Thursday, June 30, 2005

Folk music from the Muslim world

Just curious…

If I were to organize a concert of contemporary folk music from the Islamic world, would you want to come and see?

These are not famous people but very talented people – just like a small ghazal group in some kampong somewhere in Malaysia and also other seasoned small-time performers from many other parts of the world.

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I’m talking about great acts from Indonesia, Syria, Turkey and many other northern African countries.

Why bring all these people in?

Because once in a while it’s just good to hear beautiful music and see the arts and culture of people from different parts of the world and we can inject and import a thing or two to enrich our own culture.

So what say you?

I am trying to get sponsors to help me out.

But if I can’t get sponsors, how much would you be willing to pay to attend a concert like this?
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Great service at Maybank

I was at Maybank Dayabumi Branch earlier today for some banking transactions.

I was amazed at how the service culture has improved in Malaysia.

I was attended by two really nice staff of Maybank, Kathy and Noraizam.

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Not only were they very efficient, but they made me feel very much at ‘home’.

Even the security guard was very nice and invited both Ian and Shazwan to sit down. BTW Shazwan has been mistaken many times lately as Tam Spider – tapi dia buat macam tak suka plak,pada hal suka giler.

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I once worked for a bank (but that was many, many years ago) and not only we had to be fast, but make sure tak salah kira.

So kekadang tension tu terlihat di muka.

So I can understand the pressure that Kathy and her friends had to endure everyday, but still the people at Maybank Dayabumi baik dan peramah and senyum selalu.

Memang bagus… (I pun peramah giler… teramatlah peramah sampai timbul masalah pula kekadang...)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Invent & Innovate

Is it because I’m no longer ‘stretchable’ that nowadays I find cutting toenails menyakitkan pinggang?

Why don’t they start inventing nail clippers yang kita tak yah bongkok punya?

Or better still, get people to cut your toenails for you?

Got in The Star Classified or not?


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Gosok jangan tak gosok

I hate ironing.

I know a friend who loves ironing and said ironing is actually therapy.

Dah giler gamak nyer… get a life!!

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I have loads and loads of baju bertimbun-timbun to iron.

I don’t send it to the dobby man as by the time I balik rumah kedai dobi dah tutup. When keluar rumah kedai dobi belum bukak.

Can kedai dobi bukak pukul enam pagi ker? They should start thinking differently to serve customers la.. Setakat bukak during opis hours buat hapa?

And can they make fabrics yang tak payah iron. Atau why not change our frame of reference and make baju berkedut fashionable?

Marilah fikirkan…

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Monday, June 27, 2005

Discourse on the Built Environment

It was an interesting meeting with Prof Dr Mohamad Tajuddin Mohamad Rasdi, Director of UTM’s KALAM – The Centre for the Study of Built Environment in the Malay World, last night.

We talked about content for the masses on culture and the built environment.

Among others, we discussed the question of identity in Malaysian architecture and the political ideas of Islam and their influence on mosque architecture in Malaysia.

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One thing for sure, soon, you’ll see capsules of information regarding built environment that will easily be consumed by ‘normal’ people like us.

What did I do over the weekend? Pure relaxation. And indulged in ‘makan durian’. Patutlah badan panas semacam.

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And what else… Akademi Fantasia? Well, enough is enough. I don’t want to spend Saturday night at home anymore since Idayu is now out! Memang bebudak vote ni semua tak tahu mana kaca mana permata. Idayu is winner material lah, macamana boleh keluar. Well, patutlah dalam politik ada ‘politik wang’.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Crocodile Hunter meets Prep School

Crocodile Hunter meets Prep School

TGIF and I can’t wait for tomorrow to strut in my weekend outfit.

So, it is shorts and blue denim shirt – my outfit to a very important strategic meeting with the strategists of the Asiastream group of Companies today.

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It is not about what you wear, it is what you bring to an organization or committee – ideas, ideals, experience and drive.

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Since I got the VCD from Maka yesterday, I have been playing the Elmira (irama padang pasir macam Ghazal) over and over again.

I love lagu-lagu padang pasir nih..

Lagu "Panggilan Haji" actually helped me score A1 in my MCE (ini macam SPM lah...)

The lyrics of "Panggilan Haji" helped me remember rukun haji.

The gambus and gendang make beautiful music. Rasa nak makan buah tamar and berlindung di bawah pohon yang rendang.

And to my buddy, Morky Moqq, happy birthday and I sure enjoyed your pictures from China. About our teh tarik session – cepatlah!! Are you going back for the MCKK Old Boys Weekend?

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Morky Moqq (source: http://

Gara-gara nak exercise

Gara-gara nak exercise.

Last night, after the AGENDA recording with Datuk Azalina, Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad, Hassan Tun Sulaiman and Lazarus Rokk, I decided to go for a swim.

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Yes, I did one lap and all of the sudden my left pinggang macam rasa urat/muscle bersimpol. Satu malam I bertampal dengan Tohtonku. Thank God I feel much better today, though jalan ada sikit macam zombie.

So over the next two days kena exercise ringan ler… hmmm thinking of getting a tukang urut to my place later.

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But one problem -- whenever someone massages me, I’ll just fall asleep right away, no matter how painful the massage can be.

I was at Kampong Pandan earlier today to discuss a major project with my former prefects at MCKK, Maka and Jasmani of AMAL Architect.

After the meeting I drove around the Desa Pandan area – some sort of a down memory lane trip. When I first started working, in KL, Muluk, Aziz and I rented a 3 bedroom apartment at Block G. Our apartment was two floors above Malek Noor’s – yes, Mr Angkat Berat & badan cantik -- ha.. ini baru 'world'

Monday, June 20, 2005

Living a life of significance

Yesterday was a very productive day for me.

I was at MIIM the whole day, sharing knowledge with my students.

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I treat my students like my adik beradik, sharing industry knowledge with them and helping them to leap forward in an unorthodox way – so that they are able to think outside the box.

They have to learn more and they need to synthesize more. They need to be more creative and be more competitive in a very challenging world today.

In class we discussed lots of new business potentials in content creation and development. And I was amazed at the maturity level of some of the students.

In the evening, I had dinner with the very down to earth and beautiful Maznah Zolkifli at Rebung Café in Bangsar.

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Rebung is a nice place owned by Chef Ismail and Dr Sheikh Muszaphar.

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The makanan sudah tentulah delicious coz it’s ‘air tangan’ Chef Ismail. Chef Ismail was not in, as he was on his way to Holland.

Dr Sheikh was such a nice host, we chatted for a while and only to realize later that it was almost midnight and I was afraid my Kembara would turn into a pumpkin and my glass kasut would disintegrate -- but they did not!

So guys, finally we have a nice place to entertain clients and friends with authentic Malay Cuisine. Try it.

Last night, I managed to curl up with a good book after geram at the results of Akademi Fantasia (macam mana lah Fuad tu boleh terkeluar, he is STAR material – itulah AF dah menjadi medan for jauhari yang ada sedikit kureng mengenal manikam).

Anyway, forget about AF and lets talk about the book. It is murah but very good. I bought it at MPH for just RM19.90 (One of those books yang orang tak nak beli)

It is about good communications and living well by Terry Felber. The title is “Am I Making Myself Clear?”

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Among the interesting stuff in it:

We need to live “a life of significance”. If we were to make a difference, it would be through our relationships with others, our ability to connect with people in a real way. We must not pass through this life just existing, just putting in our time – live a life of no regrets.

And I smiled after reading it and I terus makan roti telor bawang. Yummm

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Takut, takut, takut

Ampun coz lama tak update blog.

I have been very busy, kerja bertimbun-timbun.

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Our group is working on a mega ‘fun’ project which will hopefully give us a chance to own a Troika Unit next to the Petronas Twin Towers and get us out of relative-poverty (kalau bandingkan dengan Mr Donald Trump).

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Deadline dah lepas dah..

I hope (and very sure jugak) the mega ‘fun’ project will be a success coz my students and our faculty members will also be participating – nantilah, bila dah nak launch nanti, I cerita lebih banyak.

Recently, I gave an assignment to my students -- What will they write in their columns (if they were given columns in the newspapers)? And what kind of treatment would they give? They were given a week to complete the assignment.

And guess what? I received e-mails every single day. The kids were not sure how to start, takut salah treatment, takut salah buat, takut lari dari topic…etc..etc… The word is TAKUT.

This is not the first time. Penyakit ini berlaku every single semester. Why are our kids scared to pursue something new? Takut, takut, takut.

I think I know why. Because selama ni it has always been “I’m the instructor/teacher and you student -- I talk you listen and memorize -- Come exam time you regurgitate.”

That is why we don’t have many creative and brave souls that have emerged from the system.

Semunya timid-timid coz we taught them to be timid.

So kids.. Listen (I know you are reading this…), kalau you tak berani redah and be more adventurous, you won’t get good marks. We have to be leaders not followers. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes.

We learn faster when we make mistakes.

I made lots of mistakes and I’m still smiling… so what the heck.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Love yourself...

I finally accepted myself.

This morning I looked in the mirror, I saw an overweight but pleasant looking early 40s man, and I liked him – yeah I like ME!!

I said to myself -- I don’t really need to cut calories to go down a few pounds to please others – but I’ll do it for health reasons.

But the point is – I like myself – finally.

I can live with my double chin, wavy difficult to style hair, and my ‘puak keren’ lipcolour which makes me look poor – that’s why on TV, they taught me to use lip-liner and dab it with a bit of Miyami powder (thanks Najib, Jack, Lela, Bib, Mups and all the make-up people at TV3 and ASTRO for the tips).

When I saw Fuad (of the Akademi Fantasia Fame) last night, I said to myself – there’s a young kid who’s happy with himself (at least he looked like it), and it’s ok to be slightly overweight.

And when I saw my picture in Le Prestige magazine this morning (nampak gemoklah tapi senyuman tetap menawam kalbu together with Datuk Seri Nazri Tan Sri Aziz and Abdul Razak Ali), I was pleased.

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Now I can understand why some people can ‘pose’ for the camera with minimal linen on – hmmm. Now don’t you get some crazy ideas – but then again….

Talking about Akademi Fantasia – it made me wonder what is wrong with the voting public.

I think we enjoy proposing nerds, misfits, less-then-pandai and ‘content-empty’ people to lead/entertain us and make their lives miserable and then when the system dah collapsed we’ll talk at kedai kopi and let somebody else fix the damage – that explains the Mawi Fiasco on Akademi Fantasia.

And talented ones like Eliza got booted out – why, coz people can’t stand her charming though a bit childish ways – hello… accept people for who they are – lantaklak dia nak gedik ker, janji dia nyanyi best. Taklah lupa lirik etc.

I think Malaysians still have a long way to go in democratizing banyak benda—itu baru hiburan belum other major decisions – entahlah – wahai rakyat – pandaikanlah diri mu.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Have a great weekend

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Thank God It's Friday. Finally I will have time to do what I like. Want to catch up on my reading and do a bit of filing, settle the bills, and clean the house.

Where can I get good help to clean the house? I used to have Halimah who would come to the house to do some cleaning but now since she has coloured her hair, pakai lipstick merah menyala, berketat and all, she is no longer available to clean the house. Halimah now manages a snooker centre. Not bad for someone who came all the way from seberang, faced all the challenges and berani.

Halimah should be an inspiration to many orang-orang kita yang takut nak buat itu, takut nak buat ini -- redah ajer lah.

'Redah ajer lah' has been our cogankata over the past 2 years (our = me, mokciknab and gang). There are lots of opportunities out there. It's all up to us to 'redah ajer'. Now I found out, some of the things they taught me in the MBA class tak boleh pakai sangat. Go for specific segment lah itulah, inilah. Sometimes it's ok to be a kedai runcit for cashflow purposes. I think entrepreneurs like us should rewrite some of the textbooks that the lecturers yang tak pernah buat business tu pakai.

Janganlah marah.. kalau marah nanti kena jual. Kalau marah, nanti main tak best.


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Proposals and more proposals...

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Kita minum dulu


It has been a hectic week.

5 major proposals in 2 days – a record!!

And if the proposals menjadi project, memang meletop.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to go to Sarawak to conduct a media training there end of this month. It has been a long time. Enjoyed the last time I was there, mempamerkan diri at Riverside and also Damai Beach. People in Sarawak are so nice.

Yesterday, I had lots of fun recording the next episode of Agenda@ASTRO together with Wahti Mahidin of Sunday Mail, lawyer Haris Ibrahim, JAWI’s Director, and a pendakwah bebas. The topic – new guidelines on entertainment – how to be ‘relatively Islamic in a secular country’.

I have a major presentation to do tomorrow and hope it will be a success. Preliminary discussions appeared favourable.

Marilah kita berdoa dan bertawakal -- amin..

Lately, I've been toying with this idea of keeping my hair long -- if they don't allow me to keep long hair and host a program on TV, I'll quit. But how would I look like in an Anuar Zain or a Bo Bice hair? See below...

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Friday, June 03, 2005

Perkara Bermusim

Teacher: Baiklah murid-murid, sekarang ini musim apa?
Students: Musim cuti cikgu.
Teacher: Bukan, siapa nak cuba?
Students: Musim durian cikgu.
Teacher: Bukan, musim orang kahwin!!

And yes… Musim orang kahwin is like ‘musim yang tak larat’. Why? Because penat nak jawab -- “Ha you ni bila nak kahwin?” Normally I’ll just smile and say, InsyaAllah, satu hari nanti (while at the same time saying to myself, macamlah rumahtangga dia orang ni bahagia sangat.. dahlah laki dia ada affair, dia tak tahu, gaduh siang malam. Habis tu asik-asik nak match make orang – penat – penat. Hoi Cik Kiah pergi pasang detektif, ikut laki kau tu, jangan kerja nak kahwinkan orang jer). And if we were to compare our lives, I live a happier, relationship-stress-free life.

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Anyway, though I have never been married, (relationship tu adalah – macam hujan sekejap sekejap di beberapa kawasan…) I am quite a well sought after independent ‘marriage-counselor-sort-of’.

At midnight or so, my phone would ring and I’ll be the good listener to friends who are going through lots of marital problems. Ada yang laki-bini gaduh pasal duit, ada yang lesbian yang 'jantan' tu cari pompuan lain, yang gay plak tak puas main -- mampos aku.

Sometimes I give my two-cents worth, sometimes I’ll just say “you need the roof to fall on you, you shit head!! Just cut your losses!!”.

But I am happy for some of my friends who are happily married, like John and Haliza (see pic below during their wedding)

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Moving on -- I see a lot more of Dang Suria these days as she would come over to Kelana Square more often now.

Had lunch with her last week, and OK, we’ll go out and paint the town red and blue soon.

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I was at Fasta Pasta earlier today and had the delicious Spaghetti Marinara.

As Mokciknab had to jaga the two princesses, yang kena mumps, and Shazwan is in Kemaman (for a merisik session), Cekem is entah mana-mana entah (and he is so secretive too about his whereabouts -- gasak) and Ian is far away at the office, I decided to go alone to Ikano Power Centre.

It’s a good time-out for me.

Sometimes, going out on your own is the best therapy.

At times macam ni, I do miss my buddy Muluk yang membanting tulang mengorek minyak for 'the big oil company' in Bintulu.

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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Fasten your seat belt

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Tomorrow, it's going to be full speed, lots of catching up to do -- malas lah nak rilek-rilek, feeling-feeling.

And tomorrow it's going to be a new MOI ... No place for body-and-mind-snatchers...

To start with, I need three new pillows -- yes bantal yang keras like they used to make in the old days.

Another thing is a new tatami.

I also need to clean the microwave oven and the wok. I want to start cooking again.

And before that, I must have spaghetti marinara.. where la?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Sanjit -- The Talented Photographer

Sanjit, my ex-student is looking for opportunities / jobs / win-win collaborations.
He takes nice pixs.
You can contact him at

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Mr Hamilton, Saying NO, and Living with wierdos

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Cekem's Princesses: Our office is very Children Friendly, Wierdo Friendly and Macam-macam ada.

First, it was a pleasure meeting the good old gang from the MCKK Class of 75-79. Dollah Arshad (former national Quran reading champion and also penghibur nombor satu 75-79) chaired the meeting. And the 'committee' members?

1. Me (yes,they now call me Mr Hamilton -- it's all Lokman's idea, Sulauncher is still fine by any standard)
2. Nizam (the host and laici drink sponsor).
3. Stone (pakar futsal).
4. Iyoy (Illustrator extraordinaire).
5. Bakar (Tall dark handsome and pandai, mewakili region selatan).
6. Al Paeh (Ahlil fikir, ahlil falak dan Venture capitalist).
7. Kue (resident entertainer -- errr , errr, errr).
8. Ungku Robby (Playboy pencen, ker belom?).
9. Beh (Penangkap orang jahat).
10. Lanun (Digital always).
11. Izzuddin ISO (IT and Insurance related soul -- can jive ah?).

And the meeting was a great leap forward. The group decided on insurance coverage for all 111 of us. And we are ready to start the business venture. Finally we are on.. Missed Amin, Nasha, Kadok, Mizi and the rest too..

Yesterday,during the recording of Agenda, had a chance to talk to Lim Guan Eng. Quite a nice guy, really.

And today, there's a photo shoot at ASTRO. Looks like I have to recycle my black baju coz semua tak basuh lagi. That is why I think the inventor of "Febreeze" should get a Nobel Prize.

And the phone sex story in, why they all had this idea that the phone that rang was mine ha? Is there like a sign on my forehead or something?

Oh one more thing... One of my staff will be heading home for Kemaman tomorrow coz his mummy wants to introduce him to a girl and mummy wants him to get married -- rescue him from the godaan of Metropolitan Kuala Lumpur. And he is far from happy with the arrangement. Help him say NO... in a nice way.