Friday, December 25, 2009

PMR 2009 : Imtiaz Besut Is The Best in Malaysia (SMKA Categrory)

Many many congratulations to the students and staff of Imtiaz Besut for coming out the first in SMKA category. My daughter Nabiela Husna studies there and she also has scored brilliant A for all 9 subjects. AlhamduliLlah.

Some school photos here
Imtiaz Besut Website here
Read Pesan Abah here

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Finally I Can Let It Go

The stormy Friday night saw me looking anxiously for Bukit Kiara Equestrian & Spa Resort. I wish it had everything to do with horses or getting into the mud bath;but not this event, it drained so much of my energy. Tonight I will let it go …. for good. The place hosted our EGM when the AGM was deserted by the majority of the members. I was the president of an alumni association and my tenure ended when the motion passed later that night. What a relief! Usually people hang on to the post for a couple of terms but I just could not wait to let go. Not because I hate the association or its missions but I found some ugly piece of stinking hearts in souls that were making pathetic smiles all around me. I felt being cheated, hated and disgusted all the time. Do all leaders get them? Why can’t we respect our leaders for once? But for the majority respect has to be earned not given. I think that was my problem …I did not know how to earn respect It’s hard…too damn hard for me. I rarely spent time at the mamak stall until 2-3 in the morning to “layan” friends; if that is one of the ways to earn their respect. Or give money away because I don’t have the liberty to do so. Or talking like you know everyone in the upperclass and know everything because I don’t lie. I don’t know how to lie. Even my children will know when I made something up. So I was deserted. Emotionally I was okay because being alone gives me freedom to work out my own ideas but technically it was a disaster; you can’t, not even for another million years to do it alone. It does not work that way. I always prayed for the strength to hang on but the challenges were huge and I have no energy or support to fight back. It’s time to let go.

This is politics and it was dirty as hell. The reason I joined the association was to give back to the alma mater. Its theme says it all –“kembali berbakti”(return to give back); so the idea of giving back really touched my heart. I have no good memories during my schooling years ; no medals or awards for high achievements, but to help out is not really a problem. By helping out, the attachment grew stronger and stronger. I was so mad at it until I was ready to risk it all. That was the time I braced myself and ran for the presidency. Many people underestimated my will ( well this happens through out my life actually); even my close friends did not vote for me. But fate has it and I was elected president. The horror film has just begun and in many horror movies this is the part where the innocent guy has yet to realize that he is the victim. Looking all too na├»ve and going around as if everything is tip top. But the zombies are all around waiting to take the taste of your flesh. I pretended not believe that and everyone was my friend. I guess that was my biggest mistake; to trust everyone including my enemy. I realized now that I should have a few layers of friends: loyal friends, trusted friends, sweet talking friends, teh tarik friends, back stabbing friends, munafik friends, wicked witch friends etc. I did not do that and treated all as my trusted friends. How wrong that was and I am paying the price. Licking the wounds like an old lion lost in the battle fight. I hope this is the lesson for me from Allah to test my iman and my faith.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Hijrah Year 1431

At Pusat Sains Negara (National Science Center)



an ancient astronomy equipment used by great Islamic scholars
  
another astronomy equipment
the planet earth
One of the scientists portrayed in the gallery;unfortunately not many Islamic scientists being posted in the  gallery. I guess the Science  Center is still run by the western minded  people where Islamic scholars have little reputation in the scientific world. and the shool children came to the Center by bus loads. Very disapointing indeed.

The molecules stacked in the corner more like in the scinece lab storage room rather than a science center. 
The chemistry elements, I have forgotten some this stuff but still find it very interesting.
  
The planets
My children trying out the jigsaw puzzle of Monalisa
  
I don't really know what this  face is doing in the  Science Center. Looks like an old  chinese medicine man or something
  
The big eye ....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ahmad claimed his manhood and ……PSP!

My son Ahmad got circumsized today and we grace for a stormy night tonight. We have postponed for him to get cut a few times but he finally agreed a few days ago…with a prize of course.—a PSP.(PlayStation Portable) We managed to control his anxiety by not talking about it and not telling anyone until the last minute. No ceremony whatsoever as we believe that such ceremony will only get him scared and panicked. Usually in Kelantan we do pulut kuning (yellow rice) also called pulut semangat to retain the spirit of the event. It’s a bit of cultural thing that still being practiced in a smaller scale. Ahmad maintained himself until the time he was laid down on the operating table. He was spread eagle and looking rather calm. I was started to get nervous when the procedure started to take place. When the needle got into his skin Ahmad now realized that the hell’s gate has just opened. The grin turned surprised turned panicked turned painful……………..screeaaaaammmmmm! Luckily it was not long as the anesthetic got into effect and numbness replaced the pain. He relaxed himself and looked up at me with his usual long grin. So everything is gonna be fine except me that I started to feel nausea with all the blood and the smell.

I sat myself down while holding Ahmad just to let him know that I was still there and went back to the time when I was about to be cut myself. As a boy I knew when the time was right to get the cut. I made plan with my cousin and set a date. We told our parents and they agreed to take us to the Tok Mudim’s (the dick cutter)house. I remember to get an injection before I was placed on a banana trunk. A lot of people tried to poke their stupid faces in between my legs as I was lying there naked, scared and helpless. The procedure finished as quickly as it started and we were off heading back home by the late afternoon. When the pain killer subsided, I felt like I was sliced alive over and over again. So painful that I just could not imagine how Ahmad will manage his pain later that night.

After one hour we left the clinic and went home while Ahmad started to feel the pain. By night when the painkiller was completely off he screamed on top of his voice. I knew this would be coming and graced for a long night. We gave him another dose of medicine and that eased the pain a bit and he dozed off for the rest of the night. In the morning the pain was back so we pulled out the biggest painkiller of all---his PSP. He gave us a long grin; we knew he’s no longer in pain.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

PTK*

Evaluating PTK participants was not always an easy task. The exercise is to ensure that our staff is up to the minimum level of competency (as set for all govt servants). They have to present their publication and research proposal. The first day went through quite smoothly as we restrained ourselves from asking any question. We needed to evaluate too many people in a short period of time, so the trick was not to ask any question. I was the panel so when the boss said so I just did not try to say otherwise. I guessed there is no harm to try it. As they presented their work one by one I just could not believe the state of their publications; some were good but there were many not as good as expected. Mind you that they are lecturers with at least a master’s degree. A short abstract in a paper can be littered with so many grammatical errors; and the same mistakes appeared in many of the papers presented at several conferences and got into many proceedings. People just don’t read anymore and grammar is a small matter for most of us. At least you find someone to proof read the paper before sending it out. So I started to feel uneasy with this arrangement for not asking questions. They must know their mistakes and we must ensure that they will make the corrections. One after another the papers came before us with silly mistakes and we kind of ignore it. I did make some corrections with my red pen but sometime the errors were so severe that I felt like making a big X over the paragraph and exclaimed it with a silly word. We finished on time and everyone was so happy as there was nothing to it. I was never felt so guilty in my life; giving them wrong impressions of their work. I reckoned tomorrow will be different.

The next day I arrived early compared to yesterday as I was half an hour late. I just underestimated the traffics; but today I learnt the lesson ,planned the time properly and drove unforgivingly. The place was in Puncak Alam about half an hour drive from Shah Alam The participants started to present their research proposal. And right away I spotted the flaws in every slide that came on the screen. I am still figuring out how the mistakes were done. Weren’t they aware of the errors before coming to the presentation? How come such significant flaws being allowed to take the screen? I would take all effort to clean the slides; but how come some people just willingly ignore the errors made? I just do not understand. As I scanned through the proposals and tried to put together the meaning of them all, I developed a pounding headache. A sign of aging . I just could not do this as good as I used to. I used to read, spot the mistakes and propose a correction all within a minute or so, but not this time. I was tired and easily agitated; and that’s a recipe for a grumpy old man. I tried to be fair and objective but the flaws sometime became too ridiculous that I ignored some of them altogether. I think next time will start with a pep talk about evaluation and why we all need to be evaluated all the time. The process of evaluation will “mature” us and make us do things better the next time around. Would you like to walk around with your fly open or rather have someone to remind you to zip up?of course we do not want to be embarrassed ,right.well that the easy one to say, hey! Your fly is open la…..and have a good laugh with it. But when you talk with someone and smell a dog breath, would you have a gut to tell him that his mouth smells like an open garbage bin? I doubt it. Maybe we just make an excuse and ran away to the toilet and puke. But I think if someone dare to say so about my breath I would be thankful. You see evaluation is sometime painful but it would not do anything other than good thing to us. Good comments or bad comments will always improve us; but the bad ones will be most useful. But there is one tiny problem –we usually could not accept bad comments with open heart. We hate to hear that we are a loser, the one that fails or just could not make the point. The failure is hard to swallow. Well if you feel that then it’s normal; because we are human. What we can do is to train ourselves to accept it and not being carried away with the failure. Swallow the pride and dig into the mistakes ; improve it and represent yourself as the improved one. So how do train yourself to accept criticism? Get into the process of evaluation more often; the more you have people telling garbage onto your face the stronger you feel and you will eventually have the strength to resist and argue. And when you can argue, you have understood your stuff better. In the end, you start to appreciate the perfection of your work.

Our Malay culture tends to hide mistakes rather than to expose them. It is not proper to say bad things to people. Well that culture needs to be changed once and for all. I wish all PTK participants all over the country a smashing success, don't worry about it, just enjoy the whole thing.

*PTK(penilaian tahap kecekapan)---an evaluation exercise  for all civil servants in Malaysia

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