Month -3-04, Sep

First day Sep Fri was rather soulless from the 'dead' Aug 31 Thu and the following Sep 2-3 Sat-Sun. Then the week mid-sem break Sep 4-10. It was like a brisk of low tide after a high tide; the traffic in the campus and the bumbling of the students. And the most delighted was the disappearance of sectorial blackout on the second floor which took off the power and light in my box and the connection to the outside world.

The UKM Chemistry Department Then

This should have been mechanised last month Aug, but since it was too many things, then I have to pull it down into this month Sep.

Chemistry UKM, was born in 1970 May, during the birth of Faculty of Science, of UKM. Like a balance is an ABC for a lab, glass blowing is an ABC for chemistry. And Chemistry UKM was 'blessed' with an "Oxbridge" glass blower: En Aziz Abdul Rahman. And the dept 'read' chemistry progressively, since from Pantai Bharu then to Bangi. En Aziz served all the glassy needs. It has never been a question arised in any meeting about the glass. His supply always exceeded the demand. He was furnished with the tools in complete set from the beginning, and it was not much of advancement in the fields of glassblowing tools, unlike in the analytical tools that needed to be updated. And the tools lasted non-consumably decades.

En Aziz in his prime days in the glass blowing lab of the Chemistry Department. He served everyone in the university including those in the medical faculty in KL campus. His mammoth presence was unaltered even by the realignment of the lab management grip, from the department to the faculty in the 1990s. His power of presence was as strong as the blowing torch that melted and fused and shaped the glasses.

But the salarymen did not understand the glass blowing. None of them had ever been to the glass blowing lab, although many of their wives bought many expensive glass articles that could not be eaten (mind you, were made by the same process) to take home. The salarymen decided that glass blowing job is a non-skill profession that could be performed by any body especially the school leavers. They sort of understood "glass blowing" as something like "glass washing". So in the salarymen catalogue, glass blowers are just lab attendants/assistants. The then dept and faculty CEOs who were both biochemists then mounted a reckoning force to the university and returned with the post senior lab assistant. The 'galaxy' for him was then defined. By mid 1990s he had enough; early retirement was around and he picked it up; the then dept and faculty CEOs who were both organic chemists watched helplessly since both were infinitesimally small in the eyes of the university. They even contended arrogantly that the chemistry would not be affected because the job could still be done by him on per job basis at his home. The torch stopped, and they were proved wrong. The glass blowing became a matter many times in many meetings. A replacement was picked according to the salarymen jargon; but no matter how brilliant they maneuvered, the torch lit on and off and thus no glass blown. The chemistry was cripled, practically without glass blowing for a decade.

In the second quarter of 2006, the chemistry felt really selflessly helpless, and had no choice but to beg forgiveness and 'invited' him to come to light the torch and blow the glass again, ostensibly on contract basis. The same tools he left behind a decade ago, in one piece, welcomed him back.

Glass blowing had to become an exhibition item during the school #2 Open Day during the recent Aug 9-11. It would have not been had En Aziz not returned. The blowing of the fire torch will stop again when En Aziz re-retires, in a short time to come;

UKM - On Into a New Face, er, errr, Phase

Practically, it was in 2006 September. Web pages updated promptly; but there are pot-holes of different categories almost everywhere. The inside spin may have started immediately, but it didn't quite spill off until the mid Sep after the students returned from the mid sem break from early sep. The break was filled with the Q-rush for the final; to be submitted latest by Sep 10 Sun, to be "refined" on Sep 12 Tue; to be handed to the faculty by Sep 19 Tue; then to be fermented or incubated by the pentadbir from Sep 21 Thu for used in November 6 Mon - Cf. lectures to end Oct 20 Fri. Ye, ye, fermentation time could not be made shorter no matter how advance the printing technology is. More often fermentation time was dilated, rather than shorten. Three weeks after the lecture end is apparently inssuficient for the pentadbir to comply the ISO. Instead they take the whole Oct and the border weeks of Sep and Nov. I don't believe an atom of it that the new #10 VC will look into this fermentation time, even though she used to lead the LAN where the quality is the core business. For the past many years, Q-quality was sacrificed for the ISO certificate the university CEO said it would catapult the so-called internationalisation he said he was leading.

I neither believe that the #10 would restore some of the lost UKM brasses. During the reign of #9, posts were not extended to the fifty-five plus, although they could go on recieving the salary, with full or half flash. But #10 has broken it. #9 set that syarahan perdana is not a route to high post; many knights enjoyed this "bonus"; most probably #10 would continue the tradition unless she want to break her own neck. Ostensibly #10 would also break the #9 golf 'ritual'; this would leave to the tree subs to tango among themselves, and especially when in conjunction with the neutron star. Many instant committees were formed without any due alignment on the existing machineries. Once upon a royal professor was very glad with the mechanism of forming the committees to solve a problem or to get something going because in a committee, resources were pooled. However, the committee's product success will be limited to the "lowest common denominator". At the end of the day, in a big place like UKM, those different committees are actually manned by the same "lowest common denominator", and that's why, as always, irrespective of whether a meteor or a dust, the end results is always the same: infinitesimality; the difference being only the time-contribution. PS. Some writing denoted #10 as the ninth. This is due to the fact that #3 was acting all along; did not get his confirmation although he ran the vc-ship, to his last day at UKM to become the director general of PUSPATI.

For the last two months, the first day of the month was used to announce the price hike. But this month, it was budget (price hike included inside): Sep 1 Fri late afternoon. And the talk of it in the media, as always, dragged for many days, dissipating like an unwound pendulum. Assume a different budget for 2007. Assume for 365 days in 2007, no development is going to take place; no erection, no repair, no nothing is happening, no salary is paid. BUT the life has to go on as was in 2006. FOR THAT, budget money is given directly to every citizen to manage it themselves, just for 2007. It was announced that for 2007, 159.4 gigaringgit is going to be given away; to 22 megaunits of population. Per citizen thus (159.4)(1000)(1000000)/(22)(1000000) = 7245.45 ringgit per unit citizen. For a family of ten (all in), it made up to ca. 72 kiloringgit which is an income of a middle assoc professor (before tax).

That's why the media called this budget "mega-spending" and someone said it to "ease the rakyat's burden". Are they? Perhaps yes if it were distributed raw like that Hez did in Lubnan aftar their lands were ground-zeroed by the jews. This will ease the burden. For farmer families or fishermen, they are not just "ease the burden", it's like day dream comes true. For middle class, this may helps foot the electricity bill, water bill, telephone bill, highway tolls, school fees, tuition fees and income tax. Not to mention the house and car loan as these two are solid matters that could be owned. Nonetheless, this is not what is practiced. The money is distributed "institutionally". A major portion of it is for the salary, meaning the keep those this year in status quo next year, no matter how they earn, that 7245.45 or not, more than that or less than that. Another portion would be for the "development" in which a small fraction of rakyat get a large chunk of it; another fraction is for the purchasing of materials. This is also for the rakyats who have that things to sell only. At the end of the day, if the price stops hiking, life in 2007 may be a continuation of that 2006.

It's Clearly Real

It is said again; and now the minister said it. Last month Aug his deputy said something about it. In May their CEO touched something on the same matter. Surely before that the state CEO must have said something of the same thing in their own state; which were just a collection of the same thing arised from his subs in every district. Things must have happened since 2004 or before; thus had osmosised to this high. At least the matter is real, although the detail might have been doctored. The highest level in education said it. Perhaps it would be like a projectile, it reached its max from the 0,0 coordinate. Now on its way to x,0 point. Reversing. E.g. insolution was "attempted" below.

In waiting patiently perhaps is the curriculum writing on the Moral Education, or a new subject entirely which is yet to be named, or perhaps the religious subject itself, which as always will invoke the curriculum development, which at the end of the line will point to a new textbook which will involve the writer, the publisher, the printer, and the distributer; all are under the shadow of guarenteed market normally for ten years.

Two co-ed 'secular' schools (obviously non-SBP), a male and female SBP each; a perfect equilibrium of numbers. Autonomy in the schools the bottom line of which always the grade with which they are accepted at. Unlike the autonomy in the university, out of which the students learn to survive after graduate, in the past with or without starry grades.

Cosmorider ...

In the meantime, it was announced Sep 4 Mon that the first astronaut would be a dentist or an orthopedic. The (actually) cosmonaut would ride the Russian rocket to the international space station (ISS) - to and pro. Incidentally, the dentist is that of the ATM with a minimum military training, of which "semantically" he has the priority. The orthopedic is a graduate student (on MSc course) in UKM's medic. Whoever one, is the lucky one; very much luckier than the proton car who was dropped by the Russian gears on the north pole or the "one" who reached the Everest summit, or the "loner" in the south pole. The "attempt" to make a woman the first cosmonaut, evaporated, thus a lost in the future media content. The Star City, near Moscow, where the cosmonaut are trained; firstly in the zero-G apparatus like this. Mostly to train against the "mabuk angkasa", so that when he landed, he could smile in one piece. The place the west said very well guarded and only lately they could negotiate to have a joint space adventure. Only here the bona-fide citizens tourist of the west could experience (after a smart negotiation) the zero-G, not in the America.
That the Russian are the better experts in flying technology; that's why the American wanted to have the joint adventure, like that the so-called International Space Station. Otherwise, the American would never share their haves with others. They wanted to share with others only on what they don't have, like the democracy (read: oil) in the middle east. Like the adventure of going to the moon, or was it that the Russian did not accept the offer to share the adventure of going to the moon because the Russian knew more than the American what is actually all about going to the moon. That the Russian had landed the robot on the moon to collect the soil sample, long before the American mega-phoned that they had landed men on the moon. Some American 'liberated' women had been to the space in the Shuttle (including those ill-fated), but are yet "to share" with those who want to land on the moon. The American 'shared' all along the space adventure humanly limits, and invented how to go beyond the limits. Some of them only with the Russian; not even with the European. American public shared the space-experience with the Russian; not with their fellow American. Perhaps these are behind 'the choice' of becoming a 'Russian Cosmonaut' rather than 'American Astronaut'. If both survived the zero-G, my bet is on the orthopedic.

2006, Sep 4 Mon: Steve "Crocodile" Irwin

Every media in the world reported the lost of Steve "Crocodile" Irwin, 44, the figure one will not miss in the ASTRO after adequately stuffed with adverts. He was the director of the Australia Zoo in Queensland. An innocent, elegant stingray in the Reef pierced its barb at his chest straight to his heart. Irwin was in the stingray territory making some film perhaps about the stingray itself. Thousands of people converged to the Zoo to pay their last respect. It was reported also that the net were heavily congested with blogs on the great Australian man.
He was known as a naturalist; had travelled and reached all parts of the (mostly tropical) fauna territories. The "shrine" where the fan paid Irwin the last respect was later became "Crocoseum"- in Australia Zoo where he inherited from his father who initially owned the place.

He did that in the name of conservation of Nature. And ostensibly, the world is entertained (read: spinned with a lot of money). A question from the Nature's point of view: why man bothered so much to "conserve" the Nature? The Nature had had enough and annoyed enough with man who did everything to conserve the Nature. To the world, Irwin was a great man. Unfortunately, the stingray did not know that Irwin was a great man, the man who wants to conserve the Nature in which the stingray never minds the business not its own.

Most media printed the incident as an accident; a freak one perhaps because it wasn't dramatic enough, or because it did not happen naturally. Perhaps the stingray has a simple message for the conservationists: if the Nature is to be conserved, please leave the Nature alone and please do not even touch it. The Nature has its own nature that Man refuse and never want to understand: that Nature owns Man; and Man never own Nature. It doesn't matter how many stingrays were avenged, even if all of them, the Nature will not apologize on behalf of the 'killer' stingray; the Nature goes on with its laws irrespective of how civilised men are. Apparently a revenge against the Nature is an act of civilised people; in exact opposite to the uncivilised people who had lived unavengingly in the Nature many thousand years before they start getting civilised, and "without a war", owned the Nature.

2006 Sep 7 Thu

The fate may hve been mechanically in here. Otherwise for the former in Dec; nonetheless have been set by the latter, who incidentally became the last stallion in forteen days time to concede to the new phase of UKM. The vacuum offered an in-phase successor, a mare instead of a stallion, in either case to be rather young although not young enough; for certain will degro-evo under the current natural entropy of the faculty. His last 'public' appearance - Faculty assembly #4/2006 Sep 7 Thu. In which, a lady words-orator from YAPIM was let to sing to successfully make some to sign to part with a monthly part.

FST was without a dean for the rest of Sep. VC's virgin call to the faculty managers, Sep 25 Mon, concluded with the call for the candidature from and among the staff members. I almost caught a seizure in resisting the temptation to answer the call. Since the aperture was to early Oct, before the Search Committee does its sting, it appears like FST is going to go through to a dean-less Oct. In the meantime, the PPFG deputy (the natural contender) acted.

It's Alright as Long as It's not Wrong

It appeared so great to have a telescope; to see not only the moon the US said it had landed many men there (some women too had the programme was in post 2000's years), or even to see the distant galaxy (a billions collection of galaxies is called "local group" - sound so small). The picture of the telescope printed on full A4 page with small font-size produced an illusion of a giant like a backup on an Observatory. The size is not concealed; it even included the weight in case the user wants to take it to the roof-top for zero obstruction. It stopped at saying the fully extended length is 375 mm because that perhaps confuses the lens f-length.

Arranging top by bottom, 37.5 cm is slightly shorter than 15 inches, and about two and half ball-point pens length; which means that this telescope is pocket-sized. Of course one can see the moon and the stars through this telescope. One can even see the moon and the stars without a telescope; with the naked eyes. (P.S. to get this free telescope, one has to buy things he does not want for about 250 ringgit.) The power of capitalism. You can guess with a close to unity probability the country that made this telescope.

Another not-wrong way to say the car made in 2001 in terms of 2002. Surely the potential buyer would feel happier with the figure 2002 than 2001. It is absolutely not-wrong to say that pure vegetable oil is cholesterol-free, just like any vegetable based produce. It's imbibing in places or situation where cholesterol is percieved as harmful. And for palm-based oil, yes, it is rich in natural vitamin E if it was steamed-out of the mesocarp. Since the advent of palm oil, coconut oil suffered the curse of cholesterol. Cholesterol is more tangible to talk about compared to saturation and unsaturation, and carbon-length and conjugation of the fatty acids that made up the oil. Coconut is a palm, it's an oil producing tree; and a lot; and edible from top to bottom. Coconut is a tropical palm from as long as people can remember. Coconut had provided food and materials for shelter.
They are the functions of the vitamins as described in all the textbook at the level as low as SPM biology. Do these valid for an application they are included for the application of which is external? Keep it unsaid; forget about the drawings they intended their mechanics.

Q: Which of the ingredients above are vitamins? A: You mean the ingredients that contain vitamins?

Sep 11 Mon - The World Event 911 Five Years Ago

2001 Sep 10 - 11 Tue - Wed
2006 Sep 10 Sun
2006 Sep 11 Mon
2006 Sep 12 Tue

Sep 15 Fri - Welcome the Farewell 2006

(L-R) Prof. Datuk Dr. Sukiman Sarmani, Prof. Datin Dr. Zuriati Zakaria, PM Dr. Jamaludin Daud, Prof. Dr. Bohari M. Yamin, Prof. Dr. Aminah Abdullah;

(L-R) En. Mohd. Radzi Zainudin, En. Mohd. Yusof Itam Abdullah, En. Khairudin Seman;

Five academicians were farewelled for completed 56 in 2006. The first three were the first-batch alumni. As has been for many years, they were fortunately "re-welcomed" and thus retained the s.q. - vitually 'promoted'. With that the first metamorphic cycle is completed for the Chemistry UKM. The next cycle have already shown some environmentally-mutated traits, unfortunately regressive. As I see it, the university had done a lot to them; in term of ringgit, many millions.

Attached along were three lab staff; as the case of the academicians, they were the pioneer 1970's since in Pantai.

The largest 'exodus' will be in next year 2007. To 2010 the Chemistry will burn its last drop of the fuel together with every chemistry that seemed to be consumable. The new front is entirely detached from the Pantai Bharu roots. They nevertheless were spitted out in an already inperfect Bangi.

My feeling is that there is an absence of some one critically serious about the down-to-earth academic matters. Those who are not dumb, said that they 'trusted' that the academicians would hold the water in the basket. With a population of close to 20k, a place like UKM is just a cluster of several biospheres with their own specific ecology; nearly independent of each other, happened to share the same space and place. There are losers who keep on losing and the winners who keep on winning. Chemistry has long been subjected to the natural entropy change. Being one among hundreds more programmes, it's like "malukut tepi gantang". It does not matter with or without - it does not make a measure minus or plus.

The beauty was that they paid themselves to get farewelled together in a grand room. Ostensibly such occasion was predictable; those who had been rewelcomed a few times flocked together for they were of the same feather - their younger 'recipients' detached themselves for, for sometimes they have nothing to do with them.

The Beginning of the End
Sep 16 Sat - Malam Gemala Puteri

F5 SESERI 2006 had their night tonight; in Seri Pacific, just across the road; in the middle of JPWP trial exam. 'Haunted' by the trial exam, otherwise it was an eventful fun and a merry event. The time was a bit short too;

2006 Sep 19 Tue - Tun Sri Lanang Library

To the library today to return the book Hanief borrowed before he left for his firther study in USM. I have not been to the library since 1997; since the arrival of Microsoft MMX and my personal PC was networked - from which I acquired all the literature I needed - with Windows 95 running on a self-assembled (a.k.a. clone) pentium MMX 166 MHz CPU speed, 16 mb RAM, 2.1 gb HD - a 12X CDD cost RM400, a CD-R cost ca. RM3000; a DVD player cost ca. RM8000. My first PC was an AT 286 - 1991 Oct 30 with Windows 3.1 running on 10/20 MHz CPU speed, 1 mb RAM, 40 mb HD - 5.5" FDD; before CD era. I could not afford a DOS-run PC before that. There was only one such DOS-run PC HDD-less in the department; and it was an "IBMF" - I sneaked-used it to type my ms "Prinsip Kimia Polimer" in 1986, submitted to DBP as the first ms submitted in soft-form (in boxes of 5.5" diskets each 360k capasity single sided - via Wordstar), and published in 1988 with the editor En Amran Joned, by whom ever since I became closed to DBP.

Since the advent of IT, the library became less lecturer/researcher-friendly. Many even could not comprehend the conotation that library is a vital tool in research. The library was run in the mode of book-collector, rather than a research tool. In a research university, the books are not very vital; the journals are. The books could be centralised - a joint 'store' for all the universities, including the National Library; very easy to manage it in a small country like Malaysia. In the past, the library seemed to accept all books 'offered' by the distributors. The journals, which are vital, instead were selective. With each university does every research under the sky unselectively, the selective journal became useless. Internet became "tiada rotan akar pun berguna".

The hike for Sep and perhaps Oct is summarised by this figure. This mysterious figure is so elusive to understand. But the word "inflation" - like a belon getting bigger and bigger and leas and less dense and thus easier to get off the ground and fly higher and higher - or like the car tyre, when inflated will get pressurised; both will burst when their limits are exceeded - does not mean just the price increase - it means the increament of the increase. If the inflation is zero, the price increases steadily (the capitalist default - and by default, inflation never a negative number - deflation). When the inflation is a figure, it means the price increase, increases steadily. In Newton's term, zero inflation means constant velocity. Positive inflation means acceleration. There is no deceleration in practice because it is against the capitalist abc. Not even zero velocity. A small fraction of consumers now could gauge the implication of the meaning of "inflation". For that a new term was introduced: consumer price index. Similar in meaning, only coated with a thicker smokescreen.

Sep 21 Thu - Hari Anugerah Kokurikulum & Makan Beradab

the former of which was ordered to be done on separate day; unlike last year 2005 Jul 2, it was rolled 3-in-1. And nonetheless tagged together the Birthday Formal Dinner (Lunch) #2 for this year, for those of Sep-Dec; thus missed the nightly elegance when the cake was paraded in with the rythm of lights. The transition of the Pengetua in April had delayed many traditional activities of SESERI; only those date-anchored were not adjusted. The VVIP was Pn Marina Chin, the name and picture that flooded the sports section of TV screen and print media in the 1970's. She was the Queen of the Track; currently a teacher in Kelana Jaya where she lives in a normal family life with husband Jagjit Singh (a rugby star);

There are two more events to take place before the SPM commences. Both are after Shawal 1427; one is "Majlis Restu Ilmu" which is internal, i.e. between students and teachers, and the other one is "Majlis Solat Hajat" which involves the parents as well. Then the eventual end is in sight: the SPM, and then SESERI ends by the end of 2006. The seal would be the F4 welcome in 2007 Jan, followed by the final CM Meeting in Feb or Mar, and eventually the AGM #5 usually on a Fri morning in Apr.

Sep 24 Sun - Ramadan 1427

Ramadan 1427 arrived; the FST "Rivera" closed, since Sep 11 Mon. This was the second close; the second end since it was "relocated" to here in 2004 Sep. The first end was also just before Ramadan in 2005. This second end began in 2006 Jan during which I stumbled with the tender holder, and thus got hold on the nature of the life-line of the "Rivera". None knew if it reopens comes Shawal in Oct end. Reason: I was tempted to call it "the curse of mee curry" - the specialty of the original operator from the begining 1982 since the cafe was at the basement of DAM - closed in 2002 Oct because of "unhygenic". Since the closure, "the scientists" and "the economists" were always hungry;

First time taste of university exam for the july intake; they chose to be on the night of Ramadan eve - the last slot the university allocated for the mid-sem. Some were not serious about the rule of not allowing the h/set into the exam hall (this one in the main lobby of Dectar) until warned that, in the past the 'crime' was punished by one semester suspension.
Ramadan had become a festival - first the fabric, then the food - either way polarised to non-faster. And it began with the ritual 4-in-1: a minister, a market/supermarket, a camera, and a media. The foods displayed infront of hungry people; everywhere for all walks of life including in the 5-star restaurant. Ramadan "market" opened every where. It appeared like there are unlimited amount of money to flow whenever is an activity involving moslems - that's why the wars had to be made in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lubnan, and on the table now, Iran.

The Cost of An Independence in the Third Millenium

Sep ended quietly in the middle of Ramadan. Albeit, the 'iftar' was held every day in the University's mosque. Brilliantly, the Pusat Islam made it 'sponsored' by different party on each day - the faculties, and the admin 'departments' - and each called for donation from respective staff members. Brilliant indeed.

Chapter dated Sep 30 Sat, 2006

Sukiman Sarmani Mohd Wahid Samsudin