Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Went on a long drive to Jasin today. I’ve never known that there is really a place for “jin bertendang”; but, this must be it. And  this remote outback is in a kampong called Kg Mendapat…dapat apa? Don’t ask me..I don’t expect anything from this place sorry to say that but it’s so depressing just being there. I mean in the middle of nowhere. So I went there with a delegate from Pejabat pembangunan to survey the progress of an UiTm campus . Nothing important really I just want to be in a place that many of my colleagues (maybe myself, god forbid!) will be working next year. A dilemma that has been haunting me from  day one being in this new office. I will be the one to pick and choose who will be there; so help me God. Being in the place myself I have no comforting words to cushion the crushing impact of the order to move there. No worries. We will cross the bridge when we get there.


lecturers' room

My first “SSssssshhhhh….bos datang “-gesture !


I came across a group of lady lecturers today and all of the sudden one of them shhhhh me out. Everyone just stopped talking  and looked at me in a very strange manner—the subject changed immediately. It followed with a fake greeting and forced smiles. I was stunned at first and disappointed throughout. Never really get into the conversation and hurriedly left them alone. So that was it--- my first sshhh-gesture. I am trying to comprehend the whys and the hows of this gesture. A lot of questions suddenly converged to cushion the crashing impact of such a simple gesture.

When I was a school kid I used to do that to our teacher—ssshhhh…cikgu datang! And everyone just rushed to their seat and pretended to read a book or something. An act displayed out of fear and guilt. Fear of any punishment due to some guilty actions that we had done. A childish reaction, I must say. But adult do that as well, is it due to the same circumstances? I guess  we inherited that from our childhood that has become a norm or common reaction to such  situation. The sad thing is for not being sensitive to the other party that might have a hard time to swallow the bitter message that was thrown to his face. And of course we do it for the boss as well, I mean, as his subjects I guess we feel to have a god-given right to be mad at the boss. Even if he has done absolutely  nothing to intimidate our integrity or our intelligence, we still do it to him. And the boss on the other hand would do whatever task to deliver feeling that it is his god-given trust to uphold the responsibility. The feeling is reciprocal and the hostility is mutual. And the vicious cycle continues. We suffer due to our own brutal egoism.

So the boss is someone to be left alone and never dare to be close with. We feel awkward whenever the boss is close around. I can’t really tell them what to do—to hate or to like me---it is something I have to earn. Well, I can understand that much. But for them to be cautious for I might bite them off is just too much. And I don’t really understand why anyone would do that, I, for one, would approach my boss without any pretext just a bit careful not to cross the line.

I guess I have a long way to go. Maybe a lot more challenges are lined up ahead of me. Some decisions that will disturb a sleep of a mighty lion/lioness. Would that be a good time to be friend of a boss? It’d break a heart and things will become very complicated. Should it be that hard? I don’t really know but I am sure don’t want  it to be that way. If the thing is hard then everyone should feel the burden and we will go through it together, you and I. We will face it with our heads up high and our hearts tied up to the promises of God that He will help us through this. Maybe if people understand this; things will be much easier to handle. iA He will show the way.



Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lari Mengejar Ilahi

         Kerna ayam berkokokkah terbitnya mentari?
           Kerna terbit mentarikah hari kesiangan?
           Kerna kesiangankah kita berlari?
           Hari berlalu bersama mimpi semalam
           Dengan masa bak tetamu tak diundang
           Pergi tanpa bersua kata
           Hari ini masa kembali menyapa
           Untuk sekian lama kita berlari
           Mengejar itu dan ini
           Tanpa fikir dan hujah bistari
           Kenapakah kita berlari ?
          Apakah di hujung sana ada emas dan singgahsana?
          Bila kesiangan direbut  malam
          Dan tibanya masa untuk bersua pemilik tanah ini......
          Kita akan pergi jua  tanpa berlari
             Hari ini riang bertamu lagi
             Dengan syukur akan nikmat  dan anugerah
            Mengecap manis kehidupan untuk sekian lama
            Masih segar untuk bersolat dan berzikir
            Menghiasi malam dengan tangisan taubat
            Memohon sekelumit rahmat buat insan yang berdosa
          Bila ayam berkokok lagi di kaki langit
          Dan mentari muncul menegur alam
          Itulah rahmat dan tanda kasih
          Untuk kita terus berlari
           .......mengejar Ilahi
          Selamat Menyambut  Hari Ulangtahun
          Untuk aku dan sahabat-sahabatku yang mulia ...........

                                                                                                nordin abu bakar
                                                                                                shah alam
                                                                                                6 September 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Writing Tips #40

Make your sentences strong !

A sentence should not start with “however” or “ for example”; put it in the middle.

Instead of : However, our recent findings challenge existing memories.

Write : Our recent findings, however, challenge existing theories

Monday, September 3, 2012

Writing Tips #39


Abbreviations and acronyms are only good when they clarify, not when they obscure or confuse the readers.
ANOVA , ANN, GA are good
BPR is not; use them sparingly

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Writing Tips #38




Writing Numbers: Whether to enter numerals or words for a number is often confusing. In different situations, this will vary, but probably a fair generality is that a numeral is shorter than a word, so use a numeral, with the following exceptions:

  • You cannot begin a sentence with a numeral. The number "1,256,781" must be entered at the beginning of a sentence as "One million, two hundred fifty-six thousand, seven hundred and eighty-one," as ridiculous as it seems. If the number involves a unit of measure, the unit must be likewise spelled out as a word in most cases (pH would be one exception). Work the sentence so you don't have to begin it with the number!
  • When not speaking of data or experimental groupings, use words instead of numerals for small numbers: "two centuries ago," "For well over fifty years..", "Of the many millions of fish released..."
  • Numbers are generally written as numerals when a specific value is named, and always when associated with a unit of measure: "270 centuries ago," "59 people...", "...47.8 g dry weight...".

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Writing Tips #37

Avoid redundancy

Redundancy can sometimes slip by: “The leaf is triangular-shaped.” Triangular is a shape, so to write it is redundant. It is better to write “The leaf is triangular.”

Friday, August 31, 2012

Writing Tips #36

Be specific


If you know something to be true, then say so. Don’t be wishy-washy: “The teeth of Allosaurus appear to be sharp.” Is there doubt? “The teeth of Allosaurus are sharp.” 

There are many similar words you should avoid, such as: ‘suggests,’ ‘appears,’ ‘probably,’ ‘may be.’ 

Better words to use are ‘indicates,’‘implies,’ ‘shows,’ ‘illustrates,’ etc.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Writing Tips #35

  Avoid inaccurate word

The data lead to the assumption that x has no relationship to y. 

If you base a conclusion on data, then your conclusion is a deduction, not an assumption. In fact, in experimental science assumptions are usually avoided. A purpose of controls is to eliminate the need to assume anything.
The word 'data' is plural.

However since investigators usually refer to sets of data, there is a tendency to use the word as though it was singular. Hence a writer will state, 'the data was affected by the phase of the moon,' or 'the data suggests that phase of the moon has no effect on mood.' As awkward as it may seem to you, the proper phrases are, 'the data were affected...,' and 'the data suggest...' By the way, the singular form is 'datum.'

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Writing Tip #34


Superlatives include adjectives such as "huge," "incredible," "wonderful," "exciting," etc. 

For example, "the mitochondria showed an incredibly large increase in oxygen consumption when we added uncoupling agent." Your definition of incredible might be different from that of someone else - perhaps a five fold increase is incredible to you, but not for the next person. 

It is much better to use an objective expression, such as "Oxygen consumption was five fold greater in the presence of uncoupler, which is a greater change than we saw with the addition of any other reagent."

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Writing Tips #33


Subjectivity refers to feelings, opinions, etc.

For example, in your discussion you might write, "We felt that the fixative was bad, because we had difficulty finding flagella on our Chlamydomonas." Another researcher is unlikely to risk time and resources on the basis of your "feeling."

On the other hand, you might write, "The percentage of cells with flagella was inversely proportional to the time they spent in fixative, suggesting that the fixative was causing cells to shed flagella." This is information that another scientist can use.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Raya Notes 2012

Today is Monday. Not just any Monday but a Monday after Raya Holidays—I think the worst day of the year. The office is eerily quiet giving signs of mourning souls being dragged out of the on-going Raya festival. But like it or not it’s time to get back to  work— to the ever-piling up paper work, trainings, class preparations and of course meetings. So we know life is not all the time  a sandy beach—it’s just a bitch!.
Abang Azli at Kg Puteh, KB now a headmaster of SMK Cini, Pekan, Pahang

The travelling was fun. On the way back I enjoyed the serene darkness of Bentong forest at 3 am  while driving at 0km/h on the steep Karak Highway. So it’s the fact that most of us were nocturnal drivers. And where is the fun of ‘balik kampung’ if there were no bumper-to-bumper highway traffic. But you know I realised one thing about us, Malaysians (Malays in particular), that we have all learned how to queue up. I think the message has reached everyone and now everyone has tried to behave and wait  for the turn. It’s obvious when we made our stop at R and R. We saw many queues; at the surau people queue up for wuduk, outside people lined up some more for the wuduk as Fajr time was passing fast, at the toilets we queue some more. No one seems to jump the queues although everybody has to go. They all seemed calm and inched their way forward. I have never been so proud to be among these people who’s held their integrity and civilised behaviour so dearly. We even queued up at the petrol station which took us almost an hour to reach the pump; but everyone just stayed in the queue and moved slowly. Then one stupid lady tried to cut into the queue and some one let her in—see how sopan these people were. I smiled as I saw that lady’s  car bearing a red diplomatic plate; aahhh of course she’s a foreigner, I guess they don’t practice this in her country.

Masjid Kayu Besut, Terengganu

Ahmad at the anjung Masjid Kayu, Besut

Abah, are we there yet? I heard my son asking from the back. The journey was terribly long and I took the longer route through the east coast. So everyone was complaining. I used to work and live in Dungun Terengganu for almost 15 years and this route had been our weekend route for so many weekends that we commuted between Kota Bharu and Dungun. I wanted to see the trees and the muddy trails again, the abandoned fruit stalls by the road side, the many mosques that we used to make a pit stop, and the kampung folks that stared at us for god-knows-why. Maybe those folks reminded me of my growing up years in the kampung. Back then everything would be happening at the “tembok” refering to the main road that went through our kampung. It would be livelier during the Raya season when the city folks came back and drove around in their fancy cars and glittering clothes. We just stood there by the road side and watched them like they were some creatures from the outer space that had invaded our sleepy kampung. Not much has changed over the years, I think; I could feel, see and experience  the same things from those days. They have replaced some of the old mosques ; the move that cost someone an MB position. Well you don’t bulldoze an old mosque you know, that’s a terrible thing to do. An old place of worship carries a lot of history, traditions and barokah. It sholud be preserved at all cost; but for this stupid man it’s just a pile of dead woods. Hope he learned the lesson well. The new mosques are all big, outstanding and lavish. Some were deserted with a handful of local people came to join us for noon prayers. You could even feel the emptiness of the space with dusty windows and lizard wastes all over the place. I drove through and made some stops at the regular stalls that we used to buy kueh and stuff. A young lad was manning the stall; I guess it’s time for the kids to handle the business now. The kueh tasted sweetly the same and heavens know that it has been the taste that  I missed  for a long time.

Beautiful anjung of Majid Kayu Besut

the traditional high wall and ceiling

This time around the raya mood wasn’t much of  a jovial  but a “numb” of some sort. When you go to a dentist, the doctor would jab you with something before taking your tooth out and you will feel numb through out. You don’t feel pain no more no matter how the dentist hack your tooth out; you just feel nothing. This Raya I felt the same  numbness. I did not feel a need for a new baju or songkok or new pair of shoes—no rush for the shopping rituals. I braved the traffic without thinking the long journey home because I did not want to miss my Ramadhan prayers. I did not feel bad for not visiting some relatives ; there was no need to rush here and there. All these years that we have been making a point to visit them—none has returned the favor and visit us back. So that’s it no more. I planned to skip the whole balik kampung thing but you know things just would not be the same. Being among the kampung folks reminds you of how life could be so simple. They seem to have nothing but happy nonetheless. How much do you think a makcik selling a few heaps of chillies and some bananas will make? More than your small change, I reckon. But she sat there as if making a career out if it....well actually it’s her life. When PM made a statement, people see political. We feel ashamed for people calling us poor because we did not do anything about it  not because  we think it’s untrue. I went back to feel  and experience the so-called “ poor people of Kelantan”. I didn’t feel ashamed at all but proud to be among them because they are a bunch of happy folks that realize life isn’t defined by the rich politicians from KL but by themselves. Awesome, isn’t it?

Dewan Solat

Attending a wedding in Dungun , Terengganu

My Raya was sadly ushered by two deaths; one of my brother’s MIL and another of a close friend. In the midst of a celebration, death is still  ultimately sad . I felt numb like a burning fire being splashed by a bucket of water; all’s left is the smoking ashes. Nothing else to cheer about.

So life goes on. Shah Alam is still quiet as students are still on their semester  break. But come next week there  will be a different story.

Enjoy your  Raya mood  folks!