Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tahniah! Datuk Rocky..

From tomorrow, I am made to understand that Ahirudin Attan AKA Rocky of Rocky's Bru -- barring very very unforeseen circumstances -- will have a title before his name. Datuk Rocky. An award he will receive from the Yang diPertuan Agong.

Ok-lah. It's confirmed.



Read it HERE and HERE.

By the way, I agree with Apanama, Panglima suits him better. Yes!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

If It Ain't Yours, You Can't Have It...

Nor own it.

This is a little Saturday story. Just a little story about a cat. A big cat. We call him BB which stands for Big Boy. Shaira gave the cat that name. And he's big because of us, we think. We "nourished" him a little too much.

He was not our cat, though we felt that he was, have been and will always be. After all these years, BB just never came back to us. Just stopped visiting.

BB began visiting us some years ago when he was outgrowing kitten-hood and at a stage when the world was his oyster -- that neighbourhood street where he must have lived and where my family and I still do.
I'm not sure, though, where he lived, or lives. It's still a mystery.

One morning years ago, I found this cat at the corner of my garage, just having a quiet stretchy moment. I was sure it was a male cat -- I'm quite knowledgeable about cats, having owned many when I was living with my parents, those single footloose and fancy-free (and cat-allergy-free) days.

When I saw him, I winked at him, as though it was the most natural thing to do to a cat.
He gazed at me, unperturbed. Must be sizing me up. Then he got himself up and together, and left. I thought nothing of it. He was not the first cat to have visited our garage, and I thought, certainly, not the last.

There must have been something that connected us, those few seconds. Must have been my wink. Because, he came back the next day.

"Hmm. Will you do this for the next 10 years?," I asked myself, smiling. He was a handsome cat. I could tell that he was going to be magnificent.

"But who do you belong to?," I wondered. He looked domesticated. A little scruffy in a handsome way, but clean and healthy.

Soon, he became a familiar appearance every morning. And we watched him grow bigger and bigger, and more handsome.

Friendly at first and then, familiar. But he never came into the house, for some reason. Perhaps he knew that we were all allergic to cats.

It was a strange but satisfying relationship that we had with BB. It was not that he was around the garage all day long. He'd be at his usual spot in the garage every morning, mosey about a while and then leave. He'd come again in the evening and then leave way past 10pm.
Even on rainy days.

Still, we were sure he had an owner somewhere.
Sometimes, as I drive around the neighbourhood, I try to look out for this handsome grey cat.

We'd never have to feed BB. He seemed well-fed.
I'd just talk to him, stroke him a little (despite my allergy; but I would quickly wash my hands after).
My kids would do the same.

There were times we were all away for the holidays. We never got to find out whether BB ever came over.

They were brief moments of tenderness every time we were with him. But it was an enduring relationship all these years.

One day, after years of warmth and, to some extent, love...BB simply stopped coming. We had wondered why.

"Too much love, perhaps.", I sighed.

"Or he's died." Shaira offered, morose.

"I hope not," I remarked.

Although, that, in a twisted way, would be better. Then, we'd know he will not ever be coming back.

Coming back? We forget that he was never ours in the first place. He never belonged to us. We'd known that the first time BB came over.

"BB was always just visiting. Perhaps he liked our place and he liked us a lot. But, now, perhaps, his owner has decided to really take good care of him. And he has decided to like his owner back. That is good for him," I told Shaira, as I tried hard to block out images of BB being run over by a car..

BB was never ours. So, you can never lose something that you never really owned.

"He doesn't have to be faithful or loyal to us. He doesn't have to be grateful to us. And you must never expect anything in return," I said. And...aah, have you also forgotten that BB is an animal?

There'll be other cats. Other BBs.

Shaira didn't find that comforting.

I know, I know. That's not the point.

Shaira is still hoping that BB will "come back".

"He must have loved us. Surely...", she said.

I'm not sure now, Shaira. But, we are here. He knows where we are.

Remember, though, that he can never be yours.

So, deal with it, my dear.

And don't be sad.

Friday, January 29, 2010

J D Salinger Dies

Reclusive American author J.D. Salinger, who wrote the American post-war literary classic "The Catcher in the Rye," died Wednesday in Cornish, New Hampshire (USA) of natural causes. He was 91.

I'm sure most of you have already read t
he seminal coming-of-age novel that has endured through the ages.

It was a book I read five times throughout my life -- when I was 18 and then when I was about 28 (I remember because something happened in my life which I am not about to disclose) while at home (I was unmarrried then and was living with my parents). I was just hanging around Bapak's library when the book on the shelf caught my eye. I started opening the pages and reading it.
Later, when I was 35, I read the book again, and again (when I was 45) and, sigh, sigh, again when I turned 50.
Don't ask me why I like to re-re-visit (certain) books I have already read. I just do.

I remember that the second time I read "Catcher..". I caught different things and understood it a little differently.

The last two times I read it, I had my very own copy. Bapak's was the very original 1950s copy. He did not let it -- or any of his books -- out of the house.

Back to Jerome David Salinger -- he was thought at one time to be the most important American writer to emerge since World War II. But he turned his back on success and adulation. He lived in seclusion for more than 50 years.

To date, more than 60 million copies of the novel have been sold worldwide since its publication in 1951.

Do read this.

Aduka AKA Khairul Nizam Pleads Not Guilty

SEREMBAN: Khairul Nizam Abd Gani who blogs under the name, Aduka Taruna, pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court here today to insulting the Johor royalty.

The 29 year-old part-time computer technician was charged with posting insulting remarks on the Johor royalty on his blog on January 22.

He is alleged to have committed the offence at No.297, Rumah Rakyat Panchor, Paroi, here, between 7.25pm and 9.05pm on that date.

He is charged under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and faces up to a year’s imprisonment or fine of up to RM50,000 or both, if convicted.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Masri Mohd Daud appeared for the prosecution while the accused was represented by counsel Mohd Radzlan Jalaludin.

Judge Zamri Bakar set bail at RM5,000 in one surety and ordered the accused to surrender his international passport to the court. He then set March 31 for re-mention.

(source: Bernama)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

10 Terrorist Suspects Detained Under ISA

PUTRAJAYA: Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has confirmed that only 10 were detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) recently, quashing reports saying 50 were nabbed under the act.
He said the detainees, comprising a local and nine foreigners, were detained for alleged link with international terrorism organizations.

"Any terrorist linked with other terrorist groups internationally is a threat to our country.

"Whether they are planning to do it here (in the country) or outside, once they are on our shore, they are under our jurisdiction and we are serious about combating terrorism," he told reporters after a MoU signing ceremony between the ministry and the Malaysian Association of Security Guard Services, here.

Hishammuddin said the ministry was working very closely with international agencies with regard to terrorism and those who were detained were on the wanted list by those agencies.

He however refused to comment further as the matter should be handled very carefully for it posed a serious threat to the security of the country and involved cooperation with international agencies from all over the world.

Earlier, a report by a news portal saying that a prominent human rights lawyer and the Abolish ISA Movement (GMI) pressure group alleged that up to 50 individuals were nabbed under ISA since last week. -- BERNAMA

Wild Boar Heads Found In Two Mosques

"I advise the public to stay cool and not to react to certain people who are trying to stir the situation” -- Selangor police chief Khalid Abu Bakar.

I agree.

This is surely the work of some mischief makers.

The three wild boar heads were found in two mosques in Petaling Jaya - three kilometers apart.

This latest incident of desecration and vandalism following an inter-faith dispute over the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims.

Worshippers arrived for dawn prayers at a mosque in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, to find the bloodied heads of two wild boars wrapped in plastic bags together with one-ringgit notes.

(While pigs are considered very unclean animals in Islam, I'm not sure about the "status" of wild boars -- whether they are considered as unclean as pigs.)

Zulkifli Mohamad, the imam who leads prayers at the Al Imam al Tirmizi mosque where two heads were found, called for calm and said Muslim saboteurs could be behind the latest incidents.

This is the work of some people to stir racial tension in the country. We are shocked by their actions,” he told reporters.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Al Fatihah -- King Ghaz

(source: Bernama)

Former home minister Ghazali Shafie -- known by many as King Ghaz -- died at his Subang Jaya home at 7.45 pm today, according to his granddaughter Farah.

He was 88.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dengue Cases On The Rise

Folks -- I know some of you may not care to heed this advice because it's like a broken record, playing over and over and over again.

Take care against Dengue because it is a threat. The number of cases are rising.

According to Bernama, the health ministry has declared war on dengue. There have been 11 deaths and 2,713 cases this month.
The number of deaths is alarming. From Jan 17 to 21, there were 776 cases, with 6 deaths.

I know, I know. I hear you. What's there to declare when the war against dengue never ended, in the first place.

You are right.

Precisely why you must take care.
We all have to play our part.

So, once again, take care. You know the drill with dengue.

P.S: I think the Aedes have gotten stronger and more resistant.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Johor Sultan Taken Ill: Tunku Mahkota Appointed Regent



The Sultan of Johor, Johor Sultan Iskandar ibni Almarhum Sultan Ismail passed away at 7.15pm yesterday (Friday, Jan 22)).
He was 77.
His eldest son, the Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ibrahim Ismail has been proclaimed as the Sultan of Johor.

Click HERE


Prayers for the Sultan of Johor Sultan Iskandar ibni Almarhum Sultan Ismail who has been taken ill.
The Tunku Mahkota Johor, Tunku Ibrahim Ismail, has just been appointed the Regent of Johor.

Bernama has the latest here:

The Tunku Mahkota of Johor, Tunku Ibrahim Ismail, was appointed the Regent of Johor after his father, Sultan Iskandar ibni Almarhum Sultan Ismail, the Sultan of Johor, was admitted to the hospital here Friday after an illness.

The Head of the Johor Council of the Royal Court, Tunku Osman Tunku Temenggong Ahmad, announced that Sultan Iskandar had been admitted to the Puteri Specialists Hospital, here.

"The Council of the Royal Court hereby decided under Clause 9(1)(b) and 9(2) First Section of the Johor State Constitution 1895, after receiving the medical report from three medical specialists, to appoint Duli Yang Amat Mulia Tunku Ibrahim Ismail ibni Sultan Iskandar, Tunku Mahkota Johor as the Regent today to carry out the duty of the Ruler during the illness of Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan Iskandar," he announced at the Istana Besar Johor Baharu, here Friday.

Tunku Osman also asked the people to pray for the recovery of the Ruler.

The event was attended by the State Executive Councillors.

For the eldest son of the Sultan of Johor, this is not the first time that he is appointed the Regent.

The first time he was appointed to the post was on April 25, 1984 when Sultan Iskandar was appointed the eighth Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Tunku Ibrahim Ismail, 51, was installed as the Tunku Mahkota of Johor on July 3, 1981 at the age of 22.

Tunku Ibrahim is married to Raja Zarith Sofiah Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah and they have five sons and two daughters.

Building Bridges Across Religious Divides

I got this in my facebook link from a good friend, Sophia.
Some of you may have already read this. But I thought I'd share this with my readers who have not.

(source: BBC news)

Anjum Anwar's and Canon Chivers' work is seen as ground-breaking.
A woman who was awarded an MBE for community service in Lancashire is the first Muslim to be appointed to the Church of England's staff.
Anjum Anwar has joined Blackburn Cathedral as a dialogue development officer to work with local communities on multi-faith issues.

The chairman of the Lancashire Council of Mosques said the Muslim community was very happy with the news.

Ms Anwar will work closely with Canon Chris Chivers over the next two years.

Canon Guy Wilkinson, national adviser on inter-faith relations, said: "Blackburn Cathedral is demonstrating what it is to be present at the heart of the community, and to engage in positive and constructive ways."

Her post will be funded by the North West Development Agency (NWDA) which emphasised that "faith communities are major custodians of the cultural and architectural heritage of this region".

Community benefits

The NWDA also added that it saw the work of Anjum Anwar and Canon Chivers at Blackburn Cathedral as "genuinely groundbreaking".

Ms Anwar said that the cathedral was taking a very brave and unique step.

"It shows that working together has real benefits for both communities, and for wider communities as well", she added.

She was born in Karachi, Pakistan and has been living in the UK for the past 40 years. She and her 13-year-old son live in Accrington.

Ms Anwar has spent the last five years running a partnership project between Lancashire Council of Mosques (LCM) and Lancashire County Council's LEA called Understanding Islam.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Suspects In Church Arson Arrested

KUALA LUMPUR:Eight men have been arrested in connection with the recent arson at the Metro Tabernacle Church in Desa Melawati, police said today.
They were remanded for a week starting today to help in the investigation.

Police believed that the case was solved with the arrests of the eight suspects.

Seven of them were nabbed between last night and this morning following the arrest of the first suspect at a hospital yesterday afternoon. -- BERNAMA

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sedih Nya,...

This is on the front page of Harian Metro..

I'd like to meet the anak dan menantu....


Harian Metro got the man's son ....

And Here's To You Mrs Robinson..

....Jesus loves you more than you will know
God bless you please, Mrs. Robinson
Heaven holds a place for those who pray...

hey hey, hey......

You may not remember "Mrs Robinson". Heck, some of you may not even know the song -- this 1968 single by Simon and Garfunkel.

Anyway, this song has become the subject of frequent requests to Belfast radio stations in the wake of revelations of a sordid affair between Iris Robinson (wife of Northern Ireland's First Minister, Peter Robinson) and a 19 year-old, er, boy. (He is young, actually, very young. And Mrs Robinson is 60.)

Read the latest HERE.

Mrs Robinson in the song and the real deal Mrs Robinson? "Irresistablly comical", this whole affair?

Actually, this report about Iris Robinson's affair that scandalized her husband's position, is not new. I wanted to post this yesterday but it was one thing after another, and I forgot.

Let's take our minds off things, for a moment.

KUALA LUMPUR: The application by a Christian woman from Sarawak who challenged the Home Ministry's seizure of her eight compact discs on the teachings of Christianity containing the words ''Allah'' has been fixed for mention on March 15.

The case was scheduled to be heard yesterday (Tuesday, Jan 12) before Mohamed Apandi Ali at the High Court, here was changed to a mention because he had to attend another hearing.

The date was fixed in the chamber of Senior Assistant Registrar Nik Mohd Fadli Nik Azlan in the presence lawyer Annou Xavier, representing Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill, and Senior Federal Counsel Andi Razalijaya A. Dadi, representing the defendant.

On March 15, the defendant is required to file the affidavit in reply.

On Aug 20, 2008, Bill, a clerk, had applied for a writ of certiorari to quash the decision of the ministry to confiscate the CDs, besides an order of mandamus to direct the ministry to return the CDs to her, and a declaration that she had the right to keep, use and import publications containing the word ''Allah''.

She complained that on May 11 last year, the ministry had seized the CDs from her as soon as she arrived at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal in Sepang.

The CDs had titles such as "Cara Menggunakan Kunci Kerajaan Allah, Cara Hidup Dalam Kerajaan Allah and Ibadah Yang Benar Dalam Kerajaan Allah" (How To Use The Key In Allah''s Government, The Way of Life in Allah''s Government, and The Right Way of Religious Devotion in Allah's Government) which were brought in from Indonesia.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Starting Them Young...

..or should you?

Yesterday, Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Tun Dr Ismail Satu held an election -- for pupils to choose their head prefect.

"We want the students to understand the democratic process as practised in the country"-- headmaster Nik Nab Sulaiman.

There is some debate on this.

Anyway, in the 5-cornered fight of 12 year-olds, Khairul Azil Khairul Razi sang (with a guitar during campaign) his way to victory with 365 votes, beating his closest rival, Alia Suraya Ahmad, by 84 votes. Alia became the deputy head prefect.

The other candidates, Nurul Amalina Amiruddin got 117 votes, Nik Zaman Faisal Zakimi, 86, and Mohammad Shahril Mohamad Anuar, 57.

State Election Commission officers were at hand to assist the school in the election.

While some parents think it's fine to expose 12 year-olds and younger children to this democratic process of election, there are others who think otherwise. All that exposure to campaigning to win votes for these primary school kids, is not good.

I see their point. Why start them so young in learning to be politicians?
I imagine, being a politician isn't any parent's wish for their kids -- generally speaking.

Perhaps, at some point in a student's life, there is an advantage in exposing them to this process.

I know I was -- in secondary school (Assunta School in Petaling Jaya).

Head prefects and ordinary prefects were elected by the students. So, shortlisted candidates would have to meet their voters and win them over. It was very democratic. Really cool.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Resolving The "Allah" Controversy...

We all want this controversy surrounding the use of "Allah" in the Catholic Herald to end -- without any lasting repercussions.

I'd like to say that in all my infinite wisdom, I have the answer. wisdom is not infinite and I don't have the answer.
It is an issue that touches on religion and, for certain, it is sensitive, no denying that.
All I can say is -- let rational minds prevail.

The latest on the case is that the High Court has granted the Home Ministry a stay of execution on the ruling allowing the Herald weekly magazine to use the word “Allah” in its Malay-language edition, pending the hearing of an appeal.

But, already some crazy/evil/irrational people have reacted in the most despicable way.

On the subject, some people believe that the solution is not with the courts.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad disagrees with the government’s effort to resolve the “Allah” controversy through the courts.

He said the law did not take into consideration sensitivity factors that could provoke tension and animosity between followers of different religions.

Dr Mahathir said in his blog that the solution to the controversy will not be achieved by making an appeal to the court as such a sensitive issue cannot be solved through law.

Perhaps, the solution lies in the constitution.

As A Kadir Jasin The Scribe proposed in his latest posting that the issue be brought before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as well as the Malay Rulers who are religious heads of their respective state.

He wrote: "Jadi saya rasa, sudah sampai masanya bagi setiap orang Islam, sama ada sebagai individu, persatuan, pasukan atau kumpulan, merayu dan mendesak Yang di-Pertuan Agong serta Raja-Raja Melayu agar campur tangan."

Perhaps, this is the way out of a very complicated situation.

Anyway, the Yang di-Pertuan AgongTuanku Mizan issued a statement yesterday, calling Malaysians to remain and respect houses of worship irrespective of religion.

To ensure peace and harmony among the followers of different religions, the meaning and reference to 'Allah' in the general context should conform to the description fixed by Islam because this practice has all this while been accepted by Malaysians of other faiths.”


Remembering Sharlinie..

Do you still remember Sharlinie Mohd Nashar?

We call her Nini. Remember?

On this day, two years ago (2008), she went missing from a playground near her home in Taman Medan in Petaling Jaya. She was five years old.

A nationwide search campaign was launched.

Nini is still missing.

She would be seven this year and would have started her school just this week.

Nini..we never stop thinking of you.

You are always in our prayers.

Nini..wherever you are.....

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Government Will Appeal High Court Decision On "Allah"

The Prime Minister's Department, with the cooperation of the Home Ministry, will appeal against the Kuala Lumpur High Court's decision in allowing the Catholic weekly magazine, Herald, to use the word "Allah" in its publication.

Its minister, Major-General (Rtd) Jamil Khir Baharom, in advising Muslims and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to be calm and respect the court's decision, said they should be patient and allow the matter to be resolved through the legal process.

"I'll meet the NGOs soon to hear their views and to discuss further the matter with them," he said in a statement today.

The High Court ruled on Thursday that the Catholic weekly can use the word "Allah".

Judge Datuk Lau Bee Lian had ruled that usage of the word was constitutional as long as the periodical was confined to educate the followers of the Christian faith

On Feb 16 last year, Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam filed for a judicial review on the usage of the word "Allah" in the church's publications, naming the Home Ministry and the government as respondents.

He claimed that the word 'Allah' was not exclusive to the religion of Isla
m. - Bernama


(source: Bernama)

Wanita Umno wants to meet the Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and Jamil Khir to alleviate concerns on implications of the high court ruling.

Its chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said the movement will champion this to ensure that the place and position of Islam was not tarnished.

"If need be, we will apply to meet the King," she said in a statement today.

NS Trainees Begin Courses

Is your child one of the 38,000 trainees being sent to the various camps across the country today?

Good luck and hope all goes well for your kid!

My daughter, Shaira Nur, was notified last year that she had been selected for the programme. All she knows is that she is in second or third group for the year, but no further details have been given.

So, she waits anxiously for further news of her "deployment".

Unhappy that she was selected at first, Shaira has now come to terms with the whole idea of NS. She has mixed feelings about the programme. She's heard some horror stories, but also good ones.

In the end she just "wants to get it over and done with".

(By the way, the Khidmat Negara official website is not working. Wonder why..)

Here's a Bernama report on NS trainees departure to their camps. Click HERE.