Sunday, March 8, 2009

It's probably me.....

Reciprocity.That is something I learned the hard way.

Often enough, one hears the saying "Man is not an island". However, that is something not entirely true. I did feel that I am an island. Whether its by design or circumstantial, it hardly matters. Being 'marooned on an island', is good enough feeling.

We live in a life where everyone and everything is interconnected. So many people remind us not to be 'living in an island'. So, what does it mean by being interconnected?

Ever so often, we tell ourselves these sort of things. But we never learn, do we? Or is it we blind ourselves with other virtues, of which most probably means nothing to others. At least, maybe we ourselves feel strongly about it, in our own expectations on how the world should evolve.

Again, should we evolve around the world or otherwise?

I hope I will find the answer to that. As for now, I hope I will learn this time. At least, a little while longer than I should have the last time.

We face issues in life. Sometime, we could handle them. Most of these instances, we fail. More often than not, its over-bearingly too complicated for us to hold on, by ourselves. If and when that happens, what do we do? Wait for help? How would help come if people are not aware we need help? Ask for help?

What if when expected to be helped or even supported, we are put in a situation where people, whom we thought matters to us, felt they are neither in a position of convenience nor under no obligation to do so?

Should in our life, we expect some sort of extension on other people's kindness and generousity, especially at the times when we felt we need it most? Is that too much to ask, from people whom we thought 'matters to us'?

My father, for over twenty years keeps reminding me "Paddle your own boat!". This happened before and every now and then, keeps coming back. I guess, this is life. Especially in the materialism world of cosmopolitan Kuala Lumpur today.

My best friend used to remind me, "You are the sort of soldier who I want to be with in a fox hole at the front lines". Has this 'reliability' finally expired, for virtues that were never in my system?

Then again, of late, I ponder within myself on the virtues of 'loyalty', 'faith', 'sincerity' and 'expectations'. Of course, I did not find the answer. Either I am not looking hard enough or not smart enough to figure it out. I used to be resolved on the stance that I am prepared to take. Nowadays, sometime I am not sure. My confidence level now is somewhat in territories so unfamiliar.

Incidentally, I came to a junction of being 'wishful thinking'. "It is a positive trait", someone said. But it also somewhat being not true to oneself. Hypocrisy to your ownself????

In the final analysis, it comes back down to your ownself. My problem now, IF I think about myself first before my surrounding, isn't that selfish? Then again, my environment does not seem to care, when I needed it most!

So what the hell should I do now????

These are the times, Sting rendered it best. I know how Martin Riggs, despite being a fictitous character, must have felt. "Its probably me".

This is also the title track for "Lethal Weapon III".

P/S: I think Sting, Eric Clapton and Dave Grussin should do more songs together!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Attending Global Financial Crisis Forum

I was given the opportunity to attend the Global Financial Crisis Forum. It was organised by National Chambers of Commerce and held at the Nirwana Ballroom, Crowne Plaza Mutiara, Kuala Lumpur. It was officiated by fourth prime minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

Right: With Dato' A Kadri Jasin and Tan Sri Sanusi Junid

The panels include captains of industry, major players and representative of the joint chambers of commerce. They gave an update, insight and opinion from their industry and their macro view and strategy how and what to do, for the nation to embrace and plan on and against the global financial crisis that is badly hitting the West.

Ideas ranged from stimulus package that will and should be introduced by the Government and structural changes in the economic system, to ensure that all the plans are sustainable. Criticism on the financial and banking system also include credit availability and accessibility, especially for the small businesses. Tun Dr. Mahathir confirmed that the banking system were not too interested to develop the small businesses.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Palestine poetry recital

I attended a special poetry recital for the Palestinians in Gaza, now under invasion by the ruthless Zionist regime of Israel. It was held at Pena House, in Jalan Dewan Bahasa, Kuala Lumpur. The theme is "Dibawah langit Gaza" (Under the Gazan sky).

Right: The MCs were Farah (TV 9 compere) and Aziz Desa (former TV 3 MHI host)

From Left: Salahuddin, yours truly, Bang Ramli and Rocky

This event was previous discussed when Dato' Ahmad A. talib invited me for tea with Ramli "Papa Rock" Sharif few weeks ago. So many artistes, laureates, activists and celebrities showed up in support for their Gazan brothers, now under extreme hardship and pain. I see this to remind ourselves that we should do more, to alleviate the suffering of the Gazans. TV9 covered the event whilst the NSTP fund of Gaza collection box was passed around.

As usual, I am in the company of fellow bloggers Ahirudin "Rocky" Attan, Nuraina A. Samad and Salahuddin "Mao" Hisham, who previously wrote for a pro UMNO portal.

Right: The "twins"

Prepacked food was prepared. It was a very good evening indeed (Despite having the sniffles and body aches; signs of a flu attack creeping up, I still brave the discomfort to show support for an artistically humanitarian cause).

May God be with the Gazans and may the sun shine again on the land, very soon.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I & Akhramsyah in the same Astro Awani "Analisis Awani"

I was invited to appear on Astro Awani's "Analisis Awani" again this evening. This time, it was about the commentary on the Kuala Terengganu P36 Parliamentary by-elections, which is polled whole day today. I was pitted with MCA Youth Dr Jeffrey Goh.

Right: I'm pointing at angle, just before the show

However, I managed to persuade my buddy Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah Sanusi to be in the live forum together. He instantanously agreed.

Left: Akhramsyah the bidan terjun guest who did rather well!

It was a very interesting discussion indeed, although each of us had not much to say as the show included live feed from journalist Suhaimi Sulaiman in Kuala Terengganu and phone interview with a UKM politics professor.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Having tea with the icon of spiritual rock

I had an exhilarating experience this evening. I was invited to have tea with an icon of Malaysian classical rock. Former NST Editor-in-Chief Dato' Ahmad A. Talib invited me for a chat with Ramli Sharif, in Bangsar.

Right: Dato' Mat and I admiring a rock legend

When Dato' Mat called me this evening to invite, I thought it was in passing.

Left: The "twins"

Then again, when I showed up and both of them were there, I simply can't believe my eyes. I get to sit and chat up a classical rock icon, who somewhat influenced my formative adolescence years in MRSM. His music, with deep philosophical and spiritual innuendos made going through a difficult time of changing phases something slightly more meaningful. Not forgetting, landmarks to remember by.

Right: I and the "twins"

I was just starting second form when I first heard the inspiring voice of Bang Ramli rendetation and purist rock melody "Kamelia", during his Sweet Charity days. Then in third form, it was the album Penunggu. Then a year later, Batu.

A moment later, Rocky and Nuraina joined us. That brought the chat even livelier. Especially, when Rocky and Ramli looked almost like twin brothers.

Left: Nuraina and Rocky joined the chat

The chat revealed things that really unlocked some of the amazement Bang Ramli brought into my music enrichment phase of life.

Right: The legend known as 'Papa Rock'

Bang Ramli then talked about his band Sweet Charity, celebrating its 40th anniversary. They are planning a nationwide concert tour. All of us agreed that it will be a hit, especially people in our generation. Then again, Dato' Mat is also convinced that Bang Ramli's music even hit a note of people much younger than all of us at the table. Amazed and dazzled, I tend to agree with Dato' Mat. He is indeed a classical rock legend!

It was an evening to remember.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Meeting the future of NCER

I was in Taiping over the last weekend. I was asked to speak to a group of 11 year old boys, under a special program to develop them into 'gentlemen'. They were carefully selected from the boondocks within the NCER and placed in top schools within Taiping. It is a pilot project where the first intake of 60 boys were admitted recently and the orientation program started pre-2009 school.

Right: The NCER boys

Left: Akram in action

The road trip was done with my good friend, Akramsyah Sanusi. We made stopovers at Kampar and Kuala Kangsar. We also hooked up with friends in Taiping. The journey all the way up and down the North South Highway was through bad, moonsoon weather.

Right: Provisions for school being systematically prepared by the NCIA officials, minus one day.

Seeing for myself how these kids are being cared for and managed is a new experience. Never before that a boarding school system in the country emphasized on total development. The attention and provisions made per capita on these boys really intrigued me. They are being exposed to almost anything a 12 year old should be exposed to.

Left: Interacting and getting first hand tips

It resembles a typical British public school system, minus the pompous attitude and snobbishness. However, this one is tailored for boys from marginally depressed areas and background. The challenge, is herculean. This something the program managers ambitiously trying to develop, prove and eventually, replicate.

Right: Giving a lecture on a typical intercontinental airliner; to give an interest on engineering for these boys

I must say, these are a bunch of promising asset for the country. They are equally inquisitive, as much as they are being who they are meant to be; eleven year olds. They are as playful and high spirited for knowledge. Of course, being boys, they are very competitive amongst themselves.

Left: The boys showing their appreciation at the end of the program

As expected, they are very responsive to things thrown at and against them. At the tender age of less than eleven years old, they inadvertently accepted challenges with confidence and zest.

Right: The boys over powering me....

I am glad I was given the opportunity to nurture these boys, with the enrichment of experience and knowledge. Of course, they are not shy to express themselves otherwise.

It was a fun afternoon indeed with these boys....

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Celebrating the coming of Hijrah year in Masjid Sultan

The Awal Muharram is a celebration of the coming of the new Hijrah year, in Islamic calender. It was an auspicious ocassion amongst Muslims as they pray for forgiveness at the eve of one Hijrah year and pray for wellness, when the new Hijrah year starts.

Right: Outside the east entrance of the Mosque

(By the way, the Muslim calculate the dawn of a new day from when the sunset).

Left: At the beginning of the Maghrib prayers

I was lucky to have celebrated this moment, at the infamous Masjid Sultan, North Bridge Rd., Singapore. It is by farthe most iconic symbol of Islam presence and practices in Singapore.

Right: Post Maghrib new year doa

The number of worshipers gathered in the mosque for this special doa recital actually surprised me. The congregation was like a mini Jumaat prayers.

It was a very refreshing experience indeed.