Saturday, April 30, 2005


A former colleague of mine wrote in his blog that he makes it a routine to walk around the neighbourhood daily. I personally feel that this is a very good practice and I have been doing it regularly for many years. Friends always tell me that they have not enough time to do it, that they have other priorities to attend to and so on so forth. Hello hello!!….. time is what you make of it my friends. You take charge and you control. You make the time and never allow it to slip by. If you keep saying you have no time you WILL have no time.

In my younger days I used to jog or run around the jogging track or along the roads in the neighbourhood but since quite a number of years ago I just go for brisk walks and mostly in the mornings before getting ready to go to work. I would do it before the sun is up. Nowadays however, since retiring from active work, I am more flexible but I do prefer to do it before the sun is up. It is more pleasant at that time of the morning. Once in a while I do it in the evening too. I will go for a swim in the pool whenever I get the opportunity, either at the PD house, or the club or when we stay in a hotel somewhere in our travels. On rainy days I get onto the motorized treadmill at home and walk on it at speeds of 5 – 6 km/hr for about 45 minutes and then do weights for a while. We have had these equipment for many years now, we do utilize them but it gets pretty dull when using them. I used to have a small TV in front of the treadmill but the TV is ‘kaput’ now. The preference is still to go around the park.

Walking around the park is interesting. Most of the folks in the park at the time that I go there are elderly folks although there are the odd couples of younger ones who, I believe, make the time to exercise in the park. They are the wiser ones!!

It is interesting to see the behaviours of these folks as I briskly walk along.

I spy one man walking around with a broken golf putter in one hand. He walks briskly but he will use the stick to collect discarded plastic bags, or plastic bottles, or packet drinks and deposit them into the nearest rubbish bins, and there are plenty of these bins around the park. He does this every day. Interestingly, these bins are almost always full!!

I spy a man, fully dressed every time, long-sleeved coloured shirt, dark office trousers, not rubber but leather shoes and socks, walking not briskly but normally, around the park. He wears no tie though, ha ha. He holds a digit counter in one hand (the type stewardess use in the airplane when they go up and down the aisle counting the number of passengers on board). I hear the thingy clicking as I go pass him. I do not know whether he is doing a mantra softly and counting, or counting the number of steps he made, or perhaps counting the number of people who pass him, I wonder.

I spy a (very) elderly man, lanky and tall, sweat-shirt and shorts, baseball cap, rubber shoes, walking usually in the reverse direction as I do. (Notice how most people when they get into their routine would not change anything? Enter through the same entrance, same side of the gate, walk on the same side of the road, sit on the same seat at the same location, walk in the park in the same direction, every time?) This man, I think, walks faster than I do as we always pass each other before I get to be half way around the circuit!! Looking at him I used to put him at being 80 or so. I had an opportunity to briefly talk to him on one occasion. I commented how fit he was walking faster than me. I asked how old he was and he said that he was born in 1912. Eh hem! 1912? That makes him 93 years old. I asked for his longevity secret and he said eat natural food, drink a lot of water. No canned or preprocessed foods full of additives and unnatural flavours. That short answer tells me a lot. How we have abused our bodies all these while, hmmm!!

I spy a group of ladies, elderly and with Indonesian maids in tow, dressed for exercise, jogging shoes and all, chit-chatting while walking leisurely, very leisurely in fact, not a care for other users jogging or walking in the park, occupying the whole jogging track as they walk along. All others can go onto the grass for all they care!! They gossip under the guise of exercising?? Noisily too!! The maids gossip amongst themselves as well. Can’t blame them. The opportunity is there.

I spy another group of ladies, standing in rows, with a radio playing some kind of music, and a leader infront showing the moves. All the ladies will synchronise their moves with the leader and its a pretty sight to see. It is not aerobics, more of a dance but its exercise.....

I spy another group of ladies, smaller in number, maybe five or six each time, standing like statues, yes statues. They do not move. They stay that way for quite a while. When the leader change position then only the others follow and change position. Is this exercise?

I spy one man walking in repeated moves of one, two, three steps with arms swinging, stop on the fourth step, and slowly turns his head and upper torso to the right. He then proceeds to walk one, two, three steps and again stop on the fourth step, slowly turns his head and upper torso to the right. He repeats this and all the time turning to the right. After a while he turns to the left and keeps turning to the left. Why for I wonder?

MKI Ramblings Unlimited,
Petaling Jaya

Friday, April 29, 2005


Nowadays I find my time and days going as fast, if not faster, than the times when I was gainfully employed or when later, I was actively running a company. The minutes turn to hours and the hours turn to parts of the day, mornings, afternoons, evenings etc very fast. I do procrastinate a little, I do sit around, especially at my favourite spot in the front patio, with a glass of water in my hand when I am at home and stare into the open sky or the distant horizon, into emptiness so to speak, but my mind will not be empty. It would then wonder around to many areas. Sometime I wonder what to write and post into this blog. Sometime I imagine many what ifs; what the future would be if….. ; what if ……. what will the world be like and what will happen to my children when they reach my age …… my grandchildren and so on. Sometime I reminisce on the past….. the experiences I went through…… the various working cultures I was involved with ….. the various living environments and climates I had to put up with be it in my home country or in the various foreign countries I had lived in, for short or for extended periods.

My daily routine usually starts very early in the morning with the predawn prayers followed by a walk around the nearby park or around the neighbourhood. The park is usually pretty crowded at that time of the morning, with folks of around my age or older, not many younger, and I would spend about an hour there. Then it will be the routine of cleaning the house and tending to whatever chores that need attention around the house. I will either help my wife or she helps me. There are no divisions of responsibilities between us now. We do what is necessary and assist each other all the time. By the time we can sit down for breakfast it would be more than halfway through the morning already. Then it will be errands to run, buying groceries or paying bills, many are now done online though, post office, bank etc. Usually, if there is a need to do any of these, both of us will go together. This is mainly due to the hassle of trying to find parking space. One of us will sit in the car and the other will run in and do the necessary and hop-in back into the car. These errand outings are also opportunities for both of us to get out of the house, having spent 70/80 % of our life getting out of the house almost daily. Lunch is usually in the mid-afternoon and sometime none at all depending on what we had for breakfast.

Later in the afternoon I will usually take a short nap and when the day is cooler I will be in the garden, tinkering or catching up on reading. Or I will get on the treadmill for about 20 minutes to half an hour and work on weights in the back patio of the house. It is pretty dull walking or running on the treadmill alone, so I usually read a book or something while on it. After dinner I will spend some time on the computer, reading emails, visit chat groups, and surfing the net. Bedtime is usually after midnight, after the Nightline News on TV. Once in a while my wife and I will go out for simple dinners or watch a show in town. We keep up with shows at the Istana Budaya or the Malaysian Philharmonic Hall whenever possible. Other times we will keep up with kinfolks in and around the Klang Valley, either visiting them or they visit us.

The routine will change according to the circumstances when we travel to be with our grandchildren or with my mum.

It does not look like a glamourous daily routine but it keeps my wife and I occupied most of the time

MKI Ramblings Unlimited
Petaling Jaya

Thursday, April 28, 2005

A Bus Trip South

Shaffik and family have returned to Bintulu. Mini has to start work after a long confinement leave. Ram and Siti followed to assist as Shaffik and Mini has a new helper now. This helper was the previous helper working for them when Hifzhan was a baby, so she is familiar to the family. Indeed Hifzhan became immediately attached to her, ‘familiarity recall’ I guess. Ram and Siti will probably stay for a week or so since the helper can cope with the kids.

The day after all of them left for Bintulu, I took a bus to JB to visit my mother. Nor, my younger sister (next to me and we have eight other younger siblings) had requested to meet up with me quite urgently on a family matter. She did not tell me what then but I suspect it was about mother. So, off to JB I went.

I went to the bus station in Kuala Lumpur at about noon and managed to get a seat on the 2.00 pm bus. The bus was not full and I had an empty seat next to me, so it was a comfortable ride. Two young girls were sitting in front of me but they do not appear to be traveling together. Along the way I noticed one of them fidgeting a lot and looking here and there. Then she started talking to the girl next to her and later went to talk to the driver. When she came back to her seat she had tears in her eyes. I asked what the matter was and she said she is in the wrong bus!!! Oh my. Where was she supposed to go to? Kuala Lipis she said, which is geographically way off from JB. The bus driver had suggested that she catch a bus to Kuala Lipis once we reach JB later. There are buses traveling at night through that part of the country. This girl is barely twenty, more like eighteen or nineteen. I thought it would not be a good idea for her to travel at night all by herself. I asked and she said she has nobody that she knows of in JB. She has never been to JB before and she has not traveled out of Kuala Lipis previously I suspect. She is a student in a college in KL and this is the first time she is going home by herself!! Oh my what a dilemma she is in. She then asked me if there is a train station in JB as she would be more comfortable traveling on a train at night then in a bus. I said yes but I cannot remember the train schedule. So I got Tessa and my brother Kifli to help check the schedule. Both came back saying that there is a train at about 10 pm that night. That would be convenient for her, since we expect to arrive in JB at dusk and she has ample time to get to the train station Although it is quite a distance away from the bus station but I could guide her to it later. However, when the bus stopped at a rest area along the way, another bus from the same company going to KL had also stopped at the same area. The drivers discussed and offered to take the girl back to KL. She agreed, as she has friends and people she can trust in KL. Solution found and another lesson learnt. But how could she have made the mistake of boarding the wrong bus. I guess it was a series of errors at the time she boarded the bus in KL. The bus had just arrived from JB and the driver did not change the destination board on the bus. It was still showing Kuala Lumpur but the word Lumpur was covered up by something and partly visible while the word Kuala was fully visible. I remember we were all seated and waiting when this girl came on board in a hurry just as the bus was about to leave. She must have looked at the direction sign and saw Kuala L…. and just assumed that the bus was going to Kuala Lipis. The driver looked at her ticket but did not confirm the direction on the ticket. The seat that was allocated to her as per her ticket happened to be vacant on this bus. The mistake should not have happened. The responsibility definitely lies with the bus driver to ensure that he has the right passengers on board.

I met my sister Nor. Yes, she wanted to discuss with me about mother. My mother is 85 years old. She is still capable of carrying out her routine unaided. She still keep herself busy, very busy in fact, for an 85 years old woman. She is still the treasurer of a Women’ Institute Cooperative group, still involved in politics in the Women’s wing also as a treasurer I think, active in community work and so on. So she handles quite a bit of money. She goes to the bank, post office and other offices as need be and as a routine. However Nor is concerned lest anything should happen to her and being responsible she thought she should consult me as both of us are the elder siblings. I quite agree with her. We discussed at length on the steps to be taken and agreed with mother on what should be done. She gave her blessings and hopefully nothing untoward happens. She wants to continue with her routine all the same, but from now on she will have us to back her up and be aware of her transactions.

I spent the rest of my time in JB with brother Kifli, visiting his office, his business ventures and discussed with him possible involvement in expanding the venture. He promised to provide me details and projections of the expansion programme and have further discussion on it later.

I left JB the following afternoon catching the 2.00pm bus to KL. The bus left on time. There were only two other passengers with me on board. I slept most part of the journey. The driver must have been driving pretty fast as we were in KL before 6.00 pm. Lord knows what other traffic violations the driver committed to reach KL in that time span. I normally take much longer than that to drive my car the same distance.

Back home there were a myriad of household chores to perform. The usual routines of washing, sweeping, mopping, cleaning, and watering the garden and so on kept me busy. At least these chores kept me up and about a lot. In between I will take breaks to check my emails, or do quick surf in the net for various news and so on. I had flu on arriving home. Not because of the chores. Maybe it’s the dust in the air, especially in the vicinity of the KL bus station as I already felt uncomfortable in the throat when on my way to JB. Most travelers using public transport agree that the current KL bus station is hazardous, pollution-wise. There has been talk of relocation, improving the ventilation system, and many other suggestions. An ongoing thing for many years now but where is the solution ………. I wonder.

MKI Ramblings Unlimited
Petaling Jaya

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Another Three Weeks In One

I have been postponing my posting again, three weeks since the last one!! No excuse though. Busy with the grandchildren? Yes. Procrastinate? Also yes.

Shaffik and family have returned to Bintulu. The house is suddenly very quiet. I sit in front of this laptop trying to recall the happenings of the last three weeks or so and write. There were two bereavements in the neighbourhood, Shaffik held a thanksgiving ceremony for newborn Haadieya Hasya, Ram’s left eye giving her some problems (the right eye was the one with cornea transplant), and other little happenings.

The two bereavements were one, an eighty five year old man who passed away in his home and the other, a thirty four year old doctor whom I was told, collapsed while performing an operation on a patient, and passed away in the operation theatre. It was apparently instantaneous. People were talking about it. Some wonder how, being in a hospital, he could not be saved he, being so young. He must have had a massive heart attack, they said. This sets me to recall some comments of previous deaths such as, “they were late in sending him to hospital,” or “died on the way to hospital, no time to save him,” and so on. Always trying to find blame for the deaths. The fact is, its “times-up”. When your time is up you go, no matter what people do to avoid it. Heart failures, accidents, and all the other causes of deaths are just reasons of, and set by the Almighty which no one can change. This is the facts of life and deaths. Thirty four years old, eighty five years old or anywhere in between, before and beyond, no one knows when it is “times-up”. So, do we want to be ready or will we ever be ready?

Shaffik held a thanksgiving ceremony for Haadieya Hasya on a Saturday morning. We catered food, briyani with mutton as the main feature, from a friend who runs a briyani restaurant not far away from our house. There was a good turn-out of relatives, neighbours and friends. Food prepared was sufficient, and just so, until the last guest left just before dusk. Sita and family came down from Kerteh, so also my mother and my sister Nor and family from Johore Bahru. Ram’s sister, Siti was also around. Rashidah had left for umrah the previous night thereby missing the function. During the ceremony of cutting her hair, Haadieya was crying all the time. Some say that this is a sign of her being sharp and outspoken when she grows up. Me, I just say yeah, good. What she actually grows up into will be a result of what and how the parents and other adults coach her in the growing up process. This is given in the Quran and hadith.

In the evening after the ceremony, Ram was complaining of pains in her left eye. This eye has similar problems as the right one before the cornea graft procedure. It is currently being treated with eye-drops six hourly. I suspect and I hope and pray that it is only because of her exerting herself too much on that day. She went to bed early and on Sunday I asked her to rest more and not do work in the house. By Sunday evening she said that the eye was much better and there was no more pain. Praise be to the Almighty. She will have to be more careful now. She cannot exert herself much anymore and I have difficulties convincing her this fact.

MKI Ramblings Unlimited
Petaling Jaya

Grandma feeding what??? Posted by Hello

With Grand Uncle. I am 8 weeks old he is 82 yrs oldPosted by Hello

with Great Grandma. I can screammmm!!
She is 85 and I am 8 weeks old. I am entitled
to scream!!Posted by Hello

Najla playing with her cousins Posted by Hello

Uggggh! these guys.... Just you wait when I am bigger !! Posted by Hello

Monday, April 11, 2005

Three weeks in one posting?

It has been a while since my last posting here. We are back at home in Petaling Jaya. We left Bintulu on 22nd March, on time, by Air Asia. Son Shaffik was then in Kuala Lumpur for a meeting, so we had to take a cab to Bintulu Airport. We got a cab belonging to a former staff of Asean Bintulu Fertilizer (ABF), where I used to work in and where son Shaffik is working in now. It has been quite a long time since I last met Hj Nerawi, the cab driver/owner, and we had a lot of catching up to do. He was at one time the driver of the ABF bus. Shaffik, scheduled to return to Bintulu on 23rd, stayed in Pan pacific Hotel at KLIA, which was quite convenient for us as we could wait for him at the hotel. Shaffik went home to PJ after his meeting and drove the car to the hotel for us. His flight back to Bintulu was the next morning.

Two days later Shaffik and family, including the newborn, came up to KL. He has some work to do in Kerteh and was scheduled to be there for one week. So, all of us drove up to Kerteh. Ram and I stayed in Sita’s house while Shaffik and family stayed at the hotel. After that one week in Kerteh we came back to KL. The kids are still here with us. They are scheduled to return to Bintulu on the 18th. Ram and her sister Siti will be going along with them to Bintulu.

All the above movements had become necessary because Shaffik and Mini has no live-in helper currently. With Shaffik working, Mini alone would not be able to cope looking after the baby as well as the ever hyperactive two boys. Furthermore Mini was still in confinement. The live-in helper (an Indonesian) had completed her contract and a new helper is being arranged. It would have been simple if a replacement could be found immediately, but currently there seem to be a dearth of helpers from the neighbouring country, all because of a tightening of and stricter exit control, their side, and god knows what other restrictions that have been recently imposed, all as a result of the repatriation of illegal immigrants from that country by Malaysia. It became a G to G arrangement but I suspect somewhere down the line someone or more of them are playing pucks!! with the system. Mini is now at the end of her confinement, and has to go back to work sometime next week. Ram has to follow them back and hopefully the new live-in helper would be available then.

While we were in Kerteh I received a phone call from a close friend and former colleague that he was in IJN, the National Heart Institute. He had been there a couple of days, first in the ICU and that he had been transferred to the normal ward on the day he called me. I think he had recurring problems. By coincidence, the following day, we received news of the passing away of Ram’s niece’s husband. A businessman, still active, in mid-fifties I think, and who has had a heart bypass procedure done quite some years ago. Apparently he had recurring problems and succumbed to it. As we could not leave the kids and Mini in Kerteh we were not able to attend the funeral. However we did make some phone calls to other nephews and nieces and was assured that the arrangements of things necessary for the funeral were in order. Yesterday, we had the opportunity to visit the niece and her daughter in her house and found out that the late husband indeed had the recurring heart problems but it had also caused other problems that affected the lungs and he had succumbed to it. May the blessings of the Almighty be bestowed upon him, “Al-fatihah”.

My two grandsons continually keep everyone in the house ‘entertained’. They either play loudly or quarrel loudly, forever requiring attention. After my normal morning walk in the park nearby I would return home, fetch them and bring them to the park and let them play in the playground. At least that way they exert themselves somewhat and would sleep for a while later in the day. That’s when we get some peace and quiet in the house.

Since yesterday, Shaffik brought all of them to a hotel in KL where he has checked into because of his work and the house is suddenly very quiet!! The kids, of course, looked forward to it as they could swim in the pool. We stopped by at the hotel today and told the two boys to follow us and they refused!! They want to continue staying in the hotel they said. They want to swim in the pool some more!!

MKI Ramblings Unlimited
Petaling Jaya