Monday, 29 December 2008

I will not forget you, auspicious 2008

Goodbye, auspicious 2008. U have been a wonderful companion for me. I'll never forget what had happened throughout the times u were around. It all started when i decided to let everything go. Before i came to know u...i really had a bad life, infact the worse. Bcoz of u, i get to know, how to let to put aside and to start anew.

When i first embrace ur presence, i told myself, i'm gonna be someone better, someone new. With ur help, i managed to change myself. With ur presence, my life transformed. Miracles happened, love came, efforts were repaid.

Academics, i tot would end in regrets. Instead, i managed to get the best out of it, i din believe myself. For the 1st time and only once, and that was the last semester, i got dean's list. I never had the time for academics, as my time was given to everyone else.

An accident happened, i could have lost my life..thanks to Lord Buddha, i was saved by His blessings. Miracle happened, i escaped unscratched. But moments before, it could have been the last thing i remembered in life...the spinning of the car, the roll and impact, window shattered and flashes of memories in the past. I began to appreciate things even family, my friends, my companion...everything around me, my life.

Then came love, u gave me a new hope as i was giving up...u brought someone special to my life, someone who had taken away my heart. She was just perfect, and everything i needed. She gave me happiness in life, appreciation and spirit, motivation and determination. She became a companion where i finally can share my ups and downs with.

Friends u became, and friends u brought. As i was leaving campus, u showed me that i do have friends around. People who appreciated my presence, my help and my friendship. However, it was slightly too late as everyone are heading their own paths. But the moments spend with them, are unforgettable.

Happiness u brought to my family too, i get to be involved in a wedding i'll never forget. My only brother's a truly malaysian manner. A mixed culture wedding, though its not new, but its an everlasting memory. Happiness filled the air of my family.

But life is fair, u never let anyone go away with good things in life...u let me taste near death, u let me suffer loss, u let me embrace embarrasement. U brought down my ego, u put my heads low, and u let me suffer loneliness. I understand...bcoz u are just being fair. But i wonder, how fair it would be, when ur younger sister takes over from u soon. Now u r leaving me...soon, very soon. I hope ur sister would treat me just as nice, just like u, 2008. Ur older sister, 2007 treated me badly, but i understand...that she wanted me to change. Then u came, and i'd changed. What more can i ask from u? I just hope 2009 will teach me more, but not harshly. i will be a tough ride. Thanks for all that u've given me. I appreciate it, i treasure it. I'll never forget u, 2008. Goodbye and viva forever...

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry X'mas and Happy New Year!!

I would like to wish every one visiting this page, a wonderful and merry christmas...not to forget a wonderful new year as well!...I'll be back soon to blog again...enjoy your holidays!!

Monday, 15 December 2008

Za'ba RC- Chapter 1: Nama diabadikan...

Di sini bermulanya langkahku,
Menjunjung cita,
Perkasakan aspirasi negara,
Lahir generasi berjaya, bersemangat waja,
Kami berpadu, minda dicurah...
Akan kami sama buktikan,
Tuju kecemerlangan

Za'ba nama diabadikan,
Kolej menjadi kebanggaan,
Akan ku mahkota harapan,
Impian tradisi warisan...
Pelbagai rupa dan bangsa,
Hidup sejahtera,
Bersatu....bersama....Di Kolej Kediaman Za'ba...

Every year, around this time, where everyone else are at home, celebrating 'Dong Zhi' and Christmas, i would be at my 2nd home, Za'ba college. i used to be 1 of the first to come back during holidays and usually 1 of the last to leave. Not that i love the college so much, but i love the environment, the spirit of its residents and its tradition (although the facilities were quite outdated). During this time of the year, i would be busy practising Ethnic Creative Dance (Tarian Kreatif) for UM Festival of Performing Arts Competition, representing Za'ba RC (for all 3 years of undergraduate). We are famously and proudly known as Za'ba Dancers.

Top: Girls dancing by standing on top of guys (that's me!) in Lingkaran Hidup 2006
Bottom: Three men tier, bottom (me), 2nd level (Ah Guan), 3rd level (Wei Yee) in Kalong 2008

Top: Celebration after the dance, 2006, we're the Champions!
Bottom: Celebration with friends, 2008, 2nd runner up.

The moment i first heard the college song, (lyrics above) i felt a strong bond with it. I knew at that time, that this is the college, where i will build my foundation. And i knew as well, that this is gonna be the place where i'll face the brightest and darkest days of my campus life (or maybe i'm just bit different from others). How deep my bond to college, is indescribable with words. i would term it this way; if i were cut, i bleed Za'ba. It is that deep. At least for me, it is that DEEP.

To some, Za'ba RC is just a normal residential college. To most, especially ppl like me, Za'ba is a home. A home where all brothers and sisters, with different races live together as one. When one insults our college, the whole college will be all out to defend. It is THAT, that feeling i doubt i will find elsewhere. Some will opt to move out by 2nd year, but most will fight to stay. In their mind, they say i know in their heart, it's just the spirit. How do i know that? From their involvement in college projects and the will and heart they put, in making college project a success.

Some of the best photos of college project NVC (National Varsity Counselling).
Top: Just got down from plane in KK, Sabah.
Bottom: Makan-makan in Ranau.

Below 1st pic: The crowd during opening in Kuching.
Below 2nd pic: That's me giving counselling!

The day we left college, the final day, i remember, i was in tears...i know the 3 years when i was there, i've stamped a mark in that college (though i know, the current admin trying to wipe out my name in college) so does it stamped its mark in my heart. Friendship, life, organizing, family values, love....all these, i've learnt from this college. No doubt. i can still remember, every single moment i had in that college. I could still see the shadow of myself, what i was doing at every corner of the college; my rooms (A425, A305, A205), lobby, tennis court, IS, Balai Za'ba, basketball court, futsal court, BRP, adin kemas and peka rooms, girls block (ok, i only go in during open floor and spot checks, that also being accompanied by fellows).

i came to UM with a mindset, not on academic only...but life as well. As the saying goes, the best youth life is campus life. That's where we meet our true friends, our love, our reason for living. But how many share the same feeling as i do? How many would appreciate this chance? We come to uni only once in our lifetime...and that's it. You'll never get it back. We only appreciate things when they are gone, and even if you get them back, they would never be the same anymore.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

A Wet Weekend...

This is how i spend my weekend, a wet weekend...

Saturday, 13th Dec 2008
i went to my first live concert...coz i got free tickets:-
'Shi fen hong' Padang Timur, opposite Amcorp Building

My first concert...a wet one, look at how we had to take off our shoes on a wet field...

My friends that joined me...Poh Suan (left) and her hometown friend

Look at the crowd...still big crowd although after rain

Emil Chau, the artist to start off the concert

Next, Fan Wei Qi from Taiwan

Then, Vincy, Singaporean born Hong Kong artist...

...with a "V" balloon made for her by her fans, crazy!

Our local cantonese rappers...Manhand

Another local artist - Danny Wen Li Ming, not chinese educated, he's famous for the song Siapa...

Y2J, from Taiwan, created the blast of the nite with their powerful high key voices
But i hav to leave early from the concert, worried that i would miss the last lrt...
and there it goes, my first live concert...which i'd never planned to go, but not gonna waste free tickets

Sunday, 14th Dec 08
I went to watch Amnesty International Human Rights Day Celebration at Annexe, Central Market:-
Here i am, waiting for LRT...on a rainy day

Below are some of the art works in the exhibition that interests me...either from their pictures, or even their phrases...
"Real men don't rape"

Everyone has the right to live, the right to be educated, the right choose our own belief, the right to express...get to know ur rights...n fight for it.

That's how my weekend goes...quite 'syok'! woohoo

Sunday, 30 November 2008

South China Sea Conference 2008 - A step closer to protect the marine ecosystems

For the past week, I was away attending an international conference, South China Sea Conference organised by UM, together with MOSTI (Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovative) and MSMS (Malaysia Society of Marine Sciences). This conference is one step closer in creating transboundary and collaboration to protect one of the most diverse ecosystem, the South China Sea. It was held in Hyatt Regency, Kuantan from 25th til 28th November 2008.

I attended this conference with two mindsets...
1st: to present my work on corals on a poster.
2nd: to get more knowledge in scientific value on how to conserve the large marine ecosystem.

Expert scientists and researchers all over the world. From left: Ms Li Jianwei (China), Dr. Fadli Syamsudin (Indonesia), Dr. Tan Koh Siang (Singapore), Prof. Dr. Phan Siew Moi (UM), Dr. Kenneth Sherman (US), Prof. Vo Si Tuan (Vietnam), Dr. Koch Savath (Cambodia) and Abraham Sakili (the Phillipines).

This conference is big, as it was attended by bigshots around the world involved in marine protection, such as Dr. Kenneth Sherman (US), Director of National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, Dr. Vo Si Tuan (Vietnam), COBSEA project, Dr. Tan Koh Siang (Singapore), Dr. Yasuwo Fukuyo, Prof Phang Siew Moi (UM), Director of Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences and etc from all over the world including China, UK, US, the Phillipines, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea. I was proud to have joined this conference as I get to know what efforts have been made to protect marine ecosystem in this region.

I was excited as I get to present my poster in an international conference. It's an important value for a researcher as the more scientific paper published, the higher reputation you'll get. This is a start for me, as I had my poster presented. To add further excitement, there were competition for the best poster presentation. My team, including my well respected supervisor and only expert in Malaysian corals (I reckon so) Mr. Affendi Yang Amri, Badrul Huzaimi, Nikoo Cheheltani, Munira, Poh Leem, Jia Jie, Kok Wei, Faedz (didn't attend) had posters and oral presentation during that conference. And the great news is, our team won 2 out of 3 winners in poster presentation. Mr Affendi, and myself....both winning the biological category. It was my first time winning an award in an international conference (the first i attended as well)...and guess what, the judges are from overseas, so it shows that our work are on par with other U in the world.

My poster: Effect of Jetty Pillar Orientation on Scleractinian Corals

1st pic: That's me and my supervisor, Mr Affendi. 2nd pic: Posing with Mr. Affendi's poster, one of the winner of best poster awards.

Explaining to one of the judges, Prof Dang from Vietnam

En Ismail, National Coordinator for the Large Marine Ecosystem project

Prof Dr. Gareth Jones (UK) listening to my presentation on my work.

I hope that after this conference, more of the scientists in the world will collaborate with each other to share data and protect the world's largest ecosystem, the marine ecosystem. I hope one day, I'll be able to get involved actively in protecting this fragile ecosystem.

I would also like to acknowlegde Mr. Affendi, Prof Chong, my family and siblings, my project mates, my housemates and a very important person in my life, Kuan winning the best poster award. Thanks to all of ur support and assistance. I wouldnt have gotten the award if it wasn't because of all of you!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Oceanarium in Mabul - is it worth it?

I was shock to read the news in The Star few days ago, that there was a plan to build an oceanarium in Pulau Mabul. I personally feel that this idea is not just stupid but its worthless. The money use to build this oceanarium could have been used for a long term conservation. It was reported that a Japanese company would join venture to build so-called 'eco-friendly' building concept. Although the Japanese are very good with these eco-friendly projects, this is nothing but a project that will fail the environment.

It is also reported that the EIA have not been obtained, but this is not the point. Being an graduate in Ecology and Biodversity, and also a SCUBA diver, I know that the EIA report will not be able to stop these culprits from getting this project done. This is because, from my experience, after the original EIA report have been done, these culprits will alter and change the report accordingly before handing it to the authorities. Some of the suggestions in EIA report will not be followed but will be changed to suit their projects.

As a person who have personal interest in coral reef system, I find that building an oceanarium will not create more income in tourism. Foreign tourists came to Malaysia to see the originality and natural environment. If this oceanarium is being built, we will be wasting millions of ringgit. Some would be wasted on building the oceanarium, some would be losses due to the drop of tourists because more corals are being destroyed. Only a fool would believe, that corals can still be preserved while this project is on going. Corals are slow growing organisms, it took billions of years to reach such massive system. Moreover, Malaysia lies in the coral triangle, and Sabah being in the centre of the triangle. Coral triangle is where the highest coral diversity in the world is found. How can a country, with such high diversity, allow such projects to be approved? It shouldn't be in the plan at all! I have dived in Lahad Datu, somewhere near Sipadan island, and the corals there are already amazing. What more in Mabul and Sipadan?

I understand that development is important. We cant run away from it. However, development is necessary when it helps to reduce the burden of people. But this project, doesn't seem to make any difference in people's lifestyle. Infact it will disrupt the income of those who are depending on corals in Mabul. Some fishermen have already been doing damage to corals with illegal fishing, fish bombing, muro ami and etc. Now, with such a big project, the whole reef system in Mabul will be destroyed. Let us all put our hands together, and stop this nonsense from these selfish developers who only think of their profits.

"The earth belongs to our children, not our ancestors. It's time for us to return the earth back to them"

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Eddie's Wedding: The Mixed Malaysian Culture Detailed Story

On 6th Nov, the biggest day of my beloved and only brother, Eddie Lau, (now known as Fahim Lau) as he would wed his beloved Arnida Arsam. Their wedding is simply special, because they had a three day wedding celebration with a mixed ceremony of the Malay and Chinese culture.
The wedding started with a Malay culture of akad nikah and bersanding on the first day, at Arnida's house. I was involved directly as i'm Eddie's best man. It was started with sending the hantaran, where my cousins all the way from NZ were among the few to carry the hantarans. The akad nikah went well, Eddie managed to continued get thru the akad nikah just once. Both the bride and groom, looked gorgeous and stunningly attractive.
They looked even more matching and attractive when they came out with new set of clothes for bersanding. Then my family especially, managed to experience 'merenjis' for the very first time. 'Merenjis' is done by sprinkling water and placing flower petals on the hands of the bride and groom. It is done to bless the married couple.
The wedding is continued with Chinese tea ceremony the next day. According to the chinese custom, we can't see the bride and groom face to face before they enter the all of us, immediate family stayed in the house right til my bro and his wife step into the house. Then we also experience kid jumping and rolling on the groom's bed...believing that it will bring children to the couple. The ceremony continued with tea ceremony..."cam cha" to the elderly.
The last day, was the lunch reception. It was held at Community Centre in Bukit Damansara. It was a nice place and had a nice setup. The entourage of the couple arrived in a very grand manner, followed by kompang beats at the back. The couple and their immediate family had the honour of having lunch on high table, making them feeling like king n queen (That's where the Raja Sehari phrase comes from i guess, haha).
Being his brother, its a once in a lifetime experience to get involved in the ceremony. My family, have been waiting for such a long time for this moment to arrive. I would expected this day soon, however, not that soon. But nevertheless, I felt so happy and excited for my brother, as he has proven that pure Malaysian culture still lives on. A culture where Malay and Chinese were put together in on occasion. This should be the ideal concept for Malaysian not only today, but for as long as Malaysia exists. Never had i thought my family would practise the true Malaysian spirit...

*frustrated coz cant upload photo,duno what's the prob*

Friday, 7 November 2008

Eddie's Wedding - The Mixed Malaysian Culture

6 Nov - Akad Nikah and Bersanding

7 Nov - Tea Ceremony

8 Nov - Lunch Reception

On 6th Nov, the biggest day of my beloved and only brother, Eddie Lau, now known as Fahim Lau as he would wed his beloved Arnida Arsam. The wedding started with a Malay culture of akad nikah and bersanding on the first day, continued with a Chinese tea ceremony the next day. Being his brother, its a once in a lifetime experience to get involved in the ceremony. My family, have been waiting for such a long time for this moment to arrive. I would expected this day soon, however, not that soon. But nevertheless, I felt so happy and excited for my brother, as he has proven that pure Malaysian culture still lives on.

More detailed story will soon to come in this blog, as I now have only a short time to drop some words here.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Middles Rock Expedition (27th - 30th Oct 08)

I never thought that I would have the chance to be the first few ppl to dive in Middles Rock, after that area was given to Malaysia (and Malaysia lost Pulau Batu Puteh to S'pore). It was a risky trip, simply because of the time of the year where monsoon is hitting, and also it was spring tide where the current is very very strong. Some may think that this is crazy or some would say, "what do we have there? there 's nothing but just rocks". Well, u'll never know when u dont get down there to see it for urself. (Unfortunately, i have no photos at the moment as i have not collected from the underwater photographers that was with us).

Middles Rock (Batuan Tengah) is just south of Pulau Batu Puteh. There are two rocks, approximately 250m apart from each other and one being bigger than the other. There were not much biological information that can be found on Middles Rock (just try to Google it). The diversity of the Middles Rock, I would say is quite high (the data collected have not been analysed, so it's not justified at the moment). Based on the Reef Check system (which I was assigned to do), it shows that the coral system there is doing quite well despite of the high siltation. The size of the massive and boulder corals are damn huge! (some are bigger than me!) So we roughly know that the corals there were not very much disturbed yet (let's hope it will remain that way) and have existed for thousands, maybe even hundred thousands of years. Surprisingly, despite of the high diversity of corals, I din managed to spot big fishes (all <>

Friday, 10 October 2008

For you...

Some would reach for the brightest star,
Some would even be the brightest star,
Just to light you up,
But I know I don’t have to reach the stars,
Or even be the brightest one,
Just to light you up,
Simply because you are already the brightest star shinning,
Instead, I chose to be the dull moon,
So I can light you up whenever you are in the dark.

Some would promise you forever,
Some would even give you forever,
Just to make your life happy,
But I know I don’t have to promise you forever,
Or even give you forever,
Just to make your life happy,
Simply because you already have my forever,
Instead, I chose to give you today,
So I can make you happy everyday.

Some would run a thousand miles,
Some would even crawl a thousand miles,
Just to bring you their love,
But I know I don't have to run that far,
Or even crawl that far,
Just to bring you my love,
Simply because you are already my love,
Instead, I chose to give you my heart,
So you can keep my love with you...forever.

*This is dedidated to YOU, dear, as YOU were the one who inspired me...and gave me happiness, I never had in my life*

Sunday, 5 October 2008

7th CC in memory!...

I was listening to the songs in my laptop, and out of random, 7th CC song was being played. The song suddenly reminded me of my days in 7th college, and thus inspired me to share my experience here.

CC, in short for Chinese Community (now as Chinese Cultural Club) was a
community where the Chinese of 7th college organize activities based on cultural and celebration themes. Sometimes, v also hv some gatherings to celebrate (u knowlar, Malaysian Chinese always like to celebrate) say, seniors for convocation, seniors who are leaving college, or even juniors coming into college. It was kinda fun to have these activities that touches the heart. Of course, the existence of CC had caused some commotion among other races, sad to say, especially the Malays. I still dun understand, why they always question the existence of CC or even IC (Indian community) when they themselves have Balai Islam (and its religious). CC and IC activities have always been touching on culture, celebration and sometimes gathering for friends…no religious nor political agendas. Whenever we question back on Balai Islam but why not there’s CC and IC? They would always answer, “Perpecahan kaum”, or even said..Balai Islam is open for all but CC and IC are only for one race…(such a lame excuse).

I have this belief, “perpecahan kaum” doesn’t happen just because CC and IC existed. In fact, having CC was even an easier platform to form unity. It gives the opportunity, especially those Chinese educated ones, to understand the mindset and culture of other races. This is due to the platform of CC to explain and slowly nurture the knowledge among the Chinese. Besides, the existence of CC also helps to protect the welfare of the Chinese, when sometimes decision of the college admin was done solely based on the easiness of Malays (I hv to admit these do happen). Very good example… college can only serve halal food, so they sumtimes tend to serve beef as the only meat. They never thought that beef was considered ‘non-halal’ to Indian and some Chinese. But they still serve them. Another one is spicy food. It’s normal that Chinese don’t usually manage spicy food…but they never cared about this. All of the students paid the same amount of fees and should deserve the same fair treatments.

However, I hope that my juniors in college now, could still protect the existence of CC and the welfare of Chinese since the college din really care much of the minorities. And hope they do not misuse the platform for political or racial agendas. Sometimes I felt disappointed when some juniors with college posts, are more concerned about their posts rather than the welfare of the students (I’m referring to all races). They tend to be the ‘yes boss’ type and more worried of losing their posts rather than worrying about the welfare of students (how would the country be like in future, since they will be the future leaders).

Back to the main topic what I wanted to share is that how CC had played a part in changing my life. I was brought up in a more Malay lifestyle, and even had the malay mindset. Until I got into UM, I finally discover the true Chinese inside of me. I become more aware of Chinese culture, and their history. I even now regretted that I cant read in Chinese. Their language is so wonderful and very meaningful in expressing the right feelings in words. The idioms, usually in fours can already described precisely the right expression and feelings.

Joining my friends in CC had brought me to understand how important closeness of a family and friends. The moments shared between us were more to pure feelings in the heart. I get to understand, life is meaningless without friends. One of the big projects which had an impact in my life was MKC (Malam Kebudayaan Cina). Not only I get to understand the real Chinese culture and history..but I get to understand my friends. Closer than before. Sad to say now, some juniors now even told others “I’d been busy for few months, but dunno for wat”. To me, it was a worlds most stupid phrase. It showed how now people carry out projects blindly. During my time, we put every effort into making MKC a successful project. All efforts and even our hearts into it. To me personally, MKC have taught me about life…how to deal with friends and the joy of making sumthing successful. The whole CC was working with each other, although usually the 1st years are the organizers and do all the performances.

MKC preparation was challenging. That was when where we would hug each other for a task comp
leted. Or even held each other’s head on shoulders for a task not completed. Or even cried together in a group for a task failed. There were even times we would quarrel for clashed opinions. All these were best times in CC…the effects were very obvious right after the day MKC was over. Everyone, including seniors were in their tears right when the night was finally over. The 7th CC song was loudly sung by all of us, as it was the first time this song was played in the public. Then followed by Za’ba College anthem…which even made our tears running even faster…there were so much memories in college and in CC…too much til I can’t bear to see all these spirit no longer exist within the hearts of 7th residents.Time flies and the generation had changed. Some of the juniors now refused to listen to advices, claiming them as brainwashing. They tend to see things by effects on current conditions rather than thinking the consequences in future. It’s good to have changes, but changes will then have to achieve its new objectives. What’s the point of having changes, when the objectives would be the same or even worse. Some may condemn me for what I’ve written but I hope they realize their actions before condemning. The younger generations now tend to pint point on others mistakes without realizing that they also have responsibilities. To forgive someone’s mistake is hard, but to admit own mistake is even harder. I hope the current residents of 7th would start to learn 3 important things:-
  1. Make decisions and changes, bearing in mind what are the outcomes in next few years, not within the same year…
  2. Fight for students welfare, not for protection of own position..
  3. Carry out projects by putting the heart to achieve them, not for the sake of just doing it..
I just hope our juniors will in the end turn out to be a successful and unselfish leaders, as the future of our country lies within the hands of these future leaders.

7th CC ho seh,ho seh, ho ho ho seh!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

I'm indebted to you..

I'm indebted to God... for my faith,
I'm indebted to my parents...for my life,
I'm indebted to my siblings, my wife and my children...for my love,
I'm indebted to my teachers and lecturers...for my success,
I'm indebted to my friends...for my ups and downs,
And I'm indebted myself...for my freedom.

In life, we actually owe or indebted to someone some thing...and these things are meant for life. Some people don't realize this and they tend to become more materialistic and selfish. That's what destroyed our morale (and sad to say, our country as well). Everyone cares for themselves and only care what's best for themselves.

There's a phrase, "give and take" is something that everyone should put in mind and in their life principles. Ever wonder why the word give is before take? Not because it was placed in alphabetical order (although technically supposed to be that way). But there's more to it. 'Give' was placed ahead of 'take' brings a significant meaning - that we should learn how to give before we learn how to take. But practically, we don't practice this in life - when we were young, we always received gifts before we even know how to give them (and we demand for more!) But, as I grew older, I realized giving meant much much more than taking. I now felt much much happier than before. I've learnt from the people i'm indebted to give. For me, what they have given me, i'm bonded with them for life. I can never return it to them. Therefore, i would rather give others what i have...coz i've taken more from them.

My parents, gave me life, they deserve every right on my can i return it to them? All i can do, is to make the best of my life..enjoy what i'm doing, make my life a useful one.

My siblings, gave me endless love of a family...together with my wife (hope it'll be u,KC) and my children (oklar, in future not now...) so to return the love they to love them more! Sometimes, it's hard to show the emotions, but i hope they realise deep down in my heart, i love them more than they ever thought!

Teachers and lecturers, with all the advice, and guidance...i can never return it to success are all because of what they have taught me, all the unselfish knowledge they have given me. The best i can do, is to make my life, as successful as much as i enjoy it. What they have given me, it's bonded til the day i die. And share my knowledge with all, that's what they wish for!

Friends, without them, life is meaningless. They brought happiness and sadness as well...without these spices, i wouldn't see life as sumthing meaningful. Without their support and friendship, i would have been nobody. This makes me to appreciate my life even more!

In the end of the day, learn to give and give more than take for it will not just brighten up our day, but others too! Taking makes us indebted to some one, which we may never able to pay in this better to give! Share the love, kindness, knowledge and everything we have with everyone coz every living being on earth deserved them!

This is dedicated to my family, teachers, lecturers and friends...and specially for u, KC...for u have enlighten me with what u gave...u've restored the confidence that i've once u all!

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Syed Imran: Antara pendatang dan penumpang

This is an article i got from a friend, Shirleen...I dun care if i'm being sued for plagiarism, but to me, the awareness of Malaysian and also the unity of Malaysians are more important to me. Therefore, i decided to spread this to people around me, hoping that they are enlighten and start to develop a mindset: Malaysia is for Malaysian. Enjoy reading, and hope that everyone, who call themselves true Malaysian, will spread the good united Malaysian spirit around.

Pada mulanya saya agak keberatan nak ulas kekecohan yang berpunca ekoran daripada kenyataan ketua UMNO bahagian Bukit Bendera, Pulau Pinang bernama Ahmad bin Ismail. Sama ada benar atau tidak apa yang didakwa dikatakan olehnya mengenai rakyat Malaysia keturunan Cina bukan persoalannya kerana isu tersebut sudahpun merebak dan mengapi-apikan keadaan.

Jika tidak ditangani dengan cermat, teliti dan bijak, isu itu boleh ditangguk dalam air yang keruh oleh anasir-anasir yang ingin melihat negara ini hancur serta mengundang campur tangan kuasa asing. Dalam zaman dunia tanpa sempadan dan liputan meluas dan segera oleh media elektronik antarabangsa, apa yang berlaku di sesebuah negara itu tidak dapat disembunyi atau dinafikan.

Isu pokok yang dibangkitkan oleh Ahmad Ismail membabitkan persoalan "menumpang" iaitu rakyat Malaysia keturunan Cina adalah penumpang di negara ini. Beliau menjelaskan bahawa ia merujuk kepada zaman pra-Merdeka. Bagaimanapun, sensitiviti rakyat Malaysia keturunan Cina telah terguris.

Saya tidak mengenali secara peribadi Ahmad Ismail, tetapi kenal agak rapat dengan Allahyarham abangnya, Abdul Rahim Ismail, pemilik Syarikat Pembinaan Rahim yang pada satu ketika dahulu agak terkenal sebagai sebuah firma pembinaan Bumiputera yang unggul di Pulau Pinang. Saya tidak tahu apa dah jadi dengan syarikat itu selepas Abdul Rahim meninggal dunia.

Secara peribadi, saya tidak setuju dengan apa yang didakwa dikata oleh Ahmad Ismail atas beberapa sebab.

Bagi saya, hampir 90 peratus rakyat Malaysia, khususnya di Semenanjung, adalah pendatang dan kita semua sebenarnya menumpang hidup di bumi Allah. Kita bukan pemilik kekal tetapi hanya menumpang.

Sebagai contoh, saya sendiri adalah keturunan pendatang yang menumpang hidup di bumi bertuah ini. Datuk nenek di sebelah bapa saya berhijrah dari Makkah dan dari Brunei ke sini manakala di sebelah ibu pula dari Hadhramut, Yaman. Kami adalah pendatang dan penumpang sama seperti hampir semua penduduk negara ini khususnya di Pulau Pinang.

Bagi Ahmad Ismail, dia juga datang dari keluarga pendatang dan menumpang hidup di negara ini. Ahmad Ismail tidak boleh menafikan hakikat bahawa datuk neneknya adalah pendatang dari India untuk menerokai penghidupan yang lebih baik dan selesa di bumi bertuah ini.

Perdana Menteri Abdullah bin Ahmad juga tergolong dalam kategori yang sama. Datuknya di sebelah ibu adalah pendatang dari wilayah Guandong, China. Pendek kata, datuk Pak Lah iaitu bapa Allahyarhamah Kailan bernama Hassan Salleh atau Hah Su Chiang adalah seorang pendatang. Beliau berhijrah ke Tanah Melayu dari wilayah Guandong (Kwantung) pada pertengahan abad ke-19 dan menetap di Bayan Lepas sebagai pekebun getah, pesawah padi dan kemudian saudagar intan berlian.

Najib Tun Razak, Timbalan PM juga berasal daripada keluarga pendatang iaitu dari Sulawesi, Indonesia atau lebih senang disebut orang Bugis manakala sepupunya Hishamudin Hussein tidak terlepas daripada darah keturunan Turki.

Datuk nenek mantan PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad juga pendatang dari Kerala, India manakala ibu Almarhum Tunku Abul Rahman berasal dari negeri Siam (Thailand).

Kesultanan Melayu Melaka pun dibuka oleh orang pendatang dari Sumatra bernama Parameswara, seorang anak raja atau bangsawan beragama Hindu.

Dalam sejarah kesultanan Melayu, kita dapati ada yang ditubuh oleh pendatang dari Bugis dan ada pula dari Hadhramut selain dari Minangkabau.

Hampir semua orang Melayu di sini berasal dari luar Tanah Melayu tetapi diiktiraf sebagai "bangsa Melayu" oleh Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Kita adalah "Melayu mengikut takrifan Perlembagaan" iaitu beragama Islam, mengamalkan adat resam Melayu dan bertutur dalam bahasa Melayu. Malangnya, bahasa Melayu nampaknya dimatikan oleh orang Melayu (UMNO) sendiri apabila dinamakan sebagai bahasa Malaysia.

Oleh itu, orang Arab seperti Syed Hamid Albar dan saya, orang Aceh seperti Sanusi Junid, orang India seperti Kader Sheikh Fadzir dan Nor Mohamed Yakcop, orang Bugis seperti Najib, orang Minang seperti Rais Yatim, orang Jawa seperti Mohamad Rahmat dan yang lain seperti dari Madura, Pulau Boyan, Siam, Burma, Yunnan (China) dan selatan Filipina dengan mudah boleh diiktirf sebagai "Melayu".

Mereka diterima sebagai orang Melayu tidak kira sama ada mereka bertutur bahasa Melayu atau tidak di rumah umpamanya si Arab berbahasa Arab, si Jawa berbahasa Jawa dan si Minang berbahasa Minang atupun si Mamak berbahasa Tamil.

Bahasa-bahasa yang disebut itu bukan bahasa Melayu dan jika dilihat dari sudut Perlembagaan Persekutuan, tidak boleh diterima atau diiktiraf sebagai bangsa Melayu. Walau bagaimanapun, atas kepentingan dan faktor politik, semuanya diterima sebagai Melayu dan Bumiputera.

Oleh itu, adalah tidak adil untuk menuding jari kepada orang Cina yang juga kaum pendatang sama seperti orang Arab, India, Aceh, Minang, Batak, Mandailing, Jawa, Madura mahupun Bugis, sebagai menumpang di negeri ini. Kita tidak boleh menafikan bahawa sebilangan besar datuk nenek orang Cina telah berhijrah ke negeri ini semasa Kesultanan Melayu Melaka, bahkan kesultanan-kesultanan terdahulu di Kedah mahupun Terengganu dan Kelantan serta semasa Francis Light berjaya menipu Sultan Kedah untuk menduduki Pulau Pinang pada 1786.

Kita adalah kaum pendatang yang menumpang hidup di negeri ini. Golongan yang boleh diiktiraf sebagai orang asal atau anak bumi tulen adalah mereka yang kita kenali sebagai Negrito, Jakun, Semang, Jahut, Orang Laut, Orang Darat, Senoi dan suku kaum masyarakat Asli lain yang masih menjadi penghuni belantara.

Kita tidak harus lupa akan sumbangan dan pengorbanan semua kaum dan suku kaum untuk membangunkan Malaysia sama ada dari sudut ekonomi, kemasyarakatan, keselamatan dan yang paling penting kesepakatan dan perpaduan. Semua orang yang kena dan seharusnya membayar cukai, berbuat demikian tanpa mengira kaum atau asal keturunan, sama ada pendatang atau penumpang.

Kita semua adalah rakyat Malaysia.

Posted by Syed Imran at Monday, September 08, 2008

[Syed Imran is an Arab-Malaysian born in Penang, Malaysia. Ex-Bernama journalist (1971-1998) and former press secretary to Minister in PM's Department.]

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Merdeka today, Merdeka 51 years ago...the same?

51 years ago...

Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!...Finally we are free from the British occupation and Malaya was establish. The Union Jack flag lowered, Malaya's Stripes of Glory raised. Then, 1965, Malaysia was formed. People around the world would respect us because we achieved independence like gentlemen, free ourselves by having discussion with the British government. No blood spilt.


Merdeka was no longer heard. We achieved independence, but not our minds. 51 years gone, but still Malay remains Malay, Chinese remains Chinese, Indian remains Indian, native Bumiputera remains minority. Up till today, leaders are still throwing racial issues and calling other races immigrants. Arrogantly, the culprit doesn't want to apologize. "I'm not going to be apoligitic". This is where Malaysia is heading now.

The point is, why in the first place, words like this were uttered to public? The chinese and indians never in their mind would wanna take over the country. All we want is just to be treated fairly as others. All we want is to live happily together with families, and friends from other races as well. Malay priveledges are not to be questioned. Is race so important till we forgot bout the country? Does this special priveledges helped improved the Malays? Why can't they compete fairly with other races? A healthy competition will improve everyone. Strangely, the Malays felt proud when they were successful with the help by 'these priveledges'. Come to think of it, Chinese and Indians have their weaknesses as well. Why can't they see it? The malays should stop being pesimistic, instead they should be optimistic to compete fairly with other races.

Malaysia is a land for all Malaysians, not malay, chinese or indians. Without this unity, Malaysia is heading backwards. Why can't we see the strength in each other's race and make use of it to spur malaysia rather than treating these strength as threats to other race? The modern Malays should now stand up and speak out!...Help to bring this country forward!

As a younger generation of Malaysian, i'm feeling damn sad and pissed off with the leaders of the country...both government and opposition who are being so damn political and risks the lives of the people by raising racial issues. Today, at this point, at this month, we should be laughing together and happy because we achieved independence for 51 years already. But now, we are staring at each other, worrying what threats will come to us. Living in fear or being overpowered by other races. Each race have different ability, why not we combine these ablities and create a stronger country? If the country were to war, who should stand in the front line? No, not malays...not chinese...not indians, and definitely no the bumiputras of Sbh and Swk!. It should be MALAYSIANS! together as one!

Sad...we no longer have the pure Malaysian and Merdeka spirits...where is country heading...towards 2020 or 1920? It's time, young malaysian who share the same spirit, should stand up and stop this racism. Malaysia is not for us, its for our future generations, lets make it a better place for them.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Scientific Expedition to Pulau Aur 17 Aug - 22 Aug

It has been a tired week, last week. Had been on a scientific expedition to Pulau Aur, organized by Institute of Oceanography and Earth Sciences, University of Malaya. This expedition, was also known in short as SESMA in its third edition. But this is not the end, there are more to come in future. It was really a great experience.

The expedition started off with an early bus ride to mersing, took us bout 5 hours. Then we had to take a boat to reach at Pulau Aur. However, the journey was not easy. At first, we're on a comfortable ferry..but not even a quarter of our journey, we have to change boat (just like changing bus on land). This was due to the tide that affects the journey of different sizes of boats. For the first time, i experienced changing boats. Our luggage (not to forget this is a scientific expedition, so equipments were included) had to be shifted as well. There were not just bags, but instead there were plenty of boxes, traps, chemicals and etc. Shifting the stuff were hell of a work.

It took almost 3 hours before reachin Pulau Aur. The sea was calm, but there were bit of waves causing the boat to rock. Well, we definitely can't run away from the unpredicted condition of south china sea. Fortunately, after a rocky ride, we reached our destination safely.

The whole expedition was a great experience. I was assigned to help out in geological work, scuba diving to study the profile of the reef. At the same time, I was assigned to also collect seaweeds and seagrass as well. By the first dive, i was stunned to look at how diverse the marine life forms there. It was very beautiful and a good place for research. The high diversity and clear zonation of the different reef systems makes it an interesting place to look at. But the massive algal cover that seemed to overcrowd the corals shows that the waters are too high in nutrients. It could due to the burnt soils by the locals, whom practices nomad style of agriculture. Amazingly, there were a lot of coconut trees on the island. It seemed like there were more coconut trees than jungle. Pulau Aur also have big boulder rocks, all over the island. It was really an amazing island.

Underwater sceneries were even more amazing. First site was at Pantai Teluran, was juz amazing. However, there were no sightings of sea urchins, or algal eating inverts to control the overcrowding algae. As for the fishes, there were no big sized fishes. All are just normal and small sized fishes. The next site, in Atlantis Bay was even more breath-taking. Massive corals were found almost everywhere. It was amazing to see the white beaches, and slightly blue water (instead of greenish). The profile of the area was also unbelievable. It was rather flat, before a sudden slop right down to 20 meters...and could reach more than 40! The locals reported that whale shark were seen before pass by the island. How true, i'm not sure as there no justified evidence.

We also managed night dive. Surprisingly, just when we descend, hardly even 1 minute, we managed to spot a big cuttle fish and a long trumpet fish. As usual, for night dive, we'll be able to see sleeping fishes and active invertebrates. A lot of shy shrimps were out feeding and being active. During 2 of the night dives, managed to catch glimpse of snake eel, octopus, nudibranches. Oh, can't miss another camouflage fish, known as flounder. This expedition, managed to spot turtle, bumphead parrot fish, a large potato grouper, nudibranches. There were also plenty and massive diversity of seaweeds (now waiting for the official count of species, coz still processing in the lab). Not to forget, my interest on corals, which are very diverse. However, cant really identify to species level yet but i know that it's high in diversity.

This trip also included terrestrial biologists, which found a number of birds species, mammals, insects and also dragonflies...not to forget mushrooms and fungi. Even mushrooms are quite diverse with monkey head fungi was found in the wild. But that's not all, there are still lots more to be discovered. I hope that the natural environment will be sustainable for as long as earth lives.

This trip also given me rare experience, as i managed to spot hurricane in the sea. We managed to capture glimpse of the hurricane with cameras. Its really rare but we were able to see how the hurricane suck up water as well. The shape also changes accordingly. It's really a rare occasion. By the time we are leaving back to KL, it was already night time. For the first time I get to travel across sea at night. It was really scary but when i looked at the skies, millions of stars brighten up the dark. On the long journey back to mainland, i felt happy and excited for being able to be part of the experience. But i'm glad to say, this is what i love to do...and i'm still doing it!

*i would like to acknowledge that some of the pictures above were taken by Khaira Ismail, Azi and Dr. Azhar.

Thank kew 4 sarpoting ah, come again oh!


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