Wednesday, April 24, 2013


TWO SUBJECTS are at heart . The former because of  the construction going on at the great mosque in Mecca and the current regulations for those on umrah visits and the later for the upcoming election day 5th of May 2013 in the country.

Malaysians are at a point of choosing the forthcoming government to manage the country for the next FIVE years. Right now the country is deluged with banners, buntings, flags, decorative images etc at almost all corners of the country, not counting the stories and updates in the newspapers, radio and TV programs. Besides live campaigning goes on right after the nomination day until the eve of election night.

Many would have decided whom they would choose and whom would get the X mark in the ballot papers. It is not a matter of a week or a one day decision that a person makes his mind to choose whom he or she wants to represent the constituency or the country . I believe it is a waste of good luxury to campaign as we do now with  all the symbols and pictures hung and pinned all over the place. Believe me it would only leave a bad scar once the election is over. It would be weeks or months before all are spruced up again.

We must realized that the time of showing movies in open spaces by the Information Department as way back is past and gone; just so banners, flags and slogans.The new electronic media would do well to replace the campaign trail. Let's leave the countryside clean. Get the candidates campaign on their own merits going house to house or at best certain agreed locations. Truly there are new approaches to be taken and campaigning during our Malaysian Elections need that extra scrutiny and change too.  Our citizens are not gullible as perceived.

A look at the pictures here attest to what I have said above regarding the approach to present campaigning. Believe me come a week after 5th MAY 2013 let's find out the outcome ... will they be cleared properly?

This topic is close at heart because we would not be able to receive the ballot papers and mark them as we want to. We would be on 'umrah' with the family three days before the D-Day. By the stroke of luck our departure date has been moved to a day after election day. Now we would be gratified to realize two results of hand. Firstly who becomes the conqueror to oversee the country for the next five years and secondly the opportunity to be at Al Haram and Masjid Nabi once again. We would get the opportunity to see the development taking place at Al Haram while InsyaAllah accomplishing what Muslims all over the world do when they are at Mekkah and Madinah.  A two and half year interval would surely show great significance in development. This  picture (below) derived from the internet shows part of the construction on site. Naturally the jumaah would be concentrated at the few open spaces available in the mosque and outside. Realizing that the expansion of AlHaram would allow for a million jumaah to gather here, a feat and accomplishment. Nevertheless for any development there would be out- cry, complaint and dissatisfaction. The Saudi authorities do not escape from outcries for such developments too. 

Notice the Kaabah and the earlier part of Al Haram with its flat top floor and the 'Sae' sector. Next notice the new section/expansion being added in the sector of the former 'Masjid Kuching' as most Malaysian know it and the earlier barber shops. It seems to double the size of the Mosque now.
Applications for umrah visit has become more strict with new regulations requiring adherence to regulations. Original certificate has to be shown and scanning overtake photostat. Young ladies wanting to go on 'umrah' must be accompanied by their parents or members of 'muhrim', no more accompanying unrelated persons.  Only senior ladies are allowed to go as a group.

As we approach the fifth of MAY 2013 we silently pray for continued peace and no on towards happenings as a sequence to the election results. At heart we look forward to two assignments in our calendar wishing for fulfillment.        

Friday, April 19, 2013


A wooden box that contained precious loving and treasured items

Yes as I have indicated earlier in the previous blog story, a visit to an optician helped me to discover her Pandora's box and what a content it was. You would never expect to find such treasure pieces in such an establishment. But there they were all over the place and displayed quite exquisitely .  The owner while attending to the customer and that being my wife allowed me to have a look at her collections and even allowed me to photograph the pieces. Obviously she must have collected them through the years and for sure there must be many others not displayed in the premise. 

I guess you would be able to distinguish the pieces  and just consider if you have seen any of them before. If they are unfamiliar to you or looks out of this world then consider them as collection pieces and much sought after. For sure you may be lucky to come across any one of them but no doubt you would have to pay quite a sum for any of them should you wish to posses one of them.

They stand by the framed window but surprisingly passersby don't even give a glance. Obviously  no one would care to look into the glass frames of the spectacle shop unless they want to see the optician.

Chinese porcelain containers, plates etc

As much as I was surprised to find her prized collection, I was stunned to know that she had departed with several pieces of antique and old Kris just because she was told that it was bad luck for her to keep them. 

Wow it was a discovery indeed and leaving me pondering what else this lady optician would have in her home. Yes it was a wonderful day to realize that someone in town is also a collector of antiques and it is admirable that she had found time to collect such beautiful pieces.

                   How many pieces do you see here?

   Old Chinese silk slippers with their straps framed  for keep

An antique tiffin carrier or container. Sadly we use plastic now

Do spare your time to search for such collector's pieces around your town or village and you may be surprised what could come up. Possibly you may come across collectors surprisingly as I did. In our town there is no curio shop and perhaps one could be started.

Thursday, April 18, 2013



It is another day of the week excepting the hot weather has been taxing, especially April in the northern part of the peninsular when the sun crosses the equator and gets closer to us people in the northern atmosphere. Yes of course we learned that in our geography class before. I do not wish to ask if our school going kids know that since geography does not come as part of the lessons or subject in class.

However, another matter comes into the limelight when we visited the optician today. My wife has been complaining of a blurred and watery eyes in the few days and we decided to have that examined. Normally it would be a change of reading glasses as age catches up. Surprisingly the lady optician came up with another surprising information. Upon testing, she found an abnormally as the eye sight power have decreased or 'gone down'. That must be exceptional and still the 'opportunity' to purchase a pair of new glasses is still there. However there is hope that my wife's eyesight would be in better standing offering clearer sight when the new pair of glasses are ready.
The visit to optician who has been in business in Alor Setar for more than two decades however allowed us to discover a pandaro's box in her shop. a coming account.   My wife has also suspected that this opening story would  inadvertently lead to what we found in the shop house. How true. Knowing fully well my attractions to such things.


THE FEVER sets to reach its high point. The temperature starts to go up and it will not ease till late next month possibly. Now who amongst us will feel the temperature rising?. Surely not you and I who are bystanders to the political game. 

The political gambits and the aspirants for the hot parliamentary and state seats throughout the nation would obviously be in circles, having sleepless nights dreaming and aspiring with prayers and players for their names to be chosen and listed on the choice lists of candidates. For those sure of their candidacy, though few in number they can rest assured and rightly have made their plans and strategies already. For the others it will be battle royal once the nomination lists are up and the polling starts.

One has only to fall back to the last few months when Dato Najib the Prime Minister goes all out to campaign for the Barisan National. He traveled all over the country, giving out what was best and desired. It was no less an inspiring effort for his party and the community he wished to serve. Now the rest of the aspirants will have to aspire to that level of campaigning within a limited time frame. Nevertheless we may therefore look forward to many strategies being employed. The flags that now adorned the roads, bridges, fly-overs, buildings etc of the various political parties are a start to the race of winning the hearts of the people. No less the newspapers will play the greater parts.

For many of us we may look back at the previous general elections and remember our participation or otherwise. How and what was the nature of our contributions then?  Looking back they were the years that play meaningful parts in the country's history and development deriving what we have or have not today.

Year                      Government %         Opposition %

1959                            71.15%                             28.85
1964                         85.58                         14.42
1969                         65.97                         34.03
1974                         87.66                         12.34
1978                         84.42                         15.58
1982                         85.71                         14.29
1986                         83.62                         16.80
1990                         70.55                         29.45
1995                         84.38                         15.62
1999                         76.68                         23.32
2004                         90.41                           9.59
2008                         63.06                         36.94   

I remember being on the staff of the election commission during the earlier election years especially in 1959, 1964 and 1969. The later being as Assistant Returning Officer in Baling Kedah and as Presiding Officer in  1964. Thus I would believe I had a closer look at how the election machinery worked at least on the election day. You my friends would no doubt have your own experience to talk of. In the later years of course we entered the polling stations to caste our  votes. Paying close attention in the evenings when the counting of ballot papers reached their climax. Resting the next day as other citizens when the results were known.

The above para was written last week when news of the election day for 2013 was rumored to be announced. However it passed without any announcement made. None the less right now 15 April 2013 and today Thursday 17 April 2013 the candidates for the comming election have been made known though certain parties have yet to name their candidates.    

Looking at the above election results for the previous decades and more, one may not run far from taking a good guess less the communities or electorates decide to part from the norms. The candidates chosen to participate all seems capable, youthful and experienced. Will the electorates make their best choice? We await the results early 6 May 2013. Unfortunately we will not be able to cast our valuable votes as earlier commitment  and program would see us being away from the country.

Just like other Malaysians who loved the country and what it has given us for the last half century and more we would like to see it progressing and above all left in peace and stability. Any government that can assure that is welcomed to carry the burden and go forward to achieve a fully developed MALAYSIA come 2020. Happenings in many other countries that want to move into new directions have so far failed and left the countries in catastrophic state  Surely we would be too intelligent to allow that to happen.