Thursday, January 31, 2008

Being 'Muhibbah' tagged, by Kerp Da Wheeler

I was tagged by Danny @ Kerp Da Wheeler, for an article "Muhibbah", which was first posted by blogger A Voice of Another Brick in the World.

Okay, so here is my take, for 'Muhibbah'. I shall paint a story about how 'Muhibbah' affected my life.

I was delivered into this world through C-section by Dr. Ronald S. McCoy, to a civil servant couple. When I was a young boy, my parents took me to a paediatrician by the name of Dr. Gwendolyn Smith. Otherwise, my regular GP is Dr. David S. Mutthu and Dr. P. Cumarasamy. Once a while, my parents would take me to see Dr. S. Rajadurai. When I had my surgeries over twenty years ago, my surgeons were Dr. A. Sabapathy and Dato' Mr. S. Sreenivasen.

During the 13th May 1969 race riot, a good neighbour in front of our home, the late Mr. Charles Lee, watched over us as my father was somewhere in Pahang, enroute to Kelantan that fateful evening. He was very worried for my mother, who was 8 month pregnant then.

The only two male teachers I had as class teachers during my primary school was Mr. Robert Yong and Mr. Ong Beng Jin. Mr. Ong was a fierce man and I could not actually recall how many times I was slapped by him, let alone made to stand on the chair or outside the class. Conveniently, he was the school discipline master!

I hung around guys like Azlan Ramli, Rosihan Adi Baharuddin, Auslan Kardin, Tengku Sharafuddin, Mukhriz Fadzil, Khoo Cheng Leng, Mui Kok Peng, Ivan Yeoh, Raymond Tan (and his sister, Samantha Tan), Melvin F. Xavier and Gary Thanabalan, whilst in Sekolah Sri Petaling. In the evenings, I would play with Roger Tan and Yue Chee Kin. Of course there were the Megat and Yusof brothers and Fateh Iskandar (now Dato' FD Iskandar, Exec Director of Glomac Bhd.) and later his koleq buddy, Ahlan Nasri Nasir.

Like most of us 5A holders in the late seventies, we enrolled in boarding schools. Azlan Ramli, Rosihan Adi, Auslan Kardin, Faiz Ali, Azlin Azraii and seven others went to MCKK and Khoo Cheng Leng and Tunku Sharafuddin was trained in RMC. Another bunch enrolled in MRSMs. I went to a boarding school, it was meant for the under developed Malays from the rural areas, along with Kamaluddin Madros, Badrulhisham Muda, Ahmad Irfan, Faisal Azamuddin, Azhar Nordin and Azlina Ramli. However, the guy next to my bed for three whole years is a chap from Kampar by the name of Ng Chee Hong, who is also my Form 4 and 5 classmate. My best buddy in school is a guys of Pakistani descent. He was denied a place to do pre-medicine matriculation by MARA post-SPM because MARA did not consider him as a "Malay". Eventually, he entered UM's Medical School after obtaining good grades at STPM.

The principal of the boarding school, En. Abdul Hamid Zamburi was a typical Malay nationalist. He wanted us to understand the meaning of 'nation building'. I was fortunate enough to be admitted as an 'anak angkat' by a Felda settler, Pak Marsimon B. Sajam of Felda Sri Ledang, near Jementah, Segamat for two and half weeks, after my SRP. There I learned the life of being settler. My third form history teacher instilled my first interests in politics. He taught us the political gistory and relate it to the April 1982 General Elections (my first observation of the process of democracy, Malaysian style). I have been observing politics, ever since.

When I enrolled into my boarding school in Kuantan, 6 January 1980, my Principal is a man called Khoo Khiok Boon, even though the school is under an agency specially enacted by Parliament to the develop the Bumiputras. I had American Lester Terrence "Terry" Stretch III, English lady Susan "Puan Mariam Abdullah" (can't remember her last name) and Aussie Nikki Renshaw, as secondary English teachers. My first mathematics master is Mr. Ho Liang Koo. Then it was Mr. Khoo Soo Lee, who made additional mathematics just like "A stroll in the park". Mr. Ho taught me again in lower six and then it was Mr. Peter Croome. My economics master then was Eric Bowring. He taught me rugby. A Welshman, Mostyn Davies taught me law. I will always remember him because he always smell like whiskey, even first thing in the morning! The most memorable character of all during my sixth form was Vice Principal Matthias Franscisco De Menezes. He picked on me ever so often, whilst letting other guys get away and one day I revolted. In hindsight, I am so grateful to him! (For making a lot of fuss, thus instill some discipline into me)

My former physician is Dato' Dr. Joseph Ong. He is 'Baba' and speaks Melayu very well (with a full Southern accent). Dato' Dr. Menon was my wife's obstetrician and he delivered my daughter, 11 and half years ago. Her paediatrician is Dr. Lim Suan Tee. Three months later, my wife underwent a gallstone surgery and Mr. Liew Fah Kong performed the task. Her radiologist was Dr. Mukherjee. When I started going to Damansara Specialist Hospital in the late 90s, I saw Dr. Mahendran.

I live in a Chinese majority neighbourhood, where 90% of the homes in my street are of Chinese ethnic origin. My immediate next door neighbour is a Chinese Dato' from Johor and conveniently give me durians, few times in a year despite that I hate the smell of durian. Anyhow, I don't have the heart to reject his kindness or neither tell him "But Dato', actually I don't eat durian".

My father, for many years, was the Resident Association President (after a longtime President Petaling Jaya councilman Mr Yue Saw Him passed away to cancer in 2002), even though 85% of the members are of Chinese ethnic origin. They give him full support and also promote neighbourly activities. My father's committee members include Toi See Yan (who is also his Company Secretary), Rajes Patel (his lawyer) and Peter Chin (who is also his stockbroker) and they are always around the house, with his financial adviser, Thien Tuck Meng. Another good neighbour is Supt (Rtd) Blossom Wong. Another good neighbour down the street is Phang Ah Tong, a true-blue MIDA man.

In the nineties, my best friend is a guy name Eugene Chua. We have lunch almost everyday in the week (except weekends) and our favourite treat for lunch is either Kai Fan, Char Kuey Teow or when we have a little extra time (and of course, money), buffet Dim Sum either in Shah Alam or Kuala Lumpur City Centre. He even drove all the way down to Johor Bahru for my nikah and joined me in a short 'post nikah honeymoon' in Singapore there after (separate rooms, of course!). He moved away and now we don't hang out that much.

I even had a Cantonese name then. All my staff were of Chinese ethic origin and they call me "Feh Chai", till present day.

Once, in a phoneshop while waiting to be served, I looked around at some of phones on display, with Eugene. The shopkeeper wass serving a customer. Suddenly, a Malay delivery boy stormed in, scanned around, stepped up to me and coyly ask, "Mr. Balbir?"

"Do I look like Mr. Balbir to you?????"

Until today, Eugene calls me that!

At home, I tease my family, a little too much. I call the missus "Linda Lum" and my daughter "Tan Ai Sha", or worse still, "Aishi Sikunitsu". And in retaliation, they'd annoyingly call me back, "Mr. Balbir"!

Two of my best buddies during my ACCA days are Baldev Singh and Sudhev. I lived with a Kadazan lass, Maria Marcella Kimin for two years and later, her sister Juliana (I have forgotten her middle name!) Kimin joined us. The three of us us, Malay boys called Maria "Mom" because she takes good care of us and kept the household spotless clean.

From left: Linda Lum, Aishi Sikunitsu, Rubina Gimbad and Maria "Mommy" Kimin-Gimbad

Maria's boyfriend, Charles Gimbad, who was at the other side of the Atlantic, makes a point to visit her and we hung out. Nowadays, Sabah had been our annual holiday calender and we see them once a year.

One of my closest expatriate friend is a Derby bloke by the name of David Armstrong Jones, who was the Director for Rolls Royce. David made a point to speak Malay, ever so often. Another is my MBA mate, Paul F. Gorter. Paul is a Bostonian native and like David, he too speak Malay. I worked in a teaching hospital project once with a true-blue 'EU' guy, Paul Ravelli. Paul is British national, Scottish born to an Italian ethnic parents, worked for a French company and live in Lisbon!

When I did my MBA (I refused to do my MBA in public universities, especially in ITM, because I would imagine ALL my coursemates would be only Malays) in a private college, almost all my coursemates are of Chinese ethnic origin, with the exception of Paul and two guys from India, Madhu Bharat and Sandeep Nath. There is also a Kelabit, Bojeng Bari, who is a Sarawak native and now makes Klang Valley as his permanent home. For three and half years, 3-4 times a week I would hang around with these guys, but never without Ching Chee Kong, Ho Yoke Ming, Daniel Chan, Nicholas Chee and Barney Wong; discussing, arguing, brainstorming, researching, re-editing course works, eating, teh tariking and last but not least, Happy Hour-ing!

(There was one guy, Gan, a lecturer in TAR College. He was more of a 'lone ranger' and usually avoided hanging out with the rest of us, There is this other member of our gang, whose name eludes me at the moment).

Unfortunately, there was no ladies in our MBA, in the whole three bloody years! Our supervisor in an engineer-turned-process developer Mah Kong Howe, who is still a good friend. Being a Pudu born and bred and later went to Australia (and got hooked on refereeing Cricket!), he once shared his experience during the wedding at his wife's place in Kelantan, where almost all the guests were local Malays and they served nasi minyak instead of the usual Chinese food for the feast. Of course, everyone is the wife's family had Malay names. It was a shock for him!

Of course, I have an array of other good friends, most of them from the print media industry and most of them I made friends with, at the National Press Club. All are journalist, except lawyer Wee Choo Keong. Wee was the DAP MP for Bukit Bintang. One of them, Star political associate-editor Joceline Tan visited me while I had my surgery. So did my blogger friends, Bernard Khoo, Tony Yew, Captain Yusof Ahmad, Ahiruddin "Rocky" Attan, Nuraina Samad and the guys from

Our green grocer is a guy called Gan, who can read 'jawi' (many Malays nowadays are 'jawi' illiterate!). Our daily 'roti-man' is an Indian chap by the name of Sickander. My personal pharmacist is a sweet lady called Miss Chan. My daughter's GP-cum-paediatrician is Dr. Chan Wai Yue. My car mechanic is Kolo Chan and I go to Sunny Tan, to get my tires fixed.

Nowadays, my physicians are Dr. Zainuddin Md. Zin and Dr. Daud Sulaiman. My gastric by-pass surgeon is Dato' Dr. Haron Ahmad and when he cut me up recently, Dato Dr. Wan Nik Ahmad Mustapha and Dr. Ibtisam Ibrahim knocked me out and managed my breathing. Two days after surgery, Dr. Norhayati Mokhti x-rayed my intestine and consulted gastroenterologist Dr. Mohd. Nazim Mohamed Salleh, to ensure the surgery was successful. I also see Dato' Dr. Khalid Kadir, the eminent endocrinologist. My daughter's paediatrician is Dato' Dr. Azizee Omar and six years ago, Mr. Abdul Razak Mohamad performed appendectomy on her. My wife see Mr. Rozman Md. Idrus for her back. My father's cardiothoracic surgeons are Tan Sri Mr. Yahya Awang and Dr. Syed Mohamed Adeeb.

Now, it seemed that things have changed, over forty years.

I hope, I have fulfilled Kerp's expectations of defining my life, as 'Muhibbah' as it can get. Now I would like to tag Mob's Crib, Rikey Wattahack and Anuradha @ Galadriel.

P/S My first girlfriend was a Chinese girl from Jalan Khalidi, Muo!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Kuya's wedding

This evening, I was invited to my good friend's sister's wedding. Tunku Azela "Kuya" Tunku Aziz, ended her single days by marrying Ruzaimi Sany, a bloke whom she met at an Uno club. It was held at Palace of the Golden Horses, Mines Resort City, Seri Kembangan, Selangor.

Its wonderful she is finally settled down. I have had the privilege to watch her grow from being a teenager in CBN, studying electrical engineering in Imperial College, London (when she, Badak, cousin Helmi talib and some other friends were living at Willesden Green), her days in Maxis and selling unit trusts, her humanitarian work in Mercy Malaysia and Yayasan Salam, and today, to a very fine lady as she is.

Left: Kuya at our table

I was cordially and conveniently invited by Kuya via her Facebook message. When I called Badak about it, he said it was a 'Baju Melayu' affair. Hence, how I was dressed Vs everyone else (mostly in Batik).

I rushed to pick Kenit up from her piano class in Phileo Damansara at 6.00pm to be at Seri Kembangan, by 6.30pm, as what the invitation stated. When we arrived at 6.45pm, the dinner will not start till about 2hours later and we loitered at the garden, where the "Garden Party" will be held, whilst cocktail were served.

At 7.30pm, it started raining. It was a heavy sudden downpour as it was very warm and sunny when we arrived. We saw the hotel staff, which include the Chefs, frantically tried to move to dinner party indoors. However, they were not wholesomely successful.

Right: Hotel workers franctically moving the dinner party under shades> Not the chefs also lend a helping hand

I was really sorry for Uncle Aziz and Aunty Fauziah, for this. The dismay was clearly portrayed on Tunku Azlan "Pokku @ Badak" Aziz's face.

So there was a bit of pandemonium to get the 'Plan B' of wedding started and follow through, though they don't actually have a 'Plan B' to start with. Finally, by 9.14pm, all guests present were managed to be seated and the regalia of the dinner begins.

It turned out alright, after all.

Later, as scheduled, my longtime buddy Tunku Azlan "Pokku @ Badak" Aziz gave a speech, on behalf of the family. He was being his usual self. He described his only sister, precisely and drew a lot of laughter.

Left: My friend, Ku Lan

"She studied electrical engineering in Imperial College but can't even change a plug!".

He bluntly explained his sister, within a short five minutes, which basically paint almost the whole picture of Kuya, as I personally known her all these years. It is very clear that he is very glad that Kuya finally settled down.

Kuya's wedding provided me opportunity to meet old chums, some whom I have not met in years. This include Azlina Sheikh Khalid, Maznita Mokhtar and hubby Kam and Hizmi and his missus. Also Kuya's and Badak's cousins Adnan and Ku Zai and their spouses, Nini and Suzanna.

Right: Kuya with Lina Sheikh Khalid and Girl-Girl

I am glad the wedding dinner turned out alright after all, despite the proximity of near absolute disaster. At 800pm, in the midst of heavy torrential downpour, I was personally too afraid to imagine how Kuya must have felt. God willing, Kuya, in her beautiful wedding frock and do, had her beautiful most important evening of her life, despite there was no bersanding.

This evening, the 'Princess' became the 'Queen'.

I hope Kuya and Sany, will have happiness and joy, ever after. Congratulations, "Aunty Princess" (as my daughter calls her, when she was four!)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I attended Tun Dr. Mahathir officiating "The Loaf"

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad officially launched his gourmet bakery and pastry restaurant, The Loaf, at The Pavilion in Jalan Bukit Bintang, this afternoon.

Left: The Loaf, from Jalan Bukit Bintang

Right: Tun Dr. Mahathir releasing the balloons upon alighting from the car, marking the launch

The restaurant, is operated under M & M Consolidated Resources Sdn. Bhd., was a venture with the son of a long time Japanese friend. He was inspired to open this bakery as he was fond of gourmet Japanese breads and pastries, whilst on visits to Japan, since 25 years ago. Since there was no such product nor restaurant here, he took the opportunity after retired from Government.

The first restaurant was opened at the foot of Gunung Mat Cincang in Langkawi and this one, commenced operations on 2 October 2007. his partner and long time friend, Jiro Suzuki will run the business. They expect to open more outlets, which include Singapore.

Left: Tun Dr. Mahathir giving his speech

During the media conference, Jiro said the investment for this was RM 3 million and they expected to recover the investment just after a year. They also anticipated that the outlet can bring in RM 1 million a month sales.

Right: Datin Norzieta Zakaria (wife of Dato' Mukhriz) in forefront where else Dato' Mohamed Abid (Dato' Mokhzani's father in law), Datin Mastissa Mohamed (Dato' Mokhzani's wife), Dato' Khalid and Dato' Siti Nurhaliza in the back

Left: An interesting 'decor', made from bread, at the entrance of the restaurant

Many of his old friends were there, which include former Transport Minister Tun Ling Liong Sik, former Chief Secretary to the Government and EPF Chairman Tan Sri Halim Ali, Emkay Chairman Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal, Naza Motor Chairman Tan Sri Sheikh Nasimuddin SM Amin, The Pavillion Chairman Tan Sri Ismail Aziz, Berjaya Chairman Tan Sri Vincent Tan, Ekran Chairman Tan Sri Ting Pek Khiing, Country Heights Chairman Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew and wife of former Finance Minister, Toh Puan Mahani Idris-Daim. Celebrities like Dato' Khalid Mohd. Jiwa and songstress Dato' Siti Nurhaliza were present too, seen socialising along with Tun 's children and one of his in laws.

Left: Salahuddin enjoying a light moment with Dato' Kadir

Some of the familiar faces, include former NST Group Editor Dato' A. Kadir Jasin and my good friend, Salahuddin Hj. Hisham were present to celebrate this joyous gastronomic occasion.

Right: Salahuddin chatting up some of the known bloggers

So were some of the usual blogger friends like Rocky, Nuraina Samad, Jeff Ooi and Soon Li Tsin. Of course Rantings-by-MM blogger, Dato' Marina Mahathir, who were there with her husband Tara and daughter, Ineza.

Left: Rocky struck a very interesting pose, during the PC

Tun Dr. Mahathir's staff from Perdana Leadership Foundation were there, too.

Right: Tun Dr. Mahathir's private secretaries Sufi and Azlin, who were present to ensure the event when smoothly

I would personally recommend the signature bread, 'Compagne Fromage' and the chocolate mouse tart for the take-aways and if you decide to sit in for a meal and enjoy the ambience on the Level VI, the carbonara spaghetti or smoke salmon sandwich is the thing to go for. They say the lamb sandwich is rather good too!

We wish success on The Loaf. Personally, I would like to see more on the menu offered.

*An update, as of 3.30am, Wednesday 23 January 2008. Photo-journo-blogger Jinggo just send me this one, via e mail.

Two months after the surgery

Today is exactly two months after Abah's CABG surgery (19 November 2007). So he had his appointment to see cardiothoracic surgeon Tan Sri Mr. Yahya Awang, at his clinic. However, before the consultation, Abah was required to do a blood test. So he was at the Damansara Sepcialist Hospital by 7.30am.

Then he had some breakfast. By 9.00am, we were already waiting for the eminent cardiothoracic surgeon at his office.

Tan Sri Mr. Yahya was not really his usual self, this morning. He was gleaming with glee, since the past week, he has been going through the mixture of joy and stress, of having his first-born getting married. However, after some small chat to break the ice for the morning, it was business as usual again.

He was happy with my father's progress, especially the 'stormy' endeavour.

After done with Tan Sri Mr. Yahya, we went down to Dr. Mohd. Daud Sulaiman's office, to see him next. He was thoroughly happy with Abah's progress.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A wedding night of pomp and pageantry

Last night, I was fortunate enough to be invited to Dr. Zakry Onn Yahya's wedding dinner to Dr. Natasha Ayla Ahmad Zulkiflee. It was held at The Shangrilla Ballroom. The parents of the groom, eminent cardiothoracic surgeon Tan Sri Mr. Yahya Awang and eminent dermatologist Puan Sri Datuk Dr. Suraya Hani Hussein, held the wedding in grandeur, utmost elegance and majestic celebrations.

The guest of honour was Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak and wife. Other guests of honour were former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Education Minister Dato' Seri Hishamuddin Hussein, former First Ladies Tun Suhailah Mohamed Noah and Tun Rahah Mohamed Noah and former Chief of Defense Forces Tan Sri Ghazali Mohd. Seth. (Dato' Seri Najib is Puan Sri's cousin, Dato' Seri Hishamuddin is Puan Sri's younger brother, Tun Suhailah is Puan Sri's mother, Tun Rahah and wife of Tan Sri Ghazali's wife are Puan Sri's aunties). Of course, the bride's parents, Dr. Ahmad Zulkiflee Laidin and missus.

Other dignitaries include Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former Penang Chief Minister Tun Lim Chong Eu, former Cabinet Minister Tun Omar Yoke Lin Ong and several Cabinet Ministers, which include Foreign Minister Dato' Seri Syed Hamid Al Bar.

There were an array of medical "who's-who" practitioners in town and Puan Sri's eminent professor of dermatology, Professor Dr. Matthew Greeves, who flew in from London. The usual consultants of Damansara Specialists Hospital were there; Dato' Dr. Azizi Omar, Dato' Dr. V. Kathiresan, Dato' Dr. Haron Ahmad, Dr. Syed Mohamed Adib, Dr. Zainuddin Md. Zin, Dr. Mohd. Daud Sulaiman, Dr. M. Tamil Selvan, Dr. Song and Dr. Mohamed Nazim Dato' Mohamed Salleh.

I was there with the missus. So were the other guests.

It was a beautiful traditional Johorean wedding. Puan Sri outdone herself. It shows that she immense effort and attention for the wedding. The theme was "Malay traditional". There were frsh flowers but the first time that I saw in a wedding of this magnitude, local flowers indigenous to these waters were used like heliconias, instead of the expected roses, carnations, chrysanthemums and tulips.

The organisation and timing was excellent. So many people were involved in systematically seating the guests. It shows that they have planned and well rehearsed for the event.

I particularly like the speeches. During dinner, the groom's younger brother and cousin, who is also the groom's best friend, entertained us with their witty speeches. Then, after dinner was the host's turn. Tan Sri Mr. Yahya was rather light, but comprehensive in his speech. The biggest surprise was at end of the evening, where the bride rendered a beautiful song, almost professionally presented.

When its time to leave, we were lucky to go off early, right after the VIPs left. It was because our table is right next to the door!

In short, it was the most beautiful wedding I ever attended.

Congratulations, Dr. Zakry and Dr. Natasha

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Outing on the evening before school re-opens, 2008

We did some chores for the day. I took the family to sort out some error at the Land Office. Then we did some banking and later we took my mother's maid to the doctors. She has been ill since four days ago.

Linda was on leave, as she wanted to spent time with Aishah, since most of us spent the bigger part of the past two months taking care of Abah. We had to treat Aishah for something nice, since it wasn't an enjoyable school holidays for her.

Left: The "Eye of Malaysia"

Then after the rainstorm subsided, we went to Kuala Lumpur for an evening outing, to celebrate the end of the school holidays, as school officially starts tomorrow. So I took them to the "Eye of Malaysia". Traffic was amazingly thin, at 6.00pm all the way to the city.

Right: Waiting for our turn on the 'big wheel'

When we arrived at Tasik Titiwangsa Park, there were hardly any people there. Its easy to get a carpark and there was no queue to get onto the ride. The ride cost RM 15.00 for adults and RM 8.00 for kids.

Left: On the ride, as the sun comes down, to an amazing sight

It was an amazing experience indeed. The only set back that it was rainy, so the clouds were thick and the screen was watery. Thus, the scene is not that good.

Right: The nice view of the plaza leading towards the pier when the 'big wheel' sits.

Otherwise, it is definitely a must-see attraction for Kuala Lumpur. If I am not mistaken, the "Eye of Malaysia" at Tasik Titiwangsa Park will end on Independence day, 2008. The movement is rather gentle, although the gondola does swing when the wheel turns. So if you are not heart-faint, bring the kids and old folks too.

Left: After the ride

Then, immediately after, we went dinner-hunting. After a short consultation and negotiations, we headed towards The Pavillion, for some pasta at The Loaf. Again the traffic was very light (so unlike a rainy first day of work, after a long holiday).

Right: Queueing for some bread

When we got to the gourmet bakery-restaurant, we were informed that there were no ala carte menu and there's only a set dinner menu. The festivities season was the reason given. So we decided to get some treats from the bakery and went dinner-hunting again, at the food court in the basement.

Left: A 'surprise' shot, whilst at the cashier

We went into Tony Roma's (I was dying for the renowed ribs!). Unfortunately, after grazing through the menu, there wasn't anything that Aishah would have enjoyed. So we went out around the food court again, dinner-hunting.

Right: Sweet for a sweet; scoffing down dessert, after a good meal

We finally settled at a Japanese restaurant, Ichiban Boshi, that specialized in soba. I had it with, along with some shashimis. Linda had the tempura, whilst Aishah had the chicken katsu with rice.

When we got home, we had another pleasant surprise. The signature pastry, "Campagne fromage" is really good!

It was a good evening indeed.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Good bye 2007 and welcome, 2008!


2007 was a memorable year. I could say, its a historical year for me too.

I volunteered for the Perdana Global Peace Forum III this year. I started to blog this year. I shot some questions during several PCs, when was stated in the mainstream media the next day, this year. Being a member of the ruling party, articles that I wrote were uploaded into Oppositions' 'official' websites and blogs, this year. I underwent a gastric by-pass bariatric surgery this year. I lost a record weight loss within a short span of time. An article in my blog was translated to French and uploaded in a French Navy website, this year. I was introduced to the eminent cardiothoracic surgeon Tan Sri Mr. Yahya Awang this year. Abah underwent cardiac arterial by-pass graft surgery, this year.

At the end of 2007, I decided to do a barbecue dinner for Abah (since he asked for lambchops whilst in hospital). I thought that if I had bought him some, it would have been cold and hardened, by time it got to him. That would not be too nice.

Whilst shopping for Aishah's stuff in Jaya Jusco (just before school opened) yesterday afternoon, I decided to go to the Jusco supermarket and get some stuff for the barbecue like steaks, lambchops, salmon and cod steaks, some prawns, garlic butter and a french loaf from the Delifrance across.

When I got home at 5.30pm, I started to defrost and marinate the meats. As soon as I am done, my aunty from Johor Bahru popped by, to visit my father. She and her family just came back from Gold Coast, Australia. She left the day my father went for the debridement surgery.

When I started the fire on the grill at 7.00pm, Abah had asked her to stick around for dinner. By 7.30pm, I started to cook. At just after eight, they started to eat.

Left: Enjoying dessert after a barbecue meal

I am glad they enjoyed it (although I thought I did not have enough to feast 10-11 adults) as I bought just enough meats for 5-6 diners (I made a mistake as two birds of chicken was 'accidently' left at the Jusco butcher when I had them cut and conveniently forgot about them, when I went looking for garlic butters and ice cream!).

Right: From left, Aishah, Nadene and Tanya

At almost nine, my cousin popped by with his girlfriend Nadene Osman and her friend, Tanya, on the way to Dataran Merdeka for the New Year Countdown. He was supposed to be here by 8.15pm, latest. But then again, there was this really horrible traffic on the roads in-and-out from Mutiara Damansara-Bandar Utama-Taman Tun Dr. Ismail area. Shopping malls 1 Utama and The Curve will fire up some very nice fireworks for the celebrations. There's also concerts held in these malls.

Left: My 'cheeky' cousin, Nazree Ismail (the owner of the 'famous silver BMW'!). Again, I reminded him of the 'year'!

At 9.30pm, I had to send my aunty, uncle and their daughter to their home in Mutiara Damansara as their friend Datin Hawa Mohd. Yassin is coming over. So it was a good 45 minute ride, via NKVE (exit at Kota Damansara and slowly crawl to Mutiara Damansara), of a journey which usually take 6 minutes, tops!

I only reached home at 11.15 pm and showered (I smell like chargrilled-smokey lambchops!).

So, to everyone who has been following this blog, may 2008 be a very good year for all of us.