Wednesday, December 8, 2010


At this age small things can make me lose my temper. Driving behind cars driven by many Malaysian drivers is one such things.

I never claim that I'm the best driver; there is no need for me to achieve that level of perfection.

What I want is Malaysian drivers drive with common sense, realizing that they are not the only driver on the road and time is a luxury for those driving behind them.

Diving casually, taking their own sweet time on the right lane while there are someone behind trying very hard to pass is just unforgivable, to say the least.

All that is needed for such drivers is to peek into their side mirrors once in a while to see what is behind them. If they see a car trying to pass, please give way.

You are not slowing yourself by doing that. This is what most drivers think when they give way to other drivers.

Instead, you are doing a fantastic job easing traffic flow and reducing road rage among drivers.

I know you would not like it when drivers at the back give you that high beam light. Then, don't wait till he does that. Just give way, it won't hurt you at all, not your ego or social status.

And driving along the left lane does not make you travel slower, believe me. You can easily and safely overtake another car when you think the driver is driving too slow for your comfort.

Driving from Kuala Terengganu to Kemaman on Thursday afternoon is terrible. The 150 km ride can take you nearly three hours. This is worsened if there are many inconsiderate drivers on the road that day.

Cutting queues is another sin on the road. Imagine you patiently waiting on your lane when cars after cars drive by on your left, that is on the side table, wantonly intrude into the way of others.

Driving too slowly or too fats at wrong times is one characteristic of driving that I really detest. Imagine you are just nmetres away from a green traffic light and the driver in front of you is taking his sweet time and the light turned yellow by the time he reaches the line. Then he suddenly speeds up and beat the red light!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Caliph Makmun asked an aged retiree: "How's life as an aged person?"
Retiree: "Even a pebble can make me fall. Even a strand of hair can tie me. I fall asleep in many meetings, but lay wide awake in bed. Food bores me."
Caliph: "Then, what about women?"
Retiree: "Young, beautiful women, they don't like me.."

MB Pahang's quotations on getting old:

Young and healthy - a normal thing
Young and sick - abnormal
Old and sick - normal
Old and healthy - abnormal

We retirees are required to be old and healthy..ha ha

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Last night the three of us had a Chicken-rice dinner at Batu Buruk. It was both delicious and filling, especially after I asked for additional chicken!

After dinner we drove along KT's China Town and straight to the famous-till-now-unvisited waterfront. It was indeed an excellent piece of work with little improvements here and there to perfect the place.

First of all the was nicely done but the sight of plastic bottles and other what-not debris floating is not a welcoming sign.

Then as we all walked we saw something very embarrassing to say the least. In one gazebo there were KFC boxes and chicken left-over irresponsibly strewn on the seat and on the floor. What a shame whoever you are to behave in such a way.

The back of the houses of China town was ok I guess. The unpainted bare bricks gave it a rustic look adding history and age to the scenery. I think KT should do something extra to make it look more authentic and real.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I have dwelled on this topic before, I think. Since it was on the news yesterday I guess it is all right for me to repeat myself.

The majority of our toilets are in a bad state. The worst of course are public toilets. Not far behind are those in government institutions and also in homes.
Even toilets in places of worship are not spared.

Why? Is it not that to be clean is half of Iman?

We have to change our toilet habits. We use too much water in our toilets. Our toilets are soaking wet most of the times.

First thing first, I think we need to rebrand our toilets. Instead of calling it a toilet, why not call it a rest room? The words 'rest room' give the connotation that it should be kept clean and intellectually stimulating or just it should make us relax while occupying it.

Why is that our toilets stink worst than those in the West. I know for a fact that toilets in China are worst than ours as far as stinking level is concerned.

I think we all have seen how they do it in movies. They just let their pants go down to their ankles and then they sit on the toilet seat and do their thing. They read while waiting for their wastes to be discharged!

We can't do that in our toilets. Our pant and underwear will be soaking wet as soon as they hit the floor.

I think Idris Jala should form a lab to overcome the sorry state of our toilets!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


It has always been very irritating going out for food during peak holiday seasons, when most eateries are either closed or under-staffed and under-supplied.

For the past few nights, because of the rather EidulAdha holidays, we could not find a decent place for dinner.

At a restaurant in Teluk Ketapang beach a cute little girl came to us telling that they were closing, food items were already depleted. At 8.30 pm?

Then we drove on to Mama's TomYam hoping that our luck would be better. We were wrong. It was closed.

WE then drove on to Batu Buruk. Our favourite Nil Restaurant was closed too. So too we the two Hainan Chicken rice joints.

WE had no choice but just chose one of the more crowded food joints there, hoping that the food served would be better.

We were once again frustrated. This time by both the quality and quantity of food served. The battered fried squid was not only too small for its RM10 price-tag but it was also on the verge of being rotten.

The amount of noodles in Amalia's Mee Tomyam was so very little that she could count the strands!

The coconut that I ordered was far too young that there was nothing to scrape.

Last night we went around in search of place to eat. There was not many joints that were opened.

Finally we saw the restaurant. It was full of people looking for a place for dinner. The restaurant looked convincing from afar.

I ordered myself a lamb chop, Amalia and My wife again chose Mee Tomyam and Syazwan picked Nasi Goreng paprik.

My lamb chop arrived first. It was dry and over-cooked. After really putting much effort to saw my way through the pieces of lamb, I finished it within more than half an hour.

The other orders did not show up until we gave up and went to the counter to pay for whatever food that have arrived.

Nobody said sorry for our inconvenience and for the poor service. We left the restaurant very angry and hungry.

Monday, November 8, 2010


After a filling sea food dinner at the floating Umbai eat-out (thanks to Datuk Razak and Datin Yusmar) we headed out to Banda Hilir. Diyana was thinking of getting on to the River cruise and Amalia wanted to stroll along Banda Hilir streets and took some pictures.

We were shocked to see so many cars and yet so little parking spaces. We went around and around searching for a space. Luckily Diyana did all the driving.

We had to abandon our River cruise and night was just not worth it.

I think YAB Ketua Menteri Melaka proclaimed Melaka as a developed state rather too hastily. He should have perhaps wait till all the development works busily happening in the city to complete first.

So we drove back to the hotel. Amalia was grumpy for not being able to use her sister's brand new Cannon.

My wife's back pain and so too mine worsened during the night.

The first thing that i did after breakfast the next morning was to go out and find a clinic. There was one in Ayer Keroh height, just next to Yunus' Warung Anda.

I dropped by first at Warung Anda. I met Yunus' wife. She still recognized me. She told me that Yunus has passed away five years ago. I did not know.

After everybody had their breakfast we went around Melaka. First we stopped at Datuk Dr Baba's house in Taman Bahagia. It was still the same as we had lived there many years ago. Aiman was now a handsome boy with a brace. Anis turned out into quite a cute girl.

After Datuk Dr Baba's house we stopped at Nawayai's house. We had a long chat and the fried noodle Suhaibah prepared was delicious!

At two we left Melaka for Kemaman....

Monday, November 1, 2010


Last night was my last night in the house that I have rented for the past three months. It was actually a homestay house in Permint Perdana in Kg Batin. It was owned by the successful local optometrist, Hj. Senadi.

For the past three months I came back to the house not earlier than 6.30 everyday, took a short rest, prepare dinner, took evening bath, had early dinner, perform maghrib prayers, recite the holy Al-Quran, watch tv and soon dozed off...

That was life for me, living all alone in the house. I only knew two neighbours. That too we seldom met and let alone had long chat with.

That must have been the loneliest three months I ever had. Despite the loneliness, I did enjoy my life now, to tell you the truth.

This evening after work I will be heading to my new house, somewhere near the airport.

Actually I have paid last month's rental for the house, but I just do not move in as yet.

Why? The house is empty. I have requested Nik Azhar, the owner to place 'tikar getah' to cover the bare cement floor and he has done it.

I have bought myself a bed and a mattress. I think I will just sleep tonight. No sofa, no tv, no cupboard, no dining table, no stove, etc.

My daughter pestered me to get me a tv...of which I will do it asap...can't imagine sitting alone in the house without a tv set.

But, there are plenty of food joints here...I think most probably I will not cook anymore for dinner..ha ha

One more thing, Tok Jembal is where I spent quite some time when I was an adolescent...Need time to explore, see whether there is any place that will tick my memories....

Monday, October 25, 2010

Diyana had told me over and over again the right road to take to get back to the road to Petaling Jaya.

As soon as I got on the road after sending her back to her apartment in Taman Melati, I forgot all that she had just said.

Within minutes I realized that I had taken the wrong road. I had missed the left tyurn at the traffic light, or was it the right turn?

I had taken the road to Setapak. I then decided to just follow my instinct and see where I would go.

Luckily, I could still visualize, through memories of yesteryears, where I was heading to.

The traffic was real heavy, cars were bumper to bumper on the still-incompletely-repaired road.

Finally I made it to the Federal highway. It was not bad for a forgetful man like me to reach Petaling Jaya in less than 45 minutes from Taman Melati.

Monday, October 18, 2010


We Malaysian Muslims are the most fussy when it comes to halal food. When overseas, we all will search high and low for halal food.

To us halal food is everything. We wouldn't mind paying extra money or driving a few kilometres just to find it.

What actually is halal food? Physically, it should not have pork in it, the cooking utensil should not be shared with pork or pork products, no alcohol products (be it cooking wine, red wine, white wine, etc)and if it is beef, chicken, mutton, chevron, venison or any meat that is halal to consume, the animal must be slaughtered in the halal way.

This can be confusing to Westerners. They say there is no pork, yet we still say it is not halal.

I remember once when I was in the Philippines many many years ago. I ordered a delicious-looking soup. Before ordering I asked the chef: "No pork?" The chef answered : "No pork."

So I ordered. Just before I sipped the soup, my eyes caught sight of another man with the same soup and enjoying his pork soup.

I immediately stopped what I was almost doing and went straight to the chef. "You said no pork."

"Yes, no pork in your bowl of soup. I've just removed the pork."

You see, he got it wrong in the definition of no pork.

Then there was this grilled fish that I ordered in the same food joint. Being curious, I wandered into the kitchen. In the earthen oven there they were pork, chicken, fish and other sea food items grilled over one another. Imagine pork satay grilling nicely over my grilled fish!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Allow me to clarify a few myths and make a few points about dogs in Islam.

1. It is NOT haraam to own a dog, though it is not hygienic to keep a dog in the house.

2. It is NOT haraam to touch a dog or any other animal. If the saliva of a dog touches you or any part of your clothing, then it is required of you to wash the body part touched and the item of clothing touched by the dog’s mouth or snout.

3. It is incumbent upon all Muslims who own animals, whether for farming or work purposes or as pets, to provide adequate shelter, food, water, and, when needed, veterinary care for their animals. Arrangements must be made, if one is going to be away from home, to have one’s animals taken care of as well.

4. It is haraam to keep a dog or any other animal on a short lead for long periods without food, water, and shelter. Dogs need exercise and are social creatures who form organized “family” structures in nature. Dog owners therefore need to spend time daily with their dogs.

5. It is cruel, and therefore haraam, to keep any animal in a cage so small that it cannot behave in a natural way.

6. Fireworks cause untold suffering to most domestic animals because of their acute sense of hearing.

7. It is haraam to participate in any blood “sport,” like dog fighting and trophy hunting.

No animal has been cursed in any way. Animals are referred to in many instances in the Qu’ran. In Surah Kahf, mention is made of the companions of the Cave and their dog. (S18: 18-22)

We would love for Allah to bestow His mercy upon us, so let’s show mercy and compassion to all His creation. This will also give non-Muslims a true reflection of Islam, aiding da’wah.

There are many Muslims who care well for their animals, and this article is aimed at those who are misinformed.

The appeal goes out to those Muslims: Please do not abuse or neglect any animal. This gives a distorted picture to others who are not Muslim.

May Allah be pleased with our efforts.

Please correct our misconceptions about dogs for dogs too need our tender loving care.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


It was not a sexology class, mind you. It was an anatomy class and the subject was Reproductive system.

Strange but true, I was surprised to learn that many of the girls did not even know the difference between a prepuce and a penis!

It is in no way to belittle them. It is just to show you how little they know about reproductive organs, even for the female reproductive organs.

It was rather difficult for me to say the such words as clitoris, vagina, vulva without feeling a bit bashful, without making them sound so vulgar or blue.

It was not vulgar in any was reproductive system! Pure and clean, straight from the experience and knowledge that I have gathered all these years.

Cattle only mate when they are in standing heat...human do it all the time, some even during menstruation!

The practical was worse...I have to hold and show them the clitoris, the vagina, the penis, the testicles....

I am sure they will act more naturally with time...they are animal scientists, aren't they?

The seniors, I found that they were more at ease when they mentioned those words as they presented their industrial training.


A salesgirl approached us and addressed me as 'Pak Cik" (uncle) and my wife as "Mak Cik" (aunt). What do you all think? Is it appropriate way of addressing a client in a commercial centre?

No, I don't think so. It is not appropriate for a salesgirl or a waitress/waiter to do so. In fact I have known a friend who, when addressed as such, went straight home and never ever came back to the joint.

It is ok if a primary school student to do so. It is very polite.

But it is not so for those who are in the commercial sector. It insults the client to be.

No, I don't mean for them to be addressed as Dato', Dato' Seri or Tan Sri...What I mean is that it is more appropriate for them to address the client as Encik (Sir) for a gent and Puan (Madam) for a lady.

For a lady, even words like 'Adik', 'Kakak' are taboo to some people. Never use the word adik for a married lady. For those who want to look and be young forever, the word kakak is a no no.

I used to say out to many salesgirls and sales executives that I have met who addressed me as Pak Cik not to do so and advised them to address me as Encik instead.

However, there are people who insist that they are addressed with their awarded names such as Dato', Dato' Seri, etc. I have met a man who said: "Dato? What Dato'? Dato' Seri lah"

I am not that type. Address me only as Dato' in official functions please...a strict no no amongst friends.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Here are some real stories that I had personally confronted in dealing with the public services. This is not in any way trying to ridicule or belittle anybody, It is just for us to think about them and try to improve things.

1. I was in pain. My right index finger was busted open when a 2X4 plank flew, after being back-kicked by an angry cow, and landed on it. I could still hear the smack sound of the smashed-up finger.

In the doctor's room in a government's hospital down south. She looked at my card and asked "Why don't you put the Dr in front of your name? . She wrote it down and asked me to go to treatment room for cleaning and suturing.

In the room I saw an old Malaysian Chinese screaming as he was sutured raw. I shivered at the thought that I was soon to undergo the same. I lay on the treatment table as they got ready to do their thing on me. Roughly they pushed and shoved my finger to clean it.

Then, suddenly from the corner of my eye I saw the man pointing to my card as he realized that I was a doctor. "Doctor, doctor," he silently whispered to his friend. They stopped. One of them slowly put on the surgical cloth around my finger and then he applied local anaesthesia (ring block) to it.

"Why don't you do that from the beginning?" I asked sarcastically.


I was then sutured, without pain while the man next to me was howling in great pain. Why this has to happen?

2. My appointment letter came late. I had to undergo medical examination that day itself. I rushed to the hospital for the examination. At the registration counter I was told that medical examination was only done on certain day of the week and today was not that day. Every Tom, Dick and Harry knew that. It was boldly written on a notice board. But this was something out of the ordinary. I was going to join a government service. I begged but they refused. Then I took my appointment letter and showed it to them. You know there it was clearly written my job and my salary. There and then they said that it was ok. The examination could be done that day itself!

What if that someone needing the examination was not a division A officer-going-to-be?

Monday, October 11, 2010


I was shocked. Twelve people killed and 40+ more injured in a bloody road carnage yesterday. A bus literally flew across the road divider and rammed against a van, a car and another bus travelling on the opposite side of the road!

That bus driver must be driving at more than 120 km/hr!

Our road is no longer safe to travel, even if you drive so ever carefully and following all traffic rules. You never know that one fine day a maniac driver just fly in and knock you dead in your badly crushed car.

We just never learn from such road horrors. Memories linger just for a couple of hours, then it will be to normal - speeding like hell.

I think it is high time that all public transport be locked at 90 km/hr. Period.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


A candle light dinner organized by Impiana resort for two newly weds on a gazebo was rudely interrupted by a herd of wild pigs scrummaging for earthworms. The bride and bridegroom were too scared to continue and chose to have their dinner in their room instead.

A mousedeer was badly damaged when it ran over a rogue wild boor. A mousedeer? No, it was a Perodua Kancil !

A 'palas shoot' collector promised never again to go and search for the 'palas shoot'. He was badly mauled by again a wild boar in a bush in Bukit Mentok, just a few days from the Eid.

A patron of a food joint in the Sultan Ahmad mosque in Chukai was injured when a wild pig, out of nowhere, ran and mauled him as he was about to have his nasi lemak.

They are every where in Malaysia, as long as there are some bushes around for them to hide.

Their reproductive efficiency is beyond compare. They can give birth to 10 piglets at one go with ease!

They are omnivorous just like us. They can survive on anything. Their thick hide made fencing them out very difficult, if not impossible.

How then to control them? Selective and periodic culling is the answer perhaps. A certain section of our society just love their fat-free pork out of wild pigs. Beware of tapeworms though!

This morning I just missed running over them near Kijal.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Last night or rather very early this morning I suddenly woke up from my sleep. Memories of Khairul Syakirin, my beloved son, all of a sudden flooded me.

He was there, comforting his tired and lonely dad. He was still that energetic forever smiling little boy that I used to know.

After breakfast I called my wife and asked her: "Remember what day today is?"

"Of course I remember. Last night I dreamed that I gave him pieces of cucumber to eat." There were motherly sadness in her voice.

Today, 7 October, was the day some nineteen years ago and almost the same time as I was awakened up this morning, on a bed in the Institute of Paediatric, Kuala Lumpur, our beloved son was called by his creator to be with Him.

The day that everybody in our family remembers well till now, even his sister, Noorul Amalia, who has never met him in person.

We all hope that he is very happy where he is now and pray that he will wait for us, to take us into heaven.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Syafiq met someone he claimed to be our distant relative. He is the son of Mok Su Tijah of Batu 9, Ibok.

I explained that if that was the case, that person must be his pok sepupu (uncle once removed) and my dua pupu (second cousin).

Sepupu, dua pupu, tiga pupu, pok sepupu, mok sepupu...these are terms used to denote blood-relationship between human beings.

How close they can be depends very much how physically and emotionally close they were.

I have some dua pupu who are very much closer to me than my sepupu and a few sepupu who are as close as and more dependable than even my own siblings!

As far as my mother's cousins or second cousins, I have only a handful still surviving. For that I try my level best to be closer and more intimate with them.

My late grandmother was smart. She had her daughters cross-breast-fed many of her grandchildren or the eldest ones. So, we were all milk-brothers-and-sisters and marriage between us cousins were out of the question.

That was really a smart move to prevent in-breeding!


Strangely before this I never considered myself an animal anatomy expert. In fact, come to think of it, I found anatomy as a mind-boggling subject.

Now I am teaching animal anatomy. Who am I to teach anatomy? People may ask me this question.

Who am I now, beside a lecturer?

Well, I have been an anatomic or diagnostic pathologist for years without consciously recognizing the word 'anatomic'.

Without knowing anatomy, both gross and microscopic (histology) how could I describe things.

Without knowing the normal gross and microscopic anatomy how can I know that something is abnormal or something is missing or something is not supposed to be there?

I am an expert in animal anatomy then, no one can deny it. Thus, I am competent to teach the students animal anatomy. Tell me that, Dato' Dr Azahar.

No, I don't mean to brag. I'm just psyching myself to stand tall in this noble profession.

It is tough, I'm telling you, to transform myself from a manager, a director of a government department to a lecturer, a teacher.

It is just two-months now since I first joined UniSZA. I have got all the time in the world.

I have been spicing up my anatomy lectures with with pathology and diseases, both of animals' and human's so that they can appreciate more what I teach them.

Imagine them seeing for the first time chicken testicles in the abdominal cavity.
"How then Prof, they produce sperm with all the heat?"

It's Allah's mighty power. Chickens' male reproductive system is blessed with a complex circulatory system to give the testicles an environment suitable for the continuation of chickens' species..ha ha

Well, actually even the mighty elephants have intra-abdominal testicles!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


You know what? Today I've just been called a stalker. By whom? It was my daughter. She said, in her facebook that was, "Stop stalking me dad, others will be afraid to give comments when they see your name."

Is it true? Am I a stalker?

I thought that is the real reason facebook was invented in the first place - to freely interact with your friends (what more with your own children!).

With all the free time that I have, I just can't help but peek into facebook!

Any comment from avid facebook participants?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


My eldest daughter is seriously contemplating of moving to MNLG Bintulu. In fact she has informed her immediate boss of her intention. She has also performed 'sembahyang hajat' to ask Allah's direction and help her in making the right decision and making it easy for her if that is what He want her to do.

Why Bintulu? Well actually MNLG's HQ is in Buntulu. She has fallen in love working know the cost of living is relatively cheap. Well that was what she told me.

My first reaction? Well I don't mind as long as that is what she wants. We can drop by there once in a while if she is there!

What worries me a bit is that she might be forgotten. You know, far from sight far from heart ( a direct translation of a Malay saying that says Jauh di mata jauh di hati).

But that is for others, not with my Diyana. She is too resourceful and active to be forgotten just like that. She has been eyeing for better positions in PETRONAS.

May be she has another reason? Well who knows that she may fall for a Sarawakian one of these days!

We don't mind a bit having a son-in-law from Sarawak or from any other places for that matter as long as he is a Muslim who could lead her to the right path for this world and hereafter.

Like many other parents out there, I still have unfinished responsibilities with my children, my daughters especially, as long as they are still not married.

Finding the right most suitable partner for them is something that I find extremely difficult. I have tried, but it did not work. There was no chemistry between them two, yet.

I will never interfere, but will not leave it as it is without trying.

My second one, is something else. With no diploma or degree to be proud of, he is popular with members of the opposite sex. Then there was that gal from Kuala Selangor. Now she has left him for another. But never mind that, my boy is now serious with an engineer. She was her classmate in SK Bukit Sekilau many many years ago.

He has given up working in KL. He wants to look after his mom knowing that I will not be at home most of the weekdays. He just got himself a job in Impiana Hotel, Cherating. Despite his lack of formal education, he has a very good ability of landing him a job, anytime, any where.

My third one, you know the rugby player, already has someone steady. she was his one-year junior in SMK Gunung Rapat and they are close, very close.

Her parents are also very fond of him. Her mother referred him as a famous TV-star look-alike. Of course, he is a tall, dark and handsome lad that everybody who knows him will like, even toddlers!

Now come Amalia, our youngest. She was made and born in Athens, Georgia, US. Now she is turning 15, tall and fair. Her favourite hobby is to take her own pictures on her hp.

She has grown up into an elegant well-dressed girl choosing the best clothes she could lay her hands to. Many boys try to befriend her. Mind you she has two big brothers watching over her every movement!

Well my friends, that is the story of our children. They brought joy and songs to our home whenever they are around.

They provide escort services whenever they follow me in the car. Nobody will dare to be road bullies as long as they are with me.


Monday, September 27, 2010


Last Saturday, as usual, I went to Binjai Souq looking for something traditional. I was up to my nose with meat, chicken and common commercial fish species like the sardines, Indian mackerel, snapper, garupa, yellow-striped trevally, etc etc

Fish stalls were full of fish, squids and prawns. On the last stall on my left, I saw three plastic bags full of something very familiar.

At first I thought that they were lokan. The minute I touched the bags, the owner explained that they were teritip, not lokan.

For you city folks out there, teritip is a wild version of oyster. They normally grow on rocks in brackish water.

Collecting them is both laborious and risky. Their sharp shells could easily cut your fingers if you were not careful.

But the fruit of your labour is something very good and delicious.

When I was small I used to look for teritip when the Kemaman river was at its lowest tide. At this time the rocks would be easily accessible and out of water. All you had to do then was to pry open the shells with a knife, cleaver or something sharp and hard.

As far as consuming it, unlike farmed oysters, I don't have the gut to eat them raw. I do not know what residue or bacteria they harbour.

Yesterday my wife lightly cooked them mixed with chilly, garlic and soy sauce. They were just wonderful.


It is sad to think how we drifted apart with time, or as we grew older. If only Tok Wan (my late grandmother) is till here with us, she would for sure shed tears looking at us.

No, we did not quarrel or get into fights or anything like that. We just silently drifted apart.

We were very close when we were children. We shared between us whatever limited things that we had.

We shared sleeping area (those days houses did not have too many rooms or no room at all). Still remember Mok Su Cikgu (my mom's cousin sister) always reminded us boys and girls to separate our sleeping area when we congregated in Mok Long's house in Kg. Besut.

She was very cautious in as far as girl-boy relationship. Of course nothing ever happened between us. We were too naive and pure for that. Tok Wan, on the other hand, made sure that we cousins did not get married with each other when we grew up.

She was very smart. She made sure that everyone of us was nursed by all of our aunts when we were still babies. By doing that we were all 'milk-siblings' and thus cousin marriage was self-prohibited.

We also shared food between us, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner.

As we grew up, things changed. We lived in our own house. We did not share things much anymore.

Everybody was busy with their own lives. Some of us are luckier than the others in term of economic and social well-being.

So busy are we with worldly things that some of us have not met, let alone talk, for a long time. More so after the passing away of all except one (that is my mother - may Allah bless her always) of our aunts and uncles.

A few of us even go as far as not caring for each other just because she is a the Chairman of JKKK's wife. Her husband always tries his best to show his power and exclude some of us who are qualified to receive aids just because our different political beliefs.

I try my level best to bring us together again, but it is not as easy as saying it.

Oh I really miss those wonderful childhood days!


I woke up and went straight into the bathroom, had a simpler than usual morning bath and rushed out to catch the morning news.

Quickly I scanned for my blackberry, on the table next to the fan, on the make-up table and on the small table where I put the Quran.

It was not there. I was sure I had seen it that morning just before I went into the bathroom.

I tried retrace my movement. Then it clicked on me. The bed was the place that I put the blackberry.

My heart began to race as I noticed that the bed sheet had been removed.

I quickly yelled at my wife downstairs: "Ma, seen my hp? May be it was in the bed sheet!"

I scurried downstairs and there it was, my wife holding it in her hand.

"Sorry. It was in the bed sheet in the washing machine."

Syafiq switched it on, but there was nothing coming on the screen. It had been in the water for quite some time. It was soaked wet.

I controlled my temper, as best as I could. Inside I was in rage. I just could not accept such careless mistake.

I kept quiet all throughout the incidence. My wife was quiet too. Syafiq looked at me and then at his mom. He knew that I was angry, very angry.

I was angry for I knew I had lost so many important info in the hp. Syafiq then noticed that I did not save all the info into my SIM card.

I removed the battery and let it stayed like that. My wife placed it in front of the fan hoping that it would dry up and work as before.

I sent Syafiq to a hp service store in town for a check-up. They said that it was spoiled beyond economic repair and even suggested that I should better buy a new one.

A few hours later, as I was watching television, I heard that familiar sound. It was my hp's familiar sms-coming-in sound.

I looked at my wife's face. She was smiling. Syafiq quickly claimed that it was him who had repaired the hp.

The blackberry was all right!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Why so quiet? My entries are left unread. No one responds...


Jealousy is a negative trait most probably possessed only by us human beings. I am pretty sure that animals do not have this trait.

Is jealousy a good thing?

Well, they say a little of jealousy brings good to our lives. We do need a little controlled jealousy to survive and be happy in this world.

A little controlled jealousy makes us all wary about things. Take a husband and wife relationship, for instance. Both should have a little of jealousy with one another. Do not just accept everything that is said by one.

A husband came home late. The wife asked for the reason. He answered it was his work load at the office. The mere questioning showed that there was a healthy jealousy there.

By just letting go, a wife or a husband can't be sure with what one was doing. He or she might have an affair out there. But, there is a big but here. The jealousy must be controlled and come together with mutual trust and truthfulness. without the two, that little jealousy can well blossomed into that fat ugly green monster!

Now let me turn into that green monster.

Some people can be jealous of so many things. Jealous of others' well being, others' more beautiful or more handsomer spouse, others' bigger house, more intelligent children and so on and so forth.

Jealous with the intention of motivating themselves to equal those whom they are jealoused of, is ok and asked for.

But it is the jealousy that lead to anger and the culmination of ambition to see them fall is bad.

I have seen these things happening among us. They resort to the use of black magic, evil spirit and all sorts of dark ages practices to dethrone their enemies.

Successful restaurant suddenly become empty. Loving couple suddenly break off. Well to do people suddenly disappear.

I have come across cases of a restaurant being empty because clients just do not see it. When asked, the clients said that they did not see the restaurant anymore!

So please control the green monster in us. Never allow it to grow to the size that we cannot handle it anymore.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I was speeding along the LPT at 130-140 km/h. I knew that I was driving above and over the allowed speed limit of 110 km/h. But I just could not help it. That was the first time I drove my E200 Kompressor on a highway.

I could feel the power. Going 140km/hr felt nothing, just like doing 120 in my Citra (sorry Citra, I didn't mean to belittle you).

Then out of nowhere a nondescript car came behind me, ever so close. I glanced through the side mirror and guessed that it must be either a Lancer or something very fast.

It hogged me for a few more kilometres down the highway. I lost my cool and decided to let it pass.

It passed me and I was flabbergasted, to say the least, that it was just an old Wira with all the modifications!

I drove on towards Karak. I passed one C200K. Then, believe it or not, a Proton Saga (the first edition)drove fast behind the two of us. With a foot hard on the gas pedal the driver overtook the two of us like no man's business.

It hurtled in front leaving us perplexed. How could such a car speeding like that?

By the way the driver was driving with a baby sitting in the front seat. Oh what a super cool chum. I wonder what engine the car was using now. I was sure it could not be the old Proton Saga's own engine!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Malaysians are very anxious with the recent outbreaks of the so-inappropriately-called mouse-urine disease in several river resort areas in several states.

Leptospirosis is the right name for the disease, and the organism causing the disease, Leptospira is found not only in mouse's urine but also in urine of other animals, including infected man.

Pity the mouse getting the bad name for a disease spread by not only them but by other creatures too.

Still remember sometimes back the state of Malacca refusing to name a newly discovered virus Malacca virus just because the Chief Minister was afraid that the name would have a negative impact on tourism.

This was, in my opinion, not true. Places, villages, towns and cities have been chosen as names of diseases. Who can still remember Hendra, Nipah, Newcastle? Salmonella was after the name of its founder, Salmon something!

While browsing through the Internet I found one very old, in fact just one year younger than me, paper on Leptospirosis in Malaysia. The study showed that the disease was very prevalent here at that time.

The study showed that 25% of human population, 33.3% of domestic animal and 33.3% of wild rodents tested showed evidence of antibodies to one or more strains of Leptospira.

In humans the antibody was uniformly high in urban, ruaral and jungle inhabitants alike, which in domestic animals horses, oxen, pigs and dogs showed high incidence.

The strains of Leprospira here include Leptospira hebdomadis, L. pyrogenes, L. icterohemorraghiae and L. grippotyphosa.

I have even lost a Sdara due to Leptospirosis.

Melioidosis, on the other hand is found in many areas including SEA, Northern Australia, South Pacific, Africa and India. The organism causing this disease is Burkholderia psudomallei (formerly called Pseudomonas psudomallei)a bacterium commonly found in soil, paddy field and stagnant water.

The disease was once called Vietnam's time bomb amongst the US soldiers after the Vietnam war. Soldiers were dying well after the war was over in the US. Autopsy revealed that they had melioidosis. It was most probably that they got infected inhaling the bacteria in the soil dust as the helicopter hovered or through drinking of contaminated and raw water.

A son of one of my staffs in Kuantan perished due to the disease. My investigation showed that he had often played with an infected sheep and also played in water puddle around his house which was also infected with the bacteria.

So you see, both Leptospirosis and Melioidosis can get you if you are not careful. Both can kill. Take care what you touch, where you swim and what you eat or drink when you are out there in the jungle or river enjoying yourselves.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I am always pissed of whenever I see non-biodegradable things strewn all over the place.

Yes things like used polystyrene packages, plastic bags, plastic bottles, etc etc

I am not that angry if I saw degradable materials being thrown away in inappropriate places, I just close one eye most often though deep inside, I am still annoyed at the irresponsible acts of some of us.

Imagine you were following behind a luxury car and suddenly the occupants threw a plastic bag full of rambutan skin onto the roadside. I will normally pressed hard on my car horn, just reminding him that I care for my environment.

So many times have I brought this matter up. How we must act to stop polluting and degrading our environment by our silly way.

Now there is this thing called no-plastic-bag campaign. Well, I know that this is a tall order for the public.

They have been so used to the idea of putting in whatever they purcahse from the shop into plastic bags to carry home. What better alternative do they have?

Long gone were the days when shoppers, especially those going to wet markets, brought their own shopping bag to the market.

So, the first alternative here is to reuse the loyal shopping bags.

The second thing is the wider use of paper bags - you know the ones they often use in the West.

Make using paper bags something trendy and in fashion, thus people will start scrounging looking for brown paper bags to carry their things home.


Last night I went to sleep very early. I guessed the long Eid vacation had exhausted me through and through.

However, a call from Prof. Bidin Yatim from perlis rudely but on the other hand thankfully awakened me from sleep.

"Sorry for disturbing your sleep.." He understood that I was already asleep.

"It's ok...anything?"

"Just to tell you that the YB has no son with the name you gave me."

That was it. A scam is in progress. I quickly called my sister telling her about the man who my niece is having a serious relationship with.

He is clearly impersonating as the son of a VVIP.

Having called my wife and daughter, I then continued my slumber.

At 5.07 I was already wide awake. The alarm was supposed to go at 5.47 but the mind was still thinking that it was still Ramadhan!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


We were the first to move in to Taman Samudera Timur (the other Taman Samudera is near Batu caves). That too after fighting over a room and often lost, in my mother's house in Bukit Kuang, whenever the nine of us came home during festivities.

Then, he followed suite and bought the house right in front of our house. Did not really know why he (with all his money and assets) took so long a time to buy one such house.

Just a few months after that, his sister, coming all the way from KL and much to the puzzle of her husband, bought the house to the right of ours.

By a twist of fate, unknown to us first, our next door neighbour was also a relative. His wife, a Filipina convert, was extra sweet to us. Sadly she passed away not very long after we got to know her, due to biliary carcinoma.

She kept her sickness a top secret. She only told her children just a few weeks before she passed away.

It was her extraordinary love of animals that attracted me to her. She told me that once she met a cat just after it was runned down by a car. She took the cat in her hands and begged for passersby to help her bring it to the nearest vet. But nobody gave her a hand. She was pissed off by the lack of consideration and passion towards animals shown by most Malaysians.

I told her that it would take another fifty years or may be more, for the Malaysians in general to have the love for animals as many Westerners do.

Coming back to my original aim of scribbling this note. My two cousins, they are brother and sister. Strangely, for reasons known only to them, they have not been talking to each other for quite sometimes now.

One is super rich with lots of money in the bank and assets such as hundreds of acres of land, a dozen or more deep-sea fishing boats, iron ore mine, a newly completed swiftlet house, a house that he rents out in Mekah, etc. But he lacks formal education.

Having said that, he surprised everybody by being a shrewd businessman in spite of having just a standard four primary school level of education. He is also blessed with many children - he opined that he wanted to increase the Prophet Muhammad's ummah. To me, quantity yes, but what about quality?

The other one is not that bad either. But why they have to sever the kinship bond?

There is no excuse or reason strong enough or justifiable to cause the severing of family ties. Ramadhan was the best month to reconcile, forgive and forget, but Ramadhan has passed...There are many more Ramadhans coming, that only if we were blessed with a longer time to live in this world...

To everybody reading this entry, please know that it has never been my intention to backbite or say bad about my neighbours. It is just for us all to ponder, think, ruminate or call whatever it is to learn the reality of life.

Leaving all that, I drove up to KT at exactly 5.15 this morning and as usual stopped at Masjid Rantau abang for subuh prayers. I arrived at UNISZA City Campus at slightly over 7.15 am and had all the parking spaces to choose and all the time to relax before going over my lectures.


A humongous black hairy scorpion suddenly crawled out of my E200K. The sound of me sweeping pieces of freshly cut grass and other debris from the new flooring of our garage probably had startled it.

I immediately called Syafiq who came running to catch the arachnid.

"I'm is so big!"

"There's nothing to be scared of. Just snip off its sting and you'll be all right."

He then did just that and soon the scorpion was in his terrarium.

Without its sting and poison gland, it was no more a risk to anyone. In fact it became a curio with Amalia's classmates who came during our Eid open house.

A pair of very friendly squirrels, like always played catch-me-if-you-can with one another over the fence.

They were so cuddly..oh how I wish they would allow us to hold and caress their velvetty fur.

Up a tall coconut tree three or more hornbills were busy playing. I was always amazed at how these once-deep-forest birds were able to adapt and adopt themselves to the sub-urban to urban environment.

I guess they were very happy to live in between us knowing very well that nobody here would go out and hunt them.

'Stocking', our cat was busy frolicking around with his newly found girlfriend, our neighbour's queen. We were glad that now Stocking was no more a pushover for that darn old tomcat that had been harassing him around.

Strangely, they became close pals now...I mean they did not fight as mush as before and Stocking sometimes would lie around just a few feet away from it under our cars.


We are very much saddened by one of our family members who has been acting well against the Islamic teaching of maintaining kinship. Even in the holy month of Ramadhan they did not show any kind of remorse of severing the bond.

I do hope he and his family read the following reality, nothing can sever this bond...

The Importance of Kinship in Islam

Maintaining Silat ur-Rahm (Family Ties) is an Islamic Obligation

"Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain the bonds of kinship." [Sahih Al-Bukhari]

Abu Hurairah's Announcement

A young man once went to attend the weekly hadith lecture of the Sahabi Sayyidna Abu Hurairah, Radi-Allahu anhu but Abu Hurairah's routine opening announcement stopped him:

"If anyone sitting here has severed any ties of kinship (qata-ur-rahim), he should leave." (and repair his relationship).

The young man recalled his aunt, who lived in the same town but with whom he had not been on speaking terms. The young man quietly left the gathering and went straight to his aunt's home. He met his aunt and asked for forgiveness for his past behavior and sought rapprochement.

When the aunt inquired about the reason for this change of heart, the young man narrated how he had heard Abu Huraira's announcement. His aunt accepted the apology but asked him to inquire from Abu Hurairah, Radi-Allahu anhu, the reason for this unusual announcement. Why, instead of mentioning the major sins, did Abu Hurairah focus only on this issue? What was so special about ties of kinship?

Sayyidna Abu Hurairah replied that he had heard from the Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam that our deeds are presented to Allah every Thursday night and anyone who has severed family ties has all his good deeds rejected. Abu Hurairah did not want any such person sitting in his gathering, which was held on the same night, for fear that it could deprive the entire gathering of blessings.

Another hadith explains further the reason for this fear: "Allah's mercy will not descend on people among whom there is one who severs ties of kinship." [Baihaqi, Shuab Al-Iman]

Silat ur-Rahm and Qata ur-Rahm

Maintaining the bonds of kinship (silat ur-rahm) indeed enjoys extraordinary importance in Islam. Conversely, severing the ties (qata-ur-rahm), is very high on the list of enormities. At two places in the Qur'an, Allah has cursed the one severing family ties:

"And those who break the covenant of Allah, after its ratification, and sever that which Allah has commanded to be joined (i.e. they sever the bond of kinship and are not good to their relatives) and work mischief in the land, on them is the curse, and for them is the unhappy home." - [Ar-Rad 13:25. See also Muhammad, 47:22-23].

A cursed person is one who is deprived of the mercy of Allah. It is an indication of this deprivation that this sin is punished in this world as well as in the Hereafter.

"There is no sin more deserving of having punishment meted out by Allah to its perpetrator in advance in this world along with what He stores up for him in the next world than oppression and severing ties of family." [Tirmidhi]

Another hadith highlights the high stakes involved here in a compelling way:

"Rahm (family ties) is a word derived from Ar-Rahman (The Compassionate One) And Allah says: 'I shall keep connection with him who maintains you and sever connection with him who severs you.'" [Bukhari]

The Degree of Family Obligations in Islam

Silatur-rahm has been defined as politeness, kind treatment, and concern for all one's relatives even if distantly related, corrupt, non-Muslim, or unappreciative. [Shaikh Abdul Wakil Durubi in Reliance of the Traveller].

While nearly every religion has emphasized good family relations, Islam has taken it to unprecedented heights. It is a duty to be discharged without an eye for reciprocity. A Muslim is required to be kind even to his non-Muslim relatives. Similarly he is required to be kind to even those relatives who are harsh to him.

The most telling example in this regard is that of Sayyidna Abu Bakr, Radi-Allahu anhu. Among the many people who benefited from his generosity was a relative named Mistah, Radi-Allahu anhu. The latter, unfortunately became involved in the scandal about the Mother of Believers, Sayyida Aisha, Radi-Allahu anha, which was started by the leader of the hypocrites. It was a whole month of torment and torture for all involved, after which verses of Surat an-Noor were revealed exonerating her and prescribing punishment for those involved in the false accusation. Feeling hurt and betrayed, Sayyidna Abu Bakr, Radi-Allahu anhu, vowed never to help Mistah again. Yet the Qur'an asked him to forget and forgive and continue helping his relative, which he did. Is there another society that can even come close to this standard in maintaining family ties?

Islam came to set all our relationships right. This includes our relations with Allah as well as with other human beings. Silat-ur-Rahim is a very important part of the latter.

The Sad Situation Today

Today, unfortunately, these teachings can mostly be found in Muslim societies in their violation. The best we do today is reciprocate; more commonly we backbite, cheat, and hurt our relatives and continue the spiral of hurt and humiliation as they respond. And we just abandon those of our relatives who are economically unfortunate.

There are three reasons for this sad situation:

First is the widespread ignorance about Islamic teachings in this regard. Even in various Islamic groups the subject hardly gets the attention it deserves.

Second is the rampant materialism. While materialism hurts all aspects of our lives, it is especially damaging to family ties for they require sacrifice of time, money and personal comfort.

The third reason has to do with recent history. It is a "gift" of the transformation of Muslim societies under colonialism.

The Industrial Revolution came at a time when Muslim civilization was in the doldrums. Muslim historians point out very accurately that the genesis of European Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution was in the Golden Age of Muslim Spain. Yet it is also true that it progressed at a time of Muslim decline. And that explains the form it took and the devastation it caused to the family life. Everywhere it disrupted human relations.

The poet Iqbal pointed to this when he said in his famous line: The rule of machines is death for the heart. Machine tools crush compassion.

Later, under the influence of colonialism, urban centers throughout the Muslim world faithfully duplicated all of these problems. This was just what a blind following of the West promised. Relations between husband and wife, between parents and children, between workers and managers, between neighbors, between relatives, in other words between all segments of society were dealt a devastating blow.

The process continues in the post industrial, neo-colonial period. To quote one example, television is rapidly destroying what was left of human relations, cutting off even members of the same family from each other and engulfing everyone within his or her own pleasure cocoon, oblivious to the world without. It is just one, but probably the most subversive and intrusive tool of our so called postmodern global village. Village of distant neighbors without love and kinship.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Village Chicken Curry & Grilled Tuna For Syahur

This early morning, at 5.00 am to be exact, I enjoyed my syahur at home with my family.

There was nothing elaborate or fanciful about it really. But I did not know why, this morning it was subtly special to me.

The meal consisted of steamed white rice with tuna, grilled to perfection by my wife, and a village chicken's wing curry, the remainder of yesterday's breakfast.

Normally we Terengganu folks prepare our tuna either deep fried or cooked as singgang (a kind of soup mixed with galanga, tumeric and garlic). I was first introduced to grilled tuna when I was in Canchun, Mexico.

When you buy a tuna (aya hitam) from the fish market, ask your fishseller to cut the fish into thick stakes. Take one to two stakes and grilled it over a hot non-stick pan with just a sprinkle or two of palm oil.

Don't overcook your tuna or else it will become very dry and tasteless. Have it rare to medium rare and you will have a juicy tuna for dinner!

Coming back to village chicken curry, actually I favour it more compared to the commercial broilers. It has that special characteristics...that chewiness and sweetness.

Of course it is much more expensive. A already dressed almost 2 kg chicken costed me RM 28.00. BUt its taste made the money spent worthwhile.

After syahur I drove back to UNISZA, a bit late compared the other Sundays before.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Yesterday marked my first month as a lecturer and a weekend-and-public-holiday- husband-and-father.

Diyana was in Kuching having great time with a friend whom she had never talked before even though they were together in law school over in IIUM.

Syazwan felt bad when his brand new Proton Saga SE was scratched by someone in the faculty's car park.

Syafiq was still head over heel in love with his scrambler. He spent hours at a time cleaning, polishing and beautifying his motorbike.

Amalia, our youngest, was a little bit green when she saw Diyana's all white bedroom set was brought up her into her sister's room. She was very pleased with how her room looked like, you know the new lilac paint and the purple curtains and not to mention her English cotton baju kurung and 'scaly' scarf.

Our Teratak Syakirin too was ever ready to celebrate the coming Aidilfitri. Her hall had been painted with apple green coat of paint and so too was the curtains. Instead of the brightly coloured material used in the previous years, this year the curtain was gray, perfectly matching with the new paint/

Upstairs, all the rooms had been painted and their ceiling replaced with plaster ceiling. Gone then the problem of guano falling down from the ceiling.

I was all alone in the house, reciting the holy Quran. Now I was at the At-Taubah surah. I have just finished once and now it is my second round. I hope that I can finish reciting the entire Quran for the second time before Ramadhan pulls down her curtain.

Have I done the right thing, taking up the new post after my retirement? Well, to tell you the truth, I am far more relaxed and perhaps happier now with very much less stress and strain.

Bye bye DVS and welcome UNISZA!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Attracting more people to Islam

Last Friday, for the first since I bought it, I drove our E200K to KL. It was our annual Eid's family shopping trip.

True to her manufacturer, she performed as expected. Even our Amalia noticed the smooth acceleration and corner-taking.

We put up a night at The Zone, Ampang. The two-room suite was a bit stale and not-so-properly-looked-after. But, it was spacious enough for the six of us.

So far we have tried both PNB suites and The Zone. We preferred PNB suites better, but this time around it was fully booked.

I joined the big crowd at Al-Syakirin's mosque for Friday prayers. The congregation of prayers was so huge that it overflowed the mosque into the park.

I was so jubilant seeing so many KLites performing their prayers so earnestly. I saw a few Whites tourist clearly awed by the huge crowd. They must have been surprised to see Muslims so obedient despite of living in a busy city like KL.

I still remember how an American embraced Islam a week after after accepting my invitation for a dinner in our house.

I still remember vividly how he was so impressed with the way I brought up my family. He even went as far as asking us who we really were! I told him that we were Muslims and that was how Muslims should live.

A few things that he was impressed with our family. One was how our eldest had to get my permission to go on a school's field trip. "You mean your daughter has to get your approval for a filed trip?" "Yes! As long as she is still living with us, she must get our permission, even when she is already above eighteen!"

Two, he looked at my wife and asked," Your wife cook everyday?" "Yes, she cooks four times a day! Cooking for her family is what she loves most."

He was one of the many Americans who unashamedly joined us in our weekened barbecues. He knew that my wife's barbecue was far more delicious than their normal salt-and-black-pepper bbq.

We even invited him to see how we perform our jumaah prayers, with me as the Imam.

After all that, one fine afternoon he came to see me and said that he was ready to embrace Islam. So, one equally fine day I brought him to the Islamic centre and he said his shahadah there, clearly and with full of sincerity and humbleness.

IN our short two-year stay in Athens, Georgia, we had, in one way or another, influenced seven Americans, both Whites and Blacks, to become Muslims. They all did it on their own will.

To me US is a land full of potentials for attracting more people to Islam. All we have to do is to show how Islam really is - the way of life, and not just over emphasizing on what to eat and what not to eat, this is haram and that is haram, at least initially.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I thought that it is Thursday today!

After the subuh prayer there I was busy packing dirty clothes into the small blue bag and collecting some still-clean-and-neatly-ironed shirts from the cupboard. I then casually put the bag on the front seat and hanged the shirts on the right back seat's hanger. I was all ready to rush home after office, that was at 4.00 pm.

Then something caught my eyes. It was a white A4 piece of paper tucked in at the chain-linked fence. I picked it up and read it. It was an invitation letter to iftar at the nearby surau. The date was Friday 27.

I quickly glanced at my newly bought Seiko and saw that it was 25, Wednesday.

Oh no, it was only Wednesday! I am supposed to go home on Thursday! I innnocently picked all the shirts and the bag and quickly brought them in again.

Wow! How did I mistaken today as Thursday? It is Wednesday man. I still have another day to go before driving back to Kemaman.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


As Ramadhan progresses towards Syawal, more and more cases of children hurting themselves in firecrackers-related accidents. Some lost their fingers, a few ruined their eyesight, many sustained injuries and very few even lost their lives because of firecrackers.

Paradoxically, we do have quite a stringent law banning the manufacture, import and sale of these damaging and good-for-nothing contrabands. Where is our enforcement?

Yes, there are cases of smuggled firecrackers confiscated, but I am sure many more seep through our borders.

What about parents? Why can't they have a better control of their children coming into contact with the supplier of these noisy firecrackers?

I for one really hate it when suddenly a big firecracker exploded in front of my house deafening as well as near killing me, if I were to have a weak heart!

Please let us take this issue as a national rather than the on-off thing. Enforce the banning of firecrackers hard. Instead of trying to boycott Israel related goods why don't we boycott anything to do with firecrackers instead.

Instead of wasting our time and energy trying to stop people buying products that are said to be associated with Israel (but knowing very well it is almost impossible thing to do, at least now), we better put our energy and time on making people stop buying firecrackers, no matter how slow and harmless they are as claimed by the sellers.

Let us make the few remaining days of Ramadhan and the Syawal month completely free of firecrackers.

Monday, August 23, 2010


This morning as I opened the door to give my Citra a wash I saw a black and white rabbit nibbling away at tender newly emerged Imperata cylindrica shoots in my 4 by 6 courtyard.

It has walked in for the past three consecutive mornings. I am not sure whose rabbit it is, but I guess it must be the one who owns a black C200K in front of my house.

It looked tame enough but it hopped away as I tried to stroke his velvetty fur. It smartly hopped through the space in the metal gate, casually and taking its sweet time.

Talking about rabbit, do you know that rabbits practise coprophagy? It is the practice of consuming your own faeces. They do that to get at the rich nutrients found in the first faeces. They do it right from the anus, usually at night time.

Rabbit meat anyone? My children, they all, like me, love rabbit meat especially when I cook them 'Wok with Yan's' style.

The trick is never show the whole rabbit carcass to new rabbit meat consumers. And of course never show them how rabbits are slaughtered.

Even I do not have the heart to slaughter them, especially with the clever eyes looking right into yours!


Last Saturday's evening, as I was walking around Taman Samudera Timur, I came across a tree that looked very familiar among the overgrown Imperata cylindrica (lalang)in the vacant lot next to Indahwater sewage treatment area.

I went closer and touch its leaves. It was a Gucil tree! It had been ages since I last met a Gucil tree.

Do you know what a Gucil is? I am not sure what its botanical name is (I will loook it up later) but it is the tree that was a part of my childhood days.

It was the tree that brought me deep into Kampung Pulau Tempurung, Sakinan Choya's village, just to enjoy Gucil berries, either freshly plucked from the tree or pickled by her parents.

The berries, almost of the same size as Chee Kit Teck Aun stomach disorder pills, bunched up like a grape.

They are green when young and the colour changes from green to yellow, orange, red and finally black when fully ripened. The taste varies from sourish to sweet.

Sakinan was a smart girl. She brought Gucil berries to school and sold them to us. She got good money from the gift of nature.

A few feet away from the tree my eyes caught sight of a crawling plant, again looking very familiar.

It was the Ulat bulu berry plant. Unluckily all the berries were still young. The berries are usually encased in a special net to protect them from birds who just love to pluck them. When ripe, the berries change from green to bright yellow. When opened, there are seeds covered with jelly like material on the outside.

When I was small I used to go around the village looking for them, these ulat bulu berries.

Well some may not appreciate these gifts from mother nature, but I know I do. They are there not just for the birds, but also for us if we are inquisitive enough to look for them.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Who between us is more arrogant?

I have been called by a few negative names by a very selective few who just do not know me before. Names like relationship looking stupid,(fiance) disruptor, academic failure (for being away from the village too long) and the latest being opposite of humble and paying too much attention to myself.

When I was in standard six an ustaz said that he was surprised a 'stupid looking' boy could be that good to be selected to go to a boarding school. I was furious, to say the least. I told my mother that never judge a book by its cover. But later when the temper was gone I told myself that it was ok. I looked terrible sometimes, especially when I was walking on the bris soil barefoot - my feet would be blackened by the dust.

I was called a relationship disruptor by a man who was engaged to a second cousin of mine. He wrote a very nasty long letter accusing me of trying to take away his fiance from him.

Actually I first met her when I for the first time visited Tumpat to see my mother's cousin. Her father asked me to motivate her to study harder for her future. So, I sincerely talked to her (in a brotherly fashion) about the importance of getting a proper education. After the meeting we exchanged letters.

Somehow he got hold of my letters and suddenly felt threatened by my existence. He then wrote a letter full of accusations etc. At first I felt like writing him back in a similar if not worst. I knew how to do it, it was a piece of cake, but I refrained.

Then there were some people in Bukit Kuang who said that the reason why I took so long to finish my education (13 years in all - 8 in school and 5 doing my DVM) was that I failed exams. I paid no attention to the accusation for I know myself better than anyone else.

But the latest was the worst of them all. Someone who hid by the name of Anonymous tried to be good when he said that I should practise being humble and not to give too much attention to myself.

Come on man, stop hiding and come face to face with me. Let us see who is the more arrogant between the two of us!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It is beginning to be fun teaching animal anatomy

As of today it has been a month since I first taught anatomy this year to the second year students, both as a part-time and full time contract-basis lecturer.

What surprised me most is that I think I know more about anatomy now than when I was a DVM students even with the experienced anatomy lecturer, Dr Menon.

I guess it is the mental thing. Then, it was stressful just trying to remember all the latin words. But now, with all the working experience, especially in pathology, things seem not to be so greek to me.

Well, in reality I am a pathologist, not an anatomist. But I am an anatomic pathologist, so anatomy is nothing new to me.

I try as much as possible to integrate plain anatomy with histology, pathology and even some diseases. By this I hope students will appreciate more the subject that many think as being dry and dead.

I want my students to be appreciative of anatomy so that they can become excellent animal scientist later on.

The first anatomy test is looming in the horizon. It is set to be on the coming Wednesday. I hope the students are well prepared for the test and will do well in it.

On the 18th day as a full time Associate Professor I think I am now in the right gear to continue my second working life as an academician. I am sure I will be able to achieve what I have set my mind to do to fill whatever remaining years of my life in this world.

So here I come as a full-fledged academician trying my best to pass on knowledge and experience to our younger generation. To Allah I pray that all the knowledge gathered all these while remain in my mind and not lost to forgetfulness that comes with age.

Let me be useful to the students and society in general. There are still lots of things to do.

Italian food at Papadelli

A salute to Ramli, my brother in-law the owner of Chukai's latest and fanciest restaurant, Papadelli (I'm not sure about the spelling).

Actually he has two branches - one in KSB (more of an open cafe) and his second one is next to the Bomba on a shop lot facing the river.

You just wouldn't like to miss this one, believe me.

The service is akin to a 5-star hotel's restaurant but the price, much lower.

The ambience is what comfy is all about and it is just outright appetizing - bon appetite!

What I love there? You mean the food?

WEll first of all I love her grilled salmon. It is done to perfection and the salmon just melt on your tongue man.

Next is the BBQ spring chicken. It is superdelicious. Ask my son Syafiq if you don't believe me.

I love the sharkfin soup too. In fact everybody in the family love it.

Even the humble french fry is superb here.

I am not talking about the spaghetti and pasta yet.

The ala Ramli style fried rice is Amirul's favourite.

Well Lee, come over for dinner at Pappadelli.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Food stalls, little and big, were mushrooming everywhere with the advent of Ramadhan. In almost every corner and available spaces by the road-sides you could see them selling cookies, lauk and juices.

Like always, Malaysians are in too deep thinking about what to relish during breakfast after their long dawn-to-dusk 'starvation & thirst'.

This time around as you know I spent 5 days in a week observing fasting alone. You also probably would have known by now that I am just too plain lazy to go out and buy food and drinks for iftar.

I would rather rely on bread dipped in hot plain tea if I have to. Hj Sanadi, my landlord, was generous and caring enough to provide a rice cooker, a stove and a gas cylinder on the eve of Ramadhan so that I could cook something.

Last weekend my wife bought me a non-stick pan and some plastic laddle and spatulas with it.

So for the last three evenings there I was preparing simple but just as equally nutritious if not delicious food for breakfast and syahur. Food like fish & chips, steamed white rice, canned beef, tuna and chicken curry and for drink I rely on my favourite guava juice.

Disliking any sort of sauce, fish & chips are consumed just like that, bland and tasteless, but that is what I like.

Heated canned food is kind of appetizing when taken in steaming hot.

With that kind of arrangement I know that I won't face much difficulty observing Ramadhan as usual.

It is a bit lonely though having to prepare, serve and eat alone! Anyone care to join me?

Monday, August 16, 2010


Amalia told me that I tend to be more restless, uneasy and did things in a panicky sort of way of late and according to her this such was more pronounced after I bought the E200 Kompressor.

Well, she might be right in certain points.

Others will be driving such a car proudly. No, not me. I felt uneasy and almost too undeserving to finally own one and be driving it.

Well it was not cheap. I bought it not to show off or anything like that. I bought it just to fulfill one of the last of my childhood dream, that was to own a Mercedes!

It is kind of strange to see my childhood wish being fulfilled after my retirement. People might be wondering why.

To me it is sort of paying or is it rewarding me for all the trouble I have been through, from a child to a man of my age now. I have struggled you know to be where I was and also to bring up my family through thick and thin.

Come to think of it I think I deserve it. Let me spend the rest of my life driving one.

Recalling back all the years I was in the service, I think I have not done much to me personally as I have done to each and everyone in my family.

Just have a look at my wardrobe (I don't even have a good wardrobe). The number of shirts and trousers that I have can easily be counted using my fingers.

My father once said'" You have only a pair of working shoes? I have three when I was working."

Well of course I have to depart with lots of dough in getting it. But who can deny my wish?

We have been searching for used E200K for quite sometimes now. We have been to KL just looking around but found none.

Then one day as I was driving into Kuantan the coastal road, there it was. My wife first saw it and we decided to stop to have a look at it on our way home.

Stop we did and we fell in love with the car as soon as we laid eyes on it. It was Obsidian black and with one owner, a company director.

I called a friend and he promised to bring a JKR technician to scrutinize and test drive the car the next day/

The next day Syafiq and I arrived early at the car shop. They came and after checking the car physically, we test drove the car around town.

The technician told me that the engine was very good, especially the transmission system.

The price first quoted was steep, but after haggling we managed to reach at a price slightly cheaper than the others that we have seen.

The one in KL had a fabric seat, quite worn out as far as we could see. The engine too was not as well kept.

So we finally agree to buy the car. The bank too surprised us a lot. No guarantor was required as first mentioned. The process took a mere three days for final approval. It took Syafiq longer to get his scrambler approved!

For the time being the car sits in our garage waiting for me to come home on Thursday evening. It too is a weekend passenger car, just like me a weekend husband!


Yesterday as I was hurriedly leaving for Kuala Terengganu, I put on two different sandals - one my newly bought Bonia and the other belonged to Syafiq. I only realised this as I stopped at Rantau Abang mosque for subuh prayer!

I am beginning to get myself acquainted with living as a married bachelor or rather a weekend husband now. It has been more than two weeks now that I have started joining the academia.

I usually travel to KT Sunday morning, at around 5.00 and reach UNISZA's City Campus at just after 7.00.

From Sunday to Thursday I stay at a homestay-turned-rented house in PERMINT PERDANA Seberang Takir. Well it is kind of steep, I mean the rental. I have to fish out RM700 for the RM64,000 medium cost house.

I could not complain much though for the house is fully furnished and air-conditioned. The owner, Hj. Sanadi, a famous optometrist in Terengganu was too generous when he bought me a new set of sofa, a cupboard and a stove for me to have a go at cooking during Ramadhan fasting.

The house is also strategically located, in the middle between City campus and also to the main campus, where we would be transferred after Aidilfitri.

Yesterday, I cooked for breakfast and syahur! Well, nothing much but straight from the can - canned tuna curry, beef curry and roasted chicken I bought from a stall nearby.

It was very filling all right!

With a room and a computer I now can sit down and plan what to do to be an effective academic staff. One thing at a time yesterday I filled my time preparing lecture notes on animal digestive system.

With my newly bought Mercedes Benz E200 Kompressor left idle back home I started to miss the car. But I have no choice, cannot bring it now as parking space is woefully limited. May be I will drive it when we have moved to the new faculty building later.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Here I am scribing again

Yesterday I brought the second year Animal Science students on an exhumation exercise in Kg Tok Jembal, in Zuki's horse farm.

It was not what you are expecting. There was no one murdered or anything like that. It was the digging up and collection of skeleton of a horse buried there almost one year ago.

The exercise was painstaking and exhaustive, to say the least. Students had to take turns in digging up the horse's grave.

The sandy grave made the work more difficult as it kept on falling as mini avalanches as we got deeper.

Blisters started forming on students' hands and fingers as they zealously worked their way down.

Reaching four, five feet and there was still no signs of the dead horse. We almost gave up.

Then a few flies flew in - a sure sign of something rotten.

The students kept on going. Then there was a tarpaulin and a piece of long rope unearthed. Opening up the material covering the dead horse, they slowly and painstakingly began collecting the bones.

The frustration and despair were suddenly transformed into joy and jubilation. Everybody was excited collecting and identifying the bones.

The first bone unearthed was the humerus. Then came the carpals, the radius and ulna, the scapula.

Finally, at five something I called it a day. We had collected 98% of the bones, even the hyoid bone. WE missed the fourth third phalange though.

Exhausted and sweaty, I left the city campus at 6.20 and went straight to the Yunnan's rice chicken shop at Batu Buruk for a rather late lunch.

After lunch I continued to Maidin for some juice and canned fruits and tuna for the first Ramadhan's syahur.

Tired, I called it a day at 9.00.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Yesterday, 1 August, I reported duty at Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, City Campus.
That was after securing a Home-stay-turned rented house in PERMINT Perdana in Kg Batin. The rental was horribly high for such a house. It was RM700, but having no other alternative, I just said yes. It was fully furnished and air-conditioned though.

There were still incomplete forms to be returned to the Registrar office. For that I had to drive around KT looking for Commissioner of Oath office, getting my photographs taken and getting the Duty stamp marked at LHDN office.

It took me almost three long sweating hours to get all of them completed. Why? Finding a parking space in KT was almost impossible and walking in all new long-sleeved shirt and very tight brand new Bonia leather shoes was killing my feet!

Only at 12.30 I went and see the Dean. He then invited us for lunch.

Then I received a call from the Motorcycle store in Kemaman telling that Syafiq's scrambler was ready. It could only be let out with my presence as there were papers to be signed.

So, I rushed home and got there just half an hour before the store closed for the day.

Syafiq was excited to have a brand new Scrambler.

Friday, June 25, 2010

16 June was the beginning of my long leave prior to my official retirement on the 22 July 2010.

Unlike stories told of how pensioners felt bored with their life after retirement, I did not feel the same. In fact I felt released, you know from all those extra-curricular worries and tensions of work.

I am not all free. I have got chores to do. Take sending and fetching Amalia to and from school. The great difference is that now I have all the time to do so. I don't have to rush every morning.

My first assignment was to send my niece to UNISEL in Bestari Jaya (formerly Batang Berjuntai). For that we put up a night at PNB Darby Suites in Jalan Binjai just ten minutes walk from KLCC.

The suites was excellent, berbaloi the price I had to pay for the night. There were two rooms, a huge hall, three bathrooms and to the delight of Amalia, three televisions.

The road to UNISEL was terrible. It just felt like driving up Cameron Highlands.

UNISEL's registration process was just lousy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

All I wanted was peace and quiet on my last two days in office. No more very serious meetings and appointments, I told my PA.

Idris was the first to break my quiet morning. He told me that our old Hilux in Lepar had been stolen yesterday's afternoon. The car rustlers cut off the chain locking the front gate and got away with the old but usable Hilux.

According to the police it was the work of a syndicate. That day three similar Hilux were stolen. In one case they lifted the entire gate to get the car.

Then a lady called. She was complaining of our man giving the wrong medicine to his tom-cat. It was given an injection of medroxyprogesterone, a medicine normally given to queens to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

She was bent on making an official complain about my man's wrong-doing. I told her to come down and promised her that I would investigate and called her back.

I went down to the clinics to get the entire story of what had happened.
My man told me that male cats were also given the drug to prevent male cats spraying and over agressiveness.

I took back the brochure and googled for more info about the drug. Yes, my man was right. The drug was indeed rightfully given.

I called her back immediately and she too realized that she was wrong. I told her it was all right and my man was an experienced officer having treated many many tom cats before.

I was glad that the miscommunication was corrected, before it became another issue in the printed media.

At 1.00 I went to Annex to have a special farewell lunch organized by my men at PPV Daerah Kuantan. The asam pedas tenggiri was so fresh and delicious that I finished an entire slice on my one. The grilled tenggiri stake was not bad either.

Friday, June 11, 2010


As of today I have got just another two working days, that is next Monday and Tuesday, before I take a long leave prior to my official retirement date 22 July 2010.

There is a mixed feeling inside me now. Excited thinking now I will have all the time in the world to do what I like and more importantly, I hope it will be less stressful.

Feeling guilty as I have to leave JPV Pahang in the midst of big things - the 2011 & 2012 rolling plan, the 2010 budget and the 10th Malaysian Plan. Pity Dr Rohaya and his staffs to shoulder these challenging jobs.

But, like most things, everything has a start and an end. So is my career in JPV. It began on 16 Mei 1981 and ends on 22 July or perhaps earlier on 16 June.

Soon a new career will begin. A change may be what I need right now. Please pray for me that the change will bring happiness and prsoperity in my future life.

Dato' Dr Ibrahim called inviting me to join them, may be meet with friends for the last time in Sarawak. At least he has the decency to ask me to meet with friends before I go.

I politely decline his offer. I have another important family committment that I have made earlier.

The DG, he just texted me wishing me all the best in my future endeavour, just like that.

What do I expect? A glittering farewell party and a rolex watch? No, I never wish for all these. I just wish that somebody up there realise that in three days time I will be leaving the department. In three days time DVS will lose another of its long-serving staff.

It is true what my friends told me earlier. Who will care if you leave or die? Who are you to the department? Instead, somebody will gain from your departure - good riddance.

Well, I will pack my things and go quietly. Let someone else take over. Let someone feel how difficulty it is to take charge of a state as big as Pahang with an inadequate organizational structure.

To my fellow staffs of JPV Pahang I will forever indebted to all of you for all the help and cooperation given to me while I sit on the chair. You are always there to give helping hands whenever I need it.

For the red-carpet and jubilant farewell get-together dinner, we are forever greatful. I will never forget you all. Please feel free to call or drop by at our Teratak Syakirin for a glass of pink guava juice or lunch or dinner.

I promise I will not stay too far away from the animal industry and the department. I will not hesitate to come and give something if my service is required.

I will not fade away and disappear for a long long time to come. I will be there, somewhere reachable, accessible.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


"Dr. Azahar, this is Mat Nor..."
"Mat Nor? Which Mat Nor?"
"Mat NOr...the one who prepared food for you and Kluang."

Yes, now I know the surprise caller. He is non-other than Mat Nor from my bachelor days in Kluang.

In fact his wife is my distant relative from Serkam, Melaka.

Those days I stayed in Johari Jemain's house in Kluang. He was the Kluang Agriculture Officer then and I was in Institut Veterinar Kluang.

Mat Nor, his wife and children, ah we were so very close then. Regretfully we have not met for a very long time.

They came all the way, by bus from Kluanf to my wedding in Kemaman. They were real friends indeed!

We are going to meet today, this evening. They are on the way from Kemaman now.


WWF today asks Malaysians, I in particular, who relish seafood to be selective in what kind of fish we have for our meals.

Do not go for those in endangered list. Go for the more abundant ones instead.

From the list I saw Kerisi (bream), pomfret both the black and white varieties (I am not worried about these fish as they are far too expensive for us), sotong katak (cuttlefish), etc

Instead it asks us to change to Mullets (belanak), Mackerel (both Indian and Spanish), tuna, kerapu (grouper),lala, etc

I hope WWF will publicise the list of fishes and other seafood that Malaysian should refrain from eating,

But this has one major drawback. The more you want people to stop eating it, the more people will try to gat their hands and mouths on to that fish.

The more restricted the fish is the more expensive they will be. The more expensive the fish is the more it will be hunted. It is just a sort of vicious cycle.

Supply will stop once the demand is not there. Wasteful use of dragnets should be totally prohibited.


Our residence, Teratak Syakirin, amazingly does not have too much concrete wall really. Much of the wall is replaced by glass windows. It is good for aeration and ventilation.

However, there is one setback - there is not enough space to hang framed souvenirs.

Of late I have been receiving many wonderful framed items, Quranic verses mostly, from district veterinary offices and others in conjunction with my retirement.

One district, I forget which one, has even presented me with a framed pistol and bulets. What does it signifies? I don't know, but it is just cute and Syafiq wants it for his room.

Well I guess I have to hang them somewhere. They are very meaningful to me now and maybe nostalgic as years gone by.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I used to have a fantastic memory power as far as numbers is concerned. I can even remember my birth certificate number!

But with the advent of mobile phones and the contact number database, memorizing hp numbers becomes redundant, unproductive.

I become very dependent on the hp for all the numbers.

When suddenly my hp went caput recently, my life went haywire. I could not contact anybody, not even my wife or my children. I did not remember their hp numbers!

I was then in a seminar in Shah Alam. I had to go to a suddenly-organized meeting in Ministry of Agriculture. It was outright embarassing when Dr Idris asked me to call my office to see whether there was a letter for me about the meeting.

I could not contact my PA as I did not know her number, the office number or any number for that matter!

This resulted in me not going to the meeting.

Then how was I to contact my driver? There was no way except to do the traditional way - that was to walk up and down the conference area and look for Hasnan.

After more than an hour, finally I met him and off I ran away from the workshop and headed straight home.

Those two days were just plain hell. I could not contact anybody. I just had to wait for somebody to call and ask the caller who he/she was!


It is sad to see how relationship between a brother and his siblings gone sour. It is sadder though how a brother declared that the blood-relationship was over between them just because of a misunderstanding or was it because he was influenced too much by his wife.

How can a brother, who had declared that his siblings had forgotten about his good deeds when they were still children, reminded his children not to tell his siblings when he passes away?

How arrogant can a man be? No man is an island. No man can survive and lives on his own, no matter how much money and power he has.

He is neither rich nor powerful, but frail just to say the least. Has he ever thought who will take care of him if he ever fell seriously sick? I will not be surprised if the brother whom he hated most will be the one.

Has he forgotten how he had looked after his mother and father when they were sick? It is not exaggerating to say here that he was and still is one very good man despite of his not-so-glorious past.

It all began when his daughter decided to marry her chosen one despite of his disagreement. Seeing that they were really serious to get married and there was nothing wrong with the man she had chosen, we all gave our full support to the relationship.

One of us went to see him in person to discuss about the marriage. In the meeting he openly declared that he would never agree with the marriage. He said that for his daughter's sake, he agreed that his father and his brother to be the witness to the marriage.

So the marriage was arranged with the Kadi's office. Then he went against his words. He swore that the blood-tie would be severed with all those responsible for the marriage!

He was a very hard man. I have never seen a harder man. Till now he never accept the man his daughter had chosen as one of his family members! He never even cuddled his own grandson, so I was told.

They say there is a good wife that behind a succesful man. In his case the wife does not contribute to his success but she was more of a fire, flaming an already hot situation into a flaming one.

He never likes his youngest brother. I know his youngest brother had made mistakes in his life before, but people do change. With our encouragement his kid brother does change and now is happily married.

His hatred for his kid brother never ceased. I told his kid brother not to bother. Do your best and continue living.

Once he and his family charged in my house minutes after my wife asked his wife not to spread old stories about his kid brother to his future in-laws.

That dusk there they were coming in without even a salam and instead, yelling and shouting trying to straighten wet string (as our proverb says it).

Syazwan, as quiet as he could be throughout the commotion, as gentleman as he could possibly be, said: "I don't mean to be rude, but coming in other people's house without even a salam and yelling and shouting at maghrib prayers time is not good. Why not come in and we discuss things over."

His message was crystal clear. Diyana's cheeky remarks were just like rubbing salt to the already gaping wound.

They just left after saying their anger. Bt just before they left, again they uttered the same words: "It is over between us."

Being a very good spin doctors, the story was turned up-side down. Our children were accused of being rude and we did not even invite them in!

Whose children are rude really? Whose children openly referred their aunts as crazy people? Remember, you all often forgot what you have said and done, but we remember them as clear as crystal.

Enough is enough. Let it be. I do hope and pray that one day they will open up, look into themselves for a change instead of just looking into other people and think that they are the only ones right and everybody else is wrong.

Just remember that your kid brother is now a part of our family. You hurt him you also hurt us. I don't want anybody, I mean anybody, to hurt his feelings, let alone hurt him physically. I want him to be happy with his life after all that he has been through.

Monday, June 7, 2010


For quite sometimes now I cannot find freshly caught fish in the market, be it in Chukai or Binjai fish markets.

All there are being sold are the so-called boxed-in fishes imported from across the border.

These fish normally will look reasonably ok at the market but will immediately turned mush once they reach home!

The only reasonably fresh fish varieties found in both markets are the selar kuning (yellow striped trevally), bonito (aya kurik) and may be kembung (Indian mackerel) and also selayang (sardines).

Where have all the fish gone? Well as far as I know, many of the deep-sea fishing fleets have stopped operating because of lack of fish.

How far is this true I hope the Fisheries department will give the answer. But I know for a fact that a fish tycoon whom I know personally told me that he has stopped operation because catch is normally well below the economic level.

Friday, June 4, 2010


It all began when I was offered a place in a degree course after obtaining a quite decent result in the first year of Diploma Fisheries.

At first I turned down the offer and instead continued the second year programme.

The trauma brought about my HSC results was still there. Physics and additional mathematics were subjects that I dreaded most. May be some of you knew that I missed almost the entire Form four thus did not get any intro to both subjects.

After about two weeks in the second year Dip. Fisheries, many things jolted me from dream to real world.

First the behaviour of some students who had accepted the offer. They acted as if they were the oly ones with good results. They looked at me with only one eye whenever we passed each other.

Second there was this TKC girl. We knew one another when we were in Form six. She point-blankly told me that doing a degree course was my goal when I joined sixth form and declined UPM's offer back then.

Third the Registrar gave me a whopping lecture on why I should accept the challenge, blah blah...

SO, finally I registered for the DVM course!

The first year was a real torture. I just managed to scrape through the mathematics and physics while others did very well. Till now I still wonder why we should take the two subjects in the first place!

Came second year, gone was the fright and I began liking most subjects and began scoring.

After graduating, Prof. Sheikh Omar offered or rather begged me to join the faculty. He sent two telegrams for me to reconsider. Even my mom, she advised me to take the offer.

I was adamant of working. Fourteen years on nasi kawah was just too much for me. And the lure of good post in the department was too great that I lied to myself.

Actually it was my ambition to go for a higher degree overseas. Forgetting momentarily (a long one at that) my ambition, I grabbed the departments offer and off I went to Kluang to report duty at Institut Haiwan Kluang.

With that began my work in DVS, moving from one state to another. Then suddenly I realized that I just had to go for my ambition - to go overseas for a MSc or Phd.

My application failed after a few tries. Finally, in the nick of time, that was when I was fourty (the age limit for a MSc student) I got it.

I was offered a PSD scholarship to do a MSc in Veterinary Pathology in the States.

When I went back to my alma mater, UPM, to get a referral letter, Prof. Sheikh Omar told me: "If only you have taken my offer then, you'll be a Professor by now!"

I just laughed at him and replied: "Well sir, that's what life is all about."

I was accepted by Dept. of Vet. Path, UGA to do my MSc there, much to the surprise of many, even by the then Director of Training, Dr Hawari.

Yes, it was not that easy to secure a place in the highly competitive course.

Life as a MSC student was full of joy and happiness for my family and me. I am not exaggerating if I say that the two-year period was the best part of my working life!

I came back with pathology prowess a few people in the department had. Besides that my children were exposed to US way of education. And also we were blessed with another child, a daughter by the name of Amalia.

Fourteen years later now, I am very close to my retirement day. My boss asked me why I wanted to opt out. I said I just want to do what I liked, with as little stress as possible.

I wanted to pass on whatever I have collected all these 29 years to the younger generation. What better option to do that other than to be a lecturer.

Friends asked me whether I wanted to do business. I said no. Business was never in my blood.

So, finally I chose UDM as my post-retirement career. I hope I can still contribute significantly to the society through my lectures.

And also I want to write.