Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Remember Adibah Amin - Sri Delima

Kak Adib as we remember her.

When admirers came a-calling the other day.

I grew up as a teenager, enjoying Sri Delima's "As I Was Passing" - a regular and enduring column in the New Straits Times.

I always looked forward to reading Adibah Amin's anecdotes of life in Malaysia, as she saw it.

I loved her elegant and charming style as she captured and celebrated Malaysian life.

We all wanted to write like Adibah Amin.

I was privileged to have known her personally and professionally. I am thankful for that.

We've known that Kak Adib had not been well these past few years and has been cared for by her brother.

On Monday, she received some visitors and a little contribution.

Adibah Amin is, undoubtedly, a precious Malaysian icon. A living legend, in her own right.

Kak Adib, I pray for your well-being and recovery.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Al Fatihah: DALILAH TAMRIN, a fighter, a survivor!

My dear friend, Dalilah Tamrin -- Raden Galoh of "One Breast Bouncing" - a hell of a gal, a fighter. A cancer survivor.
She had so much positivity. I knew there were times she felt so down and that sense of hopelessness must have been so overwhelming...but she never let it get to her.

She kept up the good fight for as long as she could because she wanted to live for as long as she could (under the circumstances) for her loved ones, and the love of her family -- hubby Saiful and sons, Adam and Idris.
But Allah SWT knows best.

Dalilah passed away this morning at the KL Hospital. She was 42.

Yesterday, Elviza texted me to say that Dalilah was really bad. Her husband, Saiful had said that she was "nazak".
Elviza and I decided to meet at Kak Ton's (in Kelana Jaya), from where Elviza would drive us to Dalilah's home in Banting.
Elviza was going to drive us this time. The last time (last year) we went together to visit Dalilah, I drove us there, and on the way back, missed an exit and ended up....on the road to Ipoh....
That became something of a story to tell friends..

This would be my second "visit" to see Dalilah (who was already going downhill), in the last month. About three weeks ago, Shaira (my daughter) and I visited her before she (and Saiful) left for Umrah.
Alhamdulillah, Dalilah managed to perform the Umrah but Saiful told us that she did not get her wish -- to leave this earth in the holy land.

Yesterday, it turned out that she had to be taken to the KL Hospital because she was in terrible pain.

So, we headed for the hospital and waited for the ambulance that would bring her there.

We met Saiful, Adam and Idris outside the emergency ward.

I think the ambulance arrived about 1.30pm.

As they wheeled her out of the vehicle, we went to her. First, Elviza, then I and Kak Ton, stood by her side, to rub her forehead, her hand, her face, and kissed her.

Her eyes were open, but she could not see us, nor recognize us.

Farewell, dear soul.

You are in better place now, my dear. Al-Fatihah!

*Her remains will be taken to her mother's house in Banting. The funeral is this afternoon.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday Talk

50 Is The New 30

Do you believe that 50 is really the new 30? Like pink is the new black? Or is all this self-deluding?
Or the creation of beauty companies trying to cash in on the vanity, or insecurity of older women, and men.

It sure sounded good when I first heard it. I was hopeful that the line came from medical experts after studying the health of people in that age group, and concluding that these days people (read:women) in their 50s are healthier, comparable to those in their 30s.

But, as it turned out, it did not come from medical experts. Nonetheless, it came from health experts. That's good enough.

Anyway, I think there's some truth in that catchphrase. After all, it is a fact that more and more people are adopting and embracing healthier lifestyles.

In my aerobics class, there are "aunties" who look 10 years younger than they really are. And it's not just the exterior. They look fit but more importantly, they feel good.

But here's one person who thinks that all this 50 isn't the new 30 in his book. Although, not a believer, he is positive about our aging process.

But please don't be in denial, he cautions. If you're 50, you have to accept that you are.

"Research clearly indicates that our attitude matters for our physical and emotional health and well being. But denial can be destructive if we don't attend to the natural limitations of our bodies and mind as we age," said pychologist Dr Thomas Plante.

"50 is 50 but there are lots of things that we can do for our body, mind, and spirit as we age to increase the odds that our aging process isn't so bad and perhaps is even pretty darn good," he said.

Read more HERE.

Be that as it may, it's heartening to remember that "50 is the new 30" did not emerge from nowhere.

I believe strongly that you're as old or as young as you want to be!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Spy, Spy

(Sketch of the 10 Russian Spies in court)

I'm sure most of you did not miss the reports of Russian spies in the good US of A.
The FBI got 'em!
I know some people out there are going to make a movie on this. (Yet) another spy thriller.
Brings us back to the Cold War. Some things don't change, I tell ya!
I mean, spies still need to work, eh?

I was fed on a pretty good diet of spy books when I was young. We still have all those books in their original cover back at Bapak's place.
Let's start with Ian Fleming's James Bond books. Classic, man!
Then there were Graham Greene and John Le Carre and much later, Robert Ludlum and Frederick Forsythe.

Until today, I enjoy a good spy thriller -- book or movie!

Here's the real spy story:

WASHINGTON – With the conclusion of the biggest spy swap since the Cold War, the U.S. has defused a thorny diplomatic problem quickly and cleanly — and avoided damaging recent efforts to improve relations with Russia. And Moscow has escaped further embarrassment over a group of spies that over the years apparently had little if any success in ferreting out any useful secrets.

The 10 sleeper agents, who blended into American communities before being arrested two weeks ago, were back on Russian soil Saturday, a day after they were exchanged on the tarmac of the Vienna airport for four prisoners the Russians had accused of spying for the West.

Two of the prisoners were flown to England and the other two landed aboard a chartered jetliner at Dulles International Airport outside Washington late Friday.

Click HERE for the rest of the article.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Tuesday Talk

I had A Dream

Some of you must be wondering what this "Tuesday Talk" is about. Well...sometime ago I ran "Tuesdays With Bapak" series, in which I relived (dark parts) of a past life. It was cathartic and I'm glad I religiously blogged about it for about a year.

Then Bapak passed away on Sept 4, 2008. I felt spent. There's nothing anymore I wanted to tell.

At the same time I wanted to dedicate a day in the week to just stories, tales, yarns...anything about life. Nothing so serious.
If you think that's not what you like to read, that's okay. You can pass and hit on another blog or website.

I've come to realise, for a long time now, that you can't please everyone. And I'm not about to start now.

So, today is the start of "Tuesday Talk". And I'm going to talk about a dream ("mimpi") I had the other night. It's got to do with the World Cup. I got up so breathless and needed a few moments to "wake up".

I dreamt that Malaysia was in the World Cup. Yes yes... and we were playing against a team (unknown and unidentifiable). We were in red and white while the other team was in blue.

I know that as I was dreaming this, my heart was beating very fast because our Malaysian football team was so awesome.

I must be watching it all on TV because I could see the crowd cheering for Malaysia. Now these people were definitely not Malaysians but they were cheering for our team.
People from foriegn lands cheering "go Malaysia, go Malaysia!"

And yes. I could see some people hitting the kompang.

It was thrilling. In my dream, most of the Malaysian players were familiar faces of some of the Selangor footballers of the 70s and 80s. It must be because I used to go all the way to Stadium Merdeka to watch matches that Selangor played.

I'm not a football fanatic but I do love to watch good football. Great football, aah, all the better.

No prizes for guessing how my dream of Malaysia in the World Cup came about. Yep. it's the World Cup madness, and the sense of disappointment and resignation when talking about Malaysian football.

"We could have been there!" or "What happened to us!" everytime we see the two Koreas and Japan played. Or some third-world country making their people proud by qualifying for the World Cup.

Well. you know, there was a time when ....aaah... to go down that road and reminisce about Malaysia's football greats makes me feel so wistful.

Young Malaysians have no recollection at all that once upon a time, we played football.

Monday, July 05, 2010

An International Conference on Breaking the Gaza Siege will be held at the Dewan Tun Razak Hall 1 of the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur on July 11 2010.

The theme of the conference is: Breaking the Siege: In The Spirit of Rachel Corrie and Mavi Marmara.

According to a statement from the Perdana Global Peace Organisation, the speakers include Yildirim Bulent, head of the Turkish humanitarian relief organisation, the Insani Yardim Yakfi (IHH), Denis J. Halliday, former assistant secretary-general of the United Nations and Derek Graham, head of the MV Rachel Corrie team.

Another speaker is Dr Hasan Huseyn Uyzal who was on board the Mavi Marmara and helped treat the injured.

A Palestinian judge, Dialdeen S. Madhoun who is head of the Palestinian committee of war crimes documentation will also be one of the speakers.

PGPO chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who had been a leading figure in opposing Israeli consistent and systematic genocide of Palestinians, will deliver the keynote address.

He will also chair a Panel Session for the conference and the panellists will include ambassadors from several countries which are concerned about the Israeli siege. Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of the Malaysian Prime Minister, who has been leading efforts to raise funds for the Palestinian cause, will be one of the panelists.

The illegal siege was imposed by the Israel government in 2007. It represents part of an unending list of atrocities and cruelties inflicted by the Israelis against the Palestinians.

Last month, a group of activists from different countries, colours and creeds, joined hands to form the Freedom Flotilla and sailed across the Mediterranean to challenge the siege on Gaza.

The PGPO states:

"Consistent to its belligerent streak, the Israel Defence Force (IDF), at the wee hours of dawn, launched a cowardly attack on one of the Freedom Flotilla ships, the Mavi Marmara which was sailing in international waters.

The attack on the civilian ship resulted in the murder of nine activists and injured dozens more. Apart from that, the IDF, after forcefully boarding the ships of the flotilla, commandeered them to the Israeli port Ashdod and then imprisoned the activists.

Having literally dragged the activists into Israel, the Tel Aviv regime then deported them under tremendous condemnation from the international community.

The IDF repeated their act a few days later on the MV Rachel Corrie, another member of the Freedom Flotilla which had lagged behind due to engine problems.

Even though another tragedy was averted as no one was shot nor killed, the IDF boarded the Rachel Corrie in full force with its personnel armed to the teeth. Again, the Rachel Corrie was forcefully commandeered to Ashdod.

It is extensively believed that the Rachel Corrie was spared the violent, armed aggression of the IDF due to the international spotlight on Tel Aviv following murders of the activists on Mavi Marmara.

It is against these backdrops that the Perdana Global Peace Organisation (PGPO), a principal partner in the Freedom Flotilla, decided to hold an international conference to recount what had occurred on the Mavi Marmara and Rachel Corrie.

The conference is expected to conclude with a clear plan on measures and efforts to be undertaken in challenging the siege and eventually putting an end to it.

These measures and efforts will be formulated based on the inputs, views and ideas put forth and shared during the conference."

The closing address will be delivered by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Entrance is free and open to the public. The public is however advised to come early as seats are limited though there is ample standing room.

If there are any enquiries, please contact: 03-88858965 (Maizatul –, 03-88858960 (Noorinsun –, 019-3843913 (Dr Zulaiha Ismail – or 019-9100090 (Shamsul –