Kuala Terengganu, A City

2008 Jan 01, the citizen of Kuala Terengganu got what they had forgotten when did they ask for it: a city around themselves. Many in fact returned to Terengganu because they wanted not a city like Kuala Lumpur. They would have stayed in Kuala Lumpur if they wanted one. On this day, Kuala Terengganu was declared A CITY. Whatever that would come to mean. The new year itself is not a holiday in here (as well as in Kelantan, Kedah, Perlis and Johor). Perhaps in the future, Jan 1 would be made a holiday here as in the rest of the states. Several options are available to make way for it to conserve the number of holidays. One is the extra Eid Adha. To "selaras", the states of Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis, and Johor would make their own state capital a city as well. Yes, even Kangar, why not? Who said that a city should be over-populated?

The new year -cum- city day was very rainy, in fact since the past two days; only that sans monsoon wind. The daylight itenery were fortunately all indoor. By night the rain subsided. Still very wet. The floatilla proceeded and the "as always" fireworks displays boomed like supersonic. UDM put up a "sekuchi" carrying the replicas of Terengganu icons "Batu Bersurat", and the Mosque "minerets" which more or less meant "universiti" and "darul iman" respectively. Plus some other Terengganu characteristics of the sea corridor. The truth is it did not come to my knowledge about the theme.

My chemistry science officer, Mohd Hazlan Harun, a young fresh UMT graduate, reported for duty on the new year, together with a new staff in the agriculture extension, Ms Nalini Arumugam. The academic week started since 2007 Dec 30 Sun, but the lecture commenced in the week from Jan 6 Sun. That was after the weekend retreat to Sutera Beach Resort, Merang Jan 3-6 Thu-Sun, in the UDM academic infra-structure.

In between the days to the week end, post-break 1429 AWAL MUHARAM, 2008 Jan 10 Thu, I had the opportunity to update the latest homefront "development". Especially SB in his next new phase, joining CB who is in 4-Karisma in SMK Jalan 4. The school was posted as the most special school in Bangi when it was commissioned in the early 2000's. No afternoon session. It was dubbed "non-residential full-board school". Apparently not any more today. It had naturally realigned to evolve into a "normal school". There were more then 400 when SB was registered during the last few days of 2007. In ten classes. There were 43 in "cendekiawan" class alone where SB is in. And all the classes are in the afternoon session, which broke the "tradition" of a residential school. A rumour said that it is going to be renamed with a more "glamourous" name. Which indicates the "denitrification process" had set to commence at the "nucleus". And last but not least is the "normalisation" of the civic of the traffic during the peak hrs, i.e., during delivering of the students and during the fetching up; in the early morning, afternoon, and evening. Which is independent of the drivers educated civic. Be them university academia, the govn administrators, or pasar malam hawkers. During these three peak hrs, their instantaneous civic are the same; in the rotting Datsun, timid Kancil, gleaming Merc, or speeding Bemers.

And then a "free" drive back to KL with Dr Abdullah to attend the Biotechnology Seminar in UPM, Jan 7 Mon, organised for the visiting delegates of the Korean Society of Biotechnology and Bioengineering. Which was officiated by the Director of MOSTI's National Biotechnology Directorate, Dato' Dr Mohammed Noor Embi, who previously was a contract lecturer at UKM after decending from the TNC (Development) sometimes about two years ago, who, I used to visit when he was finishing his doctorate in Dundee in the 1970's, who, when I talked to expressed his "willingness" to lecture part-timely on biochemistry in UDM. In the seminar, perhaps the suggestion of a network by one of the Korean presenter Prof Tai Hyun Park of Seoul National University, Asian Biotechnology Directory (ABD) is an instantaneous practical idea for a faster communication. An online directory which is picking up momentum.

And then Jan 9 Wed, a visit to Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), Kepong for an overview of the natural products research, especially the essence oil works that being carried out on the medium scale; seeing Dr Nor Azah Mohamad Ali, a Waterloo-UKM-UPM trained in the 1990's. Perhaps she was so "embedded" on the ground floor labs during her master years that she did not realise that I was on the second floor. In 1996 chitosan in UKM Chemistry had aged sufficiently "old" to no body interest. Many had already drawn sufficient goodies from it. UDM has a very long way to go to arrive at the FRIM stage. The instruments alone, the essential part of the works and indispensable, consumed a very large fraction of the budget. And a very long time to get the staff trained. Employing the "trained" staff is only a partial solution. And only a temporary solution. But, conditional by the subject, I saw a galactical opportunities for UDM to emerge as THE UNIVERSITY. Like a FRIM is. Like a repeating history of the "late" Universiti Pertanian Malaysia.

Jan 12 Sat, on the BF table before setting off for a return drive back to UDM, something caught my eyes beside the plate on the newspaper which covered the table top. A brand new phenomenon, "TEMPORARY SELLING ACCEPTABLE/ACCEPTED". It appeared together with the offer to buy the gold objects and branded watches. I was wondering what kind of "ghost" it was. I did not know how long it was in the n.p. advert. I wanted to have a fun of leaving a speculation, so I do not wish to find out what it was actually.

Supposedly the gold owner was in need for some money, but very reluctant to kiss the gold goodbye. An opportunity was created and it was snatched. It was offered for a "temporary selling". The owner was offered a price a maximum of half of the market price of the object. With a cut deal that the "buyer" would not resell so that the owner could buy back the love icon. When the time comes, as long as the owner needed, the object was to be re-bought by the owner. At this time the price was higher than that when the owner "temporary-sold" it. It may be in fact more than the market price of the object, depending on how long the object had been "sold", of which the "buyer" had rigorously arithmaticated. If the owner could not afford it, the object would be "lelap". The strong iconic bond was perhaps the cross-link the "buyer" clinged to. It was the irreversible driving force the object was kept priceless. Well, the mechanisme sounded complex. Indeed it did. But it could be well superimposed on another similar mechanisme which had an established notorious name in one or two words: "pajak-gadai" which currently had degenerated. 2007 Jan 13 Sun Ms Zarinah, a UPM master graduate, reported for duty. She furnished the food microbiology vacancy.

2008 Jan 16 Wed was rather hectic. The long awaited independent pages of the faculty of agriculture and biotechnology.

It was expanded through to the whole following day 2007 Jan 17 Thu in UMT Mengabang Telipot with the title: Second ECER Coordination Meeting. In which we were told of the "twist" in the love story. UDM was communicated for three plates, but in the twisted version, all were lumped together into mainly Group 3 which was about food production: c.w. from left in the pic above - Nor Zaki Wan Isa (KESEDAR), Dr Hafsah Jaafar (UDM), Asmaliza Ab Ghani (UDM) - rapportier, Fauziah Yusof (KESEDAR), Dr Mat b Zakaria (UDM), Dr Che Abdullah (UDM), Dr Md Nor Ghani (UDM)- Presenter, Prof Faizah Sharom (UMT), Nurul Zaizuliana (UDM), Noor Azlina Ibrahim (UMK), Assoc Prof Amiza Mat Amin (UMT), Nor Atikah Mohamad Zin (UMT), Mohd Syahrul Mohd Jan (UMT). Dr Nashriyah (UDM) arrived afterwards. I saw flashes of old buddies, but too tight to move around; Prof Azmi Ambak of UMTerengganu, and Prof Jailani Salihon of UMPahang. But before the event started, I successfully stole the time to see the UMT new TNC(A) since last year Nov, Prof Aziz Deraman who was the FTSM's dean in UKM, who was the same Aziz.

The afternoon presentation was merried with discussion and the unavaoidable sarcasm, but before they were winded up, reportedly at six in the evening, Dr Abdullah and I dashed in rush to get to the LPT highway before dark, en route to Kuala Lumpur for a food safety seminar in Bangi 2008 Jan 21 Mon The "small" seminar (including three meals in a 5-star ballroom) was actually the organizer promotion of their instruments. It was swarmed by quite a number of "big fish". And some creatures too that I did not mind to their absence which to my view occurred to them that how on earth could I make it to be there.

Padang Malaya in Memory

2008 Jan 25 Fri, the third time Fri in PA mosque since returning home. Strolling the evening time up to "Kuala". Had a real good time re-viewing the Terengganu estuary from what was "Padang Malaya", and along the park towards what was "Kedai Tanjung". The Jan monsoon was very tame. The sky was very alluring. Undoubtedly, a very heavy reconstruction had been carried out and was seen being carried out. It looked like a mega-project is in the store. A distance away, an anchored ship, the size I recalled equal to that of those in the old days. The "gate into the city" from the sea had apparently been deepened, though not widened. The cost no one doubted. Millions. Unfortunately, the waterways did not look so busy. In fact very quiet. Not even parking boats. People did not seem to cross the waterways from Seberang Takir. And vice-versa. No "muto ssudu" was visible, which otherwise buzzing like cargo bees. Neither the sea-going fishing boats entering and leaving. Seberang Takir apparently was blessed so much by the sea with an expanded "Hujung Tanjung" bigger than itself. This minute of time in the old day, the water way was noisy with the "toot-toot-ing" sound of Yanmar engine of both the passenger boats and small motorised "sekuchi" fishing boat entering the harbour. And some small sailing private boats too, mostly carrying their own merchandise, buzzing in all directions harmoniously. Unfortunately it is going to become a Marina, as the unfortunate Duyong which had partly become the Kelab. So the "Padang Malaya" would not be in any sense re-created. A new "elephant" was at birth from the ashes of the sea-going Terengganu people.

"Padang Malaya", and the opposite across the road "Padang Maziah" were used to be rendezvous point for many people. And they were the site of many occasions, especially pertaining to royal events, in which people from all walks of life would come enmass to watch, especially by means of waterways. The celebration of royal installation was one of them.

But my mind was over the gate, beyond the "Hujung Tanjung", to Bidong and Redang. The post-monsoon corals were merried with various jacks and snappers which during the past few months were locked at the bottom by the ferroceous monsoon waves at the top.

2008 Jan 27 Sun, while with the faculty on a study visit to PERMINT and TADC, a bird eyeview of Kuala Terengganu downtown was scooped from Wisma MBKT 13th floor, along Jalan Sultan Ismail (used to be Jalan Paya Bunga), with Jalan Batas Baru branching to the right. Wisma Darul Iman, the tallest building in Kuala Terengganu, and the Wisma Negeri and Wisma Persekutuan on the background. The city of Kuala Terengganu is still a sleezy town. Soon it will wake up to swallow every byte of the serenity left. It was followed by a tather long faculty meeting the next day, on which I devoted all of it to the faculty, especially the web job which was entrusted on me. Because from the following day, Tue, I had another rather long relay to run in the west coast which would span to after chinese new rat year 2008 Feb 7 Thu.

Undoubtedly The Pioneer of "Minyak Pati", Unsung

February was caught in Bangi, 2008 Feb 1 Fri, while Kuala Lumpur was quiet by the Hari Wilayah Persekutuan, Dr Abdullah and I drove south to be with the MARDI on the southern showcase in Kluang. But first a short drop at its Kuala Linggi Station, for a peek at their steam distillation unit. It was, perhaps a semi-commercial scale. Good enough to install a partial of it in UDM. For the second time, ignorabismus, reference was made by the director to the late Dr Karim Yaacob, when he disclosed that so much consignment of "serai wangi" from Terengganu state agency had been accomplished using the unit in his station. The first time mention was Jan 9 Wed in FRIM by the resident chemist on our visit there to find out the extent of extraction on the "gelam". Then on to Kluang Station, MARDI's huge compound. Apparently it was MARDI's day out which they said was organised in alternating with MAHA, which was rebranded "SHOW CASE" in place of the classic "EXHIBITION" which in both cases the content were the same. But I think the word "BIO-BUSINESS" was contextually out of re-branding - an indication of "running out of catch-words", or a simple degenerating scienciousness out of acute distortion as a result of mind-bended ceo's who had been over-stressed to spit some bolus instead of vacuum air. Interestingly in a chat with one of the researcher, the work of the late Dr Karim was referred to when essence oil extraction was invoked. Undoubtedly, the late Dr Karim was the pioneer of essence oil research in this country.

The late Dr Karim Yaacob was a theoretical chemist graduated in the USA. He began his career in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's then Chemsitry Department in the middle of 1980's. A theoretical chemistry in a developing university? Dr Karim had a better idea. Teaching theoretical chemistry was o.k., the quantum mechanics, the Symmetry in Molecules, etc, etc. Never mind the students understand them or not, or whether the students were comprehensible enough to take up the courses. They were in the curriculum. So Dr Karim mounted on what others were still looking at each other for things to do: research. And he picked up a non-theoretical chemistry subject: natural products, the masters of which were so many and many more were to come home. And he started with essence oils and it was the oil from "serai wangi", the serai which was not traditionally in the recipe. And another one that was ubiquitous in the kitchen: kesom. He worked like a diamond gem, always a solitaire. Very soon, serai wangi and kesom became the talk of the campus. It was during the time a fax machine was a luxarious item, even for a dean. The fax machine he purchased was conditional to its location in the dean's office the line of which is alive and kicking to this day to become the faculty fax 603-89256086. His collaboration with some French institutions was essential for the GC-MS analyses, the cost for machine of which was a very large chunk for the university to approve. And to promote the opening of the terminal line of the distillation products. And in the mean time, many people were watching from a distance. His glory in UKM was peaked in an international conference which he single-handedly organised. Some how some mysterious circumstances hang over him which left him with only one option. In late 1980's he "retired" from UKM. After which his serai wangi, kesom, and most of all the sector of natural products were picked up by almost every one in the faculty like a carcus left by a lion in the Savannah. He then joined the Palm Oil Research Institute Malaysia (PORIM), during which he completed his doctorate at a local university. After which he joined Kolej Universiti Sains dan Teknologi (KUSTEM) in Kuala Terengganu. In this university college he pursued his essence oil to his desire from the support he was blessed in the new place. And here the "gelam" was the plant that had been observed for many centuries and had been with the local people for many hundred years. But the story was cut short. In one tragic night in 2000, he passed on in his routine trip back to his family. Essence oil are so ubiquitous these days in which ever laboratories and well osmosised into consumer products. The pioneer was Dr Karim, somehow unsung. Neither in UKM Bangi nor in KUSTEM Kuala Terengganu his works were charted. It disappeared, ungraved.

At the Back of KLCC Twin Tower

2008 Feb 7 Thu, revisiting the SURIA KLCC. From Jalan Tun Razak, the twin tower is "transgressed" by another sky scraper, thus obscuring it twin-ness. Without the transgressor, the Twin Tower would have been more elegent from whichever view.

The SURIA is the backyard of KLCC, known for its children pond and park. Both are sacredly guarded by the guards on duty, feeping their whistle immediately on seeing a rule is bent. The P&P is strictly for children below twelve to dip, to dive, to swing, to swim, to chase, to splash, to rock or just to get wet. Adults and teeners are to supervise only. The children can not be clothless while in the pond. There is a shoe-off parameter, marked by the blue tiles that extended into the water. No eating or drinking on the pond corridor, not even rubber or plastic mats for the "watchers". No smoking in the P&P. The guards prerogate.

A wandering teener will be whistled. But if the teener keep on wandering, the guard will be out of breath to blow the whistle, and the teener enjoyed herself to no end. Groups of Bangla-type young males were roaming the pond, supposedly posing for photos, preying on the little children freedom to move. They were not whistled because they took off their shoes. The thirsty parents were told where to eat and drink, "not here!"

The pond started to deswell as the sun reaches overhead, and the people osmosised into the park, for other activities.

KLCC's SURIA Pond & Park otherwise is the most ideal place for children to dip themselves, a million times better than the swimming pool at any hotel. But for some, afternoon time was never better than at home.

The Escape Through the Entrance

2008 Feb 9 Sat, attending the walimah of the family (#3 daughter) of the late Dr Rusli A Ghani in Sg Tangkas. Which was manned by mostly his neighbours and past friends. That was the pre-trip back to Trg to accidently join the occasion dinner 2008 Feb 10 Sun, in Primula Gamelan 1. For the dean, and Dr Abdullah for the Medical dean. I did not mind not being there for I did not feel any better off by beeing seen there together. An exchange of a few words. But a lot of mind argument and heart shouting over the past unbelievable end outside the close-eye vision. At least he knew that I knew what he knew. I guessed, just a pure guess, that he knew what I did not want, which may be what he did not want too. Sooner or later, one would bite the fact that things would not stay the same again after an event of entropic nature.

2008 Feb 11 Mon took over the FDS3023 class from Asmaliza. The second chemistry paper I was made to responsible. The biotech programme second semester students also signed for the paper, and thus swelled to almost twice the volume. The class then had to be moved from BK4 to the theatre hall which accomodates ca 200 seats.

The 11th parliament, and also the state legislative assembly (except Sarawak) was dissolved 2008 Feb 13 Wed just before noon, and thus the "fight" for the 12th was formally commenced. The 'battle cry' had actually started for some times already. Just like during the medieval time, bridges were some of the 'battle grounds'. The announcement was in the middle of our visit to gather some agro-info in YPU at its office in TTC, Padang Hiliran, in view of placing some food tech students for their industrial attachment. In the evening of which, while visiting my cousin Jusoh MakTehPah in the KT Hospital, Prof Zubaidi, a neuro surgeon, turned up to answer the request for the expert opinion on the case while in the analysis of Dr Anuar Ho, an orthopedic surgeon from Kubang Kerian Hospital, to whom I was introduced. The poll date was announced the following day, to be Mar 8 Sat, and the nomination day Feb 24 Sun. Which immediately atrracted some critics about the day 13th of the announcement, and giving 13 days to grab in the GE12 for being the Sun which is the weekend in states other than Kelantan, Terengganu, and Kedah.

The day 2008 Feb 14 Thu the faculty organised the 2nd Ceremony of Dean List Award. In the evening of which I was asked to ride with the two deans of the City Campus to have a home weekend in Kuala Lumpur. The seven and a half hr drive, naturally explored many "mysteries" and "destinies" some of which were pressing the world into getting smaller and smaller. And non-osmotic diffusion of ideas and opinion and views that previously only polarised in disorientation states in a large world that the local blips were only in an insignificant cluster.

The Signs the Great Circle is Closing

2008 Feb 24 Sun, the evening I arrived from KL weekend, an extincting mat appeared in PA home, apparently taken home by my sister, the nostalgic mat that had unmistakably differentiated my bed from other beds in the SSS hostel when I began my boarding school in 1964. To my later realisation, it was a blessing in disguise. Being a timid boy with "no possession" at all at the hostel, I was left alone, undisturbed most of the time, even by the hostel warden and prefects, in complete blind of what to expect. I was left to the mercy of nature to inch on to my destiny.

2008 Feb 25 Mon, an e-mel from Mohamad Damanhuri, a SAS-ian 1970; my classmate in SAS 1967 and 1968, who I last saw in Nov 1970, after which only lately were some possible close encounters, after knowing that he was in the Department of Agriculture in Melaka and Negeri Sembilan.

But a bigger sign was 2008 Feb 26 Tue, a call to home in Bangi my son CB collected from CheGu Mohd Ghazali, the HM 1969-70, about whom I wrote and posted my tribute for the deeds he did, which reached him through his daughter/son. The call was immediately relayed to me in Trg, and after isyak, I returned the call. In the air, over an hr we reminisced the "romance" of the 1969 to 1970 in the school called Alam Shah, from which, later, bunches and bunches of "grown up" appeared, about which, as I posted, was attributed to him. He said he spent quite some times and quite an effort, to locate me, including a rapport with the SAS office in Putrajaya. He was apparently very please with the post. Like I re-met CheGu Hussein over the phone, I promised CheGu Ghazali my visit to his place, happened to be in the vicinity of that of CheGu Gu Hussein. Another person is needed to be informed about it. CheGu Ghazali was a teacher when I met him in 1969, and remained a teacher when I re-met him 38 years later in 2008.

2008 Feb 26 Tue, after a short Faculty meeting about the research status quo to see to bless; if a chemist is as good for the post in agro-biotech.

2008 Feb 27 Wed, for the first time in my career as a salary-earner since 1974 Aug, I made use of the MC. It was, after a short visit to the penal clinic, a right eye conjunctivitis, not very serious though, which I think I had it since yesterday late morning. The last time I suffered such the inconvenience was 1990 May middle. Ironically it was during the UKM 20 year Anniversary in which a press release was held, May 10 Thu, for the chitosan project which was then right under the focus of its limelight. I had no specific task to deliver for that particular day. So I spent all the available time taking the pictures of the occasion (with a black sun-glass on, which sporadically "attracted" the attention of the invited media personels.)

Which simply translated into an early drive for a rather long weekend in Bangi. Which gave a chance to be with SB in the UPSR 5A Certs award ceremony, 2008 Mar 1 Sat afternoon (and the PIBG AGM). Perhaps that was also his farewell to the SRK Jln 2, from his first day in the school 2002 Jan. The alma mater of all the eight of my kiddies. Apparently I was a "stranger". And I am going to be a more "distant stranger" if my eighth kiddy finishes his here too in 2012.

2008 Mar 8 Sat, the nation was braced in a very suspense mood while going to GE 12. It was more or less a replay, in edited version, of the 1999 GE 10. Before the polling day, many observers said it was "a calm before the storm". And indeed, it was a "stormy" results when the TV began flashing the figures, which changed to "tsunami" as the night get into the wee hours. And by three, the coverage was stopped when the tsunami reached the wall of the "broadcasting" stations. And many went into hiding. Some for several days. Notably in Perak (6:7:18:28), and Selangor. Then Kedah. And surprisingly in Perlis. Then, unpredictably, Terengganu too. Which dragged on to post federal cabinet array 2008 Tue 18. Only on Mar 25 Tue the storm calmed down to no one could change the fate. As shown by the massive turn up (media estimate varied from 10k to 60k) of the rakyat at the LTSM airport to welcome home the Sultan of Terengganu, Tuanku Mizan 2008 Mar 29 Sat.

Sun and Mon that followed were even "quieter". The receding tsunamic tongue of the wave stunned every citizen into a self-retrospection. Unconcedingly, inverted terms like "government of the opposition party" were defended, unrealising that inter alia the more oxy-moronic "opposition of the government party" was thus hatched on the reverse side of the coin in Penang, Kedah, Perak, Selangor, and ubiquitously, Kelantan. Saved Kuala Lumpur, which had no ADUN.

It was so quiet, that the STPM results that was made known 2008 Mar 11 Tue, followed by the SPM 2008 Mar 12 Wed, were quieter and were "deafened", even though in the latter, a true blue 20A1 (plus 1A2) really did exist. And it was a male. Which otherwise would have made a bigger and bolder headlines for the double "wedges" of "true" "male". Which left only a small space of the 21st A1 for this year 2008 "racers" (next year results). And that made the irreversible non-relevency of the SBP which did not blips on the screen during both nights.

The weekend of which I dashed to Bangi with kiddies who had been "balik kampung" during the school break since Mar 7 Fri, to be with "David Copperfield" for Mar 13-15 like that of Mar 1-2 Sat-Sun, unlike that of Feb 10 Sun.

A Night in Kota Bharu

Kota Baru east-viewed from the forteenth floor of the Renaissance. UMK, the famous "Rumah Kedai" University; the newest, the 20th IPTA.

The meeting in the Vice-Chancellor Meeting Room. Like UDM, UMK osmosised into a state-staffed University.

2008 Mar 17 Mon, evening, rushed to Kota Bharu to accompany the dean for the ECER-IPT #3 Meeting in UMKelantan, Pengkalan Chepa. Reached Renaissance at eight, and retired, rather late though, for the next day meeting, 2008 Mar 18 Tue.

Kota Bharu is a unique town, situated in the north east of the peninsular Malaysia; the capital state of Kelantan. The Kelantanese are unique too. Feminine in a sense. Kelantan is on the west of Terengganu. The Terengganu people used to tag the Kelantanese as the "orang barat" (lit trln: western people). Beyond reasonable doubt, KB is bigger than KT, more prosperous, and higher degree of self-awareness. Kelantan and Terengganu has no common denominator to share with. Most of the visitors (almost all of the first-timers) were stunned by the difference with the picture painted by the media they read. KB has a better "fresh air" than anywhere else in the west coast.

It was eight at night when I passed the Simpang Tiga Telipot. The PAP building on the left looked like a ghost den, lit only by the street light, not on its own lights. Perhaps ghosted together was my hundreds of k of the KBSM royalty the publisher had deliberately refused to pay. My last visit to Kota Bharu was in 1990 stopping by, for the same matter which eventually never materialise, even after seeing the editor many more times after that in Kuala Lumpur. I never had a good reason to be in Kota Bharu even though I was there several times for some short time matters. But this time I wished to stumble with old acquiantances for the old stories that I believed would be a happy reunion to share with even if it was bitter during its real time. It remained a wish as I coasted back to Terengganu.

The day after which 2008 Mar 19 Tue evening in the Jabor drive enroute to Kuala Lumpur, I was SMS-ed by Abdullah Yusof that he was visiting our much-loved and dedicated teacher in Kapar Klang, to find out that CheGu Saadiah had passed away 2008 Mar 10 Mon. I rang Mohd Embong in DBKL, and SMS Zawiah who told me that sadly she was in the middle of arrangment with Mariam to visit her. The latter thus missed to see her after the long years since 1967. I had then a series of old young buddies to deliberate the eventuality.

A Long-Life Ghost

While in town, I passed by to e-see my history, 2008 Mar 19 Wed, after an evening drive from KT for an extended weekend to include the Mar 20 Thu Maulud.

The "ghosts" that guarded my history were still tied to the 'tree' where I left, undisturbed since I last fed them three hundreds and sixty five days ago, exactly a month before I farewelled them. All ghosts have long lives. It did not matter with www.ukm.my/mbz which still exist at this minute, because Google had replaced most of them from www.matzakaria.com.
Another type of "ghost", locally known as "public ghost", were seen here, steam-distilling some body else's sweat. In frenzy to a bangsat state.

The Friday after which, 2008 Mar 21, shortly after the wee hours, I was made to haul all the family members back to Kuala Terengganu; five in the 8.40 am MAS from KLIA, and the rest in two cars, to rush for the burial of Azizah's father, who had a sudden ill since early Mar pre-school break. And related matters for the rest of the weekend, to continue in the weekdays that followed which included, 2008 Mar 24 Mon, the last lecture of FDS 3023 for the semester and session. The final exam would commence in the last third of Apr. With that, every one was looking forward for the new session 2008/2009 in Jun or Jul. Several more staff were in the pipeline for the third year of the Faculty.

Dated 2008 Mar 31

Nor Zuki Wan Isa (KESEDAR) Dr Hafsah Jaafar (UDM) Asmaliza Ab Ghani (UDM) Fauziah Yusof (KESEDAR) Dr Mat Zakaria (UDM) Dr Che Abdullah Abu Bakar (UDM) Dr Mohd Nor Ghani (UDM) Prof Faizah Sharom (UMT) Nurul Zaizuliana (UDM) Noor Azlina Ibrahim (UMK) Dr Amiza Mat Amin (UMT) Nor Atikah Mohamad Zin (UMT) Mohd Syahrul Mohd Jan (UMT) Prof Dr Nor Aieni (NOD) En Halim Aziz (MACRES) En Ahmad Safwan (MIMOS) Dr Mat Zakaria (UDM) Dr Shamsul Kamal (MRG) En Shahrizal Ide Moslin (ANGKASA) Dr Jumat Sulaiman (UMS) Dr Zainol Mustafa (UKM) Tn Hj Shahrudin Hj Yusof (NOD) Dr Shamsul Rahman (UTP) En Md Shahid Ayub (Nuclear Malaysia)