Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Friday, March 30, 2007
Today my friend Basharuddin Ahmad Osman passed away in his house at Kelana Jaya.
My older children remember Uncle Basha who used to jam at our house in Batu Buruk.
Basha is one of the better Entertainment Producer that I know. He served under me when I was in Kuala Terengganu. He was one of my fishing friends too. Patient almost to a fault, Basha was a good friend and colleague. We will miss him.

My condolences to his family.
Al Fatihah.



Thursday, March 29, 2007
I do not know about you but I was greatly disturbed to read about the rape of Mother Nature in the papers today. Lojing, Balik Pulau and Pedu were in the news. No doubt there are many other rapes unreported.

I have no objections to people making money. If you can make money legally and ethically, go for it. You deserve every sen that you make. Making money and putting Mother Nature in peril is another thing. We cannot have you grow richer and the environment becomes poorer. That is not fair. You must remember that, rich or poor, you live on the same planet. You breathe the same air and drink the same water even though sometimes you drink imported water from the Alpines.

There was this ad on TV that reminded us that we are on an island. This planet is the island. We cannot leave the island. As the island's population grow and grow, the vital resources get depleted quickly. Raping the earth will only hasten the end. The end is nearer than you think. See how many of our rivers are already dead or dying. Mandatory prison term for those caught polluting rivers is being mulled. They should be shot or at least submerged for 10 minutes daily in Sungai Seget, Sungai Juru, Sungai Pinang or any other polluted river of their choice.

While some of the rapists might own the land that they desecrate, the damage is done beyond their fences. Everyone gets screwed.



Sunday, March 25, 2007
I got this from Hoya, my friend in Turkey:

A purple woman, about 50 years old, was seated next to a green man. Obviously disturbed by this, she called the stewardess. “Madam, what is the matter?” the stewardess asked.

“You obviously do not see it then?" she responded. “You placed me next to a green man. I do not agree to sit next to someone from such a repugnant group. Give me an alternative seat."

"Be calm please," the stewardess replied. "Almost all the places on this flight are taken. I will go to see if another place is available.”

The stewardess went away and then came back a few minutes later. "Madam, just as I thought, there are no other available seats in the economy class. I spoke to the captain and he informed me that there is also no seat in the business class. All the same, we still have one place in the first class.”

Before the woman could say anything, the stewardess continued: "It is not usual for our company to permit someone from the economy class to sit in the first class. However, given the circumstances, the captain feels that it would be scandalous to make someone sit next to someone so disgusting.” She turned to the green man, and said, “Therefore, Sir, if you would like to, please collect your hand luggage, a seat awaits you in first class.”

At that moment, the other passengers who were shocked by what they had just witnessed stood up and applauded. This is a true story.

I changed the colours though because I have Kermit's "It Is Not Easy Being Green". Anyone wants it?



Monday, March 19, 2007
This is not really a continuation of "Music Power" but Allahyarham Dato' Zainal Alam's song "UNDILAH" (in several languages) is an example of "Song Power". It did a lot to get public to vote. At that time, the first ever General Election in Malaya, I was not entitled to vote yet. I enjoyed the song on radio and also on the open air screen of Jabatan Penerangan. Later on (very much later) I met Dato' Zainal Alam in person and he taught me other songs.

Voting is not only your right as an adult citizen but also your responsibility. I missed voting in the last two General Election and I am not going to be irresponsible and miss the next one.

In order to vote, one must register first. You can register at any computerised Pajabat Pos (Post Office) or the nearest Election Commision's branch office. You can go to their webpage to get the addresses.

If you think you have registered and need to check your registration, go directly here and key in your IC number. If you are already registered, the page like this will come up:

You will then know where you will be voting. If you have moved to a different area and wants to vote in your new area, you have to contact SPR to make the necessary changes. Make sure you have notified the Registration Department of the change of address first. My kids overseas can still vote in their registered constituency via postal vote if they cannot come back.

For first time voters, do register and exercise your right to vote. Your vote counts. Instead of just ranting and raving, grouching and grumbling in your blog, in your block or in your bilik, go register and vote. Not everyone in the world can vote so do not waste the opportunity. When I was in China and asked how often Malaysians have elections, I told them about every five years. They were sympathetic. They told me "We have election evely night".

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

I chanced upon this Dr.Azly Rahman’s post while browsing Pet’s popular blog Malaysia Today. As usual Dr.Azly Rahman’s posts make pleasant reading. What is unusual about this post is the lack of caustic comments so pervasive in Malaysia Today. I tried to give my rectum (not my choice of word) but I failed to log in. Must ask Raja Petra about this the next time I see him.

I first heard about jazz as a small boy following my father on his sessions with his “music party” in Kuala Terengganu. Jazz was what they call the side drums and brushes. I wonder whether other places made the same mistake. I grew up humming to Paul Anka, P.Ramlee, Elvis etc. I did not listen to jazz until I had my own hi-fi. I found out that jazz is somewhat like durian. You either love it or hate it. Only my eldest daughter shares my taste for Miles Davis, Winston Marsalis, MJQ and Stan Getz (to name a few). The rest go for the likes of Pearl Jam.

Jazz is not a popular fare in Malaysia. It does not have the critical mass of fans to support a bill-paying musician. Even the perceived “jazz singers” like Sheila Majid and Ning Baizura would not dare produce a whole album of unadulterated jazz although they would like to. Even in the West, jazz is a niche market and they have to come out with “Smooth Jazz” to widen the appeal. Thus, I think, we have to wait a while longer to be able to use jazz as a medium of change.

In Malaysia, songs have been used as a social commentary since the days of radio and 78 RPM platters. Maybe you cannot remember any of Ahmad C.B.’s lyrics but I am sure you can remember R. Azmi’s take on “Nona Singapura”. No? Ok, Have you heard of “Fikirkan Boleh” (I think by Amuk) and more recently “Angguk Angguk, Geleng-Geleng” by Ahli Fiqir? How many have learned anything from these songs? Most listeners tapped their feet, nodded and shook their head for the duration of the song and afterwards went on their way, unchanged. S. Effendi, a great many years ago exhorted in his “Seroja”:

Sekarang bukan zaman bermenung

And many more singers later crooned the same words. We still have people termenung (pondering) today don’t we? Don’t we wish songs stir more than emotions. Maybe Dylan’s “Blowing In The Wind” and “The Times They Are Changing” galvanized many Americans during the Vietnam War or “The Exodus” gave hope to people in Diaspora but we did not see the same effect with Lennon’s “Imagine”.

Maybe the war-mongers are people who are also tone-deaf.

Continued later.



Friday, March 16, 2007
Today my good friend Razak came in his Kenari to take me to the new mosque in Pantai Dalam. When we saw many policemen and traffic policemen around the mosque we knew that a VVIP will be joining us. True enough, His Majesty The Paramount King (S.P.B. Yang Di Pertuan Agong) chose this mosque to pray in today. We were spared a tone-deaf muezzin and we had a spirited khatib (sermon reader). The khatib could not hide the fact that he is from Terengganu while delivering his khutbah (sermon) which was on entertainment. Entertainment, he said, is allowed by the religion as long as religious rules are followed.

The sermon though was marred by the sound of motorbikes coming into the mosque compound. As far as I can remember, this has been going on since I found this mosque. Razak and I, and I am sure a lot of other worshippers too, find this very disconcerting. Here we are trying to listen and understand the sermon (which is part and parcel of Friday prayers) and we get jolted by the loud put-put of bikers who came late. Couldn't they park outside the gates?

Then I remember that this area is "The Place Where There Is No Sheriff" where the usual laws do not seem to apply. Bikes go against the traffic on the highway, bikers do not need crash helmets and they do not stop on red. Cars and buses are parked along yellow lines and even at junctions. Why? Because no one is caught and punished. His Majesty does not come to this neck of the wood that often.

If you think that laws are broken only on the highway, let me tell you that our surau (prayer hall) has been broken in three times now. The first time, a VCD player that I donated to play Quranic verses in between prayers was taken away. The thieves probably needed an amplifier for that because later our high-end amplifier and speakers were taken away. The third break-in involved a couple of stand-fans. This proved too much for the congregation. They made special prayers and the thieves quietly returned the fans.

Yesterday, when I visited the surau for maghrib (sunset) prayers and a religious talk, I found the surau in darkness. I was told that the cable supplying electricity to the car park block where our surau is located was stolen in broad daylight.

I was speechless.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007
It is March. In fact it is near the middle of March and if you are familiar with "Alice in Wonderland" March is when the March Hare is most insane. This March we had a recycled politician and a recycled writer bashing bloggers. Read Rocky's posts for context. Somehow, a quotation from the DVD "An Inconvenient Truth" popped into my head:
It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.
-Upton Sinclair
Bloggers blog for a multitude of reasons. Some blog to educate, some blog to entertain. Others blog to inform and many others blog to make you think and see things in a different light. Blogging jerked the information monopoly from under the feet of the powers that be. Blogs gave us news that we are not supposed to read and views we are not supposed to share. Freedom of information and freedom to express your opinion is now upon us and some people did not take kindly to that.

Of course we value our new-found freedom and most of us bloggers will cherish and nurture this freedom. As we are free to drive cars on the road, we will be responsible drivers. We shall obey the regulations and we shall not put fear into any pedestrians and other road users. We should not fear the blog bashers but we should respect the law of the land.

Blogs will go on. There are new blogs every day. Once bitten by the blogging bug, bloggers will not stop. They will blog even if no one leaves any comments to their post. They will blog even if no one reads their posts. Shallow (like this blog) or deep, they will keep on blogging about new babies, new boyfriends/girlfriends, new nightclubs, new software or new trends. They will reminisce about old times and old enemies. They will cheer notable achievements and boo shameless shenanigans. No amount of bashings will stop the bloggers. I hope the powers that be will understand that, if not fully, just enough to let us be.

Bloggers will go to any length to blog. Just look at this guy.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Syed Ahmad Akiff Syed Ahmad Faizal came home Monday 12th. His elder brother was not too thrilled with the new arrival. When his Ki (grandpa) asked him whether he would let Akiff be taken away he promptly replied "Yes!".

No doubt Ariff will learn to love and protect his younger brother. They will have fun like any other brothers. InsyaAllah.

Since 3 of Akiff's aunties (Kustamang-side) are overseas and Ayah Da is busy with his new job at 8TV and Cek Na just came back from a gruelling assignment in Kedah, Cek Mi was the first auntie (Kustamang-side) to see him. Cek Mi had to dress up in a hurry thus it looked like she was having a bad hair-day that day and Akiff, like a true gentleman, kept his eyes tightly closed. Akiff would eventually see that Cek Mi is as pretty as his mommy.

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Monday, March 12, 2007
I was without Internet for more than 18 hours. All the houses in Kuala Terengganu that I landed in were without pc even. So when I got home the first thing I did was to surf the blogs. I choked on my sata when I read the quotes here, here and here. I am sure there are more blogs with posts on the subject.

I have 6 children. 5 of them are female and 4 of the females are bloggers. My only daughter-in-law also blogs. I just want the Honourable Minister to know that I did not raise my daughters as liars or enemies of the state. Their blogs, just like the blogs of the other women bloggers are online and open to scrutiny. Where are the lies and seditions in these blogs? Just because one Indonesian TV presenter commented about the hassles she went through covering the Floral Fest 2007 in her blog does not mean that all women bloggers are liars. That girl could have some valid points. A smart minister would have investigated her grouses and diplomatically settled it with her ( and her audience). Lashing out at innocent parties is not the way.

It is lucky that my daughters have some sense of humour in them. For them and for all the fine women bloggers that I read occasionally, I give you more stupid quotes. The difference is, these quotes are funny:

- Ad in Jakarta Post, should have read Condo

"I think that the film Clueless was very deep. I think it was deep in the way that it was very light. I think lightness has to come from a very deep place if it's true lightness."
- Alicia Silverstone, Actress

"We are unable to announce the weather. We depend on weather reports from the airport, which is closed, due to weather. Whether we will be able to give you a weather report tomorrow will depend on the weather."
- Arab News report

"Most cars on our roads have only one occupant, usually the driver."
- Carol Malia, BBC Anchorwoman

"China is a big country, inhabited by many Chinese."
- Charles De Gaulle, former French President

"Rotarians, be patriotic! Learn to shoot yourself."
- Chicago Rotary Club journal, "Gyrator"

"There is no housing shortage in Lincoln today - just a rumour that is put about by people who have nowhere to live."
- G.L. Murfin, Mayor of Lincoln

"I have opinions of my own --strong opinions-- but I don't always agree with them."
- George Bush, former U.S. President

"If it weren't for electricity we'd all be watching television by candlelight."
- George Gobel

"A brain scan revealed Andrew Caddick is not suffering from a stress fracture of the shin."
- Jo Sheldon

"Traditionally, most of Australia's imports come from overseas."
- Former Australian cabinet minister Keppel Enderbery

"It is now 22 minutes past 8:30."
- Lynn Russell, WKAT radio disc jockey

"I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were ever supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever."
- Miss Alabama, in the 1994 Miss Universe contest, when asked if she would want to live forever.

"Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life."
- Brooke Shields, during an interview to become spokesperson for a federal anti-smoking campaign.

"Politics gives guys so much power that they tend to behave badly around women. And I hope I never get into that."
- Bill Clinton, former U.S. president

Let us wonder how many people in the cabinet can appreciate the quotes.

Here is a slideshow (Power Point) sent by HOYA (Thanks Sevil) with visuals of stupid stuffs.

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Friday, March 09, 2007
Alhamdullillah, Thanks to God, my daughter-who does not-blog was blessed with another son this morning. The 3.17 kg baby was delivered via caesarian at Bangsar's Pantai Medical Center. My 12th grandchild is named Syed Mohd Akiff while his elder brother is Syed Mohd Ariff. They both have a cousin named Aliff. I hope there will be no stiff-tongued Japanese around when these three are together in the house. At least two of my grandsons would then be confused when one is called.

Akiff, which I was told by the still woozy mother this afternoon, means "focussed". When I held him close to me just now and gazed into his eyes, they were not focussed yet. It will take a while before Akiff can recognize shapes and faces.

Tomorrow I am going to Kuala Terengganu because my friend Ramli is having a kenduri. Ramli has 12 children. Tomorrow he invites friends and relatives to makang pulut to celebrate one his daughters' marriage. When I meet my old friends there and they ask me how many cucus (grandchildren) I have, I can proudly answer "Se dozen (one dozen)".



Monday, March 05, 2007
Page 12 of The SUN today (Monday) reported that UN Chief Ban Kimoon said "Climate change threat as big as war". I read that after watching the Oscar-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" hosted by "the former Next-President", Al Gore.

I am not a fan of Albert Gore but in the documentary, he talked sense. He gave visual proofs and I agreed with him. Had he been President of the USA, he would have ratified the Kyoto Protocol and United States would discharge less pollutants into the atmosphere. On a positive note, there are individual states in USA taking measures to slow down global warming.

It is getting warmer than usual even in Malaysia. I am sure you have noticed. It might be cool to holiday in Cameron Highlands but the place is not that cold anymore. If you have been monitoring the news, you will remember the heat wave in Europe and USA recently as well as the "freaky weather" hitting parts of the world. Students do not believe their Geography teachers any more. The weather nowadays contradicts the Geography books. Al Gore attributed all these to global warming. Global warming is melting glaciers and polar ice caps and soon the sea level will rise inundating the lower parts of the earth.

You have to watch "An Inconvenient Truth" to understand more about the causes and effects of global warming. I heard that it will be in your neighbourhood theatres this week. Then you go to its official website to learn more about the impending disaster and how you can help to avert it. The next time you feel panah so oh (very hot), instead of just hitting the air cond remote (in your seluo katok and wife beater or kemban)or heading to the nearest shopping mall, you will also have a definite plan of what you and your family can and should do so that your grandchildren will not have to live like the kids in "Waterworld".

10 Things You Can Do To Stop Global Warming.

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