Friday, December 5, 2008

Lost..

Alast, i am now able to blog with an emotional soundness i needed after months of literally struggling and wrangling with my EEs, IAs, uni application, and exams. Actually, i am currently sranded in LCCT while i'm keying in this post, and i'm writting just to kill the 12 hours of waiting for my flight back home to Kuantan. Thinking that i might not be able to get here in time if i start moving in the morning, i've decided on spending the night here, and indulge myself with hours of total borringness and emptiness. Well, at least they have internet connection and power points that i can plug onto to keep myslef cyberly occupied....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thank you

I really appreciate and applaud those who have spent their time in reading what I assume as my down-to-earth entries, may it be heart-warming praises or harsh criticism. As a matter of fact, I’m looking forward to those who could give me different ideas than mine, in which I could reflect on an issue in different point of views.

As a response to comments by an anonymous reader, I must say that I respect the person’s opinions and realism. I would say that our upbringings and environments have moulded us in different casts and shapes. One being a pragmatist, and another being an idealist. I have to say that there is a thin fine line that separates idealistic values and reality. And to some, they would take a very pessimistic view on issues which involve collective interest. I believe that the world is in its current sinister and ill state due to the fact that its residents have given up on the values that make us human, and one which I feel constantly being eroded is faith. I truly understand that we need to take a realistic approach on solving issues, but it takes believing in kick-starting this momentous effort. If we do not open up to new ideas and opinions, and instead taking up old-school stand with the excuse of being ‘realistic’, creativity and change which we are in dire need of, will seize to exist. Every change starts with believing ( and I’m not implying day dreaming).

And of course, unity might not be the be-all solution, but at least it is a start rather than whining and ‘silently criticizing’ at mamak stalls and see our nation crumbles!! ;) But thanks for your comments. I love them!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Wake up and smell the coffee

With the provision of News Straits Times in the college which kicked off recently, I developed a keen and deep interest in reading columns written and the issues they brought into the public. A recent column titled “Hands off pressmen” in NST has brought into attention on how a local and foreign journalist were battered and assaulted by a group of political party supporters that it has invoked outrage in the journalist community. And to my dismal and humiliation, it was the faces of my fellow Malays who were evident on those pictures assaulting the media.
The song Warisan which my friends and I usually sing during morning assemblies in my secondary school still echo in my heart, and I am deeply in gratitude to the song as it has developed my love and pride in the race that I am born in. The ballet will usually end with the line “Melayukan gagah di nusantara”, and this chant has never failed in reminding me the ongoing fight, effort and battle in uplifting the name of the Malays. Those were the days, but after leaving MRSM Langkawi and venturing into the real world, I realized the social and moral degradation of my brothers and sisters have been seriously severe, with a lot of the youths find pleasure in illegal racing, illicit drug usage, and the common threat among the Malays; malaise. Somehow, it came to a point that the problem is deeply rooted in today’s Malay generation, that it became a norm to relate all negative values that you can imagine to the Malays; and I almost lose hope in my own people.
Let’s not talk about clich√© s like Malays constitute the highest percentage of drug addicts detected and roaming the city streets as Mat Rempits. One phenomenon that went unnoticed after the general election but may inflict devastating consequences to the survivability of the Malays is that we are actually divided to different poles of political think tanks and ideologies. The introduction of prominent figures like Pak Lah, Anwar Ibrahim, Najib, each with their own issues and scandals has compelled the Malays to take sides, and we have done it in the expense of our unity. These are the people who supposed to be the champions of the race, but end up being the agent of our downfall. It has reached a point where the exchanges of vulgar slurs and hand expressions have happened within our people. Wake up and smell the coffee. We called ourselves Muslims, but our actions, attitudes and akhlaq do not potray the values and the teachings of the religion that we embraced so dearly. Where is the respect, tolerance and the unity we are brought up with? The barbaric and uncivilized acts that out brothers have done during the nomination day in Permatang Pau have been a disgrace not to the already smeared name of the Malays, but to the good name Islam as well.
This might sound radical, but I believe it is time for a Malay Cultural Revolution; a rise of a new breed of Neo Malays. I foresee Malays who will be up to par with people of developed nations, Malays who are up for the challenges of today’s open global economy, Malays who are proactive and able to make a difference, Malays who uphold integrity and does not easily succumb to bribery and corruption, Malays who are able to stand on their own 2 feet, Malays who are willing to step outside from their comfort zone and face the all the tribulations that the today’s world have to offer. Our parents have their own share of blood and sweat in pushing the Malays forward, and now the responsibility is handed down to us to uphold the aspiration. We as the new generation of youths have been bestowed with an awesome and grueling mission of reviving back our Golden Era. Do not let personal interest of politicians and parties tear us into pieces and drag us into our own downfall. Forget about Pak Lah, forget about Najib, forget about Anwar; let us focus on our greater cause. It’s ok if we have differences in opinions and believes, but never let those differences get in between us. The prophet once said that differences and arguments in views are blessings in the ummah, but they must not split us.
We are at our crucial cross roads; either we could choose to sit and see our race fall, or be a part of a progressive movement in reviving back the glory of the Malays. A new chapter of the Sejarah Melayu is unfolding, let us make our mark in it!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Terrorist or freedom fighter?

Feeling so worn out after maths tutorial, I decided to go for an evening jog and coincidentally, a friend (the name is disclosed) was also on the track. But with a sudden buttock ache straining my hamstring, the evening turned into just a stroll around the college. There were so many things that we talked about, and somehow end up with the issues of hypocrites. You see, it’s hard to believe but in reality, KMB has produced a lot of thinkers and professionals who put Islam as their core in their decisions and actions. In a way its good, but Ali was dissatisfied with a group of girls, who “dressed and talked with high religious values” but there are certain times, where they don’t really portray their beliefs and what they spoke of, to a point that they labeled them as extremist. Knowing that he is brought up in a more secular community and family, I understand that it would be difficult to accept a group of individuals who seemed to be the opposite of him. It is actually a battle between two values and ideas; in one corner is a KL guy who socializes a lot and the other corner is an usrah-attending girls who speak of Islam in almost everything.
In a way, I do feel that I am in the same camp as him, having brought up with a different and unconventional view of life by my parents. But in a way, I disagree with him on the point that he labeled the girls as an extremist. To me, there is no such thing as an ‘Islamic Extremism” and somehow the Law of Excluded Middle implies in this matter.(TOK). It is a distinct choice; Islam or not Islam. My dad once told me that there will be an array of views in an issue and confusion might set in. In this situation, my dad said, just go back to basics; the Quran and Sunah. At the same time, we also need to put into consideration the environment that we all are brought up in. Each and every one of us have different views of Islam, and I can’t comment much as there is still a lot for me to learn about it. To the girls, they might see Islam as they see it, and I see it in a different way. Nevertheless, the underlying fundamental concept is still the same; we believe in the same One God who created the heavens and the earth and all its pillars which universally unites us under the one Deen. I feel that everyone has a right to have an opinion, and at the same time they also have the right to inform and explain to people what they believe with grace and wisdom. If this two are embraced and practiced, I am sure that we will be more exposed to different views and opinions which could advocate a more mature thinking and decisions. It might seemed individualistic, but the way I see it, everyone has the right to do anything that they want to do, and he or she is entitled to his or her actions, but we have to inform and address them on the things which we believe is right, hopefully it could help in the search of truth. Well, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. So the question is which one is the truth?

3rd sem

Semester 3 in Banting is well known among its students as a period of emotional roller coaster, mind blowing stress, and killer datelines. And now I am in the hot seat, and I’ve been receiving a lot of poundings lately. It is internationally recognized and acknowledged that IB has a reputation of killer stress and pressure, and now I’m experiencing first hand. Now I know how it felt having tutorials, assignment, IA’s EE’s, IELTS, and so many things happening at the same time. Thank God i have only the At the same time, we also have responsibilities that we need to uphold, having dedicated ourselves to a life of duty and service. I must admit that the stress and strain has really catching up on me, and I’m really losing my zest, fast. I don’t know. I can’t say I’m suicidal, but desperate times called for fast, relieving, desperate measures. Well, I don’t think listing down all the hardcore, hazardous, possibilities would be appropriate, but they all are like internet pop-ups. But don’t worry, I still have enough rationality to prevent me from cutting my wrist.
But despite it all, I am blessed to have amazing friends and teachers around me. I met Ms Aqyn one day to settle some UN model thing, when she brought up the partition thing which cause some commotion in the college. I was stuck between two parties, and I need to find some kind of a win-win solution so this 2 sides come to turn. It was a difficult time, but to know you have a teacher who know your problems and care for you is really soothing. She told me that in times like this, I just need to be strong despite what people think about my decisions and actions, and be true to my values and principles. At the same time, Pn Bad and Ms Loh have taught me on life itself. Friends have certainly been there for me throughout the turmoil. A simple ‘Hi’, ‘How are you?” by them have really made my day, especially when I’m in the blues. I must admit that sometimes, flying solo would be my preference, but in times when you just feel like breaking someone’s neck, they can be darlings.
Of course, 3rd semester has its own unique expectations and challenges, and it feels as you just cannot make it. But with this people around, I think I’m going to make it!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Philosophers in the making


















it was a last minute thing actually. I was talking to a parent of this newby who apparently made the ‘right’ decision of coming to Banting when Alia, Diana, and Vini just came out from the hall after attending a briefing on the upcoming TOK camp. They were quite shock to know that I was not going, and they were pushing me to go. Sook Leng was mentioning to me in Thailand that the TOK camp was a must-go and it’s a heck of a fun. Well, lucky for me, there was one more place vacant so what the heck. I really need to enjoy all the fun that I can get before the infamous 3rd sem kicks in. this sem is well known for causing IB student go insane and mental facilities and rehab are known to be fully booked at this period of time. (seriously).
At first glance, the Metropole Hotel appeared out of a scene from the Twilight Zone; a sinister, scary structure popping out of the remnants of the old Malacca in the middle of Bandar Hilir. You should have seen the Plaza Hang Tuah, which appear very much abandon, though there are some small tenants doing business as usual. For those frequent OU and Mid goers, the place would be completely their worst nightmare.
Even though the exterior might be repulsive and unwelcoming, the accomedation was… ok. The facilities were not as in Hiltons or Shangri-La, but it was inhabitable for 3 days.
Icebreaking was a blast. There were 10 drawing papers on a mounting board, and each of us were given 1 minute to draw anything that is related to Malacca. After the minute, your next team member will continue your work, and the process continued until all of the members had their cnhance to show their artistic talents. Van Goh would be really proud if he is still around to see the pieces that we all have collectively created… NOT… But what impressed me the most, was the how each of the group rep presented. I felt as if I was in those Russel Peter’s Live Comedies where people were laughing their butts off to the jokes. There was this one about the picture of an ‘erecting cow’! Well, I have only heard of bull erection.
We ‘played God’ when we were given a clich√© yet cool task of determining the most suitable candidate to receive a heart transplant. Of course, each patients have his or her on circumstances to debate on and all of us got into a very heated debate. They were some of us standing on chairs and tables trying to get their point across. It’s a clear evidence to show how emotions come into play in making hard, solid decisions. Mr Azhar, like all TOK teachers, really bring the seminar room alive with his ‘cynical wisdom’ and ‘philosophical mockery’. Hihi (no offence mr azlan)
On the same night, me and my hommies decided to experience the night life in Malacca and explore the area by foot in the middle night. I was also desperately in need of Tom Yam. To our luck, we found a small time fun fare in the Jalan Tun Ali. Iqbal and me had a shot on the nausea-causing-pirate-swinging ship where I almost puke in and the Eye of Malacca. And on the same night, I realized that my wallet was gone, with RM 400, IC, ATM cards, license and everything in it. I was obviously fucked up, but thinking back, it was just papers and card, and I don’t want the lost of worldly possessions ruin my holiday. Hey, and looking at the bright side, i got my first hand experience doing a police report and my first genuine police report. That's so cool!!!
We spent half the day in Bandar Hilir the next day. It supposed to be those Explorace type of thing, where you need to take public transport available, and we were to find any infos that is related to history and ‘philosophy of knowledge’. the feeling it's kinda different than those museum trips i had in primary school. to be honest, whne i observed artifaxt, or paintings now, i am more reflective and i try to relate all those on display with myself and who i am today. It nurtures a deeper sense of appreciation towards arts compared to the time when i don't give a damn about some porcelins, paintings, or some dead guy. Maybe that's IB i guess?Most of us were tired running around the Stadhyus, museums, but no doubt we all had fun, taking pictures, trying new stuff, and just sight-seeing around the area. I feel that we spent more time loitering around rather than finding infos. Ha, and FYI, i stepped on a fresh, juicy pooh. Just another attraction in my collection of unfortunate events. but again, i tell myself that that day is a good day, coz everyday is a good day!!!
There were loads of activities done during the camp, mostly presentations. My team presented on the racism, and some did on adoption among girl homosexuals, and the acceptance of hermaphrodites. The issues were heavy, but it does shifted our paradigms and lead us into perceiving certain issues in different standpoints. Ms Loh meanwhile discussed on the significance of arts in the search of truth and knowledge.
One thing I like about TOK is the way that it helps you to see the world beyond how normal people see things. It as thought me to consider all factors and point of views, and in a way develops my critical thinking side. I also found out that I became more critical. I am not those i-love-malaysia kind of person, but after browsing in the museum and going in depth into all the exhibitions in the museum, it struck me that its an irony that the past could really foresee the future. There were times when i wonder, what's the point of me learning about some dead people and treaties but after the camp, it made me realize that history is more just than words and pictures; they are actually the interpretation of events that shape the course of our nation and brought us to today's present. Malacca is one fantastic example where modernization and history exist coincie with each other, and it's a living proof that heritage and culture must not be discareded in the expense of development and modernization. And it made me more appreciative of how the chapter of my history books are written. i sometimes ponder, which side should i stand and fight; equality and colour-blind Malaysia or the Malay supremacy? I know some might say that it's not something that i need to stress myself on, but i feel that i have to be a part of this.The ancient buildings, artifacts and people cultivated a great deal of patriotism and empathy towards the tribulations our grandfathers need to go through in building a nation. Even though I was a little bit miserable with my wallet gone, stepping on pooh, flu-stricken, and fatigue, I manage to maintain my zest and deceitfully fool myself into thinking that every day is a good day. people were kind of astonished looking at me very hyper when i have a lot of craps happening to me.Why should I worry about some money and cards when life is more than money and business, aite?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Back from the dead

I have made a lot of firsts, and now it's time for me to write a new chapter and create new history.

it's time to stand up
it's time to move on,
its time to live!!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Banting..sweet..banting

2 weeks of what seemed as a very shprt holiday, a wonderful trip to Kota Kinabalu and now I’m back in Banting, for another grueling semester of IB. I survived a year here, and I can do it again, though the tribulation and challenges will be far more grater that what I experienced for the last 2 semesters. But no piggy, life is short, and you just need to survive it and make the best of it.
I have never anticipated such a surprising week, starting off with a trip in Air Asia’s flight AK 3860 from Kuantan to LCCT on that Wednesday morning. The match between Sweden and Greece was filled with goals and action and no doubt it was worth not sleeping. Being awake the whole night, I planned on having my desperately-needed sleep in the plane, and I was not aware of the big shots and huge names that were on board.
The moment the plane left the tarmac, I read a couple of pages from Cecilia Ahern’s Dear Rosie, and I went into a very comfortable, deep sleep. But guess who was the first person I saw once my eyes were opened? TONY FERNANDES. I’m not shitting you, and it is real as it could possibly get. It felt as if I’ve been off for 5 minutes, but I was sound asleep for the whole 40 minutes. Actually, I’m no fan of Malaysian celebrities, but to have the experience of the CEO of Air Asia saying hello to me and asking how well I slept was undeniably an experience of a life time. As a bonus, I also got the chance of meeting the board of directors and those Air Asia models, people who you don’t usually meet on the road side on any normal days. Maybe they were on their way back after launching the Kuantan-KL route in Kuantan recently.
Nothing much about the PROSTAR though. Just helping out with the preparations and anything that I could offer my hands to. It’s nice to see 500 students all over from Malaysia coming down to this small town and mingling with each other and just have fun. What I did is just ushering and welcoming the VIP’s and some heavy lifting. But at the end of the programme, some of us were treated to a theater presentation in Bangsar called ‘Sybil’. It was staged at the Actor’s Studio in the lavish Bangsar Shoppin Complex. As just an overview, ‘Sybil’ depicts the strength and perseverance of a woman named Sybil during the Japanese occupation. Her name could not be found in any history text books, but her contributions shaped the course of the Malaya’s history during the Japanese occupation.
Ms Loh, Imran, Ammal, and I were at the ticket stall and there was this lady, just hovering in front of the ticket booth. We were not aware of who this lady was, but Ms Loh hurriedly told us that she was the director of ‘Sybil’, Dato’ Faridah Merican. For a woman who was gifted with the touch of arts and has her name marked in the production and performing arts industry, she was very easy going, friendly, and we were very comfortable with her presence. We have never seen a woman of her prominent position being very humble and down to earth and it was an honor having the opportunity to shake the hands of this iron lady. I’ll give the theater a 2 thumbs up, and we really enjoyed the show. I looked forward to my next theater moment.

Hey, just a friendly advice, life is full of surprises.;) Take it from me!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

An evening drive with my mom

I was my mom’s wingman when we send Imran to Seremban, and the trip became a lesson of family values and responsibilities. That evening, on the way to Kuantan from Seremban, my mom mention reminded me things of great importance and it would be my lying foundation in every decisions and actions I take.
It seemed that it has become my family’s tradition to organize our own weddings, with Grandma being the chief and mak lang as the wedding planner. This former dentistry lecturer iron lady has a god-given ability to put up grand and glamorous weddings. Of course, no matter how meticulous you are in planning something, there will be certain things that might get wrong, or miscalculated, or certain flaws that were overlooked. Conflicts would surely arise between those who are directly or indirectly involved; it’s the way how things work. But one thing was definitely evident when the whole family members come together to achieve this feat; it reflects a strong blood tie between us all that could never be broken nor separated.
My mom mentioned that we might go different paths and mind our own businesses, but when the time comes, we will come back together again as a family. When my grandpa and adik Wan passed away, it brought all of the family members closer. And of course, when weddings arrive, the whole family will come together and helped out. In my personal account, I was a man of confidence, believing that the world is in my hands and I could achieve everything that I have my mind on. But when my life somehow went astray, there was no where else that I can go to, except to my family. Maybe there’s truth behind the saying ‘home is where the love is’.
Being the eldest in the family has its own perks and down fall, but the package comes with its own distinct set of responsibilities. I have 4 brothers under me, and being the first born once deceived me into believing that I was invincible and I have the license to kill. I was once the dictator of the second generation of the family, where I ruled and reigned my brothers with an iron claw. But my mom reminded me that evening that the responsibility of keeping the family together lies on my shoulder. Each of my family members would play an important role in upholding the good name of the family, but as the first born, I bear the vital task of protecting the family from anything that could break us apart. Well, no one says it would be easy but what can be done, I’m born with it.
Now I know that every step I take, and every event that took place in my life now do not just lead me into becoming a person of greatness and a man of service, but a man of family. And it all came to me during a drive back to Kuantan on one evening with my mom.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Borneo...














It all started by a friend, Khidir, who invited me for a Mount Kinabalu expedition in class one day, and being an adventure junky (I think I am), I completely agreed on the invitation. Thinking about my dad who has dedicated most of his adult life to his career at his clinic, he deserved a break out from the shackles of his daily routines and fly off for an adventure of a life time, and from my standpoint, it’s a great trip for a father-son bonding. I was head over hills for this trip, boosting up my stamina with some extensive jogs around the college and my dad has been climbing hills all over Kuantan on alternate days. That’s my dad.
The cool, chill weather was saturated by the excitement of our group which composed of some KMB students, a couple of UTP staffs, and Khidir’s parents. Lush greeneries covered the mountain range, with the tropical forest left unscratched by any robust economic development. A breather around the park became a walk down a living green showcase of natural history when ferns taller than us could be seen everywhere. We were told to take deep breaths to get ourselves acclimatize. The temperature was not as pleasing as the scenery where it lingers between 8 to 14 degrees Celsius. All of my group members were wearing thick climbing clothes to get themselves all warm up from the freezing night, but me being a natural weirdo, I just wore a simple shirt and my cargo pants, and off I went for a good night sleep without any bath.
We were to start from the Mersilau route which was further for the other trail (Timpohon), which spans around 9.5 Km. It seems no piggy, but this is not your normal jogging trail; you are actually scaling the trail on rocky, rigorous, steep terrains, and bear in mind that the air gets thinner and oxygen will be getting scarce. I had my 4 kg hiking beg on my back, just to get the experience. But it could not be compared with the potters who were carrying huge gas canisters, beds, food supplies on their back, up and down, day and night. These people are the arteries which transport vital supplies to the rest house at 3500 metres above sea level. Despite the huge beg hanging on my back, and the excruciating cramps all over my quadriceps, you just need to continue moving on. But the scenery was just fantastic and you could really observe the transition of the different type of vegetation as you ascend. I just let the pictures do all the talking for me.
Our first leg of the journey ended at Laban Rata where the sight of a cluster of rest houses greeted us after a very tiring climb. Sarah and Alia almost gave up and they have been whining to go down back and refused to continue, but with a little bit of motivation from friends and a little bit of butt-kicking, they succeeded to accomplish the first leg. The rain, altitude sickness, freezing temperatures, fatigue and cramps almost hampered our will and spirit, but when we moved in a group and watched each other’s back, we could achieve much more. But the real challenge was yet to come, at 2 am the next day.
The ascend towards the summit, in the cold, pitch black night, with just your head lamp, a bottle of water, and some chocolates were just simply brutal. The cold, strong winds just scarred your face deeply, and your hands numbed. Your lips felt as if they were poked by needles. At first, it was quite okay, but at a certain point of our ascend, there were not even a single tree that could be seen on the hard granite landscape. Small dust-like particles started falling like rain on us, and it got challenging with every step taken. With the steep terrain, we relied on ropes to help us scale the huge granite boulders and it requires people with nerve of steel to accomplish this feat. The gush of winds could literally blow you away. A friend of mine, who was scaling without any light assistants, freaked out, broke down, and cried in the middle of the ascend, and desperately pushing us to her go back down. But again, teamwork sufficed and prevailed in her tribulation and with strong support from friends, she continued on. She was pale, evidently tired, and completely lost her zest. But what she need was just a friend to help her get up and keep moving forward. At last, we reached the summit just in time for the sunrise.
It was a great accomplishment for all of us. There we stood on the highest peak in South East Asia at 4095 metres above sea level, overwhelmed by a cocktail of emotions. Khidir’s mom, who reached the peak 3 times, broke down to tears after stepping on the granite rocks on the summit. The sunrise from the top was a sight that could not be seen elsewhere and all of Borneo was visible for the eyes to indulge in. We spent almost 2 hours there, but it was just a relieved and it brought us to redefine the term satisfaction. I believe, and I’m sure the others agree with me, when I say that the mind plays a greater role than physical capabilities. You need to motivate yourself constantly by telling yourselves always to take the next step and keep moving on. And the other thing which was essential to execute such feat was the team spirit. Not being cocky and boastful but I know I could reach there way earlier, but I realized that you will be up there all alone in the dark, freezing night, with no one to share your moments with. Quite sad, isn’t it? In this case, individualism was forced to succumb to collective efforts. But again, what goes up must go down.
During our descend, another friend of mine was struck by a disturbing nausea, and someone needs to accompany her. It felt like a rescue mission, but I just accompanied her throughout the descend. Pushing her too much would not be appropriate, so I just let her take her time but at the same time, encouraged her to keep moving on. Along the way, the whole expedition has put strains on my knee, and they were killing me every time I take a step. We were stuck in the heart of the jungle for 7 hours, and at last we were greeted with a hero’s welcome as we reached the Timpohon gate.
Again, this expedition was a test of friendship, mental, brawn, and teamwork. It’s not about reaching there first, but it’s about reaching there together.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Back at square one


It was a couple of days before our last SPM paper, and instead of locking ourselves in our rooms and cramping with all the Biology juggins, we lofted around at the astaka near the field in the middle of the night and just stared blankly at the clear Langkawi skies. Trust me, it really clears your head off. Then, one of us popped a question which I somehow presented everytime a situation where the prospect of the future is considered; How do we see ourselves in 10 year times? Of course, the commoner will have life goals and career on their heads. But, there are times when we wonder, what will become of the friendship forged between us and our friends. To be honest, there is a chapter in my life which made me very skeptical of companionship and I always try to keep my guard up by not indulging myself with any best friends. And of course, I have always have this notion of people being self-centered and profit-motived that they would not give a damn on friendship. And of course, later on, after SPM, we will be surely taking different pathways, and they would be unlikely parallel with each other. But after 1 year in KMB, I’ve proved myself wrong.
During my dark ages, I found tranquility and peace in solitary and self-confinement, and I would never be content with people’s achievements which are more superior than those of mine. But, after all the things that set in motion the past few years, I took knowledge of the fact that the world is a spherical, living glob, and no matter where you are and which direction you head, you will end up at the same point where you start. It also implies on friendship. Of course, we will be encounter momentous and defining decisions that might seemed a you put your friends as an opportunity cost, but there were never such circumstances. Of course, there would be separation, not just by distance, but also the different state and extend of indulgence, but men are bounded by their emotional attachment with their counterparts. Just a couple of days before our sem 2 examination, Nabil, Syahir and Maryam have been darlings to visit and observe themselves how pathetic and miserable we have become. They stayed for a night in the 5 star accommodation of KMB, and we did some catching up session on the things we left off. Each has their own stories to share and it has been very interesting to know the changes we’ve been through. Judging at the various raw emotions and facial gestures on each of their faces, it seemed that so little has change between us, even though some has more pimples on their faces and some has longer hair. It felt exactly the same as 501 and 502 that we once cried and laughed in. Yes, it has been two years, but the bond we have is still strong to an extend that our dear friend Jaja was overwhelmed and touched by the sight that she was reduced to tears. Needless to say, it’s up to you judge how strong a friendship could be, if it is nurtured and cherished.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A holiday which is not a holiday at all


It's the holidays, but it doesn't feel like one. These are a few of the long list of things i need to do in the 3 weeks whichsupposed to be my semester break.

1. World Literature Assignment 's First Draft

2. Establishing RQ for Extended Essay

3. Personal statement for university placement

4. Internal Assesment for Economics

5.Analysing some Malay Literature

...

...

...

and the list continues

Hey.. That's IB!!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Chaing Rai Experence

Well, I have been longing to write this entry since I touched down in Malaysia from Thailand. But of course, time constraint and assignments, assignments, assignments have never failed in keeping me away from my keyboard.
I have been so blessed to be given the chance to attend a youth seminar on social development and drug abuse prevention in Chiang Rai, Thailand end of March. It was actually a 7 day workshop attended by youth leaders from ASEAN countries and China where we exchanged strategies and experiences on issues and the roles that could be taken by youths in handling these issues. Each country has sent 5 representatives, consisting of a mentor and 4 participants.
To be honest, I was quite nervous to attend such activities for it was my first time attending an international seminar, and what more to be addressing in front of an international crowd. But of course, it is never too early for the first.
You could not just ignore the scent of awkwardness feeling up the air. The ice breaking session was as if we were meeting Martians who are on an official visit to earth. But, the vibrant colours of their unique traditional attire created a more friendly environment suitable for making acquaintances. Maybe I put my hopes too high on this seminar, but it was to my disappointment that a considerable number of the participants do not have the English proficiency sufficient in addressing heavy issues as those that would be discussed on the seminar. I pointed out this to the Singaporean and Malaysian mentors, but they told me that I would learned something very valuable from it; and trust me I did.
One thing that was very evident, and also very interesting about the seminar was the differences of culture from different countries converging at one point. At first, we did encounter some problems when our believes, thinking, and managing system collided which has stirred up some conflicts and confrontation. But of course, at the end of the day, we realized that differences are not weaknesses, but it is actually an asset that could unite and strengthen us all. To me, the differences of cultures and believes are not meant to be discarded or prevented, but they are meant to be celebrated. I would love to quote what the Singaporean mentor addressed to us in the mentor’s closing speech “Overall, the greatest and best consensus that we have reached is to agree to disagree’. Try to read between the lines…
Being elected as the chairman and the overall manager was a defining moment to me, and of course it brought along a huge responsibility. I have never imagined myself gaining an overwhelming support from other countries. I don’t know what I did to deserve such respect from these people, but I always believe that in order to gain respect, you need to respect others first. Acting as the overall manager, I was to organize and facilitate a ‘drug prevention day’ which will be attended by 50 international students. Sounds easy, but there’s a twist…. It would be a formal event, attended by some Thai big shots, and I was only given one day to set everything!! To me, it was not just a test of my managing skills as the president of my college, but it was for the good name and pride of the Malaysian name. The pressure escalated, and it was just hard core. I even did not take my bath the whole day as I had my mind on this thing. There were a couple of conflicting ideas and managing system that came into the picture, such as my managing approach deviated from Thailand’s conventional approach, the choice of venues between China and Brunei. In times like this, I realized that democracy has its limits and it must be balanced up with an authoritarian approach. Soon, we managed to reach a consensus on the blueprint and it was executed well. Alhamdullillah, everything went well, and I was grateful to have friends from Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, China and my county mates who has been my greatest allies and support throughout the whole ordeal. But despite the tantrums and quarrelling, we manage to bury the hatchet, stand on common ground against common enemies.
But the one thing than transcends culture and language was the friendship forged between all the participants. In the early period of the workshop, the bilateral issues which brew up between Malaysia and its neighbours somehow affected my cold perception on the people of that particular country. I might not need to go into details, fearing it would become seditious, but to be honest, their top politician’s stands and views does not reflect the good people of the country, and they are actually very nice people. Throughout the whole 7 days, we laughed and cried together, and we became very close and fond with each other. I actually don’t know how to put into words, but the 7 days we spent together has created a lovely and wonderful friendship between us all. We partied, dance, and had fun together, and we have become one huge family. I still remember when we were to depart to the Suvarnabhumi Airport, all of our friends were waiting for us at the lobby early in the morning, just to say their goodbyes to us. A lot of red eyes were seen, and I was not excluded from the emotional drama. I still remember how we hug, and had a group hug together; a sheer sign of the friendship we cultivate throughout the whole 7 days there. Puktan, our close friend hugged me so dearly, and it as quite some time before she let me go. It was such a tear-shedding moment, but of course, it would be one of the hardest things that you could take place in a friendship. It’s true that it takes a second to make a friend, but it takes a lifetime to say goodbye.
All in all, it has been an unbelievable and extraordinary experience for me to be attending the event. It has benefitted me a lot in so many ways, and it is an experience that I would not trade in for anything, even a million dollars. It is those moments which is worthy to be in my most memorable moments in my life, and it has created a new me and shifted my paradigm to the better. Love you all my friends! Youth leader rox!!!!

A sudden change of hearts



Akum.
Hey there my fellow friends. Its been quite some time since the last time i updated my blog, and now, I have the time, means, and the mood to write my heart out on my blog. I have been seriously and heavly occupied by assignments, projects, problems, exams, and so many side dishes that even being able to sit in front of the laptop would be heaven. There were so many things that happen for the past couple of months, which I personally believe it is worth to be shared with all of you. I don’t know to what extend it will entertain you, but I for one, believe that the things that happen to me has their own hikmahs and I hope it could inspire you as how it has inspire me so much. And now, I see the world as a spherical clouds with silver and golden linings.
Every student who is under a scholarship knows very well that they are bounded to the terms and contracts set by their sponsors. I for one am no exception; MARA will be spending more that RM 1.5 million on me so that I’ll become a certified doctor and contribute to the GDP in Malaysia’s labour force. But a week before my Economics paper, I somehow ended up with a question that every medical students dread so much; why should I become a doctor? Don’t worry, I am not regretting to take up medicine and im not being boastful and all-proud of my Allah-given abilities, it’s just that I believe that my potential can be put to better use rather that wasting on just becoming a normal, stereotypical doctor in a cubicle, repeating the same old routine each day, succumbing yourself to a life of a social outcast. I don’t mean to offend the very people who have dedicated their lives in this noble profession, but it’s just that I see doctors can reach further and do more to the community and the world rather that the things that they are doing now. I feel that this people have spent a large portion of their lives learning and understanding the greatest knowledge of all; the miracles of man’s creation, and they should be more than just doctors. They are destined to be world shakers. Still, I don’t have even the slightest intention of downgrading other professions and I believe that they are as important to the community and to the country.
After being given the chance to address to an international crowd on heavy issues, and organizing programmes on an international scale, I have found that my passion lies in making people more aware of the surroundings and the issues which are shaping the world everywhere. There are so many things going on all around us, but it’s a disappointment to know that the people who have the privilege of having food in their plates more than 3 times a day don’t give a damn about those people living in famine and poverty. Darfur, Palestine, Rwanda, Afghanistan, and the list just goes on. I know that becoming just a doctor would not help this people, so I need to do more, much more. Realistic enough, countering development and social issues would sound as if it came out of a Brother Grimm’s fairy tales, but dreams do come true and to tell you the truth, I still don’t know which path should I take which could lead me to achieving my cause. But despite it all, I know I can do it. And to my fellow friends out there, I for one have the upmost confidence that you all also have the potential and the ability to change the world. It might be a long, winding, and treacherous road, but it is never impossible. If you are to become an engineer, don’t become ‘just an engineer’, but ‘The Engineer’. If you opt to become an accountant, don’t just become an accountant but be ‘the Accountant’. And to future doctors, be ‘The Doctor’.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Finding a reason and a purporse


Assalamualaikum.

It was a reality which came like a gush of wind. I was attending my weekly usrah and we discussed, in a very open manner, of the reality of the world we are living in. And the thing is, reality is not as pleasent as it seems. My naqib started off by asking what will become of us all in the next 1o years. Each and everyone of us in the usrah had some say, and for me, i see myself as a surguen cum doctor at that time. than he brought up the issue, to me , of great importance; is it worth enduring 8 to 9 years of vigorous medical school, just to end up as a robot? It does sound a little bit over the top and rude, but thinking back, it is true. Im my case, IB is already hard enough, and there will be another 6 to 7 years of medical school, and in the process, ill be sacrificing so many things. But it just sickens me that the end product will be dr who wake up at 6, go to work until 5pm, come back, have dinner, and continue working at night, and the on-calls, and the vicious cycle will continue until i retire. By that time, ill be too old to do the things which i didn't have the chance to do in my working days. Is it worth the sweat and blood for the whole 8 to 10 years, just to become a robot? Is life worth just spending in the office and meeting sick people on a regular basis? To me, i feel sick to the gut just cosidering the prospect which is in store for me in the future. And this also implies on careers other that medicine. Life should be more than the 8 to 5 pm dull routine. My naqib ask us all to think of what should we do. To me, this is not the life i wanted and i was not born on this earth just to become a bloody slave. I am here to make a difference. Some might be sceptical of what my plans are, thinking that they are too ambitious that they are out of my reach, but i believe that i have the capabilities and the strenght to achieve what man thought impossible. I wanted to make a difference in this world, may it be big or small. I would really love to travel all around the world, celebrate the the different cultures, and to help those people in need. it might sound big, but i have already taken the first step out of the many that i need to take to get there. Should be there any difference between me and the people in africa? I am obliged to join the many young men and women who have the spirit and desire to make a change in this world. Hassan Al-Bana once wished that he hoped to die as a martyr, and as for me i pray that i'll die in my battle for truth and just, and in my last gush of breaths, i hope to see the world a much more better place. Inshallah.

Wasslam

Eye opener

Assalamualaikum.

Just wanna share you a video which really opened my eyes to the reality of life. Its a must watched. Enjoy.

Wasalam

Ma makna Islam?

Assalamualaikum
Firstly, I am writing this not as a pious man nor an ustaz, not as a sheikh nor as a tabligh. But i am writing this as a muslim, a proud muslim who is obliged to do the amar makruf wa nahi mungkar and to counter the misconceptions about the ad-deen, not just among the non muslims, but also among my brothers and sisters of islam. But please, don't have the idea of me wearing the white headgear and the jubah, and having a long beard. I hardly wear any kopiah before, for your information.
I have a question to ask; what is islam?
I did ask this question to a few of my friends and some people that i encountered, and their answers are quite dissapointing. Some restrict the practice of islam just in the confinements of the 5 pillars of islam. Instead, in reality, islam is much more than that. It is not just a religion, but it is ad-deen; a way of life. Western orientalist and secularism has somehow corrupted the minds and thoughts of muslims with te doctrine that islam is only in the mosque, and once you are out of the mosque, you are someone else. No, islam is much more than that. It is a system of life, where it teaches its followers the basis of every aspect of life, ranging from the smallest of things in our daily life, such as the taharah (cleanliness) until the ethics and guidelines on how to govern a country or an empire (the daulah). It is a complete, thorough manual of life, with the al-quran and the as-sunnah as the reference and the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as the main example. Islam is everywhere; from the way you smile, the way you care about people, the way you talk, the way you sit, the way your eat, and the list goes down. If you are aware, we are constantly reminded of what islam really is in the solah that we perform : 'kul inna solati wa nusuki, wa mahyaya wa mamati lillahi rabbil alamin'. meaning ; my prayers, my ibadah, my life and my death is dedicated to Allah, the creator of all. (quoted in the iftitah).
In my personal opinion, the source of the misconception could be traced to how we are educated by our parents, teachers and the society. We have been brought up with the idea that islam equals malays, and we are continuously taught into picturing a muslim wearing a songkok, a baju melayu or a jubah, the serban, and that person sitting in the surau. It is deeply embedded in the society that we somehow mistook culture with Islam. And to some extent, islam is wrongly claimed that it inhibits development, and it is a much dissapointment that some of my brothers and sisters supported this statement.
History has proven that Islam ia not just able to exist coincide with development, but instead, the development of knowledge flourished under the reign of Islam. From the times of the Khulafa' Ar-rashidin, to the Umayyads, the Abbasids, until the Ottomans, the world has witnessed an unprecedented rise of the Islamic civilisation, with the territory controlled by muslims grew rapidly and muslim scholars speerheading new discoveries and findings in every field of knowledge. And bear in mind that all of the great Muslim thinkers are also prominent religious leaders.
Brothers and sisters, the time for change is now. It is essential that all of us embrace the true meaning of islam and cast aside the misleading ideas that has so long been ascociated with it. We need to always remind ourselves and others what islam is really all about.
And lastly, i would like to ask a question for all of us to ponder; from puberty until now, what have we contributed to Islam?
Wasalam

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Ferenheit rising....


Well, im really sorry for being idle for the last 2 to 3 months. i have been very busy as hell and to tell you the truth, i have never imagined mysely where i seriusly, damn seriusly, have no time for myself. Before entering College Mara Banting, our seniors constantly telling us not to take up IB we reasons like bz and stres and etc. etc. We never took them serius, with the thought that they were joking with us. But after doing IB for the past 9 months, it hit me like a speeding train. First sem was ok, assignment were moderate, not much projects, and everythng was ok, thought we were already feeling the heat. And then come second semester, and all hell break loose. It's just unfair to make a generalisation on all IB world schools, but KMB's IB programme will suck the life and sunshine out of u, and this is not a hyperbolic statement. With the CAS class-based project, the exhibitions, the assignments, the lab report, the gropu 4 project, the EE, the CAS project, the CAS report, and much much much more, its no question mark that the students are constantly under pressure. There was this one week, my class just came back from a camp (which we organized and we, ourselve participated). We were deprived of sleep, fatigued, and worn out. Then came our Malay Lit exhibition, and there went our sleep. At the same time, we have lab reports which were due on that very week. And at the same time, we had maths and bio exam on the same week. Lack of sleep, the pressure was taking a toll on each and every one of us. On one night, i was shocked to see my friend, in the middle of the night, was doing his report, and he was crying. His eyes were red of the little sleep he had for 3 days in the row. For me, being the president of the student council adds up a whole new bunch of problems. But i managed to keep my emo intact though at certain times, when i am alone, looking at the picture in front of me on the table, i just cant hold back. One part of me was very grateful that the person in the picture does not have to go through the mental torture i am experiencing, and at the same time, another part of me just wished that i am not here, not on this pathway, not in this field, and i might, just might be, as in the picture with that person. The hopes, the expectations were too overwhelming that u feel as u want to let go of everything and be just... no one. The UK dream, the plans, felt so out of reach.In the surau, i develope the habit of watcing a group of children , who are regulars at the surau, playing around, and i would always wish that i could turn back time to the days when i was like those children; no worries and no responsibilities. It took me a while to overcome the pervasive feeling that was overpowering me, and the only thing that give me that little but too important strength was i have something to prove to someone, and i want to make that person proud of me. At the same time, i felt that i had a bigger purpose in life; to help those people in need, and my responsibility to revive back the ummah. These reasons make the sleepless nights, the fatigues, and the tears a little bit worthwile. Ms Loh once said, the pressure can either break u or make u, and if u manage to 'survive' the 2 year programme, u are destined to be someone great. i hold on to that very dearly. And of course, there were conflicts which needed to be cofronted and taken control of. I lost more friends than i make one, and as i write this entry, i might lose my very source of strength. I don't know. if that happens.... Its not too much if i say that IB is just about being the best, but its all anout surviving the 2 excruciating years. Maybe the dream i once told hanif is materializing in front of me as i speak.