Saturday, August 30, 2008


Selamat Menyambut Ulangtahun Kemerdekaan yang ke-51 kepada semua warga Malaysia!

I am so proud to be Malaysian (^_^)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

To be a True Malaysian

What does it take to be a true Malaysian?

The events of the past few months in the political arena in Malaysia have prompted me to ask this question over and over again. 

Being a lawyer by profession, my first instinct would be to go back to basics and submit that the Federal Constitution provides a clear definition of Citizenship under Article 14 which states that "every person born before Malaysia Day (16/9/1963) who is a citizen of the Federation by virtue of the provisions contained in Part I of the Second Schedule; and every person born after Malaysia Day and having any qualifications specified in Part II of the Second Schedule" are citizens of Malaysia. So, after 16/9/1963, you just need to be born in Malaysia and comply with the qualifications as specified to be a citizen of Malaysia. 

But this is merely a provision of the law. The real question is: What does it take to be a true Malaysian, in your mind, heart and spirit?

Do you have to be Malay by birth to be a true Malaysian? Can't the Chinese or Indian or Iban by birth be a true Malaysian? Do you have to be Muslim to be a true Malaysian? Do you have to be living and working in Malaysia to be a true Malaysian? Do you have to be a government servant to be a true Malaysian? Do you have to fight for Malaysia in a war to be a true Malaysian? What do you need to contribute to be a true Malaysian?

What about someone who has a Malay father and a Chinese mother? Are they less Malaysian than someone who has both parents who are Malays? What about the person who is born a Malay, educated in England his whole life and decides to work in England and only come back to Malaysia on special occasions? Is he still more Malaysian than his Chinese kampung friend who lives in Malaysia all his life and never went out of the country a day of his life? 

It is inevitable that every time the issue of the rights of a Malaysian is raised, it becomes a racial issue. Are you Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan or Iban? It seems that your right as a Malaysian differs in accordance with your race, contrary to the expressed provision of Article 8 of the Federal Constitution on Equality which clearly states that "there shall be no discrimination against citizens on the ground only of religion, race, descent or place of birth in any law or in the appointment to any office or employment under a public authority or in the administration of any law relating to the acquisition, holding or disposition of property or the establishing pr carrying on of any trade, business, profession, vocation or employment."

For Malays like myself, could it be that we have been so indoctrinated by the fact that we were the original owner of the Tanah Melayu that we see ourselves as being more Malaysian than the other races? But most of the people from other races have been here for 3 or 4 generations or even more. Some of their ancestors had made Tanah Melayu their home since the 1400s. Today's generation have only Malaysia to call their home. Are they not as Malaysian as the Malays?

I was born and bred in Malaysia. My whole family is living in Malaysia. I am building my life with my beloved in Malaysia. We raise our children in Malaysia. We do travel abroad once in a while but it never crossed our minds to ever leave Malaysia and live elsewhere. Our future is in Malaysia. Malaysia is our home. We love our country. 

And I believe the same feeling is shared by many other Malaysians, regardless of race or religion. I believe the time has come for the Malays to face to the fact that Malaysia is made out of people from different races, religions and cultures. We have to embrace the fact that the place we call home must be shared with others who love this country just as much as we do. We are all Malaysians.

I will end by sharing with you what, to me, was the most compelling image of the Beijing Olympics 2008: In the Badminton Men's semi-finals, after an exciting match and a tremendous fight, Lee Chong Wei won over the Korean player. As soon as he won, he kissed the Malaysian flag embroidered on his jersey twice. Then, he immediately rushed to his coach Misbun Sidek & embraced him, like a son to his father. Misbun literally carried Chong Wei. When I saw this on TV, tears welled in my eyes. This is what being a Malaysian is all about; and it transcends race and religion. 

Negaraku. Tanah tumpahnya darahku.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Atuk Aji

My grandfather passed away this morning. He would have turned 86 on Sunday. But it wasn't meant to be. 

I want to remember Atuk Aji as he was, before he fell ill more than a year ago and became bedridden. 

Atuk was in the police force when I was a child. I remember staying over at Atuk's home in the police barracks during school holidays, in Machap and then later at the Bandar Hilir flats. His flat was only on the 1st floor but as a child in mid 1970s, I was so scared of falling off! I remember once Mak fainted at Atuk's flat after eating some tapai & Nenek was frantic. I must have been only 7 at that time but somehow I can remember the incident vividly. Anyway, going to Atuk & Nenek's house was always a treat as Nenek would fuss over us & cook only our favourite dishes & Atuk would buy us sweets.

Atuk was a jovial man. He laughed heartily even at his own jokes! He was diplomatic. He was always smartly dressed. Atuk was so proud of being a policeman that even years after his retirement, he still wore his PDRM belt all the time. I was so proud of him that when I was in standard 1 & 2 at primary school, my ambition was to be a policewoman. Seriously. He had that much impact on me when I was a little girl.

But as I grew older, I spent less and less time with Atuk. I just wish that I had spent more time with him in the last few years. Atuk wasn't happy after Nenek passed away 2 years ago. He stopped watching TV (his favourite past time) and he laughed less. I feel that he didn't have the will to live in the past 2 years. This was the reason why I didn't have the heart to visit him too often as I felt so sad every time I saw him. 

I will keep my last memory of Atuk when we visited him on Sunday evening: after the young doctor checked on him & was walking out the door, Atuk called out to him & said: "Doctor. Terima kasih ya doctor. Terima kasih." The young houseman was so flustered and looked genuinely happy.

That's Atuk Aji, always so diplomatic, so thankful.

Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmat ke atas roh datuk ku & menempatkan rohnya di kalangan roh orang-orang yang soleh.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The week that was

Too many things happened last week that I couldn't find the time to update my blog. Here's an abbreviated re-cap:-

Monday - Renovation started at our new office in MITC, Ayer Keroh.
Tuesday - Long marathon meeting at the State Legal Advisor's office. 
Wednesday - Became a witness in a case in High Court for the 1st time ever in my 15 years of practice (went better than expected).
Thursday - Finally finished the Agreement which I have been putting on hold (it's more than 80 pages long).
Friday - Went back to Raub for the weekend (Adlan & Hakim helped Zaharim with the rambutan tree & cleaning up the garden. Adlina & Anas spent most of their time with Mak's persian cats. Mama, being allergic to cats, had a blocked nose & terrible sneezing throughout the weekend!)
Saturday - Attended a wedding in Raub, complete with a live kugiran (kampung band) entertaining the guests! Had more fun than we thought (^_^)
Sunday - Came back to Melaka. Visited my Atuk at the hospital. Someone banged into our car on the way back from the hospital :-( teruk betul.. I will be car-less until Friday (ho-hum...)

Have so much to say on the Olympics & what I personally think it means to us Malaysians. About Permatang Pauh & the media in Malaysia. About the fuel price reduction..

But all that will have to wait until I have more time later this week...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Kota Kinabalu

A quaint little town by the sea - that's Kota Kinabalu.

Just came back from a short trip to KK with Zaharim. It was my first time in East Malaysia & how I wish we had stayed longer. 

KK town is quiet and unassuming. No one seems to be in a hurry. Very laid back, with drivers driving their cars well within the speed limit. No traffic jams. No blaring horns. No stress. What a perfect place to wind down!

Fortunately, from where we stayed, all the places we wanted to go to in town was within easy walking distance. Across the small road is the Waterfront with a boardwalk lined with restaurants. Next to it is the Fruit market which transforms into a night market in the evening, selling hundreds of local produce & seashells of every size. 
The Philippine Market adjacent to it is filled with little stalls offering every souvenir imaginable from pearl bracelets and crystal brooches to batik sarongs and beaded bags. Most things were unbelievably cheap bearing in mind the work that went into the crafts.

 Imperial Hotel is well placed. It is built within the Warisan Square Shopping Mall which means that we just needed to walk downstairs to Starbucks, Secret Recipe & Times Bookstore. We spent some time at the Big Apple for donut & peppermint tea too :-) Coffee Bean is just across the street. There is a pasar malam on the sidewalk in front of Times Bookstore in the evening selling all sorts of interesting things (including rabbits & hamsters!). 

On Friday, we took a boat from Jesselton Point to Manukan Island. This is a perfect one day excursion & a must-do when in KK. It's a short 20-minute boat ride. The island is so beautiful and very well maintained. Clean white beaches and crystal clear water. 
 Even at the small jetty we could see hundreds of colourful fish waiting for food to be thrown in! We then went snorkeling  for the very first time ever. What an amazing experience, swimming with schools of fish of every size & colour. We saw sea cucumbers & a fish camouflaging inside a coral. It was great!

We soon realize that there were many tourists from both East & West. Europeans, Australians, Japanese & Koreans mainly. Most of them carrying their own Lonely Planet guidebook or information printed from the internet. There were not enough tourist information brochures in the Hotel nor anywhere else which was unfortunate.

There are more than 60 different ethnic tribes or bumiputra in Sabah, each having their own language. I never knew this until we went to the Museum. The State of Sabah is just so vast! The people of Sabah that we met during our trip were kind. Even the cab drivers (who were driving cabs without any meters, all smartly wearing uniforms) charged reasonable fees. It's quite refreshing. Another feature of KK which must be mentioned is the kampung air: wooden stilt houses built on the water along the coast of both the mainland & Gaya island. Most of these villages are quite extensive, built by squatters illegally. We could even see a wooden surau with a small dome built within the village. It's quite amazing.

We couldn't make the trip to Mount Kinabalu as we needed a full day to do that. Must do that for our next trip to KK & must bring the kids along to experience nature at its best. 

(^_^) Kota Kinabalu, we'll be back!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

An Awesome Birthday Party

Happy 1st Birthday to my cousin Nora's lovely twins: Suhail & Aisha who just turned 1!! We were invited to their Birthday party yesterday & our kids had the BEST Birthday Party ever!

There were clowns (not the scary-looking ones with the red nose but young cool dudes with oversized shades giving out little balloons in shapes of animals & flowers), Great party packs

(Adlina got a Hello Kitty party pack with lots of stuffs in it including a Barbie wallet), 2 HUGE bouncy castles (even Mama bounced in it - not for very long though as I didn't want to flatten the thing!), cotton candy & popcorn stalls, face-painting, a tattoo booth (Hakim had a big Spider tattoo on his arm, Adlina had a flower & a butterfly on her cheeks & Anas had a lizard on his hand),

stage performances by professional young dancers, a magic show by a funny magician, LOTS of food at the buffet (roasted lamb, mini pizzas & burgers, colourful cupcakes, ais kacang, fresh strawberries & fruits dipped in a chocolate fondue - just to name a few) & best of all: there was a Lucky Draw at the end of the Party!

And... (drumroll please...) We won a NINTENDO WII!! UNBELIEVABLE! The kids were ecstatic! Yes, we are one of those people who are never lucky at lucky draws & when the numbers were called (must have been about 30 consolations prizes), none of our numbers appeared (as expected). Then came the 5 grand prizes, and we couldn't believe we WON the 2ND PRIZE!! Yaayyy!! (The 1st prize was a PS3 - but Adlan said that the Nintendo Wii is better.. heehee..).

As soon as we came home, Adlan immediately fixed the Wii to our TV upstairs & even Papa & Mama tried it out. It's like virtual reality, you have to move to play it & the sensors will sense your movements. Quite fantastic. We all had a go at some Sports & I was totally hopeless at baseball. Did a little bit better at boxing (!). Anas was quite good at Golf. Papa hit some homeruns at baseball. Adlan was of course good at everything (selalu main PS2 kan..). Hakim's forte is baseball & Adlina got so many strikes at bowling! Hakim & Adlina printed out a schedule for the Wii so that everyone can have a fair go. It's loads of fun!

To dear Nora & Tan Sri, Suhail & Aisha, Thank you so much for a WONDERFUL party! We all had a fabulous time. :-D

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ganti Puasa

It's that time of year again when it's 3 weeks away from Ramadhan & some of us panic as we have a few more days to ganti puasa. Have you done yours?

It's really challenging when you fast & others are eating. There's also the problem of being invited for business lunches & teh tarik with friends. I guess that's why a lot of us put it off right to the last minute. 

I have just 2 more days to ganti & after today, tinggal 1 more day. Phew..

Selamat Ganti Puasa to all!


Saturday, August 2, 2008

Adlina's Action Song Competition

Azizah, Adlina, Trushilla, Madihah, Fazlin

Adlina's team from SK Ayer Keroh won 2nd place at the State Level Action Song Competition today!! Hurray for Adlina!! :-)

Personally, I felt that Adlina's team should have won the Competition. The winning team had beautiful costumes & props, but their performance was more of a musical play or a pantomime, not an Action Song. There was no synchronization at all, more like story telling in a dance. Technically it did not comply with the rules of an Action Song which requires team synchronization & action. 

Adlina's team did really, really well. Their actions were perfectly synchronized. Their diction was clear. They sang about Traffic rules & their costumes were colourful & bright! They had a big yellow school bus cut out from styrofoam & traffic lights as props. 5 of the boys were in police & traffic police uniforms. They were all so cute & wonderful!

 Adlina was sad when the result was announced. She had tears in her eyes & I was crushed. She really wanted to win & go to the Finals in Selangor with her friends. I held her in my arms & consoled her. I told her that she did really well & her team put up a fantastic show. That's more important. 

I told the kids that sometimes in competitions, we may be faced with unfair judging. It happens sometimes, and we must be brave in facing it. You may have been the best, but the other team got lucky. It may seem unfair, but that is life.

To my darling Adlina: Mama is so proud of you today! You look so pretty in your costume! <3