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....