Thursday, January 30, 2014

Happy Chinese New Year 2014...

Gong Xi Fa Cai to all those who celebrate this auspicious day which fall tomorrow January 31, 2014. May we all continue to enjoy peace and with that prosperity together. 

Have a nice day.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Weather...

Lately the weather has been weird. I am not sure why. It could be because of global warming. The normal temperature for Malaysia is an average of 36 to 25 degree Celsius. This is the normal weather pattern in the tropical zone when the early morning temperature before sunrise is always around 25 degree Celsius. But for the last few days it has plummet to from 26 to 21 degree Celsius and at some places in the north of the country the temperature has gone down as far as 17 degree Celsius. In the tropic that mean its rather cold. Even in my place at Ampang Jaya the temperature in the morning has gone down to 22 degree Celsius and that is cool and pleasant to be out door. This morning up till 10AM in the morning while I was doing some chore outside my house I could feel the coolness of the weather. According to the Weather Authority we are going to experience this kind of weather for a least two week more. It really nice to enjoy such temperature in the tropic since it is less humid and great to be out door. We have seen all kind of weather pattern all over the world and this part of the world does not seem to escape the effect of the changing weather pattern. Above is an image that had been doctored by some net-citizen had the river in Temerloh in the state of Pahang get frozen. Who know it may happen in the future. Well I do hope it would not since we all here love the tropical weather where it summer throughout the year.

Have a nice day.

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Outward Bound School, a Reflection...

On going through some old album recently I found some photos that brought memories flooding back to my mind. It was really nice to see all those photo of the past, some taken in Black and White, an era before the advancement of colour photography. Above is a photograph taken in the early sixties when I attended the Outward Bound School course at the school in Lumut, Perak. I was just in my early twenties and apply for the scholarship to attend the course there. I was told by friends that it provides good leadership program but it tough. One had to go through endurance programs that lasted for almost a month, living in camp, excursion into the tropical jungle, boating, canoeing on the high sea around the island of Pangkor.  Since l love adventure and had been in the Scout Movement from my primary school days I love to go to such training and meet others of the same mind-set. I was awarded the scholarship and went all the way to Lumut in the state of Perak to attend the month long program; the 50th course. We went through a tough and challenging programs on various aspect of leadership as well program on civic. We were not spare the task of keeping the pit toilet crawling with maggots clean every day and had to sleep in the jungle where at time it rain and rain. Even having our meals was never at the same place, from the hall to the beach or in  the  middle  of the jungle. We were told to go on a jungle expedition to nowhere and expect to survive the track on our own. It was tough sleeping in the middle of the jungle among leeches and wild animals but we endure and manage to get through it all. We had to canoe into the open sea the whole day. I did get seasick and vomited when reaching the shore. We had to scrap boat and paint it underside, thus we learn the skill doing painting works. We had to keep our sleeping quarters spot clean all the time. Everything went like clock works from breakfast time till bed time. Because we were all dead tired it was easy to sleep. 

The whole programs toughen us all and did teach us all various leadership skills that we could use in any endeavour we took. As for me the training did help in my career in the government agency that I was working. Until this day I still could remember vividly the time we had spent in the school.  It turns out to be the best leadership training that I had ever had in my whole life. The Outward Bound School did made what I am today.   

Have a nice day.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Ringgit Note, Lost and Found...

I thought that it is time I tell this amazing story of my life, the happening on the path of the journey of life. The kind of things that just happened, so let me tell a few of such incidents that had coloured my life. I shall start with this... One fine day I walk out of the wash-room at a Rest Area on the North South Highway and at the step I saw a RM50 note. I took it and look for its owner and there was no one around. I kept looking but no one seems to be looking of something. So I pocket it, it not mine I thought it best I just donate it for a good cause. On returning home I slip it into a donation box at the local mosque. Forget about it and continue with my lives. Some years later as I was sweeping the pavement in front of my gate I saw a RM5.00 lying on the roadside. I pick it up and while doing that I saw a boy on an old bicycle passes by. I ask him whether he lost something but he said no.  He look poor so I just give it to him and told him that I just found the note and to take it and use it for something useful. As usual I just forget about it. I then carry on with what I was doing and enjoy the day. 

Just a month ago I went to have lunch at the GE Mall nearby. My spouse did not want to follow so after parking my car at the basement I went to the Kopitiam upstairs and order a bowl of Mee Curry. While waiting for the order to arrive I call a friend who has a shop on the second level of the building. He answered my call by saying that he is on the way to the shop and would join me as soon as he arrives. The order came and I sat to enjoy the meal. While I was enjoying the Mee Curry my friend arrived and said that he already had a hearty breakfast of Roti Canai and that he would just accompany me. He order Tea and we continue to chat as usual. After finishing the meal I paid the bill and left a Ringgit tip. My friend saw it and quip that  "You give tip" I reply saying that I do if I am happy with the service. I know the staffs are not paid that much so in a small way I am helping them. We parted and I then went to the Ampang Point for another errant. At Ampang Point I took the escalator to the mezzanine floor. On reaching up there and as I was about to walk I notice a Ringgit note lying on the floor. I pick it up and try to look for its owner but to no avail. I took it and on the next Friday I donated it to the mosque nearby. 

Last week our youngest daughter took us to the mall at Sri HartaMas call the Publika. I have not been there and was happy to go. On arrival I found the mall is different than the many malls that I have been before. It layout is different in concept. It does not have an anchor tenant but instead there are many small outlets that sell varieties of goods as well restaurant of fine dine. There is a huge Supermarket that sell almost everything for the local residents. As usual we went to look for food to have an early dinner. Our daughter Lin suggests that we go to a restaurant on the far corner. As we got out we saw two restaurants, one call Cawan and the other Mee Jawa. For wanting something different to eat we chose the Mee Jawa restaurant. After enjoying the food I left a Ringgit as a tip and left happy with that wonderful dish call Mee Jawa. The next day I went to the Ampang Point Post Office and to get there I had to take the escalator to the first floor. As I was walking to the Post Office I again saw a Ringgit Note lying on the floor. Not knowing who to give it back I just took it and then the next Friday donate it the local mosque. 

Well folks are all these incidents just a coincidence or a synchronicity! Let leave it just like that and move on with our lives. 

Have a nice day.

Sunrise over Kuantan...

Whenever I go back to Kuantan, my hometown I would always take the time to get to the Teluk Cempedak beach nearby in the early morning; to watch the sunrise. I love this beach where I often go camping during my childhood, growing up in Kuantan. Together with friends from the 1st Scout Group we would go camping at the beach on the weekend. It was really an enjoyable time of my life. We would wake up early and watch the sunrise. When I was there on my visit last year I took the above image and sharing it here for everyone to enjoy that majestic scene. 

Have a nice day.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Kluang, Johor.. 44 years later...

December 23, 2013, on the way to Port Dickson from Johor Bharu we make a stop at Kluang where I work in 1967, some forty four years ago. Kluang is special to me since it was there I first start working as an officer of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, a Federal Government post. The designation was the District Cultural Officer where I had to cover three districts; Kluang, Segamat and Mersing. It was a challenging job where I had to travel to various places in the rural areas in the three districts doing social change programs. This is the first visit since I left that place on a transfer to Malacca in January 1969. Kluang got its name from the Malay word for Flying Fox... Keluang, thus the town is name as Kluang. On the way to the town of Kluang from the North South Highway exit I saw lots of changes, all land that was once rubber plantations are now develop into residential estate, schools, shop lots and other government institution like the Agricultural experimental station and Veterinary research and development centre.

When we arrived in Kluang I hardly could recognise it. It used to be just a two streets town divided by a railway gate with the the hospital on the other side. Thus when the gate is closed to allow for the train to pass by one cannot get to the hospital on the other side. I notice the railway gate is still there but the township has developed on both sides. On looking round the places I still could remember the Railway Station and the Telecom Department where my spouse once work as well the two streets, now known as the old part of the town. Other than that the whole town is strange to me. Forty four years has changed the town totally and I just could not figure out some of the places where I used to roam daily.

I stop at the Railway Station to have a look at the famous Kopitiam shop the serve great local coffee and some snack but that day it was close for business. The train station looks almost the same with very little change. While I was there a train was just coming into the station. It was indeed a fortunate time to be there where I got to watch the train arriving and the arrival of folks as well the departure of others. I snap some picture and sharing it here.

We then tried to look at the government quarters where we live once but I just could not remember the exact location. I knew it somewhere near an Army Camp but because of the place have been developed it was difficult to remember the exact location. So with whatever memory my spouse and I could remember we try to look for it. It takes going round and round until our son in law who was driving the car found the place. He parked the car nearby and we went out to have a look. The house is still there but had been left to rot. Looking at the building memories of past happening came rushing back. At that time we were just a young couple in our mid-twenties, with two young kids who were as yet to go to school. Asmah my spouse was working at the Telecom Department and I as the District Cultural Officer for East Johor with a base in Kluang. I remember there was then only one semi-detached house, one of which was occupied by us and the other by a friend who work in the hospital. It looks like they have built more such houses nearby so it takes time to recognise the house we live in. Sad to see that house is in ruin and left to just rot.

Happy with the find we left the place and before proceeding to our next destination, we went to have lunch at the a new Kopitiam, a much modern and spacious place than their original outlet at the Railway Station. While having lunch there I met an Indian couple with three young kids. We got connected and exchange notes on the development of this place where I once call home. They had come all the way from Batu Pahat to enjoy their meals here. The foods was good and the ambience cosy and we did enjoy our lunch there.  After a while we proceed to our next destination, Port Dickson.

Have a nice day.