Wednesday, December 31, 2008

May We All Have A Better New Year!

How time flies so quickly!

So many things happened this year. Good , bad and sad.

I'll remember 2008 as the year I lost my father. Al Fatehah. You're in our heart and our memory, Bapak. Always.

But, as they say, as cliched as this may sound, but it is must go on. And we must move on.

Let's hope 2009 will be better. Who knows, miracles do happen.....



Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuanku Muhriz Is The New Yam Tuan Of Negri Sembilan

Tuanku Muhriz Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Munawir, 60, has been proclaimed the 11th Yang DiPertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan.

The announcement was made Undang Luak Sungai Ujong, Datuk Klana Petra Datuk Mubarak Dohak at the Throne Room, Istana Besar Seri Menanti on Monday.

The proclamation of the 11th Yang Di-Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan was made following the demise of Tuanku Ja’afar ibni Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

The appointment of the Yang Dipertuan Besar was made according to the “Adat Perpatih” of Negri Sembilan.

Tuanku Muhriz was appointed as the new Yang Di-Pertuan Besar from among the “Putera Yang Empat” (the Four Princes) in accordance with the state constitution in a simple ceremony here Monday.

The other three princes -- Tunku Laksamana Tunku Naquiyuddin Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Ja’afar, Tunku Muda of Serting Tunku Imran Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Ja’afar and Tunku Panglima Besar Tunku Nazaruddin Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Ja’afar -- were also present.

On Sunday, the four Undangs (ruling chiefs) namely Undang Luak Sungai Ujong, Undang Luak Johol, Undang Luak Jelebu and Undang Luak Rembau together with the Tunku Besar of Tampin held a conference behind closed doors to elect the new Yang Di-Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan.

Born on Jan 14 1948, Tuanku Muhriz received his early education at Sekolah Menengah King George V, Seremban and continued at the Aldenhem School in Britain.

Tuanku Muhriz obtained his LLB from the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth.

Tuanku Muhriz,is the only son out of six siblings of the late Tuanku Munawir Tuanku Abdul Rahman with his consort Tunku Ampuan Durah Binti Tuanku Besar Burhanuddin.

Tuanku Muhriz is married to Tengku Datuk Aishah Rohani Tengku Besar Mahmud of Terengganu and they have three children: Tunku Ali Redhauddin Muhriz, 31, Tunku Zain Al’Abidin Muhriz, 26, and Tunku Alif Hussein Saifuddin Al-Amin, 23.

In 1967, Tuanku Ja’afar, who was Tuanku Muhriz’s uncle, was elected by the Undangs as the 10th Yang Di-Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan over him due to his youth after his father Tuanku Munawir Tuanku Abdul Rahman passed away.

Tuanku Muhriz is a businessman and a director of Bangkok Bank. -- Bernama

Israeli Show Of Might In Gaza..

...and going by what Israeli leaders are saying, there's no stopping the attacks in Gaza until Hamas bleed and is brought to their knees. The Israeli offensive which began with surprise rocket attacks -- the Israeli version of “shock and awe” -- on Saturday, has already killed hundreds.

What a bloody start to the new year for the people in Gaza.

Israel has said that the military operation in Gaza is a response to Hamas' rocket attacks in southern Israel and is therefore forcing Hamas to end its rocket barrages and military buildup.

But middle-east political analysts say that Israel's motive is "to expunge the ghost of its flawed 2006 war against Hezbollah in Lebanon and re-establish Israeli deterrence".

Israel has a rep to protect. And Hamas and Palestinians and everyone else had better know that.

That display of power in Gaza is for the benefit of Israel's enemies who seem, of late, to be less afraid of it than they once were. Now, that's been worrying Israel.

A news analysis in the New York Times quoted Mark Regev, spokesman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, remarking about the weekly government meeting that he attended.

“In the cabinet room today there was an energy, a feeling that after so long of showing restraint we had finally acted,” he was quoted to have said.

Mark Heller, a senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University was also quoted as saying that that energy reflected the deep feeling among average Israelis that the country had to regain its deterrent capacity.

There has been a nagging sense of uncertainty in the last couple years of whether anyone is really afraid of Israel anymore. The concern is that in the past — perhaps a mythical past — people didn’t mess with Israel because they were afraid of the consequences. Now the region is filled with provocative rhetoric about Israel the paper tiger. This operation is an attempt to re-establish the perception that if you provoke or attack you are going to pay a disproportionate price.”

Granted that Hamas had fired rockets into southern Israel. (But let's not start debating the Palestinian offensive). Israel's response was disproportionate in its force..

So, will the violence end? Is it in someone's interest that the violence continues? And if there is a will to end it, who will be one to end it?

Meanwhile, read this. And this.

And may there be peace on earth!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Selamat Menyambut Maal Hijrah!

This is the first day of the Muslim new year and, in this country, it is also called Awal Muharram.

It is also to commemorate Hijrah or the migration of Prophet Muhammad from Mekkah to Madinah in the year 622 A.D.

Celebrating Maal Hijrah means starting the new year by seeking blessings.
Muslims recite the Quran and "zikir" on the last day of Zulhijjah which is tonight.
It is most blessed and rewarding to fast on the first of Muharram.

Fasting on certain days of Muharram is most encouraged. According to a hadith, after Ramadan, the fasts of Muharram have the greatest excellence.

Of course, any day is a good day to do good. But for Muslims, the 10th day of Muharram or the day of Ashura holds great historical significance.

Fasting (the fast of Ashura), helping orphans and feeding the hungry (including those who are fasting) on this day gives immense rewards.

"On this day (of Ashura): Allah SWT accepted the repentance of Adam after his exile from Paradise; Allah SWT saved Nuh and his companions in the ark; Allah extinguished the fire in which Ibrahim was thrown by Nimrod; And Allah spoke directly to Musa and gave him the Commandments. On this same 10th of Muharram, Ayyub was restored to health (from leprosy); Yusuf was reunited with his father Ya’qub ; Yunus was taken out from the belly of the fish; and the sea was divided as the nation of israel was delivered from captivity and Pharoah’s army was destroyed. ‘Ashura is also the day when the kingdom of Sulaiman was restored; Isa was raised to Jannah; and Sayyidina Husayn (grandson of Prophet Muhammad SAW) achieved the honor of Martyrdom."

I wish Muslims a blessed Maal Hijrah and everyone, a glorious new year (1430). Ameen.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Have a very happy Christmas, everyone!

Go easy on the cakes, cookies and stuffings!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hujan Emas Di Negeri Orang...

...lebih baik hujan batu di negeri sendiri.
How apt this adage is for us, and for different reasons.

Our annual "balik kampung" trip to Singapore is probably icing on top of our cake! It is usually an Aidilfitri affair except for this year because most of the kids -- my nephews and nieces -- were sitting for their national (UPSR, PMR and SPM) exams. Our visit this year had to be resheduled for Aidil Adha when everyone was "free" and it coincided with the school year-end holidays.

This means that there were no all-day Hari Raya rounds of visiting our uncles, aunts and senior cousins. Therefore, no feasts.
This was the fourth consecutive year that we had opted to stay at a hotel on Orchard Road, and not at our aunt's place.
This is because our aunt and her husband who are living with their daughter, are both quite unwell. So we really did not want to trouble them, and we had to go through great length to explain to our aunt why it was near impossible for the lot of us to stay at her place.

We know Cik Ah. She'd insist on cooking every meal -- from breakfast to dinner -- for us.

We felt she was just too frail to be doing this for us. We see her get older and more frail with each passing year.

But we made a deal with her -- we'd let her prepare a feast for us every annual visit.

"That's the least I can do," she had told Nina.

So, for the past four visits, hers was the first house we'd gather at. Depending on our arrival time, we'd either have brunch, lunch or dinner at her place.

It was no different last week when the busload of us descended on Bedok, Singapura.

And what a lovely lunch it was.

We decided to stay in Singapura a day longer than we usually did. This was because the kids had been complaining that our visits had always been too short.

"Tak puas-lah," they had lamented.

It was great to stay a day longer. Besides, our niece, Saleha (a grandaughter of my late eldest aunt) was holding a "tahlil" for Bapak and our family members who had passed on.
We had also wanted to visit my dad's surviving brother whose health was declining.

Saleha made a point to have us all for tea or "makan" everytime we visited. It was an occasion to also get everybody together, including those we were unable to meet.
It was wonderful, as usual.

But the downside to our visit this time around was the fact that we had to have our meals around Orchard Road.

In the past, we would have our day revolve around our visits to our relative's homes. Which means that, we'd have our meals taken care of. So, when we were out shopping, we'd just grab snacks here and there. No problem.

How we had taken this for granted. We never actually thought about this. Until last week.

As we were out "traversing" Orchard Road, we realized that we had to have our meals -- essentially lunch and dinner -- within the vicinity.

I am convinced that there are not enough eateries in Orchard Road. Most of the restaurants were crowded and we had to wait in queue like we had never stood in queue before.

It's not as though we could go to another place when the place we had gone to was crowded. It was full house with a long queue at the other eateries. I remember the food court in Paragon was just brimming with people that it was better to wait in line -- like 20 minutes -- than to look for another makan place elsewhere.

The one marked difference between shopping complexes in Singapura and Malaysia is the availability of and accessibility to eateries.

Imagine, queuing up at Swensen's? Well I never....

Of course, the first night we were there, we had our dinner at Carousel's in the Royal Plaza on Scotts. It was a buffet. Lovely. $55.50 per person. So, all you can eat and it was worth every cent. But, every night there? Don't think so.

That was why, my niece, Marisssa was already missing "shopping in KL".

And when we got to KL on our way home, the kids waved so hard at Mid Valley Mega Mall.

"Ooooh. I love you Mid Valley," screamed Shaira. And not that she is a Mid Valley regular. But she was remembering the oh-so-wonderful varieties of eating places there.

"I can't wait to go to the Mamak shop," Adel said, breathless.

"And all the makan places at Ikano and One Utama," chipped in Amalina.

Oh yes indeed. It maybe golden raindrops across the causeway......but there's nothing like home.

That's where the heart is. And will always be.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Salam Dari Temasek...


I am now in Singapore with my family -- children, siblings, nieces and nephews -- visiting relatives.

I shall try to blog...

Maju-lah Singa...I mean Malaysia...:-)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Salam Aidil adha

Selamat Hari Raya Haji to my Muslim brothers and sisters.

Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!

Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik. Labbaik, La Shareek Laka, Labbaik. Innal Hamdah, Wan Nematah, Laka wal Mulk, La Shareek Laka!
(Here I am at Thy service O Lord, here I am. Here I am at Thy service and Thou hast no partners. Thine alone is All Praise and All Bounty, and Thine alone is The Sovereignty. Thou hast no partners)

Aidil Adha is the feast of sacrifice which commemorates the willingness Prophet Abraham SA to sacrifice his first-born, Ishmael, for God.
Aidil Adha is celebrated on the 10th day of the month of Zul-Hijjah.

Some of us can celebrate Aidil Adha with our loved ones. In safety and comfort. For victims of the landslide in Bukit Antarabangsa, it will be a very sad one.

Let's hope that the situation gets better for the residents of the housing estate.
Following the disaster early Saturday morning, the main road to the area was cut off.

A temporary tactical bridge has now been laid across a monsoon drain to connect landslide affected Taman Bukit Mewah to Riverdale Park nearby. This will enable the residents to move in and out of the area.

In a related developmnent, the Star reported that many of the residents (numbering some 3,000) of four areas in Bukit Antarabangsa have refused an order for them to move immediately as they are in landslide-danger areas.

Selangor chief police officer Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said the four areas are the Impian Selatan Condominium, Taman Bukit Mewah, Jalan 6A Taman Bukit Jaya and Jalan 9 Taman Wangsa Ukay.

DCP Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said that despite repeated pleas, some residents still continued to defy the calls and would not leave their homes.

Continue reading HERE.

Read Rocky's Bru on the Selangor Red Crescent's appeal....HERE.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Zaid Won't Be Joining The Opposition For Now...

Zaid Ibrahim, who was sacked by Umno two days ago, will not be joining any political party (i.e the Opposition) for now but does not rule out doing so later.

(Read more Here)

And there's no way he's ever going to consider rejoining Umno even if there was a change of heart in the leadership.

Zaid, former de facto Law Minister, was sacked from Umno for attending the opening of Parti Keadilan Rakyat's annual national congress in Shah Alam over the weekend.

But he reckons that he was sacked not "simply" for that but "because many leaders in Umno are not comfortable" with his views and stand on many issues.

He claims to be a "victim of double standards in Umno" and that he had not been given the opportunity to be heard.

He is also not aware of any specific violation that he had committed.

Zaid said this at a Press conference at the Tropicana Club in Petaling Jaya.

(*Zaid resigned as Minister in the PM's Department and senator on Sept 17 after he disagreed with the government’s decision to detain a journalist, a blogger and a Pakatan Member of Parliament under the Internal Security Act (ISA).)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Mumbai Terror : Searching For Answers & Pointing Fingers

As Indian security officials investigate the attack on Mumbai, India has already blamed "some elements in Pakistan" for the massacre that left some 174 people dead.

India said the 10 militants who rampaged through its financial capital were not only from Pakistan but were also controlled from within that country.

India has blamed the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba group, who oppose Indian rule in Kashmir, for the attacks.

If Pakistan fails to act swiftly against those responsible, India has threatened to pull out of a nearly five-year-old peace process between the nuclear rivals.

Islamad has denied that"Pakistani elements" were behind the violence and has called on India to share evidence.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi avered:
"Our hands are clean, we have nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of because this government feels that good neighbourly relations with India are in the interests of Pakistan."

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari told CNN that he had been given no tangible proof that the surviving gunman was a Pakistani, and that he doubted the Indian claim.

Naturally such suggestions and accusations are threatening to further escalate the already tense relations between the two countries.

And with this latest terror attacks, the US-initiated and sponsored war on terror must be stepped up, for sure.