Words of Wisdom ...or so it seems...

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Wednesday, 30 September 2009

A wireless notebook Charger!! What next!!

Tired of tripping over wires? My bedside has......let me see, phone charger wires, (two of em), reading light wires, my Epilator charging wire, the telephone wire, you know, the conventional one invented by Bell, wire charging my computer, and of course if this place we live in is anywhere but Malaysia, I would have a charger for a dildo as well, but I think you get the picture of how many wires are running and how you tend to trip over at least one of them.

Well, these irritating wires may sometime in the future disappear, so much so, we may just miss the idea of tripping over them. (you know how it is, you tend to miss something that may be irritating when they are there, a husband for instance, and when they are not present, you feel something is missing...)

Well, weary no more, for Dell have just the solution for you. Can't say it's a cheap solution, but solution they have. Read it HERE to discover the latest technology applied on a notebook. A wireless charger!!!! In case your curiosity runs deeper on how a wireless charger works, well then, click HERE to find out.

What next? A wireless brain charger? As it is, as we are speaking, Japan has the technology to use brain waves to move chairs for the invalid. I joke you not my friends. This is what happens when humans spend more time indulging in progressive things unlike those who are stuck in rot of deciding which religion is the best one to suppress the human minds.

Friday, 25 September 2009


It is said that “Journey of a thousand miles, begins with the first step”. Well, here we are, the first breakthrough since ages. Finally, scientists have found a vaccine combination that can cut the risk of contracting HIV by 31%. Of course, some may say that you can achieve a 100% result by merely practicing abstinence from sex, but lets face it, just like love, sex probably makes the world go round even more so. One of the oldest professions in the world that remains illegal in most countries hitherto is prostitution. That in itself says it all.

Despite the entire hypocritical rebuke against this profession, most men tend to enable this profession secretly or openly, by increasing demands for sex, especially those who are with power. After all, sex can be something that is not personal; its just business; when there are demands, there will be supplies. Even an economic idiot like me can understand that. Why do you think men go for more money and more power? Well, it’s to get more women of course, legally, or otherwise. I think it is easier for the world to look for a vaccine against HIV or even a cure for AIDS as compared to us combating human’s sexual desires that manifests in many forms.

As for those who got infected by this deadly virus for silly reasons like pricking themselves accidentally with infected needles, by ways of good intentions like people from the medical forefront, what can I say, life is not fair and don’t bang your head against the wall regretting the fact that the same disease outcome from screwing around sounds more like fun. At least you made an effort not to get the disease in the first place. As for those who get infected by ways of pricking themselves to get high, well, thank your lucky stars the rest of the society empathizes with you even though some may think that you’re a waste of taxpayer’s money. For those who got infected by ways of just pricking themselves, well, the scientists have found just the right vaccine for you.

Humans err…and the only right thing for the rest of the world to do is to offer help and support so that you may well live through life to learn the lesson in life, and for the rest of us lucky ones to do the same. Life’s a lesson; you’ll learn it when it’s through (can't remember from which song I got this lyric from). As for those who are so very lucky to not get infected just yet, count your blessings and please try and stay safe. Shunning the HIV and AIDS victims who are in need of attention or condemning them, will not make you the better lot…just a condescending bunch. Unlike diseases caused by organisms, there is no medication in the form of tablets for those who suffer the disease of arrogance.

The beautiful thing about being human is that we are blessed with the gift of hope. True enough, all these years of hoping for a breakthrough to combat this deadly pandemic disease coupled with earnest efforts to do so, the hard work did not go unanswered.

Here’s to life. Let’s stop judging and leave that to God. Lets spend it sincerely living, loving, giving. After all, that’s what makes us all human.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Ops Sikap (kurang ajar atau tak masuk ajar di jalan raya) Tiada-Kongsi-Raya 2009

I was browsing through today's newspaper, (yes, I still do that sometimes, well, since it's provided by the clinic, why not. I wouldn't go all the way just to purchase the local papers, in case you're wondering) and my eyes caught sight of the latest death toll in "Ops Sikap Hari Raya". Actually, that's not all that my eyes was feasted upon when I glanced at The Star. For instance, there's that front page story on Hassan Ali, which I refuse to peruse for now.

After all, I had just came back from Hari Raya leave and would like to maintain a good mood, if not my sanity. Politics is not a way to maintain one's good mood, and definitely not one's sanity. (hmm...wonder if one can get away with running amok in the parliament, then later be acquitted by the court of law on the argument of "temporary insanity"). In fact, Malaysian politics can be listed as one of the causes of suicide actually. It has the same effect as what manic depression do unto people, ergo it is easy to explain the suicidal thoughts that comes naturally with reading about Malaysian politics. Of course, that is but another story.

Funny, in a non ha-ha sense of it, how after all the hoo haas by the mass media on the death toll during celebrated seasons, this year's Hari Raya death toll from motor vehicle increased by 7% hitherto ( last years record showed 134 death over the same amount of days as compared to this year's 144, and mind you, the "Ops Sikap" will be over only on the 27th September 2009). You can check it out here in the report from The Star Online and also in The Sun Daily and in NST online.

What does all this means? That despite having the technology to detect death on our roads and turn the death tolls into fancy statistic charts, we still cannot use the data to curb the problem? If you beg to differ this, then explain why is there an increment of death tolls despite the wide media coverage? Then again...who watches the mainstream media anyway, maybe that is the problem. I think we should start printing this death tolls in trash magazines and news papers like Hairan Metro ...oops..I mean Harian Metro. Then if we are lucky, the message would be sent across. I'm not very optimistic about people reading though. After all, our "Kempen Membaca" was reported as failed. They probably included porn magazines, entertainment magazines or even catalog from Giant Hypermart to mark up the statistics, yet still if failed.

It's ironic, since the death toll of the very much feared H1N1 is 77, that's nearly half less death taken from our road "system". H1N1 has been going on since April, compared to the Ops Sikap that started just days before Hari Raya. Check it out on the Kementerian Kesihatan's update on H1N1if you don't believe me. What does this mean then? That people kill people more than viruses do? So, we are our own enemies? Hmm..maybe we should all kayuh basikal balik kampung..I think it may be safer, except for those on pacemakers etc of course.

It is reported in The Star, "Up to yesterday, the three categories which registered the most fatalities were the motorcycle users (76 deaths), followed by car users (54) and pedestrians (7). Five deaths involved bicycle users, while the rest were either passengers or drivers of taxis, vans, jeeps or lorries. The number of accidents totalled 1,013 and summons were issued 4,766 offenders, police said. Municipal roads registered the highest number of accidents with 340 cases, followed by federal roads (277), state roads (225), other roads (118) and highways (71)". the tolls do serve some purpose after all; slowing down traffic to decrease motor vehicle accidents, hence the decreased number of accidents compared to Municipal roads as seen in the statistical figure.

It only makes sense that the motorcyclist has the highest rate of death. I mean, think about it, when you ride a bike, you can die just by falling down on the road because your tyres skidded on a pile of sand, or spilled diesel and oil on the road, and you can die from head and neck injuries by not applying helmet properly, or because you upset some other bigger vehicles like a lorry when you fall off the road and the lorry just run through you.

I've worked in the kampung before. I've seen mothers crying by the drain just outside the mortuary because she had just lost the only child, a son, who had just took over the late father's role as the bread winner. All because he rode a motor bike without a safety helmet on. I've seen a bright student become a "vegetable", hanging on to life support when what he could be doing was completing his studies, become someone who can make a difference. I've seen mothers and fathers died leaving behind clueless little orphans. I've seen people die from ramming into an innocent lost cow, sitting on the road to obtain some warmth from the heat radiation from the road, not suspecting it had caused distress to a family of humans. And they die an accidental death. The cow is not to blame of course. On the other hand, the owner of the cow should be prosecuted for failing to keep the cow at check to avoid it becoming a nuisance, or in accident cases, accidental murderer. It is my opinion that most of the death and accidents pertaining to motorcyclists are avoidable. Unlike some potent viruses, death and accidents by motor vehicles can be avoided if not controlled to some extent.

If you get the statistics telling you the death toll is higher than the years before, then it simply means that nothing has been done that is effective. By the way, handing out summons is only effective and beneficial to ...well, I will not dare to be presumptive here, especially in regards to the police or any authorities in Malaysia for that matter, (don't want to end up jumping off some building post interrogation voluntarily or otherwise, if you catch my drift), so I'll just say, it is not really beneficial to the public. Can't help but do some mathematics with the summons. Assuming the minimum charge for a summon per person is RM30. Calculate that with the summons issued, 4766, and we get RM142,980. Wow, over 1.5 hundred thousand over a period of about 2-3 weeks. My my, that's fairly lucrative indeed, and that's my assumption of minimal amount. We all know the amount can go up to RM300 per offense. Now you do your math as to where all that money go to. You have to agree with me, that the public tends to not benefit with the summons, as proven by statistics of the present motor vehicle accident right?

I know what some people in the kampung may say, "apa boleh buat..sudah taqdir". True, one can die even during sleep, as often babies (sudden infant death or better known as SID) or old folks do. Then why bother coming up with the statistics if no one is going to pay attention to it? God gives us brains folks. It's only fair that we express gratitude to God by simply using them. If you jump down the building, voluntarily or otherwise, chances are you'll die. It's the law of probability. If you try hard enough to kill yourself, God will grant your wish.

Enough of nagging, let's get to the most important thing, "What can we do?" or even a more important question, "Are we going all out to doing what needed to be done in order to prevent unnecessary deaths on our roads?". Well, here are some suggestions, the type whereby everyone knows about it but refuse to talk about it publicly; (of course in Putrajaya's Precinct disorder)

1. Stop obtaining Kopi-O licences.

2. Stop issueing Kopi-O licences.

3. Prosecute parents who are found negligent by allowing the underaged, no licenced children to ride on the motorcycles.

4. Send traffic offenders to the Orthopedics Department wards to perform community service. Good things are likely to come out of people who spend time changing the bed pans and pampers of those motor vehicle victims, wrapped with plaster of Paris around their broken appendages and limbs clung onto some positions, some even on life support. No point sending them to jail. They may come out learning new acquired criminal skills instead. The jail can become a vocational school if you care to notice.

5. Keep a record on drivers especially those of public transportation, to ensure that their license are revoked in response to repeated traffic offense, in synchronicity within all states. Nothing doing, that they screw up in Wilayah Persekutuan, then run off to work in Kelantan, still driving school buses like a maniac.

6. Of course, the most important thing that we are still combating and need to combat even more, like tuberculosis, is the curable corruption. The question is not curing it, but rather, how willing and sincere a society is to be rid of corruption. (I will not say the word cancer because, unlike TB and corruption, most cancers have no cure). Ah yes... nothing will work when corruption is in full mode. This is prime solution to decreasing deaths on our roads. In fact, curing corruption can cure #1, #2 and #5

7. Create awareness amongst road users. I think Kursus Memandu Berhemah is more important than Kursus Perkahwinan, although both can be chaotic if not briefed to the future potential traffic or marriage offenders. Sure they have such Kursus....on papers...but reality is, there's no such thing as teaching ethics to drivers. As usual, implementation has always been the problems with Malaysians. It is more effective to when you create awareness of the importance in behaving on our roads, rather than punishing people. Some people are more willing to pay the fines, rather than behaving on our roads.

8. Educate, educate, educate. To get education does not mean becoming educated, especially when you sleep during the deliverance of education. Educated people, not necesarily a well to do bunch, will comprehend why things should be done in certain ways. In short, people will not do things because you get fined, punished or do things because there is a material reward in what they do, but they do what they do because they understand that it is the right thing to do.

9. Send all driver's license applicants for psychological evaluation or/and brain scanning before granting the driver's license. I'm serious!!

10. Upgrade the public transportation so much so that more people prefer to travel via public transportation rather than driving around. But of course this will not materialized since it would jeopardize the sales of our local cars.

11. Ram into and important influential figure or his next of kin but make sure they live to tell the tale. In Malaysia, it takes one VIP's or his next of kins, relatives to suffer a trauma or even death in order to get things sorted out.

12. Designate Karam Singh Walia to cover this phenomena. Perhaps a couple of pantun (which can put any Malays to shame) would do the trick.

13. You tell me..

So there you go....12 ways to decrease road accidents and mortality/morbidity pertaining to it.
Again, the question is not what to do, it's whether we are sincere enough to do it. Otherwise, the annual Ops Sikap will become another reality TV show.......

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Balik Kampung.......

I remember the good ol’ days in the kampong where I celebrated most of my childhood Raya. My paternal grandmother, lived alone in the kampong somewhere in the deep jungle of Pahang, even after the death of my grandfather, who passed away and buried in Mekah when I was still running around in my …well, just shorts (and I’m still waiting for breasts to happen to me by the way). It was a comfortable long wooden house with mostly atap rembia and a small part of atap zink. The zink portion was a later extension and back then, zink was considered a form of upgrade of material, as compared to the rembia. Frankly, I love the rembia better, it's more cooling.

Below: My rascal younger cousins, monkeying around in the living room, the one with the atap zink, lived by night when it got cooler. This was where the kids used to sleep together like in the war camp, except it was major fun... There were whisperings after the lights went off..followed by contagious giggling. Sometimes the boys will still be fighting in the dark. Then some old folk would come around making their rounds to check whether everyone was okay, enough blanket, or pillow, and shushed those who were still giggling uncontrollably, ushering us to go to sleep, with the promise of duit raya the next day...
I remember this well, because in the hot afternoons, we do not at all sit in the living room, which was covered with the zink roof. The kitchen was the heart of the house. The women sat around cooking and washing endless incoming dirty dishes almost all day long. The men, well, some uncles who didn’t mind joining in the feminine crowd to eavesdrop on the latest gossips without giving away the expression that they cared, when actually they did, pretended to eat something or just sat by the door facing the back of the house gazing far away into the belukar behind. My paternal grandparents had 14 children, some died young for reasons avoidable should they were not living in poverty. So you can imagine the number of cousins, aunties and uncles that I have !!
Above : the kitchen
I love the wee hours of pagi raya because it’s the day when my cousins, siblings and I would compete to get up as early as possible to get to the front of the bathroom queue as there was only one. We have a couple of problematic cousins who fancied taking their time in there, but our older cousins took care of that problem by drugging these “Malaysian Idles” with sedative antihistamines, which they mixed in the tea the night before. While waiting, we would talk about silly things and made fun of each other. There were times when the line got too long, some of us had to bathe at the perigi.

The aroma in the early hours was amazing. I could still recall the smell of ketupat and rendang reheated from just being cooked a couple of hours before. The smell of lemang from outside where the men had cooked it just the night before raya tickled our hunger centers. The combination aromas, the lemang, the rendang were like a complete feast to my nasal receptors, but unlike my gastrointestinal system, I could never get satiated by this form of feast.

At some point the waiting made us restless, for we suddenly wanted to jump into our baju raya so that we could finally taste those delicious food. The water was fresh and I remember, one cebok full would jerk anyone even on sedatives to jump out of their sleepy state!! It was cold and refreshing.

Pagi raya was not an occasion for bathing in the Sungai, just a 3 minutes walk at the back of the house. The crocodiles may just be having this idea of feasting on a fresh human butt rendang and we didn’t have time for drama, not when everyone had to quickly get ready to go for raya prayers and some, to the Tanah Perkuburan. There were too much eating and socializing, and catching up to do in the morning of the first Hari Raya. The sungai was for late afternoons probably from the second raya onwards. It was an occasion by itself.

Ah yes….the sungai. How can I not talk about the sungai. The whole jinbeng geng, headed by our youngest uncle who is about 7 years older than most of us, the same culprit who instigated the drugging of the “Malaysian Idles” would march towards the sungai, making noises with our loud excited chattering along the way. Our laughter rang through the otherwise silent secondary jungle. The bathing in the sungai was an occasion by itself. We were mostly all cousins guided by the younger uncles and aunties. The boys would go in with their sarong or shorts and the girls wore sarong tied around our bosoms, well for those lucky enough to develop them already. For those who took after their fathers, flat chested, suffered with trying to keep the sarong from slipping-off as there were, obviously, no point of grip. To city dwellers like us, this whole ordeal was an adventure.

Below : The elder cousins.. having an afternoon dip.

Above : The rakit on the sungai. On our right, not in the picture was the loo. It was a bit difficult for first timers to relax the sphincter while doing the job and looking smack down into the sungai, (ultimate multitasking if you ask me) hoping nothing odd emerges suddenly to take a bite on your rear end.
For some of my cousins who actually live in the kampung, this whole ordeal was a good time to hear stories about the city life. While the city slickers envied the carefree life of the kampung folks, no routine, no schedules, no tuition, no piano lessons and so many lessons until one could hardly breath, the kampung folks envied the privileged life the city people were supposedly to be living in. Of course we hardly mention that even to poop in the city requires at least 10cents. Today, I've been to toilets that cost a bomb, it made me wonder if it was the unemployed graduates with actual degree from the University/colleges who are the ones cleaning them up, but of course, that is another story.

I can still recall the happiness of enjoying each others' company and idiosyncrasies. My uncle, the youngest one and head of the youth clan, had once showed off his swimming skills, whereby he swam courageously against the current. It would have been a grand finale, had he not came out of the river to the other end, naked, as his sarong did not make it through the moderate current. The girls started screaming at him, but he was just cool about it. Thank god he did not turn around, so we only got a glimpse of his buttock. Otherwise I suspect the girls would probably grow up to become lesbians, just traumatized by the whole idea of a Male's genitalia.

There were fights too, naturally when youths get together. I remember being angry with my cousin brother for stuffing the little chicken’s asshole with the leftover mercun and blasted it off. The same chicken I found joy chasing around trying to catch it out of pure curiosity. I was mortified at the whole deed. The chicken died on spot as the mercun blasted off and cried and cried for hours, refusing to talk to him for over a week. He never did apologize for his bad behaviour, but later (like a few years later when he finally developed brains), he did confess he felt guilty as hell for what he did to the chicken. He did not grow up to fulfill our prophecy of him becoming a serial killer. In fact, he did okay for himself actually. He is currently practicing law and has his own firm. Frankly, I would not want to be on his opposition side in any court case, after witnessing what he did with the poor chicken.

But I wasn’t that good a girl too. On a couple of occasions, I agreed to team up with the cousins to raid Pokcik Karim’s dusun. It’s not like we don’t have our own dusun to raid, it was just much more fun and adrenalin pumping to raid others’ dusun because frankly, the forbidden fruits did tasted better. The walk into the forbidden dusun itself was a mini adventure for us. On the way, we would stop by Mok Moh’s house and she would pass us whatever tit bits there was from her kitchen. She made the nicest jemput jemput bawang by the way. She would look at me and ask in that Pahang dialect, which I found to be funny, “Aok anok weyn yeh?” (Are you Wen’s child?). for a few second, I thought I was famous and important, until she continued, "Rupe sebijik macam aboh aok" (you look very much like your father). I wondered it that included the chest area too.

I really enjoyed going around in the dusun. That was where I learned how to climb trees. Our biggest challenge was not the climbing, but the climbing with minimal irritation from the kerengga who seem to guard especially the rambutan tree, my favorite fruit, vigorously. One of my cousins fell down once and broke his leg. He was lucky it was not his neck that was broken. We were then prohibited to embark into our mini adventure after that, but we were kids and “Rebel Without Cause” was not made for no apparent reason. So we would divide ourselves into groups, each pretending to head on different ways, yet we would meet up at an agreed secret venue to proceed to with the forbidden excursion of eating forbidden fruits. Ah…nothing felt more fantastic than sneaking out against adult’s orders into the wild.

I remember the first time I learned how to ride a bicycle, without the extra wheel to aid, was by the vicinity of the Istana, in Pekan Pahang.(my eldest uncle's house, by the river) One of my cousins taught me. I remember it was a “basikal Chopper” and it was the groovy thing back then to be caught riding one of those. Of course, just like love, you need to fall a couple of times before you get it right. So fell down I did but I would get up with a vengeance and gave it another go for every time I fell down, until one fine moment, I was riding like a pro (minus those uncool small wheels to aid balance). Well, at least I thought so until I bumped into a cow, just minding it’s own business clearing up the overgrown grass in the vicinity behind the Istana. The path was narrow and it was because of my panic state that I rammed straight into the cow!!! The cow however, just moved away from me in puzzlement turn his head around and looked upon me in disdain. I never thought cows could have an expression, but that cow had character. My cousin came screaming from behind, more afraid of getting scolded by her father for not being able to watch over me, than she was in regards to my injuries. I was more concern about the cow I had just terrified.

Today, dogs or cows cannot stop me from cycling. Only one can stop me,….. me. I do almost every Sundays on my mountain bike, which tyres I changed into a semislick one in order to increase my speed and catch up with the rest of my cycling gang who were smart enough to purchase an actual road bicycle. Hulu Langat is a really fabulous place to cycle. It is part of the La tour de Langkawi circuit by the way. The whole gang use to cycle up what we call “Mount Perez” (when you are old but have problems accepting that, a hill may seem like a mountain), about 12kms from the Hulu Langat Dam and ended up at the border of Negeri Sembilan. We would take photos at the welcoming sign board that says, “Selamat Datang ke Negeri Sembilan” and show it off to others and let them assumed that we cycled all the way to Negeri Sembilan!! (it’s all in the marketing folks)

I brought my kid, a couple of times, she was then between 8years to 10 years old to cycle around there. She stopped by a kind of “reban” with many kambing in it. She was upset and with a gasp, exclaimed, “Ummi!! Look at the poor cows!!! Pity them!! They are all locked in that jail”. I looked at the barn full of goats and almost died from the fact that my daughter could not differentiate between goat and cow. Then when I started laughing, she got annoyed and scolded me, “well, it’s your fault that you never bring me to the kampong. I only saw the pictures in the book, and they all look the same size in the book.” True. It was my fault really. I took for granted that she knew, it was something I overlooked.

That is one thing that I had failed to give my daughter; the gift of a childhood experience in the kampong environment, especially that of Hari Raya. Except for that one time we camped somewhere in Kuantan by the seaside, she had not really been blessed with the experience of a carefree kampong life. No queuing to bath by the perigi, nor be able to enjoy simple things like watching a monkey climb to coconut tree and started performing some monkey business enjoying the attention by disobeying the master’s order to come down after it threw down the kelapa muda. Nor did she had the pleasure of bathing together with many cousins in the Sungai, or feel the thrill of walking into the rakit sungai to do the big job in the middle of the night, armed with a simple parang and a lantern, while trying not to get the crocodile’s teeth sunk into our butt, when we wanted to pass the last meal through it, the chasing around those cute little yellow chicken in excitement. That was my childhood Hari Raya. I enjoyed every minute of it.

Above : My uncle who spent 3/4 of his life in the UK and when he went back to the kampung, still went around comfortably in a sarong without a top. He could have almost blended in if not for his fondness of using the word "bloody" in front of almost every word he used in a sentence. Still does it by the way. And that was me, high on the pedestal...skinny as ever.
As I grew older, somehow rather, the spirit of hari raya had worn out. After the death of my grandmother, the house was just not kept as everyone had moved on in life and gone to town to make their own living. It is now an unkept secondary jungle.

Hari Raya had changed drastically as we celebrate it in KL/Selangor. My parents have settled here and the family, gather together quite frequently. Let me put it this way. When others say they are home sick, it means they miss their kampong. When I say I’m home sick, it just means “I’m sick of home”. When I was in uni, I use to listen to the boys from the hostel across singing, or rather screaming on top of their lungs that song “Balik kampuuuuung oh oh oh balik kampuuuuuuuunnnnnggg” and I use to really envy them. I’ve missed that feeling of excitement of balik kampong.

Now, our Hari Raya is celebrated quietly amongst immediate family. The first day consist of a get together for breakfast. After breakfast is the normal ritual of salam salaman. We are a bit arrogant when it comes to the "maaf maafan" part, amongst sisters and brother. We only minta maaf with our parents, that too in the shortest fastest unimaginative uttered words possible. It is an understood unspoken sentiment that we forgive each other all the time and pagi raya was not a day to accumulate everything we did throughout the year, and minta maaf in a dramatic "Jejak Kasih" telenovela. We are a family of obstinate, stubborn, hard to cry bunch, and we shed our tears in the rain. If we're talking to each other, that simply means we're cool, alls forgiven. Then comes the photo session. Everyone would be glad to get out of their beautiful but uncomfortable baju raya, immediately after the photo shoots and to resume with lunch. After lunch, we will sit around and bitch about politics as usual, while entertaining the little ones to videos. In that comfort zone, one by one would slowly retreat to our own room to "qada' tidor" (payback sleep).

As my parents are amongst the eldest in the family, later in the evening the younger aunties and uncles and cousins will start coming to the house. We would sit and after catching up, the conversation would inevitably end up with more bitching about politics. The ladies however will have their own politics to talk about, and I don't really fancy joining in because if you're going to bitch about humans, and get "dosa" from it, there'd better be names like Samy Vellu, Nazry, Hishamooooodin, Toyo on the list. Otherwise, it will be a complete waste of bitching time. The visiting of friends and colleagues would start a week after raya, when everyone's back in KL. Basically, if you celebrate Hari Raya in KL/Selangor, it would be a quiet family affair.

Perhaps there is no more exciting activities such as tree climbing, mass cool dips in the sungai in the hot afternoons, the Robbin Hood acts of taking from the rich man's dusun but forgot to give to the poor, the chasing around after the small chicken, the fireworks display (one of my uncle was in the army; every year we will have that shooting up the "army rescue flare"), the get around the BBQ fire talking till late night, too indulge in, I reckon,even though we now celebrate a more subtle Hari Raya, one thing remain the same through time; The spirit of kindredship and friendship. That is the true spirit of Hari Raya.

You can grow old, but the fond memories of your childhood amongst family would still be forever in you mind....

"Selamat Hari Raya to all Malaysians". Maaf Zahir Batin. And keep your inner child alive!!!

As for those who are still blessed with the kampung to go back to, appreciate what you have now, for you will never know when you will loose it. Enjoy one of my favorite from Sudirman;

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

LRTQ 2: Rise Of The (Legal Sex) Machines....

Every time my eyes are feasted upon that video "Mr Lova Lova" by Shaggy, I can't help but be reminded of my grandfather. What does Mr Lova Lova and my grandfather have in common, you ask me? You see, my maternal grandfather, married many. Polygamy to him was as natural as say, picking his nose. He was a regular James Bond that old man, the women, the smoking like a chimney. Only thing his drink was neither shaken nor stirred, instead, "pulled" as he only drank teh tarik and nothing else. (probably due to the nicotine urge)

Combine Mr Lova Lova together with James Bond, you get...well go on and click on the video to find out..

Unlike Mr Bean there, my grandfather was a real looker. Whilst James Bond was an International philanderer, my grandfather chose to marry the women he befriended. Actually, it wasn't a choice to marry. In Muslim practice, to be able to "FRCS" ( that's a private Surgeon joke for ' around the Country side'. The real term is "Fellowship Royal College of Surgeon"), you are allowed to legalize it by marrying up to four.

So, he, my Casanovic grandfather, did in fact married four, well at least at one time. I remember my Ummi telling me that he had to divorce one wife to take up a new one. I was just, speechless (which is basically an occasion as rare as the sighting of Haley's Comet). Back then, it was a natural thing for men to marry four. Today, I suppose the only thing that is stopping men from doing the same is the financial constrain. Otherwise, tell me which men do not at least once in their minds think about marrying more than one.

My grandfather, the local Don Juan of the 50s, died of lung Cancer shortly before I was born. When he died, ironically, he was only married to the first wife, my mom's mother; he divorced the rest. I guess when cancer hit him, the only one around to take care of him was my grandmother. My grandmother died roughly about a month apart from my grandfather, in and accident. My grandfather, the Don Juan, died coughing out blood in the lap of probably the only woman he ever loved, but managed to torture emotionally. Like I said earlier, he was a chain smoker. In this way, he reminded me of Clinton, the women, the smoking, except Clinton was smart enough not to inhale.

Whilst it's funny to watch, the P. Ramlee movie, "Madu Tiga", in real life, polygamy is no laughing matter to the women who are involved in it. Although there was not a single fist fight amongst his wife reported in the grandfather's marriages, they, the wives were not happy, despite the brave look they portrayed to the public eye. In short, it was a huge sham, hypocritical relationship between the wives who occasionally seek help from the bomoh, something I completely object to, hitherto. My grandfather was not a bad man, in fact, it was because he was charming and kind that women take to him. Of course being a "nice" man, his problem was resisting temptations. Being good looking was not helping him either.

Until today, I don't fancy good looking especially Malay men, (well, they don't fancy me either. Some will admire me from afar, but the moment I open my mouth, they dissappear!! That was probably why I ended up married to a Punjabi instead) because I developed a mental block from the brain damage since childhood, by the thought of my grandfather's good looks that subjected him to infidelities in a form of marriage, which to me is sacred and should remain exclusive... Some people are active in the community and my grandfather was one of them. He was sexually active in the community, as evidenced by the amount of uncles and aunties, some about 4 - 5 years my senior.

But mind you, all activities were legalized by the Islamic Auta-rities. But the good thing is, we are really kamceng, the nieces and nephews with of our aunts and uncles. Well, only a few to be precise. The rest I tend to avoid. Let's just put it this way, I've got uncles who had their names appear in the newspapers for the wrong reasons, and it's not even because of noble causes like ending up in ISA. I guess, they were just lacking the good guidance from parents, due to the lack of quality time spent together. This is common in big families.

For the men who claims that polygamy is "sunnah", and you get "pahala" from polygamy, the amazing part, I feel, is the efficient way they manage to convince the women to agree to this. This is beyond brilliant!! More brilliant than a diplomat, who's definition would only be "a person who can convince others, that hell is a fabulous place to be, so much so, everyone looks forward to going there". These guys are so good and mind manipulation and brain wash, they should be employed by the CIA or British Intel in aiding the search of the "Manchurian Candidate". It could save them billions from all the unnecessary experimentation on prisoners of war.

Another thing that I find bewildering and funny; how people do not follow the prophet in the sense that he had only one daughter, Fatimah, yet zealously follow the marrying four bit. Come to think of it, don't anyone find it odd, that despite the claimed so many wives prophet was married to at one time, there was only one child as a result of those marriages. Mind you, that was an era whereby the full potential of rubber was not yet discovered.

Actually, it's funny in a non Ha-Ha way. It's even more fantastic that they could convince these women that by consenting the men to re-marry, these women will have a special place in heaven. ( if they manage to survive the hell on earth from all the drama associated with polygamy if you ask me). This is an evidence based era, show me the evidence that polygamy is encouraged by God and I'll show you my contradictory proof.

From the Quran; An Nisa'a verse 3;

وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تُقْسِطُواْ فِي الْيَتَامَى فَانكِحُواْ مَا طَابَ لَكُم مِّنَ النِّسَاء مَثْنَى وَثُلاَثَ وَرُبَاعَ فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُواْ فَوَاحِدَةً أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَلاَّ تَعُولُواْ

[4:3] "If you fear that you cannot be just to fatherless orphans, then marry those whom you see fit from the women, two, and three, and four. But if you fear you will not be fair then only one, or whom you already have contract with. So that you do not commit injustice and suffer hardship."

I cannot understand how is it that men think that they can be just. Take emotional justice, for instance. There must be a reason why a man goes astray from the first wife. Boredom would be high on the list. (and should you have watched the first P. Ramlee video I posted, can you blame him?). Bottom line, how can a man be just, between the first and the second wife, when the reason for him to venture a greener turf was, in the first place, because he have problems with the present turf? That itself makes it difficult for him to be emotionally just.

Again in the Quran God reiterated His discouragement on polygamy;

وَلَن تَسْتَطِيعُواْ أَن تَعْدِلُواْ بَيْنَ النِّسَاء وَلَوْ حَرَصْتُمْ فَلاَ تَمِيلُواْ كُلَّ الْمَيْلِ فَتَذَرُوهَا كَالْمُعَلَّقَةِ وَإِن تُصْلِحُواْ وَتَتَّقُواْ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا

4:129 "You will not be able to be fair regarding the women even if you make every effort; so do not sway too greatly and leave her as one hanging in a void. If you reconcile and be aware, then God is Forgiving, Compassionate";

AH...HHAH!! There you go. God said "You will not be able to be fair regarding the women even if you make every effort....". It's obvious polygamy is discouraged in Islam, although it is not forbidden. Just like alcohol, God said, "The detrimental effect overwhelms the benefits. Go ahead if you think you can control yourself." but unlike alcohol consumption, with the issue of polygamy God went on to say that "I know you cannot be just even if you try all out". What now? Sebat polygamist like we sebat Kartika for getting caught drinking beer in public? Why the double standard huh? Sekarang apa macam daaaa?

(More stories about polygamy, including the recently launched "Jom Polygamy" campaign by Abuya....can't he just stick to making that halal chili sos?)

Of course God did not forbid keeping more than one wife at the time when the verse was , as at the time the directive came, everyone were busy jumping on their wivessssss, it was probably a version of Woodstock but a legal version. Imagine how many women would have found themselves to be overnight divorcees, more rapid than people finding themselves kaya via Skim Cepat Kaya should such strong words come from God. Should a man use the actual head instead of the other, he would be able to deduce that keeping to one marriage gives less detrimental effects to them. I mean, look at Abuya who just launched "Jom Polygamy"(well, I call it that. Go on, click on the link if you feel like reading some comic in the form of writing) for instance; how do you think he got that multiple orgasms..oops...I mean multiple strokes in the first place eh? Lucky him the blood clot did not clog the other head's vessels, otherwise he may experience failure to launch...the campaign I meant (pun intended..heh..heh..). Totally un-shaggidalic if you ask me..

Check out snippets of the insights avowed on the launch day as reported in the Star . (Tip from Anas who will be writing on the same matter later, be sure to check it out). Click on link I posted above for the full article in Star Online;(of course the blue prints are my comments...)

"With some assistance from her daughter-in-law, Hatijah shuffled purposefully towards the mike. Back hunched and voice wheezy, she began her speech on behalf of Abuya, who was recovering from the crippling effects of multiple strokes: “Our society has crumbled as a result of politicians who are involved in sex scandals.” (Damn! And I was under the impression that it was the failure of the other head to operate that seem to be causing all those newsworthy scandals...err..the non sexual ones....)

A woman was walking around handing out the club’s literature. A picture of Abuya and his three surviving wives (well, they're surviving polygamy, if you call surviving, living)beamed from the cover of one booklet. Underneath it were gold-embossed words: Indahnya Poligamy: Suami untuk Dikongsi, Bukan untuk Diperebutkan (How Wonderful is Polygamy: Husbands are to be Shared, Not Fought Over). ( it's all about the men isn't it?)

Up on stage, Hatijah continued to address the crowd in Malay: “People have been criticising polygamy for so long, but what about monogamy? The existence of mistresses and prostitutes shows that it does not work. (Well, at least the prostitutes and mistresses are smarter in the sense that they make the men who kept them in the concubine pay for their least we can tax them if these practices are made legal. Hmmm.... ) therefore, polygamy acts as the alternative. (To what? making good money from sex?). Women should accept their husband’s tendency to stray, for it is God that made them that way.(the tendency to stray is a choice, don't go blaming my God for the dumb choices you make!!!)

In Sura 4:79:

''Whatever good, (O man!) happens to thee, is from God; But whatever evil happens to thee, is from thy (own soul), and we have sent thee as an Apostle to instruct mankind and enough is God for a witness."

“For peace to prevail at home, women should start seeing his other wives as sisters, (but..but..but...God says you cannot marry two sisters at the same time - An Nisa' verse 23) rather than enemies. It’s a sacrifice every woman must make, (...EVERY woman MUST make this sacrifice? Where, on planet of the Apes? Err...says who again?) for the sake of her husband. (hmmm...interest of men convenient...). Don’t say you’d rather be single. (oh but I do, rather be single then putting my foot into hypocritical mess. Quite serene to the mind you know, you should try it sometime) It’s like crawling into a tiger’s stomach, instead of an alligator’s.” " (actually, being single is like crawling into bed WITHOUT the tiger and the alligator in the same bed)

That's it. That's about all I can stomach from the article. Go any further and I'll work up a cardiac, or a sudden onset of burst aneurysm in the brain or something like that. What irritates me the most is the ignorance and the unaware state of these women so much so, they allow mind manipulation to happen to them. I don't know whether to feel sorry for them or to conclude that they deserve what they get.

Moving on, funny thing happened when I tried to come up with this piece of literature. I took up a couple of Index Al Quran, in order to search for "polygamy" to obtain the verses pertaining to it. And guess what, the search word "Polygamy" is not listed in the Quran Index!! For the Ummah who are experts on the practice of polygamy, it is bewildering that we don't have the word "polygamy" in the Quran Index. Don't we want everyone to know what the Quran says about "polygamy"? Amazing. After all, the less women know about the discouragement of God on the matter of polygamy, the better right? I hardly come across "Religious Men" marrying damsel in distress from the age box say 30 and above. But more perennial would be them marrying young women, who some had just only yesterday learned how to apply the sanitary pads onto their panties.

So, what was all that talk regarding "polygamy" as a way to save women, all about? What happened to saving the real damsels in distress e.g. the widows or divorcees with say 6 kids. Why not save them from the ridicule of society from things like, "Run!! Janda coming our way!! Hide your husbands!!! (or sons, or just hide)" to laughing at divorcees driving in Gen2, calling them "Mak Jen in Gen2" or annoying insensitive things like that?

Do they think it's funny that she was divorced and having to feed 6 little tummies and not being able to sleep at night wondering how to do that, because every time she walks into the Religious Department to settle the kid's nafkah, she gets to pay a fee and fill up endless forms, only to find that these so called Islamic defenders of the oppressed did not have as much exertion on taking in the irresponsible fathers to meet his financial responsibilities to the product of his sperm, as they do with couples caught sitting together in the park trying to enjoy some privacy.

Then again, almost nothing gets settled on normal human time, in the religious department because almost all the time, a large portion of the staff will be out attending endless courses, probably on how to hide in bushes in order to catch couples making out. Wonder what they call those courses? Inter-courses?

Here's some flash news. Divorcees and widows, do not so much need to be saved, they need empathy and support, something that is unfortunately lacking in our society.

Men have long lost the excuse for polygamy. Take marrying for the sake of getting a child as an example. Currently, with modern science that help throw the sound of azan further than what is use to be, there are scientific interventions that may aid an infertile woman to become pregnant. My cousin seeked help via IVF. The doctor told her in a joking manner, "You should promote me to your friends. With me, you buy one you get two free". Well, my cousin had triplets. If you say it is an expensive procedure to produce an heir, well, then, if you can afford a whole new marriage and the existing one, how can you not afford a couple or rounds of these procedures right?

Besides, what is wrong with adopting orphans? Don't they deserve love like the other normal children? If you are so religious, why not do an orphan a favour and adopt the kid?

In Al Baqarah verse 177, God said;

لَّيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ وَلَـكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَالْمَلآئِكَةِ وَالْكِتَابِ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ وَآتَى الْمَالَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ ذَوِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَالسَّآئِلِينَ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَأَقَامَ الصَّلاةَ وَآتَى الزَّكَاةَ وَالْمُوفُونَ بِعَهْدِهِمْ إِذَا عَاهَدُواْ وَالصَّابِرِينَ فِي الْبَأْسَاء والضَّرَّاء وَحِينَ الْبَأْسِ أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَأُولَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُتَّقُونَ

"It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces to the East and the West; but righteous is he who believeth in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Scripture and the prophets; and giveth wealth, for love of Him, to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; and observeth proper worship and payeth the poor-due. And those who keep their treaty when they make one, and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress. Such are they who are sincere. Such are the Allah-fearing."

Again, in the same surah verse 215,

يَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا يُنفِقُونَ قُلْ مَا أَنفَقْتُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ فَلِلْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالأَقْرَبِينَ وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا تَفْعَلُواْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ بِهِ عَلِيمٌ

"They ask thee, (O Muhammad), what they shall spend. Say: that which ye spend for good (must go) to parents and near kindred and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer. And whatsoever good ye do, lo! Allah is Aware of it."

Also in the Baqarah verse 220, God encourages to elevate the status of orphans.

الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْيَتَامَى قُلْ إِصْلاَحٌ لَّهُمْ خَيْرٌ وَإِنْ تُخَالِطُوهُمْ فَإِخْوَانُكُمْ وَاللّهُ يَعْلَمُ الْمُفْسِدَ مِنَ الْمُصْلِحِ وَلَوْ شَاء اللّهُ لأعْنَتَكُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

"Upon the world and the Hereafter. And they question thee concerning orphans. Say: To improve their lot is best. And if ye mingle your affairs with theirs, then (they are) your brothers. Allah knoweth him who spoileth from him who improveth. Had Allah willed He could have overburdened you. Allah is Mighty, Wise."

Where is the sincerity in polygamy? I'll answer that, "in practice, there is no sincerity". Unlike the days of the Ignorance, there is no widow, or divorcees who are about to be thrown into the fire, or gang raped after she is divorced or after the husband dies, in this era. In fact, widows and divorcees are doing quite fine if you ask me, some even better than ordinary men. Yes, they may be short of cash at times, but so are the others, don't have to be widows and divorcee to run out of cash. Besides, you don't have to marry someone just to give her a helping hand.

So I guess, it makes more sense to save your marriage rather than trying to save someone else by straining your marriage. Marrying them for to take care of sexual needs? Honey, this is the electronic and internet era we're in today. You don't need to buy the whole pig just to get taste the sausage (so the saying goes). Don't tell me about women willing to share, it's all hypocritical, when a woman says that. Well, either hypocritical or not the first wife.

Some may raise the question of how to solve the overwhelming unmarried women ratio to men? Well, I agree some solution must be achieved, but polygamy is not an option. You cannot solve a problem with a potentially bigger problem. Besides, apart from society's scrutiny of singletons, be it original singletons or the recycled ones, what's so bad about being single? Perhaps it is the society who should be educated in respecting society who are singles. As for Malay women who are fond of snitching other people's husband and marrying them, think of the consequences of your actions. You are destroying a family, not to mention the kids' happiness. It is not the right thing to do. It's like frogging actually. Even though it is legal, it is just not ethical, and laws are mend to be amended, because, it is humans that make the law anyway and from time to time, it should be adjusted to tailor to the society's needs.

I can understand if people were to say that they practice polygamy because they cannot contain their itch to do so. I'm okay with that. What I'm not okay with, is the insistence that it is a good practice, some even proclaim that it is encouraged by Islam, despite God, in His words in the Quran clearly discourages such a practice, for the benefit of the human kind. To say otherwise is to rebuke the words of God. In short, what I cannot accept is the lie about polygamy, from it's purpose, to the way it is actually practiced. Don't say polygamy is a good practice and it solves most of today's social problems, because it's just a downright lie. Just say, we practice polygamy because we are human, and to human is to err, or to itch..there...... I will respect that slightly more than I do the big hypocrisy.

Listen in to the words of P. Ramlee singing, for in practice,most of the time, that is what it really is, a web of lies....and with the return of Abuya, as a driving force (has anyone considered hiring him in a Tongkat Ali advert yet?) you can expect the Rise of The (Legalized Sex) Machines. But unlike in the Terminator Trilogy, these machine do not terminate...instead, they procreate....

Sunday, 13 September 2009


Hari Malaysia is's on the September 16th for those who's body is in Malaysia but the whole gist is somewhere overseas. This year it is decided to be celebrated with a slight twist. The whole Nation will come together in an act of fasting, something almost all of the religion do, only on different manner and timings, (not sure about Ayah Pin's The Sky Kingdom and to some point, Abuya from Al Arqam...I don't know if they can cope up with all that sexual demands from all the women,legalized or otherwise, since men have to be fair to all women at all times, during this fasting season. With all that sex fest going on, is it possible for someone to fast?).

Here's a note from Rev Sivin;
Dear friends,

A few friends met up some days ago and in talking about events that have happened in the country in the past year, came up with this idea: what if on Malaysia Day we all fast for peace for our nation? The idea grew into a plan and now, it has become a nationwide call for action. "Fast for the Nation, Peace for Malaysia" is our response to this call. Please read below and join us: Malaysia is a peaceful country and it should remain that way forever. Acts of Violence and inciting hatred must have no place in our public life. Unfortunately, too many cruelties and injustices have happened since the nation’s last birthday. It is tempting to slip into despair or become revengeful. Let us turn our anger and sadness into a positive force for change. This September 16, let us all combine our efforts to present a meaningful gift for Malaysia on her 46th birthday. Let us be united in one single action. Let us all fast from dawn to dusk for peace in this blessed land. Let the Muslims amongst us fast with a specific prayer for peace for the nation. Let the Bahais, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Taoists, followers of other spiritual traditions and atheists amongst us fast in solidarity and the same determination for peace. Let our common experience of hunger and human weakness humble, strengthen and unite us. Let us offer a hospitable smile to people we know and especially to those we don’t. Let us perform one extra act of kindness while fasting on this Malaysia day. Let us show our love and compassion for each other. Let Malaysia be a better country on her 46th birthday and every day after. Let Malaysia be truly happy and peaceful this September 16. And so we fast. . . . . . . to make room for peace! Things you can do and How do you join?:

1. Sign up.

e-mail your pledge to fast on Sept 16, 2009, to: or SMS to 016-9707966 or leave a comment at (If you want, you may include your age and location)

2. Forward this e-mail to your circle of friends, family and colleagues. Please try to get your friends and family from outside the Klang Valley to sign up as well.

3. Break fast (or have the pre-fast meal) together wherever your location is and send pics and caption to:

4. Here are the standard recommendations which you may modify according to your preferences, medical conditions and other circumstances. * Get a group of at least three people.

* Have your pre-fast meal together before dawn (e.g. before 5.35am for Muslims*). The meal is preferably vegetarian to be inclusive to all.

* Carry out your daily duties and tasks as usual.Smile and do an extra act of kindness to people around you or afar.

* Share your message of peace with every curious person.Break your fast together after dusk(e.g. after 7.25 pm for Muslims*).

* The meal is preferably vegetarian to be inclusive to all.
* Share your experience, feeling and thought in this national fasting exercise with more people, in every possible way.

*Please make the needed adjustments according to locality. Plotting goodness with friends, Sivin Kit On behalf of "Fast for the Nation, Peace for the Nation 2009" Core Group

Friday, 11 September 2009

LRTQ 2: Humility and Humanity...

He was a doctor. But a damn cool one if I may say so. He would sit in the mamak stall with the ambulance driver and the attendants, chit chatting away as though they’ve known each other for years. In a small kampong, a doctor is considered well respected, almost like a VIP and to have an almost VIP sit and chat with you in the mamak stall, apparently is a big thing.

And when he was at work, mind you, this is the government Out Patient Department we are talking about, where doctors always seem to be in a hurry, he would take his sweet time talking to the patients, as though they were private patients at the GP clinic where he worked lochum (part time, paid by the hour) at.

The other colleagues were not too thrilled about him taking too much time on one patient because there were at least 300 patients waiting in line from even 6.30am in the morning, and the doctors would like to finish everything by lunch time, so that they could actually have lunch. Something to look forward to, as most of them had to skip breakfast in order to finish the workload at hand.

I was amongst them. That was our daily routine. I remember having to attend to 80 patients from after the ward rounds (that was if there were no “boo boos”, would finish sometime around 10.30am) up to 1.30pm, that was 1 hour past our official lunch time. So can you imagine the speed we had to cope with per patient, in order to entertain the whole crowd.

There were 4 doctors in full sitting, 2 doctors before 10.30 am. This is assuming that there were no emergency cases to attend to. Sometimes, overwhelmed with the routine, there were few occasions whereby I responded to the Mak Cik at the cafeteria who asked me, what do I want to put on my lunch plate, by saying to her, "Masaalah apa tu hari ni?" (That's a direct translation of "what's the problem today?"; a standard question I start off with each patient) instead of "menu apa hari ni?" (that's "what's the menu for today"). The Mak Cik just smiled obviously got used to my absent mindedness. Yes, we were THAT bogged down with work!! And that was just half the day schedule...

But Dr Shah would not bother about what the other colleagues said to his face or behind his back. He would tell us, “That Mak Cik walked 7 miles from the kampong, and was here to take the number at 7am. Tell me how can I not at least strike a decent conversation with her?”.

He had this thing about old people from the kampong, especially the poor ones. I remember him purchasing the whole goreng pisang plus the uncooked bananas right off the gerai to make sure the Mak Cik was able to pack up and go back home, as it was already getting late and the Mak Cik refused to go home until her goods were sold off.

That was the man I married. Perhaps that was why I married him. I was attracted to his obstinacy for humility and humanity. He may not be perfect, only because like any one of us, he too was human. But we were perfect for each other, well, almost, and that made it even more perfect.

And so, they say that the opposites attract. I operate in a different manner. I once, while mandated as the Acting Pengarah, suck at it (well, partly because kissing asses isn't one of my virtue; a requirement to move up the "keparat ladder"). One fine day, a nurse came rushing in huffing and puffing, bringing the news of the arrival of the YB. (not “Yang Bodoh” laaaaa….apparently it stands for “Yang Berhormat”), under the assumption that I would usher the YB in. Instead, I made the YB waited for nearly 1 and a half hours amongst the crowd. When asked later by my Pengarah, “Why?”, and I can still remember the pain I caught in her eyes, when she managed to utter the word “Why”, I gave her a very basic and simple explanation. “ Well, his post suggests that he represents the rakyat. I think it’s only fair that he experience what the rakyat are experiencing when they have to take the number and wait, while in sickness”.

Funny how the system works though. We were granted 2 extra doctors specifically to run the Out Patient Department, just 2 weeks after the YB’s visit. Well, I have to give him credit, for being able to indulge in empathy ,humility and humanity. Or was it because of the approaching pilihanraya day, I can't really remember now, never did really pay attention nor did I have the time to those crazy days. Then again, come to think of it, he could have gotten me transferred to East Malaysia, but he did not.

Humility and humanity are rare traits, I dare say. But it is the basic virtue encouraged by God, via all beliefs.

In Surah Al Furqaan verse 63, God said:

وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا

"And the servants of (Allah) Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, "Peace!". "

It is because of the lack of humility and humanity that men go to war, too proud to negotiate or even give in. Men build churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and proudly avow the others as enemies of God, when all God have been repeatedly telling the human beings since the history of human itself, is that all are but one. What is the point of being “enlightened” when the very enlightenment have not distinguish you from the Pagans that you condemn? A more disturbing question would be, are we really "enlightened" as we claim to be? (Read Syed Akhbar Ali's "From the Club of Doom again" , "The Ugly Malay" by Marina Mahathir and Walski's "Keeping Them Worms Canned" and tell me whether we are really "enlightened" people)

In Al Maidah, verse 32, God quantifies the killing of one man, is like killing humanity while saving one life is like saving humanity;

مِنْ أَجْلِ ذَلِكَ كَتَبْنَا عَلَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنَّهُ مَن قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِي الأَرْضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَلَقَدْ جَاءتْهُمْ رُسُلُنَا بِالبَيِّنَاتِ ثُمَّ إِنَّ كَثِيراً مِّنْهُم بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فِي الأَرْضِ لَمُسْرِفُونَ

"For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. Our messengers came unto them of old with clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty), but afterward lo! many of them became prodigals in the earth."

It is due to the lack of humanity that men killed in the name of God. Had god wanted to spread His words by the force of the sword, then why was the Prophets not ordered to do so, unless in defense? Instead, the Prophets even way back from Abraham right down to Muhammad, carried the words of God, with humility and humility is the message of God via His messengers.

In Al A'araf verse 94, God said;

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِي قَرْيَةٍ مِّن نَّبِيٍّ إِلاَّ أَخَذْنَا أَهْلَهَا بِالْبَأْسَاء وَالضَّرَّاء لَعَلَّهُمْ يَضَّرَّعُونَ

"Whenever We sent a prophet to a town, We took up its people in suffering and adversity, in order that they might learn humility."

It is due to the lack of humility and humanity that one can just sit comfortably on the seat of public transportation, ignoring the sight of an old folk or a pregnant lady standing right in front of him, tummy as good as pressing against his nose. That is one of the reason why I don't bother sitting when I go on the LRT. There are too many pregnant ladies and old ladies coming my way. Furthermore, I once gave up my seat to a lady upon seeing her tummy just sitting there, right in front of my eyes. I could not interpret her bewildered mixed with something-else-I-can't-pin-point expression, until I realized that she probably felt insulted that I gave my seat up for her as she was carrying fat around in that tummy, and not a baby. Nevertheless, that had not kept her from taking up my seat anyway. So there you go, now you know why I don't bother sitting down at all. It's a mind field and potentially mind boggling experience, going on the LRT. You don't know whether you may insult the very person you intend to help.

It is because of the lack of humility and humanity that we drive the way we do on the road. It's easier when you don't know the person, neither can you see the facial expression of the driver, so it dampens one's conscience when we cut the queue, or when we refuse to give way despite the car in front gave a polite signal for the last 15 seconds. It is a well known phenomena, that if you want someone to step on it, just give a signal and he'll somehow speed up even from miles behind to make sure you cannot change into his lane. It may also be possible that the cause of these selfish driving is that the rude drivers actually suffer from inferiority complex. They may feel that by giving way, it is a sign of them being inferior to the people they gave way to. It's easy to leave humility and humanity at home when you drive in KL. After all, on the road, everyone is anonymous.

When will we realize that giving way or giving in does not mean you are inferior to that person, it does make one with the opposite virtue to be demeaning. I have my bad habits on the road, yes. I will go all out to not allow that rude driver who would force himself into my lane and do not care to give a signal and just cut in thinking I won't mind. But I do mind. It's as good as having a person suddenly barging in passing right through your nose without saying "excuse me". Yes, there are days when I can be mean, only to remind the rude driver that the signal is there for a reason and it does not take up that much power. Hey, if you take a look at Al Furqan verse 63 again,

"And the servants of (Allah) Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, "Peace!". "

it says there "say 'peace' ", nothing mentioned about giving those rude arshlochs a bit of difficulty while saying "peace". Actually, what I did would be like saying "I'm at peace with you, after you learn this little bit of lesson to respect others". Will I go to hell if I point out that God said, "walk on the earth" and not "drive"?

(More grandmother stories about humility and humanity when you click onto the rabbit hole)

Anyway, most of the time, I would give way to even an old beaten down car (with or without the matching cute old folks driving them), but practices the simple thing called courtesy by giving the signal before changing lane, even though I know that I'd get screwed driving behind it, going at the speed an old beaten car is capable of. Actually, if it is the old folks driving, I give way to them even if they do not give any signal. If at 70 you still don't learn anything on the road, I doubt you ever will. No point making their remaining life on earth uncomfortable.

I remember the day when a public bus waited for me to fold my pram, as I was struggling to do so, as I had just bought it and it needed some getting use to. My daughter then one, and the rest of the family were already in the bus. The bus did not honk, neither did anyone shouted at me to hurry up or bugger off and the bus definitely did not drive off. It just stood there, patiently, waiting for me to combat my struggle with the all to complicated new pram. I can still recall the sound of the engine as it waited for me to fold the obstinate pram. Of course, this was no where in any of the Muslim country I'm talking about. If it was in Malaysia, the bus would have left me long before I could have the time to show my middle finger. Of course not in any of the Arab countries because my idea of having a good time on a holiday is definitely not suffocating in the hijab, nor do I wish to cover my head, something totally unnecessary. It was in the UK, you know, one of the country where the Muslims call "infidels". Funny how the "infidels" show more humility and humanity than the so called righteous Muslims.

Humility and humanity, amongst many other good virtues, may lead one to noble and have good conduct. In Al Hujrat verse 13, God said;

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَى وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ

"O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware."

Why should we be proud and arrogant anyway? After all, as certain as tax, death will come knocking on our door, sooner or later. What we bring along with us, is not our title, nor our worldly belongings, just us, alone. It’s not about what we have made for ourselves, rather, what we have made ourselves to become. Have we invested well in us? How far have we achieved in human development? Though there is nothing wrong in becoming wealthy materially as it is in fact, encouraged by God to do so, (don't believe me, read Anas's 'What does Quran say about wealth?') despite what the current teaching of Islam seem to portray, but if the material wealth was achieved via humility and humanity, and part of it is spent with humility and humanity, then that is best.

I realized this even more so when I gazed down with sadness, upon my husband’s dead body, all draped in white cloth, looking serene despite being disfigured by the stitches from the accident and the post mortem, as he lay to rest in the coffin. He was a doctor, came from a well to do family yet, none of that seem to matter in wherever it is he was bound to end up in. All that was taken along with him, was a lifetime of record on the deeds he had done during his stay here on earth, and the qualities he had invested on himself, how far has he evolved as a human being. No car nor house can fit into "The Land Down Under". Just that small box with you in it. Of course the "ruuh" is another matter altogether. I think we should all donate our organs instead of worrying and fighting about the method of burial of the vessel of the ruuh. It will cease to exist through a process known as decaying, sooner or later, be it burried, cremated etc. What matters is where your ruuh ends up. What better way to go then to know that you left life on earth, serving humanity till the end. After all, we are here to serve God and humanity. (Read Rapera's "This is the period to keep our humanity")

I will end my verbiage (since when I write short notes anyway?), with a little experiment for you to try. Try something new today, if it is not your common practice already, try greeting the cleaners at your office "good morning" before they greet you. Try it. You may feel a tingling sensation of pleasure coming from somewhere you had long forgotten. You'd be surprise how much a little "hi" would make them feel really nice and appreciated. They may not be lucky to be born with a silver spoon, that is why the privileged ones should at least make their lives less miserable by making them feel happy by acknowledging their existence, and helping them out however we can. If you still get that feeling of a natural high and you are not even exercising, you will know that despite all the superficial authority or power play, you are indeed human, where there is still room for humility and humanity. Peace.
(Grandmother's stories ends here)
...Click here to find out how deep the rabbit hole goes.....

Wednesday, 9 September 2009


He who knows not and knows he knows not - he is a child ; teach him
He who knows not and knows not he knows not - he is a fool ; shun him
He who knows and knows not he knows, - he is a asleep; wake him
He who knows he knows - he is wise; follow him"

I am writing this, in conjunction with the International Literacy Day 08th Sept 2009 under the "Bloggers Unite" ticket. I'm not going to start this article with the definition of “Literacy”, (I'll just link it to the Wikipedia definition, just in case), because that may insult your intelligence. If you can read this, you are already a literate person. Nevertheless, for those who can read, yet have problems understanding what it is they have just read, fear not, for it may happen sometimes - common transient phenomenon. We Malaysians get that all the time, observing some of the local road signage. For instance, peruse the signboard below and tell me what is wrong with it. I think even a 6year old can appreciate that 8 happens to fall somewhere in between 7 - 9. See what I mean, we can read it, but not understand it. Common thing, no big deal.
And we wonder how come those Singaporeans got lost in our jungle sometime back, when even the Malaysians get lost in our own town following the sign boards!!! (or in the case above, stop in the middle of the road, scratching their heads, trying to figure out how to get to Precinct 8).

Well, indirectly, I have just shown you the importance of literacy, or in some isolated cases how literacy is made pointless. With this horrendous sign system, you will be better off being illiterate; at least you can concentrate on relying on other senses to gain simple direction, like the Red Indians.

Why is it important that every single human being be literate? Literacy is a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. Educational opportunities depend on literacy. Well, it is a form of communication, and it’s a gateway to knowledge. Whether the knowledge be beneficial or detrimental to the human species, that relies a lot on ethics. Sometimes, knowledge created with good intentions may end up catastrophic when fallen into the wrong hands. The atomic bomb is one example. Mind manipulation, such as fundaMENTALism prove to be unworthy. Fundamentalism may sometimes be used as a weapon in politics. The CIA for example, had been funding and training the infamous Osama bin Laden, and the Taliban, in an attempt which in fact succeeded, in chasing away the Russians out of Afghanistan. That is but another story of course.

If one were to take a look at The World Literacy Map , you will notice that countries that contributed highly to the statistics of illiteracy are mainly the third world countries especially most of the African region. This makes sense, for if a country is unable to prevent poverty and famine, it is unlikely for them to be able to promote literacy. A high rate of illiteracy could mean the inability for a country to produce people who can guide their people out of poverty and famine. It's a vicious cycle, unfortunately.
(Click on map to enlarge and peruse)
For those who did not pass that subject Geography, and have no clue to as where on the planet earth is Africa, click HERE, to peruse on the breakdown of percentages of World Literacy. As for poverty and famine, I have written in length, in the previous campaign to create awareness of poverty and famine in "World-hunger..yes we can!!"

In Malaysia, our literacy rate is between 80 - 90%. I am quite sure, some rigg-ing must have been going on during the production of this figure because on daily practice, I could have sworn that at least 40% of Malaysian are illiterate. You can detect them by looking the way they park their cars underneath the "No Parking" or "Parking for the disabled" signs. Or even in our public toilets whereby they cannot read the words,"Press and sustain pressure on button to allow flushing", or can't even identify the simple letter, say "Q" in short sentences like "Q Here". Or perhaps they are just playing obtuse, which makes them the worst species.

The questions remain are not just "what are we going to do about it?", but more importantly, "how willing are we to actually do something about it". While I can't really answer the second question, because, basically, you can drag the donkey to the water, but not necessarily make it drink, I can give the second question my best shot. I guess what we can do to promote literacy is we can start by volunteering to the existing organizations erected for this very purpose, that is adjacent to us, that's what we can do.

Well, as we are speaking, UNESCO, under the program called Literacy Initiative For Empowerment or LIFE for short is running to combat illiteracy. What can we do to contribute? Well, in Malaysia, we have programs for Orang Asli in collaboration with the UNICEF, click HERE to peruse details.

Or you can do simple things like start with your neighbourhood. My immediate neigbour, Ana, have 4 little cute kids. Although they are quite well to do, and the kids are literate, I notice that there are not many books made available for them to read. So what I did, was I gave up most of my daughter's books she had when she was not introduced to more sophisticated readings like the Harry Porter series, etc, gave that to the kids and they were super thrilled!! Every month, when I buy books for my daughter and me, I will make it a point to buy a few copies for the children. It may be a small contribution, but it did help in promoting their interest in reading. It would be good to push society beyond just being literate.

Life is not about getting more shoes to match all those branded attires. It's not about chasing after materialism at the expense of other human beings. It is encouraged for us to become rich, the healthy way of course, but if you can make more money than God, and use it to serve Him via the pathways He had ascertain, then by all means, show me the money. So what is it about then? This thing we call 'Life'? I dare say that it's about serving other's with sincerity and humanity. It's not doing good to get "pahala" (good deeds that will score points with God, not Pahala in Hawaii), but doing good because it's the right thing to do.

Currently, I am serving people in other manner, (and I'm not talking about my job by the way). But yes, someday, when I'm done serving the people I'm serving now, my intentions amongst many dream, will be to alleviate illiteracy. Just like Martin Luther King who had a dream, I have my own too. Mine is to make everyone literate so that they can finally read all the garbage that I intend to continue writing, and to ensure those who pretend not to be able to read the signs, understand why the signs are there, and why they should sincerely abide to them. Until then, I will just have to settle with the figure 80 - 90%....Let us all do our parts in society, shall we?