a night in the hospital. According to the doctor, it was just for further observation. I only suffered a minor injury on my right eyelid. The scar was a grim reminder of the accident. It remained visible till today.

My Ford Laser was so badly damaged that the insurance company chose to write it off. Within a week, my new car loan was approved. I bought myself a used Mitsubishi Galant.

The effect of this accident was far worst that the one in Ajil. I felt that some body from my wife's side blamed me for her grandmother's death. I felt really bad. I knew that I was not solely responsible for her death. A bit superstitious, I felt that I had broken my personal taboo when I turned back and offered them a ride in my car. Under normal circumstances, I would not have done that.

My wife knew well about this great taboo of mine. Consoling myself, I guessed it was destined that my wife's grandmother was to pass away in my car. I was charged in the Magistrate court for that accident. It was the first time that I was ever tried in court. With the help of a lawyer, I was finally charged under a less serious charge. I was fined $400.00. I was lucky that my driving license was not suspended.

One day, a lorry carrying ten buffaloes was stopped by policemen in Kuala Terengganu. The driver failed to produce the necessary documentation. Dr. Suhaimi and I were summoned to the police station to examine the animals.

On clinical examination, I saw a few of the buffaloes had old foot and mouth disease lesions on their tongue, gums and cheeks. When questioned by the policemen and us, the lorry driver admitted that the buffaloes had been smuggled from Thailand.

Then Dr. Suhaimi, after consulting the State Deputy public prosecutor, decided that the buffaloes be shot destroyed to prevent the spread of the disease in Terengganu.

We then brought the buffaloes to Pusat Haiwan Kecil Manir. The buffaloes were then shot dead by our dog shooters. The shooting of the buffaloes attracted a large crowd of curious on-lookers who happened to pass the area.

The shooting, a necessary action to prevent the spread of the disease in the state, even attracted the attention of the opposition party in the State assembly.

Not very long after that incident, I received a report from Pejabat Haiwan Daerah Kuala Berang that a group of cattle were showing signs of hyper salivation and some of them were also limping. Closely examining each affected animal, the mouth and the feet, there was no doubt that those animals were indeed infected with foot and mouth disease.

Samples of epithelium from the hoof and mouth lesions were collected and dispatched to the foot and mouth disease reference laboratory at Pirbright, United Kingdom. Control measures were immediately taken. These included animal movement control, vaccination, and active surveillance.

Federal staffs were mobilized to help in the statewide disease control exercise. They came by the hundreds from everywhere in the Peninsular Malaysia. They were broken up into groups and sent to Kemaman, Dungun, and Hulu Terengganu Districts to help in rounding up animals and then vaccinating them.

With the ingenuity of a group of officers, a transportable iron corral was designed, built, and used. Hundreds of simple, cheap, but efficient corrals made up of bamboo poles and planks were also constructed at strategic places.

All these finally produced an 80% of the animals vaccinated, a feat that was never achieved or even dreamt of before.

A few days later, it was confirmed that the virus was FMD virus type Asia 1. The spread of the disease was successfully controlled. It was only confined to the district of Hulu Terengganu. Other districts were spared.

In Hulu Terengganu and perhaps in the border areas of Kuala Terengganu, the disease lingered on for about ten months. As Dr. Heng Ngak Howe rightly put it, the disease was probably swept away to the South China Sea by that year's big flood.

Moments of My Life - Part 12

I moved into a bigger and more comfortable house in Kampong Nibong Atas. The house was just nice for a small family like mine.

Two weeks later, my wife was finally transferred to Kuala Terengganu, thus ending our commuter marriage. Not very long after that, my long and impatient wait ended. My wife began to have her morning sickness.

We were very happy. Soon we would be a proud father and mother.
She was healthy all throughout her pregnancy and we never missed her periodic check-ups.

On the early morning of 8 February 1984, she began to have her labor pain. That day was also supposed to be her weekly check-up. So, with all the necessary things ready, I brought her to the hospital.

She was immediately warded. I then called both my parents and parents-in-law telling about her condition. I was restless waiting for the birth of our first child. Not knowing what was going on in the maternity ward worsened my anxiety.

At 2.51 pm a beautiful 2.71 kg baby was born. I was so excited when a staff nurse brought the baby out and called for me. She asked me to have a look at the baby. She was a baby girl, an adorably cute little girl. We called her Noorul Diyana – the light of our Din - Islam, our way of life.

Her arrival into the family changed my life a lot. She brought great joy and happiness into our lives. She was everything that a family ever wanted.

With our endless attention and love, she grew up fast. By her fourteenth day, she was already smiling at us. We knew then that one day she was going to be a smart child and would make us all proud of her.

"Dr. Azahar! A telephone call for you."

"Hello! Dr. Azahar speaking".

"Dr. Azahar, Dato' Manan, Deputy Minister of Agriculture is coming to Kuala Berang today. You are invited to come along. He wants to know something about the status of land there. The meeting will be at 2.30 pm at Farmer's Organization Office, Kuala Berang".

It was already 12.50 pm. Dr. Suhaimi was away in Kuala Lumpur. The file searchers and most of my administrative officers had gone out for lunch. I could not find the required file.

I immediately rushed home, had a mouth or two of rice, and very unlike of me, without looking at Noorul Diyana in her batik cradle, I drove straight to Kuala Berang.

My mind was crowded with questions. "What land? Why did he want to know about the land?"

Suddenly I felt my car knocked something hard. The front windshield was broken to pieces. Thinking that a stone had broken my windshield, I stopped the car.

There was pain in my left wrist. I looked back and saw a small crowd was circling around something on the pathway besides the road. Then I heard a voice saying that a boy was knocked down.

A man suddenly came out of nowhere and pulled my hands towards him. "Come on. You have to run. They will kill you!" He took me to his house not very far from the scene of the accident.

More and more people, angry people, were gathering around the victim and my car. This was Ajil, a notorious town where the people were well known to take law into their own hands onto the drivers whenever accidents happened.

Feeling that I was unsafe in his house, he then decided to bring me to Ajil's police station. We had to go through a brush before reaching his parked car.

Reaching the police station, I then realized that I had lost my wallet. The policeman was good enough to trace my movement and he found my wallet in the brush.

I was completely blank when the time came for me to make the police report. I did not have any clue as to what and how it had happened.

Once again the policeman went to the scene of the accident, had a look and came back to me helping me with the report. He practically told me what to write.

At first I was naïve enough to write the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth. He then told me not to do so as that would make me look really responsible for the accident. So finally I cooked up a story of what had happened, even to the details like: I was about three metres away, suddenly the boy crossed from left to right. There was no time to brake, so, I hit him.

I was indeed very grateful to that policeman. I was later told that the poor boy was only sixteen. Until now I did not have any idea how on earth the accident happened.

There was no police action taken against me for the accident, but I was told the boy's family did receive some compensation money from my insurance. I knew that no amount of money could replace a son. I felt so sorry for him and his family.

The guilty conscience remained in my mind for a long time. Every time I passed by that site, I would automatically slow down and look at both sides of the road for signs of boys.

Looking back, I realized that I was rushing too much that fateful day. My mother-in-law was also equally surprised to see that I did not hold and play with my daughter that particular day as I would normally have done during other lunch breaks.

My work as a deputy director varied between administrative, social, political and also professional veterinary works. One professional duty that would not vanish from my memory and could not be bought by money was my encounter with Elephas maximas, our majestic elephant.

Dr. Ahmad Suhaimi and I were called in to help in translocating wild elephants from an area somewhere in Jerangau, Dungun to the National Park near Kenyir dam. Each of us spent about a week each in the jungle together with the team from the Department of Wild Life and National Parks.

We administered etorphine (neatly labelled as KO) intramuscularly via a projectile dart to immobilize those mighty creatures. A few milliliters of the wonderful drug would bring down a big bull elephant.

I remember tranquilizing a seventeen-foot bull elephant. As soon as the drug took effect, the bull fell down limp on the ground. We then immediately ran to the elephant and chained one of the legs to a big tree nearby. Having the elephant securely tied, we then administered the antidote, diprenorphine (aptly labelled as OK), via one of the elephant's massive ear vein.

In no time the elephant was awakened from its tranquilized state and it stood up. It was of utmost importance to ensure that the elephant was not lying down for too long. Its sheer mass would cause severe muscular damage and the pooling of blood in the lungs would even drown the big creature.

The next step was the most critical. Using two domesticated elephants (one of them was Lukimala, which is presently at the Malacca Zoo), the newly caught elephant would then be slowly escorted onto a trailer.

Here I was amazed to see how elephants respected their elder. In the case of the bull, the two domestic elephants seemed very reluctant to even come near it, let alone push it, even when it was under the effect of Rompun. This is what they called pecking order.

There was not much problem to move the captured elephant if it was younger than the domesticated animal. In the case of the bull, I even prayed to God to make the animal move. My prayer was answered. It finally moved.

Tears flowed uncontrollably down my cheeks. For I knew that the bull elephant would be safe if it did not put up a struggle. A prolonged struggle for such a wild elephant would exhaust it so much that death was inevitable.

I had seen that happened to a pregnant cow elephant before. The bull elephant was then carried on a trailer to Kenyir dam where a pontoon raft was ready to continue the journey to the National Park. I followed the elephants on the pontoon raft.

Along the way, the bull elephant had to be continuously bathed to prevent it getting overheated. The three-hour journey was a slow and hot one. On and off, I jumped into the eerily black water of the lake trying to cool myself.

Realizing that my two soles might be attracting those huge and hungry tomans, I always made sure that I did not expose my soles too much to those predators' eyes down under by placing my feet on a piece of trailing rope. I even had time to catch a gourami that was swimming in between the oil-drums.

Reaching the land on the National Park side, we immediately released the bull elephant. At first it moved slowly down the pontoon raft onto dry land. As it began making its way into the thick dense jungle, it surprisingly turned back and looked at us and gave a good loud trumpet as if saying thanks and goodbye to us.

I felt so exhilarating after realizing that I had saved the mighty creature. Soon it was out of our sight, probably sniffing its way to its original herd members.

Despite our success translocating some elephants, I was frustrated that we (more so with the Wildlife and National Parks Department of Terengganu) had to lose some just because they were not fully prepared for the operation.

Firstly, they had failed to identify the real food of the elephants and prepare the food in sufficient amount throughout the operation. Merely giving banana stems and a few pails of water just was not adequate for these stressed animals.

I was sure that banana stems were not the elephants' favourite food. I had seen a newly caught elephant devouring mempelas plant and roots of plants (even the tongkat ali plant perhaps) within its trunk's reach.

Secondly, they took too much time between the tranquilizing and the real translocating process. Animals were put under too much stress for too long.

I had a sad experience of trying to treat one highly stressed female. The elephant was in bad shape. As my last resort I gave her dextrose intravenous drips. I knew fully well that a bag or two of dextrose would not do any good to the elephant, but I just had to try.

An American visiting the elephant translocation operation casually remarked to me that even if I were to pour litres of adrenaline intravenously, I would not be able to help the elephant. Though his remark sounded somewhat sarcastic, I totally agreed with him.

The elephant finally died on me. I then decided to do a necropsy on the elephant, an experience that not many of us would have in their entire career. With only a parang to work with, the necropsy took me a few hours to complete.

Luckily it was performed at night. The elephant was carrying a baby. It was sad to see the little cute baby elephant. The intestines were so huge that I thought a child could easily get lost in it!

After the necropsy, everybody rushed in, just like vultures swooping in after a dead wildebeest after the lions had their share, to collect whatever they could make use of.

The most looked after was of course the placenta. Many believed that it was good for restoring their wives\' reproductive health after delivery. Even the tail bristles were also collected. It was said that the hairs were good for treating toothache!

Moments of My Life - Part 11

Living alone in Kuala Terengganu was gradually becoming a torture for me. There was nothing in Kuala Terengganu, even for a bachelor like me then.

I did not have any close friend in Kuala Terengganu. As the result, I always end up doing things alone, be it having dinner in a stall or watching television till wee hours of the morning. There was just no one to share my worries and troubles.

Out of boredom perhaps, one night as I was on my way for a rather late dinner in town I met with an accident.

There was this timber lorry parked at the side of the road near Merbau Patah mosque. There was something wrong with the lorry. Three men were busy repairing it on the road.

The twilight light made me somewhat blind for a stack of tyres left on the road about ten metres from the lorry (emergency signs). I then crashed into the tyres and lost my control of the car.

Then I crashed right into the three of them. I saw the three of them lying on the road. I panicked and just stayed in the car. A guy from the mosque came to me and explained what had happened. He then brought me to his house.

Luckily none of the three victims suffered very serious injuries. Only one of them had lost the tip of his index finger. Out of ignorance perhaps, they did not go to the hospital for medical check-up and treatment and so they were not eligible for any compensation from my insurance company.

I did give one of them, who later came to see me in the office, some money just out of sympathy. That accident was very stressful to me both mentally and spiritually.

So, one fine day as I was lying on my bed, I began thinking seriously about my life. I was alone with no one to share my happiness and hard times. I thought that it was high time to stop my personal vow.

One weekend I had a long serious mother-and-son talk. I told her that my life was empty and I needed a woman to share my life with. Mind you by then I was already economically stable and with a promising profession.

So, my personal vow was no longer valid and in other words, I was no more a misogynist. She understood my intention well, but at first she was a bit reluctant. She believed that it would be best if I were the one doing the search.

I explained to her that I would be the one who would make the final decision as to whom would be her future daughter-in-law. All that I was asking her was to scout around for prospective candidates. I even went to details what I was looking for in the candidate.

First, she should be preferably not working or at the most a teacher. Secondly, she would have to be fair skinned and stood at least five feet four inches in height.

Soon, words were passed around the kampong that I was looking for a wife. In no time many potential candidates were identified. I was not that surprised.

It was true what Dr. Candiah had said to us once when we were reporting for our third year practical in his office in Negeri Sembilan. Being a third year veterinary student then of course our hair was a bit untidy and long.

"Remember, soon you all will be in parade for prospective mother-in-laws. So, please for God's sake, crop your hair!"

It was my late aunt in Kampong Besut who first noticed the lady. She was working in the neighbouring school. According to my aunt, she seemed suited to be my wife.

Even my cousin, Zaimah, thought so too. So, my aunt approached her and asked whether she already had someone special in her life. She said no and admitted that she was still single, unattached to anyone special.

Then a meeting was arranged for me to meet her. We met, talked and got to know each other better. With that date, one thing lead to another and soon my proposal team was sent to meet her parents. The proposal was accepted and so we were engaged.

She fulfilled (well almost) all my criteria as a wife. So, on 26 November 1982, we were safely married. Cikgu Maznah must be happy too as I had co-incidentally fulfilled her wish. Once she told me how she wished that more successful Terengganu men would choose Terengganu ladies as their brides.

A few weeks after our marriage, I was offered to go for a three-week course in Bangladesh. It was such a short notice that I was running here and there just to see that I made it.

I considered myself lucky to be chosen for the course for then I was still not confirmed in my service. Dr. Anwar, the then Director of training, was the one who really made my departure possible.

Within two days I had to have my international passport ready. The problem was at that time it was impossible to have passport-sized photographs ready within that time. Dr. Suhaimi helped me a lot in this. He had a friend who was an amateur photographer who was willing to help.

So, there I was under the hot sun having my photographs taken. The resulting photographs very much resembled the people of the country I was going!

With those photographs I rushed to the Immigration department and they were so helpful that the documents were ready for me to bring to their headquarters in Kuala Lumpur for the final works.

They did not produce passports in Kuala Terengganu back then! I rushed to Kuala Lumpur and the passport was ready within fifteen minutes. With everything ready, the three of us, Dr. Azman Ngah, Abas Sudar and me, got on board the Thai Airways on our way to Bangladesh. It was my first flight overseas.

At the Dhaka International Airport we were met by a group of welcoming committees. We were hurriedly brought in an old car to Savar dairy farm.

As we were passing Dhaka, I saw many beggars roaming the city. Many of them made their way towards our slow-moving car and held their hand out and then brought it towards their mouth, meaning that they were hungry.

Also, some of them were carrying small babies with them to attract potential donors. I was warned against giving away any money to them. According to the officers, the act of giving away money would cause a throng of beggars came rushing towards you. You would not like to be in that position. So, the best way was to pass the money, a few Takas and then get away as soon as you possibly could.

We were housed in a bungalow that was formerly occupied by German expatriates. Besides us, there were the Ugandans, Indians, Sri Lankans, and Kenyans.

The Ugandans were real jokers. They told us many funny stories from Uganda. One such story that I liked most was the story about Idi Amin's English.

At a state banquet organized by him for the visiting Queen of England, he said, "Her excellency, you have been good to Uganda. All you have to do is ask. We will revenge".

No one dared to laugh. Actually what he really meant was that he would try his very best to repay the Queen for her help.

On the other occasion, just after he was in power, a reporter asked him about his economic policy. "My 'police'?" Those are my police!" he answered pointing to a group of mean-looking policemen.

The Ugandans and I used to spend many nights together sitting under the jackfruit tree, talking about many things. I asked him whether he was married.

He told me that he was still a bachelor. He said that in Uganda then, life was so uncertain that it was not wise to get married. His salary was just enough for three days.

He also said that AIDS was so rampant in Uganda and he was scared that he too might have been infected. He unashamedly told me that he was very active sexually.

During one of these relaxing moonlight chats, I noticed that they were very apprehensive and restless whenever a policeman passed by us. He later explained that in Uganda, a public congregation of more than five people was not allowed. Then I knew that life must be hard for them in Uganda.

The course was called Training of trainers in animal health. It was organized by APHCA and FAO. During the official opening of the course, a representative from the Malaysian High Commission came to us and said how lucky we were to be in Bangladesh for only three weeks.

I knew what he meant. It was international all right in as far as the participants were concerned, but the room where the course was held was just like our primary school classroom.

The course content was good though. At least now I knew that in training, teach what the students must know in the class and put all those that were good for them to know in the notes for their later reading. To be effective, a training session should include hearing, seeing and doing sessions.

I had learned more things in Bangladesh than merely those that were thought in the class. Firstly, I knew that Bangladesh was a poor country. I had visited houses of many Bangladeshis from veterinarians to ordinary farm workers and had seen what was going on in and around Savar dairy farm.

They were all very much poorer than Malaysian very poor. An experienced veterinarian, very much senior than me, was paid only 600 takas a month (RM 60.00). The price of food was almost the same as those in Malaysia.

During the training I saw many officers who had nothing to do with the training joined us most of the time, especially during meal times. Wonder why? It was because there was abundant food where we were.

Cokes, apples and not to mention rice and mutton were freely available. When asked, they told me that normally they would not spend their hard-earned money on cokes. The price of Cokes was a significant percentage of their daily wage. They would rather spend that kind of money on other more essential things.

We were brought to a village about an hour drive from Savar dairy farm. The village cooperative was given a gold medal by the government for rearing twenty layers, and from these layers came daily supply of eggs and the village children were saved from blindness due to hypovitaminosis A.

"Even my mother back home have more chickens than that!" I whispered to a Ugandan standing next to me.

That was how hard life was for a Bangladeshi. I also noticed that a Bangladeshi would always cast their net whenever there found a water body. Small species of fishes or even fingerlings were sold in fish markets. From this I could conclude that they were really lacking cheap protein sources.

I also learned that piped water in Bangladesh was unsafe for people like us. The foreign instructors, they all were using coke for almost everything, even for brushing their teeth. They all knew that piped water was not safe for them.

Abas Sudar learned it the hard way. He had a serious bout of diarrhea after drinking the so-called 'safe water'. He had to be rushed to the hospital.

In the hospital, we were shocked to see that a doctor there did not even know how to put up a drip properly. He was struggling, confused which end of the transfusion set to put in the fluid bottle and which end to place the needle!

Luckily Abas Sudar's diarrhea did not last long. After that scary episode he would never again throughout our stay in Bangladesh tried the piped water, even when they said that it was safe.

At first the farm workers who were mostly Muslims were keeping a distance to us. I guessed they had been mistreated by the White masters for so long that they develop inferiority complex within themselves.

It took me a few Quranic verses to make them aware that we were really their Muslim brothers. Only after that they would come close and talked to us. Before I went home, I gave away a lot of my personal things like perfume, slippers, and even sarong to some of them.

While going around Dhaka looking for souvenirs to bring home, for the first time I saw a hailstorm. Ice balls, as big as your clenched fist came hurtling down from the sky breaking anything that came in their way.

I saw many cars lost their windscreens by the ice balls. Taking a break, the English instructors and us went to Senargoon hotel for afternoon tea. Everybody was staring at us.

They must be thinking who were these Bangladeshis having tea with White Masters. Senargoon hotel was just like a heaven compared to its surroundings.

After about three weeks of complete absence of members of the opposite sex (besides the participants of the training), the sight of beautiful international airline stewardesses was sure a welcoming sight for young guys like us (more so with a newly married man like me).

On our flight home, we decided to make an overnight stop in Bangkok. The taxi driver recommended us the hotel to stay in for the night. He even asked us what were our plans for the night.

Being curious what Bangkok could offer young men like us, we told him to fetch us at 7.30 pm. He was right on time. Without us asking, he brought us to all the places that Bangkok was 'famous' for. I meant the red district.

We strictly told him that we just wanted to see and not to participate. I was shocked to see how low human beings could be if they did not have enough money.

Girls were kept in a glass house and 'sold' to interested buyers for servicing their never-ending lust. Just like a cattle auction!

We learned many things about life in Bangkok that night. I also saw with my own eyes how two Arabs, dressed in robes and with rosary beads in their hands, behaved when they were out of their own country. Lying in a couch in one corner of the hotel's lounge, the elder of them two voluntarily confessed to me that he was so exhausted after enjoying himself with three ladies. It was only half past ten then!

There and then I realized that it was not the dress that would determine your behaviour. It was the god-fearing character that determined how you act when you were out of the watchful eyes of the religious department enforcement officers.

We believed we were far better Muslims than those Arabs. Our faith in god was still as strong as ever and we successfully withstood all the satanic temptations coming from the glittering Bangkok's nightlife. We left Bangkok with a feeling that we had seen them all, all the talks about Bangkok's nightlife.

In the office, I briefed the staffs about my training. I told them that Malaysia was a heaven compared to Bangladesh and we all should be thankful to God for having been born and raised in this wonderful country.