Tuesday, September 30, 2008


( Gambar ini mungkin mengajakkan kita menyambut Aidilfitri dengan keluarga melalui satu pendekan yang baru. Berada dibawah satu bumbung dan makan bersama. Sungguh mencabar)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008



Read! In the name of your Lord who has created (all that exists)….
Surah ‘Al’alaq – 96. Such is one command.

Lima ayat pertama dari surah yang mula-mula diturunkan membawa maksud, “ Bacalah Muhammad dengan nama Tuhanmu yang menciptakan. Ia menciptakan manusia dari sebuku darah beku. Bacalah dan Tuhanmua yang amat Pemurah, yang mengajar manusia melalui pena dan tulisan. Ia mengajar manusia apa yang tidak diketahuinya”

So much it is for the power of reading; no less from our Holy Koran itself. It is therefore easy to find quotes declaring its intrinsic worth. We may be familiar with this: “Reading makes a full man, Conference a ready man and Writing an exact man” Yet another “ Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house” that categorically justifies the presence of reading materials in our homes. No matter how displaced and abandoned they may be. We are also reminded that “A library is a hospital for the mind” and Ray Bradbury added “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them”. Lovingly Daniel J Boorstin succinctly added what we often do. “A wonderful thing about a book, in contrast to a computer screen, is that you can take it to bed with you”

During this month of Ramadan, Muslims all over the world take upon themselves to delve into reading the Koran, reciting and uttering the Holy words in their prayers. They would stay up late in the nights excited by the urgency and discovery of ‘Lailatul Qadr” (The Night of Power) the holiest and most blessed night.

Another quote simply put “If you can read this, thank a teacher”. Indeed we do. Without him or her in the beginning we would be ‘buta huruf’ missing out wealth of knowledge and wisdom.

This is a preface to what I think ‘books’ and reading have contributed to our resources. Even the government has allocated a reserve for us to purchase books and earnestly be rewarded with tax exemption. Children in schools now irrespective of standing get free textbooks; a far cry from those days when many parents have to wrought hard to get the necessary reading materials for their children. Libraries and archives have sprouted out in most places though cordiality and usage still fall behind.

The million dollar question comes to the fore. How much have we invested in reading? Have we a regular pattern of purchasing books? What constitutes our library? Would we have a treasure trove benefitting our family? Could we present a catalogue of our collections? Or more seriously “Have we expanded beyond reading?”

Thursday, September 18, 2008




NO It is not a foreigner or strictly a Mexican talking but surely a bumiputra alive and standing on the red laterite and muddy ground that make up the soil here in Kedah. He is one of many, and surely part of a large portion of the populace in the country that has been under the dark shadows of uncertainty and uncompromising debacle since 8 March 2008. To date it would have completed seven months when we touch the last days of September. Of course it will herald the finality of Ramadan for 1429/ 2008 and the beginning of Syawal. Even so the merriment and the celebrative nature of Aidil-Fitri would not help to rub off the foreboding months of uncertainty and un-accomplishment.

The 16/9 battle cry seems to fade away quietly now though substituted by another claim and mixed with the resignation of a law minister in Pak Lah’s government which certainly added another claim to the endless trails of ‘believe it or not’. But of all things why should the 9/11 tragedy be made a copy cat? Likewise it ended where it should be - a collapse.

Now back to the subject matter. We know that there is the elected government and on the other side the ‘opposition’. Both have got through the election process with the right numbers in parliament. Then go about doing what they should instead of wishing to outdo the other. One clamors to take over the government and thereby its representative becomes the new PRIME MINISTER with all the promises that the three party coalition PKR, PAS and DAP would give what the people want. Or is it what they want? The central legalized government voted in by the rakyat though with a smaller majority this time, becomes drawn into the game of cat and mouse and thus put aside into doing the expected and instead got itself complicated with issues one after the other. The Prime Minister is seen taking regular flights to Sabah and Sarawak obviously a fire-fighting stance. There were perceptible faults and simmering seismic disturbances all around the country though now reduced by five large territories namely Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor and Kelantan. Yet there seems to be a lackadaisical approach in everything that complicated many and put us all in a state of euphoria. Investing to do the best for the whole nation, the central government forgot that it has strong stakes in only the remaining eight states. Say farewell temporarily to the five that has abandoned you and give your best to those that have committed to hold steadfast to you. Priority seems to go astray with countless complications. Oil prices, racial undertone, mathematic and science in uncertainty because of media, leadership challenge, transfer of authority, BN schism, blogs power, rising cost of living, corruption, video issues, judges and rewards, ‘wang ihsan’, proton perdana servicing, C5, 16th September public holiday and multitude of efficiencies and setbacks expounded contributed to the theatrical backdrops never seen before on our Malaysian stage. Even ISA and MUSA got into the scene. Yes I continue to be perplexed by all that I see around me. What about you? Can we hope to see the rainbow with hues of bright colors after the storm? Or shall we continue droning and deep within disturbed intrinsicly by the sunset of 'ketuanan'?

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Semasa semua orang telah mula menjamah makanan yang disediakan Alif seorang cucu kami berumur 8 tahun enggan berbuka puasa lagi kerana katanya beliau belum mendengar azan berkumandang. Luangan azan melalui peti television tepat pada 7.15 petang tidak meyakinkan anak kecil itu. Kebetulan pada petang itu kami berada di kawasan perumahan USJ 3 Subang Jaya Selangor, yang terletak jauh dari masjid terdekat. Alif setiap petang sudah biasa berbuka puasa sebaik sahaja mendengar suara azan dari masjid yang terdekat dengan rumahnya.Petang itu sepi. Jenuh pula kami meyakinkannya.

Begitulah nampaknya, kita telah berpandu kepada siaran tv atau radio untuk menentukan masa berbuka. Jam dinding atau jam tangan yang dimiliki pun tidak lagi memberi panduan. Mereka yang mengguna telefon bimbit canggih dapat juga siaran radio dan khususnya waktu tepat berbuka. Tidak ada problem lagi kini menentukan masa berbuka dimana saja kita berada. Alif anak kecil tadi masih terikat dengan suara azan.

Terbayang kita kepada masa lampau. Masa dulu-dulu. Masa tok atau ibu-bapak kita belum memiliki kemudahan seperti yang disebutkan tadi. Bagi mereka isyarat dari beduk atau gendang raya menjadi penentuan bagi banyak hal. Masa berbuka satu. Masa imsyak dan masa masuk waktu semuanya diisytiharkan melalui pukulan beduk atau gendang raya baik dari masjid atau surau-surau yang terdekat. Malah 'berita' pun disampaikan melalui pukulan yang membawa ertinya tersendiri.

Rindu pula kita kepada 'bunyian' tok-tok atau gendang raya masa lampau. Ia seolah-olah memberi satu nastolgia atau keheningan yang tak dapat dicari ganti. Malah dimana dapat kita lihat beduk atau gendang raya lagi? Susah benar. Kebanyakan gendang raya di masjid-masjid nampaknya telah hilang begitu sahaja. Masjid Zahir di Alor Star, masjid negeri paling dekat rumah kami semasa kanak-kanak dahulu pun tidak memiliki gendang raya besar yang pernah terletak dekat kolam air wuduknya.

Kalau hendak juga menemui peninggalan lama ini kemungkinan besar ada tersimpan di beberapa buah muzium dalam negara.

Gambar gendang istimewa dan tok-tok disebelahnya yang dilihat ini kebetulan diambil semasa kunjungan kami ke sebuah masjid di Kota Surabaya Jawa Timor. Di sana pusaka ini masih tersimpan dan digunakan.

Semoga diharap sekiranya ada pihak atau pencinta seni dan budaya yang terjumpa dengan khazanah ini berusaha dan menggalakkan simpanannya khusus untuk masyarakat setempat dan nilainya yang tinggi.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


An old picture of my grandfather and grandmother with their
loving daughter my mother. I guess the photo was taken about 1915.

It is about time and the right time too that I put on paper or in this enchanting media some recollections of my own family. Seemingly we focus on many relevant issues, many really unrelated but happened to be in the hit of things and therefore up to date and easier to write about. We care what others would like to read. That would really be true to newscasters and newsmen. But we miss out recording the most dearest stories close to our hearts.

This chapter is about my grands: both on my mother's and father's side. Bless indeed all of us who had the opportunity to know any of them when they are alive. Sadly I had no opportunity to meet both my grand father and grand mother on my mother's side. Neither did I met my grand father on my father's side. All three died earlier than I knew when. Gratefully I was close with my grand mother i.e my father's mum.

Bless and grateful that I have photos of them which many in my age group would jump with joy had they been rewarded by such findings. They would naturally have a glimpse of their ancestors if they never discover them when they were alive.

During this Ramadan it is fitting that we remember our ancestors for they have put us where we are now. They have brought up their children and likewise ourselves. Now it is our supreme duty to do likewise and better still in this modern world with all facilities and opportunities. A thousand gratefulness and 'kesyukuran' to them for all that we have now.

Hadiah 'AlFatihah' satu-satunya hadiah untuk mereka. Doa restu dari kita dituntut untuk mereka semua. Jangan biarkan roh-roh mereka berkunjung tanpa mendengar bacaan surah-surah al Koran dari rumah kediaman kita.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Malah ada berita yang menarik perhatian kita disamping mengundangkan pelbagai soalan. Tiba sahaja awal Ramadan ini, kita berhadapan dengan isu-isu :-

1. Dua buah kapal MISC di tahan lanun. Bunga Melati 2 dengan 39 anak kapal pada 19 Ogos dan Bunga Melati 5 dengan 41 anak kapal pada 29 Ogos 2008. Dikabarkan para lanun ( pirate moden ini) minta RM10 juta ( kini diperbetulkan kepada RM3 juta sahaja). Pula kini kapal MISC dilarang menggunakan Teluk Aden. Kalau begitu mana jalan lain ke Eropah atau Saudi Arabia? Awat kita hendak kelilingi Tanjung Harapan di Afrika Selatan semula?

2. Salah seorang kelasi atau anak kapal Bunga Melati mendapat harapan besar kerana tunangnya di Kelantan melahirkan harapan agar Kerajaan/ MISC membayar tuntutan segera bagi membolehkan mereka berhari raya bersama. Kadang-kadang kita lupa keadaan dan kegentingan sebenarnya.

3. Pula kita terperanjat dengan berita beberapa buah Sekolah Cina swasta di Perak kini menerima tanah percuma bukan kecil tapi seluas 44 hektar sebuah. Ini merupakan kali kedua kerajaan Perak menghadiahkan tanah percuma. Sekarang UMNO minta supaya kemudahan yang sama diberi kepada Sekolah Agama Islam. Amboi tak terfikirkah dahulu untuk berbuat demikian? Begitulah halnya kalau ada pemikiran baru dibanding dengan yang lapuk dan buntu!

4. Harap pagar jaga padi. Apa pula terjadi?. Agensi Puspukom yang bertanggunjawab mengawal keselamatan dan melindungi nyawa dengan memeriksa kenderaan sebelum diluluskan berada di jalan raya kini dilaporkan menerima serbuan BPR dan anak-anak buahnya dituduh menerima suapan lumayan. Semuanya akibat bonus yang diberi kepada pemilik kenderaan. Mengapa tidak 'kereta' buruk pun berlumba untuk diluluskan agar tuannya boleh dapat RM 625.00 sebuah. Terfikir pula beribu kenderaan di gudang kereta terpakai. Untung besar bagi mereka.

5. Malam ini TPM pula membuat kenyataan kekesalan diatas sebutan Ketua Bahagian UMNO di Pulau Pinang. Desakan dari banyak pihak menyebabkan UMNO pula meminta 'maaf' bagi pihaknya.Ta'ada suara dari No. 1 kah?

6. Pula hendak tambah cuti awam lagi. Katanya 16 September. Kaedah
politik sentiasa mencari umpan baru.

Kini nampaknya kita mula diserang di dalam dan di luar negara. Sudah ada pihak yang bertindak merampas hak kita di luar negara walaupun bermula dengan sebuah kapal.

Maka timbullah pertanyaan. Kemana kita menuju sekarang?

Syukurlah cerita bubur lambuk sebanyak 7.500 paket diedarkan pada hari pertama Ramadan di Masjid Kampong Baru Kuala Lumpur membawa erti yang besar. Pihak yang menyediakannya menyahut seruan untuk memberi layanan dan makan-minum sewajarnya sempena Muslim dan Muslimat berbuka puasa.Saya pernah ke masjid ini satu masa dahalu khusus untuk berbuka puasa dan merasi bubur lambuknya yang istimewa. Nampaknya kena pi sekali lagi sebab pada kali itu sampai saja giliran, bekalan dah habis.

Monday, September 1, 2008