Thursday, February 25, 2010


The traffic was extraordinarily congested today as I drove down the bay route road. A too fast changing traffic light at a junction may be the cause of the jam.

As I was waiting for the traffic to move, I gave my eyes a rest on the greens along the road.

Up the telephone line I saw a squirrel casually performing the tight-rope crossing. That was from the left to the right of the road.

Further right I saw a tembusu tree standing majestically overshadopwing smaller trees underneath it. Its leaves rustled as the gentle morning breeze passed through.

Suddenly I saw a commotion up one of its branch. A scruffle broke out between five magpie robins and a seemingly minding-its-own-business squirrel.

The birds were chasing away the squirrel from the branch. They took turn to bombard the mammal with its beaks.

I did not know why they did so. That squirrel did nothing wrong to the birds. Or were they defending their nest against the mammal? But as far as I know, squirrels do not normally rob bird's nest.

Well, I don't blame them. Even we humans make mistakes.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


No words can exactly describe how much she has sacrficed for the family. As soon as she wakes up and does her morning prayers, she will dutifully clean the dishes, prepares breakfast for our children and me, iron Amali's school uniform, wash and dry the clothes and the list goes on until she puts her dead-tired body in bed.

She is the best cook in town. Don't believe me? Just ask the children and their cousins. They will tell you nobody can beat her cooking!

Fish head curry, rendang ayam, chilli squid, chilli crab, beriyani rice and the list goes on. She can cook them all.

What amazes many is her way of cooking. She cooks many dishes at one go. So, in an hour she has cooked four or five dishes! When we were in Georgia, neighbours and friends were surprised when I told them she cooked three times a day.

She is very fussy about getting our house clean. She will sweep annd mop the floor everyday, rearrange the furnitures so often and of late she is busy repainting the doors white!

She not only produced beautiful, intelligent and healthy babies but also looked after them very well from babies to now.

Her stamina is beyond my imagination. Though she has asthma, she never seem to stop doing her daily chores to perfection.

I know her services are valueless. No money, no matter how much, can pay all her good deeds to our family.

She is very patient in dealing with me and my ego (especially now) and our garrulous children. Her nagging (especially when she is tired and nobody help her) is understandable.

We have been married for 28 years now and it is still as strong as ever.

So my dear, please accept hugs and kisses from our children and me on your birthday today. Forget about the number, just remember that we all love you
very much and always pray that you will live happily ever after.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I am so happy to hear that Ministry of Education finally realizes that school sports has lost its sparks and is doing the right thing by making it mandatory for all students to take up at least one game beginning next year.

I sincerely hope that it is not just another empty slogan. It should be effectively enforced.

Personally I have been at war with my children's school for umpteenth's times in the past. I hated it when the school looked down on its rugby players - they labelled them as crooks instead of motivating and encouraging them for their sweat and pains in bringing up the good name of the school.

They only came to the players' side when they became the state champions! No, they never showed up when they were playing their hearts out in the field.

Why? Because they feel that playing rugby will not do the players any good as far as academics was concerned.

Our Syazwan proved them wrong. He scored 6 A1's even though he missed 3 months of school because he had to undergo centralised training and studied only for just three months before SPM!

I again came to the fore when it, believed it or not, wanted to scrape sports science as a subject. I wrote to the NST and everybody in the school was busy searching for the writer of the letter! Most students knew who it was...they were glad that I wrote the letter.

Little that they knew sports improve students' overall personal achievement.

Of late parents are so engrossed with their children scoring straight A's that they lose sight of other soft skills that their children need in life.


For the past month or so I have been seeing them, all fresh and green (or was it blue), bein sold both in Chukai wet market and Bijai souq.

I have not seen much of them, let alone consumed them, for a long long time. I thought that they have become extinct, vanished from our sea.

They are the Tamban beluru (Amblygaster leiogaster), the very boney fish that are synonymous with the fish delicacy Terengganu is famous for, keropok lekor (fish rod).

Despite their numerous tiny bones, they are delicious and very crunchy if deep fried to perfection. A coating of chilli will add flavour to deep fried Tamban beluru anytime.

Besides keropok lekor, their flesh is also very useful and tasty if made into fish balls for the famous mee calong (fish ball noodles). Mee calong, if properly prepared, can make you sweat all over.

Their cousin, Tamban sisik, is not as tasty. As its name, it is very scaly and bony too. Its flattened body makes it less fleshy compared to the more plump Tamban beluru.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Ramli has been pestering us to visit his Italian garden restaurant in Kemaman Supply Base (KSB) since its opening almost two years ago.

We have been finding excuses all the while. Yesterday we accepted his offer and we were there at 12.30.

The free flowing breeze from the South China Sea was the first to greet us as I parked the car.

The open air concept, the tiled flooring, the rattan sets, the polycarbonate roof, the clean kitchen, the self-explanatory menus and the forever smiling servind crew add flavour to the dishes we ordered.

I ordered BBQ spring chicken and my wife seafood pizza. The chicken, half of it, was so tender that I asked Ramli where did he get his supply of spring chicken.

Juli, Ramli's wife, ordered know the spaghetti with the mushroom sauce....

The food was easily the best we ever had for a long time. Perhaps it was not exaggerating to say that it was indeed a four-star hotel food with a price nobody could complain.


It was already almost midnight. We were on our way back from my mother's thanksgiving dinner. Shapawi called telling us tha his wife was in labour room.

We then went straight to O&G department Hospital Kemaman. Syazwan and I were in our sarong pelikat!

Shapawi's parents were not there when we arrived. There was a lonely man in the waiting lounge. He was an Indonesian (legal) oil palm fruit picker from Felda Bukit Goh. According to him he was from Flores and he had married a Javanese girl and had lived here in Malaysia for the past ten years. He was blessed with four children and this was their fourth child.

When asked why did he come all the way to Kemaman. He told us that it was easier in Kemaman compared to Kuantan. He did not mind spending RM200 for the two-way taxi fare.

We did not have to wait long. At half past one Shapawi came out. In his hand was a plastic bag filled with his son's afterbirth.

He appeared pale. He graphically described how his wife was hemorrhaging badly. I could understand him.

His son, Aqis Musawwir, was born just before midnight 14 February, another member of the February birthday clan!

Friday, February 19, 2010


He came with a bag full of khaki military clothings. Arriving at KL International Airports Subang, he was surprised finding out that KL was a modern city not like he had first imagined.

As a young man yearning to do good to fellow human beings in some remote country, Mr barry Watson was very pleased to know that he had been accepted as a VSO English teacher in a school called Sekolah Dato' Abdul Razak, Tanjung malim, Perak, malaysia.

"Where is Malaysia?" He asked himself. Using a globe, he searched frantically for a country called Malaysia, first in the African continent.

He could not find Malaysia in Africa! A friend later told him that Malaysia was somewhere in South East Asia, between Singapore and Thailand.

There was very little info on Malaysia in Brighton (if my memory is right), his hometown. The only thing he could find was a poster showing an Orang Asli using his blowpipe.

"So, Malaysia must still be very backwards," he thought. That explained all the khaki clothings.

In Kuala Lumpur he had to replace all his shirts and trousers.

He found that SDAR was quite a big school, perhaps much better furnished than many of the schools back home in Brighton.

To his amazement he found out that most of his students (my batch that was) knew very little English.

He could not help but laugh everytime he remember one of his student and himself communicating:

"Whose book is this?" he asked

"Book I, Sir"


"Book me, sir"


"My book, sir!"


"Sir, sir, your tyre has no wing!" (Sir, your tyre is flat)


"Don't drop my water face." (Don't embarass me.")

Mr Watson was a very good English teacher. Everyone liked him very much. I learned a lot from him. He even followed us to our kampung during school holidays.

He amazed everybody when he put on his sarong and for the first time tasted our budu.

In a talentime night, he surprised everybody when he sang "Selamat tinggal bungaku"...

His unique way of disciplining us was: "take out your shoes, bend down and you can guess what happened next. We didn't mind him walloping our backs like that.

Now we all missed him very much. We tried to find him but so far failed. So, if anyone out there knows somebody from UK by the name of Barry Watson, please let me know. We, his former students, would like very much to meet him.


I can't help but laugh whenever I recall how I was completely computer-blind when I started my MSc in UGA.

Still remember how Randy personally taught me Words and how I struggled to finish my papers to be published in Avian Diseases and Avian Pathology.

"Here, you've to do your own report. Everybody types his own report here," Randy told me.

Actually I had a computer in Malacca, but I was too scared to give it a try and so I depended mostly on my assistants in as far as computer works are concerned.

But that was then, now I am quite ok with computer. I have long since then fallen in love with the computer, especially The Internet. I can't work without Internet now.

Internet has helped me a lot both in my work as well as my social life. It has helped me find many of my long lost friends.

Here are some examples of the interesting re-unions achieved so far, at least in the cyber world:

1. One day a lady called me up. She was a successful CEO of a company. She has read one of my entries that told the story of her brother, Malek Ahmad, who was drowned in Sg Bill, Tanjung Malim. She told me that she was still a baby when his brother died and asked me to tell her more about her brother. So she arranged a meeting where I narrated all that I knew to her. She cried openly at the end of my story.

2. Then I remember my lecturer, Dr Collin Basset. I searched for him. Nobody replied at first. A few weeks later, a veterinarian from Hong Kong answered and told me that Dr Bassett had passed away a few years back.

3. There was this one girl by the name of Hasnani Saad that I had been trying to find since I first arrived in SDAR many many years ago. My search never bore fruit until only recently. That day as usual, I yahooed her name and there it was...Datin Hasnani Saad, an office bearer of Custom Officer Association. I quickly contacted the webmaster and he confirmed that she was the one that I was looking for and he was good enough to give me her hp number. I called her and had quite a long chat.

4. A girl read my story of how nine of us from SK Pusat were selected to study in boarding schools. She immediately called her mom when she saw her mom's name was in my story: "Ma, your friend your name in his story..." With that I once again was reunited with Aminah Nazifah, Sharipah Aminah and Wan Esah....

Those are some of the examples why I just can't live without the Internet....

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Life is more than just doing whatever pleases us. It is also more than just fulfilling our basic needs such as eating, drinking, sleeping, being happy and having sexual relationship.

Being free is everyone's ultimate dream. But believe me complete freedom is not something that you want. It brings chaos, complete the opposite of what we are striving for in the first place.

I will take having sexual relationship as an example. Sexual relationship must be regulated, controlled and disciplined. Many will argue that sexual relationship between consenting adults is okey. It is not!

Sexual relationship should only happen after a man and a woman is legally married, not before, not even after they were engaged or after they fell in love, as thought by many these days.

It is sad to see how some people who called themselves modern and sophisticated place marriage in such a lowly place. They get married only after living together for years and having babies!

To some of these people having sex is just like having breakfast or lunch!

Marriage should once again be respected and valued.

I have seen how family and society crumbles when marriage becomes just a ceremony rather than an institution. I too have seen how children, who were well looked after before, are let loose as soon as they reach puberty.

They are so free that a virgin is looked down and labelled as unpopular and even a nerd among friends.

I never want to see this scenario here: " Summer is approaching. Please get your supply of contraceptives from the university health centre."

But from the news that we all read and see everyday, I am afraid that we are going there if we do not take heed.

Free relationship between members of the opposite sex is the real culprit. It all begins with a simple chat. Then the two of them start holding hands. Little that they know the simple and innocent looking act of holding hands between a girl (woman) and a boy (man) who is not muhrim can lead to zina (illegal sex).

Strange as it may seem, now there are parents who encourage their children to have boy-friends or girl-friends and openly allow them to go out unchaperoned.

We have to go back to the basics. Follow the teachings of our religion closely. See that our culture is adhered to and stop the influence of the Western world from polluting our young ones.

Love has to be redefined. A man never really loves a woman when he coaxes and seduces a woman into illegal sex. A man who really cares about the woman he is in love with, should take care of his woman and preserves her virginity and purity.

A woman should also maintain her self-esteem and be strong enough to refuse herself being the object of lust of an irresponsible man. Preserve your most valuable crown.

Only when a man really loves and respect a woman the issue of innocent babies disposed and murdered that is occuring regularly of late will stop.

Parents should teach their children to respect the opposite sex, not to abuse them, from small.

Never make marriage very difficult for their children. Help them whenever their time of marriage comes.

Observe and respect marriage if we want our coming generation to be pure and healthy.

Remember, we are here for a purpose. Not just to live aimlessly, doing whatever we like. Not everything that we like is good for us. Just like food, some food items that are bitter are medicinal!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


As a Terengganu guy I'm no stranger to squids and cuttlefish. Besides enjoying the squids' mantle, the heads and of course the delicious eggs I am always fascinated loooking at both of these creatures in their domain.

Still vivid in my mind how I spent hours in the sea at Perhentian island (then it was still in its pristine state) just watching a cuttle fish play acting. It knew that I was watching, so it did many colour versions right in front of me.

But Discovery's Squid Invasion was something extraordinary, even for me. The Humboldt squids, or the red giants as they are also known as, are huge squids.

There are still much unknown about the deep-ocean creatures. They are very intelligent. We can tell by their brain size.

When they are in feeding frenzy, they are known to gobble up their own kind, what more us humans! Their beak-like mouths are just awesome and awfully sharp.

They are now invading US shores, causing much damage to other sea creatures.

They have three hearts, thus explaining their ability to dive very deep into the sea in search of food and also to escape predators - whales.

So, whenever you are enjoying grilled squids, just remember deep in the sea somewhere there are the red giants just waiting for unwary divers.


It was the morning of Chinese New Year 2010. The year of the Tiger. It was very quiet, perhaps many were still in bed.

Then I smelled smoke. It was from my closest neighbour's house. I saw black smoke coming out of the living hall. Within minutes I saw something caught fire - I guessed it must be the curtain.

Diyana called the Fire Department. She was irritated at the way the people there received her call. So many questions asked - her name, the address, so on and so forth and they also asked her to repeat the facts that she had already given.

Minutes, very precious minutes, passed but there was still no fire department's engines showing up.

The fire was getting bigger. I could now hear the sound of glass popping and electrical sparks from the house.

I then called again the fire department. Again they elaborately took my facts. Again I gave them what they wanted. Losing my temper, I introduced myself: " Well, I'm Dato' Dr Azahar bin Idris reporting...what more do you want from me?"

The man on the line seemed startled and said," Ok Dato', we're coming...."

I said," Yes, please hurry up...the house is burning..."

After more than twenty minutes, the first engine came. They looked a bit clumsy at first. I did not blame them. Perhaps the long holidays, you know.

Big crowds began forming. They came as soon as they saw black smoke. Children of the houses next door were called to vacate their houses.

Then the Electrical satff came. They cut off the house electric supply.

A few minutes later, two more engines arrived. They managed to douse off the fire. The living hall was completely razed down to pieces.

The Fire Department then took over the house and staffs took turn guarding the house till a full fire investigation was carried out.

The owner, after the fire was completely put out, said," Well, I think the house needs renovation. Five years were long enough for another renovation."

Friday, February 12, 2010


Once there was a freshwater well near a beach. Its water was always fresh (tawar) despite of its vicinity to the sea.

This is nothing strange if you care to look around you. I have read how Jacques Cousteau, the legendary French diver, was amazed when he came face to face with a stream of freshwater deep in the ocean he was diving in.

Later he told his friend about his strange finding. His friend then told him that this phenomenon was clearly described in the holy book Quran. Cousteau then read the verses and some said that he converted because of this.

Fishermen passing by the area would stop there to collect fresh water for their long fishing. But there was a catch. Anyone collecting the freshwater must, I repeat must, tie a knot before leaving the well.

Any knot would do. Usually they did it with the leaves, twigs or grass blades found nearby.

Failing to do so, one would not find one's way back. In other words, one would be lost.

For this reason, the well is called knot well (Telaga simpul).


It looks like peace and tranquility that I hope in the remaining few months does not materialize. I do not want to sound ungrateful for all the blessings that Allah has given me so far. I am just voicing my frustrations.

Imagine, for a big state like Pahang I will soon have only 1 Veterinary Officer to assist me. That too will be fully attached to horse works. Now I have two, but come 11 March one will attend a 9-month long course.

Then, all of a sudden one of my senior officers fell sick. He could no longer do much of his usual works. And he too has just been approved optional retirement.

Works are coming, one after another and all need equally urgent attention. There are 10MP, Rolling Plan 2011-2012, KPI, 5S, ISO, 1 Malaysia, People First, Performance Now zooming in the near horizon.

What more can I do under such physical constraints? It is now just like pulling a cloth that is just too short to cover your body - it does not matter whether you pull up or you pull down, your secret parts will still be exposed!

I am not going to overly stress myself now. Let it flows and let time sees it flows.

The pouring-of-milk-down-the-drain is almost settled. The factory is now begging for the supply of milk. Now it is realized that Jersey cattle's milk is of premium quality. The normal usage of alcohol test as the sole criterion whether the milk is accepted or rejected is unfair.

The illegal planting of oil palm in our permanent poultry production area is still in limbo and I think I will not fight anymore. Let it takes its due course.

Let my remaining days be filled with happiness and good memories. My visits to the districts have been both fruitful and educational. The sight of swiftlets diving in a 60K plus house offered great promise to Mr Baharum of Felda Keratong.

The sight of me wearing a kangaroo skin cowboy hat cleasing the pig house added colour to my life. It brought in calls from friends all over Malaysia. At least they still recognise me.

To Allah I pray that He give me faith, peace, tranquility and excellent health so that I could continue contributing to mankind...Amin!


If 14 February is celebrated by many as the over-commercialized Valentine's day,to our family February is the birthday month. Why? Because there are three birthdays in that month!

First it is Diyana's birthday - 8 February

Second is Amalia's - 17 February

Third is my beloved wife's - 24 February

Tomorrow all our children, minus Syafiq, will come back for the extra long Chinese New Year holidays.

We will celebrate the three birthdays in one big one...


They say luxury makes people selfish. I will add by saying that too much money in the bank coupled with loving them too much (that's stingy, ok) make people arrogant.

They also say it is holier to give rather than to accept, but it is very much holier if the giver gives sincerely without having to talk, write or telling people about it.

And holier still if the giver keeps quiet and not incessantly reminding the receiver to pay back in public!

People with the right attitude and frame of mind knows when to pay or when to settle their debt.

There are reasons for people not to do so. Reasons like not having enough money to go around or there are much more pressing matters to settle, etc etc.

Money is so elusive to many...the more you chase after them the harder to have and keep it. But there are people who have and keep money as if they are the only people who have it. They have excess money or rather disposable money.

Digressing a bit, it is also a lot holier if people trusted to keep someone else's money keep it safely rather than use it freely as if it is one's own. Worst still lend it to some relatives without first informing the owner.

I have met all kinds of people in this life. People who are kind, sympathetic and understand other people's needs.

I have also met some people who forget many things. Forget the very people who have helped them in the past. Forget about the good deeds that other people have done when they were in difficulties.

It is fascinating how fast people forget when they have accumulated material wealth. These people even suddenly lose memory of their own flesh and blood when it comes to money.

Remember, we are not going to bring along all the money that we have accumulated, but people's prayers are the things that we really need once we are there.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Syafiq came back. As usual, he came back a little bit out of return-home season for our other children.

Besides the Mohican's hairdo, he also brought along with him his much-talked-about pet - the five-foot Burmese phyton his friend gave him.

Just before he came home, he had pestered his uncle, Kamal, to prepare an aquarium for his snake. Like always, Kamal obliged.

Syafiq made us all winced in disbelief when he told us that just one day before he had fed his snake a kitten. The kitten had dirtied the corridor by its feces and vomitus, so often that on that day he could not take it any longer.

He grabbed the kitten and passed it to the hungry snake. It quickly grabbed it and squeezed and crushed the poor animal within its strong coil of death. The kitten became its dinner that night!

No, kittens are not the normal diet of his pet snake. White mice were its normal diet.

I told him to give the snake a sun bathe reptiles normally need. The snake looked happy absorbing the energy-rich sunlight. It stayed motionless in the grass for well over fifteen minutes.

A neighbour ridiculed him by saying:" You big boy still playing with toy snake?"

He was wrong and he realized it when he saw the head moved!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Despite of my complaints I am still glad to be a government servant. Why? Because while on duty I could travel around to many countries that unless you are loaded you just can't afford to go to.

Before this I always told myself and my friends (bosses included) that I would like it very much to go to Africa. To see the big four - Lion, Elephant, Rhinocerous and Hippopotamus!

So one fine day, Dato' Radzi, the then Perak's Agriculture Exco asked me to follow him to Africa together with Tan Sri Muhyiddin, the then Agriculture Minister.

Just like a sleepy guy offered a cosy pillow, I, without hesitant, accepted the offer and so off we went to South Africa.

The first city was Johannesburg or in short just Joburg. True to its notoriety, our van, with the Minister inside, was nearlr robbed. Two guys suddenly boarded our van and started asking for our passports.

An officer from Malaysian High Commission realised what was going on and warned everybody not to give out our passports. Realizing that their attemp was failing, they quickly went down the van and ran away.

The second incident occurred right in front of the hotel we were staying. An RTM cameraman was busy shooting beautiful scenes of Joburg. Suddenly a man (he told us later) came and asked him for his wallet.

As if hypnotised, he willingly gave his wallet to the man. The man went through the content of his wallet and sai: 'Wow, you have American diollars! Ok, take back your wallet.'

The cameraman took back his wallet and placed it into his back pocket. Half an hour later, he woke up from his sleep, and only then he realized that he had been conned - five hundreds of his six hundred American dollars were missing!

And that guy left him one hundred dollars. what a gentleman highwayman!

We decided not to go around much of Joburg. We just went around a big shopping mall near the hotel.

After Joburg, we went around visiting Elizabethtown and Capetown.

Capetown was just amazing. We stayed in a RM4,000 a night Table bay hotel. The room was just fascinating, with the view of the famous table mountain. The mountain was covered with a slowly dispersing cloud, just like a table cloth covering a dining table! So beautiful.

WE all went up the cable car up to the top of the mountain. The gondola could carry about sixty people.

WE met many Cape Malays in Capetown. In an abattoir I was surrounded by many Cape Malays asking me all sorts of questions. One even asked me whether I could supply him a few containers of deep fried shallot!

Capetown harbour was something else at night. There were lots of halal food joints within walking distance from the hotel.

All in all I saw there was still a big gap between the Blacks and the Whites in South Africa.


Last week, as a part of my farewell visit to districts, I visited Rompin and in particular, Felda Keratong.

En. Baharom, the swiftlet rancher, impressed me most. He built the swiftlet house just behind his house, using the simplest and yet very effective technology. In just eight months he claimed that he has managed to attract about three thousand birds into his house!

I also visited a few cattle farmers in Keratong. The animals were impressive - maximum body score and breeding like anything. I am always fascinated seeing beautiful healthy calves at foot of their mothers.

Most of our animals distributed in 2008 have done very well under oil palm plantation. The abundant grassses make them grow very well. I also saw a huge Charolais cow in one of the Felda settler's plot.

Well, enough about work. Now I want to talk about three plants that I came across near one of the farmer's farm.

It has been ages since I last saw any of them. But I still remember them, how they look in the wild.

They were tuba (Diospyros wallichii), mata ayam or also called mata kancil (Ardisia crenata) and Gelenggang plants (Cassia alata).

They thrived well there without anyone knowing their medicinal value.

My late grandmother used to prepare a foul-smelling concoction of tuba roots, mata ayam root and gelenggang leaves, sulphur and boiled in virgin self-prepared coconut oil. When cool, the oil was rubbed onto my scabbies and lo behold the itchy scabies vanished!

I tell you they were effective. Those days scabies were common among youngsters like me. The hands were so swollen that I could not hold anything in it, even scooping rice into the mouth!

Hospital medicine was not that effective then. Application of the concoction for just three days solved my problem.


It is always very difficult for me to understand how some people can turn an outright illegal act into something worth supported, and make us, the legally right party looked as the guilty ones.

They use all sorts of means to justify their acts. They use the villagers, the politicians, the media to strengthen their plot. They know that they have committed something wrong, but they do not care.

Imagine, they have blown up the story, from a case of only a handful (may be two or three people) of illegal tresspassers into one that consists of a plan to develop and divide the oil palm plantation into a few acres each to many people of the village.

Overnight, the illegal personal project became something heroic, something that would benefit hundreds of villagers!

It is also sad that the local political leader/s take the bite and support them. They told me that they were scared of losing important votes in the coming election. They went as far as telling me that the project, no matter how good it would be, would be of no use if they lost the seat!

All is not lost yet. But I am kind of fed up with it all and seriously thinking to just let it go like that.

What is the use of us fighting hard to make sure the project go as planned while they are fighting back, employing all avenues to see that their illegal act be legalized.

But, the selected poultry farmers, ninteen of them, are all eager and ready to come in and start their project. A few of them already have financial support to build modern closed house poultry sheds.

Our intention is clear - to develop a permanent poultry production estate there so that Pahang will one day be one of the most important poultry producers in the nation.

We still have ample land for it. The industry is still small here and unlike in the west coast where it is already congested and very difficult to exapand further.

All the potential is here. So why spoil it just for the sake of a few irresponsible men to make money out of the government's land!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I am surprised that there are still people out there (filthy rich perhaps) so gullible and easy to release their money to clear cut crooks.

Take the various lottery scams. I remember I first received a congratulatory note from an International Lottery Board saying that I had won 8 million Euros worth of prize money.

Curious, I replied. They said that yes I had won the first prize.

Then I said,'Please deposit the money into my so and so account.'

Then the lady said: 'Sir, you have to pay 5% for processing."

You know how much 5% of 8 million Euros? Plenty of money to me.

"Can't you just deduct the money from my winning?"

"No Sir, it is gainst the law to do so."

"Ok, I'll give you 10% if you just deduct it from my money."

Then she gave up. I am too difficult to negotiate or bamboozle.

But, out there somewhere, a man willingly paid that 5% processing money. That was the last he saw the money!

Then came the various schemes that need money to be advanced to the schemers. Take the leech, the earthworm, the lemon grass and the feedlot schemes.

Please take care of your money. Do not invest in places that are nice to listen but difficult to believe.


As February showed itself, my retirement day gets closer by the day. All I want now is peace and quiet. No more nerve-wrecking incidents and much hurrahs.

All I want is to complete what I am supposed to do in a smooth way. No more controversies if possible.

But from things that is happening now, I doubt it. I will still have a few.

One is the enforcement of illegal planting of oil palm trees on our TKPA Tebat. After it being stopped and a few postponements, it restarted on 2 February. But today, again, we received orders from above, to stop.

I don't know why, but it looks like the tresspassers are winning. The illegals are winning. Is this the so-called 'people first'? I hope not.

If it is, then there will be more tresspassings coming!

I am jealous of Hamidin, he is already on leave before his retirement in April. I will do so too if I have the leave, but I don't. I have just a few days.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


HeLa cells tissue cultures have been instrumental in the development of Polio vaccine and numerous other researches that deal with growing of viruses in laboratory.

I myself have come across HeLa cell lines when I did my Masters in the States and I believe many more scientists and research workers out there have used HeLa cell lines.

Sadly and in fact outright rude for us not to know from whom the cells came from. I only knew whose cells were they today after reading an article in Yahoo.

I don't know whose fault it was, but I think apartheid might be one of the main reasons behind it.

The owner of the immortal cells was a 30-year old Black tobacco farmer from South Virginia by the name of Henrietta Lack who was suffering from cervical cancer. It was in the 50's.

A doctor after removing the cancer from her, passed the tissue to a tissue culture lab across the hall and then began the so-called immortal cell lines.

It survives till now, that is more than half a century later.

Before, scientists had difficulty to maintain human cell lines. They usually died in the process, but not Henrietta Lack's cells. They grow indefinitely.

Henrietta Lack's family did not get anything from her mother's cells, not even a word of thanks from the users.

It was only the writer of the article that I have just read who painstakingly searched for the children and found Deborah, the daughter of Henrietta.

Only then Deborah knew that it was her mother who had supplied the scientific world with the famous HeLa cell lines.

But sadly she does not get anything for her mother's great contribution to mankind. No matter, Deborah knows that her mother was watching from up there, probably with a smile, knowing that they were her cells that had saved millions of lives through countless researches carried ot till now.

Thank you Henrietta Lack. Your suffering had brought joy to many. Rest in peace.