Archive for July, 2009





Survey: Students have no qualms about bribes

KOTA BARU: Kelantan State Secretary Datuk Mohd Aiseri Alias said he was worried with a survey that showed university students had no qualms about accepting and giving bribes.

He said the survey conducted by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) showed that 30.5% of the students interviewed were willing to accept bribes if they had the power and the opportunity.

He said 15% were willing to offer bribes to facilitate business deals and 23.7% more would do likewise to prevent actions against them.



“This is alarming as the wrong perception of corruption has crept into the minds of university students, who are our future assets,” he said when opening the Public and Private Universities Enhancement Seminar organised by the Integrity Institute of Malaysia (IIM) at Pantai Cahaya Bulan here Thursday.

Mohd Aiseri did not mention the sample size and the background of the students surveyed.

He said efforts must be done to correct the perception by inculcating good values in human capital development.

On the IIM, he said it was currently implementing the second phase of the National Integrity Plan (NIP) (2008-2013) to combat corruption, fraud and abuse of power in the private and public sectors.

Earlier, IIM deputy president Mustafar Ali said the society’s perception on corruption, fraud and abuse of power had greatly improved over the past five years through the first phase of the NIP implementation (2004-2008).

Mustafar said the IIM was currently conducting a study on society’s perception of the integrity of the media with the aim of promoting national integrity through the media and journalism. — Bernama










every man desires to live long but no man would be old


How happy he who crowns in shades like these

A youth of labour with an age of ease


Age does not make me childish, as men tell,

It merely finds us children still at heart



Grow old along with me!

The best is yet to be


There’s a fascination frantic

In a ruin that’s romantic;

Do you think you are sufficiently decayed?



As a white candle

In a holy place

So is the beauty

Of an aged face


Growing old is no more than a bad habit which a busy man has no time to form


Do not go gentle into the night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light


Hope I die before I get old


What is called the serenity of age is only perhaps an euphemism for the fading power to feel the sudden shock of joy or sorrow


With full span lives having become the norm

People may need to learn how to be aged

As they once had to learn to be adults





Tunku ‘Abidin Muhriz in his column Abiding Times, The Sun  (July 24) concludes the discussion on religious trust and understanding “Believing in Malaysia” thus:

In 1968, the then Menteri Besar of Negeri Sembilan, Tan Sri Datuk Dr Mohd Said Mohamed, laid the foundation stone, blessed by a bishop, of St Mark’s Anglican Church in Seremban. It was being rebuilt after a fire had gutted it, and the federal and state governments made a donation to help in the construction work. That, surely, is what our first RUKUN NEGARA is all about.

Knowing the life and times of Dr Mohd Said well, I would like to add that the first elected Menteri Besar of Negeri Sembilan was rather broadminded in his thoughts and beliefs. By today’s standards he would be considered an unconventional Malay/ Muslim for  having the highest esteem for and knowledge of  the world’s great religions – Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism.

From an early age he was tutored in the Quranic traditions in a home and kampung environment that was deeply religious, as most rural Malay kampungs would have been then. But his exposure to other peoples and their faiths started early. As a schoolboy he was taught by the most caring and dedicated English Christian schoolmasters. As an undergraduate medical student  he was mentored and trained by the best Western Christian professors alongside his Hindu and Buddhist course mates in King Edward VII College, Singapore. As a young government doctor serving out his first posting in Pahang, he saw the sufferings of the rural Malays and Indians still bound by the orthodox teachings and practices of their respective faiths and cultures. His post graduate medical studies was a two year stint in England and Ireland with their deep rooted Protestant and Roman Catholic basis.   As part of his service to the outer community he gave of  his time to look after the health of the Christian orphans in a Convent school and gave night lectures to the multiracial science club of a government school.

His friends and acquaintances were multiracial and multireligious but his true understanding came from his readings and constant delving into the great books on these religions. He admired some of the rites of passage and practices of other religions which he thought were more practical and conducive to living. Among these were the male circumcission practices of Judaism and Islam, the Hindu cremation and the Muslim pilgrimage. He held them in awe and did not think it was wrong to acquire knowledge and be informed about them. He did not think it was sinful for his children to do Scripture as a subject in school or to score an A in Christian religious knowledge.  Through this he believed they would have a compassionate understanding of Christianity while remaining staunch Muslims. 

His children were brought up not to think it was haram or blasphemous to enter a church or temple to attend social/communal events held there. Or to stand in line with their schoolmates at assembly when Hail Mary and Our Father were being chanted. At such times what was foremost was the regard and respect paid to the other faiths and their believers. 

Thus, Tunku ‘Abidin Muhriz’s religious and cultural experiences are to be commended and emulated for the interfaith understanding and compassion they instil in the young Malaysians who are fortunate enough to have been exposed to them at home or abroad.

It is the kind of socio-cultural and educational environment that ONE MALAYSIA must aspire to and Malaysians must nurture in order to rid ourselves of the ethnic-racial-religious bigotry and chauvinism with their accompanying prejudices and intolerance and judgements! The implications for national politics are obvious!





Death is inevitable and, in a way, disease is too!

In the end most of us will die because of a disease, sometimes defined as a disorder of structure or function  in a human animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific symptoms (The Oxford Dictionary,  Thesaurus and Wordpower Guide).

I often think how good it would be if we could choose the disease we are to die from. And I would definitely choose one that is not too debilitating, with clear symptoms that are treatable, with a tolerable level of pain – because in life pain (physical and emotional) is inevitable! In death too!

But most of all I’d like to die calmly and peacefully surrounded by loved ones whom I’ve bade farewell to in the nicest possible way. I’d like to leave words of comfort to each of my anak cucu, by which they will remember me and say a little doa whenever they think of me. But I will miss them so much in death and wonder how they will turn out and what their lives will be!

To die naturally even after a period of illness is what we all pray for! We pray that God will have mercy in sparing us the most excruciating pain and unbearable suffering! From dust to dust! INNA LILLAHI WA INNA ILLAIHI RAJIOON!

Sudden or premature death is hard to bear especially for the family you leave behind. When my mother died of a heart attack in 1983, we were  stunned! To receive a call early on a Monday morning to say your beloved Mum has passed away is the worst possible news – especially when you had meant to visit her the day before! Grief laced with guilt is the worst possible emotion!

Tak sempat nak jaga! Tak sempat nak kata! If only…!

For my Mum and all those for whom God has ordained death  in their sleep  it was the best way to go! It would have been a quick, merciful heart failure or heart attack. It’s always the heart that bears the pain and gives way in the end – physically and emotionally! But it’s also the heart that loves and remembers and endures! 

my heart

But sudden, premature death that is unnatural or caused by unnatural circumstances is controversial and provocative – forensically, legally, culturally, socially and politically. It is no longer just a family thing! The whole community, society and nation partakes of the sorrow and the mourning! And the guilt and blame of causation! But finger pointing is always at others never at ourselves!

The death of Teoh Beng Hock, the 30 year old political secretary of a Selangor EXCO member hours after the lengthy MACC questioning has raised a public outcry and a call for a Royal Commission of inquiry into his death. Teoh’s falling to death from the14th floor of the MACC Selangor headquarters raises a million questions about the unusual circumstances surrounding the young man’s sudden death!  He was after all a witness in investigations re corruption at the highest levels of the Selangor state government!

Death Most Foul! Foul Play! Foul People! Foul Society! Foul Values! 

May Teoh Beng Hock’s soul rest in peace!






As you set out for Ithaka

hope the voyage is a long one

full of adventure, full of discovery.

Laistrygonians and Cyclops

angry Poseidon – don’t be afraid of them:

you’ll never find things like that on your way

as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,

as long as a rare excitement

stirs your spirit and your body.

Laistrygonians and Cyclops,

wild Poseidon – you won’t encounter them

unless you bring them along inside your soul,

unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope the voyage is a long one.

May there be many a summer morning when

with what pleasure, what joy

you come into harbours seen for the first time;

may you stop at Phoenician trading stations

to buy fine things,

mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,

sensual perfume of every kind –

as many sensual perfumes as you can,

and may you visit many Egyptian cities

to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.

Arriving there is what you are destined for.

But do not hurry the journey at all.

Better if it lasts for years,

so you are old by the time you reach the island

wealthy with all you have gained on the way

not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvellous journey.

Without her you would not have set out.

She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.

Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,

you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.


—in memory of THE ANCIENT MARINER—



  Kau sudah melintas jalan,

Nun jauh rasanya, tak terkejar olehku.

Mendaki gunung, menyeberang lautan,

Nak sampai rasanya ke puncak harapan

Sempadan dunia seluas impian.

Aku masih di sini

Dalam putaran lubuk pusar akal;

Enggan bergerak kakiku,

Berat diangkat tanganku,

Tak punya maya dan daya nak berderas


Aku tak khuatir

Kau jujur menimba untung

Dari ikhtiar peluh kudratmu.

Tak mengapa masa tersingkat

Buatku mengadu,

Kerana aku pasti

Kau sebut namaku dalam doamu.






I’ve just received the shocking news that Capt Yusof THE ANCIENT MARINER has passed away!

I’m reeling with disbelief as my blog stats reveal a visit from him today – which means he died some time after 12 midnight!

Capt Yusof , my dear blogger friend and Linggi cousin AL FATIHAH! INNA LILLAHI WA INNA ILLAIHI RAJIOON!

Capt Yusof THE ANCIENT MARINER, you have sailed away and reached your final destination!

Yusof Ahmad, you have followed your beloved mother Latifah Md Hussain so soon to anchor in our kampung Linggi!

Semoga roh Yusof Ahmad dicucuri rahmat dan ditempatkan dalam golongan orang orang yang soleh! Ameen! Ameen! Ameen!





Most of us want a comfortable home – a house in our favourite (architectural) style and (interior) decor!

We want a peaceful abode to return to after a gruelling day at work, a conducive environment where we can spend time with family and friends or simply a place to stay where we can perform our day to day activities – cooking, eating, watching TV, doing recreational activities, studying, praying, sleeping etc etc.

Whatever our lifestyle, what we look for in a home is a house, an apartment or a condominium which is comfortable and nurtures the needs, mutual love, well-being and happiness of its occupants.  

Most of us can afford only developers’ units of residence be they bungalows, semi Ds, link houses; upmarket condominiums, apartments and town houses or low cost housing. These are not unique or exclusive in design but are identical albeit built with the buyers’ specs in mind. More and more are being equipped with community playgrounds and recreational facilities to provide the balance in lifestyle. We take our pick depending on the price, area, living features, accessibility etc etc

For the higher income groups and those with loads to spend i.e. the millionaires and billionaires among us, the choice of luxury homes is theirs. They have their pick of the best residential areas and choice locations, the size of land and house to fit their pockets and the architectural style and interior design to make their physical abode a haven and a dream come true.

I suppose everyone has dreams! And there’s no harm dreaming within the limits of your status in life, morally and ethically; professionally and financially! 

SO the question is – does an officer of the state or a government agency, a civil servant, a minister, MPs, ADUNs and people whose positions of authority give them plenty of opportunities to live well,  have the right to dream of living luxuriously? Can they live in luxury while in service or in retirement? Can their lifestyle be excessive or exclusive?

My simple mind tells me they can’t and they shouldn’t! It’s professionally unethical, financially impossible and morally unacceptable! For a servant of the state to jump to being a hedonist of excesses is hard for me to understand!

SO the revelation that the former Menteri Besar of Selangor Khir Toyo purchased a sprawling luxury home in an elite housing area is astounding – to me at least! Several questions come to mind (i) where would he get the money? (ii) why would he want to live in luxury? (iii) wasn’t he guided by a code of public and private ethics?

Whether the property cost him RM3.5 million as he claims or RM 24 million as alleged, why was ex MB stupid enough to think he could get away with it? Or did he think he was being awfully smart?

I can think of one former Menteri Besar of the post Merdeka era who retired into oblivion in the small wooden Malay house he built on an abandoned tin mine! The land was derelict and cheap which was all he could afford! The house TERATAK JASA was tiny even in those days, but it served his simple needs and lifestyle. He did not have the means nor inclination to build up grandiose ideas about himself!


The former Menteri Besar of Selangor of the 21st century was a dentist! The former Menteri Besar of Negeri Sembilan of the 20th century was a doctor! 

Only fifty years separate them but a chasm separates their values! Which says a lot for the new Malaysian values and Melayu Baru


July 2009
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