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I am married to my loving husband for more than 38 years now. I am a mother to 3 beautiful children, until 11 years ago when I lost my youngest son. Since then my life is forever altered but yet unbroken....

Tuesday, 30 November 2004

Alexander the Great...

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect...” - Mark Twain

We went to I-Utama straight from office and bought us tickets for the 8 o’clock movie.

As it was ladies’ night, got a discount for one ticket. Unfortunately, the only seats available were two rows from the front and we nearly sprained our necks to watch the 3-hour movie.

The film tells the tale of Alexander the Great, who conquered almost all of the known world by the age of 25 and was dead by 33. In an age when myths were real and kings could become gods, Alexander envisioned himself as the new Achilles, striking out for the East once more but this time for a prize greater than Troy — the Persian Empire and beyond. Collin Farrell plays the military leader while Angelina Jolie plays his mother.

A few scenes are truly breathtaking, including an aerial shot of the battle of Gaugamela where Alexander's 50,000 man army defeated a Prussian army of some 250,000 and a beautifully choreographed standoff of horse versus elephant. The film as a whole is a bromidic character portrait short on character and big on lavishness. Despite the elaborate setting and fighting scenes, the story was too slow.

We nearly dozed off during some scenes.

Sunday, 28 November 2004

Hearts in a whirl...

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen...”

(Noraizan, Adilah, Nik Aminah, Nong, Noriah)

We arrived at Taman Springhill PD just in time for lunch.

Adilah's newly renovated 7-room bungalow house is situated at the top of a hill and has a nice view of the surrounding area. Adilah and Bee were happy to see each other again after so many years. We left them to catch up with old stories and helped ourselves with Mee Jawa and bubur pulut hitam. Izam was surprised to see us, especially to see Bee. He was dumbfounded and speechless. Could see a relieve in his face when he saw Adilah and Bee together, happy reminiscing. It was raining quite heavily when we said goodbye to Adilah and family. Went to Putrajaya for some photo shots. Sent Nik Aminah to Giant where she left her car and sent Bee home. Later, sent Sara back to campus.

I have done a good deed today. I have brought together long lost friends, who became enemies because of circumstances. And today, they became good friends again.

Breaking free...

“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages...” - Friedrich Nietzsche
We got ready early in the morning.

We had roti canai segera and toast with scrambled eggs and baked beans for breakfast. This morning we convoyed to Bee’s house in PJ. We have to take Sara’s Satria because my Spectra is with Iwan. On the way sms Nik Aminah to inform her of our last minute plan. She was annoyed but insisted that we wait for her.

Bee was busy feeding her cats when we arrived. Abang Yusuf was at home but we didn’t meet him. He was in the room cooped up. Hopefully he doesn’t mind me hijacking Bee again this time. We met Nik aminah outside Giant Klana Jaya. We went to PD in two cars. On the way to PD sms Che Din to inform him that we will not be coming to his open house today. Will update him first thing tomorrow morning.

Saturday, 27 November 2004

Complexities of life...

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them...” - Mother Teresa
Earlier, while the girls were clearing dishes, we made a few phone calls and decided to have a small gathering at Adilah’s house in PD.

Everyone was excited to meet up tomorrow especially Bee and Adilah. They have not met each other for almost 30 years after Adilah got married to Hizan. To make things complicated, Hizan was Bee’s childhood sweetheart until they broke off right after form 5 and Adilah took over from there. Hopefully they could come to term with the dark secrets that have caused them misery and heartaches all these years.

Called Senator Ubai in KB to inform her of the good news. I was glad to hear that Ubai was not using crutches anymore but need to use the cane to walk. I wish Ubai was here with me to witness this reunion.

Still small and cute...

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life...” - Mark Twain
Joanna from the spa called to remind me of my appointment but have to postpone the session to some other time.

Earlier there was a missed call from Noraizan. She and family were somewhere on the Gua Musang Hi-way and on their way to KL. They are sending their 2nd daughter to UIA tomorrow. They were on holiday and will be spending a few days in KL. After some persuasion, they agreed to stay a night in our house. Went to Giant with Sara to buy some provisions for dinner. We cooked simple dishes of beef stew, mixed vegetables and friend chicken.

Norizan's husband and the girls retired to bed early, they were really exhausted after the six-hour journey. Noraizan and I stayed until late at night, updating each other on happenings. The last time I met Noraizan was during the Big 5 gathering in KB in September. Noraizan was my best friend during my early years in primary school at Sekolah Merbau in KB. It started when the teacher paired us up because we were both the same size. Both small and cute. Funny, we both got big moles on our face.

Then, we used to hold hands wherever we go.

Friday, 26 November 2004

Our favorite warong...

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by...” - Douglas Adams

We're not going to see whether our favorite warong ikan bakar is open or not.

The last two nights we have been going to belakang Istana and to our disappointment, our favorite warong is still closed. We ended up eating Garlic Nan and chicken Tandoori at Sri Hartamas. Last night, we detour to Cheras to have ayam kampung goreng for dinner.

Tonight, we decided to have dinner at Sri Thai with Ja and Sara. Later to Coffee bean for hot caramel coffee latte. Lately I have been eating so much rich food. Must remember to ask Linda to check when is my next spa appointment.

Tuesday, 23 November 2004

A distraught call...

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live...” - J.K. Rowling

It was not like Wan Hanisah to call in the middle of the night unless it was really urgent.

She sounded disturbed, and I know she’s been crying. She called from Pantai Hospital in Melaka. Her son, Afiq was hospitalized because of high fever, suspected dengue but Doctors are doing more tests to confirm. On hearing about Afiq, she came straight from the office by taxi. It was a pity that she couldn’t drive. The Mercedes and Perdana are with her.

Ever since she separated from her hubby, she has been putting up a strong front. The hubby has left her to care for herself and the children. And can’t even be bothered to call or visit, not even on Raya day.

But tonight she was feeling loss and lonely and needed someone to talk too.

Dr. Robert Kaplan...

“We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.” - Anaïs Nin
Balanced Scorecard Seminar
Theme: Creating Strategy-Focused Organizations

Attended a one-day seminar at the Auditorium. The turnout was overwhelming. The seminar was conducted by Dr. Robert Kaplan, the Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Management at the Harvard Business School. Earlier he met up with Senior Management to reiterate on understanding of process, issues and challenges to implementation and sustainability of Balanced Scorecard in the organization.

While the stance to adopt the Balanced Scorecard have many performance breakthroughs, they have also led, in some cases, to confusion.

Monday, 22 November 2004

Take my breath away...

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” - Lao Tzu

‘Cause I miss you, body and soul so strong
That it takes my breath away
And I breathe you into my heart
And pray for the strength to stand today

‘Cause I love you,
Whether it’s wrong or right
And though I can’t be with you tonight
You know my heart is by your side

Sunday, 21 November 2004

Heroes & villains...

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all...” - Helen Keller

We had roti canai for breakfast at Restoran 23-jam. Later changed the light bulb for the Spectra. Iwan will be driving back to UTP today. He will be using the Spectra for 2 weeks. He has to sit for 3 more papers before his long holiday.

After zohor went to Noh’s open house at Rawang. Met Zai and Latif there. Later to Campbell Complex to buy a couple of brown and black jeans for us. On the way to One-Utama. stopped at the office to pick up the draft board papers to be cleared by Monday morning.

We shared lamb stew and Sara ordered fish and chips at Secret Recipe. Decided to watch The Incredibles, a hilarious action-packed animated adventure about superheroes.

Saturday, 20 November 2004

Magic and lights...

“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost..."

We went to Ros house in Klang for the Hari Raya open house. Dr. Kassim just renovated their house. Theirs is a corner house and they have ample space to expand the existing house. They even have a small pond and waterfalls.

From Klang we went straight to Genting Highland. Sara and Iwan went for a few rides and later we watch the H2O show at the Pavillion, First World Plaza. The show was about magic and lights and the dancing fountains with a digitally animated water screen. They even have high-wire acrobats, floor acrobats and mind-boggling illusions.

After the show we had coffee at Starbuck before we drove home.

Thursday, 18 November 2004

Thoughts, prayers and...

“we accept the love we think we deserve...”

I end my letters, “Thoughts, prayers, and heart”
Because that’s where I keep you now you’re gone
These long and bitter years I’ve been alone.
I have neither the aptitude nor art

To tell you how it feels to be apart
From you, where passion turns to stone,
And all I do is hunger for my home
Across a sea too changeable to chart.

Please remember always that I love you
Though time and distance try to intervene,
And I can hold you only from afar.
I find I can endure my life without you

By treasuring what grace cannot be seen:
The silent wonder simply that you are.

(Nick G)

Wednesday, 17 November 2004

Lamb Chop & steak...

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” - Mark Twain

Today is the first working day after the Hari Raya. The traffic was smooth. A lot of people were still on long leave. We went to Tanglin for breakfast but to our disappointment, our favorite nasi lemak stall was closed. The other stall selling the nasi lemak was not as good.

There were skeleton staff at the office. Everyone was still on holiday moods. The meeting with the hypermarkets was on schedule eventhough not all turn up because of the festive holidays. The discussion on the re-circulation of 1 sen coins was brief. Later hubby came to have western lunch at Kupang. Most of the stalls were still closed.

Tuesday, 16 November 2004

Lemang and lontong...

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness...” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Started for Klang around 11 a.m. Cik Jah looks good. She’s’ going for her Haj this year. Most of her 12 children were at home. Mokh and family came to visit too. Had lunch before we head back to KL. Went to Latif’s house at Gombak. Their new apartment was nicely decorated and cosy. Zin and Cik Kassim and family were already there when we arrived. Had more makan-makan.

Left mak with Zin. They were planning to go to Cik Kassim and Wak Jenal’s house. We went home and after solat Asar took a relaxing nap till magrib. At night we decided to go to One-Utama to watch movie with Sara and Iwan. We had dinner at Nandos and later watched the Manchurian Candidate, a political thriller starring Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep.

We slept late again tonight, exhausted but happy.

Monday, 15 November 2004

Ketupat and rendang...

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” - Robert A. Heinlein'

The whole morning was spent clearing up the kitchen and putting the pots and pans at their original places. Even our old fridge needs defrosting. The ice was so thick that it can house some Eskimos. By 2 p.m. we were ready to go to Zin’s open house. Sara and Saufi followed in another car as Saufi need to go back home as his family is visiting the grandparents. Went to Cik Kassim’s house at Subang Jaya. Wak Ru was with them. She doesn’t look too good. Her legs are failing. She can’t walk without being assisted. Although bed-ridden she still recognizes people by their voices. Wak Jenal and family came later.

Solat magrib at Mesjid Palestin at Up-town. Plan to visit Hamid and Ayu but they were stuck at Centrepoint with the keys left in the locked car. They have enough problems on their hands so we headed to Pandan Indah to visit Cik Salleh. He was glad to see us and had a lot of stories to tell.

On the way home stopped at Restoran 23-jam for supper. Feeling tired and happy that this raya we had the chance to beraya with all the family. Tonight we slept soundly holding each other. Tomorrow we plan to go beraya in Klang.

Sunday, 14 November 2004

Celebrate Eid Mubarak...

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” - Mother Teresa

This year we celebrated the Eid-fitri in KL. Earlier I cooked enough food for everyone. We had breakfast of ketupat and rendang first before we went for solat sunat Eidil-fitri at Mesjid al-Firdaus. Later all his brothers and sisters came over to beraya at our house as mak is with us this Raya. This year is the first time Shah brought Tijan and Zoey to beraya with the family.

By 5.00 p.m. we got ready to go back to Melaka. Reached Melaka around magrib. Mak and Abah were happy to see us as they expected us to come back tomorrow. Abang and Ngah will be arriving either late tonight or tomorrow morning. I will miss them again. We had ketupat for dinner. On the way back, stopped at Zai’s place to beraya. She looked relax and ceria. Now that Cik Wok is no longer around, Zai would have more time to herself and her family. She has been a very good daughter-in-law to Cik Wok. Drove back to KL later that night. Reached home around 1.00 a.m. Tired and sleepy.

Saturday, 13 November 2004

My Birthday Prayer...

“I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I've led a common life..."

So tempting to look back:
what if? how would...? Why did?
Or to look forward:
What will? How can I? When?

Today is a day for:
celebrating the place already reached
rejoicing in friendship and love
a day to feast.

Lord, giver of life
sustain me in this precious moment
Not a day to lose between yesterday and tommorrow.

Thursday, 11 November 2004

A festival of lights...

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live...” - J.K. Rowling

Deepavali celebrates the symbolic victory of good over evil and brings in the New Year for the Hindus. Today is a public holiday. While our Indian friends are celebrating Deepavali the Malays and the Chinese too, take the opportunity to do last minute shopping for the Raya. We went to Giant to do some marketing. With the help of Iwan we managed to get all that were in our shopping list even if we need to jostle and hustle among the massive crowd at the hypermarket.

Later, went to fetch Mak at Noh’s place. Mak is going to stay and celebrate the Raya with us. Sara cooked murtabak for the berbuka. After solat terawih, bought nasi goreng for supper.

Wednesday, 10 November 2004

All in a family...

“Life is more fun if you get a bit dirty…”

Last night Sara and old schoolmates had a sleepover at one of her goonies’ house at Melawati.

In the morning, after sending a friend to Puduraya she came over to switch car. She and Iwan will be driving the Spectra to Kuantan to fetch Ja. Ja has to remove all belongings from the hostel. He’s coming home for a long holiday. Luckily the boot is big enough to hold his things. Most probably next semester he has to rent a room outside campus. It was raining heavily and traffic was heavy. The kids reached KL late in the afternoon and stopped by to berbuka at the café together.

Went home just in time for Isya and solat terawih. Bought nasi goreng and had supper with the children. It has been a long time since all of us were together. And I am going to cook for all in the family this Raya.

Tuesday, 9 November 2004

Climate survey results...

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage...” - Anais Nin

In 2003, we once again commissioned Hewitt Associates to undertake the second Climate Survey for our organization. The scope was expanded to assess the progress in the practice of shared values and knowledge management, as well as the state of internal communications.

Today, it was announced in the Corporate news the results of the survey. The results have proven to be useful in understanding some of our organizational strengths and weaknesses, as well as highlight some new salient issues to management. The important and reassuring message arising from the survey is that our organization remains an excellent place to work, not only in terms of job security and benefits, but more importantly as an organization that contributes significantly to the Malaysian society.

Monday, 8 November 2004

Terrible weather forecast...

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library...” - Jorge Luis Borges

Had dinner with Sara and Rok at the café.

The whether was terrible and the jam was massive with flash floods everywhere. The Kenny Hill Road was closed for more than 4 days now. Most probably because of landslides or fallen trees. Leaving me no choice but to use Jalan Kuching, which is most of the time at a stand still.

Tonight we made a few calls to Iwan and Ja. Iwan will be coming home tomorrow from Teronoh. His exam will continue a week after Raya. Ja last day will be on Wednesday and he has asked Iwan to fetch him in Kuantan. Will need to ask Sara to go with Iwan. At least Sara can help navigate. In this type of weather, I heard that the new Kuantan Hi-way is not really safe for traffic.

I missed the children very much. I am all excited to have them home for the Hari Raya.

Sunday, 7 November 2004

The gates of heaven...

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be...” - Douglas Adams

We slept again for a while after subuh.

We promised Noh and Shah that we will be at the cemetery in Klang around 10 a.m. Stopped to buy white cloth for the batu nisan. Mak and Hafiz were there too. It was this time of the year again when we came together to clear the area around the graves. By the time we arrived, they had finished raking the leaves and cleared some underbrush. The markings of names were long gone and we couldn’t possibly find them if we were to come on our own. It is about time that the pieces of wood to mark the graves are replaced with proper gravestones, with proper inscriptions of names on them.

And in this month of Ramadhan, we read the yasin and recited doa for those who have left us. "O Allah! Grant us goodness in this world and goodness in the Hereafter and save us from the fire. Amin…"

Saturday, 6 November 2004

Skeleton Saturday...

"Keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about...”

The Government has announced that the first Saturday-off in November 2004 i.e. today has been replaced with the second Saturday, 13 November 2004 in view of the two main festivities occurring in that week.

Staff who have been scheduled to work on 13 November 2004, will be required to work today. Everyone was happy with the announcement. They will be rewarded with longer holidays for the festivities. For those who have applied for leave on 13 November has to apply to credit their leave.

Friday, 5 November 2004

Covert mission...

“I am good, but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil..."
I need to beat this terrible traffic jam.

I have to be in Bukit Aman early. I have arranged with Dato’ Daud to meet him at the waiting area before 9 a.m. The meeting with Dato’ Musa was brought forward as he has another meeting at 10.00 a.m. The security was tight. Need to change 2 passes before we could enter the tower building. The meeting was brief and to the point. We discussed matters of interest and concluded that we need to bring in the SB unit to assist.

A joint meeting with the CID and SB will be held before year-end to strategize action plan.

Thursday, 4 November 2004

Iftar for BAKTI...

“I'm not afraid of death; I just don't want to be there when it happens.” - Woody Allen

For the Muslims, Ramadhan is a special month of the year. It is a time for inner reflection, devotion to God and self-control.

And during this auspicious month BAKTI has arranged special programs. Besides having the regular kuliyah and ceramah during lunchtime, we have arranged for the Amil to be at the surau to collect the zakat fitrah. The other day we distributed bubur lambuk from Kg Baru for all Muslim staff. We did a campaign together with ABIM to collect cloths for the needy and also a campaign for fund raising for the South Thailand tragedy.

Tonight, we gathered the muslim staff for iftar at the café. We have the honor of Ustaz Wan Ali Wan Jusoh from UTM to start the majlis with tazkirah and later to lead us perform the terawih. The response was very good, we even have most head of departments to join the iftar.

We pray to Alláh to make this Ramadhán a means for us to attain Taqwa, to earn forgiveness for our sins, to gain access to Al-Jannah where we can meet our Lord and enjoy His good pleasure. Amin…

Wednesday, 3 November 2004

Demonetise the Ringgit...

“The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its limits...” - Albert Einstein
We went ahead with our MC presentation even though Governor was not in the meeting.

They could make the decision without the number one to be around. The presentation went smoothly, we presented adequate data to support our proposals. Now that my mega project for 2005 was approved, I have to immediately mobilize my team.

This time I will announce to all staff to invite them to participate either as a Project Manager or as committee members, on voluntary basis. I wouldn’t want to hear any more excuses telling us that we favor only certain people and neglect others.

Tuesday, 2 November 2004

Unprecedented premium...

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You…” - Dr. Seuss

The meeting with Dato’Azli concluded with discontentment from all parties.

Their request to change the contract and amend the premium rate was not acceptable. As mention in the contract, the rates could only be renegotiated in 2006. We have not begun any transaction yet and could easily terminate the contract, if we want to.

We need to seek legal opinion before seeking direction from the management.

Monday, 1 November 2004

Momento from Jordan (1996)

"We are not makers of history. We are made by history..." - Matin Luther King

(Ayatul-Qursi decorative plates)

Jordanian Ceramic

Jordanian ceramic is beautifully hand glazed with remarkable attention to detail. In most contemporary shops, there are stunning collection of ceramic designs of vases, bowls, plates, trays, teacups, coffee mugs, lamps and other decorative ornaments in myriad of ways in which clay can be shaped.

My Travel Blog: munmus.blogspot.com

Mind your language...

"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” - Albert Einstein

Today I was subjected to the BULATS assessment in the form of computer based test and speaking test.

This exercise was part of our effort to become a Knowledge Based Organisation. And as part of a concerted effort to continually improve English proficiency, the management has decided for us to conduct language audit at all levels, which will be carried out in phases. The first phase of this assessment will commence with Deputy Directors and Managers.

I hope there is value added to this exercise. Hopefully, we will ultimately uplift the overall level of English proficiency at our work place. The result will be announced soon. Hopefully I do not have to go for extra classes to improve my English.