Friday, December 29, 2006


Towards the end of the year, generally, people are busy preparing for the upcoming new year. For some reasons it is obvious when January comes, it marks another page of life whether we like it or not. The ones with no specific goals to achieve will regard it as just another new year, but, for the wise persons, it serves as a reminder for the lifespan is now shortened and perhaps closer to death.

I remember stories from my old folks those days. Long before the establishment of modern life, the calendar for them was marked based on events like planting season, harvesting season, rainy season, but less notable on the turn the year. One thing for sure, what significant to them was based on their lifestyles for it would then become apparent in their way of looking at the turn of time. You may have heard of our forefathers those days referred to age of a person like the time when he or she starts to walk as a baby, when he has had his circumcision done, when she starts having menses of sorts, but nothing specific on what age they were in numbers and what year. Take for instance, the way they measure children’s schooling age was to curl the arm around the head and try to touch the ear on the other side. If it touches, that means the child is ready for schooling. The ones with big heads or short arms would then be unlucky. No wonder there happened to be cases where big boys with thick moustache like Dato' K in primary schools, far too big and hairy for the peers. There was a boy champ out in arm wrestling with his classmates, so I heard.

Well now, new year is rather something of a significant occurrence due to our lifestyles we are adopting.

Of all the many things about new year, apart from the new year celebrations and the amount of money needed for schooling kids or wrapping up things in office, one cannot help but thinking of new year resolutions. For most individuals, perhaps new year resolutions have been lined up weeks before. But, some may also get fed up with resolutions and choose not to have one because none of the past years’ worked out. Personally, I do not start having my resolutions prepared for a new year coming but I prefer to have it commences on my birthday instead. Anyway, regardless of when the starting and ending point is, resolutions somehow are the reflections of our minds on our hopes and dreams – occasionally, reveries. I consider myself as an organized person, but the irony is I never had them written down though. I prefer to have those hopes and dreams orbiting my mind, protracted vividly in a cosmic of its own. It's too personal for me to have it documented.

What ‘bout you? How do you treat your resolutions?

On working life, it’s different though. For my own organization, by this time of the year, the master copy of next year strategies in hard covers is already potted off. So to say, it seals all the corporate hopes & goals in the coming year, the collective “resolutions” to act as guidelines and reference for a year stretch – a product after weeks of brainstorming, discussing and arguing in the board room. Need not to mention throughout the course, sometimes faces are turning red when it brickbats over your unfounded suggestions and ideas. So to speak, ideas are just like diamonds in the rough, preliminary selected, then put onto the grinding machine, polished and shined and eventually put it under the spotlight in the showcase. The idea will then no longer belong to an individual but the whole team. The new and fresh ideas are not uncommon if they would affect the 5-year plan that resolute only last year and a new version of yet another 5-year plan emerges. Above all, it’s not even funny when the 5-year plan is revised and changed every year. It is a game of calculated guessing.

Managers are now busy working out on plans to meet the corporate strategies for their specific departments and sections.

Those years, I used to interpret over the directions from the board when I was a senior manager. I used to confine myself down to precision on instructions from higher management when I was a rookie in management team. I used to patch up orders from bits when I was an executive in congregating the standards set by my managers. I used to be pushed around by my seniors when I was a junior executive. During that time I would be very vocal over things I didn’t like but very serious in taking to mean in all tasks and duties. Blessed with some eloquence, many times I saw my superiors dipped their heads in the sand when I laid out my points over the big table. Sometimes it boomeranged. May be it was due to me as a young guy who thought of having a lot of ideas and capable of managing bigger things. But, when you grow older and wiser, having heavier responsibilities and get to see the maze of abstractions, you’d start to realize what’s hidden in the master plan of the organization. Bark all you want, change you may not. Sometimes you are pawned by default and coded to pit into a casualty list in order to save the commanders.

It’s all in the game.

And now my turn to set the game plan, but I am glad God has not allowed me to plan things at the expense of others.

SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDIL ADHA. I sincerely hope visitors to my blog would not get offended from my writing all these while. Forgive me if sometimes you may get offended by my words, it’s never my intention.

GAB: Happy New Year & Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha to all Moslems

(One year ago, on the date, FROM THE GOVERNOR'S DESK was born, Happy 1st birthday to my blog)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

So...I answered the questions!

In a true spirit of the camaraderie in blogosphere, it makes me so guilty when I am tagged and yet I don’t respond to it. I know it dues for some time already; please accept my apology Mr Idham and thank you for tagging me up. I’ve been buying time just like what I did in honoring the losses of Brad & Angie the other day.

I try to stick as much as possible to Mr Idham's edited version3.0. Now here goes…


GAB 101


* GAB – Seriously it does! The kid in me says this nick is full of fantasy
* Jay – Some found it better to start off with the letter “J” – sounds more impactful as compared to Z as it supposed to be
* Zack – I don’t like much this name because it sounds playboyish like a nick name given to the GRO when you introduce yourself in the nightclubs.


All screen names used are associated with GAB and I am comfortable with it.

* GAB.pbp
* GAB_Pedra_Branca


* Goodness, I love my tummy but they pushed me to hate it. I always give excuse to myself saying, a sign of prosperity.
* They say smart people naturally have wide forehead as wide as a football field. My forehead was like Siti Nurhaliza’s when I was a kid while other kids had the hairline like millimetres away from eyebrows. And when the hairline recedes, it becomes even wider. Again they pushed me to hate it.
* In-grown toe nail – How to love something that is painful?


* Siamese
* Don Corleone of Sicily
* If Idham happens to be of Panglima Hitam mine is Pendekar Megat Panji Alam


* To be picked up by TV reporters to comment on the issue I am not familiar with, thus make a fool of myself before mllions of people.
* A beautiful and sexy artist stood up on me saying she loves me. That’s still not too scary but when circumstancially I’d be head over heel with her, it brings a chill down my spine. Or may me I am confused with excitement here? Someone… care to explain this to me?
* Fall into a group that being labelled as “deviants” in my pursuit of spiritual life.


* Briefing by a secretary in early morning on my daily things.
* My tea break for nescafe tarik at 10:30 am
* A call from wife


* Cool under pressure
* Pictures of my children when they were babies in my wallet. Another way of saying, don’t grow up, please be my babies forever
* My PR skills


* Time to spend for holidays round the world with my wife. Perhaps it’d take some 1 year to complete
* Opportunity to travel into space – I wanna see how small the earth is from distance just to relate to how small I am as a person.
* A house overlooking the bay with all the necessary machines to use on land or sea or river in the stable.


I have a lot that I equally love, too bad only three to be in the list.

* Deep Purple
* The Eagle
* Alan Parson Project


* Just Another Brick in the Wall – Pink Floyd
* Selimut Putih – original version by Orkes El-Soraya

* Hotel California


* Honesty
* A sense of sacrifice
* To be pampered


* Heavy at the top will do a lot of justice
* Nice fingers
* Walking style – I love it feminine but not ultra-feminine like one can see in catwalks.


* Drawing & designing (with Fara on my side appreciating my work)
* Driving around with kids if I am not engrossed with my garden.
* By myself in the woods next to a waterfall or being somewhere in the busy crowd sitting there like stupid observing people . And here


* Honestly, my bladder is bursting while at this point typing - toilet
* Laze around with my kids at home while school holidays not yet over
* To be away from Kuala Lumpur to a place where the pace of life is slower


* Switzerland
* A remote island somewhere in the Pacific basin
* Melor


* To impart as much as possible knowledge and values to my children and to let them know we’ll have yet another life together in eternity.
* To build an orphanage home – Being an orphan myself when I was a kid, my heart goes to them
* Being able to read khutbah for Friday prayer


* Love to hear the words “Bang… makan” or “Bah… makan Bah”
* All I know I have nicely ironed & hanged shirts in the closet
* I don’t know how to buy my own underwears and socks


* Caring & Loving, I mean very
* Down to all minute and petty things around the house (except socks and underwears)
* Always on alert over emotional changes of the house occupants.

Now, in the good old tradition of tagging - three people will carry on answering the questions .
May I therefore ask these three to do this tag.

Woman At the Well

Friday, December 15, 2006

VMY 2007, the island and I

Come 2007, Malaysia will have Visit Malaysia Year known as VMY 2007. The government, through the Ministry of Tourism is targeting at 20 million tourists to come visit us next year – that is an awful lot of foreigners to flood in. There have been efforts to make Malaysia more attractive to world travelers and the programmes that have been drawn up to make VMY 2007 a successful one.

Those days when I was in the USA, Malaysia was rather unknown to the American public at large. I wonder is it changing much now since we first launch Visit Malaysia Year back in 1990. May be, may be not. Chances are still not that much.

I was young. I was so pissed off when I got asked from where I was; I said “Malaysia” and that kind of expressions in their faces with twitches of eyebrows, as if saying, ‘Is there such country name exists in this world?’ or ‘Is that a town in Mexico he’s referring to?’. Fortunately not being asked back like, “Is that your last name?”. Well sometimes I would allow the tête-à-tête to flow; I’d go, “Do you know where it is?” As expected, they have no knowledge of it, “Errrr… may be it’s next to Iran…?” When Iran was pronounced as Ai-Ran, enough to start making me regret for getting caught in the conversation, let alone when it made me feel like being hailed from Planet X with their poor geographical fact. The young blood in me had had it enough, I just said, “That’s right! Uganda is our neighbouring country too”. And I flashed a smile, more cheeky than phony.

But when I got asked by a brunette with hazel eyes at K-Mart, regardless of what answer she’d given, the young blood in me made a good pump, sweltering, and I did a correction starting off with the trivia like;

“D’ya know where Thailand is?”
“And… Y’know a country called Singapore?”
“A’heard that…”
“We’re in between those two countries… sandwiched in the middle!”
“Awhhh, Okay…A’havit figured. What’s your country name again?”

Considering the inviting look in her face, it didn’t piss me off much but still, disappointed.

And speaking of attracting the world to visit our country, in actual fact we have plenty of things to offer. Let’s not bother about things; by nature, we as the people are already good hosts. And, living up to what good we have, thanks to our government for attaining admirable eminence in eco-tourism, agro-tourism, education tourism, health tourism and marine tourism and some other ‘ism’ that may fall short of my recollection but definitely not “hookerism”.

We are not short of the beauty of our natural environment either. A weekend evening drive to Janda Baik is good enough for us to appreciate the beauty we have in our own backyard. We somehow are blessed with our flora & fauna, jungles & forests, hills & mountains, rivers & lakes, pristine beaches and beautiful islands.

Having said about the natural beauty, pristine beaches and beautiful islands, there is one island that very dearly to me until this day – Pulau Perhentian. Once, my friends and I considered it as our private island. I never have thought it’d become a tourist destination in later years for that tiny island was only used as a transitory hideout from storms and rough sea or may be play truant, by the local fishermen just like Pulau Kapas was.

On school breaks, I would always find reasons not to stay at home, plan out something with friends to be somewhere – camping, fishing, jungle trekking, mountain climbing, and hiking or to the very least chasing after monitor lizards in the wetland (hambak bewok). We deliberated a plan to camp out in Pulau Perhentian after viewing it from Pantai Semerak in that one term break, thought it belonged to Kelantan water – until much later after the tourism industry boomed, I learned, it’s on Trengganu side. Keyed up, it wasn’t long before we managed to persuade a local fisherman, Pak Him, he agreed to send us there and pick us up some 5 days after.

There was no such thing as paid boat or ferry to get there, no jetty to dock, no chalets, no hot showers, no restaurants and no ladies in bikinis. The island was just there isolating you from the world. It was just as immaculate as one can get to see with its flat white sandy beach, crystal clear water that makes you see the underwater marine life shows off splendid coral gardens, toss a coin in and you can see it rested on the sea bed, majestic rocks and boulders entrenched in grandiose and generous backdrop of a hill in the inner land covered by a thick virgin jungle – such a perfect contraposition to the magnificent beach front. The air was just as fresh as you can get, just like the air in Kuala Lumpur in the year 1511.

In the night, to laze around under the canopy of an open sky next to the campfire with the sweet smell of baked fish and squids on the skewers made out of sticks was simply out of this world. You’d be looking up at the sky amidst gentle puff of a wind blow and a lullaby from the waves rhythmically pounding the shore until you fall asleep before you’d finish counting the shooting stars. It had been the nicest, deepest and soundest sleep I had ever experienced in my whole life. In the morning, you’d be waking up to the sun in the horizon, feeling like waking up in a paradise. Upon glancing to the shore, you’d be greeted with the awesome display of white corals covered as far as your eyes can see while the tide was low in early morning. The corals even sparkle and shimmer in the morning light. The breeze! The dances of leaves of coconut trees! The birds! And the breathtaking sky formation with the superb reflections of colors in the clouds. Heavenly! The place was just like a missing piece in lovers’ wildest imagination, envious to bards, poets and rhymesters.

Pulau Perhentian had then become our favorite hideaway from one school break to another.

Perhaps, subconsciously, that was the starting point where I fantasized over having my own island, without me knowing; later in the turn of millennium I’d still be obsessed over the abstraction, even claimed to be the governor of an island – at least for the nick name in my blog.

Pulau Perhentian has a new face now. I went there when I first came back from overseas. I was bewildered seeing what I saw, the way it has changed. The beauty that I once adored was rather gone. The sands were not as bright anymore with those small dunes trail-blazed the foot marks everywhere and corals were no longer plentiful. No more floating coconuts around. No more the serenity and tranquility as I saw decades ago. The island has lost its dazzling smile of yesteryears and the glittering leer takes a turn. Now, the beautiful face from the makeover is just the “commercial beauty” of it, just like how L’Oréal and Avon do the magic on the beautiful wannabes.

I walked around didn’t know what to feel. Happy to see the island was now deluded with new charm and attraction that can be enjoyed by many and at the same time feeling like something was missing. But, at least I could still find those rocks that we used to sit on while sipping our Kopi Cap Badak and laughing and giggling over silly jokes.

…and only those rocks still remain as beautiful as ever.

I dedicate this entry in honor of a late friend in our pack, Md Ariff Md Yassin. He passed away in 2002 due to liver cancer. I was in the island less than a month after his passing. I went up the hill searching for a boulder overlooking the open sea that we used to rest on while venturing through the entire island. It amazed me when I saw the blurry words on it, “ARIFF WAS HERE” still survive after so many years. The irony is, only his could be found but not others'. I sat there and cried. Al Fatihah to Yeh (Ariff).

Monday, December 11, 2006

When Junks Mean Something to You

Not this type of junk I am referring to in this entry, but the real junk.

Writing is an everyday thing to me when it comes to notes, documents and journals. I have been writing almost everyday ever since many, many years ago long before this blog thing came to existence. Half a page daily is rather a must while some can go as long as 3, 4 pages. Of course they were all meant for my own consumption mainly on the technical things that people may get puked reading those; even I personally have no heart to read them again. Out of those personal journal thing, considerably only a few about tell-story things like the day when my car hit the back of a pick-up truck, what type of ice cream I had at Baskin Robins, my daughter’s slippers swept away in the ditch, spilled over mee bandung and dirtied my new John Master shirt, my Davidoff fountain pen bleed, stained the niple and stuff.

There are more than 1,000 personal journals or rather notes in the folders embedded in the company local server, little I realized before until recently I had the records transferred to a new local server with bigger capacity. Well not that those personal journals meant much for security to be kept in the server but other important things are, such as aspx files with, C# and other geek playthings that may bore you to death – graphic designs, programming source codes and e-based prototypes of sorts. Those personal things such as notes and journals just happened to jump on the bandwagon during the server transfer exercise.

Little serves the purpose keeping, thought of deleting those files and folders but considering the time had consumed and the past histories, the
aesthetic value of it when it went through age, I decided not to. My network engineer came asking me whether to delete those folders or not, I said, DON'T just keep it but also burn it on CD as well for back up. How do you like that?

I found myself more habitual rather than addicted keeping old things. May be in some ways it tells what kind of personality I do possess. My wife prefers to get rid of old stuffs, considered junks to her but I on the other hand love to have them stored. Justly as I said, it serves little purpose but every once in a while I would scavenge through old things and I would spend hours entertaining thoughts over certain things that would activate my hindsight; musing retrospectively upon seeing it. For instance, what would you feel when you see your daughter’s first walking shoes? It is so tiny and cute. And now she’s a big girl that even blushes once walk pass a group of guys thinking she was inadequately dressed-up to be seen by them. What’s in between from those tiny walking shoes until her as of now that even fancies designer's shoes and 3G mobile phone? Definitely the whole history comes playing right before your mind.

Hey I still keep handwritten notes by my friends during the last day schooling, many, many years back. I brought with me kain pelikat written with laundry no. using permanent ink on it when I went abroad for studies – reminds me of hostel life, and even brought it back to Malaysia. I still have ticket stubs of the concerts I went to. My sons’ robot toys without arms. Sometimes I would find notes written on tissue paper nicely filed that suggests the idea was coined and pre-conceptualized during my meal time or casual discussion over a cup of teh tarik. Piles of boarding passes; the one that I adore is the boarding pass that meant for me to board but the plane crashed before I did. See
here . I tell you, I keep a lot of junks. So, what junks do you keep?

Today I have another alternative that I may pick and choose some of my daily personal notes to be put in my so-called blog. I am fond of writing craps in my blog. That matters not to me. All I know, it keeps on adding one entry after another. When it comes the time, I think I’d look at it as something hard for me to get rid off, as well.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Grieving the losses of Brad and Angie

I don’t want this thing to be too long overdue before I put up in my blog. I have been buying time to spend just 15, 20 minutes of my life tormenting my keyboard to honor the passing of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Silly? No! They were once in my life.

They were gone. Died is the closest possibility. Back in my mind I still harbour hopes to see them alive because I don’t see the remains of their bodies anywhere. No graves, no memorials to drop a rose or two. Well, don’t be alarmed, they were just our pet hamsters named after those two celebs.

Fara was about to show to her friend Aisyah our celebrated “mice” when they were nowhere to be found. The cage door was left wide open. She yelled out hoping either Sam or Edrin or even I took them out for play, less likely for her mom though. My wife stopped messing with her things in the kitchen, hastily came straight to our indoor rock garden, but less dramatic unlike the scenes one may see in the Malay tele-movies with the spatula in hand. Sam & Edrin rushed down from the family hall upstairs. I was just meters away in the comfy of our living room, the same spot where I was seated when I received a pleasant surprise last night –
Mr. Idham called from as far as Jeddah. Hey, thanks for the call bro. It means a lot to me. Anyway, right after the yell by Fara, I became the first “investigating officer” to arrive at the scene.

Soon after, we established that Brad & Angie were missing. I could see the frustration in Fara. Not too obvious in Sam and Edrin though. It bothered me a little, bothered even more seeing Fara was about to drop her tears. And did. My wife was bothered too. In flash I started recalling Fara’s passion in taking care of them with the weekly grooming - shampoo and blow-dry. The way their bottoms swayed when they walked on the rug. The time when Angie jolted; as much as I did when I unintentionally cut a bit on her tail stub with scissors during grooming session. And the day when my three kids spent hours playing and pampering them. Uhh… What a lucky “rats” they were!

I had a theory. The night before, my wife replenished their food. She closed the cage door, perhaps it didn’t snap. It became ajar when Brad with his fancy knocked things around, he’s not just confined to knocking on Angie alone, and the door opened. They crept out thinking the whole world was a stage and thought they were helluva actors to do the acts; not knowing the harsh reality of life awaited them in the real world.

I’ve seen many times our neighbour’s black cat drooled, eyes sparkled seeing those two ham-celebrities. I even caught him behind the shoe rack peeping, stalking and lurking on the two a few times before. Or may be the cat was just admiring Angie’s sexy lips. I couldn’t imagine if that cat was a techno savvy cat equipped with gadgets & gizmos, cameras and video-cam. If it was, the cat could’ve been a paparazzi-cat, camp outside to catch a glimpse of Brad & Angie with his
Nikon D50 DSLR camera . He may have blackmailed Brad & Angie over the gross act of the two when Angie was feeling sexy while Brad was doused with far too much of testosterone that jinxed him up. Blame it on kuaci.

Anyway, that black cat was my prime suspect. He may have mauled and feasted on Brad & Angie, but propitious for him to scot free; cat can’t be charged for murder and no lawyers in the right minds will take trouble to prove him guilty in the court of law.

GAB: Reminds me of a book I read many years ago,
Pet Sematary (Cemetery) by Stephen King

Monday, December 04, 2006

…so the cat was on the tree top

“Dog chased a cat. Cat ran up the tree”. Until this day I remember this sentence very well when we were taught in a classroom a few decades ago. That entailed the phonetically impertinent by the pupils in our classroom, en mass we chorused, “Dok cheh a kek. Kek reng ak da tri”. You try to say it over and over again, at speed. It sounds like a mix between the tribal lingua franca of Mount Andes and Old Sanskrit. Erk, how do I know the way they sound?! Anyway, it became my evergreen personal joke, shared with my wife. I am sure she will laugh when she reads this from her office.

I want to relate to my recent endeavor positioning the enterprise that I the self-proclaim head honcho, spearheading to becoming more reputable and respectable entity than one perceived mere player in the market, avoiding botch and blunder, curtailing disparaging decision makings as not to be atypical to big boys’ games. It is a long way to go if not an uphill battle but to the very least, dare to dream is triumphant enough for an organization that not in the beau monde circle we are.

This is strange...!
More often than not feline cannot get along well with canine, fine, if you cannot beat them, join them. But, the fact remains; not being welcomed is one thing and being chased out is another while staying put is not even an option. Remote chance of it, the felines may get christened into the clan but it would take a whole intricate, labyrinthine rituals altogether. I am that feline now. I may not be swallowed whole by the canine but sure it pricks my skin and breaks a bone or two and left me bleeding for a slow painful death next to the monsoon drain if I stay. In the first place, I won’t be sprinting off if no one charged at me. How I wish that canine was gagged. Thus, what option do I have? I’d run as fast as I can, take refuge to higher places knowing the canine can’t follow my act; relinquish all possessions that are rightfully belong to me down there, the tree is an only option left for me. And…one minute you thought you were safe and in the next minute a different set of tribulations emerged on the high-up. Heard of the cat owners call the fire engine for rescue?

Beam me up Scotty!

We have gone fighting with the big boys stealing punches right on the nose the time they are lulled. And kick them in the crotch when they flamboyantly displayed their chest hairs. Fly an elbow below the jaw when the referee was not looking, swinging jabs to the sides of the rib cage in desperado and all. Hell we fit the bill as a fighter but still, size matters; in the end you are cornered. Bantamweight is simply not a fair match for the featherweight let alone the heavyweight. We have no way out. We look for ways seeking support from the government. We do not fancy that MSC Status Certificate just to be nicely framed in the office with the spotlight beaming on it hence, mere industry status quo to be reckoned with. It’s an expensive wooden frame you know, and the type of the glass used is of a high quality too, not bad what that Chinaman in Salak South came up for us. And my secretary complained of the blinding effect from the spotlight, had it moved to another corner.

We know it too well on what we are capable of doing. All we need is just the opportunity for a break, not even monetary means for that matter. We are counting our blessings. If the right opportunity comes knocking at the door, we’ll grab it with both hands, drag it in screaming and kicking.

Still, it’s no easy route to follow even though when you bow before your master in diffidence. Heard of the lines when a smart aleck with his clever hoax embellishing the gullible? Of course not, I made this up.

“You make a call when the coin’s in the air”


“It’s up now, tail I win, head you loose…. Make a call quick…”


“Ahahaha…It’s head. You loose…”

“Wait a minute… you cheat on me!”

“Whoaaa… Your eyes are like a hawk's, yeahhh, you’re right it’s not Head; it’s Tail… I win!”



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