The year 2005. The year may be nicked "exodus year" although we were not really the left over. On the first day Sat we were greeted with a price increase of the MS newspapers - 1.50RM weekdays and 2.0RM weekend (but not yet NST which stayed at 1.20RM perhaps for a strategy - it was 0.15RM in 1970); and the motorists, with a 10% hike on NSHP highways (apparently not many kilometers were non-NSHP highways who had already hiked their toll in mid-year last year by as much as 30%) and this rhythm is going to tune until 2035 the shortest.
The tsunami that erupted on 2004 Dec 26 Sun masked the displeasure of the motorists, even the back-bencher lawmakers; all the media, prints or electronic, in all their regalia "flooded" the front page and a great fraction of their spaces with sad pictures of tsunami's manaces all days during the final week of 2004 and asymtotically to the end of Feb 2005. The "spared" are apparently more forgiving than the tsunami the great force of nature.
Jan 5 Wed, with everyone in jubilant mood, CB was checked-in in SAS Putrajaya for his next phase of schooling in Form One (Bestari) and in TS Jamil Rais (C) house in C Block - like SAS in 1995 when I checked-in Zidni, all Form One were housed in the same block, supposedly isolated from the manaces of Form 4 and Form 5 boys. CB was delighted; me too because this is my re-revisit to SASputra since its migration from Bandar Tun Razak (previously just Cheras) in April 2003 (from its birth Feb 18 1963). Very timid, and highly self-deciplined, he found it hard to be part of SASputra (full name Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Alam Shah), especially after the first semester break in May, whence the prefects and the seniors were let loose to manace. At one stage, my name was invoked by the ungrateful seniors for being his father and a SAS alumni. Many times we were blessed by nature like that of the blessing haze Aug 8-14. I tried hard to get acquainted with my 'reformed' alma mater, including attending the school welcome function Jan 9 Sun; getting to know the Principal CheGu Shamsudin Mohd Nor who was my batch U6Arts_1970, helped him to get rapport to the TNC HEP of UKM (happened to be an alumni too) for possible 'adoption' of SAS by UKM; attending the PIBG meeting Feb 19 Sat (by then the new Principal, a younger, from SMS Muzaffar Shah Melaka took over); and attending the alumni AG meeting Jun 18 Sat. However, slowly, like CB, I became an alien to the school, feeling scared like hell to the teachers even though some of them knew Zidni during 1995-2000. I made many cordial friendships with CB's batch mates: Aidil, Muzakkir, Azrul, Fadli, and their friends; the first tree even taken to visit us at home; and the first, their parents too.
Jan 26 Wed, Alya, like CB, was checked-in SMS Seri Puteri, Kolam Air, (imboards form 4 and 5 only) for her last phase of schooling in Form Four (Dorisia), in House Brassidium. It was not easy too for her, probably because of beyond her imagination; but the CNY 5-days break (Feb 7-13) gave her a complete resuscitation to rebegin a new approach. By the end of the year she made herself part of the school's prefect board, and hopefully will catch-up the missing parts next year. To support her morally, I attended the PIBG meeting Mar 11 Fri, and incidentally got elected to the CM. Then suddenly the cache 'Kolam Air' of 1970 reemerged, in different scenes, and furnished by the new acquaintances of various backgrounds in the CM - the teachers as well as the parents.
UKM 35 Years, ... and inching on
35 years of fluorescence UKM is echoed by this fleet of four V6's, which buzz the 4 flat newtonic managers - lately appeared like four independent sectarian "monastries", and very inert against the very mother of reason d'etre why UKM was established. Last year "retirement" precedence haunted everyone into their own corner;
The officiation of the 35 years anniversary, 1970-2005, was on 2005 Feb 3 Thu night - obviously with the styles of the season: fireworks in the sky and "cultural shows" on the stage. It was supposed to be officiated by the Chancelor; it was not; a pro-chancelor was. The "exhibition" was on Friday (alas! they were mere posters those every body had seen before), and the following Sat morning. A bus-load of school pupils would not forget that particular Sat afternoon when they were told at the DECTAR entrance that the exhibition was already over. In 1990 when UKM celebrated its 20 years old, its "showing off" lasted at least for a week. What a short 35 years UKM! The climax was to be sometimes in November, to coincide with the "Hari Anugerah Kualiti 13". To the end of 2005, Dec 31, UKM was in part in the hands of 'home-growns';
Dato' Dr Amran Kasimin, an LPU member, checked-in UKM in May 1971 in the Faculty of Islamic Studies; a previous academic staff, an Associate Professor of Arabic till 2004;
Prof Dato' Dr Sukiman Sarmani, a Deputy VC (Academic and International), checked-in UKM in May 1970 in the Faculty of Science; a radiochemist;
Prof Dato' Dr Mohd Wahid Samsudin, a Deputy VC (Students Affair and Alumni), checked-in UKM in May 1971 in the faculty of science; an organic chemist;
Prof Dr Ibrahim Komo, a Deputy VC (Research and Innovation), checked-in UKM in May 1972 in the faculty of science; an engineering geologist;
Datuk Taip Abu, the Registrar, checked-in UKM in May 1970 in the faculty of arts; a public administrator.
All were 'born' in UKM Jalan Pantai Baru, amidst the bashing of inability of Bahasa Melayu to become the language of a university. Unfortunately, they are 'fighting' for a short period for very soon they will 'expire' too, with or without traces;
The second half of Jan, through to Feb was very much in the holiday mood. It started with a partial national blackout (in southern part on Malaysia peninsular) on Jan 13 Thu afternoon - one postgraduate female student was trapped in the Chemistry west elevator; it was only less worst than the 1993 national blackout. That was under the cloud of diesel shortage with the usual dramatised acts of chasing and hide and seek, and finally the curtain was drawn for the drama with the 5-sen price increase from Mar 1 Tue. During the first three weeks in Jan, UKM server was at least two times "blackout". In the first blackout, the pages of the webs I looked after dated 2003 Dec were uploaded, and unapologetically asked the respective webmaster to re-upload their "updates". Then it was Eid Adha 1425H Jan 21 Fri (we spent it in Sg Merab - a government religious officer reminded the people not to follow the Saudi's day of Eid which was one day earlier, meaning about the same day in real time. The Saudi's fixation of Eid Adha was not purely based on lunar sighting; another factor was taken into consideration: that Wukuf day (the day before Eid - Zulhijah 9) must not fall on Thu past noon because it was agreed among the Arabs that if wukuf fall on the day (an Akbar Haj), all Arabs, not just Saudis, must be allowed to perform Haj. Obviuosly at the time like nowadays, Saudi's King does not want all Arabs to converge in Mekah at the same time). The break was followed by Thaipusam, Jan 25 Tue; (WP break on Feb 1 Tue); followed by a rather long break of Feb 7-13 week, for the rooster CNY (Feb 9). The middle Feb 10 Thu was Awal Muharam 1426H - notice the "coincidence" of the new CNY and the new Hegira.
Two more chemistry staff compulsory-retired this year: Assoc Prof Dr Harun Hamzah (left) in Apr mid, and Prof Dr Ibrahim Abdullah (right) in Apr end. Both were re-hired for another two years, but on different basis. The former was a deputy director of UKM computer centre, assuming which, in Aug 2001, pushed me to replace him in the faculty, for thirty six months to Aug 2004. Both were officially farewelled Jun 27 Mon 3pm in KRU;
The cosy senate meeting room, a large fraction of the UKM staff had not been in it, until their last days of service, if they were lucky enough. This room was used to be a symbol of academic power. The words sealed in this room when came out used to mean one step in progress. Not infrequently, members of this room got themselves changed in their sleep and too late to unchange when they woke up;
Count Down Continued Jan 19 Wed, briefing for pensioners 2007, another step count down to my own. The attendees were from all "walks of life" in the campus. For the only ever occasion, a driver could feel the cosiness of the senate meeting room (which previously for the whole of his service life, he only had heard of it), and sat next to a professor; both appeared indifferentiably helpless. The officer who briefed on the retiring procedures, with an eerie ghostly rhythm voice, reminded the shock that would come when a 15K professor would end up with a mere 3K retiree. In the proper government institution, the pre-retirees were given the opportunity to undergo a reorientation programme, so that the "cultural shock" would be averted. Some were lucky when they became senile immediately on becoming a retiree that they forgot what it was like to live in a 15K life with each of his ten finger nails were polished with the regalia of powers. March was exam period for the 2004/05 'season'; the students deswelled into their seclusion. The deswelling prolonged to mid Jul for the new 'season' 2005/06. The mid Jul beginning was rare, and this was the first time in my time since 1970. Normally it was late May or the latest mid Jun.
|Many strange things happened
all the ways; it was very hard
Highways were built to ease traffic congestion, and their being were privatised for efficiency. Ironically, traffic congestion were always heaviest at the toll plazas. Not rarely an advertised 10-minutes journey was dilated by another 15 to 20 minutes q-ing at the toll plaza. These days, motorists have to lay a strategy to shoot a double troubles: which route is the least congested AND passes the least number of toll plazas. KL is no longer a free-city for a bona-fide citizen. From which ever way one approach, he would certaily be stopped by the "jurutol";
What ever happened to ICT, I do not understand. In my view, being a commodity, the "technology" part of the ICT is no longer a style of the day, the "communication" part is no doubt perpetual - It was IT (Information Technology), then, for rejuvenation purposes, ICT (Information and Communication Technology). Perhaps, next in line is TT (Telinfocom Technology) for the next ten years;
This thing happen in legal, not in economy;
Wow! this must be the greatest American discovery throughout the civilization history of mankind. It is one level above its claim that it landed Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin on the Moon in 1969 July 21, and several more the last of which was Eugene Cernan in 1972 December 11. Perhaps this is a bigger giant leap than the small man's "steps" on the moon. Many more are waiting to be "discovered": romancing a spouse, eating, smoking, listening to reports of inaccessible roads by traffic jam, listening to musics, day-dreaming, getting sleepy, getting distracted by the crowd on the opposite direction - perhaps slowed down by an accident, fantasizing about something, getting a hallucination, etc, etc;
Can they ever make it at all? To begin with the artist impression of the Angkasawan is too non-Malaysian; it is more of a Eurosian, or Northcentralasian; perhaps by then there may be many Angkasawan for hire. He has to speaks Russian anyway. What about a lady Angkasawan? And who, after all, wanted to experiment only making roti canai and teh tarik in (she forgot the gravityless) the outerspace;
Very strange indeed;
A report appeared in a local newspaper, 2005 Feb 21 Mon;
They said that these 80,000 did not do well in english, did they? Once upon a time, a similarly tens of thousands, said a wiseman, opted for 'self-unemployed';
So, it wasn't the english after all that had made them jobless, it is the graduate job market isn't it?
The missing link of the journey of the graduates to the oblivion;
These days, man also dies in sugar, not just the ants; like ants in the sugar, many were caught by the scoop or the spoon;
The fate is a microscopic nature of the second law of thermodynamic;
Well, speaking of 'jurutol', the 'jawatan' is not yet in JPA catalogue; unlike 'juruteknik' (technician), 'jururawat' (nurse), 'juru x-ray' (x-ray machine opeartor), 'juru bahasa' (interpreter), 'juru hebah' (announcer), 'juru tulis' (petition writer), 'juruterbang' (pilot), 'jurunikah' (marriage solemniser), 'juruacara' (master of ceremony), 'juru analisa sistem' (system analyst), 'jurulatih' (trainer), 'juru hias' (decorator), 'juruarsip' (file clerk), 'juruazan' (muezzin), 'jurubatu' (marine pilot), 'juruberita' (reporter), 'jurucakap' (spokesman), 'jurubuku' (book-keeper), 'jurukimia' (analytical chemist), 'jurudapur' (cook), 'jurugambar' (photographer), 'jurugendang' (drummer), 'jurujual' (saleman), 'jurukamera' (cameraman), 'jurukerah' (messenger), 'jurutaip' (typist), 'jurukira' (accountant', 'jurukunci' (janitor), 'jurulrlong' (auctioner), 'jurulito' (lithographer), 'jusumasak' (cook), 'jurumesin' (mechanic), 'jurumudi' (helmsman), 'juruodit' (auditor), 'jurupotret' (photographer), 'jurupustaka' (librarian), 'juruselam (diver), 'jurusita' (bailtiff), 'jurutrengkas' (stenographer), 'jurusuara' (sound man), 'jurutulis' (clerk), 'juruulas' (commentator), 'jurutenun' (weaver), 'jurutenung' (fortune-teller), 'juruubat' (pharmacist), 'juruukur' (surveyor), 'juruwang' (cashier), 'juruwarta (reporter), or even 'jurubu'. This jurutol is a slow-moving snail-class living thing, who will poke-out its arm in slow-motion when you push the brake pedal at the booth, like that of an arm of an experimental robot. They are all myopic, they could not comprehend anything beyond your shoulder to give any consideration to hurry up.
Diesel hiked in Mar, and diesel blues throughout Apr. Transport fares hiked from May, with a complex structure. Flashing back in the good old days, from Jan 1967 to Nov 1970, solid four years, we enjoyed 16 sen bus fare from Cheras to Foch Ave; 5RM express bus (no a/c though) from Malacca St to Kuantan (172 miles), and another 5RM from Kuantan to Kuala Terengganu (136 miles). When we took a taxi, it started with 40 sen; from Malacca Street to SAS it was about 4RM, so we shared 1RM each, to offset for the lugage otherwise we had to shoulder. We used to joke that getting into a bus was a cost, but free to get out of it; as opposed to getting into a taxi which was free, to get out was at cost; so one would get a free ride in a taxi if he did not get out.
An Apr Fool was pranked among two smart 'consumers'. April fool was meant for moronites.
On the same day, another appearance of a major 'breakthrough' in the Universities academia. The registrar, who was traditionally 'non-functional', perhaps was deliberately hidden; and note the bifunctional nature of each. I noticed that in UKM, the restructure engineers worked very hard to put the word DAN in their masterpiece. One can trace it in every of their done job. It started with "Fakulti Sains DAN Teknologi", in which there are "PP Sains Sekitaran DAN Sumber Alam", "PP Biosains DAN Bioteknologi", "PP Sains Kimia DAN Teknologi Makanan" (albeit, Murphy's rule operate: "PP Fizik Gunaan", "PP Sains Matematik"); followed by "Fakulti Sains Sosial DAN Kemanusiaan", comprising "PP Bahasa DAN Linguistik", "PP Bahasa, Kesusasteraan DAN Kebudayaan Melayu", "PP Media DAN Komunikasi", "PP Psikologi DAN Pembangunan Manusia", "PP Sejarah, Politik DAN Strategi", "PP Sosial, Pembangunan DAN Persekitaran". Perhaps, in the future, when all had been restructured and all the dream had come true, it could be sealed with Universiti Kebangsaan DAN Antarabangsa Malaysia (for a UKAM.)
Another 10% hike was announced Apr 11. It was the ministers and MPs salaries and allowances, backdated to Jan 1 last year, 2004; the day I scheduled to fill the tax return form, date-lined Apr 30, after a marathon four papers 'relay' of finishing the students marks for this session which ended Mar 26 Sat.
Medicines and prescription drugs, including traditional medicnes, were announced on Apr 14, to get a hike in price the following month May. Free hospital visit would ceaced from next year was announced on Apr 26.
Announced also, in Apr 18, was the hike of Penang Ferry fare, some up to 100% from May day. Pedestrians and those with bicycles taking the ferry would be charged RM1.20 (from 60sen) and RM1.40 (from 70sen) respectively. Motorists and motorcyclists would have to pay RM7.70 (from RM7) and RM2 (RM1.40) respectively, while monthly passes for students would be increased from RM2 to RM3. Lorries, vans and buses would be charged RM13.20 from RM12. The last increase was made on Nov 1, 1996. Many media reported all the hikes in the "pre-background" of GE 12 in 2008. A ten sen petrol hike was suddenly applied May 5 Thu to RM1.52, and for diesel RM1.081. Diesel blues thus solved. But not for quite long for another fuel blue was on Aug 01 Mon; petrol up to become 1.62RM per litre, and diesel to become 1.281RM per litre; ubiquitous reason: to reduce the government subsidy. And as always: "Walaupun wujud kenaikan, harga petrol di Malaysia masih termurah di ASEAN kecuali Brunei. Sementara harga diesel pula adalah yang terendah kecuali di Indonesia dan Brunei." This was in the middle of "AP Debate" between the former PM, TM, and contemporary MITI Minister in a time span in the middle of which was the UMNO General Assembly #56 2005.
Late Apr through to full May were very quiet and was rather long since students were having their vacation. Only post-graduates were around. The reversion to four-years degree course dissipated although its rapport last year was like waiting for a lady delivering a baby. When Jun set in, it did not seem to happen in the new session in Jul. During this long silence, while others quietly prepared for the UKM-ITB 6 in Bali, Indonesia, May 17-18, I enjoyed the outing on Kementerian Pelajaran curriculum matters; first for the first time with expert teachers Mar 7-10, on BBT Briefing in Holiday Villa, Subang Jaya, where I had the chance to be academically in real close encounter with the expert teachers. It followed, incidentally at the same place, Apr 19-23, on MatriQ ubiquitous matters (accidentally coincide, but longer time, with the continuation of the former, which I then had to withdraw).
May 28 Sat was the school first semester break, two weeks. Everyone wasted no time to resuscitate, but decending on the shadow of CB and Alya was the return of Zidni for good from Tulsa, OK, the USA; undeniably a sense of relief from the background of 911 and the events after that. It was like we had just passed over a monsoon; but braising for a new one, come September. Jul 01 Fri he began his career, tasting the sweetness of the salt, in the firm who sponsored him from Jan 2001 and his four years in the USA from 2001 Jun.
The Saturday the Last Jun 25 Sat was the last working Sat in Malaysia. From Jul 1, it was 5-days week working days; added hrs to become 8 to 5; a completion from sat#1-n-sat#3 off since about 2000. Kelantan and Terengganu states had enjoyed it (Fri and Sat), the former since 1990 and the latter since 1999. The working hours was extended to 5 pm, thus forming a massive congestion at the exit at 5-6, which was otherwise distributed from 4.30. The school utilised the Fri 12 to 1 period for the activity normally carried out on Sat, thus giving strain to boys who were going for the prayer at 1.30, followed by the religious school at 2.30. Things did not seem to bother any body any further since many school teachers were female and majority pupils were also female.
|Capitalists Never Miss the Very First Knock,|
And They Never Give Up
I would have been a multi-billionaire had I responded to these mails. I did not regret though. Note the repetition of the senders name because I had two e-mail addressess at the same ISP; and the repetition on different dates. These were not including those "offers" I recieved from everyone in "Africa" asking my help (with something like 20% commission) to transfer their money into my account in whichever banks in the world, perhaps not in "Africa", in billions they said they inherited from their relatives who were all the rulers or the rulers' right-hand men in all the "African" countries who had been murdered or jailed or exiled. Notice the pairing arrival of the mail. This is because I was assigned with an alias for my mail which was actually my previous user name. Apparently they had collected that records long before the scam began;
Top right, the local version of the scam. Admittedly I was onced fall into their trap, the first one, and that was the last one. The won item was only a 20-sen ball point pen. They invested a 20-sen stamp, and a 10-sen photocopy of the "letter"; their only wish was that the recipient turned up at the shop; and from then on they can "brain-wash", or subdue into buying whatever they sell. Some delivered the "winning notice" by phone. I love very much receiving such phone calls. The caller would slam the phone whenever he/she realised that the table was turning. In one occasion, a female voice told me that I won something and furnished the news with all the index number, etc, etc; and asked to go to an address (obviously her shop) to collect it. I then asked her what time the place is closed. She said, six. I then said I would be there at 5.50. At this point she realised that the table was turning. So she said I was going to cheat her. I said it depends on who is smarter; the less smarter will get cheated. Then I heard the phone was slammed down.
These included well-known hotels who sell their holiday packages. They started the "fishing" by phone call by asking whether I knew this man, this man, this professor, this doctor, etc, whom all I knew because they somehow got all my colleagues. It ended up by offering for a cup of tea at the hotel, most probably at their coffee house (the first condition for a chance to win a free night-two-days stay - meaning the day check-in, the night stay, the day check-out - at any of their chains). I then asked him what time he would be off duty the very day, so that I could be there ten minutes before his off duty time. At this point he felt that the table was turning, and said that I was going to cheat him. No, I said, I would be there ten minutes before his time-off; but reminded him that the traffic in the city never promised anybody their appointment time. I told him that if his time-off arrive before my arrival, then please take his time off because I then must have lost in the traffic, and I would call him again. He put down his phone without saying thank you or something like that.
Sometimes they turned up at our doorstep, like one Sunday evening. One young girl turned up. She began by saying that she is from a something firm making a survey for the electricity board (TNB) on the domestic usage of the elecricity. I sensed the rat, and I decided to play the game. So I said yes, please sit down. She continued with marking in the "survey" sheet the appliances I told her I was using, and curiously the brand name as well, to which I just uttered whatever brand I could remembered; never mind the brand in my kitchen. Then out of sudden, her friend came. Saying hallo to me, and in sort of surprise telling her to tell me that my house was chosen (by a draw process) to win a prize. I asked her what did I won? She said she could not tell, it was secret. I was needed to say I wanted the prize or not, and if I say I want, I must take it whatever it is, be it a devil, or an angel. I said yes, I want it. Then she said she has to call her company about my wanting it, and she said she wanted to use my phone because she said she was new in the company and yet to have a phone. I said "NO! find your own way to get in touch with your own company, bring the prize here, and I will take it!" (knowing that actually she was going to do her business with the phone the bill of which I will pay). I told her that she could walk to her company the way she came in. She insisted to use it, because she said it was my prize. And every time she insisted, I said NO!. Eventually she conceded. Then she spoke to her friend in their native dialect which I did not understand, then her friend went away. A few minutes later her friend returned with an envelop and gave the envelop to her. She said this is the document of my prize. I said ok, and she asked again, do I want the prize? I said of course I want it. She opened the envelop. With a mock surprise and jubilation she congratulated me saying that I was about to win a car. Apparently in the big envelop there were three red envelops. She asked me to pick one envelop and if I was correct, the envelop contain the car document I was going to win. At this point I thought that I had given enough to the little girl, she better learn her lesson. Nobody will ever come to your doorstep to bring you a prize, and the prize it A CAR! This little girl native life is all in the atmosphere of lie and cheat. That's why saying that I was going to win a car is just her normal daily chorus. I said to her, "You open it for me, what ever it say I had won, you take it, even if it is a car," She refused, saying that it was my prize. I insisted that she open it for me because I was going to donate my prize to her; she refused; I insisted; she refused; I insisted. Finally her friend opened up their native dialect with her. Perhaps her friend said to her, "Come on let's go, this old man knew we are going to con him," And they packed their bags and went without even turning their face to us (angkat punggung, cabut).
The 'Orphaned' Alumni
|Minhat Mion, an U-6sas-er 1968, was the obidient sec since 1984, asked for a permanent leave in this #21 AG. To honour his request I propose him be reelected and reelect him uninamously. He served at least three presidents. To the surprise of the floor who were very eager to put their candidate in the AJK. His successor was "a boy", the expired PIBG President 2005 AG. His "underage" was very glaring during both form 1 welcoming speech in Jan and during the PIBG AG in April (unfilled can). The job nonetheless suit him well;|
Jun 18 Sat. ASAS AGM #21, the alumni meeting in SASputra ODT (a lecture theatre actually). Sixty-four present - out of many thousands that SAS had produced. It was in the absence of covalency since all the members were SASians, not the SASputran. The non-presence was furnished by the absence of the SAS Pengetua who was not a SASian (the last four Pengetua were SASian). The absence was completed by only three of my batch (Mohd Embong, Dato' Wazir, and myself). Two "girls" present, none of my batch. Several seniors I recognised: Dr Mahmud Kitom, Dato' Mohd Yasin, Dato' Johar Murad, Minhat Mion, Dato' Raof; and a junior: Dato' Dr Haron Ahmad. Except these, others were so non-SASness, including the office bearers and those who spoke. The occasion would have been merrier had it been officiated by the Pengetua, and the ODT was fully made-up to witness by the fifth-former who naturally would become the only source of membership later. The occasion then would give the first contact for the young cadres who would take the potrait of this first occasion either to continue painting it or to archive it. Without this first contact they would be searching in the galactical wilderness, some of them though, if they ever had a dream or an illusion of it. The mood was so non-SASness too. Eventhough the morning tea were together in the school dining hall, the fleet of lux merc and beemers parking around the Putra Perdana hall failed to make any sense to the budding SASputrans because the AGM overlooked and dwarfted the significance of the Pengetua and its deputies, as though they did not evolved from boys as timid as those at the next tables in the dining hall. As I used to contend, in a few years time when the pro-tem batch disappear another twenty years gap would carve itself up (depicted by AGM#21 vs SAS#42). It was then a rather non-event, uncompensated by the excuse I gave to SESERI for not attending the "IKRAR TG 5" this morning.
From the opposite view, just my guess I guess, that the SASputran were so remote from the SASians in every aspect of schooling life; so different that even van der waals fails to get them attracted. SASputran after all began just only in late 2003. They are too young to understand the word "alumni", or perhaps they were so stereotype that they mutated into self-centered living things independent of their alma mater. The office bearers voted-in reflected the missing covalency which was replaced by something too non-SASness; a different sense of purpose: #1, and #2, were high ranking gov officers (may be a deliberation); as well as the treasurer; the rest were all the CEOs-type of their own firms. It would be very hard then to resist the speculation that the temptation for the activities are more for the committee members rather than for the members. The glaring total absence of academician members, and especially in the team of the office bearers was an indication that at the end of the day the grade does not make very much matter. Some of the lucky SASian appeared to have forgotten their places of origin, and even amnisiaic about a life in SAS during the boys days. I wonder what purpose did they turn up for. Perhaps they would be more in peace if they were just like the rest who do not even have a neck to turn the head around so that their eyes could look towards the back of their times.
CheGu Ahmad Yahya Tohar and I in 1966 Sep in Padang Midin, Terengganu; and in 2005 Jun 18 Sat in Kapar, Klang, Selangor;
CheGu Saadiah, CheGu Amad Yahya, Mohd Embong and I;
But the actual galactical mission to be accompalished was in the afternoon that Jun 18 Sat through to the evening. After the ASAS AGM#21 I towed Mohd Embong for a Beriani Gam Putrajaya, then a break at my home. It was at this moment he managed to get contacted the retired CheGu Alias Radzi (Padang Midin 1964-66) who he met twice recently, and acquired the address of CheGu Saadiah_CheGu Ahmad Yahya. Wasting no second, we drove (in his Pajero) to Kapar Klang ca. 3.30pm; to reach the designated address at ca. 4.45pm (after two stops to locate it), to find both were healthy in their retirement and in a full amazement, welcomed our visit (present was their #2son family who was born in Padang Midin). CheGu Saadiah was my form One form teacher in 1964, while her husband CheGu Ahmad Yahya was my form three form teacher in 1966 in Padang Midin Secondary School. We set down rather quietly through to almost sun-set. We prayed Asar at their home and asked for their continued blessed of health for both of them had a strong bearing in our equally blessed well being today. We reminisced a lot during my timid boy years of 1964 to 1966 years when they were my teachers who handled almost all my parental task the teachers today can forget about. Then my plight to SAS in 1967 and took off ourselves from there; their continued stay in Trg to 1972; then they moved to Kuala Selangor and settled down to these days. We even compared notes on their times in early sixties in Brinsford Lodge, Wolverhampton, in their Malayan Teachers Training College and my mid seventies-early eighties in Manchester (I located both sites in 1975, the one Kirby Fields near Lonsdale, Liverpool and the other near Wolverhapton in the Midlands - they were actually former army barracks on the fields - a story here). CheGu Saadiah also related that she met (with tears) the one Azizah 1964, in KL, the one who did not move to Padang Midin from Sultan Sulaiman SS in Oct 1964. I drank the tea my teacher made, for the first time today since the last forty years. It wasn't any sweeter than the sweetness of their education I drank to almost drowning during my early secondary school years. As the sun drew nearer to set we apologised that we have to go; and stepping out of the door, I asked both of them that I wanted to hug them. I got it, and I felt a strange sort of mission accompalishment for she could have not realised that her uncareless care for us (one was I) in the early years of 1964 when she was my class teacher (in a complete void of my parent ability) that made in the final result that my schooling clock kept ticking louder the day after every day.
The Amazing Amalina
Nur Amalina transgressed on every female superstar in the week 2 of Mar for her 17As in her 2004 SPM. Seven of the subjects were not taught at the school; she self-studied them. It was only 11A at most at the so-called elite schools. The 'Amalinamenon' had many lateral 1-D pictures; the one that was flashing during the few days after the newsworthy day was jut one - the one that was too ordinary to merit further eulogue.
One of the other pictures Amalinamenon painted was the one I sketched as long ago as in 1995: that the boarding school then was no longer relevant. It wasn't like a fully private boarding school; they were inherently colonial. During the time when I was a boarder in 1964, the hostels were 100 times better than the homes of ordinary pupils, that's why they were relevant, and that's why it used to be said that the boarding schools were elite schools. Now, with the life of ordinary people had improved dramatically, the hostels had become 100 times worse then the homes because things at the hostel, practically speaking, had not improved since they were built in the 1960's. The salt was added from time to time to the wound by the discontiued budgets; healed only peripherally by the formation of PIBG from late 1970's. Those days, the 'ecological biosphere' of the hostels were more conducive for the pupils to get educated, be it for the food, the water, the lighting, cleanliness, the teachers, the headmasters, the availablity of the studying gears, the vents for the pupils talent to hatch, the openness for the pupils inquiry to burst, the heat of the night, the laughter of humour, the mosquitoes bite and roar, the rain, the breakfast and supper (its alright with the lunch, tea, and dinner), the enjoyment, the bed, the class, the labs, the sports, the non-errors of the textbooks, the 'law-and-order', the uniformness, etc, etc, etc. Nowadays, the homes are more conducive. Those days, the pupils got unstressed when they returned to the hostels; these days, the pupil scared to return to the hostels because they knew that they would get stressed. For that matter, KTK was humourously nicked 'Kolej Tahanan Kanak2' ("Children Detention College").
The other picture Amalinamenon had painted is the intrinsic purpose of going to school. Those days going to school was going to get educated. A school leaver was classed as a passer or a failer, not very much about the grade he got. Teachers were like their foster-parents, and this could happen because teachers were more well being than the parents. The success of the schools were measured after the pupils had grown into adults; the 'adultness' were attributed to the successive schools the adults had been to, the headmasters and teachers of which had retired into the society. It was thus a long term 'investment'. Nowadays, the headmasters needed the quick and instantaneous results in order to get the promotion to retire into oblivion. In some boarding schools, pupils were prohibited from taking more than the prescribed subjects because the school feared the divided attention would reduce the numerical magic of the outcome. Amalinamenon is every headmaster's dream, especially headmasters of boarding schools. Apparently, five years ago Amalina was offered a place in all-girl boarding school, but she quitted. She broke the myth of the 'eliteness' of boarding schools. Amalina had become a phenomenon, the Amalinamenon, every parent would invoke whenever in confrontation with the headmaster.
The other picture Amalinamenon had painted is the objective to be achieved in the school while in transit to the making of the pupil's life. The objective is highly achievable through the techniques and tectics available at the maximum capacity only if one is in daily, not in the boarding school. Many had contended that, the 'success' of the boarding schools were actually by virtue of the fact of their previlage to have the top pupil to begin with; the rest were the pupils creativity within the perimeter of the school fence.
The other picture Amalinamenon had painted is the evolutionary nature of the subjects taught in schools since the beginning of literalisation in this country. They are now compacted, like those in the IC, to become objects like those of the commercial products the acquisation of which is more of consumable nature rather than as tools: its acquisation is more accounted than its endurance. Thus the pupils in daily school have every advantange because they have every access to its resources including their parents, brothers and sisters. One only need to work hard to fall into Amalinamenon. Teachers in full board schools are fighting to keep the accessibility the teachers in daily schools do not have to. The only disadvantage the daily school teachers have to face are the multifariousness of their pupil, but alas, if twenty percent of their pupils are of the boarding school type, then it is more than normal.
The other picture Amalinamenon had painted is the potrait of a contemporary integral school pupil who could be acquired even by a normal pupil provided that the pupil have all the access to the means; the last phrase contitute the key words to Amalina's success. To non-normal pupil, the potrait could not be acquired due to the time-integral nature of the being: 17 subjects to self-study, a strict self-imposed decipline, hang out with friends, chat on internet, listening to chart-toppers, watching television, ensuring MSG-free food, and abstaining from fast foods and carbonated drinks. Not mentioned, but inevitably included in the integration were other ubiquitous variants: the time to go to school and returned home, the time with brothers and sisters, and parents, and relatives, the time for the occasional events such as Eids, CNY, participations in the co-cur and the events in it, occasional emotional instability, occasional hit by unwellness due to bad air, rainy days, flood, heatwave, the handphone things, etc, etc, etc. Even a valedictorian could not match this kind of integration.
The other picture Amalinamenon had painted is a form of executable k-economy in this part of developing world. If she get herself engaged for several years, she does not need other options; she would become a similarly well to do as that of the career of an O&G graduate from Oxford (!!!!) she said she intended to be; a similar short cut that had been taken by the many idols the media had crowned; on condition that she would similarly be crowned by the media. She could win a TKO if the award was reawarded, perhaps specifically to the library of the school, after which undoubtedly, the school would obligh to rename it after her.
But the Amalinamenon was an infinitesimal to the Mawimania of the AF3, the final of which was on Aug 6 Sat, the tenth of a series of live concert. Amalina (a female teenager) and Mawi (a male in twenties) were two people, significantly similar in their originality, each reached to the seat on her/his respective saddle with an equal probability, but ubiquitously along two different paths perhaps of about two different destiny. Both invoked directly the "academy", and it was that, but two different things propagated. In this oriental part of the globe these two "biospheres" compete with each other, very often riding on the same horses. The mania and the winner were said to be very much greater than the previous two, AF1 and AF2. The Mawi-mania dilated months after his crowning on Aug 6 night. He certainly had changed after the event, from an ordinary to an extra-ordinary life; and he was made an object of polemic among various quarters, including political quarters. 'Everybody' benefited from Mawimania. The organizer, from the ticket sold, so so that they could afford to give one free show; and from the per-sms charge; the sms operators; the post-cd producer, that the guy put up an impromptu song for Mawi to sing knowing that when the cd is produced, it is the song writer that will receive the royalty, not the singer. All the variants were clearly equationed that Mawi was readmitted after he was discarded in a stage when it was glaringly clear that the final answer in the equation was logarithmically purturbed by the absence of Mawi. The only person who do not get the benefit from Mawimania was the young people many of whom could just barely support their own ICU app. Some of them depended on their parents for the top-up of their prepaid to sms the 'judging pool'. A significant fraction of them were in the colliseum fighting for a sensible PNGK.
And while still recovering from the mania festival, the media put up the inevitable price-increase "festival" in full obedience that followed the petrol price increase in May and Jul; almost every item of the everyday needs had its opportunity of price increase, not including the increase before the "festival". Some reportedly incresed by as much as 50 percent. Well, it may means its price has doubled, since the percentage figure was calculated based on the new increased price (to minimised the figure - otherwise it maximises to 100 percent if denominatored by the preincreased price). Amalina and Mawi had at the end of the day, one thing in common: they both 'helped' to sell various merchandises.
Blessings in the Haze
Klang Valley was hazed throughout the week Aug 8-14 (the last time was in 1997 for over a month - but was statistically kept unleased - and a few times after that, on and off, almost every year); Klang and Kuala Selangor was declared emergency on Thu-Sun; meaning being able not to go to work - not under curfew though; air pollution index, IPU>500. Schools in Selangor and Putrajaya were given the days off from Thu. Universities were ordered to defer all the activities from Thu. I had a quiet weekend, managed to pull all my "resources" to have the compound shaved from the long-and-blessed lallang dan tall grasses.
The Pope of the World An international event of the year was the passing of the Roman Catholic Pope John Paul II, Apr 2 Sat (a Polish Karol Wojtyla: b. 1920; voted to the Papacy 1978 - the first non-Italian Pope in 550 years). The first ten messages of condolence were said to be from the Muslims. Ironically, Padre Theodore McCarrick of Washington said in Vetican City, the succession has an Islamic factor; he was interpreted to mean the new Pope must be able to get in touch with Islam in order to live in peace, which may be inferred that his hold was that Islam and terror are two faces of the same coin. Chicago's Padre, Francis George was of the same arguments. Obviously, an Asian or an African was "murmured" to succeed, one from Nigeria, Cardinal Arinze, as had always been like the Sectretary General of UN. Four millions was said to attend the funeral in Vetican City on Apr 8 Fri.
I was in Vetican City in 1974 Sep 24 Tue mid-day; the Pope was Pope Paul VI who was Cardinal Giovanni Montini, who succeeded John XXIII (Cardinal Angello Roncalli) in 1963. Pope Paul VI died in 1978, succeeded August 26 by John Paul I, who was Alibino Lucano, Cardinal of Venice, for 33 days when he was found dead in his private room, many believed he was murdered, paving for Karol Wojtyla to become John Paul II. Ironically the 33-days Pope was not mentioned very much in relation to the Third Secret. Instead, John Paul II kept on the anecdote with Ali Agca who is serving a life sentence in Turkey, the person who shot him in 1981 and was pardoned on his insistence, to the last day of his life in the Vetican. By Apr 18 Sistine Chapel's chimney threw up its black smoke, indicating a first failure to to get the new pope two-thirds majority elected by 115 cardinals summoned to the Vetican from all over the world, said to be representing 1.1 billion of Roman Catholic believers. Eventually, Joseph Ratzinger (aka Benedict XVI) of Germany was elected, and very quickly he was nicked "Nazi Pope", and many controversies were put before him, many of them naturally of sexual in nature; and many believed in competing with Bush who had claimed to represent god; who during the funeral, said about John Paul II, "I liked him. He was a good man. A Christian man. I liked him..." Rapidly, the reporter shot back, "How did you feel about his opposition to the war in Iraq?" Without hesitation, Bush replied with a shrug, "He was a man of peace. A man of God. He didn't like war." ;
From an Irish dot com "Paddy Agnew in Rome: Believer and non-believer, rich and poor, world leaders and pilgrims alike will come together in the Basilica of St Peter in Rome this morning for the funeral of Pope John Paul II. Some four million visitors are expected for an unprecedented funeral that in itself represents a remarkable testimony to the legacy of a Pope whose charismatic appeal went far beyond the bounds of the worldwide Roman Catholic family. Sitting on the right-hand side of the altar on the steps of St Peter's will be a galaxy of world leaders, representing at least 100 countries, including US president Bush, King Abdullah II of Jordan, the secretary of the Arab League, Amr Mussa, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, Iranian president Mohammed Khatami, Palestinian prime minister Abu Ala, UN secretary general Kofi Annan, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, Britain's Prince Charles (my addition: his wedding to Camellia was deferred a day to Apr 9 Sat) and prime minister Tony Blair, Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe, in breach of a European Union travel ban, and many others besides. Leaders of other religions will include the head of the worldwide Anglican communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams; the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I; several leading figures from Orthodox churches in eastern Europe, the Armenian church, Lutheran and other Protestant churches and the Chief Rabbinate director general, Oded Viner. Representing Ireland will be President Mary McAleese and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. Tanaiste Mary Harney and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny are also attending. It was disclosed yesterday that in his 15-page testament, Pope John Paul left no personal possessions. He asked that any personal notes be burned. The testimony, which reads in parts like a diary of his thoughts, shows he considered resigning in 2000 after leading the church into the third millennium after Christ. He also asked that church leaders in Poland be consulted on his funeral and burial arrangements but later changed his mind and said his cardinals should take these decisions themselves. And so the deacon of the College of Cardinals, the German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, one of John Paul II's closest collaborators, will preside over this morning's three-hour ceremony."
The London Blast
Another international event of the year; Jul 7, 2005, the London Blast, before 9 am local time (the so-called rush hour); noted numerologically as "777" (the last "7" was 2+5 from 2005). The infamous New York 911 blast was to open the gate to Iraq via Afghanistan. Could this London 777 be to open the gate to Iran via Syria? Grabing Iran ('s oil) is now or never. Like that of New York 911 (2001 Sep 11) and Madrid 3116 (a parallel for 2004 Mar 11), Al-Qaeda was immediately identified on the same line the blast was typed on the print media, or in the same breath the blast was read in the TV media; and the "hunt" for the bombers began immediately world-wide. Obviously they found the bombers, because they created them. In New York 911 it was the Arabian; in Madrid 3116 it was the Moors; in London 777, well, a change of flavour, the Paks. Some local media instantaneously followed the drum bit with the same rythm and lyrics; supposedly to show its always first in newsness, although later on it was shown that its unreproducibility was no better than an impossibility. Another interpretation was that the Madrid 3116 was the "ceremony" for Spain's pull out from Iraq; London 777 was the congener for Britain. For Italy (who began the pullout in Aug mid) it was the murder of an Italian spy chief by American soldiers in Iraq and then the arrest warrants issued by an Italian court accusing 13 purported CIA operatives of kidnapping a militant Egyptian cleric from Italy and sending him to Egypt, where he was reportedly tortured.
Hurricane Katrina descended in New Orleans, Lousiana (Mel Gibson's "The Maverick gambling town" - a film I like very much; and the River Mississippi where Mark Twin's Tom Sawyer and Hucklebery Finn had their adventures), on the 'new moon' of Sep; and manaced the city like Tsunami did late Dec last year in Aceh, Phuket, Madras, and Sri Lanka; only with much less casualty because the 'devil' was watched, warned and updated by the 'big-eye', unlike tsunami which was seen by no 'big-eye'. At least some Americans could feel the real taste of the 'big water' as had the people in Aceh, Phuket, Madras, and Sri Lanka.
Aug 30 Tue, Louisiana evacuees told to stay put. One expert says New Orleans residents would face 'wilderness'. The day before, Mon, Louisiana officials urged the hundreds of thousands of people in the state who fled Hurricane Katrina to stay where they are. "It's too dangerous to come home," Gov. Kathleen Blanco said at a late afternoon news conference in Baton Rouge. "The roads are flooded, the power is out, the phones are down and many trees are down. So chances are, if you tried to come in, you wouldn't be able to get your vehicle in. ... "Please, I'm begging for patience," she said. "We are working hard to get you home, but not until it is safe." The governor said she had ordered state police to block re-entry routes to all but emergency workers. A public health expert said New Orleans residents who return to their homes would face "a wilderness" without power and drinking water that will be infested with poisonous snakes and fire ants.
Hurricane Katrina pounded Louisiana on Monday and threatened to swamp low-lying New Orleans as it roared on a coastal path that will take it into neighboring Mississippi and Alabama. The historic city was rocked by Katrina and its 135 mph (216 kph) winds after the storm came ashore from the Gulf of Mexico and roared along the coast. The roaring winds sent debris flying through the streets, blew windows out of high-rise hotels and tore through the roof of the Superdome where 26,000 people had taken refuge from the dangerous storm. Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said in a news conference the damage had caused leaks and evacuees had been moved to dry areas in the stadium, but there was no immediate danger. As 9 a.m. CDT, Katrina's center was 30 miles (48 km)south-southeast of New Orleans and the western wall of the eye was directly over the city, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said. At 10 a.m. CDT it was downgraded to a Category 3 with maximum sustained winds of near 125 mph (201 kph). Heavy rains poured down in sheets and the biggest fear was that the levees protecting the city from the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain would be topped by a massive storm surge. "Please Pray for New Orleans" read a giant hand-painted sign, appearing to sum up the fears that had seized the city known as The Big Easy for its relaxed life and party atmosphere. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said on NBC's "Today Show" there was already "significant flooding" in the city, most of which lies below sea level. "I've gotten reports this morning that there's already water coming over some of the levee systems," he said. Weather experts have predicted that thousands of homes could be damaged or destroyed and a million people left homeless if the storm surge is too great for the levees to hold back. Officials estimated that a million people had left the area ahead of the storm, which was once a fearsome Category 5 with winds of 175 mph (282 kph), but many chose to ride it out. It hit land as a Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.
|And the 'orgy', the American way of life, continued... and the beautiful Rita landed at almost the same place Katrina did, in Sep end, bended towards Texas; Oct Week 1 count of post-katrina, stopped at 964, obviously would not exclude further 'discovery'; Mississippi's death toll remained at 221.|
Sep 2 Fri, some dB about my count down. It's true that it will reduce the bill because less employees retire in 2006, or perhaps 2007, but they sure will in 2007, 2008 and thus the number would catch up again, and consecutively the figure. But by not retiring, their pay will continue which otherwise will reduce because young employees with very much less pay will furnish the number of the retired employee. Alas, to the final night of the year, no follow up was visible in the media. Umm, the sheer argument and the following deafening silence, uummm; perhaps before the come of 2007 or 2008 some second kicking will happen as a kickstart for the big event that is to happen in that year.
Sep 23 Fri, a MAS 747 MH0020 took off from KLIA at 2340, direct to Paris. Checked in at 2040 was Rubaini, en route to University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD UK; The School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham Sutton Bonington Campus Loughborough Leics LE12 5RD, UK; for her PhD under Prof J.R. Mitchell. With three kiddos away, four to include Muzani who is already in UPM's Zaaba College since 2004 May, as always, every vibration follows a long agony of waiting for the sound.
Bali was bombed for the second time, Oct 1 Sat. 20+ killed, more than a hundred injured, nationality not emphasized by the media. The Bali 1 was in 2002 Oct 12 with 202 dead mostly the Ozzies. Then the blast at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in 2003 and the other outside the Australian Embassy in 2004, killed at least 23. The same attacker was named: Al-Qaeda-linked JI, suicide style; their headless and legless bodies were identified, at the scene after the blast. The explosion was louder than the inflating explosion of petrol price occurred at about the same time, the week of Sep end. It was announced by the Indon gov that the petrol price increased by 87.5% from RP2400 to RP4500 per litre; diesel up by 105% from RP2100 to RP4300; kerosene up by 186% from RP700 to RP2000. (RM1 = RP2500). Indon is the country with the largest Muslim population. With Islam already successfully painted an auto-terror religion, it does not fit well into the picture if Indon is not well-littered with terrorism. An annual bombing or terror is just a nice erotic picture. Bali is dwelled by Hindus and swarmed by tourist especially the Ossies; a job done would do for many purposes. An explanation well insighted, but with a lot of words of Arab- and Islam-attributes, without a word of "oil", "Israel", and "Jews" surely is an unambigously incomplete picture and unbalanced equation; non-compliance to conservation of matters.
November 28 was the "Hari Anugerah Kualiti 13", an event in 35 years UKM celebration series. In the event, the staf who had served UKM for 35 years and 30 years respectively were honoured with the ubiquitous certificate and a present; and the prizes and more of the ubiquitous certificates for those many competitions run throughout the celebration year 2005. And I was perhaps as lucky as ever. I too won a competition; alas, a consolation prize for the web page competition. But I was not told which one was for, the school one which I checked under academic category, or this personal one which I checked as non-academic. The prize marked both; perhaps as gratitude that I participate in the competition. The FST meeting #39 (Dec 8 Thu which I could not get a leave to attend) did not even record the congratulatory remark as that for others who similarly 'rewarded' in the majlis.
The whole Dec was literally "in peace"; schedules were very manageable since there were no parking space fighting with the students. The peace descended since the end of Ramadan, late october; the University zipped the exams by deleting the mid-sem break to fit the space a week before the Eid 1426 arrived on Nov 3 Thu (we spent it in Terengganu - without Rubaini in UK, and Malini in Meru) when all the students deserted the campus until the begining of 2nd Semester on Dec 27 Tue. (UUM apparently did the same thing - others, apparently had to return to the campus after the Eid, and then only they began their sem-2 waiting).
December ended rather stormy (I mean the weather); it was a major monsoon in the east; Kelantan, and Terengganu were blessed with the annual 'shower', and 'surprise' floods in Kedah and Perlis. Bangi was gloomy since and a major climax on the Xmas day; trapped on the highway to-and-fro after walimah Yusof-Maimon, on to GSV Bagan Pinang PD for a similar occasion for Minhat with Dato' Ibrahim-Azizah; missed to Sg Kantan for former neighbour Dr Abdul Rahman who abandoned his home since late November conceding to the road expansion works; the very wet evening we took CB back to SASputra, a week earlier than others for the Wing Band camp. His form two will start in the new year as others. Alya worked worked very hard in the short final week of the school long break at home to reinstall CB in SAS. We actually never felt the 'exodus' of CB, Alya, and Rubaini being away because today's ICT bonds us like those ions in the metallic lattice.
Edition dated Jan 2006