Thursday, December 31, 2009


Syazwan gets it. He was offered to do a QS degree after completing three semesters of QS Diploma.

He was very excited thinking of graduating at the age of 22 as he accepted the offer.

Suddenly he was very busy getting things ready for the coming semester. At first he was told that he will have to stay outside campus and he was busy looking for a house. In fact he has even paid for the deposit.

Then his friend told him that he will remain in the college. Oh he is so very lucky.

Now he realizes how his co-curricular activities have helped him in this aspect.

Come 4 January he will be joining second semester QS Degree programme. He will have to move to Shah Alam Campus the next semester though. He is not worried about next semester as Acap, his close rugby buddy will be there this semester and is reserving a room for him then.

Acap will be doing Degree in Sports management over in Shah Alam. In Sri Iskandar, Kordi will be joining first semester Diploma in Interior Design.

It looks like them rugby chums will be successful academically after all. Who says rugby and studying do not mix?

Diyana is also ecstatic for she has just got her laptop and internet connection. We are very happy for her for now she gets what she has been aiming for - a legal post in PETRONAS.

Now she is a Legal Executive in Malaysian National Liquefied Gas Company. So very proud of her.

Syafiq has started work over in the KL Tower Pony Ride centre. Last few days he was bitten by a centipede and he had to receive an injection to stop the pain and swelling.

Amalia went to her school registration today. She will start her Form two this Sunday.


Tears nearly flowed out of my eyes as I saw two beautiful magpie robin dead bodies just outside the gate.

They have been catapulted to death by naughty kids. I was angry, very angry at this unnecessary killings of beautiful birds.

I think I know who the culprits were. I have seen them around a few times, with sling shots in their hands, under trees looking for birds to shoot at.

Once I saw they successfully shot an innocent yellow-vented bulbul. The bird fell down dead before it even knew what hit it. The boys picked the dead bird up and threw it into the drain, just like that, without any feeling of remorse or guilty.

Shooting birds was also my passion when I was a kid. But then I shot them to eat, but not to waste them like that. I choose what bird species to shoot at. I normally shot pink-necked pigeons for their sweet flesh. But I stopped shooting birds as I got into higher grades. I fell in love looking and admiring them instead!

So boys, please stop shooting birds with your sling shot. Stop killing just for the sake of killing. Birds too need to live in this beautiful world of ours.


My Moringa trees, that I had mercilessly cut last week, have been very busy sprouting new leaves. Now, out of the four-foot stems emerge new lives, very healthy looking leaves, all ready for the picking for making nutritious soup or omelettes!

They had been growing upwards like anything for the past year. They had reached a height of nearly thirty feet before I decided to rejuvenate them. Their leaves have been getting smaller and smaller in both size and density. So one evening, with a parang I went chopping them off.

Well, I have been very passionate about Moringa of late. I was very much saddened by the tragic demolition of nearly 5,000 Moringa trees just planted in Bukit Kajang by a group of marauding wild boars and monkeys.

First the wild boars came and only nibbled at the young shoots. Then they came again, this time they up-rooted all trees to get at the very succulent roots!

The monkeys added to the damage by also up-rooting them.

Back to my garden, last few nights we wre puzzled by a sweet romantic fragrance emanating from somewhere. My wife traced the aroma and much to her surprise she found a strange-looking flower coming out of a plant.

The plant has never borne a flower before and we also have never seen any of that plant flower before.

I will try to post the picture of the flower later.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Tomorrow will be the last day of 2009. What have we done in 2009 and what are we will be doing in 2010?

No, I don't mean workwise. Forget about work for a minute. Get work out of the system for a moment.

Think about yourself for a change. No, I never ask you to count how much money or material properties you have collected over the years. I am not asking you to list down your successes and failures either.

All I am asking is what have you done for yourself? Where are you going, finally?

Are you ready for that day? Have you done enough for yourself to make sure that you get there and not the other place?

Well, I know all these while you are the man as far as deadlines are concerned. You are always on time as far as assignments are concerned.

But what about that day and the hereafter? Have you packed enough goodness for you to be able to enter the place?

Look into yourself tonight. How many more days you have? 5, 10, 15, 20 more years? How many more do you have on Earth?

You are no immortal, like Ben Richards of the Immortal series.

You are getting old. You are getting frailer by the second.

You are going to die any day now. May be not today, tomorrow or the day after..but for sure you are...

You will leave all that you have gathered behind...You will bring along nothing except your good and bad deeds...and may be your good children who will pray for you...your properties that you have donated sincerely...your knowledge that you have passed on...

Get ready! Do not say that I have not warned you...


Terengganu students are very lucky. They are given monetary assistance (RM750 for a Diploma student and RM1000 for degree) before they register.

Yayasan Terengganu is given the responsibility to do so. They do it very well.

Yesterday I went there for a second time, to get the money for Syazwan. All you have to do to get the money is to fill in the pink form (easily available at YT outlets), get your are's Pengerusi JKKK and ADUN/MP signatures, photo copies of the student's birth certificate and ic's of the student and the parents and University's offer letter.

Parents must be Terengganu folks, of course.

Syazwan received his money twice, once when he was registering for his sDiploma and now for his degree.

What amazed me was the way YT handled the crowd. For me, I just had to wait 40 minutes before Syazwan received his money, in cash!

YT is so brave to keep that much cash in the desk of the financial officer!

A hat off to both YT and Terengganu government!

Monday, December 28, 2009


What a memorable occassion it was, the 2009 Sdara Annual Dinner. It was held in Puspanitapuri, Putrajaya Presinct 10.

The entire family plus Rohana (my sister in-law and her son) stayed in Diyana's flat for the occassion. Diyana's housemate was on leave, so we made ourselves at home in the house.

My wife and I arrived ten minutes before eight. There was already a big crowd of Sdaras and spouses waiting.

The first person I met was Dato' Rani (retired Brigadier General) who said," Finally I met Dr Azahar in person...all these whiles I just heard or read about you..."

Then Syed Jaafar, our ex-principal arrived. He was still very healthy looking, with matching grey beard and all. Soon he was surrounded by his many ex-students.

Then I met the forever beaming and young 'Ustaz' Saifullah...He came alone.
I did not know what his secret was, but really he looked stunningly young for his age - 55.

Pity my wife, she had to bear standing in one corner as I mingled with my long lost friends.

After getting my name tag, Dr Khairun Nazar, had put Dato' in front of my name...I felt very uneasy for this, really, I meant it.

I brought my wife into the ballroom, my wife to table 12 and myself table 13. Already at the table were Hamidin, Zamri, Hamzah, Wan Shariff, Agil, and Ramli. Then Zawawi, Omrin, Abd Rahman aka Computer, Rahalim made their way to table 15.

Colonel (retired) Razak was the MC for the night. Then YABhg Tun Mahathir and Tun Hasmah arrived. It was very gracious of them two to accept our invitation.

Then came Fisol Abdul, the Doa leader. Fisol, one year my junior, was my very close friend. We have never met since leaving SDAR...

The first person to speak was non-other than Dato' Dr Latiff, our YDP. It was very daring of him to have invited Tun M. You know the political scenario...

Tun M gave a very casual but deep talk. He talked about how Malaysians became what we are now through education...

The night was not to listen to speeches...there will be other fora for them. The night was for us Sdaras to mix around.

With us Sdaras were the Wind Orchestra and Under-15 rugby teams who were this year's national champions. The WO played Gelora as the starter for the night.

Then was Colonel Razak's daughter singing Kuda Hitam....

Dinner was good...thanks to Fatah,the Sdara caterer. There were giant prawn, fish, chicken and beef...

After dinner, I left my table and roamed the ballroom looking for familiar faces and stopped for a chat.

First was Mamat Endut, a fellow Kemaman friend. He broke his hand during a fall.

Next was Hassan Basri, the PETRONAS lawyer and J Sham's cousin. He had offered much help to Diyana when she did her practicals in PETRONAS. I did not recognise him if not for the name tag. He changed a lot since his form one days when we first met many many years ago.

Then I met first time in person though we had talked often in the cyber space, our yahoogroups.

Mansor Saat was next. He, and I with many others in the group were involved in a rather emotional and hyper debates or rather wranglings about much so that he was banned for life from the group...
He was sombre and said,'Argh that was a non-issue." the minute I brought up the matter to him...

Faisol now lived in Seremban...he had married a NS lady...In his table was a character that I knew even from afar...He was non-other than Yusuf Kodiang...He outshone others by his silver beard, his cowboy hat and blue jeans and boots...just like him...

Then came Jamal...he ran to me as soon as he recognised me from his table...

There was also Chot...Mansur...

DKN as always was with his camera...snapping here and snapping a real pro photographer...

A junior, Jamaludin or better known as Sedih knew me too...he could still recall how I broke my leg during a high jump...

A long-haired Shuib Samah was very happy to have met me...he told me that he could not imagine how I looked like...we have talked a lot in the fact we are distant relative...saudara sesuku...suku Mungkah Bukit...from my father's side...

Rahman Meran nearly lost his temper when I failed to recognise him first time...he looked different from the last time I met him way back in the nineties in Malacca...

As usual, when Sdaras met, we can talk the entire night...we are very nostalgic group...

We left the dinner when it was almost twelve midnight...

Diyana came to fetch us...

It was indeed a dinner worth attending...

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Out of no where and never before seen in and around the house, there it was, a rat in our kitchen.

My wife screamed as she first saw something bobbing in and out behind her newly bought stove.

"Aboh, come and see what is it behind the stove."

I ran to her and said, "May be a frog!"

I bent down and took a peek. Nothing. Then using a broom handle I probed into the space behind the stove.

Suddenly the rat jumped onto the stove and straight onto the windows, trying to get away.

It was Rattus tiomanicus, I think. For it was smaller than Rattus rattus, the city rat and bigger than the house mouse.

It quickly ran into the kitchen cabinet and cleverly hid in there. Even the presence of our Stocking did not force it to reveal itself to us.

Only after I left for work I was told that it quietly slipped through the kitchen door to freedom.

Indeed that was the first rat or mouse we have ever seen in the house!


Yesterday I found a photo of me with jet black moustache and beard. I showed it to Amalia and she instantly said,"So young!".

Yes, just after 15 years all those black hair, moustache and beard are getting more and more silvery with the passage of time.

In fact now, I mean right now, there are more silver than black on my head and on my chin.

The moustache strangely still has more black hair though.

Some people asked me to put on hennae to get them all black again. I refused.

Why should I lie about my age?

Wish I am still here to see all my hair on the head and on the face are silver.

Now I have, once again sport a beard. Just could not take it any longer - the small cuts every morning after shaving.

I am trying to get it long enough so that I resemble more of a professor when I retire in a few months time and start lecturing...ha ha

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Diyana started her first day in PETRONAS MNLG on 21 December 2009. Her office or rather cubicle is in level 55 Tower 1. As excited as ever, she narrated her first day experience just as I arrived home after a very long day."I'll go for a technical familiarization visit to Bintulu early next year. You know, many things here in MNLG are Greek to me."

Syafiq tore his ankle ligament as he fell down the horse and got his leg dangling on the stirrup. A tour bus driver honked his bus and this caused the horse Syafiq was riding to free-wheel. The driver laughed as Syafiq fell down.

This angered Syafiq who walked to him and gave him a piece of his mind. Luckily a Policeman was there to stop a possible brawl between them two.

Syafiq's foot was put on plaster of Paris and he was given a 6-day medical leave. He then took the next day's bus to Kuantan.

Over in Ipoh, Syazwan was frustrated or rather fed up with his Pahang rugby team's management. He just could not believe how Bulat had changed, from an understanding and motivational coach just a week before, to a dictatorial, blaming and demotivating coach.

The team lost all except against Perlis where he tried the second try. It was expected, he said. What could be expected of a team who had just two days of centralized training and that kind of mismanagement?

The mismanagement started with the way they travelled to Ipoh. There was no bus or van arranged. They had to travel there by private cars!

Then the hotel they were staying. They stayed in a budget and unknown hotel in Medan Gopeng and to make things worst, food was on their own!

As for me, the milk-disposing fiasco was a stressful episode. I had to put on two different hats, the state's and the department's hat. Of course I had to defend the farm's action, but at the same time not to blemish the department's name.

All in all that was one of the busiest week for us.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Yesterday I received a call from Ismail aka Mak Minah, a long-lost friend from SDAR.

He was in De Rhu Resort for a three-day seminar.

After visiting FIDAF for that pour-the-milk-into-the-drain drama and ECER's Runchang sheep farm, I drove straight to the hotel.

It was strange that it was there too a couple of years back that I re-met another fellow budak SDAR, Zain Rais.

Ismail was almost the same save for his balding head and the belly. Hamzah aka Mejoh Pak Badol was there too. Ismail is the headmaster whereas Mejoh was a teacher.

Mejoh failed his LCE, but through grit and determinat budak SDAR is famous for, he managed to climb the ladder and got himself into a teacher's training college and the rest was history.

We then drove to a restaurant nearby for a late afternoon tea of roti canai and hot nescafe.

We were just like other budak SDAR when we meet. Talking in budak SDAR fashion and calling each other nicknames that we used when we were in SDAR.

Mejoh was a bit excessive in this matter. He reminded me of stories of how I evaded myself from being bullied by seniors. Stories that I could not recall, but to him they were still crystal clear.

Ismail was a wee bit reserved, gentlemanly like.

Mejoh too was planning to take the 56-year old retirement next year.

At 7.00 we departed and I drove back to our Villa Syakirin.


Yesterday FIDAF threw away 13,500 still-good milk down a hurriedly-dug earth drain.

I could not bear to see the product of high investment and hard-work by the management and workers of FIDAF went into the drain like that. I just shied away from the site and let the responsibility of creating awareness among us to love our own product through that special drama to FIDAF MD and staffs.

I know many of us were surprised by the act, but to tell you the truth, it is part and parcel of dairying in Malysia. I have seen in many times when I was in Terengganu, Perak and Malacca. They threw away milk down the drain many a times.

It is business, so they say. But, there is a big but here.

We all talk about patriotism, love our country. Do we really? To be patriotic does not only involve hoisting the Jalur Gemilang on certain days, but also love our very own products, including our milk!

Everyone in the milk industry, be it the great consumers, the industrialists, the milk processors and everyone should have a heart to our own milk.

We all should take pride of our own over and above other countries' milk!

Give due attention to what we drink. Take a look at milk cartons, bottles or other types of packaging and see what is the % of milk inside our own product.

Insist on our own product. Don't just because of profit, we accept foreign products over own own.

Why should we give priority to foreign milk over our own? It does not matter what the contract says. Accept our own milk first. It is sad to know that the opposite happens everytime we send our milk to milk factories. They came up with all sorts of excuses to reject our own product.

We should help our own dairy farmers. Drink more milk produced by them.

Coming back to the big hurrahs last night, as soon as the thing came out on TV3 Bulletin utama calls kept on coming.

First it was from my DDG1. I was driving at the time. I told him what has happened at the PC. He was interrupted by MOA KSU's call...

Then the KSU himself called me what happened and asked me what to do next...

Just before I called it a night last night, Yani from TV3 called for a follow-up. I told her to wait. DVS is going to give a PC as soon as possible.

Monday, December 14, 2009


He had finished his hypertension and diabetes pills for sometimes now. I could not bring him to see doctor for his supply of medicines because there was no one strong enough to carry him.

Yesterday, we brought him to Kemaman Hospital. Syazwan was there to help carry his grandfather. He carried him with ease from the bed into the car and from the car into the hospital's wheelchair.

To my surprise, the registration counter's staff were extraordinarily complying to the boldly written hospital client's charter. Without me having to ask for my father to be given the priority, the two ladies called me and gave the next number to my father!

Soon after that my father's name was called to room 2. I immediately pushed him to the room.

A lady uttered words that made me nearly lost my temper. She mumbled something to her daughter complaining of my father's straight entry into room 2.

I just continue pushing my father into the room and twice gave her a look that was self-explanatory - "Shut up!"

My father's blood pressure was 184/77 and blood glucose was 8.4.

In room 5 my father was seen by a Assistant Medical Officer. We discussed my father's problem. He prescribed a three-month supply of hypertension and diabetes medication.

In the pharmacy unit, again my father was given the next number. Everything was completed before ten! The fastest that I have ever experienced. Congratulation Hospital Kemaman!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


The followings are some of the weirdest law-suits I have ever heard:

1. A surfer addict sued another surfer for stealing a gigantic wave in front of him - Judge decision - no go because there was no was to put a price on a wave!

2. A boy with a bad-smelling feet sued his school, his teacher for dismissing him. Judge decision - the school had to reinstate him and the judge asked the students and teachers to close their noses and bear with him

3. A man sued Michael Jordon for looking like him

4. A man sued a paper for calling him the master of sueing. He sued everything and everybody...even the eiffel tower, plato, Guiness book of records for labelling him as the man who sued the most

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


What were the most memorable moments of your childhood life?

Don't tell me scoring all A's was one such moment! Or being the only one in the class scoring A in mathes!

No, no...we do not remember those fact we did not even bother to remember those things...

What we remember more were the day we became the school champions in 100 metre dash or we were members of the school rugby/soccer/netbal/hockey team that won the district/state championship or we took part in the school debates/public speaking/drama/singing competition or we went camping/mountain climbing, etc...

Yes, they were all those extra-curricular activities that had moulded us into what we are now, not the academic achievements.

True, you are salute and worshipped for your academic prowess...but for how long? The longest, may be for a week...then people forgot.

But if you were good in sports, people will talk about you for a very long time and everybody try to emulate you or even better your achievement!

I don't mean that we should not aim for a good academic achievement...what I want to stress or emphasise is never to put too much burden and stress on your children to score straight A's and as much A's as possible. It is and never will be necessary and the most important thing in your children's life.

Teach your children how to swim so that he/she will not drown in a very narrow stream. It is always sad to hear people drowned when they were just a few metres away from the shore/riverbank.

Teach your children how to survive in our jungle, what fruits are edible and what are toxic. Teach them how to climb trees, open up coconut to get its water and flesh so that they won't die of thirst or starve under coconut trees.

Teach them all the soft to interact with people, how to get their attention and to respect people and how to sympathise and emphatise...

Strengthene their IQ, EQ and most important their that they don't commit suicide when their girlfriend/boyfriend left them or over small worldly problems...

You are robbing their childhood by sending them to so many tuition classes hoping that they score as many A's as possible...

Remember childhood is something that they will cherish for long...give them their childhood that they will treasure and use to create their meaningful adulthood.

Look around you, how many of successful people that you know had scored all A's in their UPSR, PMR, SPM and how many of those who had scored less A's had become people who are much better off?

Please guide your children through their childhood, adolescence and adulthood properly. Allow them to choose their career wisely and never impose your unachieved ambition onto them.

Give them your tender loving care and never pamper them too much either.

Once in a while let them face hardship, though we do not want them taste what we had tasted before, so that they will appreciate what they have.

Monday, December 7, 2009


As I have said many times before the act of some people cutting queues always makes my blood boiling.

It is difficult for me to remain calm and cool everytime I see cars speeding on the emergency lane as if the road was his and he was the lone driver on the road.

Can you imagine here we were, the well-disciplined drivers, loyally and patiently queueing 4-5 kilometres when suddenly cars speeding on both the left and right lanes and then re-entered the main lane as they approached the bridge.

Because of the badly damaged road surfaces in many segments of the Kuantan-Chukai road, long queues were unavoidable, especially when the road neared bridges. In such cases, only one way traffic was alllowed to use the bridge at any one time resulting in rather long queues everywhere.


They called themselves CRC...Circle Rugby Club. Why circle? It was their manager cum care-taker 'Bulat' who has graciously teken the six of them into his house, looked after their food, etc during their training and the games.

CRC was actually the spin-off of Salvo rugby team. The other spin-off team was the Bukit Ubi rugby club. All were trying their best to popularise rugby in Pahang, and of course to win too.

Four out of 12 players were ex-players from SMK Gunung Rapat, Ipoh. Like always, our Syazwan called in his rugby chums to play alongside him as soon as the team was thought of. They were Species Padang, Iqbal and Ali.

They all came running to his side to help and help they did when they played their best in the just-completed Pahang sevens open.

The Pahang Open was played in POLISAS ground. It was raining continuously throughout the first day.

The field was turned into a padi field, with majority of the field under water. In that condition, they won all their four games. They beat POLISAS under -19, ILP, UiTM Jengka and Unicorn, Keratong.

We missed the second day. They went to semi-final, but lost to the eventual champions, POLISAS A. It was very good considering they only had a one-week training as a team!

AS expected, Syazwan was also selected to play in the Pahang under-19 team for the Malaysian sevens open in Ipoh from 19-20 December. And from the look of things, he will also be playing for Pahang in SUKMA 2010 Melaka and most probably, SUKMA 2012 Pahang.

Friday, December 4, 2009


It is quiet again in Syakirin's Villa. With the rain things are quieter, much quieter than before.

Diyana is already in Petronas Training Centre in Bangi. She was excited when she saw the WELCOME PETRONAS EXECUTIVES welcoming banner when she visited the place the night before the training started.

Syafiq followed his sister to KL though he will only start work in his new hotel this 15 December.

Syazwan is now in Kuantan, busy training for the Pahang seven rugby open tomorrow. For now he and five of his rugby chums stay in his friends house in Kempadang. His senior from SMK Gunung Rapat aka Field species, arrived early this morning from Ipoh to strengthen the team.

So now there are only three of us in the house. Life is getting much slower...

Tomorrow, once again I will be the loyal supporter of Syazwan's team in Kemunting field. Hope (though very slim) it will not rain continuously tomorrow...


Being the eldest son of a Police Field Force sergeant, I have personal experience of seeing my father leaving the camp one or two days before Hari Raya to go on duty somewhere along Malaysian-Thai border, not once or twice but a couple of times!

Can you imagine how we felt at the time? When others of our age were looking forward to spending happy times with our parents in celebrating Hari Raya, we were there in the rain sending our father off to some jungles to chase communist guerilla out of our country.

Why couldn't they wait after Hari Raya?

Then there was this tragic incident where Police Field Force men were ambushed by the commies near Kroh way back in 1967/68. At that time my father was also at the border, but I was unsure where exactly it was. Was my father involved in the ambush???

I immediately rushed back to the camp. As I reached the camp I saw a big crowd in the camp's main building. I saw some women were crying. As I approached the building I saw bullet-riddled bodies of men...

"Har...Your father was in Sarawak.." I heard a voice from the crowd. It was my mother. I ran to her and hugged her.

I was relieved. My father was not involved.

There were many other occassions where my father was involved in skirmishes with them communists.

Having recollected my experience with them communists, now let us look at the old man's request. Chin Peng wanted to come back, may be he want to die here.

There are hugh public protests over his request. "He should not be pardoned for his atrocities." "Never allow him back into the country." These were playing high in the print media of late.

Are we too emotional in this issue? Where is our sense of fair play? I remember well how we went all out to smuggle out Musa Ahmad, the then MCP Chairman, and his wife from China. Why the double standard?

If we say that Chin Peng had killed many, then what about the Japanese? They had killed much more and had caused much more sufferings to us, but why we are so friendly with Japan and even had that look east policy?

The Germans, they too had killed many in Europe, but everybody has forgiven them.

I never ask anyone to forgive him. All I say is to allow him to come in and die here. Just give the old man some time to come back...Nobody will feel or lose anything for his comeback....


It is strange that when many people in many countries are starving, we Malaysians are throwing away much of our good food.

Look at the numerous buffet meals that we have everyday, be it in hotels, in wedding parties or in government functions. People greedily collected as much food available on their plates thinking that they could finish everything.

At the end of it, so much good food, may be more that they consumed, are laid to waste.

Even in most homes here, food are still wasted. Just have a peek at domestic waste bins in the morning, you are sure to find much food wastage.

Everybody knows that Islam forbids wastage, even water from the river, and those practising wastage is equated as being friends to Satan, but everybody does not care.

Even in our recent animal sacrifice ritual, did you know that so much protein-rich food are wasted? The digestive tract was normally just thrown away for nobody wanted to clean them nowadays. The chore is just too cumbersome to most of us, but when they go to numerous food stalls, they really like tripe soup (sup perut!) and do not mind paying for it..

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I was shocked to see how people could kill people just because they were of different religious beliefs. I just could not believe how former neighbours and friends turned into blood-thirsty savages.

I am talking about the Srebrenica holocaust. For the past week I have been watching the Discovery programme over and over again just to try to grasp the mass killing.

Various huge graves were discovered all over the country by the UN investigating team. Hundreds of bodies were unearthed and identified. In the clothing of many they found miniature Qurans indicating that they were mostly Muslims.

From a surviving victim who had played dead and lived with the dead bodies for 48 hours in an abandoned factory, a grim mass killing was reported. The starving Bosnian Muslims were herded lke animals into the factory.

Then they fired grenades and machine guns into the sardine-packed Bosnians. Remains of blood drippings and human tissues were still there on the walls. When all were killed they used bulldozers to scoop up the dead bodies and brought to several graves to be buried.

The investigators found many of the long bones of the victims cut by the bulldozers. Concrete chips were also found among the dead bodies - vital evidence of the mass killing in the factory.

Sadly, US spy planes had caught the Serbs doing the horrendous war crimes on films but did nothing to stop it, till very late.

In Srebrenica mosques were destroyed and so were Muslims.

It was not only the Serbian military who did the killings, the police, the para-military and even some Serbian villagers, civilians were also involved in the brutal murders.

Monday, November 30, 2009


It has been thirteen years since that very nostalgic and much-talked-about pre-circumcision ceremony that I did when I was the officer-in-charge of Pusat latihan Ternakan Sungai Siput.

They still talk about that event.

Today finally my staffs in DVS Pahang finally did it. Nor Aini said that they did it as an event to remember before I retire.

For me, it was a very meaningful day where 19 boys mostly sons of my staffs and their immediate realtives in complete Baju Melayu were paraded from the old office building to the Sri Makmur Hall. With the boys were proud parents whose sons would soon be joining adulthood. They all carried with them bunga telur (flowered eggs and tumeric glutinous rice) and pulut kuning.

In the hall they were annointed with rose water and floral strips led by me and folowed by parents.

The boys did not look scared at all. They just enjoyed the even very much.

The visitors were later given a flowered egg each and I got 19 of them to bring home.

Then came the event that they all had been waiting - playing in the fire brigade rain! I officially commenced the spraying!

Nine of them will be circumcised in two days time by HTAA staffs in the hall while the rest will do so in their respective hometowns.


She was born at Athens Regional Medical Center, Athens, Georgia, US on February 17 1996. I was there in the delivery room, watching the whole process for the very first time.

Soon after she became the centre of attraction. Her long brown hair and wide dark brown eyes made her just like a Barbie doll among visitors. They all, be it grandmas, moms and sisters, they all wanted to hold and cuddle her.

Yes, she was a cute little baby indeed. In facts Asians are all like that at birth, cute, long haired and wide eyed.

She is our youngest daughter, made and born in US. It was a pity that she did not taste living in US though. She was 6 months old when we took the flight home!

When she first arrived in our hot and humid Malaysia, her first problem was of course the weather. She developed rashes easily when exposed to the sun.

When she was in kindergarten, she was always proud of her US birthplace. "I'm American," she used to say.

But that was then, now she was silent about her birth nation. Perhaps she was ashamed for what her birth nation did to some other poor countries.

Now, she is already thirteen, very tall and fair. She is, since a toddler, very conscious of how she looks. Still remember she used to say " Amenye (so beautiful)". She was referring to herself. Yes, she always look stunning in her new dress.

She has a very good flair of dressing up. Putting up her scarves has always been her forte. She always looks stunning in her own version of head gear and matching baju kurung.

Her latest head gear style is Siti Norhaliza's tudung...well, you know the one that exposes her hair...

Well, that is our Noorul Amalia, a darling to all in the family.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


It is sheer magical to see how a group of non-related giants of the ocean, the hump-backed whales, choreograph their feeding frenzy over a giant living ball of herrings.

First they make a sound from below the herring ball. Then as if they have practised it well beforehand, they one by one blow air bubbles encircling the now-very-frightened herrings.

The fish were forced to swam away towards the surface of the ocean. The air bubbles form a wall preventing them from dispersing.

Then, the big creatures rise to the surface with their huge mouth wide open and gulp the energy-rich herrings down their baleens and straight into their mouths.

They have not eaten anything since migrating to the food-rich waters.

Scientists were puzzled how totally unrelated giants can synchronize their moves to gather as much herrings as possible in groups. If they do it alone, they will for sure be frustrated by the cunning herrings.

Only human so far has been proven to be successful doing such thing!


Tomorrow will be a public holiday. So, understandably today staffs taking their leaves to prepare for Eidul-Adha.

After sending Diyana's Vios for a 10,000km service, I arrived in the office and found that it was empty. My PA was at the reception counter, taking over the telephonist's duty for the day.

Just as I was beginning to sit down for a serious work, there went my hp. Iskandar from Toyota Motors called. Diyana's car was ready. So fast! I would wait if I were to have known earlier that the service would be that fast.

This is my third year where we did not have to scramble driving home on a 8-10 hour journey. We are already at home!

Except for a call from Hussein, a goat farmer from Lipis, it was quiet all the way. It was surprising that there was no call from people asking for a free slaughter permit.

It looks like I just have to continue sitting on my chair and wait for the time to go home for a three-day rest!


Last night we visited my mom and dad in Kg Bukit Kuang. It has been more than two weeks since we last visited them.

It was not that I forgotten about them, but I was just too occupied with other things to make it. First the ESQ 165 training in Pekan and then the rains.

I am not giving excuses either. It is just my weakness, that was all there was to it. Deep inside I regretted it very much. I don't want to be a disobedient son (anak derhaka).

But they understand it...she even said that it was time for me to retire...the daily commutings and the late arrivals home after works all added up to my tiredness.

She was as cheerful as ever. Most of her houses / rooms were rented and her appetite improved a lot. She told me that she finished two plates of rice in a sitting.

I brought up the story of Sharifah Aminah being a relative of Syed Noh. She said yes and mentioned Sharifah's mother's and father's name. She knew them all very well. In fact she told me that she knew most of the Banggol folks then.

Yes, she agreed that Sharifah is related to me. You hear that Sharifah, we are indeed related. I wonder if you can ask your elderly relatives whether they could still recall my grandmother (her name was Mek Chik bin Musa and her mother's name was Sharifah Fatimah Zaharah).

Dad too was cheerful. As usual he stressed that he missed me. I gave him a hug and told him that I was sorry for not visiting him for the past two weeks. He also understood.

They are my mom and dad. My mom is all alone for all her siblings have passed on. For my dad, he has only a brother and a sister in Rembau, but they rarely meet each other.

My mom is physically healthy whereas my dad has been bed ridden for the past four years. I always pray that they will always be happy and blessed by Allah in their twilight years.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Have you ever wondered why animals destined to be slaughtered for sacrifice in Mecca seemed to be so willing? In fact, according to many who had been there, there waited impatiently for their turn to be slaughtered.

There was no struggle or cattle jumping here and there trying to avoid being slaughtered as the case in many of our animals here.


Animal sacrifice is something that requires sincerity. Something that is performed just to obey Allah's order, and not for other worldly purposes.

Purposes like to get one's favour, to show off how well-to-do one is and how generous one is to the poor and so on and so forth.

Worst still, there are cases where animals are slaughtered using the money not from his own pocket, but from others with special interests!

Then there will be much hurrahs in the media about his generosity and people talked much about it. What a good and generous man he is.

Then there is the thing about the animal itself. How pure it is. What kind of animal management has the animal been through? What kind of money is used to buy the animals? Is the money 100% halal?

These are the questions we all need to ask ourselves before we sacrifice animals. When all the answers are according to our teachings, then go on sacrifice as many animals as you can afford and also do it properly.

Happy Aidil Adha!


In a Veterinary Anatomy class Dr Menon, the lecturer, announced that there would be short quiz. The question was as follows.

" A brand new car was speeding at a speed of 140 km/hour on a straight road. Suddenly an old cow casually crossed the road. The car's driver tried to stop but the distance was too short for that. The car rammed into the cow hitting the mouth directly. How many of the top incisors the cow lost?"

"You all have ten minutes to answer and at 2.45 I want all answer papers."

Everybody was scratching his or her head. What a question it was.

I passed on an empty paper and so many others. Of course there were a few smart students who gave a well calculated answer.

"Dr Menon, what a difficult question!"

"Really? You wan to know the answer?"


"No teeth was lost. Cattle has no upper incisors!"


I was driving along a busy town road. The driver of the car in front me was driving so slow as if he was the only driver around town.

I was in a hurry. I drove up very close to his car's bumper signalling to him that I wanted to pass. I saw his eyes looking at the mirror and I was sure that he also saw me and knew my intention.

Losing patience, I flashed him the high beam. Nothing changed. He still drove ever so slowly.

I then moved to the left and tried to pass. I knew that it was wrong, but I had no choice.

Suddenly, as if just awakened from a long slumber, he pushed hard on his gas pedal and the car sped and he then swerved in and out from right to left and right again. He clearly did not want me to pass.

I pushed harder on my gas pedal and managed to hold on. He then passed me and stopped. Of course I too stopped in a hurry to prevent a collision.

He got out of his car and menacingly walked towards my car. Then, as sudden as he had stopped his car, he stopped right in his track.

He raised his right hand and mumbled something. I lip-read him as saying that he was sorry.

You must be surprised why a young and strong man like him behaved in such a humuliating way towards an old man that had pestered him all the way.

No, there was nothing in me that made him scared of me. I was just a 55-year old man trying to reach my destination fast.

You wanna know the real reason?

He saw two big fellows, one sitting next to me and the other in the back seat. Their mere physique were too much for him and his puny friend.

They were my sons, both above six-foot tall and 85 kg in weight!

I could not imagine what might have happened if they were not around.


Diyana just 'sms'ed telling that she has arrived safely in Kemaman. I have been worried when she has to drive all alone from Putrajaya this morning.

It is not that I did not trust her driving skill. It is just because of the rain...the road, especially the KL-Karak highway and the East Coast highway, can be very treacherous if one is not careful.

She has finished her one-month notice at JAKIM yesterday and is looking forward to start work in MNLG Petronas. She has got 5 days to rest at home.

At home, Amalia is also looking forward for her sister to come home. She just cannot wait to get into the front seat of her sister's Toyota Vios.

So, now our Syakirin's villa is full - all 6 of its dwellers are already here. For the next five days at least, it will be full of activities, especially at night.

I don't know why, the boys tend to stay up almost the entire night getting hooked on their lap-top and spend the day sleeping! The rain does not help much either.

I don't care what they do, as long as they don't wander around and get into problems.


Lukimala is a domestic Asian elephant in Kuala Gandar Elephant Training school. A day before yesterday her picture came out in the newspaper. She was involved in rounding up wild elephants that have caused some damage to local agriculture in Jerantut.

It is always nice and refreshing to me to know that our grand ole lady is still active in her works.

She is very professional in her works.

I have known Lukimala since the successful elephant translocation operation in Jerangau Terengganu in the early eighties.

Since then I have kept a track on her whereabout and her activities.

I have even visited her in Kuala Gandar recently. From her facial expression and body language, I think she still remembers me!

Who or what can forget those days - the leeches, the frustrations, the prayers and the success stories.

I cannot forget the moment when a full grown bull elephants trumpetting his thanks to us as he left the ferry for dry land to join his friends in the National Parks Terengganu side.

I also cannot forget the agony of having to do a necropsy on a dead she elephant(out of wanting to understand more about elephant)in the middle of the night in the middle of the jungle with only a parang and later to find a fetus in her womb.

But best of all was it was during the operation that I got to know dear ole grand lady Lukimala.

Our relationship continued when I was in Malacca and she too was in Zoo Malacca.

To dear ole grandlady Lukimala, continue your life well and serve the human as well as your own kind!

P.S She is more than seventy years old now (if I were not mistaken)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Everything changes, including our hair style. I remember first it was combed from right to left. This style remained throughout primary school life.

The hair cream? No, it was not was Jameela hair cream. It was the green oild in long-necked bottle.

When I went to SDAR, the hair cream changed for a couple of times. I forgot which one came first, but among them were Brylcreem and Tancho (the super thick cream).

It was in Form three that the hair style began to change from being combed from right to left and sometimes right in the middle.

The left to right style did not last long. It was soon replaced by the midline style. This lasted well into my university days.

Towards the end of my university days, once again my hair style changed. This time the hair was combed towards the back, no line at all.

It seemed the easiest and the most fashionable style that time. This style remained till now, but of course the hair is no more jet black as it used to be. Now, not only the hairline is receding and it was adorned with more grey than black hair. The hair itself is getting thinner now.

Monday, November 23, 2009


He was always in batik sarong worn from just below his navel to slightly above his knees. He wore no shirt whatsoever, come rain or shine.

When we first met him, he was always serious looking with no sign of impending smile.

Now, as we knew each other better (at least after so many times exchanging looks), he always smiles whenever we met.

Once in a while he even answered us when we asked him simple questions.

"Gi mana? (Where are you going?)"

"Keda (To the shop)"

Unlike others in similar condition that we met, he was very different. He never begged for things, instead he bought them with the money he had with him.

We always see him walking barefoot, shirtless and in the same batik sarong. He does not care much about time and weather.

There was something mysterious in his facial expression. I feel that whenever he looks at me, there are something hidden I sense he wants to tell, but cannot.

Yesterday I saw him sweeping fallen leaves from the compound of a stall busily selling tapioca.

He is Pok Su. We do not know much about him, except seeing him walking around.

I wish someone, may be his relatives, will be kind enough to let us know who he really is. What has happened to him before? What kind of life he has been through before?

There are many persons like him or in worst condition wandering around without us really know what was wrong with them. It will be good if we could wander into the secrets of their lives so that we could understand them better.

Once, very long time ago, there was this man, walking around in tattered clothings carrying all sorts of things on his back and when it was time for prayers, he would stop and gave the Muezzin's call to prayers (azan).

Stories had it that once he was a bilal. Out of greed he grabbed hold of all his siblings' properties...only God knows whether that was true...

Friday, November 20, 2009


Rainy season brings back many sweet memories. Memories of childhood days are much sweeter than even the refined Prai sugar.

One such memory was swimming in a natural pool in the field just behind the present Sultan Ahmad mosque. The field was used by fishermen nearby mainly to dry their fishing nets (pukat tangkul).

In other times it is also used to be the venue for activities like a circus, a funfair, etc.

When it is dry, Hazis Khalid (aka Aziz Wali by Kemaman folks and believe it or not, my best friend then) and I used to wander around looking for beautiful sea shells.

During rainy season, the field was something else. It would be turned into a huge pond. The water was, most of the time especially after a dozen or more children played in it, would be black in colour as the soil was bris.

My cousins (all girls) and I used to go swimming in these ponds. The water, even at the deepest part, was only around three feet. We would play our hearts out once we were there, even forgetting our lunch time.

Back to my friend Hazis, he was blessed with a special gift even then. He somehow was very good in finding gemstones from nature. After school he used to come to my house and he carried me on his bicycle and we went around Kampung Besut. Our favourite place was the kemunting bush in front of my aunt's house.

We would played and ran across the bushes the whole day.

There was no more bush there now. The bushes had been replaced by low cost houses now.

Next to the bushes was the airstrip. People would run there just to catch a glimpse of airplanes whenever one landed there.

In rainy season, again the airstrip was something else too - my favourite bird hunting gtround. Snipes and quails were plenty, ready to be caught by adventurous kids like me. Using a net on a long wooden handle I would run after the shivering and totally rainwater-soaked birds.

But all these are just memories now. Memories to be kept in a special corner of my mind and once in a while will be shared with you all.


Meeting schoolmates, collegemates and whatever-mates is sure fun to many people. Being gregarious and social creatures, we all just love to reminisce, talk about those wonderful years that we spent together.

But for me, meeting, at last, my birthdaymate was an extraordinary, out of this world experience.

I did not mean meeting someone who was born on the same day and month. What I meant was meeting someone who was born exactly the same day, month and the year - 22 July 1954!

We were on the same table in one agricultural function in one Felda scheme in Pahang. We were talking about our age. Both of us said that we were 54 (it was last year). I asked him what month. He answered July. He asked what date. I said 22. Both os us were equally flabbergasted.

At last we met our birthdaymate! Both of us strangely enough were frantically searching for our birthdaymate.

If that was still not enough, he was also the son of a policemen.The only thing different was the state where we were born. I was born in Terengganu and he Negeri Sembilan.

The other is that I am planning to retire at 56 and he at 58!

He is non other than En. Mohd Dan, a senior FELDA officer.


For the past few weeks Malaysians were busy talking about the 'cut' advertisement. "Have you cut?"

It may be innocent to many, but to some it was vulgar or may be even obscene.

What do you think?

It depends on how we perceive things. The word 'cut' conjures pictures of the foreskin being removed.

Still remember how our new Principal banned the phrase "pecah dara" when he first set foot on SDAR's soil.

We then said that we 'pecah dara' doing something...meaning doing any thing for the first time...but to him the phrase was obscene and may be too blue to be used by students. He took it too literally.

We are living in a world full of words that have double meanings. No matter what the word is, some people will twist and turn the word and finally it is made to be related to nothing else, but that thing.

Our mind must have been corrupted, so corrupted that even words that do not have any relation to that particular organ will be so.

Once I met an old lady professor who was having the same problem with her students. She told me that there are certain words that should not be used at all in lectures. Words like triangle, hole, rod, cock, pink, etc etc

Even my biology lecturer was perplexed when her students giggled when she said that the fungal hyphae resembled 'rods' or 'batang'.

"What's so funny?" She just could not understand why.Only later she found out why and since then she would be careful to choose what words to use!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Within this year alone I discovered that three of my childhood friends, namely Shamsiah Abu Bakar (SK Pusat and STF), Sharifah Aminah (SK Pusat) and Shuib Samah (SDAR) are distant relatives of mine.

How wonderful to know that we had been friends all these years and yet did not have the slightest and faintest idea that we were somehow related.

Shamsiah Abu Bakar, we were together in Standard six A in SK Pusat in 1966 and together we followed Chikgu Yong Bin Hitam, the best teacher that I had ever had, wherever he organized after school tuition class just to get the nine of us ready for that special exam for boarding school.Come to think of it, my mother knows Shamsiah's late father even then.

Sharifah Aminah told me that she is related to Syed Noh, and when her Tok Cik Hawa was still alive she used to tell me that my grandmother was realted to her. That means somehow or someway, we were related too.

Shuib Samah told me that he hailed from Senamo Kilir too. Same suku with my father, Mungka Bukit...that automatically makes us relatives, or at least one clan!

So, I now have 3 more relatives in my directory!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


The first time (that I could still remember) I set foot in Kampung Bukit Kuang was way back in the early sixties (1963-1964). It was a visit to my grandfather, Ibrahim bin Long or better known as Pok Heng Dekor (Pendekar) and his wife, my step-grandmother.

My grandfather was a famous silat guru of his time. Some said that even Mat Kilau used to spar with him whenever he passed that way on his usual walkabout.

Actually he was Wan Ibrahim bin Wan Long, but due to reasons known only to him, he dropped the Wan part of his name. I only knew this fact long after he passed away.

The little that I knew was that he ran away from his village in Kelantan and stayed put in Kemaman for much of his life. He married my grandmother, had a few children, divorce her and later remarried and had another few children. Finally he divorced her again and remarried my step-grandmother who was more known as Mek 'ndo (for jendol).

First there were only three families living in Kg Bukit Kuang - My grandfather, Syed Noh and Pok Man (the trishaw peddler). As the village was still considered ulu and covered by forest, they made a deal between the three of them.

The deal was that they all should come back and spend the night in the village, come what may. They never broken their deal, not for any reason eventhough they left the village during daytime to work.

Bukit Kuang got its name from a kind of pheasant (kuang) that roamed the hill (bukit kuang). Back then we can hear these birds singing.

I used to climb the hill with my friends in search of the berangan (Malaysian version of chestnut). They were much smaller than the present day Chinese variety of chestnut and they for sure were a lot harder to chew on.

A few times we even came across wild boars at the top of the hill. It is sad to see the hill now. It is no more green as it used to be.

Those days, there was no bridge across the Kemaman river. WE used ferry to cross the river.

The river was full of fish species like rays, sea bass, garupas, trevally, scads, cat fish and of course the crabs and shrimps. There were crocsdiles too, but as far as I could remember, they never disturb us. Probably they had plenty of their normal food to care about us.


I think I know how Diyana is feeling right now. I had gone through the same predicament when I first started work some twenty more years ago.

The work and responsibility burden that she has to handle and manage right now are just too big for a newcomer like her.

She is all alone in the Legal section of JAKIM. Her boss was transferred within such a short notice. Her immediate boss was on maternal leave, or rather was given a bed-rest order before that big day. To cap it all, Diyana did not receive any handing over notes from the two.

Yesterday she was at the parliament representing her department. There are meetings to attend, agreements to read and legal opinion to give. A daunting responsibility for one so green in working life.

But knowing her, I am confident she can do it very well. This trying period is teaching her how to deal with the stress of working life she has to face later on. She is just too responsible to leave her work unfinished. Imagine she has only six more working days before moving to PETRONAS and yet she is still worried about not being able to give her best in her remaining job!

Even for me, I will just do whatever I could in her situation. Why worry about it? But that is not our Diyana. She still strongly feels that it is her responsibility to finish all her jobs in whatever time remaining.

As a father I just told her that this is the experience that she could not find anywhere. To work with no supervision, no boss to guide and to do the job well.

Good luck Diyana, don't overstress yourself in doing others' jobs. May Allah guide you to a better future in PETRONAS and in your life.

Monday, November 16, 2009


It felt nice to hear so much being said about DVS in the 2010 budget speech. I could not believe that they took almost the entire write-up that we sent, almost four pages of the written speech, with all the nitty gritty such the number of cattle and goats distributed to so and so many farmers.

Talking to an officer from the SFO during tea break he told me that there was substance in our report. That was why they included it in the speech.

At least somebody appreciated what we were doing!


Syafiq was the first to arrive, at 3.24 am to be exact. Taking my time, I woke up and drove to Centre point to get him.

I stayed in the car to wait it out for syazwan.

Less than an hour later, Syazwan called. He was already in Geliga. At 4.15 the bus arrived. Syazwan, with that huge military=like bag of his, casually strolled to the car.

In the house, both of them appeared very hungry. They were asking their mom for food, at 4.30 in the morning!

Soon, they were busry finishing whatever food left on the table.

I did not have time to sleep after that. We had a lot to talk about, from the incident where Syafiq caught a drunk lady right to Syazwan's post-mortem on his QS Family day.


I did not know where the extra energy came from. After coming back from a Sunday official duty in Jengka and a staff's son's wedding ceremony in Jerantut, I put on my track bottom and an old t-shirt and went straigh to my garden to do some cleaning up.

Well, it had been quite some time since I last did any work on the garden. The past few weekends were all filled with activities. The weekdays too did not help much either. Almost everyday I arrived home well past seven in the evening.

My first duty was to cut down the stunted and seemingly-not-growing-as-expected coconut tree. It was the supposedly fragrant coconut that a friend over in Agriculture department gave.

The tree fell in less than twenty minutes and fifteen minutes later, I reached the soft, sweet and crunchy edible part of the tree - the umbut. Both my wife and I enjoyed the crunchy white umbut as the evening snack. My wife used a chili vinegar dip to enhance the umbut's flavour.

Next were my Moringa. They had not been well taken care of and because of that, they were very tall and without much leaves at all. I had to chop them down with the hope of them producing new branches and leaves.

Then came the cleaning chore that I did not like much. I had to ferry, little by little, all the garden refuse by hand using an empty polystyrene box from inside to the big waste basket in the form of a vacant land in front of the house.

Burning was impossible with so much rain everyday.

It was five past seven when I finished. My wife, as understanding as ever, was waiting for me with a mug full of orange juice to quench my thirst. I had been sweating real heavy after the work.

That was what I had been missing for the past few weeks - exercise!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Our house will soon be lively and noisy again. It is so quiet with only three of us around, especially for my wife who has to bear it, living by herself when I'm at work and Amalia in school.

Syazwan is coming home for a long vacation Sunday (15/11) night. He had just finished his third semester and thought that he could achieve the Dean's list this semester. He has been working hard and deserves the break.

Syafiq will soon follow, a few days before AidulAdha that is happening on 27 November. He will quit working at Picolo Hotel and come December 15 he will move on to a brand new 5-star hotel in Ampang.

Diyana too will drive back home on the 25 November morning, that is after her farewell party at JAKIM one day earlier. She will have a few days break before attending a two-week induction training at PETRONAS Training Institute, Bangi beginning Ist december.

After training she will be reporting in the 80th floor PETRONAS tower for a briefing. She will be posted to L&G division...that was what I heard.

When everybody is at home, our home, the Syakirin's villa be transformed to a boisterous, forever full of activities and I'm sure my wife will have her hands full cooking all the favourite food of her darling children. And of course, you can never stop hearing her motherly naggings...

When everybody, especially Syazwan, is at home, relatives are sure to come a visiting our house. Amirul, the eleven-year old Syazwan's cousin will for sure be the first to arrive and will remain in the house till Syazwan leave!

Nieces from Seberang Takir most probably will follow soon after Amirul...

Our quiet house will soon be boisterous and full of lives again!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Diyana was furious. She could not believe it. How could the villagers did it.

The ten bags of high quality rice that her department supplied mysteriously changed into the much lower quality rice when the cooked rice was presented to the guests for dinner.

Worst was when the guests did not have the chance for a refill, there was inadequate beef curry around. Pity the guests coming all the way and did not have enough food.

The high quality rice had been swapped with a lower grade rice. That was certain, but by whom?

The bull and five goats would have supplied enough beef and chevon for the number of guests invited. Where have the beef and chevon disappeared to? They could not just vanish into thin air.

It was embarassing, to say the least. They had been robbed in broad daylight, robbed by the people they wanted to be closer with.


I can't help but laugh whenever the subject of 'when I know how to ride a bicycle' is brought by my children.

Yes, I only knew how to ride a bicycle when I was twelve! Children nowadays are already experts when they are barely six!

I was scared of falling down. Well, may be that was a reason I could come up with. But was it really? Actually the most important reason was there was no bicycle around for me to play with.

The triggering factors that finally made me learn how to ride a bicycle included: feeling belittled when the class teacher always make joke of me arriving in class 15-30 minutes late, great embarassment when I realized that all my girl cousins already knew how to ride bicycle and that dream, the dream that I was happily riding a bicycle!

When we first moved to Kg Bukit Kuang, I went to Sekolah Kebangsaan Chukai for grade 4.

Then when I was in grade 5, like others, I went to SK Pusat. The distance from home to school was 6 miles. I went to school by the late Pok Man's trishaw. There were at least four of us on the trishaw and Pok Man had to really struggle pedalling the thing to reach school on time. Most of the times he failed.

Recently I met Was Sepiah, a fellow rider and a friend on the trishaw. She was a year junior but she remembered well our ride to school.

When I was in grade six I went to school by bus. For that I had to walk halfway and then took the bus.

Halfway through the year I realized that I just had to ride a bicycle. There was tuition class after school. Finally, after that dream, with the help of Zainun and arwah Jamilah, there I was learning how to ride a bicycle.

After a day, I knew how to ride the thing. And so began my cycling to school and to anywhere.

I had to cover a distance of more than 12 miles everyday, without any complaint whatsoever. Mind you those days the road surface was not as smooth as nowadays and there was not many vehicles, saved for timber trucks on the road.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Rainy or monsoon season is at its peak now. States of Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis are experiencing flood. More than 3000 people have been evacuated from Kelantan alone.

With rain comes tapioca. Stalls selling them sprouting every where in Kemaman.Near my house there are not less than three stalls selling freshly harvested tapioca.

I do not know why, but it is just good to have steaming boiled tapioca with grated coconut in rainy season like now.

Before the rain, it is difficult to find tapioca anywhere. But now, Tapioca is every where but it is not cheap. I have to pay RM1.20 for a kilo of tapioca.

All we have to do is to remove its skin, both the thin outer and the thucker pink inner skin, cut them pieces, wash them of dirt and sand and then boil them with a pinch of salt.

Less than 30 minutes later, there you have it, steaming, appetizing (at least to senior citizens like me) and luscious (empuk) white tapioca ready to be consumed.

Some people eat it with salted fish and sambal. For me, grated coconut sprinkled with sugar is all that I need to finish a plateful of tapioca.

Hot black coffee goes very well with it.


Fish, fish and more fish. There are red snapper, sea bass, garupas, trevallies, leatherjackets, trigger fish, etc etc

Which fish parts are your favourite?

Fish head curries, anyone? Many Malaysians and increasing number of other nationalities love fish heads. They make curries, sweet and sour, tripple taste and even soup out of fish heads.

We all love fish heads very much. When we were in the US, we had plenty of free fish heads from Kroger. They just simply rubbished the fish heads. Only after I told them that I would like to have them, they then reserved them for me everytime they cleaned the fish.

Imagine having huge red snapper, salmon and garupas heads for free! They only use the fillet and steaks.

In the fish heads, my favourite parts are the cheek muscles, the lips and the eyes!

Once I even heard two women quarrelling over fish lips in Kemaman wet market!

Fish Swimming bladders are also favourite dish for the Chinese. I learnt enjoying them when I was in Penang.Now, fish swimming bladders or simply called fish maws are in my list of good food.

Fish belly is also good. Try tuna's belly. You will love the soft and tender texture.

My youngest love, believe it or not, the fish fins deep fried to perfection. Do not be surprised to see fried trevally, scads and Indian mackerels served minus the fins whenever you come for lunch in my house. They have not been nibbled by some cat, but our Amalia just love to have them as snack.


In Terengganu we have pulut lepa (glutinous rice rod with fish and grated coconut wrapped in banana leaf and grilled to perfection) whereas Pera folks have their own pulut udang (glutinous rice rod with pounced prawn and grated coconut wrapped in banana leaf and grilled to perfection).

Having tasted the two variants, by far I prefer pulut lepa by miles over pulut udang.

Why? Pulut lepa has that distinctive original fishy taste compared to pulut udang's usually bland and that feeling of grated coconut that had been pressed for its milk.

Pulut lepa too comes in two variants and with two different names - the normal pulut lepa and the almost diamond-or-heart-shaped pulut jantung.

Pulut jantung is crispier than pulut lepa.

However, the present pulut lepa (I hate the stapples used to prevent the wrapper becoming loose) does not have that crispy texture as that of the yesteryears when I grew up. At best, only the banan leaf wrapper is well done whereas the glutinous rice is still soft.

I remember to always run to restaurant in front of the Kemaman bus station everytime I came back from school...just to taste their crispy and tasty pulut lepa!


My father was surprised when I told him that I had just had two very appetizing wok-hot coconut pancake for breakfast.

You want to know why he was surprised?

Because to him Coconut pancake was a delicacy from my past. Yes, I was really hooked to it as I was growing up. The day would not be complete without it, either for breakfast or evening tea.

My wife is already a seasoned cook as far as preparing delicious coconut pancake.

The secret is the quality of the grated coconut. It should be freshly grated, preferrably the coconut should be a bit young and it should not include the brownish materials from the shell.

It should be consumed while still warm...the warmer the better. A dip in plain white sugar is good enough for me.

I can easily finish two pieces in one go!

I love wok-hot coconut pancake. Try it will you.

Monday, November 9, 2009


"What do you want?"

"Money, power, big house, pretty wife/handsome husband, high ranking job, wonderful and smart children and the list goes on and on."
"What do you want?"

"Money, power, big house, pretty wife/handsome husband, high ranking job, wonderful and smart children and the list goes on and on."
"Don't lie, what do you want?"

"Money, power, big house, pretty wife/handsome husband, high ranking job, wonderful and smart children and the list goes on and on."

Money, no matter how much you have, will never be enough and they will be finished...Look at Lehman brothers...

Power will also be lost. It is just temporary...

Big house does not always bring happiness and it can be destroyed in no time, by fire, earthquake, etc

Pretty wife, well her beauty does not last very long either...age will soon catch up...her loyalty too...

High ranking will lose it as soon as you retire...nobody hold a post forever...

Children, they all will grow up and soon have their own lives to live and you will be left on your own...

Those are all physical happiness...they will not last long..

What we really want is spiritual happiness (kebahagian spiritual)...

What we really want is to receive Allah's approval (keredhoan Allah)...

When we have achieved this pinnacle of love, nothing else matters...

Go back to the basics...don't cheat yourself...we all love peace, happiness, truth, fairness, and all the good values...

All these values, whose are they?

They are Allah's...

When we all long for them, we really long for Allah...

When was the last time we say to Allah that we love Him?

When we pray, we just pray for physical, long life, rezeki, good children...but we never pray so that Allah help us to love Him...

We just use Allah to get what we want - all the material things...

Know yourself, know Allah...and then only you will love Allah...

Love Allah..more than you love other things, your children, your wealth, your power and even yourself...


Thursday, November 5, 2009


He is my second son. He was born one year less 23 days after our eldest daughter. As a baby he was very frail and he only walked when he was 18 months old, that only very wobbly kind of walk.

For this he was raised by his late grandmother. He grew up with her until he was seven when we finally decided to bring him back into the family.

Now he is 24 years old. Very tall, over six feet, fair and handsome (at least to his many girl friends).

Unlike others, he has a very good flair of finding jobs. He has worked in many hotels in Genting Highlands, Penang, Ipoh and now in Kuala Lumpur. Once he worked in Madam Kwan restaurant.

Despite of his cool look, he is hot tempered at times. Once while working at Madam Kwan restaurant, he accidentally bumped into an very important man. As usual he apologised to the man for the unintentional accident.

The man did not accept his sincere apology but instead threw insulting and arrogant words to him. Words like: "Do you know who I am? I am a Dato', you know?"

Losing his temper this was what he answered:" So what? Like I care. My dad is also a Dato' you know?"

For that he was immediately fired by the management. He quickly walked to the brand new hotel and asked for a job. Barely 24 hours later there he was, working with Picolo boutique hotel!


This morning as I was driving in the rain I heard a speaker talked about how we should look at sickness in a positive way.

Normally we moan and complain whenever we fall sick. Little that we know that there are blessings (in disguise of course) for every sickness or misfortunes that happen to us.

Sickness or misfortunes are tests from our Creator to bring us closer to Him and to make us realize that may be we have strayed from the righteous path.

Sickness, from as simple as a prick from a tiny thorn or a miskicking a loose pebble, will clean us of sins that we had done in the past.

That was why great religious men of the past golden era will accept sickness, hardships and misfortunes with open hearts and minds.

Life without any form of hardships, smooth sailing as they say nowadays, will often make us forget the real reasons why we are here, to fear Allah and abide by His orders.

So, let us take stock of ourselves. How far have we accepted sickness, misfortunes and hardship with open heart and minds?

Yesterday I suffered a slight belly pain...I moaned and sighed whenever the pain came...I rushed to the nearest was just an attack of gas.. the pain is still here...need to be more patient..

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


For the past two days I have been listening and involved in the discussion over the matter over lite FM radio.

When someone did something bad to you, can you or will you forgive that someone? And can you forget that incident?

I'm no psychologist, but to forgive is surely a lot easier than to forget!

But, there's a big but here, even to forgive is a hard thing to do. It may takes a very long time for those forgiving types.

It may be impossible for those with vengeance in mind, the hard-to-forgive ones.

It depends a lot on the nature of the bad things done to you or rather us.

What about women and men? Who are better forgivers and forgetters?

This is another hot topic for discussion.

As Muslims, we are asked to forgive everybody every night just before we go to sleep. Forgive without being asked is a noble thing to do. Forgive your spouse, your children, your relatives, your neighbours and your friends and even your enemies, competitors, etc.

To forget an act/acts inflicted upon you, well it is easier said than done.
I often heard people saying, "I'll forgive him/her but I won't forget the thing/s that he/she done to me!"

Not forgetting is pardonable if it is not followed with the feeling of vengeance, wanting to give back what has been done to us.

But in most instances, people will not forget just because they are waiting for the right time to pay back - a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye!

There is a saying commonly said by us Malays, "Sedangkan nabi ampunkan ummat (Even the Prophet forgives his followers)...but some will add," But we're no prophet, but just ordinary human beings with feelings."

A story worth following: An old Jewish lady was very fond of throwing rubbish on the path normally taken by our Prophet (pbuh). One day the Prophet was surprised when he did not see that old lady doing the thing that she had been doing. He then asked the people of her whereabout. They told him that the lady was sick. He then, surprising many, paid her a visit at her house. The old lady was so taken by the Prophet's kind act despite of her doing bad things to him, embraced Islam soon after.

Remember Hindun, the lady who speared Hamzah and later removed his heart, the Prophet's uncle ? She was very worried about her fate when Mecca was captured by the Prophet. The Prophet forgave everybody, even Hindun!

Once, the villagers threw stones and dung to the Proophet when he was trying to preach the villagers. The prophet was bleeding as he walked away from the village. An angel came and asked his permission to destroy the villagers for what they had done. The Prophet said no and let the people be.

That's how easy for our Prophet to forgive people. What about us then?

Monday, November 2, 2009


Yesterday morning a turtle walked into our house compound. It seemed to be somewhat lost in the fenced in compound.

As I was busy with some other works, it suddenly disappeared, no where to be seen.
There was no way that he could get out of the compound. May be he just hid somewhere among our unkempt flower bushes.

In the afternoon, there it was again, almost at the same spot. It looked nervous as I approached it. I saw a 3-inch old cut on its carapace. Some cruel human being must have caused the injury sometimes ago.

I let it be. Then it disappeared again. Let it be. Perhaps it found our place a nice hiding place.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Yesterday, 29 October 2009, for the very first time in my life I walked into a jail, Penor Jail. No, not as an inmate, but as a legally appointed member of the Board of Visiting Justices.

I felt uneasy, indescribable sense of uneasiness plus creepiness, as I stepped out of the car and walked through the guard house and into the prison compound. It was a sort of claustrophobic feel, if you can see what I mean.

It was the first meeting of the Board of Visiting Justices of the jail. There were fifteen of us, duly appointed in person by the Minister of Home Affairs.

The Prison Director bried us on the prison, its history, organization, the number of inmates etc. We were also briefed on our responsibilities and what were expected of us.

After the briefing we were then brought into the prison world itself. But before that we had to leave our handphone and our body searched for concealed weapons.

First the vocational centres - the weaving (tenun Pahang) section. I was particularly impressed with their skills in turning up songket Pahang, very much equivalent, if not better, than the commercial pieces. More impressive was the fact that the wardeds were the instructors. Even DYTM Tengku Puan Pahang was impressed with them.

Second the motor workshop. There they were trained hands-on on the repair, welding and knocking and even car spraying!

Third destination - the kitchen. Cooking was done by the inmates, with very close supervision by the warders. The food quality was determined by the Health Department in term of the calory, the protein and even the menu.

Each inmate is given five meals a day and for that day's lunch it was made up of rice, chicken soup, fried scads and fried long beans - what more could they ask?

We were all very impressed with the way they cook their rice. The rice were first cooked to 1/3 cooked and then transferred into a large steamer where they were steamed to perfection without forming crust at the base.

Then came the section that we all wanted to see - the cells. First the remand cells. Sad and forlorn faces greeted us as we passed the cells. Were they really sad or just to get our sympathy? In each cell there were a wooden bed (pangkin) which was too small for the inmates to sleep comfortably. The toilet (?) was an open one with only a concrete divider 3 feet high.

In the sick bay we met an old man paralysed after a stroke. He was a rapist of his own daughter. His fate?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Our time has finally arrived. What I meant was it is time for us to start having our eldest child wedded.

For the past one month or two, I received quite a few Wedding Invitation cards from classmates. Their sons or daughters were getting married.

Wedding Invitation cards that I had received were from Hamidin, Ramli, Nasaruddin, Zainuddin..

The latest was from Sharifah Aminah, my ex-classmate when we were in standard six, way back in 1966. Her second daughter is getting married on 7 November.

What about ours? Well, we hope and pray that it will be pretty soon. It is quite difficult to say really. It depends a lot on what we call jodoh. When it comes, it will not wait, not even for a day, but when it is not, it is not.

Once I heard her complained (to herself and us): "I won't have to carry this tv set if ma and aboh had a son-in-law!" that was when she had to carry a 15 kg tv set up to the third floor.

This thing called jodoh is very difficult to explain. There seem to be no correlation between how one looks and how fast jodoh comes. All it takes is the right chemistry, or rather hormonal and pheromonal interactions between them two.

Sometimes it takes only a first sight, then everything goes on smoothly to the wedding day.

But when there is no jodoh, the couple will not be married even after a long engagement period.

Once I asked her candidly: "Are you asking us to loook for your jodoh?"

Here was what she said: "Well, I'm still not that desperate, but in Islam it is the responsibility of parents to find a good jodoh for their children."

There she said it all. She was right. It is up to us parents to find suitable jodoh for our children, if they still have not. Many ladies are still unmarried beyond the normal marriage ages when parents leave this responsibility entirely onto their children's shoulders, I think.

But, looking for a jodoh is not like searching for a missing friend. It is difficult, to say the least. It is also not an arranged marriage. We just help to meet them two, but the decision whether to get married or not still depends on them!

One's jodoh is somewhere out there. It is already written in azali, just like like when will we be born or passed away. We're asked to look for it and not just sit around and hope for it to come to our lap.

But, there is a big but here. The way we look for it should follow the teachings of Islam, should practise all the ways our religion teaches us. We have our dignity and self esteem.

We pray that all our children will find their jodohs in good time. A jodoh that will help them to find happiness and prsoperity both in this world and hereafter!


Monday, October 26, 2009


In many things, management in particular, we are too inclined in following, quoting words of the so-called gurus from the West.

We believe too much in what they say, take for granted that the principles brought forward by these gurus are 100% true and applicable here.

We borrowed many of their ways and in so doing, leaving the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his close friends.

We gloat in our success. We are somewhat forced to sell and almost boastful at that, at our success.

Our appraisal and evaluation systems are based on this. We have to tell and show people what we have done. We become almost a show-off, bragful even in our achievement.

Remember our proverb that says: Be like a padi, keep low even when it is heavy with rice grains and not like lalang (Imperata cylinderica) standing tall show-offishly even though with nothing!?

I knew a man, a great man, very few men greater than him in any achievement in his field. He is a fellow Malaysian himself. Malaysian law and constitution was just at the back of his hand.

But, unlike many others whose achievement paled against his, he kept a very low profile, talked only when asked. For his greatness, a faculty was named after him - AIKOL.

Even after many years of his passing, people still remember him, talked about him and his achievements, including his involvement in Natrah's case.

Who was he?

He was non other than arwah (the late) Professor Ahmad Ibrahim!


Yesterday, for the first time, we were all alone. Just the two of us in the house. It was sort of a training for us to feel and experience what and how is it to live just the two of us in the house.

With Diyana and Syafiq in Klang Valley and Syazwan in Sri Iskandar, normally there are three of us, my wife, Amalia and I.

yesterday Amalia went to a motivational camp over in Rantau Abang. Three top students from each school were selected to join the camp.

In the morning, after my walk to Kg Tuan, I started my day with some gardening works. Donning my track bottom and an old t-shirt and armed with a rake and a parang I started to chop down the old I-have-forgotten-what-tree-they-were in front of our house.

Then I worked my way into the drains and began clearing weeds and other what-nots tree and rubbish in it. The contractor given the responsibility to clean it did not their job well. They were not supervised at all by the MPK officers!

Then came the most physical of them all - to prune the flower tree (again, I did not know its name). It was creeping uncontrollably into another tree and some of its branches overshot the fence.

A brisk-walking neighbour said," Hai ya! So hardworking very early in the morning."

"It is an exercise..." I replied as I began raking in dead leaves from the tree and made a heap of rubbish along the roadside.

I lighted a fire and soon the crispy dried leaves burnt without emanating so much smoke. I guessed I did not do much harm to the ozone layer with that small fire.

Chikgu Hilmi, who happened to drive by, did not think so too.

After sweating it out for almost an hour, I took a long rest in front of television. A refreshing glass of mango juice and freshly prepared scrambled eggs were already waiting for me on the dinner table.


Yesterday, after sending Amalia to School, I took a right turn and drove straight to my late aunt's house in Kg Tuan. I have been planning the visit for ages, but failed to do it with my children at home.

It has been my intention to show and tell them where I was actually born and played as a kid.

I parked my car and walked to the house. To my surprise the house was in such a poor condition, dilapidated. It was overgrown with creepers and bushes. The wooden wall was almost collapsed.

There was so much changes in the surrounding that I barely recognised Kg Tuan anymore. The space where I used to practise my high jump was somewhat lost.

The riverbank where I used to collect wild mushrooms and sweet coconut buds was now fenced in and there was a tarred road connectring Kg Injin Gergaji to Kg Tuan and we could drive straight to town using the road.

The old graveyard where I used to climb kelat tree to catch kingfisher's babies was all fenced up, thus hiding the book that I used to catch tiger prawns before.

The all wooden and using no nail surau (little mosque) where my afterbirth was buried, was still there, as strong as ever. In fact, an add on feature was there, perhaps to make more rooms for prayers.

I wonder whether it was still a destination for djinns or not, but I guess not for my hair did not stand on end when I walked near it.

That was my first visit to Kg Tuan. Perhaps later, when all my children come back, I will bring them all there - just to feel the place where their father spent a few years of his childhood life.

Looking at a school girl riding a motorbike with he two siblings at the back, I started my car and slowly left Kg Tuan.

I promised I will take a walk from Kg Injin Gergaji to Kg Tuan and straight to Kg Banggol one of these days.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Today we went in and bulldozed oil palm trees illegally planted on our Livestock reserve meant for Permanent Food Production Area (Poultry).

I was advised by my wise officers not to show up at the site. I was glad that I did so.

The operation went on smoothly at first. This was confirmed when an officer called me and reported that operation was ok.

Just minutes after the call, another officer called telling that there was chaos on the site. Then the perpetrators (the illegal planters) came causing much hurrahs.

The lonely two police officers present were just not enough to calm things down. We then decided, for personnel safety reasons, to cease operation and continue on another day when things are in our favour - I mean when there are more police officers (this time PGA perhaps) around.

The last time the three called on me in office after receiving my letter that said no to their application. After reiterating the no answer, one of them even threatened to go and see the highest authority to make sure they will remain in the area.

I don't want to rock the boat when I have just got another few months to go. I want to leave calmly, with full of good memories.

I did it because it has been decided so by the authority. The place is going to be developed into a modern well-planned poultry production area.

Our intention is that it will become a disease free compartment, where poultry could be sent to the Halal Food Park to be further processed into halal food for export.

Poultry industry in the West coast is already saturated. There is not much more suitable land for rearing poultry. There is very stiff competition between human dwellings and livestock farms.

Whereas here we still have ample land for that. It is my sincere hope that all the four TKPA's will soon become top poultry producers in the very near future.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Malaysians are becoming obese. In fact we register the highest percentage of obese population in South East Asia. Nothing to be proud of, I guess.

More and more people suffer and die from bad-eating-habits-diseases. Yes, diseases like diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases.

People of a younger age group, as young as late twenties, have been and increasingly diagnosesd to be suffering from heart disease.

Yes, situation is becoming bad. We eat just too much nowadays. We eat as we like, not when we are hungry, as it is supposed to be.

We have heavy breakfast, tea breaks at 10.00, equally heavy lunch, tea at 5.30, heavy dinner at 8.00 and sometimes another quite heavy supper.

We overeat. The amount of food consumed does not relate to the amount of physical energy we do.

Look at these facts:

1. We park right in front of anywhere we want to go, right into the shopping mall if we can, does not matter if we double or tripple park.

2. We use elevator, even if it is just for one floor. I wonder if we ever climb the stairs anymore?

3. We use mostly something that is ready-made, automatic, operated by just a switch or a click.

4. When was the last time that we do real exercise? Casual walking does not count in this case (even this not many of us do often unless forced to)

5. We talk about calories, cholestrol, fat...but most of us practise NATO (No Action Talk Only)

6. We consume too much sugar, carbohydrates, fats - far beyond our daily needs.

7. We seldom add the bitter, the sour, the kelat...we only favour the sweet, the sweet and more sweet...

8. Our meetings, seminars, conventions are too laden with food. Buffet breakfast, Buffet lunches and Buffet dinners are the culprits...we eat too much at buffets...many lose self-control with buffets

9. May be we are too polite in as far as food is concerned...imagine when you are already full and yet still have to comply with sopan santun when a hiot offers you food.."just a little food.." Too much too little will be a lot too.





Rubbish, rubbish and more rubbish. They are everywhere. Domestic rubbish, garden rubbish, the after-consert-or-show rubbish and what nots.

Rubbish are dumped by roadsides when rubbish bins are either too small or absent; Rubbish are dumped into rivers and water ways when people are not looking; Rubbish are casually dropped and left behind after each concert, show or expo and Rubbish are legally dumped into hills at dumpsites that are fast become critically needing newer dumpsites which are impossible to find anymore.

Rubbish, rubbish and more rubbish. They turn beautiful residential areas, roadsides, rivers into eyesores. They pollute the earth.

Rubbish are made up of many things, some bio-degradable and others non-biodegradable and a few are outright toxic!

No matter what type of rubbish they are, they are still rubbish. They need rubbishing! Not by Alam Flora, PBTs or other agencies, but by us all.

We need to seriously look into how to rubbish our rubbish efficiently and safely.

We need to look into ways to reduce our daily rubbish.

We need to do this fast before we are overwhelmed with rubbish.

We need to do something before rubbish fill the earth.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Last week there I was in Veterinary Research Institute (VRI) Ipoh presenting my journey as a diagnostic veterinary pathologist to fellow members of the recently established Malaysian Veterinary Pathologist Associaton and department's budding pathologists.

It was the first time I narrated in details how I came to love and finally became passionate with pathology.

Dato' Dr Anwar was there too. He smiled when he heard his name mentioned in several parts of my talk.

Questions arose from the floor asking whether there was a future for pathologists, especially in the era of molecular technologies.

I answered yes, nothing can take away the noble role of pathologists (good ones off course) in disease investigations.

Pathologists are not only dealing with dead animals or human as many believe. Pathologists deal with the living as well as with the dead, trying to find out why the animals were sick, not producing well, or dead.

To be a good pathologist is the question. He or she must be knowledgable in multi disciplines in Veterinary science in order for him to do well.

The outcome of many disease investigation will depend on the quality of samples coming in, the history of the disease or condition, the clinical signs, etc.

He should not be blamed for not coming with a good diagnosis if what he received was just a piece of liver, lung, heart and spleen in formalin.
In such situations, the best he could give was to give a morphologic diagnosis...and if he was lucky, there was some pathognomonic lesions, then he could come up with a disease diagnosis.

The need and relevance of veterinary pathologists will depend on so many things - the public love of animals and how far they are willing to spend on their pets' welfare in as far as diasease diagnosis and treatment.

Here in Malaysia, Veterinarians in clinics just remove lumps and bumps found in pets without sending them to pathologists to know wht they are.

Why? Tests and cancer treatments are expensive and owners are not willing to pay.

In the US, lumps and bumps are sent to pathologists to know what they are -benign or malignant growth. Knowing what they actually are, Veterinarians then could prescribe radiotherapy or chemotherapy for treating the cancer.

Also, many forget the fact that it was the pathologists who discovered so many diseases. Diseases like BSE, West Nile Virus, Nipah virus, etc are discovered by pathologists!

Pathologists will continue to be needed in the far future. They should be working closely with people from other disciplines to achieve what they are for.

Stand alone pathologists cannot survive in this time and age, and so are molecular technologists!