Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I have been wondering what has happen to my friend in the UK, it has been quiet in his front...Well I believe no news is good news, anyway I hope he is having a great time in this winter and waiting to celebrate the white Christmas. We here are rather busy with the arrival of our foster daughter and her husband. We have been taking her around the city to get them introduce to this 'third world city'..Like any first timer to this enchanting city of ours, there are somewhat shock to see the modern city of Kuala Lumpur and just could not wait to see and set foot at the Petronas Twin Tower, the landmark of the city of Kuala Lumpur, which has since became the symbol of Malaysia..It is said that One have not complete one's visit to Malaysia without setting foot at the KLCC, the tallest building in the world..They had their chance today...We took them there and let them to wonder in this city within the city....It is indeed their first taste of this modern city in the far east and from the look of it they are real excited with what they see....Their dreams comes true, for they had always wanted to see Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur...And today that dream materialized when we drop them there for them to wonder at this modern engineering feat, one of today's wonder of the world and the pride of Modern Malaysia, our beloved country.....

Sunday, November 28, 2004

It is Sunday and this morning our foster daughter and her spouse would be arriving at the KLIA on the Malaysian Airline from Vienna, Austria.... We wake up early and drove to the airport and arrived just after seven in the morning....I told her if she arrived early...Do wait for us and sure enough they arrived in time and was already at the lobby outside the arrival hall, so on looking around we met....for the first time in all the years that We had known her, through her mail and later emails....It was indeed great to meet both of them so cheerful. ... Well this is a sorts of a story of dreams comes true....

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Some time during the Hari Raya I received an email from a friend who live in the UK, the United Kingdom, a friends that is also in the golden age, much older the me, a very pleasant English gentlemen who love to travel...In his youth he served the British Army and was among the warrior that the British sent to their colonies all over the world and He happen to be the fortunate or the unfortunate person to have been send to Malaya, now Malaysia...I guessed he fell in love with this eastern paradise and after he left the service, he returned to his homeland and later on for the love of the east, he start to make a regular trip to this part of the world and this includes Malaysia...I came to know him sometime in the year nineteen eighty nine and has since became close friends...When we parted in Kuantan, we promice to keep in touch and we have been doing just that ever since.... Whenever he is in Malaysia He would visit us and the same with me, when my spouse and me visit the UK some years ago, we met him and together we drove all over southern England...It was an interesting journey and indeed a memorable one....Well coming back to the subject of the email that he send recently, the content touches me and it really makes me happy, it is a sorts of a gift on this Adil Fitri evening, so I thought that with his permission I would like to share his short and rather thoughtful email with the world to read and perhaps learn something about friendship, that transcend boarder, race, creed and religion...It has makes me and my family happy and enriched our life and I am sure it has done the same to him....So my friends this is the letter that I wanted to share with all:-
It started with this greeting "Selamat Hari Raya Eid el Fitr keluarga Idrus"

Nov 15
Dear Idrus and Asmah,I share your enthusiasm for this great day,[I supposed he read my posting on the Aidil Fitri] particularly because I now have something to eat, thanks to your kindness. Your gift has brightened up this dank and chilly neighbourhood and as I listen I hear fireworks going off to the east of this city where our Asian community chooses to live.I went shopping in one of Leicesters Shopping malls - it reminded me of KL - our Muslim community was dashing around buying barang barang - the kids were all excited.I am touched by your gift - what an unusual present but also very welcome - just a taste of what I miss so much. Your gift dispelled some of the gloom I felt as a result of the US election.
Regards - and do not stuff yourself - moderation is everything. Ken

Friday, November 26, 2004

I have been rather busy since the Hari Raya [Aidil Fitri] and with the grandchildren on their school holiday, they are all here almost all days long, it were fun to have them all at the house and with the Hari Raya open house visit, I found that I had not the time to blog as usual...The Hari Raya celebration would last for one months, with visits to friend's Hari Raya open house....Once the Raya atmosphere dies down and thing back to normal again, I would start to blog as usual, so friends do visit my blog from time to time and in the mean time do have a great time and enjoy....

Thursday, November 18, 2004

It is the Hari Raya [Aidil Fitri] so I took time out to enjoy the festival and did not have the time to blog...The good news is that this year the date of the Aidil Fitri was announced two days before the actual day....In the previous years they had to wait for those traditionalists to watch the sighting of the new moon, although it is a well known fact that according to the calculation of the experts that the new moon would start on such a day, but the traditionalists still insist on going to watch for the sighting of the moon. It is actually a waste of time for in the tropic where the sky is always full of clouds formation , it is rather difficult or impossible to see the crescent on the first day of the month...So this year the government under the leadership of the New Prime Minister decided to somewhat do away with the sighting of the moon and announced the date two days ahead...It is a brave move and a good decision on the part of the government, in doing so...It is an indeed a bold step and this make preparing for the Hari Raya..,is made easy, compare to before where the announcement were made late on the eves of the Hari Raya, where it makes its difficult to prepare food for the next day's consumption, and because of this at time cooked foods would go to waste because the day of the Hari Raya were postponed to another day at the last minute...Now with this new decision where the announcement is made two days before...Thing has really change for the good, so it is good bye to the traditionalists thinking....Although this is just a small aspect of the Islamic culture, it is a very important step in the reformation of the thinking of the Moslem leadership...For Islam to progress, there must be reform in the thinking, so that the religion would progress with times... So to me what happen this year is not only a bold and brave step, it is indeed a significant and a historical move in the history of Islam in Malaysia and it augur well for the new thinking of the reformist in Islam...

Monday, November 15, 2004

...... Saturday the thirteen is the last day of fasting, the grandchildren were all here with their mom and dad...They are staying at our home tonight and would celebrate the Aidil Fitri together... It is always fun to have all those kids around the house....They got themselves organized and with their mom and dad start to make the 'ketupat' [container make from coconut leaves, intricately woven, to put in rice and then boiled to cook] when boiled the rice would be mash together and turn semi solid, this when ready, could be cut into rice cube, a specialty that a Hari Raya could not do without and it is eaten with the 'rendang', The 'Rendang' is Beef or chicken cooked with herb in coconut milk,a specialty of the Malay, a traditional dish that had been pass from generation to generation... A Hari Raya or the Aidil Fitri is never complete without the ' Ketupat and Rendang ' Having the grandchildren with their parent at our home is a Godsend happiness that only those with grandchildren would understand.... A sorts of a bonus to us in our golden age...It brighten the home with their presence and as they grew up, like our grandchildren...They began to help in getting things organized...Like today they together help to prepare the 'ketupat', from making the container to getting it cook...It take four hours of boiling to cook this traditional 'ketupat'...Someone had to wait and add boiling water from time to time to see that the 'ketupat' is cooked and well done. An extra hands are always helpful... And then the young one would play around careless of the world and keep wondering what is all the fuss about this things call 'Hari Raya' or the Aidil Fitri Festival.... It is real interesting to see this tiny tots trying to get the rice grains into the container, with the help of their grandmother...Making the process slow, but then it does not matter, this is part of the education and training of the young on the concept of making this traditional food, that is so special to us Malay...For the Ketupat and Rendang is synonymous with our 'Hari Raya'....It is our tradition and we are going to see that it is pass to the next generation despite the onslaught of new foods that are prepared for the 'Hari Raya'. And from the look of it our grandchildren are taken to it and soon when they grew up they would surely continue to make these 'ketupat' and 'rendang' comes the 'Hari Raya' in the years to come.... We start to boil the 'ketupat' at three in the afternoon and it would only cook well after at least four hours of boiling, that means it would only be ready at just past seven in the evening...Just before the breaking of the fast on this last day of Fasting....It look it is going to be perfect and come the time to look at it at just past seven..It is indeed well done... And thanks to the collective efforts....Our 'ketupat' is a family project well conceived and the result that some fifty or so 'ketupat' are ready to be served for tomorrow Aidil Fitri.... I am indeed happy that our grandchildren has began to learn to understand the concept of this traditional food and the process of making it like we did, our parent did it in their days and so are our ancestors in the years gone bye....That is our tradition and as the saying goes 'tradition dies hard' and in this case we are sure not going to allow it to dies but to continue to make it alive in our culture, a refine tradition of preparing food, a specialties that had been with us Malay for thousand of years......The tradition of preparing the " Ketupat and Rendang " ..Just after the breaking of Fast...The young of the grandchildren ask for their 'ketupat' and wonder what it look like when it is cooked....Grandma and Grandpa say that it takes four hours to cook....They wonder in their little mind what's so special about this 'ketupat'!! ....And soon they are going to discover the magic of turning small grain of rice into something much different, turning the rice grains into a semi solid food, that now could be cut into small cube to be eaten with the'rendang'. Grandma gave them the cube of ketupat to taste, they were rather amused to eat and then I supposed they keep wondering in their little mind...This memory would be embedded in their mind forever and they would surely remember the taste of that white rice cube of ketupat that they had contribute in the making of it, the ketupat and now they had their taste of this traditional food...This is the beginning and I am sure this tradition would continue forever in the Malay Culture....

Sunday, November 14, 2004

.....To all Moslem all over the world a Happy Aidil Fitri.. May everyone enjoy peace and prosperity always...To the non Moslem, let us work together to makes this world a better place to live and enjoy life...Have a nice day.

Friday, November 12, 2004

...The legacy of a Man, a leader, a statesman of this century...The passing of Yasser Arafat,[1929 - 2004] The Palestinian leader, a truly great man of his time...A man that single handed created the Palestinian dream of having their independent country, after part of their beloved land was taken away from them and turn into what we now call as the state of Israel in the year nineteen forty eight...Had not been for Yasser Arafat the Palestine state would have lapse in time and today no one would ever heard of such a once proud country in the biblical land of the three great religions Judaism. Christian and Islam...Last week a sick Arafat was flown out of his fortress in which he was imprisoned by the Israeli for almost four years, for medical attention...Thanks to the French government he was flown to Paris for treatment...But as everyone knows...He was call to the Lord and thus would be returned to his fortress compound for burial...The French gave him a special farewell and then a military funeral in Cairo, by the Egyptian government, the land where Arafat was born and had his education. His remains was later flown to Ramallah for burial. According to the Palestine leadership he would be re buried at Jerusalem when Jerusalem became the capital of the independent Palestine state in due course......A salute to a great man who give up all his life for their noble cause...He is indeed immortal in the mind of all freedom fighters especially his own people the Palestinian.....Al Fatihah [the first verses of the Koran] to his soul.....Amen.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Happy Diwali to all my Hindu friends...May the festival of light bring prosperity to all and a great life always, Have a nice day....

Monday, November 08, 2004

It has been raining all weeks,it is a cat and dog sorts of rain, it does not seem to stop...Some areas have been flooded and a house built beside a hillside has collapse and one of the occupant killed....It is going to be a 'balik kampong' affair again come this week end, the Festival of Depavalee on the Eleven and the Hari Raya [Aidil Fitri] on the fourteen November, the highways to the north, south and east would be jammed with traffics heading on both direction and with such weather it is going to be a risking journey all the way, so I hope that all those on the roads this weekend would be extra careful driving in this weather.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Well time passes fast this Ramadan month, it is already Sunday and we are on the last week of fasting...Soon it would be the Aidil Fitri Festival comes this fourteen of November and just before that is the Hindu festival of Light called the Depavalee Festival which would be celebrated by Malaysian Hindu on the eleven of November, it look like we Malaysian are going to have two important festival in just one week...The Hindu would be celebrating their festival on the eleven while the Moslem would be celebrating their festival on the fourteen of November, where else are these two great religious festival celebrated by its citizen with joy and harmony but in the wonderful country of ours, Malaysia and then come December we all would joint in to celebrate the Christian Festival of Christmas...In fact the whole shopping complexes that are being decorated with the Depavalee Festival and the Hari Raya [Aidil Fitri] Festival.. then would be redecorated to usher in the Christmas and the New Year spirit come these December and January two zero zero five....That my friends is the Malaysia that we all love, where people of all races and religions live in harmony and enjoy together...

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Well I just received an email from my old friend from the south, an old soldier,a retired one, who live in Malacca...He was a colonel in the commando unit, the unit in the army mostly consist of crazy man who love to go to war and considered dead until they returned alive...This friends of mine look tough..The soldier make him so..In his email he was asking what has happen to our friends the tongsan man from Raub, a small town in the hinterland of Pahang, a rather rural area out of the way, where there was once a gold mine...Now that the gold mine has close down, this small town continue to prosper on other economic activities....My friend Mr. Jeffry..No he is not English...He is a Chinese Malaysian with an English name and love to be call just Jeff....He love to get lost in the Malaysian jungle on his four wheel drive, a bunch of adventurer in this age and time...The are plenty of jungle area in and around Raub for such and exciting adventure....Well this Jeff reply to our friend from the south,the Chinaman Yap, with a copy to me and it real sound interesting...He is not lost after all, still alive and kicking, running all over the country doing business, trying to be another billionier, that would eventually own the Raub town, who knows... It would be a reality some day, for nothing is impossible nowadays and with that achievement I believed he would be crowned as the next Raja of Raub, like a royalty and then he would have the power to conferred Datuk [grand title]to all his friends, like our Mr.Yap..and our Mr.Chinaman Yap would be Datuk Yap....Interesting is it not...Anything could happen in this wonderful country of ours, where people of various race, religion and language live in peace and harmony..Like the advertisement say Malaysia is truly Asia....That is the truth, when you set foot on this soil, a country call Malaysia, you would sure realized that people of different culture could live in harmony together and built the country together, to become one of the prosperous country in this part of the world...Well friends life is like that, if we all understand what is life and learn to live together then anything are possible... Sure, We all have our difference, but then these difference has became our asset rather then liabilities.....That is the way to go...The world is so small now and sharing it together makes it a better place to live and enjoy life...Remember we are just in passing on this planet....Makes full use of the short time you and I have on this blue planet, a God send haven in space....Have a nice day.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Just received an email from our foster child in Italy, as usual it makes interesting reading, and it lighten my day or is it night, it is now past eleven pm in Kuala Lumpur, I was just surfing the net when this mail arrived...It is indeed a great feeling knowing that these two young couple would be coming over to Kuala Lumpur soon, like them we are as excited to meet them in person, after all the years of virtual contact via the net....Interesting that though we have not as yet met, personally I felt that I had known them all along...Like I always say....We are a spiritual being and somehow our spirit met and we communicate in a way non of us could ever understand but that it is for real...Well friends that is life, On this night of the fasting month, just after breaking fast and the tarawih prayer, I sat down to watch the TV and at the same time write this thoughts as it flows.. Fascinating that with today's technology we could watch, read and write at the same time and enjoy all those things that you like to do, which just a few years ago was not that possible. The internet makes its possible to communicate just with the touch of a button, satellite TV makes its just as easy to see what's happening in the other parts of the world...Music just cross the political boarder of countries just like that.. Without censorship like before...It makes life so very wonderful and colorful as well...With the rate of breakthrough in science and technology what else would come... We all have just to wonder...The three G cell phones system is on the way in this country and soon it would be just as easy to communicate, via video phone, SMS and at the same time would be able to watch your favorite TV programs as well...It is already there and I believe soon every other person in Malaysia would be using this new cell phones. What a way to live and communicate...Nowadays when you leave home to travel overseas you just bring along your cell phones and with international roaming, it would be just easy to communicate with each other, just like you are next door...The other day I call a friend on his cell phone, wanting to invite him for tea and when we get connected, I ask him where he is and his reply was that he is in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia...Well since we are in communication, we just laughed and talk...That is what cell phone did to you...Nowadays with the cell phones, when we get connected we ask the other person "where are you", not like when using a fixed line phone, where we knew where the phone is, in a home somewhere..., but for the cell phone you can never tell where the other person is at a given time, if he/she is driving, then we would continue to talk if he/she has a hand free set, if not we would just to call later....It is real fascinating this cell phone revolution, new models are out almost every months and it is getting smarter and look great as well....So what about changing your cell phone for a new model...