Saturday, April 30, 2011

Facing A Difficult Situation Requires Inner Strength

It is amazing how I have been able to face the challenges that come my way at this stage of my life, when I thought that retirement is a breeze. I retired in the year 2000 and then put in another five years as Member of the Public Service Commission whose job is recruitment of young and not so young hopefuls who are keen to be public servants or in plain language, to become Government Servants.

Since the end of last year I have been plying up and down the highway from Kuala Lumpur or precisely from Petaling Jaya every weekend to Seremban to take up my duty as the eldest son in my family to look after my father who is in frail health and who had been in and out of hospitals for more than a decade. He is now going to be 91 years old this coming August. We had a helper to assist in looking after him before but the last one bolted away and we felt that enough is enough, so we did away with looking for a helper to assist my sister who is the one taking care of my father. My other two siblings chipped in to take over my place whenever possible.

But so far I had experienced a trying time not only helping to care for the elderly but am facing another problem at hand with regard to my youngest son who is struggling to complete his course in medicine in Ireland.

Recently he had to repeat his fourth year as he had not been able to cross the hurdle in his exams and assignments. My eldest son flew over last September to find out what was the problem and managed to put him back on track and I negotiated with his sponsor for the continuation of his sponsorship, who fortunately allowed him to repeat.

However I learned recently that he had again stumbled even before the exams started in a week's time from now, and quickly got in touch with officer on the spot to keep me posted on the situation. At the same time an effort is made to get some assistance on traditional platform from an Ustaz in Seremban who had the experience in treating students who were facing similar situation now and in the past. If this is another trial and tribulation that I and my family is being faced with, an ingredient which is critical to have is the patience and forebearance and level headedness to render whatever help we can to have him back on his feet again. Thus inner strength is the factor essential to see us through the difficult times. I only supplicate to ALLAH that we could go through this trying period with grace and calmness and hope that ALLAH shall bestow His Mercies and Blessings to see that we shall overcome the situation with steadfastness, InshaALLAH.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Old Friends

Today my two old friends when I was in Lower School KGV Seremban came to visit my father at KPJ Seremban. It was way back in the 50's and we were in the Special Malay class which was the equivalent of the Remove class today. After more than half a century we are still close as if we were in Mrs. Chong's or Mrs. Mc Coy's class. We went back to the good old days when the school was like the centre of the world for us, especially who had stayed at the Malay Boy's hostel which was just across the road and connected to the KGV School by a short tunnel.

Harith and Malek are of course bosom friends since they were the school sportsmen unlike me who just cheered from the sidelines. However I left for the RMC then known as the FMC after form Three. I proceeded to University of Malaya after RMC but they went to work in PD at the oil refineries after their Cambridge School Certificate. We were reminiscing about our classmates and also our schoolmates in KGV.Malek later became a contractor and Harith joined the oil and gas industry after he left as a technician with Esso Refinery in PD. I told Malek that he taught me singing the tune 'Melody Dunmore' and I won the class talentime crooning that song. Malek is an all round Jack of all trades but master of none, while Harith sticked on to be a technical man right till now where he lends his expertise in technical aspects of O & G business as a consultant. The surprising thing is that Malek is now bent on market gardening, and he is engrossed in planting all sorts of vegetables and greens on a ten acre plot in Ampangan. Recently I visited him at his vegetable farm and I came home with some fresh brinjals and chillies. I told Malek, it is his fate that he is still busy as ever and this time as a farmer. I am indeed blessed for having them as friends even though we are now grandfathers already. May Allah Bless our continued friendship and enjoy the comradeship in a complete cycle of our life on this planet.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Aura of The Keris

It is common knowledge that the Keris is the symbol of Malay heritage. But it also reflects the aura of the owner,which I discovered last night when Ustaz Shahrom had a look at my two keris one of which I inherited from my maternal grandfather and the other which my wife took from her late father.

It was out of curiosity that I took them along to make sure that they are free from any problem. There have been many legends surrounding the majesty of the Keris in Malay folklore,especially in Hikayat Hang Tuah, where the Keris Taming Sari is reputed to give special powers to whomever owns it. But looking at it from the religious viewpoint it is ' Syirik ' to believe in such things. Notwithstanding the tendency to indulge into the wrong side of the matter, the Malays had been known to practice many things which were inherited from their past cultural inheritance without batting of an eyelid.

What intrigues me most is that the Ustaz refused to keep my Keris for safekeeping because he had the experience of losing his client's Keris when his car was broken into. And he also asked me whether I had been taught by my Guru Silat as how to look after it. When I told him what I was asked to do like smoking the Keris with incense every Thursday night, he commented that there is no need for it to be done.According to him one must have the know how in order to keep the Keris in good order. He told me to clean it with lime that could easily bought from the market.

In the days of the feudal Sultans and nobles, the Keris is the equivalent of the side arms. It was unthinkable not to be without it as it was the symbol of one's personality and the person is ready to use it if challenged. To me I shall keep it as a reminder of my roots. My grandfather was a local Chief who formed what is known as 'Tiang Balai' and as Dato' Dagang Paroi, he was also tasked with the authority of overseeing the miners in his jurisdiction. Therefore this was once one of the symbols of authority and power to adjudicate should problems arise. It is the aura of the person who possessed it. So be it.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Fallen Tree

Yesterday 23 April at about 5pm a huge tree probably more than 30 years old fell on to the road a few houses away from mine in a freak storm and hit the power line across it thus throwing the neighbourhood into darkness almost till midnight.

Fortunately there were no cars passing by during the incident as it is very close to the junction going out to the main thoroughfare leading to one of the most busy four-way junction controlled by a computer assisted traffic lights, in Kelana Jaya which once used to be the biggest roundabout in the Petaling District in Selangor.

I only came to realise it when my eldest son arrived to fetch my wife to go to Hartamas housing area near Mont Kiara. My neighbour in front of my house said he was driving in Petaling Jaya during the storm and there were many old trees suffering the same fate and the MBPJ emergency response team must have been kept very busy indeed. The TNB crew arrived about half an hour after the storm stopped and a recce party arrived to assess the damage when I was just outside my gate and talking to Renny Cheong.

I suppose the MBPJ crew was busy elsewhere and could not come to remove the fallen tree who blocked the entrance to Jalan SS3/94 thus making many drivers to turn around as the road is used as short-cut from University Garden going to Taman Megah and Taman Bahagia.Many parents also had to take a different route in order to fetch their children from the Sri Permata Secondary School nearby.

As experience had taught me in the past, I have my emergency lights on a standby and it came to good use during this power blackout. The TNB repair team had to remove the fallen tree whose trunk had become weak due the rot taking place and since the house in which it is in has been turned into an office, nobody was around during the freak storm and thus the security guards who manned the entry into the neighbourhood just a few feet away must have thanked their lucky stars that it missed them by a close shave.

Since the damage on the power line was extensive and also it brought down the street lighting pole across the road, it was long just before midnight, power was thereby restored much to the relief of the people in the neighbourhood. What baffled me was that the fallen tree was just beside a stump of a tree trunk which must have been deliberately cut down years ago and the owner did not bother to cut down the wild acacia tree next to it or he must have thought that it is better for it to go down on it's own. The fence also is currently breached and should anyone wants to steal the portable garden furniture it could easily be done. To me the fallen tree is an analogy of a diseased State brought down easily by nature because the caretaker allowed the rot to eat at the very base which holds it firmly to the ground. Neglect and "Tidak Apa" attitude caused the downfall of a State which is eaten away by the rot, this time it starts from the base, unlike the fish where the rot starts from the head.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Silat, The Malay art of Self Defence

I learned the Silat which is a form of an art of self-defence from an exponent in the sixties when I was a student. My teacher was then working at Rasah Camp which was started by the British and handed over to the Malaysian armed forces upon independence. At that time I was staying at the government quarters in Channer Road, Seremban. I still continued the lessons when my father was transferred to Port Dickson.

However I stopped attending the lessons after completion of the training and deemed to have graduated and was given a token in the form of "Wafak" which should be worn when necessary. The Silat which is taught by my Guru, who died more than twenty years ago had many followers, and I was informed even Tan Sri Sanusi Junid was also one of the students when he was working in the Standard Chartered Bank in Seremban then.

As time passed by I lost touch with the movements and had forgotten the art, until recently when I was told by an ustaz that what I had learned was good to serve a certain purpose before, but the consequences of the action would only be seen in the detrimental effects whom one does not realise till much later. Thus I had to do something about it and had to perform certain things in order to severe the pact which the Guru might not have done unconsciously. This is something which is I did not expect rather late in my life whereby I had to perform a sort of " cleansing" process in order to break the pact and thus freeing myself from undesirable influences of the supernatural forces. The lesson derived here ought to remind others that a strength can be a weakness over a period of time and one must always be on guard and avoid the unnecessary complications very much in later life.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The DD M.A.Bhd, AGM.

Yesterday 17 April our family Company had it's second AGM since its incorporation, in Seremban. The attendance was fair though the notice was sent to all shareholders in accordance to the law. This time I awaited the coming of the AGM as it is my first as the Adviser as well as a shareholder. What made it more interesting is the sparks I was expecting from one of the Director's who failed to turn up for the previous Board meetings thrice without valid reasons.

However he did not show up but still his name was up for the AGM to consider his re-election. Before the voting, I raised my objections as to his lack of commitment and his failure to fulfill his fiduciary duty, and his re-election was expectantly rejected by the shareholders. I am thankful to my relatives who mostly are unschooled in corporate governance, but knew what integrity is all about.

Another aspect of corporate governance which fortunately is present in the AGM is that I had picked my cousin who is a successful businessman and well educated and most important of all is his trustworthiness in managing the company as Chairman. Without this essential ingredient he would have just followed the wind and the whims of certain quarters who were merely intent in squeezing the company's reserves. May the next AGM brings forth better returns for all and every member of the Family Company.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I am back

One of the most important thing that I missed for a long time is updating my blog. Now I have a new toy to play with in the form of an iPad given to me as a gift from my family members. It means so much to me because otherwise my blog would be full of cobwebs.

With just a few words to say how much I miss being in touch with my fellow blogger buddies, I am delighted to be able to continue this journey. After all life is short, and we would not know whether we are going to be around tomorrow or day after.

I supplicate to Allah Almighty that I am able to continue this blog for some time to come.