About Me

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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....

Thursday, 30 June 2005

We need a break!

“Life's under no obligation to give us what we expect...” - Margaret Mitchell

Since the new Director came, the crisis hands-down to him from the ex-Director is still not settled although the department is trying very hard to overcome the hurdles. The heart is beating faster and faster and yet the situation is still at status quo. Approval from the Minister is long awaiting and the concept papers have changed hands so many times.

To release some tension, yesterday we decided to have staff gathering at the theaterette. For the management to meet with staff and for staff to voice grouses or concerns. The main agenda was to inform them of the department’s new structure, to give out awards for winners of the Recognition Program and to announce upgrading and confirmations. And most important, to have makan-makan after that. Nasi Tomato ordered from Che Dan will be the menu of the day.

Staffs have been talking behind our backs on the restructuring initiatives. Restructuring is not the correct word to use as it will scare a lot of people. Of course there will be worries, but staff should be honest with themselves and should be open to changes. Opinions were sought to reduce suspicions. The initiatives must be seen as a way of improvement to address some inefficiency. Structures and functions should be changed accordingly to jive with ever changing needs of the department and the industry and to keep abreast with new development globally.

I’m confident all of us could acclimatize to the new work culture without much hassle.

Wednesday, 29 June 2005

A broken friendship...

"True friends are always together in spirit..."

Growing up in the same Police flat in Wakaf Mek Zainab, Habsah's house was on the first floor and mine on the second, we never doubted our friendship would last forever. Habsah was my best friend and being the eldest she was the pride of her family. At that young age, Habsah was already looking after her siblings. She's good in almost everything, pretty and had a way with the elders. She's good in cooking, sewing, reciting the Quran and she's a model even in school. Habsah wore her hair long and always in her sarong or baju kurung. I on the opposite will don a tomboyish crew cut and always in my brother's hand-down rugged blue jeans and t-shirts. Habsah was matured and I was at that same age still childish and loved to fool around. We used to go to school and do things together, even study together for the exams. She was bright too. And at times, I wish I would not be compared to her by my Mak and Abah.

But after form 2, Habsah moved to another town and although still in the same school we slowly became estranged. I met with new friends who became my gang and Habsah became no longer important to me. We were just too different to be close like before. A year after, we went to different schools to continue our studies. Since then we never keep in touch with each other again.

Last year the advanced class in Mesjid Negara started with admission of combination of students from various classes. As there will be a lot of interactions in the class, we started the semester with introducing ourselves. This was when I met with Habsah again, after nearly more than 35 years. Even with the years passed by, Habsah is still pretty and I still remember the mole on her upper lip (macam tahi lalat Latifah Omar). Habsah is still the soft-spoken girl I used to know. Her father passed away when they were still in KB and she has been taking care of her mother and siblings. After marrying off her brothers and sisters, she's now still single and looking after her ailing mother.

At first, the conversation between us was awkward, yet soon we both admitted that we missed each other. A few classes later, we became familiar again and quickly fell into our own habit of laughing and sharing confidence. We realized we are still as important to each other as ever.

Tuesday, 28 June 2005

Privacy is dead...

“Our story has three parts: a beginning, a middle, and an end..."
I found that out at my Club. I've been going to the Sauna and Steam Room there almost every two weeks for the past years, as has another woman I often see. Her timing and routine is almost the same as mine. On the bicycle for 10-15 minutes. Shower and in the Sauna for 15 minutes then the Steam Room for another 15 minutes then shower again. Some days, if I have time to kill, I’ll have a dip in the Jacuzzi.

Most days we simply greet each other with a friendly 'Hai, how are you'. Recently, however, she distrupted the routine.

She first started with small conversations and as the days gone by she started to tell me of her life story and asked me about mine, which I don’t talk quite freely with strangers. At times I find her friendliness is quite intrusive as if demanding that I stop what I'm doing or thinking and deal with her in a way that others do not. When she starts talking, I lose valuable precious time.

In the Sauna or the Steam room, even with some other friends around me, I like to be left alone to entertain irrelevant personal thoughts, some can be inspirational. These thoughts are sometime thinking about problems and solutions. Sometime daydream plans emphasizing on nothing in particular. Some are days of nostalgia, attempting to recall things that happened to me in my childhood, during my younger days, my first best friend, my first date, and my first love… each memory recalled in as much detail as I can muster.

Dear lady, the next time I am in the Sauna or in the Steam Room, if you sit down next to me and I immediately stand up and move somewhere else, it doesn't mean your breath is foul or anything; it just means I don't want another human next to me at that time. You may think that I am either a shy person or a misanthropic. Take your pick. But I really need my privacy.

Sunday, 26 June 2005

Legend of the Dark Knight...

“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for..."

This morning when I woke up, I was still groggy from lack of sleep but need to get ready as I had made plans with some friends. Iwan was still asleep on the sofa in the Study and he will only wake up when he’s hungry. Sara was not at home. The past two nights, She has gone for a sleepover at Nini’s place with some of her goonies. She’ll only be back in the afternoon.

The rest of the day I spent time with Sara and Iwan. I cancelled my appointment at the Spa and went to 1-Utama with the kids to have lunch at Laksa Shacks. Bought us tickets for the 9 o’clock show tonight. Batman Begins explores the origins of the Batman legend and the Dark Knight's emergence as a crusader who uses his strength, intellect and an array of high tech deceptions to fight the sinister forces that threaten the Gotham City.

Friday, 24 June 2005

Men are like .....

“If I'd observed all the rules I'd never have got anywhere.” - Marilyn Monroe

Laxatives ..... They irritate the crap out of you
Bananas .... The older they get, the less firm they are
Weather ... Nothing can be done to change them
Blenders ... You need One, but you're not quite sure why
Chocolate Bars .. Sweet, smooth, & they usually head right for your hips
Commercials .... You can't believe a word they say
Department Stores ... Their clothes are always 1/2 off
Government Bonds ... They take soooooooo long to mature
Mascara .... They usually run at the first sign of emotion
Popcorn .... . They satisfy you, but only for a little while
Lava Lamps ... Fun to look at, but not very bright
Parking Spots ....... All the good ones are taken, the rest are handicapped...

Thursday, 23 June 2005

Encasing the rainforest...

“Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them...” - A.A. Milne

I am keen at gardening but I am not a good gardener.

My water garden is becoming more and more of a problem especially if I need to be away from home a week or two. My garden had to be made as maintenance free as possible. It had to be a garden where, if it weren’t touched for a couple or more weeks, it wouldn't really be noticed.

Last month, when Sara and I were window-shopping, we saw something unique and interesting being displayed in one of the shops. They were selling terrariums, tightly closed clear glass containers for growing and displaying plants that do not normally thrive well in normal home atmosphere.

So I bought me a miniature greenhouse, a self-contained eco-system containing dwarf palm trees, pitcher plants, creepers and jungle ferns. I do not have to water the plant daily and hopefully my mini garden will not produce weeds or brambles. The miniature garden has a very therapeutic view that relaxes my eyes and eases my mind. I’d placed it on the discussion table in my office and it becomes a conversation piece, and the envy of my colleagues.

Wednesday, 22 June 2005

An event-filled week...

“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation...” - Brigham Young

This week beginning Monday promises to be the most eventful so far this year for us, in conjunction with the 30th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Islamic Development Bank. The meeting will be held from 20-24 June at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre. At the same venue, with 6 other agencies, we are participating in an exhibition showcasing the development of Malaysia as an integrated Islamic financial hub, as part of the MITI-OIC Trade Exhibition.

While from Wednesday 22 June, the 2-day Investors' Conference and exhibition entitled "Malaysia: An Investment Destination" will be held at the newly-completed Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre adjacent to the PETRONAS Twin Towers, together with a Shariah Scholars Dialogue. On 22 June also, a Seminar on the 10-year Master Plan for the Islamic Financial Services Industry, organised by the Kuala-Lumpur based Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) will be held at Putrajaya Marriot Hotel. Finally, an Islamic Derivatives Seminar will be held on Friday 24 June at the Auditorium, followed by an Orientation Day on Saturday for the new scholars.

For the department, we have mobilized staff for the exhibition and counter services to promote and market the sale of IDB commemorative coins and also the Kijang Emas. Another team was busy with the preparation for the launching of the IDB coins by the PM during the Gala Dinner at the Palace of the Golden Horses tomorrow night.

Monday, 20 June 2005

KK - Buah Salak Bitter aftertaste...

“Not until we are lost do we begin to find ourselves...”

After a late breakfast we checked out and took the shuttle bus to Centre Point and to the Philippines Market to buy a couple more crystal bracelets and a few kilo of buah salak. I love to eat this fruit although it has a kind of bitter aftertaste. Back at the hotel, we retrieved our luggage and took a cab to the airport. Didn’t manage to upgrade hubby's ticket, as the flight was full. Once we checked in, we solat at the surau and later had a light lunch at one of the airport cafĂ©.

Our flight was delayed for almost an hour. We took the ERL to KL Sentral and later got on the Komuter to office to fetch our car. On the way home stopped at 7-eleven to tapau Nasi Daging Salai for Sara. After a refreshing shower and a good dinner with Sara, I rested my tired body on the sofa and fell into a deep slumber.

I had a wonderful weekend yang. I wish it’d never end...

Sunday, 19 June 2005

Kudat - The tip of Borneo...

‘Travel not to escape life, but so life don’t escape you…’

Kota Kinabalu'

Today we decided to rent a car to go to Kudat, a town situated at the northern end of Sabah and not visited by many tourists. We started from Kota Kinabalu quite late and after 2-hour drive passing scenic countryside, rubber estates, paddy fields, and water buffaloes wallowing in the mud, and Kadazan Villages we reached Kota Belud before noon. The town is located in very nice surroundings but the town itself has lost some of its attraction. However the town is home to the Tamu, the largest Sunday Market where hundreds of stalls displaying their goods. If we come early in the morning, we could see activities at this vibrant open-air market and witness how its multi-ethnic groups of Bajau, Kadazan, Rungus, Chinese and Malay gather to exchange gossips and to trade live buffaloes, goats, chickens, local fruits, food, handicrafts and local hand-made pottery souvenirs. I bought a few crystal bracelets, which cost much cheaper than the Philippines Market in Kota Kinabalu.

On the way we thought of stopping at the Rungus Longhouses, one of the most famous and interesting Bavanggazo longhouse near Kudat. The Rungus are a sub-tribe of the Kadazan/Dusun indigenous ethnic group. They are found only in the Kudat and Bengkoka Peninsula in the Northern tip of Borneo and are descendants of Austronesian stock. They would almost certainly qualify as a rare tribe. However interesting, we put off the idea of visiting the longhouses as we could not estimate the distance to the place and would not want to waste time unnecessarily on the unfamiliar road.

We reached Kudat late afternoon and stopped for solat at the mosque. Shared a plate of mihun for lunch and went for a quick drive around town. On the way back to Kota Kinabalu we turned into a junction for a journey to the Tip of Borneo. And to reach the tip we had to drive on a 6 km long, bumpy, rocky and rough road. All in all, the journey was well worth it because the serenity of the sandy white beach and the waves and.... basically the view was beyond words itself as it was jaw dropping! A large world globe inscribing ‘Welcome to the Tip of Borneo’ greeted us. We tried climbing down to the tip but were careful not to trip. On the right side of the tip is the Sulu Sea and on the left of the tip is the South China Sea. The view is magnificent especially during the sunset. The place reminds me of the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa (1996), the southern tip of Africa and the Copa de Roca in Portugal (2001), the most south-western tip of Europe.

For those who never heard of this place, the Tip of Borneo is one of the must go and visit destination in the world…

Saturday, 18 June 2005

KK - Islands hopping...

“Traveling is not about the places you go to. It’s about the people you meet there..."

Kota Kinabalu'

We were up and ready early after a deep and restful sleep last night. After a heavy breakfast, we took the shuttle bus to the ferry terminal at the Marina Club and joined a bunch of Mat Sallehs for a full BBQ tour to Manukan and Mamutik islands. We took a boat first to Mamutik and spent much of the morning snorkeling amongst the beautiful and colourful tropical fish you could imagine. Some of them would approach boldly and we could almost seize them in our hands. And sometimes they would bite. Though the reefs are not as beautiful or as colorful as the one in Tioman, we saw a barrage of brightly colored fish swimming right in our face and saw a few unique corrals too. While we were snorkeling, he swam in the shallow water and trodden on a sea urchin, whose spines had gone into his heel and pierced his skin very painfully.

Later we were transported to the Manukan Island, which is one of the 5 islands that make up the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Marine Park just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu. We had a filling BBQ lunch and Durian ice cream for dessert. Most of the group went snorkeling again, the rest of us found nice spots to lie down. The day was bright, the beach beautiful. A conducive moment to stretch and have a long relaxing nap.

We took the last island ferry back to mainland. Rested a while in the hotel room. Went to Plaza Merdeka for a full body massage and later had Ikan Bakar for dinner at one restaurant in the middle of town.

Friday, 17 June 2005

KK - Rested weary mind...

“Travel is joy in the silent and awake...” - R. Coltejer

I had late breakfast alone this morning. The whole morning was spent discussing on service level of outsourced agents and the outcome of the audit. After a short exit meeting, I went back to hotel to checkout. I left my luggage in the hotel and went for lunch with a friend and a round of foot reflexology at the Merdeka Plaza.

Later took a cab to Sutera Harbor. Earlier this week, Linda had already booked a room at Sutera Harbor Magellan Wing for 3 nights. Hubby and I have not made specific plans for the weekend but we are going to have an enjoyable holiday together.

Hubby boarded the 6.45 p.m. flight from KLIA and will reach KK after 10 p.m. While waiting for him, I indulged myself in a hot lingering and relaxing bath and listened to calm soothing music.

Thursday, 16 June 2005

KK - Surprised Audit...

“To travel is to learn to love things we still don’t know they exist...” 

Kota Kinabalu'

I had a hearty breakfast and took a cab to the KK office. They were surprised to see me but they were already informed to expect a surprise visit from the HQ twice a year. There was a short briefing by the Manager and for the rest of the morning the Custodians and the ACO accompanied me to check on inventory and observe operations. We had a good discussion with the Senior Executives and Security Chief before we break for lunch.

I had Dim Sum lunch with the Branch Manager at the Chinese Restaurant. We discussed a lot of issues during lunch and a lot touching on his responsibilities and priorities. We went back to office late and continued with some work. Before they close for the day, I checked the day-end balancing at the counter as well as in the processing room.

Night came an hour earlier here. I had dinner at J's house and she sent me back to the Hotel later. Spent the rest of the night finishing the story book I brought to keep me occupied.

Wednesday, 15 June 2005

KK - Half-yearly visit...

 “Let the world change you. Then, you can change the world.”

This morning we woke up bright and early and had breakfast at home.

The Section Head meeting discussed on outstanding issues and I asked to be excused early, as I need to catch my flight. Hubby fetched me at noon. We had lunch at the food court at KL Sentral and later we kissed goodbye and I boarded the ERL to KLIA. I'm going to miss him for a while and will be seeing him in KK on Friday night.

I had time to solat at the surau in the Golden Lounge and met a lady from the Department of Statistics and we exchanged name cards. The flight to KK took more than 2 hours and I had someone to fetch me at the airport. We stopped at the seaside warong to buy me some dinner. I don't feel like going out once I checked in The Hyatt Regency.

Tuesday, 14 June 2005

Broken dreams...

“The nicest thing for me is sleep, then at least I can dream…” - Marilyn Monroe

Dawn breaks ... Another day awaits me,
In this lonely life I call my own,
A cruel delay frustrates me
As I struggle to face this world alone

Let words once said & tears long shed
Abide within my heart,
I have known the pain of love in vain
Of pledges long forgotten.

So fragile is the line of sharing, of caring
That I’ve build with honesty & trust
Why Oh why ...
Do dreams turn to dust?

Thoughts by Katie

Monday, 13 June 2005

Unexploited talents...

“A man’s mind grows narrow in a narrow place..." - Samuel Johnson

Iwan came home last night and watched the F1 till the wee hours and ended up sleeping with us in the Study. I had woken up before 6. I started from home in the heavy rain and anxious to be in office early to learn about the outcome of PM’s meeting with the Management on Saturday. I was summoned to the meeting on IDB side events, which was rescheduled earlier by the Corporate Services Department. My team quickly updated me on the IDB commemorative coins and launching preparations.

But when I got to the meeting, it didn't take long to sense that there was a palpable aura of tension. I couldn't put my finger on it, but one thing was obvious, there was no sense of a team here. They were a group of talented individuals, doing everything they could to get ahead and crawl over each other. But what surprised me most was the kind of work they did. Substandard and superficial. They were supposedly talented, and I got the impression they work hard. What surprised me about them was that they didn't seem to have moved ahead much since the last time we met.

Sunday, 12 June 2005

Heart-to-heart talk...

“Sometimes to face your future you have to let go of your past...”

It was a gloomy day outside when I woke up, and I stayed in bed for a long time, thinking of what was happening. I had been sleeping for a few hours, exhausted by the activities and emotions of last night... it had been undeniably hellish.

Late afternoon, Sara and I went to visit Ja in the hospital. Most probably he will be discharged tomorrow. When we arrived, he was resting and looked bored. Ja and I had a very long talk. We seldom have the chance to talk to each other like this before. And when we had, we were like planets in separate orbits, not able to communicate with each other at all.

Besides talking about his health problem we discussed about his future. He was sensible in his analysis of the situation. I suggested he go on about his life, use the time well, and see if he wanted to go back to study. I thought it might be a great opportunity to explore new avenues to express his talents.

There are so many things he can do. He confided that he had always wanted to look for permanent job or go for study together with his girlfriend. It sounded as though he has some serious thinking to do after this. Everything he described about how he felt, about not being cared or loved, sounded dreadful. For me to be able to talk to him like this had been like a gift from heaven.

Urogenital trouble...

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams...” - Eleanor Roosevelt

Ja was napping in the Study when we came home from the spa. I heard him mumbled about tummy ache or something before he rushed out on his motorbike. Sara and I were about to have our hotdog dinner when I received a call from Dr Fatimah from the clinic. There was urgency in her voice and asked me to come to the clinic to fetch Ja. He's in great pain and in no position to ride the bike to the hospital. When I reached the clinic Ja was sprawled on the bench, clutching his tummy. Talked to the doctor and she told me of her initial diagnosis of suspected appendicitis and has not given Ja any shots or painkiller. She has written a referral letter to Hospital Selayang.

We left Ja's bike at the clinic and brought him to Emergency Unit where he was checked in for further urine and blood tests. I saw a few of his brotherhoods hanging around. The words must have gone out to his close friends. While waiting, we ate our soggy, cold hotdogs and tried to read storybooks to relax worried minds. Earlier, I sms his Abah in Hongkong to inform of the situation. I relayed the news as neutral as possible as I don't want him to panic either.

The full result for the test would take a while and Ja was worried about his bike at the clinic. Told him that we will bring the bike home and I need to bring a shawl or sweater to the Hospital, the waiting room was icy cold like a morgue. Sara drove the car and I rode his bike home. It has been a long time since I ride a motorbike. Although the distance is not that far it was quite tricky to ride on the main road especially when Ja's bike does not have side mirrors. Sara looked tired and sleepy so I left her at home and went back to the Hospital to be with Ja.

A couple of friends came over to keep me company for a while. Ja's girlfriend was also there with him. When the results were out they have a different diagnosis for Ja's pain. It was not appendicitis but something to do with twisted nerves or blood vessels to the scrotum. Scrotal swelling is quite common according to the doctor and may occur in both boys and adults. Majority cases are not serious and can be easily treated. The doctor suggested a small operation to correct the problem before it becomes serious and may affect fertility and a lot more other problems later on. We also sought second opinion from another doctor. Ja was told about the risks of leaving the problem as is. It may recur any time later.

Somehow operation seems to scare Ja and he decided not to undergo the surgery. According to him, a friend of his experienced the same problem and has take alternative medication and goes for traditional massage. I tried to coax him but my Ja is a stubborn boy. Even a call from his Abah couldn't talk him into it. We argued with Ja but no amount of persuasion can changed his already set mind. At the end, all of us become so frustrated and let Ja decided his own fate and take the risks. Without going for surgery, the doctor advised for a 48-hour observation period so Ja has to be warded for a day or two.

I stayed for a while with Ja and when they moved him to the ward I went for a much-needed drive to release some uneasiness in my heart. I drove around for a while for a breeze of fresh air to clear my worried mind. The calls from Hong Kong brought mixed reactions, I felt dear hubby's existence so near to me yet he's so far. I know he would want to be with me at times like this. He knows how helpless I would be without him. It is too much to bear alone.

Saturday, 11 June 2005

A date with Dewi Sri...

“I have decided to stick to love... Hate is too great a burden to bear.” - Martin Luther King Jr.

(Tradional oil massage)

Went with Sara to Cak Tailor to send some blue jeans that badly need repair.

Then off to Plaza Damas for our appointment at Dewi Sri Spa at 3.30 p.m. Earlier we grabbed a bite of cheese rolls from Bread Talk and had ice-blended coffee at the Star Buck to fill our tummies. A group of ladies just completed their treatment sessions so we were straight away ushered to our room for a two-hour luxurious relaxing traditional massage.

Before we headed home, we stopped at the super-market for some provisions and bought me a terrarium at Urban Nature.

Friday, 10 June 2005

Emotions unleashed...

 “The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected…” - Nicholas Sparks
Driving in the rain of June, the travel home from office took forever. It was so dark it looked like it was already night. The traffic was heavy and sometimes came to a standstill. And as I leaned my head back against the headrest and closed my eyes, I felt as bleak as the weather all around me. Hubby will be flying to Hong Kong tonight. He sms from the airport before boarding the 7 o'clock flight.

This morning when we kissed goodbye I knew I'm going to miss him again. It seemed incredible for me to still feel these feelings after all these years. It was more than just that, it was the complicated world of emotions and needs. It was the entire small, inexplicable, tiny little subtleties that make me love him so much, even when I wish I shouldn't...

Monday, 6 June 2005

Langkawi - Moment in time...

“I have wandered all my life, and I have also traveled…”

We woke up late again and missed breakfast. After Nasi Lemak breakfast at the warong, we drove to the beach and stayed there for a while. Stopped at the one- and-only shopping complex for a light lunch and went window-shopping. Bought t-shirts and trinkets for Sara and Ja. Our ferry, which was supposed to leave at 3 o’clock, was slightly delayed.

The traffic to KL was smooth. We stopped at R&R Gurun for tea and later at Tapah for dinner. We completed watching the Exorcist and Residence Evil DVD on the way. Reached home around 11 p.m.

I’d a wonderful weekend together and enjoyed our holiday so very much…

Sunday, 5 June 2005

Langkawi - A leisure vacation...

“The difference between the wander and travel is that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfilment…”

We woke up late. The rental car, which was supposed to be delivered to us around 10 a.m. has not arrived. After several phone calls, they promised to send the car around noon. We walked to a nearby warong for Nasi Gulai for breakfast. While waiting for the car, went to some shops to look for nothing in particular.

We drove around the island the whole afternoon, stopping at the Telaga Tujuh and Cable Car Station for light lunch. Later, we drove to Pantai Cenang to see the new holiday complex. The location is quite strategic and most probably we’ll have our private beach too. There will be opportunity for more staff to come for holiday in Langkawi as the complex has a multi-purpose hall, two bungalows and four chalets. I think among all the holiday resorts owned by our organization, the Langkawi holiday resort is the best so far.
At one of the reflexology outlet, we went for an hour of relaxing full body massage to stimulate blood circulation and firm pressures at appropriate stress areas help promote self-healing. Later at night, a long luxurious hot bath helped relax tired muscles and a prologue to a satisfying deep and restful slumber.

Saturday, 4 June 2005

Clandestine island retreat...

“A few years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do...”


We started from home at 1 p.m. The traffic was heavy with a few accidents and heavy rain along the hi-way contributing to the slow crawl. We reached Kuala Kedah Jetty quite early, enough time to board the 7 o’clock ferry. The journey took more than an hour and we had opportunity to have a short nap. A cab sent us to Kondo Istana and we had dinner at the nearby warong first before we checked in the penthouse.

The 4-bedroom apartment was too big for the two of us. I wish the kids were here with us but they have their own plans for the weekend. Sara and her gang are going to Alamanda and later plan to sleep over in UPM. Iwan has to prepare and submit his final project paper by next week. As for Ja, he has been avoiding talking to me ever since I refused to let him use the car. As always, he would rather spend time gallivanting with his brotherhoods rather than spend the weekend with us.

For now, there's only the two of us. We are going to enjoy the holiday, lay back and relax. Free our minds of work and worries, an opportunity to unwind and revitalise.

Little fishes in the pond...

“What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable?” - John Green'

This morning I tried my hands on some gardening.

The plants look so pathetic, and most need repotting. The pond needs some cleaning too as the water looks so murky. My hungry little fishes were swimming energetically trying to catch my attention, hoping to get some food. It has been a while since I clean the water and I could see some biological activities creeping wildly in the pond. Lately, without the help of the water pump, which has been purposely removed, green slimy vegetation has invaded the pond. If this problem is not resolved, it is very likely that the fishes will eventually die. The slimy greenish algae can remove all the oxygen from the water and suffocate my three little fishes.

Even the water fountain is clogged up by green moss. Instead of a steady flow of water, the fountain trickles like a sore leak. The fountain, if functioning properly, could create a soothing tranquil background sound and helps to aerate water to keep the pond clean and clear. I thought water gardening is simplicity in itself but I guess I need to get help or some practical advice from the pro.

Thursday, 2 June 2005

Stands equal chance...

“A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.” - Leonardo da Vinci

I saw a memo submitted by Malaysian Retailers Association to the Ministry to address the perceived shortages of 1 sen coins. The fact is that shortage problem would be compounded once GST/VAT is implemented in 2007. Malaysia like Singapore or New Zealand, could live without the 1 sen coins. Moreover, it costs more than 1 sen to mint each 1 sen coin.

Someone should look at the suggestion to legalize rounding of prices to nearest 5 sen for cash transactions. The proposal is to round down in consumers’ favor if the final tally contains 1 sen, 2 sen, 6 sen or 7 sen and rounding up in the retailers’ favor if the final sum contains 3 sen, 4 sen, 8 sen and 9 sen. Both the customer and retailers stand an equal chance of gaining or losing a maximum of 2 sen on each transaction while using one sen pricing for all goods and services.

Personally, I seldom take the 1 sen change from the cashier. For some retailers, to place a charity box next to the cashier’s counter is a noble idea. At least an avenue for the retailers to exchange the 1 sen with other denominations and reuse the 1 sen for their transactions and for consumers to donate their 1 sen and niat as sedekah…

Wednesday, 1 June 2005

Government intervention...

“The planet is fine. The people are fucked...” - George Carlin

We woke up late but still have time for breakfast at home before we headed to office. On the way called office to inform that I'll be late. Luckily the 9 o'clock meeting was postponed. Linda was on leave and my appointments and meetings were a little haywire. I think I am too dependent on her and become unorganized when she's not around.

Our deal with Indonesia was not going too well and need intervention from the right authorities. Beurocracy and what nots! Met with Che Din and a rep from Kontena National to agree on authority letters and Commercial invoices to facilitate entry of goods into Indonesia. Most probably they need more than papers to speed up the process.