Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sobering Thoughts At A Wedding

Nabilah & Adnan

Bride and groom flanked by the bride's maternal grandfather Pak Lang Ahmad (left) and guest-of-honour Tun Rahah, MiL's long-time family friend (right). Seated next to Tun Rahah is the bride's paternal grandmother and my erstwhile MiL, Puan Sri Hjh Halimah Mohd Isa.

I saw him as I was tucking in the delicious spread at my niece Nabilah's wedding reception yesterday. Tall and erect, he was seated at the table adjoining ours, quietly observing the crowd.

I was drawn to his black, highly polished patent leather shoes. They sparkled and shone like a beacon and spoke of high discipline. And they brought back memories of long ago. My heart suddenly ached.

The wearer looked kind of familiar, despite the years etched on his face. Reed-thin, eyes somewhat squinty, he must be in his 80s. There was a slight tremor in his hands as he gestured in an unsteady voice.

I tried hard to recall that face for I knew this man wasn't a stranger. Then one of the uncles spoke, nudging me towards the old man: "Don't you remember him, May? That's Pakcik Omar."

Indeed he was! At the mention of his name, I put down my cutlery, eased out of my chair and went over to where he sat.

As though on cue, he stood up and graciously took my outstretched hands. "What a pleasant surprise, Pakcik Omar!" I exclaimed, holding his hands tightly.

It has been 36 years since we last met and I knew he couldn't figure me out. It was when I introduced myself that his lips quivered and those eyes began to brim.

He asked about the ex, the eldest son of his former boss. I didn't have the heart to tell him that we got ourselves uncoupled a quarter of a century ago, after 14 years of marriage.

Pakcik Omar cheated death and lived to tell the tale. Sarjan Omar (as he was then), was my late father-in-law's police-designated chauffeur and was behind the wheels when Bapak was assassinated.

They had just left the IGP's official residence in Jalan Kia Peng, and were travelling along the narrow Lorong Raja Chulan stretch in mid-town Kuala Lumpur, when two gunmen sprayed bullets into the car.

Bapak died almost instantaneously, 11 bullet holes riddling his body. Pakcik Omar took a nick in the neck and hand but managed to open the driver's door and crawled out.

The cold-blooded murder of the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Hj Abdul Rahman bin Hj Hashim in 1974 shocked the country. Today, 37 years on, there is still no closure in sight.

Seeing Pakcik Omar yesterday brought back the painful memories of Bapak's sudden passing. If Bapak were still alive, he would be 87 today, and Wan (Grandpa) to some 30 grandchildren and more than a dozen great-grandchildren.

On the occassion of Nabilah's wedding, my thoughts went to Bapak, who never had the opportunity of knowing his many cucus and cicits, save for a grandson (now 40) who was three when he died ...............

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Congratulations Naya!

This sweet-faced young lady is Iis Sahanaya Yanto, the adopted daughter of my one-time sister-in-law, Datin Sofwanah Rahman [story here]. Naya excelled in her recent SPM, scoring 8As and 2Bs. Way to go, girl! We are mighty proud of you!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Daiso.... Hinode..... Hait!

The five onyx pieces in the front row - two decorative plates, two tealight holders and an ashtray - were purchased from Hinode at RM5 apiece.

Toothpaste tube squeezer from Daiso. Just how did I live without this squeezer before, especially when squeezing a toothpaste tube needs such herculean effort? Oh, I shudder to think how deprived I was.. :-D

These colourful ceramic vases from Hinode make handy containers for kitchen utensils. It's ironic that the total cost of all ten vases is less than the cost of the solitary steel shelf.

Foldable shelf from Daiso (one of many in my house); a real space-saver.

Lillie and Awang's ceramic food bowls, from Daiso. The cost of the water bowl, purchased from a pet shop, is more than the cost of the food bowls combined.

Daiso. Hinode. Recognise those names?

If you are an avid shopper, or a window-shopping 'kaki' like me who traipse around shopping complexes daily under the guise of (walking) exercise, you probably would.

Daiso and Hinode are the names of what is known as the "RM5 Shop" where every item within is tagged at RM5. The ones I frequent are located at the opposite ends of One Utama Shopping Centre (new wing).

I admit to being weak-kneed (not to mention weak-willed) each time Daiso and Hinode come into view. I must step in somehow, if only to check if there's anything new on the shelves. [Macam tau-tau, there always is..]

Of course it goes without saying that I always end up buying a thing or two, regardless whether there is a real need for it or not. [Does anyone really NEED a toothpaste tube squeezer? I rest my case].

Even worse is the desperate inner battle to convince myself that we DO need another potato peeler, or garlic crusher, or fish scaler, for this hardly berasap kitchen of mine. [Well, it's not my fault they come in such attractive colours!].

"Pathetic" couldn't even begin to describe moi... (sigh..)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fly Away Zack!

The five sisters. (Front from left) - Ana, Ani, Izah. (Back) - Idah and Kama. (Not in picture) - Liza (residing in the US for the last 20 years). Thank God we have managed to age gracefully..

(From left) - Ana, Idah, Izah, Kama. Ana lectures in UiTM, Idah manages a unit trust fund portfolio, Izah is a retired counselor while Kama is in public relations.

The happy couple - Zack & Zetty.

Father & son - Hisham (left) & Zack (right).

My sister Idah, whom I rarely see these days since she moved far across town last year - from Taman Tun Dr Ismail in KL to Kayangan Heights in Shah Alam - spent the recent Saturday afternoon with yours truly, reminiscing about the twists and turns in our respective lives.

Idah looks set to become a more constant feature in my life once again now that her son Zack has finally untied the apron strings by returning to Taman Tun to raise his two young ones on his own with wife Zetty.

I'm glad Zack had chosen to return to the neighbourhood he grew up in. He went to school here and still has lots of friends living in the vicinity. And I'm just a holler away, so to speak.

Zack's a pilot with Air Asia, so he's away a lot. But with all of us nearby and his children's 'Popo' (that's Idah, who simply refuses to be called 'Opah') hovering anxiously (I guess that's what grandkids do to you), Zack can rest easy.

Idah and I share a lot of similarities in our respective lives. We both were, once upon a time, divorcees raising our kids single-handedly; she has a son and a daughter (Emy) while I have two of each.

We both struggled with our respective businesses in the early years - me in public relations, she in unit trust. Mine unfortunately went under with the 1997 financial crash, but she had managed to keep afloat.

Today I can afford to take it easy, syukur alhamdulillah, although I still do the odd copywriting and translation work to keep the mind alert. The days of real struggle to put food on the table and keep the kids in college are but history.

Idah too has fared well. All her hard work has borne fruit; she now manages a multi-million ringgit portfolio, lives well and travels often. And she deserves every luxury that comes her way.

Her ex, Zack's father, is a former RMAF fighter pilot now flying commercially. It's thus no surprise the son takes after the father. They are both serving the same airline; it's wonderful to see them standing side by side, looking smart in their uniform.

We seem to breed pilots. Besides Zack and his dad Hisham, my sister Ani is also married to one. Ex-RMAF chopper flier Mohd Som (we call him Atan) transports oilmen to and from offshore platforms.

Their son Atari and son-in-law Feisal also fly together with Zack. In addition, three uncles are flying with the national carrier.

I learn a thing or two about pilots. One, they are away most times and two, they earn a helluva lot. I can't say more because I don't know much about the job although I certainly understand the demands and risks involved.

All my life, I have always considered flying an aircraft, commercially or otherwise, a glamorous enough vocation. And they look so 'segak' in their starched white shirt and their perky pilot cap.

Zack recently got promoted to Flight Captain. This young man, who once served behind the counter at Taman Tun's Secret Recipe while waiting for his SPM results, is today a proud husband, to Zetty Safinaz, and doting father, to Qadri & Zuhra.

When he was in his late teens, Zack and his sister Emy bunked in my house for a while when their mother temporarily shifted the base of her unit trust business to Terengganu. He bowled me over with his courtesy and quiet demeanour.

I have never forgotten the lean times when his mum and I shared whatever little cash we had to put food on the table. Back then, a hundred ringgit really went a long way. It's a marvel how we managed to stretch it even further.

How could we ever forget the endless fried rice meals we fed our kids day in day out because we couldn't afford anything else. Until today I still feel a lump in my throat each time I cook fried rice.

All things considered, God is, and has always been, very kind. He teaches us a valuable lesson we are not likely to forget until the day we breathe our last, that 'patience has its virtues'.

To Zack, congratulations upon your promotion. We wish you success in your chosen career. One word of advice from this old cantankerous aunt of yours: Remember Him and thank Him always...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Oy! Oy!

Once again, The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly neologism contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words. The winners are:

Coffee (n.): The person upon whom one coughs.

Flabbergasted (adj.): Appalled over how much weight you have gained.

Abdicate (v.): To give up all hopes of ever having a flat stomach.

Esplanade (v.): To attempt an explanation while drunk.

(adj.): Impotent.

Negligent (adj.): Describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

Lymph (v.): To walk with a lisp.

Gargoyle (n.): Olive-flavoured mouthwash.

Flatulence (n.): Emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

Balderdash (n.): A rapidly receding hairline.

(n.): A humorous question on an exam.

Rectitude (n.): The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

Pokemon (n): A Rastafarian proctologist.

Oyster (n.): A person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

Circumvent (n.): An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.


The Washington Post's Style Invitational also asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are this year's winners:

Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

Foreploy (v): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.

Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

Karmageddon (n): It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer....

Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that’s good for you.

Glibido (v): All talk and no action.

Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating.

And the pick of the literature (and my personal favourite!):
Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an arsehole.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hadith Pilihan

Bacalah Al-Quran

Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) bersabda: "Bila seseorang lelaki itu mati dan saudaranya sibuk dengan pengebumiannya, berdiri lelaki yang amat kacak di bahagian kepalanya.

Dan bila mayatnya dikapan, lelaki itu berada di antara kain kapan dan si mati. Selepas pengebumian dan semua orang pulang ke rumah, datanglah dua malaikat Mungkar dan Nangkir.

Mereka cuba memisahkan lelaki kacak ini supaya mereka boleh menyoal lelaki yang telah meninggal itu seorang diri mengenai ketaatannya kepada Allah.

Tapi lelaki kacak itu berkata, "Dia adalah temanku, dia adalah kawanku. Aku takkan meninggalkannya seorang diri walau apa pun.

"Jika kamu ditetapkan untuk menyoal, lakukanlah tugasmu. Aku tidak boleh meninggalkannya sehingga aku dapati dia dimasukkan ke dalam Syurga."

Selepas itu dia berpaling pada temannya yang meninggal dan berkata, "Aku adalah Al-Quran, yang mana kamu membacanya, kadang-kadang dengan suara yang nyaring dan kadang-kadang dengan suara yang perlahan. Jangan bimbang. Selepas soal siasat dari Mungkar dan Nangkir, kamu tidak akan bersedih."

Selepas soal siasat selesai, lelaki kacak mengatur untuknya daripada Al-Mala'ul A'laa (malaikat dalam Syurga) tempat tidur dari sutera yang dipenuhi bauan kesturi.

Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) bersabda: "Di hari pengadilan, di hadapan Allah, tiada syafaat yang lebih baik darjatnya daripada Quran, mahupun dari nabi atau malaikat."


Solat Subuh di Masjid

Seorang pemuda bangun di pagi yang hening untuk bersolat subuh di masjid. Dia berpakaian, berwudhu dan berjalan menuju masjid. Setelah hampir tiba, dia terjatuh dan pakaiannya kotor.

Lantas dia bangkit dan pulang ke rumah menggantikan baju, berwudhu dan berjalan kembali menuju masjid. Dalam perjalanan kembali ini dia jatuh lagi di tempat yg sama!

Sekali lagi dia bangkit, kembali ke rumah menggantikan baju, berwudhu dan berjalan menuju masjid. Di tengah jalan dia bertemu seorang lelaki yg memegang lampu.

Apabila ditanya siapa beliau, si pemegang lampu menjawab: "Saya melihat anda jatuh dua kali di perjalanan menuju masjid, jadi saya bawakan lampu untuk menerangi jalan anda."

Pemuda pertama mengucapkan terima kasih dan mereka berdua berjalan ke masjid. Setelah tiba, pemuda tersebut mengajak lelaki pembawa lampu untuk bersolat subuh bersamanya, tetapi lelaki itu menolak.

Pemuda itu mengajak lagi, dan ditolak lagi ajakan itu. Lantas pemuda itu bertanya kenapa menolak untuk masuk dan solat. Maka lelaki tersebut menjawab: "Aku adalah Iblis."

Pemuda itu amat terkejut dengan jawapan lelaki itu. Iblis kemudian menjelaskan: "Aku melihat kamu berjalan ke masjid, lantas aku buat kamu terjatuh. Ketika kamu pulang ke rumah membersihkan badan dan kembali ke masjid, Allah memaafkan semua dosa mu.

"Aku membuatmu jatuh kedua kalinya, tetapi itupun tidak membuatmu merubah fikiran untuk tinggal di rumah. Kamu tetap memutuskan kembali masjid. Kerana itu Allah memaafkan semua dosa seluruh anggota keluarga mu.

"Aku khuatir jika aku membuat kamu jatuh buat kali ketiga, Allah akan memaafkan dosa-dosa seluruh penduduk desa mu, jadi aku harus memastikan supaya kamu sampai di masjid dengan selamat."


Jangan biarkan Syaitan mendapatkan keuntungan dari setiap aksinya. Jangan melepaskan sebuah niat baik yang hendak kamu lakukan, karena kamu tidak tahu ganjaran yang akan kamu dapat dari segala kesulitan yang kamu temui dalam usahamu untuk melaksanakan niat baik tersebut.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mini Tazkirah - Renungan Jumaat

[Petikan daripada himpunan ceramah Ustaz Dato' Ismail Kamus]

Puasa sunat vs kenduri
Selalunya ketika kita sedang berpuasa sunat, apabila ada orang ajak makan kenduri, kita akan menolak dengan alasan kita sedang berpuasa. Sayang sangat nak bukak puasa; kononnya nak dapat pahala puasa penuh.

Sebenarnya, kalau dalam keadaan macam ni, adalah lebih utama untuk kita bukak puasa dan pergi kenduri tersebut, kerana memperkenankan jemputan itu adalah lebih utama daripada kita meneruskan puasa sunat tersebut. Bukak puasa pun boleh dapat pahala lebih, takkan tak nak?

Islam itu syumul
Ramai yang menganggap Islam ini hanya pada ibadat sahaja; hukum solat, puasa, haji dijaga sepenuhnya. Tetapi hukum2 yang lain langsung tak mau ikut cara Islam, contohnya bab riba, rasuah, dan sebagainya. Ingatlah, Islam itu syumul (menyeluruh).

Sesetengah masjid suka bertarhim (baca ayat al-Quran sebelum azan Subuh) dan dilaungkan kuat2 speaker tu sampai satu kampung dengar, kadang2 sejam atau setengah jam sebelum azan, dah bunyi dah. HARAM hukumnya kerana mengganggu orang tidur!

Kena ambilkira orang di sekeliling tu mungkin ada orang tua, kanak2 baru lahir, orang sakit, orang yang tidur semula selepas bangun tahajjud dan sebagainya. Buat apa nak kacau mereka tidur?

Yang disyariatkan dalam agama adalah azan Subuh sahaja. Kalau nak baca al-Quran pun baca sorang2 cukup. Tak payah bagi sekampung dengar. Rasa2 macam dapat pahala, rupa2nya dapat bala.

Sebenarnya kalau kita sedang baca al-Quran sorang2, tiba2 kawan sebelah kita tertidur, kita kena berhenti membaca al-Quran sebab menghormati orang yang sedang tidur itu. Inikan pulak sekampung..

Kalau nak bertarhim kuat2 pun, agak2 dalam 10 minit atau 5 minit sebelum azan tu cukuplah, tak payah lama2. Sempat la orang nak bangun bersiap2 untuk ke masjid. Kalau ada AJK masjid yg baca ni, sila ambil perhatian.

Makan/tidur vs solat
Apabila kita hendak sembahyang, tiba2 hidangan makanan dah disediakan, makanlah dulu. Ini kerana bimbang kita tak khusyuk dalam sembahyang nanti. Begitu juga jika kita terlalu mengantuk, tidurlah dulu baru sembahyang, tapi dengan syarat masih di awal waktu lah.

Takbiratul ihram
Sesetengah orang menghadapi masalah ketika hendak bertakbiratul ihram. Kadang2 angkat takbir berulang-ulang kali tapi masih tak masuk niat jugak.

Itu cumalah gangguan syaitan sahaja. Memang ada syaitan yang tugasnya khas hanya untuk mengacau orang yang sedang bertakbiratul iham. Pedulikan bisikan syaitan itu, yakin dengan diri sendiri.

Berkenaan dengan niat pula; niat itu bukannya dibaca dalam hati, tapi hanya lintasan dalam hati sahaja. Jika dibaca, itu yang menyebabkan susah nak masuk sebab panjang sangat nak dibaca.

Apa yang dikhuatiri adalah berikut: Jika anda sudah bertakbiratul ihram kali pertama dan andainya ia sudah sah disisi Allah, tapi kemudian anda ragu2 lantas anda turun semula dan takbir untuk kali kedua, takbir kali kedua itu akan menyebabkan solat anda menerusi takbir pertama tadi terbatal.

Dan jika anda meneruskan solat dengan takbir kedua itu, bermakna anda meneruskan solat dalam keadaan solat yang terbatal, melainkan anda melakukan takbir kali ketiga. Jadi kesimpulannya, tegaskan hati ketika takbir, seelok-eloknya dapat pada takbir pertama dan jangan peduli dengan bisikan syaitan..

Terdapat segelintir imam yang apabila berdoa selepas solat memulakan doa dengan “Hamdan hamidin“, “Hamdan zakirin“ atau “Hamdansyakirin“.. Bunyinya memang sedap, tapi dari segi nahu Bahasa Arabnya salah.

Ini kerana terdapatnya huruf Alif Lam pada perkataan kedua di setiap bacaan tersebut. Jadi yang sebetulnya harus disebut begini: “Hamdal-hamidin“, “Hamdaz-zakirin” dan ” Hamdasy-syakirin“. (p/s: huruf z adalahhuruf zal).

Betulkan cara solat
Menurut mazhab Shafie, mesti terdapat 7 anggota yg menyentuh tanah ketika kita sedang sujud iaitu dahi, kedua2 tapak tangan, kedua2 lutut, dan kedua2 PERUT ibu jari kaki (hidung sunat sahaja).

Yang nak ditekankan di sini adalah berkenaan perut ibu jari kaki, bermakna ibu jari kaki mestilah dilentikkan ketika sujud barulah perutnya boleh mencecah tanah. Terdapat ramai orang yang kakinya menegak sahaja tanpa dilentikkan ketika sujud. Tak sah solat kalau macam tu.

Lagi satu yang selalu perhatikan, ketika sujud sebelum tahyat akhir, ada yang dah standby siap2 silangkan kaki seperti tak sabar2 hendak duduk tahyat akhir. Itu pun tak sah juga solatnya. Berjaga2, jangan disebabkan hal yang kita anggap remeh macam ini menyebabkan solat kita tak diterima oleh Allah.

Hantar kuih ke rumah jiran
Di bulan puasa, orang kita rajin menghantar kuih2 atau juadah2 ke rumah jiran. Memang bagus sekali, tapi silapnya di mana? Orang kita selalu mengharapkan dibalas juadah tadi. Itulah silapnya. Niat dah lari. Kalau menghantar kuih-muih ke jiran sebelah, niatlah kerana Allah. Jangan mengharapkan dibalas. Kalau dibalas itu rezeki lah.

Ringkaskan jika perlu
Apabila kita bersolat di tempat yang ruangnya terhad tapi ramai orang, contohnya di surau R&R, dalam kapal terbang, dan sebagainya, sesudah kita solat, terus ajelah bangun untuk bagi ruang kepada orang lain untuk solat.

Tak payah nak berwirid la, doa panjang2 la, sembahyang sunat ba’diah la; sebab lebih utama untuk kita bagi orang lain peluang bersolat, menunaikan perkara wajib berbanding kita nak buat perkara2 sunat. Lebih2 lagi kalau waktu maghrib, sebab waktunya pendek. Kat R&R ramai orang macam ni.

Naik haji
Menunaikan haji sememangnya adalah rukun bagi kita, tetapi kita kena pandai menyusun keutamaan. Contohnya jika kita dah cukup duit nak pergi haji tahun ni, tiba2 ada saudara kita yang jatuh sakit memerlukan kos perubatan yang tinggi, kita kena tangguhkan dulu pergi haji tu. Guna duit tu untuk bantu saudara kita. Itu yang dituntut dalam Islam.

Solat sunat vs tetamu
Jika kita hendak sembahyang sunat, tiba2 ada tetamu datang bertandang, kita kena tangguhkan sembahyang tu dan pergi layan tetamu dulu. Itu yang lebih utama. Contohnya; apabila selesai solat zohor, kita hendak solat ba’diah tiba2 ada tetamu datang. Tangguhkan solat ba’diah tu dan pergi layan tetamu dulu. Selepas dah selesai baru buat solat ba’diah.

Dan jika dah tak sempat, solat ba’diah zohor boleh diqada selepas solat asar, walaupun selepas asar dah tak boleh solat sunat lagi. Tetapi jika untuk qada solat ba’diah zohor boleh, kerana ini pernah dibuat sendiri oleh Nabi Muhammad (saw). Tapi itu pun jika ada hal yang tak dapat dielakkan. Kalau saja2 nak qada tak boleh.

Sebagai kesimpulan, kita hendaklah pandai menyusun keutamaan dalam beribadat. Dahulukan yang lebih utama. Jika kita gagal berbuat demikian boleh menyebabkan ibadat kita sia2 sahaja, malah sesetengahnya boleh mengakibatkan dosa pula. Renungkanlah..

Thursday, March 10, 2011


A passenger in a taxi leaned over to ask the driver a question and tapped him on the shoulder. The driver screamed, lost control of the cab, nearly hit a bus, drove over the curb, and stopped just inches from a large plate glass window.

For a few moments everything was silent in the cab, and then the still-shaking driver said, "I’m sorry, but you scared the daylights out of me."

The frightened passenger apologized to the driver and said he didn’t realize a mere tap on the shoulder could frighten him so much.

The driver replied, "No, no, I’m sorry, it’s entirely my fault. Today is my first day driving a cab. I had been driving a hearse for the last 25 years."


Fred and Mabel were both patients in a mental hospital. One day as they both walked beside the swimming pool, Mabel jumped into the deep end and sank to the bottom.

Without a thought for his own safety, Fred jumped in after her, brought her to the surface, hauled her out, gave her the kiss of life and saved her.

The next day happened to be Fred’s annual review. He was brought before the hospital board, where the director told him, “Fred, I have some good news and some bad news.

"The good news is that in the light of your heroic act yesterday, we consider that you are sane and can be released from the hospital and be back into society.

"The bad news is, I’m afraid Mabel, the patient you saved, shortly afterwards hung herself on the bathroom door with the belt from her bathrobe. I’m sorry but she’s dead.”

“She didn’t hang herself,” Fred replied, “I put her there to dry.”


Grandma and grandpa were watching a religious healing programme on television. The evangelist called to all who wanted to be healed, to put one hand on the television and the other on the body part they wanted healed.

Grandma hobbled to the television and put one hand on the TV set and the other on her arthritic hip. Grandpa made his way to the set, put one hand on the television and the other on his crotch.

Grandma looked at him with disgust: “you just don’t understand, you old fart. The purpose of this program is to heal the SICK, not raise the DEAD.”


The Madam opened the brothel door to see a rather dignified, well-dressed good looking man in his late 40s or early 50s.

“May I help you?” she asked. I want to see Valerie,” the man replied. "Sir, Valerie is one of our most expensive ladies. Perhaps you would prefer someone else,” said the madam. “No. I must see Valerie,” was the man’s reply.

Just then, Valerie appeared and announced to the man that she charged $1,000 a visit. Without hesitation, the man pulled ten one-hundred dollar bills out, gave them to Valerie and they went upstairs. After an hour, the man calmly left.

The next night, the same man appeared again, demanding to see Valerie. Valerie explained that none had ever come back two nights in a row–too expensive–and that there were no discounts.

The price was still $1,000. Again the man pulled the money out, gave it to Valerie and they went upstairs. After an hour, he left.

The following night, the man was there again. Everyone was astounded that he had come for the third consecutive night, but he paid Valerie and they went upstairs. After their session, Valerie questioned the man.

“No one had ever been with me three nights in a row. Where are you from?” she asked. The man replied, “South Carolina.” “Really,” she said. “I have family in South Carolina.”

“I know,” the man said. “Your father died and I am your sister’s attorney. She had asked me to give you your $3,000 inheritance.”

The moral of the story is that there are three things in life that are certain:
1. Death
2. Taxes
3. Being screwed by your attorney


Host: ”Ah Lian, you’ve done very well so far - $500,000 and one lifeline left — phone a friend. Are you ready for the million-dollar question? The next question will give you the top prize of one million dollars if you get it right … but if you get it wrong, you will drop back to $32,000 — are you ready?”

Ah Lian: “Sure, I want to go!”

“Which of the following bird does not build its own nest? Is it……..
Remember Ah Lian, it is worth one million dollars!”

“I think I know, but not really leh! No, I dunno. I want to phone a friend, want to make sure.

“Yes, who, Ah Lian, do you want to phone?"

“I’ll phone my friend Ah Huey.”

(Ringing) Ah Huey: “Hello…”

“Hello Ah Huey, it’s Mr Bush from Who Wants to be a Millionaire. I have Ah Lian here and she is doing really well with $500,000, but needs your help to be a millionaire. The next voice you hear will be Ah Lian’s and she’ll read you the question. There are 4 possible answers and 1 correct answer and you have 30 seconds to answer. Fire away Ah Lian!”

“Very hard one ahh, which one of the following bird does not build its own nest? Is it:

“Aiyah, Ah Lian, this one easy lah! It’s a Cuckoo.”
“You sure or not?”
“Belly sure.”
“Thanks Ah Huey.” (hangs up)

“Well, do you want to stick to $500,000 or play on for the million?”
“I want to play, I’ll go with C; Cuckoo bird.”
“Is that your final answer?”
“It is.”
“Are you confident?”
“Yes Ah Huey very choon one.”

“Ah Lian, you have $500,000 and you said C; Cuckoo. You’re right! You have just won ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Here is your cheque. You have been a great contestant and a real gambler. Audience please put your hands together for Ah Lian.” (clap clap clap).

That night Ah Lian calls on Ah Huey and takes him out for a celebration drink. As they sip their champagne, Ah Lian turns to Ah Huey and asks “Tell me Ah Huey, how in Tua Pek Kong’s name did you know that it was the Cuckoo that does not build its own nest?

Ah Huey: “You dunno meh? Everybody knows that a cuckoo lives in a clock!”


Husband and wife are waiting at the bus stop with their nine children. A blind man joins them after a few minutes.

When the bus arrives, they find it overloaded and only the wife and the nine kids are able to fit onto the bus. So the husband and the blind man decide to walk.

After a while, the husband gets irritated by the ticking of the stick of the blind man as he taps it on the sidewalk, and says to him, “Why don’t you put a piece of rubber at the end of your stick? That ticking sound is driving me crazy.”

The blind man replies, “If you had put a rubber at the end of YOUR stick, we’d be riding the bus, so shut the hell up.”


A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment. Suddenly, the man realized that the next day, he would need his wife to wake him at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight.

Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper, “Please wake me at 5:00 AM.” He left it where he knew she would find it.

The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn’t awakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed. The paper said, “It is 5:00 AM. Wake up.”

Men are not equipped for this kind of contest. God may have created man before woman, but there is always a rough draft before the masterpiece.


A man and his wife were having an argument about who should brew the coffee each morning. The wife said, “You should do it, because you get up first, and then we don’t have to wait as long to get our coffee.”

The husband said, "You are in charge of cooking around here and you should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for my coffee.”

Wife replied, “No, you should do it, and besides, it is in the Bible that the man should do the coffee.” Husband said, “I can’t believe that, show me.”

So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New Testament and showed him at the top of several pages, that it indeed says……….'HEBREWS.'


Tuesday, March 8, 2011


My Sundays are usually spent at home, unless if there are invitations to kenduris and such. I cherish my weekend solitude and try as much as possible not to break the habit.

Pak Abu golfs every Sunday afternoon and the two girls usually do their own things out of the house (shopping, badminton, hanging out with friends etc) come weekends.

That leaves me with a blissfully silent TV and two lazy felines for company... a perfect Sunday for lazing around, catching up with my reading and blogging...

Last Sunday, however, was a break from the norm; off to unfamiliar Shah Alam went I, on a mission rarely refused by any woman worth her salt - shopping.

My friend Ayu (pix above), who always turned up wearing such beautiful visor-type tudungs, had promised to take me to her regular tudung 'haunt'.

So off we went to this shopping centre called Oasis 9 in downtown Shah Alam. I can't remember the last time I was in this Section 9 area, now a busy and thriving commercial hub.

If my memory has not failed me, I think I dined a couple of times at Shah Alam Concorde nearby. This must have been some 7 years ago; I was still attached to The Royal Mint of Malaysia then.

At the time, Oasis 9 and the now infamous Plaza Masalam had yet to be built. [I mentioned Plaza Masalam because Ayu and I had kopi at mamak 'Pelita' there soon after shopping].

Tudung Chantek occupies a half-lot on the ground floor of Oasis 9. Across the concourse area is Zam Zam Restaurant, a popular eatery that serves Arab cuisine.

Boutique owner Noor Faizah (Faiz to all) is an old friend of Ayu. Pleasant and chatty, petite Faiz (pleasingly montok is more like it) is as hands-on and creative as could be.

She makes those tudungs and robes herself (assisted by a couple of seamstresses). She also travels abroad frequently, mainly to Vietnam, India and Korea, to purchase suitable textiles and fabrics for her creations.

There are a couple of things about her tudungs that made me give my stamp of approval without much hesitation (and I can be picky as hell..).

It's the meticulous and tidy workmanship with everything neatly stitched and no fraying or loose ends, and the fact that she took into consideration differing facial sizes by having two separate end-stitches at the tudung's 'chin'.

This means one can have any pattern one likes without worrying whether the tudung fits or not because, should it be tight, the shop can unravel the inner stitching to 'expand' it, to accommodate a bigger face.

Also, she has an eye for beautiful textiles and has the knack for marrying a plain or striped visor (some call it awning) with suitably-patterned fabrics. And to maintain exclusivity, she makes no more than 7 pieces from each pattern.

As someone who wears glasses, I had noticed how smoothly the tudung sides 'fall' against the sides of my temple, with no unsightly bulge or 'bubble'. To this Faiz said it was in the contour of the cut itself, which she took special care with.

Tudung Chantek also accepts orders for special occasions such as weddings where family members 'on duty' may want to wear tudung sedondon in addition to the standard corsage.

Best of all, the prices at Tudung Chantek are very modest; tudungs are tagged as low as RM40 and doesn't go beyond RM85 each, while jubahs range from RM55 to RM190. With such fine workmanship, I find the prices a steal.

I purchased two tudungs that day and I know I will be a repeat customer. Ayu says Faiz always informs when a new stock is ready. The boutique also carries tudung syria and shawls.

All things considered, I must say it makes me feel good to be able to share this with you, for the simple reason that we all want our money's worth, and I found mine in this delightful oasis in Shah Alam. Cantik sekali!

Tudung Chantek is located at G.M07, Oasis 9 @ Shah Alam, Section 9, 40100. Faiz can be contacted at 012-258 6453.

PS: I hope Faiz can consider some paisley designs in the future; I'm a shoo-in for paisley..

Monday, March 7, 2011


Chow Xiao Wei - The Kitten Killer

Memang lidah tak bertulang. Betapa senangnya mengeluarkan kata-kata berbaur 'regret'. Entah ya entah tidak segala penyesalan. Pada aku, hanya wayang semata-mata. Engkau tak deserve pun benefit of the doubt.

Mungkin sebab dah terbongkar identiti, takut lumat dikerjakan dek orang sekeliling, terpaksa cepat-cepat mintak maaf. Kalau diikutkan hati, mau aku jejak dan sedekahkan buku lima.

Sorry, I don't buy all these crap about being depressed over parental divorce and such. Kalau nak cari alasan, semua jadi. Yang sebenarnya, betina ni emotionally senget. Takder control langsung.

Anak-anak aku pun depressed jugak waktu mak bapak dia orang bercerai dulu; tapi takder la pulak sampai pergi kerjakan anak-anak kucing yang tak berdosa; pukul, tendang terajang dan pijak sampai mati!


It's about time the Animals Act 1953 dipinda. Akta ni lebih tua dari aku. Bayangkan, if found guilty of abusing the kittens, she faces either a fine of RM200, six months in prison or both.

RM200 jer? Bayar saman ekor pun lebih dari tu. Enam bulan merengkok dalam penjara pun, kalau dikira dari date of arrest, tolak sana tolak sini, entah berapa hari aja kena sumbat kat dalam.

Even kalau kena kedua-duanya sekali pun, masih amat ringan. Bagaimana kalau kita punish dia macam mana dia balun kucing-kucing tu...tibai dengan payung, pijak keronyok dan yang sewaktu dengannya.. hah, baru adil...

Hisyyy, pagi-pagi hari dah sakit jiwa dibuatnya..

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Habbatus Sauda - The Revered Seeds

I am sure many of you must have heard of habbatus sauda even if you have not found some use for it. I became a convert only recently, and I'll tell you why.

Botanically known as nigella sativa, habbatus sauda is a medicinal herb peculiar to southwest Asia, that dates back its use to more than 3000 years, to the times of the pharaohs.

Oil extract of this herb was found buried in the tomb of Egyptian boy-king Tutankhamen, and Cleopatra reputedly used it as part of her skin care preparations.

Besides Arabia, this annual flowering plant can also be found growing extensively in the Mediterranean region. The flowers are delicate, usually coloured pale blue and white, with 5 to 10 petals.

The fruit is a large and inflated capsule composed of 3 to 7 united follicles, each containing numerous seeds. Also known as black cumin (jintan hitam), the seeds are used both as medicine and as spice in food preparations.

It is one of the most revered seeds in medicinal history, recommended for use some 1400 years ago by the Prophet Muhammad (saw) himself.

"Pada habbatus sauda terdapat penawar kepada semua penyakit kecuali mati. [This black cumin is healing for all diseases except death]." (narrated by Bukhari in Sahih Muslim: Book 26 Kitab As-Salam, Number 5489).

I must admit I was oblivious to the existence of habbatus sauda until one morning three years ago when Pak Abu was advised to consume some as treatment for the painful joints that was beginning to affect his golf.

The capsules proved effective, but because I wasn't in need of any such medicinal remedy then, I shelved habbatus sauda out of my mind.

When we were in the Holy Land for the Hajj three years ago, we found Malaysian students selling habbatus sauda, in oil extract, capsule as well as seed form, to pilgrims. So we bought some too.

It's a common practice for our students studying in various universities in the Middle-east (mostly from Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen) to descend upon Makkah and Madinah during the Hajj season to earn some money to cover their tutorials or living expenses.

These young men are an enterprising lot; acting as ziarah guides for pilgrims, offering assistance to the infirmed to do their haj rituals, buat upah haji, as well as selling an extensive range of products highly valued by pilgrims as gifts for loved ones at home.

They include attar scents and perfumes, prayer beads and mats, religious books, Yemeni honey (my runaway favourite), medicinal herbs and remedy, arabian sweetmeats and fruits and candies.

From a few of them I bought (amongst other things) habbatus sauda, without really knowing for what reason. All I was thinking about was to help, in my own small way, these young men earn some money.

Since then the bottle of habbatus sauda oil extract and caseful of black seeds had been languishing on my medicine shelf, regularly moved and replaced by the maid when she dusted.

Last year I developed pains in my joints, particularly my right knee. It got so bad that I couldn't bend the knee at all, and had to do my solat sitting down on a chair.

Not long after, the left leg followed suit; the calf became overly sensitive (sengal tulang). Walking was such an effort that I became a morose, irritable old grouch.

Medicated plaster could only help so much; the relief was temporary. I didn't know what else to do; the constant pain had made my life miserable. Out of frustration, I voiced out my woes to some friends on Facebook.

An old acquaintance from my reporting days reached out by suggesting that I try habbatus sauda. He said his wife had suffered from similar ailments and that habbatus sauda had given her a much welcome relief.

It was then I realised I had the ubat sitting pretty on my medicine shelf for the last three years!

It has been two months since I use the habbatus sauda oil extract. All I did was gently rub a few drops onto my calf and knee twice daily. As for the seeds, I have yet to touch them. Soon, I hope.

The sengal-sengal (calf pain) has since disappeared, And I am able to bend my right knee again, although not all the way. But it's a start. At least the pain is no more. Alhamdulillah syukur..

[If this sounds like one of those gushing testimonials one often reads in the papers or on leaflets/flyers found stuffed in one's mailbox, so be it. I'm unashamedly a fan of habbatus sauda.

And I owe a big thank you to Pak Amran Hamid, one-time RTM supremo now retired, for pointing me in the direction of habbatus sauda. Syukran, Pak, may Allah swt bless you always...]

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Loh Hei

Jason (right) giving the thumbs-up to his 10th yee sang dinner for this year. Next to him is his new ladylove Vanessa. And then there's Joe, the one with no love interest just yet..

The Abus' annual Tahun Baru Cina dine-out; buttered prawns, squid with dried chillies, beef ginger, claypot tofu, lemon chicken and steamed garoupa asam style (not in pix).

Lemon chicken, tangy and absolutely yummy.

The Abus are a bunch of kaki makan, so it's no surprise that they always seek to enjoy food together, come what event. Any festival is a good enough excuse to dine as a family.

Each year we'd have the traditional yee sang (we loh hei too, just for the heck of it), followed by a six-course Chinese dinner, at Royal Lake Club's halal Chinese restaurant.

This year we had it a bit late because it was getting difficult to get everyone together due to prior commitments. In fact, eldest son Naj was absent; he was down with fever the same evening.

But my adopted son Jason was able to be there, this time with a lovely lady on his arms (finally!). Single dad Jason has a daughter, Judith, who is now 8.

Joe's buddy Melvin, in the meantime, got caught in a gridlock in PJ and had to abandon all ideas of loh hei-ing with us. Poor Melvin; never mind, there's always next year, Insyaallah.

I think next year I'm going to buy a crate of oranges and get the kids to throw them into the sea at Port Dickson during Chap Goh Meh (and then we'll collect them all back, hehehe). Sounds like fun... :-D

When Makbul Gets Canai-ed

Where food court Rasta and mamak joint Makbul used to be.

Once there was a popular mamak eatery called Makbul in my neck of the woods, giving established competitors Mohsein, Maulana and Jaseema a run for their money.

Makbul was located in TTDI's (Taman Tun Dr Ismail) Burhanuddin Helmi area, adjacent to food court Rasta (which has since been relocated further south about 1000 metres away).

Flanking both eateries were two petrol stations; the lacklustre, gloomy looking Esso, with equally dour staff, to the left and the vibrant, high-traffic Mobil, with friendly workers and chock-a-block with Malay kueh selection always, to the right.

Pak Abu, being a loyal Maulana man (he thinks their roti canai has no equal), has never taken to Makbul, although he would make grudging concessions for Mohsein's apom manis and chicken tandoori. Of Jaseema, he steers clear completely.

While not a fan, I usually go with Pak Abu's ebbs and flows where mamak food is concerned. I'm a true-blue Mek Tranu, my tastebuds yearning for the sweetness and piquancy of East Coast-Thai cooking most of the time.

Give me nasi dagang, pulut pagi, laksam, kerabu mangga, tomyam campur, som tam (green papaya salad), kao phad (fried rice), green curry and kao niao mamuang (mango with glutenous rice), and I'd be as happy as a lark.

A couple of years ago, residents in Burhanuddin Helmi (our last address before buying this current property) were rattled to hear that the parcel of land where both eateries stood would be redeveloped into highrise housing.

Considering the location, I wouldn't be surprised at all if each condo unit carried a price tag of no less than RM1 million. I knew they would be snapped up as soon as the ads were out.

Because this part of TTDI is already a high-density area where a commercial strip comprising banks, shops and restaurants fronts the residential enclave, residents worry about worsening traffic congestion.

Subsequently, several meetings were held with residents. Amidst all the brouhahas however, Rasta was relocated, and much later Makbul too, so we kind of knew it wouldn't be long before steel pilings sprouted within the confines of that valuable tract of land.

Two weeks ago the inevitable happened; heavy vehicles lumbered their way into the area, an assortment of building materials stacked up, and fencing was in the process of being erected.

I asked the Mobil station cashier for updates of the goings-on (these people are usually spot on with information) and was told that a 20-storey office block, no longer condo development, was on the cards.

Business or residential, I can only imagine the traffic snarl and gridlock of the future. Having said that, I do look forward to my own property 500 metres away appreciating like crazy.

Ah, such delicious, yet contradicting, thoughts....