Sekelip Mata

2013 Diary

Sekali Air Bah Sekali Pantai Berubah

Dated 2013 Jan 6 Sun 23 Safar 1434H

It had been a lot of rain during the end of Dec last year 2012, sans wind though, thus monsoon-less even though many times torrentially. In the campus it was water all over the surface, grassy or brisly. It had not been so for the last couple of years.

The people of TGG had missed the fun of monsoon for several years already. Monsoon rain was something our forefathers was always looking forward to welcome. The rain initially flooded the surface, giving a lot of fun to the citizen, big and small.

The post-flood was more important. It changed many things. It changed the landscape. Some times the river meander too. It brought fertilizer from upstream, unloaded alongside the overflowing bank, and the season that follows, a bumper harvest. The water washed away the debris, cleaned off the dirts. And then replenished with new raw materials. And that nourished the farm for the people to live with, healthily. Our forefathers used to relate their experience that big changes by the water come every seven to ten years.

The school first day for 2013, was Jan 2 Wed. At the home front, Asri moved on to his next phase of trial of life, in F1 in the primary J2 neighbouring SMK J2, Bandar Baru Bangi. SB was at home, "recuperating", and waiting for anything to kick after his SPM in Nov-Dec last year 2012, and his turn to accompany Asri, while encouraging him in every which way, to keep going on. Alya had just wrapped up her final paper in her BSc Program in UPM, then to be followed by the last but not least no-grade-point Latihan Industri, one semester later than her Pusat Asasi colleagues she budded in 2007 Jun, while CB had just begun his first time taste of the Univ exam in UniSZA, TGG.

2013, UniSZA is into her 8-th year after having metamorphed in 2006 from KUSZA of 1972. Since then it has been a Serrengeti unlimited in many ways for many people in TGG. Some, over the years, had developed self-rightful dependence so much on it for the lifeline, that a war, or even a battle may errupt if even a foot is stepped on. They had managed to wiggle through in the wisdom of undergoing several times 'pantai berubah' every time after 'sekali air bah', not excluding the undramatic changes every now and then.

This year 'sekali pantai berubah' is so imminent because 'sekali air bah' was so ubiquitous in the wisdom. A pre-change took place early last year 2012, soon after the rain in 2011 end. It began with #2 successfully conceded after more than a year of contemplation, and the hole was plugged-in only in Feb last year by the arrival of Prof Amran from the same post in UMS, but with a concomitant vacancy of #3, to this date. Throughout 2012, all kinds of wind every fisherman in TGG knew, blew in. Unfortunately the beach of TGG has been deprived of the traditional serenity from the very first advent of modern development, that without the bowing coconut trees the fishermen could not tell exactly the direction from which the winds were blowing.

And the imminent change burst at the peak on the early days of Jan. The new NC was announced in the paper, quoting the statement in KPT blog. To the week-end Jan 5 Sat, the Univ portal or website had yet to welcome the new CEO, Prof Yahya, ex-UMT TNC HEPA next door, my ten years junior in UKM in FSKK, who used to come to my home in Sg Merab to solicit his persuit on being a lecturer in UKM, sometimes in 1988, introduced by his cousin Mansor Tanjung, who Azizah's father, and my MokTehPah, and her sons, knew very well.

With that then, a series of changes are just consequential. FPB is not excluded, in fact is very shiny in the lime-light, in Tembila especially. Being agricultural in nature, previous season crops may have felt to re-germinate for a new life. Time will tell and verify, then they become history, many would be repeated stories, until a new 'sekali air bah' comes again.

A Rainbow Over KUSZA

Dated 2013 Jan 31 Thu 19 R-Awal 1434H

In the early morning of 2013 Jan 31 Thu 7:45 AM, the night of which the moonlight was veiled by dark clouds, and was drizzling through to the morning. Viewing northerly, when the sun in the east shined its mightiness to affect the rainbow which appeared to originate from dark clouds being pushed by the perpetual wind from South China Sea, to the hilly hinterland.

Captured 2013 Jan 31 Thu 7:45 AM, northerly view at the airstrip crossing, as I drove office-wards on the last day of my appointment.

The rainbow did not actually originate from the clouds. The clouds served only as the background for the rainbow to be affected. But, viewed as originated from them, the background felt a sense of esteem of excitment of self-proud-ness, until the rainbow disappeared by the mighty sunshine, leaving them there naked to get blown away by the late monsoon wind to the hinterland.

KUSZA, a TGG State religious college born 1980 Jan 27, is a name, already carved in stone. Everything in it, or from it, is kusza-attributable. Be it the people, the ex-people, the food and the feed. Not a thing else. And would never not.

In 2006 Jan, after 26 years, it metmorphed into a Federal public university with a new name Universiti Darul Iman Malaysia (UDM), then, effective 2010 May 14 Fri, it was re-named Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA), the name consensually thought to perpetuate for many years to come, in peace, in one piece, or even in pieces. 2013 Jan 1, Unisza commenced the new phase with a new, second Vice Chancellor. With KUSZA had already been carved in stone, which would be subjected to a geo-entropy, a new tablet is needed to begin charting a similar history for UniSZA, just like MPSI-UPSI (in Tanjung Malim), and ITM-UiTM (in Shah Alam) had been through. The restructured steerers were called for a convenance Jan 31 mid-morning, with consequential changes, of among others, the deans, the very backbone of the reason d'etre a university is formed.

The Dust Re-Settled Along the Road from Air Lilih to Kubang Badak

Dated 2013 Feb 18 Mon 7 R-Akhir 1434H

Fifty years ago, from Air Lilih to Kubang Badak. A land like no man's. A savannah for day-time gatherers. A sarenggeti at night. Every wild in wilderness, driven by the peace of nature. No one anticipated the change because it was so infinitesimal that it was always taken for granted as reversible. Until a local time traveller returned to tell he had lost in the web where he came from. The places along the road from Air Lilih to Kubang Badak is currently known grossly as Gong Badak.
The same road after fifty years. Swollen to its lips, floating the debris to be swept by the wind of time. It used to be places along the road where travellers on bicycles (and before that, on foot!) stopped for a rest or for a gulp of cool natural ground water from the dugged wells. One was Wakaf Baru. Its vicinity is where the Wakaf Tembesu Mosque is. Then by a slight right detour, Tanjung Jaafar, and a bit further, Tanjung Angsa. Along both a road was built to go to the airport, the LTSM. Followed by Wakaf Padang, an 'hentian sebelah' quite a cycling away. The vicinity is where Kusza was built. It took all the area to border Kubang Badak, where UMT was nucleated by the Fishery Faculty of UPM. Both Kusza and pre-UMT had de-cursed Tok Jembal, to the right, from a wilderness to one of the most expensive residential area, augmented by its location of next to the airport. And to the left, to Pok Tuyu which recently began to gather a nick. Golden Triangle, because of its Y-junction. One on the left to Wakaf Tengah, the coastal trunk road to Kota Bharu, and on the right to Tanjung Gelam beach. The made available access in four-wheelers had expanded deeper into the hinter-area, biospheres that sprung up like germinating mushrooms after the rain. All were with a name, but no one knew, or consulted, for the original name of the place. Many state institutions had been built very close to residential areas which would iminently be swallowed in when the time comes, just like that at Tok Jiring junction. No one knows how this place along the road from Air Lilih to Kubang Badak develop into in fifty years to come.

From a long break in Sg Merab, since Feb 5 Tue, plus the snake CNY Malaysia break Feb 10-12 Sun-Tue, the longest since returning to TGG in 2007 Aug, I returned to KGB Feb 16 Sat to assume a new twelve-months contract to pre-2008 Apr. The space was left in vacuum for a rather too long that a lot of speculations had crept in to become rumours, many were simply circumstantially supported. The kuszaism. And on the first day my new re-begining, Feb 17 Sun, first thing in the morning, I was made to spent nearly an hr with the new NC, discoursing on opening a new frontier, which could take a lead to selectively the Netherland, and Japan.

The Lagoon of Merang

Dated 2013 Mar 3 Sat 20 R-Akhir 1434H

The Gong Badak Weekly Evening Market

Dated 2013 Mar 12 Tue 29 R-Akhir 1434H

The site is a walking distance, in fact a stone-throw away from Unisza main campus, Gong Badak. And it opens every Tue beginning ca 5. And thus the large majority of the patrons are students of Unisza and neighbouring UMT. Including the staff of both. The public commuters parked on the roadside tell all. It is a small place, but self-contains for the patrons needs for the evening. The hardwares, the exclusive-woman-garments, live and dead fish, chicken, thawing imported meat, veges, imported local fruits and foreign fruits, and most of all the ready-to-consume meals of all contemporary taste. Eastern and western. Sans traditional. At non-negotiable price. Such as naked mi goreng kasar below. Countable urats for 1 rm. Incidentally, no more quick meal is sold for 1 rm per portion. The lowest is 1.50 rm. Such is currently the kind of cost of living in this part of the world. (Right-click to view bigger image).

In the meantime, my favourite nasi lemak had cost 1.30 rm, which used to be 1 rm, which is about twice more expensive than that in Bangi.

1.30 rm in Gong Badak.

1 rm in Bangi.

Europe Revisited

Dated 2013 Apr 20 Sat 9 J-Akhir 1434H

It was several decades ago in 1979 Sep I flew to England to complete my last leg of the university reading, then taking along my family for a totally new and different experience. Done in three and half years, returned home in 1983 Mar with the mission accomplished. Since then I had not flown west-wards - the opportunity had never knocked the door, and I didn't search for one either.

The first time to Europe was in 1974 Sep, then logistically was unlike today's sophistication. The first time airborne was Sep 22 evening from KUL to BKK to take a UTA DC-10 to Rome. Then an Alitalia to Frankfurt, then a Lufthansa to London, and finally a BE to Manchester, Sep 25 morning.

It was very exciting thus to be there again after thirty years apart. To Paris, Montpellier, back to Paris, to Amsterdam, Nottingham, London. And finally one long hop back home.

The Citizen of Future

Dated 2013 Jun 17 Mon 8 Shakban 1434H

In twenty to thirty years time these children and babies would become qualified citizens. I was of their age nearly a half of a century ago when this place was still in peace in one piece in its natural wild.






Sekelip Mata

2013 Diary