Wednesday, November 19, 2008


2 weeks ago I was informed by Juliette, the administrator at Yamaha Music school that Abang’s teacher had resigned from her position. His new teacher would be coming in next month.

I was shocked of course because there was no indication what-so-ever that his teacher was leaving. I told Juliette as much and then she sighed.

“Kesian dia lah….” She said. “She has a family problem lah, that’s why… Her son had a mental breakdown, 2 – 3 weeks before SPM or PMR, I cannot remember…” She confided.

I was so surprised. And upset for the family. “Kesian kan ?” Juliette agreed.

Apparently, Abang’s teacher didn’t realize things we were wrong with her eldest child until she saw him talking to himself. He had since expressed his hate towards his mother and had threatened to harm himself. He had abandoned his studies altogether. She of course couldn’t concentrate on her work, with the worrying and the crying and trying to find a solution for her troubled son.

Is it caused by exams pressure ? If it is, and I suspect as much, then what a waste, to loose your mind because of the rigidity of our schooling system. It is really high time for Malaysia to re-evaluate its education system. I couldn’t compare our system to anywhere else in the world except for the UK because I am familiar of how they work.

In the UK, some doesn’t even believe in university education. Work experience is more prized. In my university course itself, 40% of the students were part-time students, where they started as engineering apprentice with manufacturers like Boots, Walkers and Cussons. And by far, they are the smartest in class because they actually understand the mechanism we learnt as they have encountered it on a daily basis. We novices looked at a stroboscope and wondered when am I going to use this ? What is this thing, really ? But they know the why and the hows. Their understanding makes them first class degree holders during my year.
Another factor I think is the level of maturity. Maybe they are better students because they have already wisen up, gotten calmer and have dealt with whatever teenage angsts they were suffering. It is never too late, isn't it ? They didn't waste the university year by being a Mat Rempit but went on to learn a skill. They became engineers first before getting the degree.

In England, you can start from the very bottom and literally climb up the corporate ladder to be at the top. One of HSBC’s top gun in London is a lady who has only A-Levels to her name, not even a diploma. She got there because of the experience and acumen she accumulated over they years. Something that you cannot get through book learning.

In Malaysia, you need certificates every step of the way. I remember a friend whose husband only has a diploma but is doing managerial work. However his pay and designation doesn’t match the work he is doing, just because he lacked the certificates. He can’t even ascend to the top because of that reason.

I am not saying that we should do away with universities but what I am saying is learning is not for everyone. Create more opportunities for those who just cannot do learning as their brilliance could be undiscovered or worse become totally lost. The Education Ministry should work with business owners to create apprenticeship program for school leavers who aren’t interested to continue studying but interested to learn a trade. Maybe there are companies who offered that sort of programme in Malaysia (like MAS) but it is not common knowledge. Many people are unaware that sort of program exists. Plus, they usually cost a bomb. Make it accessible to everyone is another thing to consider.
Probably that is why the boy lost his mind, thinking if he doesn't succeed then all is gone and the future looks bleak. Maybe he is thinking "I don't understand this..." but he still has to plough on because his parents are depending on it. As exam time drew nearer, he got more desperate and well.... started to withdrew from the real world. My own parents had always maintained that without education, we will be reduced to become clerks all our life, which is true. Malaysia is not UK where a drop-out can own a chain of record stores !!
To become a football coach you have to have at least a diploma first. Can you imagine, somewhere out there is a boy who could be a brilliant coach but because his SPM results was so bad, he lost the opportunity to gain a place in further education, thus rendering him an unqualified coach.
Please create a place for people who aren’t interested to study a place to go to ease the pressure. University should not be the only way to the future. Then maybe there won’t be anymore Mat Rempits.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ada orang belanja minyak...

Something funny but sweet happened to me the other day. On the way back from work, I stopped by for gas at Petronas next to Tesco Extra. As I was filling my hungry car (very hungry inefficient Gen-2) I heard a soft, “Kak… Kak…” from my right.

I turned and saw a young Indian man looking at me, gas pump nozzle in his hand.

“Ya ?” Said I.

“Kak… saya ada minyak lebih ni kak. Akak nak tak ? Tank saya dah penuh lah…” He asked politely. I peered over at his side and saw a motorcycle.

Entah kenapa aku naik segan… he he….

I said to him, “Eh.. kan boleh pegi mintak duit balik kat counter. Mintak refund balik lah….” Said I while consciously aware that I just gave my son a lecture on if people offer you something, just take it, don’t let him hanging there. I gave him that talk because after his recent hair cut, the barber fellow offered him sweets before we left. However because the sweet he offered was Kopiko which my son doesn’t like, he politely refused. The barber fellow insisted and my son again refused then I cubit him and asked him to just take it. Both the barber and me sighed in relief when he did, for some reason. Sometimes people could take offense if their act of benevolence is rejected, right ? So there I was, rejecting this lovely boy’s offer. However it was his turn to look segan.

“20 sen je lah, kak. Malas nak pegi sana ambik balik 20 sen….”

He he….. I really shouldn’t refuse people’s kind gesture kan ? So I smiled sweetly at him and asked him to wait while I finished pumping gas. When I withdrew my nozzle, he was kind enough to fill in his 20 sen worth of minyak for me.

However both of us flamed in embarrassment again when it took him probably 2 seconds to do it. I gave him my brightest thank you, he went red in the face again and we went on our separate ways.
I will always remember this nice chap who belanja me minyak… Seriously, he could have just left the 20 sen in the pump right, but he didn’t want to waste…. SO dia sedekah...He he….

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday hujan lebat giler

Apa aku nak cerita hari ni…. Weekend aku idak le sebusy mana… Biasa je… In fact aku migraine and therefore while Babah keluar, aku duduk rumah sorang2 melayan migraine. Pastu hujan lebat giler, pastu aku tutup tingkap. And lepas tu bila main switch trip, aku menjerit2 suruh Babah balik… he he….

Bila Babah balik, he noticed air longkang keliling rumah tinggi semacam… siap melimpah keluar. Berbekalkan payung and kayu floor scrubber dia godek longkang belakang sebab we suspect tersumbat dengan daun-daun pokok-pokok belakang rumah.

I pitied my husband who refused to let go of his brolly although his body was already soaking wet. So I went to join him and offered to hold the huge golf brolly. While I was there, I remembered my rainy childhood. Us kids loved the rain. The first drops of water from above would hold us in anticipation and when we feel the rain is lebat enough, we would go begging to our mother, trying to get her permission to play in the rain. I would say that 40% of our pleadings got her blessings and what a fine time we would have, screaming and yelling in delight, playing games that I have now forgotten about.

We would stop only when our mother called us in (or most likely if she stood in the rain too brandishing a rotan). By the door, dry towels would be waiting for us and mummy would take the shivers away with hot tea... And sometimes goreng pisang... Oh man, I remember once hot bubur gandum was waiting for us. I do love you, Mum !! He he...

The rain I felt last Sunday brought back the shivers of excitement again and I really wanted my children to experience it too.

“Babah… you bagi tak anak you main hujan ?” Asked I tentatively. Raised by two different mothers, all your childhood delights could well be a big stinky no-no in your other half’s eyes, so always approach with caution.

“Panggil lah dia orang…” Said he and I were oh so happy for my children.

“Adik !! Abang !! Datang sini !!”

Two eager faces materialized and my beckoning to play in the rain was met with hesitant interests, but when I persisted, they jumped from the doorway into the rain and straight under the brolly with me.

Apa da….

Adik had a hat on her head already so she was more adventurous. She was the first to take tentative steps into the downpour and smiled with pleasure when the rain dropped on her face like small kisses. Abang being the future health and safety expert was more cautious but soon the delicious call of the rain and its’ possibilities melted his prudence. He was jumping with delirious happiness, devising games with his sister. He even tried to catch a frog that was swimming in our drain.


We went in tired but happy, with laughter still in our bellies. Mandi, sembahyang and we feasted on oven-fresh baguettes with mushroom soup and hot chicken wings.


Pastu tidur….. Tapi Babah pegi keje. Sian...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Aku gelak sorang2

I found this joke in a blog of a person unknown to me. I laughed so hard, I decided to share with you. However, I do not know if this is illegal (copyright and so on) so to the owner of the blog, very sorry to copy your material but it so darn funny !! Ha ha
Seorang gadis pergi makan malam kerumah orang tua kekasihnya.Ini adalah makan malam pertama dengan keluarga kekasih dan dia begitu gugup. Mereka semua duduk di sebuah meja makan dan mulai menikmati hidangan enak yang tersaji.Beberapa saat kemudian si gadis mulai merasa kurang selesa akibat rasa gugup yang keterlaluan dan broccoli casserole yang dimakannya.Hampir menangis rasanya ia berusaha menahan kentut.
Namun karena sudah tidak tahan, tak ada pilihan lain, dia putuskan untuk mengeluarkan sedikit kentut agar terasa agak lega. Kentut itu tidak begitu nyaring, tapi semua orang di meja makan mendengar bunyi kentutnya.Belum sempat rasa malu menyerbu si gadis, bapa kekasihnya melihat ke anjing keluarga yang asyik mengendus-endus di kaki si gadis, dan berkata dalam nada yang agak tinggi,"Doggy!"Si gadis berfikir, "wah ini bagus!" dan segaris senyum lebar menghias wajahnya.
Beberapa menit kemudian, dia mulai merasa tidak selesa lagi.Kali ini, dengan tanpa malu-malu di lepaskannya kentut dengan bunyi yang lebih kuat.Bapa kekasihnya kembali menatap anjing keluarga mereka dan berteriak, "Celaka Doggy!"Sekali lagi si gadis tersenyum dan berfikir, "bagus!"
Beberapa menit kemudian si gadis merasa perlu mengeluarkan kentut lagi. Kali ini dia tanpa berfikir panjang dia melepaskan kentut begitu saja, bunyi kentutnya kali ini boleh menyaingi bunyi kereta api.Sekali lagi bapa kekasihnya melihat ke anjing keluarga dengan pandangan jijik dan berteriak, "Celaka Doggy!", cepat pergi dari perempuan itu sebelum dia berak diatas kamu!"

Friday, November 07, 2008

Series Review : Puaka Niyang Rapik….. Uweekk…

Cerita Melayu susah dipuji. Ada aje yang tak kena… bagi mata aku lah…. Tak tahulah orang lain macamana..

But when praise is due, I would gladly give them… Readers of my blog can attest to that.

Maybe I haven’t done the praising but since it is due, I commend the production of Kekasih Ku Seru. It was enjoyable, the actors were good and the … alahai… apa benda kita panggil… aaa… special effects (I had to call Babah and asked for the word… I tell you my mind is failing me… I forget words…. Nak doa minta kat Allah tolong restore my memory pun boleh terlupa… he he….) were believable.

We as a family like it very much. All of us would camp at my mom’s house where Mummy cooked delicious dinner and by 9.30 all of us would be in front of the telly (some with bantals in hand) ready to be scared stiff.

The next day Abang would start discussions on yesterday’s episode and would talk about it through the weekend.

Sadly the series came into a conclusion last week (although it looked like there will be a second season) and was replaced by Puaka Niyang Rapik. We eagely waited for 9.30 and when it was aired, by 9.50 we were disspointed already. First problem is the ridiculous name. Don’t know lah if the place actually exist or there are places with similar sounding names, then I apologise for my ignorance.

Secondly… well it was just urrghh !! Terrible. The storyline I suppose was okay enough but the episode went on boringly we were glad that we could switch to Heroes on and off. I can tell you this it is nothing like Kekasih Ku Seru which captivated us form the very first episode. Lawan hantu pun boring with boring hantus and puakas with teeth a tad too long… he he…

I will give it another try next week, maybe it will pick up pace but if not… I will persuade Abang to watch Heroes instead. The bummer of it all is that it comes (or came) from the maker of I Am Not Single which was very entertaining (and Jangan Pandang Belakang)….

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Babah demam... so...

I really miss you today, darling husband.

You have been poorly this past week so you haven’t been talking much. The house seems bigger with you quiet and if I try to recall the past few days, all I could remember is the silence. I can’t remember you laughing but I could summon up a few smiles. My poor baby…

Yesterday you came home still very much unwell and fell asleep in front of the telly at 9. So I watched Criminal Minds alone and I can tell you this watching a whodunit without you is boring. And I can’t complain about the kids if you were asleep so they were safe yesterday…. Ha ha..

I wonder if you were aware that I held you hand all the while you crashed out on the sofa. But you did tighten the grip once in a while so maybe you did.

Tonight you will be home late and so I have to send the kids mengaji very much alone. I am so not looking forward to that.

I miss you. I keep thinking about you, I can’t get you out of my head.

Cause I miss you
Body and soul so strong that it takes my breath away
And I breathe you into my heart into my heart and pray for the strength to stand today
Cause I love you whether it’s wrong or right
Though I can’t be with you tonight
You know my heart is by your side