Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008 ...welcome 2009

Today is the last day of 2008.Most of us will do some reflecting of the year gone by and at the same time listing the hopes and resolutions for the new year 2009.

Of course,we couldn't get everything that we want in a year but surely we can make do with what has been given and bestowed to us and adjust it to the best of our ability.

I always look forward to a new year, no doubt this year it means my age is edging towards half a century,I dont mind that.Infact, I am proud of it.It means I am another year wiser and more settled down in my life and career.Frankly speaking, I dont envy those in their 20 s or 30 s because as I can see it they are still struggling or baru nak mula bina hidup. By the time you reach 40, you ve settled down financially and emotionally.You are more confident in your actions,decision- making and you know what you want in life. Beauty wise..well of course it deteriorates but lets not discuss about it..after all beauty is skin deep and lies in the eyes of the beholder.

To err is human and through out our journey in life we make mistakes now and then.So every time a new year approaches I wish that I would not repeat the same kind of mistake or foolishness again.It is always in my prayer that the Almighty will guide me in decision-making. There are times too I felt so frustrated, so heartbroken either due to certain incident or someone.So, I always have high hopes that this someone will not break my heart into pieces again and again, and realise once and for all that I am a human being with feelings and emotions!

I am a teacher.I love my job and do not mind being a teacher through out my career life.I help my students in their quest for new opportunities and discovering talents which may lie buried in self - defeat.Each day I see that life is reborn with questions, ideas and even friendship.I am also doing battles with ignorance ,peer preasure, fear and negativity.If I won, then its achievement to me.A feeling of contentment.So,career wise I d not ask for more, I am being entrusted with the future that is the children.Public and parents trust me.

For my kids, I hope that they will be blessed with good health, then only they can study hard and excel.My eldest will be sitting for his SPM, my second for PMR and my youngest-the big baby in the family will be taking his UPSR next year.I hope all of them will bring straight A s home.At the same time I wish the Al mighty will bestow guidance and hidayah on them.This include my third child too.

I wish 2009 will witness me to become a better muslim, a strong individual,a diligent staff,the best wife and mother to my other half and children and a good neighbour...

Well, those are my wishes for 2009 and happy new year to all.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I love reading Chicken Soups.The stories seem to inspire and motivate me.In one of my readings I came across these lines which I want to share with you bloggers.

I asked GOD for strength, that I might achieve.
I was made weak,that I might learn humbly to obey...

I asked for health, that I might do great things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things...

I asked for riches,that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise...

I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness,that I might feel the need of GOD...

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life,that I might enjoy all things...

I got nothing I asked for-but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.

I am, among men, most richly blessed!

P/S..Always look at the bright side of things in life.Allah, the creator of the universe, knows what is best for us...Warm Maal Hijrah greeting and Happy New Year to all.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Mohd Hafiz's birthday

Yesterday, 24 th Dec was Mohd Hafiz,my nephew's birthday.However the celebration is made possible on 25th Dec, since it is a public holiday,the only time the family members could gather around at my parents' place.

Name: Mohd Hafiz b. Baharudin

Nickname: Bob

Age : 3 years old

Weight: 23 KG

Ambition: as he says "polish"

Favourite phrase: "Ama..nak lo"

Hobby : collecting toys particularly lorries and trucks

Birthday boy better known as Bob fascinated with all the accessories on the cake and trying to rearrange as he wished

Time for opening the presents.....with cousin Intan,Ijat and Ifah

Game time...

Birthday boy covered with confetti...

May Bob be blessed with many good things and may the years ahead be a prosperous one.Father reading the doa

Guests arriving...close relatives and neighbours

Part of the menu that day..Pulut kuning, rendang daging and mee hoon Singapore.

Spaghetti and meat balls...eemm..delicious

Decorated pulut kuning

Venue of the party...atok aki and tok wan's hous
Birthday boy with friends and cousins

Bob with his mom...blowing the birthday candles

Bob in his party gears

Birthday cake..Bob turning three..May the years ahead be blessed

Birthday boy and mom...sharing happy moments together

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Still holidaying...

A view from the 20th floor of Lanai Gurney condo

Petronas Twin Tower at night and at dusk time-Pic captured from the balcony of hubby's condo
I am still in KL.Actually my plan has gone astray.Our previous plan was to go back to Kelantan right after the id so that my kids could go for tuition during this hols, especially the ones in boarding schools since hols is the only time for them to get extra coaching.However, there are so many unpredictable pulling factors here, like weddings ,birthdays ,shopping and not to mention my other half corporate suite ,so I am still hanging around here.
Yesterday, after much persistence and insistence from my kids, we went for a show "The day the Earth stood still".I like it kind of show.Actually,this was my second show this week and the previous one was Cicakman 2 where I fell Zzzzz .Let s not make any comment or comparison between the two movies for criticizing film is not my area.
Apart from the two movies, I have not been to any cinema for ages.The last film I watched was "Gandhi" way back in the mid eighties.Amongst other films that I watched during those days were Lady Chatterley's lover, Officer and Gentleman,Friday the 13th,The Natural,Pretty in pink and a few others.The ticket at that time was only $ 2.00Yesterday was RM 8.00 because it was a Lady's Day, if not the normal price is RM 10.00.
The cinema in Malaysia has gone 200% changes from the 70 s era( the last time i went to a cinema in Malaysia ).It was dirty, stuffy,with damp and musty smell lingered in the air and at times stink with urine.You could even see rats scurrying and sometimes rays of sunlight could filter in through the leaking holes.Of course that was the cinema in a small town.However,it s very modern now,very systematic,clean , comfortable and has a very up to date sound system where I think at times it s too loud and could burst my heart.
Definitely , show biz has come a long way here...
Anyway, I guess this is the kind of entertainment the city folks would go for on weekends or after office hours.I did not feel comfortable actually to be amongst those mostly teenagers patronizing the cinema.I was too self -conscious with a feeling of guilt since I am already a hajah.But for my kids sake, I just follow them...after all it s holiday time...
Tonight I m going back again to Muar since tomorrow is my nephew's birthday ,so we are going to have a little celebration.For my hubby, another hard day tomorrow for he is now planting oil palm trees in his new piece of land..his new acquired hobby.That s why he doesnt mind to have a few trips back to my kampung in a week.
Merry Christmas to all the Christian folks!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Etems..again and again..

Much has been discussed on whether to revert the teaching of Math and Science back to B Malaysia.As a person directly involved in the implementation of teaching Math n Science in English in a rural area, I would say that we should continue with what has been started,look into the problem genuinely and rectify those problems.The problems and shortcomings of this noble intention should be identified clearly even if it is a long-listed one.
The first phase, that is 6 years ,has passed.We have received the products that is the result of the UPSR from the first batch of Etems primary school students and also the result of SPM from the first batch of Etems secondary school students. However, the Ministry of Education still has not given a clear picture and specific analysis of the outcome.
During the first phase, all Math n Science teachers were sent to somekind of either resort or hotel for training.They could have their training and holiday at the same time, and not to mention the good food they enjoyed there.They are also being given allowance(bisp) for the extra work that they should do.The laptops are also supplied to each of them.For the school, facilities are upgraded,computer labs are built, Math, Science and English labs are equipped with LCD and computers including all the programmes and CDs from the departments and the ministry.Now that is the first phase.Even the administrators, from the ministry down to the school level are exposed and be informed of this Etems for easy monitoring.Millions have been spent on this .
The second phase , look into the problem in depth.The Ministry has supplied almost everything needed which i think more than enough but why Etems is still considered unsuccessful.Our kids are still struggling with the subjects,the results are not becoming at all, the students in rural areas are still left behind in terms of perfomance, teachers are not well versed in the language and the list goes on.
A major problem that i could see clearly and vividly is the genuine implementation.It is like building apartments.Physically everything is equipped.the pipe line, electricity supply, the road, sanitary system etc..etc..But will the water supply reach the top most floor..or is there any blockage in the sanitary system ..If there are, solve each problem.Of course, you cant just demolish the building and burn millions of $$$.Yes, some may say that in the process of identifying and solving the problems,we are jeapordizing the future of more and more kids.However, children having inquisitive,curious and young minds are sure to learn something in the Etems class.This is from my experience of being a teacher for 20++years and a mother of 4 school going children.
To the negative remark that says Etems will throw BM outside the classroom, that is exageration!The teachers and children are more than happy to use BM as a medium of instruction for other subjects in the classroom.Sooner or later these kids will reach the college and varsity level where English is used as medium of instruction.So, isn't it good and wise to prepare them now so as not to have a hurly burly time later?Afterall, language is best learned at an early age.
As a person who involves directly with this Etems, I would say part of the failure lies on the teachers...the people who are supposed to impart the language and the content in the classroom.They hesitate to use English in the classroom and teach solely in BM.They seldom attend English class and are not optimistic at all about improving themselves and the spirit of Malaysia Boleh is NIL.But there is another group who would use English,seem motivated,eager to attend English class and voice out their opinion although they stumble here and there and accept comments and critics readily.This group has improved a lot.In fact i would say this group is able to teach English at lower level.
For the ministry to send enough good speakers of Etems teachers to the rural areas is out of question.So what the school could do is to solve this domestic problem and manipulate the teachers they have.Continuous in-house training should be implemented at school level until these Etems teachers are able to speak up. The people who should closely monitor and shoulder this responsibility are the headschool,PK 1, head of language department,head of Math n Science department and the English head panel.Close monitoring and stringent supervision should be carried out ( kerana sesetengah tak ambil pot langsung). Teachers are considered a bright group of people or else they wont be able to get through their college or varsity.What s more, these teachers are Math and Science teachers who are supposed to be brainy as compared to the art group.I am sure they can learn fast if they want too.Afterall, classroom language is simple and besides,the technical terms are all supplied to them.So, speak up!
This remind me of the speaking test i conducted with the Etems teachers months ago.Some of the teachers could not speak at all, could not even utter a single English word, instead just smiling away ..and mind you, this group include the headschool.So ..what did they get from those resort-style of training..i wouldnt know..
To future Etems teachers who are still struggling and grueling at the varsity, equip yourselves with as much knowledge and language as possible so that you could continue to carry out this noble intention smoothly.Once, a friend of mine, a lecturer complained to me that the students in her English class are not proficient enough to be English teachers and cynically blaming the teachers for not giving enough.I thought wouldnt it better for her to take this as a challenge and see what a scholar like her can contribute to upgrade the standard of English in this country.Teachers are only able to deal with the shallow part, the in depth part reqiures an expertist.
So, I suppose if we still have this inspiring dream of becoming a global player in 2020, then Etems is the right choice.. Afterall, the government has open the door widely for us, so it is up to the teachers to enter with the spirit of Malaysia Boleh..

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Whose job is this????

Mom and Dad..., both are ex-teachers.They have shared 50 years of
marriage and still going on strong..

I am still in Kuala Lumpur counting down to the new school term.At this moment I am at the pool side stealing some time to update my jottings while keeping an eye on my kids who are busy swimming and sunbathing.Once a while, their shouts and laughs interrupt my concentration..the aroma of chicken curry from the nearby cafe stuffs up my nose disturb my focus too..em ..delicious.. very authentic Indian curry..making me hungry..but lunch is in the next hour or so..
While writing I cant help myself from eavesdropping on the conversation of the two gentlemen next to my table.It is not that I m busybody..that is not my nature.. but their voices are loud enough to reach my attentive ears.From the conversation I gather that one of the gentlemen has to babysit for the day.He mentions that it just doesn't suit him to take care of children.The other man dumbly nods his head, agreeing to his friend. From the corner of my eyes, I could see that his two kids are well-behaved,sitting there enjoying their roti chanai quietly without imposing any childish tantrums on the father.What more does that father want?Or is he some kind of ego maniac person who thinks that his manly image would be tarnished if he has to babysit for a day?
I feel like interrupting them and giving my piece of mind regarding whether certain duty is a man's job or a woman's job.I am surprise that in this modern era where women is almost at par with men in many ways, there is still such mentality.. conservative, very old fashion kind of thinking.I am not surprised if it comes from a man who belongs to my father's generation..but he is still young..maybe in his early thirties...
If women are expected to go to work, aiding the husband in making the household economically sufficient and flourished, why can't the husband do the same thing,sacrifice his ego and time for the benefit of the family. If the family is on a tight budget, the wife cum mother is expected to be a wage-earner too .That s the trend today.But I am sure these wives would not leave their home unprepared.More often than not, they will make sure that not only breakfast is ready on the table but lunch is also cooked in the pots and pans ready to be served when they get back.They will tidy up their children at least a wash if not a bath, before sending to babysitter.For some,even the laundry is done and the house is cleaned,swept and mopped ( I have such a friend)before starting their day at a work place..They are expected to be superwomen..So why cant men be supermen too???To put it bluntly, if the take home salary is insufficient, men should look for part time jobs instead of counting on the women.. They should be the sole breadwinner of the family , bringing home enough bread and butter for the family.
This remind me of my childhood days.I used to have a working mother.Although she was only a primary school teacher and be away for half a day, yet she still had to leave home very early in the morning.She would wake up as early as 4:00 o clock in the morning,preparing heavy breakfast,cooking extra food for lunch and organizing the seven of us.I saluted her for I definitely couldn't wake up as early as 4 in the morning and cook!After all I guess there are so many eating outlets now selling ready made food and this is a contributing factor to my laziness.However, one thing for sure I would clear off the laundry, hang it and stuff up my kids' lunch box with something at least edible.
For this man next to my table, or any men out there who are still complaining and fretting over
who is supposed to do the job, the husband or the wife, please bear in mind that physically, marriage is a partnership, a sharing business, a MOU between two people.2 halves make a half cannot function to the fullest without the other half....make sure both halves swing in the same momentum so that the first half would not go further while the later half is left behind..If that s the case means unfairness and you just know what is bound to happen.
Since now is holiday time and wedding bells are in the air, I wish all the newly wed a smooth sailing marriage of course this include Mawi and Ikin!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Puteri Santubong, puteri Sejenjang..
Penjaga gunung negeri Sarawak..
Manis sik ada dapat dilawan..
Anak dak dewa turun kayangan....

Sarawak.. a land of beauty and diversity...

27 th Nov 2008 -The eight of us left KLIA at 9:45 am.Thanks to Airasia for introducing a low fare ticket.It was a smooth flight and we disembarked at Kuching International Airport at 11:15 am.At the immigration check point,my youngest son had to come out with his signature for the first time.He was so excited.After claiming our luggage,we went out.My friends were already there waiting for us.That 's the beauty of friendship..once a friend,always a friend.

My youngest son,my other half and me on the flight

We reached Crown Plaza Hotel which is overlooking the famous waterfront at 12:30pm.To our disappointment our rooms were not ready, so we made a move to walk along the waterfront.Of course, it was not an enjoyable walk on the hot,breezeless afternoon.

My sis, ada,me,eldest son-ewan,daughters-amira and afifah taking a rest at the waterfront.
Famished... we decided to have lunch at Khatulistiwa..For a glass of teh tarik we had to pay rm4.50!
After lunch we walked back to the hotel,still our rooms were not ready yet.We just sat in the beautiful lobby,witnessing guests arriving and leaving.Seeing that we have waited for 3 hrs,the General Manager approached us and invited us to the VIP room at the top floor..maybe to shut our mouth from making further complaints.From the room we could see the Sarawak River flowing through the greeneries and the passenger boats dotted along the river.Such a calm and serene view.The GM briefed us on the tourist spots around Kuching and their economic activities.

So much for the VIP room...When we asked for cold drinks they could offer us only tea or coffee..when my daughter asked for the muffin on the glass shelf,it was only reserved for the VIPS.
30 mins later our rooms were ready.After unpacking,it was almost evening and there was very little time for excursion.So my kids decided to head for the swimming pool.

Kids are kids..where ever they go,they will surely head for the pool first..

For dinner, we had a feast of sea,crabs, 'siput 'bamboo,squids,umai and a variety of vegetables including the famous pucuk midin.For drinks we tried almost everything..kelapa longan..tebu laici..bandung longan..calamansies and a few others.

After so much food, we decided to burn off some calories.So we went for night-strolling along the waterfront.Here you can just walk miles after miles without feeling tired.I was mesmerized with the beauty of the glittering and glimmering lights and the gaiety of the surrounding.Throngs of people of different characters can be seen walking and loud music can be heard blasting from the many stalls there.What more,the delicious aroma of the famous NasiAyamPenyek..burgers..fried chicken filled the air.It s happening here even at 12:oo midnight.We walked until the light house..

28 th Nov 2008-We planned to go to Sarawak Cultural Village
Sprawling on 17 1/2 acres of land at the foothill of the legendary Gunung Santubong is Kampung Budaya.It potrays the cultural diversity of Sarawak with 7 authentic ethnic houses; the Bidayuh Long house, the Iban long house, the Orang Ulu, the Malanau, the Penan,the Chinese and the Malay house.Visitors can sample the rich variety of activities from the handcraft making,traditional games,house hold chores,ceremonies to rituals.There is also magnificient cultural perfomance in the modern theatre.Traditional Sarawak food are served at the restaurant and fine Sarawak handicraft are sold at the souvenirs shop.
At 10:00 am we were all set for the excursion.My friend had left for Semenanjung leaving us with 2 cars to roam around.The moment we saw a mountain we headed towards it thinking that it was Gunung Santubong.We kept on looking for a signboard but there was none.We drove until the foot of the mountain but still there was no sign board labeling the place.So we stopped at one of the villager's house to ask.To our surprise that mountain is Gunung Serapi, and Gunung Santubong is at the opposite direction!We retraced the way, stopped twice, made a u-turn a few times until we finally reached the correct place at 12:00 noon.One thing for sure, Kuching is lacking in signboards and this could really gives problems to tourists.The JKR should do something about this if they want to promote Kuching as one of tourist destinations

Posing with the Bidayuh lady in their traditional dress on the verandah of Bidayuh longhouse.The Bidayuh, accounting 8.4% of Sarawak population is also being called the land dayak.
My sis trying to be the medicine man

This is how they get rice from paddy.What a tough job!

Me at the Bidayuh conference hut.This was where the heads had their meeting.Trying to beat the gong calling for a meeting...

Swinging on the veranda of the Iban longhouse.The Iban once known as sea dayak made up one third of Sarawak population.The long house made up of several units.The open veranda where they had community and domestic activities.There were several doorways which lead to the inner verandah.This is the village street; and the individual family rooms front the village street.

With a Penan man trying to use a blowpipe or 'sumpit'.The Penans known as shy nomdic people live in the dense jungle of Central Boneo.Some are coming out and learning to farm the land,others prefer their roaming life-style.Their shelters are quickly constructed to last for a few weeks or months only.Sago is their staple food.Their speciality is the manufacture and accurate use of blowpipes.

Me and family taking a break on the staircase.Background.. so high up is the Orang Ulu house

Me and hubby trying to find the right tune for Do re me..One of the orang ulu's traditional musical instrument..

Be careful kids.. going down a notched log which serves as a staircase to orang ulu house

A full view of orang ulu house..Orang Ulu or up river dwellers.Total population is 5.5% of the Sarawakians.Orang Ulu comprise the Penan,Kayan and Kenyah.In the past they were famous sword-smiths.Orang Ulu house was built to last, made from solid ironwood designed for many generations.

This was what they called technology..of course for that particular time..a technique to fan up the fire.

'A Melanau family' taking a rest..sitting on the notched log staitcase..

My daughter trying to have hands on experience in Melanau traditional game

My son trying to spin tops.Careful are only throwing tops not a criket ball.

29 th Nov 2008 - At 10:00 am, we left for Serikin.From the hotel we drove off trying to find a signboard labelling Serikin but there was none.So we drove and drove heading towards Sri A man.45 mins later still we couldn't find any sign of the place.I called my friend and was told that we should be taking a road to Bau and not Sri Aman.So we made a u turn .Again we were wasting away our time.We reached a small town called Bau.About one km after passing the town, then only we saw the sign Serikin..It was a two -hour journey instead of 45 mins!

Shopping at Serikin..Things here are a lot cheaper compared to Wakaf Che Yeh in Kota Bharu.You can find lots of imitation goods from Bonia to Louis Vuitton to Boss.My daughter bought a jeans for rm 70 in Wakaf Che Yeh but here it costs only rm 35..Crystals sold at Sogo could also be found here and the price..its really amazing..

Shop and shop till you ..a form of therapy to me..
Coming back from Seriken, we had a hard time to find a place to eat..I mean halal food.We couldn't find any restaurant, so we finally ended up in Bristo at one of the shopping complexes.I was quite confident with the food for there was the word 'halal' written.After eating we looked for a surau but after asking around we were told that there was none.We were still in Malaysia not some foreign country, yet it was difficult to find a surau Isn't it very ironical?

Quickly,we left the building and sped up to find a mosque.We found An-Nur mosque and stayed there until after maghrib..

That night we took a boat crossing the Sarawak River for dinner.We had the famous mee kolok and fresh barbeque prawns..Then we went bowling..

Eating mee kolok at the bank of Sarawak River
30 th Nov- Since our flight back was at 7:00pm, we decided to go to Sunday Market or 'Tamu'.It was just like the Morning market at Ketereh except bigger and of more variety.Vendors and hawkers busy selling their goods from fresh food to the famous Sarawak cake .T-shirts ,souveniers of various kinds,ornaments,jeans of almost all brands can be found here etc..etc..

Me buying ikan terbuk masin..I ended up buying 40 ikan terbuk masin to be distributed among friends and relatives..

That afternoon we had lunch of Beryani rice and Laksa Sarawak at my friend's house..

Looking tired..checking out time

Our flight was delayed 30 mins due to bad weather.We took off at 7:45 pm instead.It was not a smooth flight at all.In fact it was the worst flight I had ever been..20 mins after the take off, the plane experienced a turbulence and was shaking for 30 seconds before it dropped drastically.My kids and I would have jolted and thrown forward if it was not for the seatbelts that kept us fastened..The cabin turned chaotic at once.The plane was sort of swaying to the left and to the right.I hold on to the seat in front of me tightly asking my kids to read some holly versus..The cabin crew hurried for their seats,children were crying , people were shouting and there were endless noise.. My son hid his head in his jacket while my daughter was whining..scared..The only thing on my mind was when would this giant balloon going to drop and explode.It was not a night mare but a real thing happening to me..I was not watching a movie or what..
After 15 secs, it stopped shaking, I guessed we had passed through the worst ..but the girl behind me was still crying..pity her..
Then I remembered my friend's message a day before I left..he wished me luck and to be very careful since the weather was not good nowdays..instead, I advised him to be careful too and don't get caught in flood since he intended to 'ronda-ronda'Malaysia.He told me that on land and in the sky are two different situations for the sky has no mercy!I took it lightly then..but now i surely agree with him.In a split of second anything can happen up there...So..that was the end of my Sarawak turned out as both good and bad experience.