Farewell 2008


What a year it has been. A year ago at this time, I was making my way out from the gym heading towards Raja Zarina’s house for a somewhat sombre gathering. I was still recovering from an extremely bad fall, while she was doomed to spend another new year’s eve alone, although not by herself. We were joined by Feisal, Rozie, Nafi and Chor.

I can still remember how painful it was then. I had to put on a facade and posted so many crap on this blog, just to show people how happy I was, or rather, that was how I wanted people to see me as – a happy soul. Somehow, I told myself that having fell badly, the only way for me to fall in 2008 was UP. But I remember having to crawl again before I could begin to relearn how to walk. Now I am walking the pace of life at my own stride…giant strides, as divers would. Come March, I was ready to fall again; but the ground would have to be the sky.

That was the month Wifey truly found her place in my heart. She had always been there, platonically: the close friend whom I’d turn to at times whenever I was down. But I could not really rely on her as she was half a year out of an ugly divorce that was preceded by a lengthy separation from her ex-husband. And when I fell badly, she had to walk away from me; a good decision on her part, as she would have ended up as a rebound-girl. To cut a long story short, it went well. She is now my life partner, my soul mate, my best of best friends, my lover, my quarreling partner, my shoulder to cry on, my tears, my joy.

The first half of 2008 was spent recuperating emotionally. But whether I have truly recovered from all the pain that I have been feeling all along, I don’t really know. There are times when I am truly happy, but there are times where I will be thinking and wishing for things to happen, not differently, but having things fall into place as I would like them to.

I have always been both the father and mother to my children. My ex was supposed to be busy with politics, but she was busy cheating on me as well, using politics as a front. She would leave home around 8 in the morning, and return home only around 3am to 4am. As a result, I would spend a big chunk of the 24 hours in a day tending to the children. This year, having found my final shot at happiness, I had to leave the responsibility of looking after the children back to my ex. I miss my children…very much. But I know as they grow much older, they would be able to understand why I do certain things. At least my two elder ones are happy for me, although I know they wish they could be with me.

2008 was the year I decided to go back to 9 to 5. Although closely related to the sea, I do mostly behind the scenes of the oil and gas industry, and not at the forefront of it. Nevertheless, I still do something related to one of the things I love most – the sea. But I do it mostly because I am no longer as healthy as I used to be, back in 2007. My health is deteriorating, and I can feel so. But at least, I am still able to feed my children, as well as Wifey and her children.

2008 ended well for me. On the last day of the year, I had had a fruitful day, my papers had gone through and the board has agreed to my recommendations. That would also mean some ‘extra income’ for me. I spent time in the office ’til 7pm, before joining Wifey and the Usual Suspects at PNB Darby Park to usher in the new year. We had dinner, hosted by Gemgem at Benkay, Nikko Hotel.

It is 28 minutes to midnight. This shall be my last posting for the year 2008. A year that started off with pain and sorrow, but, as I had wanted 2008 to be, I fell upwards. The only way I had wanted to fall. And upwards, there is no ground…only the endless sky for me to soar high and higher.

May 2009 be a happier year for us all.

Happy New Year, friends.

Final Tag For 2008

Last year I made a final tag for the year 2007, and Spena thought it’s best if I were to see what has been achieved and what has not. So, to recap, here were the questions:

1. How has 2007 been for you in a nutshell?

2. Apart from your family members, name one person who has made you happy in 2007.

3. Do you feel you are better off, or worse off, in 2007 than you were in 2006?

4. Where was the best holiday trip for you in 2007?

5. Name three positive things that you have achieved in 2007.

6. Name the best movie you saw in 2007.

7. Name five friends that you have made in 2007.

8. What New Year’s resolution for 2007 that you have not achieved?

9. What would your New Year’s resolution for 2008 be?

10. Name 5 people you would like to tag.

And below were my answers:

1. 2007 has been an emotional rollercoaster ride for me.

2. Guile, but not Miss Gxxxx.

3. Worse off, especially healthwise.

4. Sipadan (Celebes Safari) – because it was free: otherwise would have cost me almost RM4K.

5. (a) Finally went back to gym, (b) Learning to love again, (c) Meeting new friends.

6. Transformers

7. (a) SuperfluousBabe a.k.a Tissot (b) Spena (c) Ardy (d) Hazyr (e) Jazzmatazzed. There were more. Come to think of it, Ardy is the only odd one out for not going to the same school as the rest did.

8. A lot, and all due to my failing health.

9. Since I fell hard to the very bottom, after this the only way for me to fall is UP!

10. Spena, of course…hehehe, Hazyr, Ardy, Ibu, and SuperfluousBabe a.k.a Tissot.

In order for me to comment on how 2008 has been for me, the best is to do this tag again. So here goes:

1. How has 2008 been for you in a nutshell?

2. Apart from your family members, name one person who has made you happy in 2008.

3. Do you feel you are better off, or worse off, in 2008 than you were in 2007?

4. Where was the best holiday trip for you in 2008?

5. Name three positive things that you have achieved in 2008.

6. Name the best movie you saw in 2008.

7. Name five friends that you have made in 2008.

8. What New Year’s resolution for 2008 that you have not achieved?

9. What would your New Year’s resolution for 2009 be?

10. Name 5 people you would like to tag.

And here are my answers:

1. 2008 has been a great year for me. The best in a long time.

2. Jazzmatazzed, whom I now call WIFEY (the person formerly known as Ibu).

3. I am better off in 2008 than I was in 2007.

4. The best holiday trip, well, all my holiday trips with Wifey.

5. (a) Decided to spend the rest of my life with Wifey (b) I gained new siblings (c) I went back to 9-5.

6. Mamma Mia, or was it The Dark Knight?

7. (a) Renek (b) Rina (c) Komar (d) Aiz (e) Well, I have made more than 5 friends.

8. I said last year that the only way for me to fall is UP, and I have been falling UPWARDS ever since 🙂

9. My New Year’s resolution for 2009 is to be happier than I am in 2008.

10. Wifey, Renek, Aiz, Komar and Spena.

2008 Dah Nak Habis Dah Oooi!

Segala resolution tahun 2008 masih belum aku capai kecuali satu – nak hidup happy. Lain dari tu semua hancus.

Resolution yang paling hancus is untuk mengurangkan berat badan dengan drastik. Resolution aku yang ni berhubungkait dengan resolution aku untuk makan nasi seminggu sekali sahaja, dan untuk pergi gym paling tidak 3 hari seminggu.

Awal tahun ni memang aku siap enrol masuk gym. Memang bagai nak rak aku berlari atas treadmill, dan kemudiannya aku ambik khidmat nasihat seorang personal trainer. Memang aku buat sendiri training regime aku sampai ada sekali tu aku kena pergi masuk kat emergency room salah sebuah hospital swasta berhampiran sebab aku collapse gara-gara nakkan the new me. Nasib baik tak kojol.

Nak dipendekkan cerita, aku ni banyak sangat injuries sustained masa military training dulu. Last-last, angkat weight pun boleh dislocated balik bahu aku. Terus give up. Dan sikap personal trainer aku yang vertically challenged membuat aku merasa mual. Tak habis-habis tinggalkan aku kejap sebab mengejar pantat-pantat tua yang dia rasa mungkin ditinggal kegersangan oleh sang suami yang busy menyebabkan pantat-pantat tua ni semuanya menghabiskan masa di gym semata-mata sebab nak cari batang muda. Walhal, aku lebih cenderung memikirkan sang suami meninggalkan pantat-pantat tua ni sebab pantat-pantat tua ni semuanya dah gersang akibat menopause. Lebih gersang dari tanah yang ultra-arid sehinggakan dah ada cobweb akibat lama tak disentuh. Jadi, berat badan aku turun la sekejap, dan kini kembali ke berat asal.

Hari tu aku demam. Sehari sebelum Krismas. Aku pun turun la ke klinik kat bawah ofis…boleh pulak kimak punya doctor tutup klinik. Maka terpaksalah aku pergi ke salah sebuah pusat membeli-belah dalam keadaan terbersin sekuat hati dengan begitu kerap, sehinggakan sapu tangan aku basah dengan hingus. Sekali tu, ada jugak klinik kat situ. Aku pun masuk, daftar dan tunggu. Wifey temankan aku masa tu.

Dah masuk tu, doctor tu pun tanya la apa penyakit aku…aku pun describe. Dia check tekak aku dan beritau aku tonsil aku merah dan bengkak. Temperature aku biasa sebab aku dah bantai Panadol Actifast sebelum keluar ofis. Lepas tu dia tanya apa ubat yang aku makan secara regular. Aku pun beritau la aku makan ubat untuk darah tinggi, lepas tu ubat untuk cholesterol. Lepas tu dia suruh aku berdiri atas weighing scale. Terus dia kata, “You need to lose a lot of weight!”

Kimak betul. Macam la aku tak tau. Cerita la pasal demam aku. Aku jumpa dia bukan pasal berat badan aku! Aku tak payah timbang pun aku tau aku overweight! Duduk nak bend forward pun susah gila babi!

Ada satu hari tu, aku bawak Wifey pergi ke Pavillion. Masa dia tengah menerai (try) perfume, aku terdengar la dialog dua orang lelaki lembut salesmen di gedung tersebut membincangkan mengenai new flight routes sebuah syarikat penerbangan tempatan.

Lembut A: “Eh, you tau tak? Tak lama lagi Aey-Aey-shurr fly ke Yoo-roap tau!”

Lembut B: “Yoo-roap kat man-nerr, Yang?”

Lembut A: “Dub-berr-linn (Dublin), you!”

Lembut B: “Dub-berr-linn kat mana tue?”

Lembut A: “Kat Jerr-merrn!”

Aku tak tau nak gelak ke apa. Bukannya sebab diorang ni lelaki lembut, tetapi sebab general knowledge dan ilmu alam memang fail. Tapi benda-benda macam tu tak menghairankan aku sebab memang standard pelajaran sekarang ni aku rasa banyak menurun. Dulu masa sekolah rendah time-time aku, aku dah diajar pasal Equator, Antarctic, Arctic, dan melukis peta dunia serta nama-nama negara berserta nama ibu negaranya sekali.

Aku tak boleh lupa dulu aku bertengkar dengan seorang cikgu Bahasa Inggeris. Aku membetulkan ayatnya yang berbunyi:

“He rolled the dices on the table.”

Aku kata ayat tu salah. Satu dadu dalam Bahasa Malaysia, ialah Die in English. Mati-mati dia kata Dice is singular, Dices is plural. Kalau dah salah tu salah la jugak. Dalam konteks dadu, a die is the singular, dice is plural. Dalam konteks moulding pula, the plural for die is dies. Kalau nak potong daging into small cubes baru la guna dices!

Anyway, aku masih tak tau apa resolution aku nak buat untuk 2009. Tapi yang aku tau, aku nak stay happy macam sekarang. Dan resolution untuk 2008 yang aku, Wifey, dan Spena buat bulan November 2007 di The Curve so far holds true.

And I intend to maintain and hold onto that…

I Woke Up Suddenly

It’s just past 1am.

I have to write this down because it’s killing me inside.

I miss my children very much. I suddenly thought of them and suddenly tears welled in my eyes.

It’s December and two of my children have and will be celebrating their birthday this month. Hana’s was on the 10th, and Farhan’s will be tomorrow – Christmas Day.

The last time I saw them was 3 days ago. And before that I saw them last was 24 days before that. We spent two hours together…two short hours to make up for the 24 days that we were separated.

I hope that one day they will understand why things happen.


It’s been a long day. I’ve had meetings through lunch and managed to grab only a sandwich before rushing off to the hotel to checkout.

Tomorrow, it would be three weeks since I last saw my children. Hana and Fazira have been staying with my mother ever since they got back from Kedah. I do not know what form of retribution this is that my mother thinks my children should not be staying with me; Farhan and Nisaa were taken all over the place by their mother, without any form of courtesy to inform me of where they were going and when they were coming back. And on my planned visit to see Farhan and Nisaa on Aidil Adha eve, my ex conveniently took them out for almost the whole day.

In the three weeks that I have not seen them, Nisaa has refused to speak to me over the phone except once – yesterday during my company’s AGM. I know she is upset that she has not been able to see me. While Farhan is looking forward to my taking him out to buy his school paraphernalia, Nisaa does not want to see me at all. But the joy of being able to hear her voice, speaking to me, even for a minute or less, was overwhelming. Tears welled in my eyes that I had to excuse myself and stayed in the washroom for several minutes.

And everytime Wifey and I walk out of the McD joint at Ampang Park, I would be able to see that one corner where Nisaa was with me, all shy to even look at people, while I sat with Wifey and her colleagues. My heart would sink everytime I see that corner.

And as I was inside the lift heading for the basement parking of the hotel, there was this family that was inside the lift as well. They have a child, about the same size as Nisaa is, with curly hair, though not as curly as Nisaa’s…and she looked at me. I immediately felt sad. Somehow, like Nisaa when I was going through extremely rough patches of my previous marriage, this little girl gave me the sweetest smile, as if she knew how sad I was, and was trying to cheer me up…like Nisaa. When I got into the car, a teardrop rolled down my cheek.

Later, I sent a text message to Hana and Fazira, asking them how they were and told them how much I miss them as I miss Farhan and Nisaa. Fazira replied:

“We miss you too. Fazira rindu kat ica n Farhan (I miss Ica – that’s how she calls Nisaa – and Farhan.”

I just want to tell Wifey, how terribly sorry I am for snapping at her inside the car just now. My mind is just preoccupied with the thoughts of my children. It is not an excuse for me to snap at her, it is just to tell her of what exactly is happening to me right now.

Three weeks is just too long, not just for me, but for my children too.

And I miss them…terribly.

With a less-than-happy Nisaa 3 weeks ago
With a less-than-happy Nisaa 3 weeks ago

Ikut Ajelah…

Hari ni aku pergi la Friday Prayers kat this mosque that I have not been to for just over ten years now. Usually, from this office it would be better (although not nearer) to go to Masjid Wilayah. This time around, my boss wanted to go to this particular mosque. Arriving at a quarter to one, the roads leading to the mosque was already jammed like mad, which is why I do not like mosques that are built in housing areas tapi jalan nak ke masjid tu cuma satu and lalu celah-celah rumah orang.

Masuk aje masjid, semua kosong. Kereta dengan motor penuh, orangnya semua tengah membalun kat luar. Masa tengah khutbah pun masih kosong jugak kat luar sebab orang tak habis membalun lagi.

Anyway, khutbah, ya Allah, punyalah panjang. Mula-mula tu dia baca la text yang disediakan oleh Jabatan Agama. Sempat menyelit pulak kononnya macam dia punya text khutbah. 10 minit dah selesai. Dia tambah pulak pandangan dia pasal isu tu. Bukanlah dia berpolitik, tapi dia cuba nak summarise the whole khutbah according to his thinking. Mula la khatib ni melalut entah ke mana hala bercerita. Bunyi macam ceramah agama, tapi structure tak ada. Kejap C lepas tu I, lepas tu P balik, lepas tu E, lepas tu T. Bos aku dah sedap tidur sebab lepas 10 minit baca text khutbah tu, khatib ni dah melalut dekat 40 minit lagi. Dari betis aku, sampai ke hujung kaki dah tak rasa apa-apa lagi dah. 10 minit lagi macam tu, memang rigor mortis terus. Bukan kena deep-vein thrombosis lagi dah! CEO aku siap tidur baik punya. Yang CFO aku angguk kepala aje tanda setuju dengan khutbah…cuma mata dia dah pejam. Kadang-kadang buka juga mata dia pandang ke depan. Tapi putih aje bijik mata macam Peter Petrelli.

Sekali tu bila dia dah habis modal (ini bukan tak tau apa nak kata, tapi halfway bercakap dia berhenti macam cerita abstract…tak ada penghujung), terus dia mula baca doa, “Allahumaghfirli muslimina wal muslimat…”. Kutu semua AMIN sikit punya kuat..penuh semangat, dah dekat nak mula sembahyang. Sekali tu, dia habis satu baris, dia translate pulak into Malay. Mother grandfather!…Aku dari angkat tangan, sampai letak tangan atas peha la menadah doa! Letih nak menunggu doa habis. Nak buat apa nak translate? Nak baca doa in malay, baca aje la…tak payah nak kejap arab kejap melayu. Tuhan bukannya bodoh. Tuhan tau semua bahasa including bahasa semut!

Bila iqamat, aku dah tak rasa dah kaki aku. Aku terpaksa angkat kaki aku dengan tangan. Baru aku tau betapa beratnya deadweight kaki aku. Baru la aku tersedar dan mintak janganlah tengah main dengan Wifey aku mati…mampus lemas dia tak boleh nak alihkan aku. Jangan main-main. Ada satu kes kat US, husband dengan wife tengah project atas carpet rumah depan fireplace, sekali husband kena heart attack, terus gol…atas wife! 4 hari kemudian baru anak dia ke jiran dia ke yang discovered the wife was still pinned beneath the dead husband.

Nasib baik la kaki kiri aku tak sekebas kaki kanan. Aku angkat kaki kanan aku dengan tangan, kasi tapak kaki rata dengan lantai, lepas tu bangun dengan kaki kiri aku sambil tangan aku pegang kaki kanan macam tongkat. Bila dah berdiri tu, aku terus aje angkat takbir dan mula sembahyang. Jadi aku tak payah nak dipersilakan bergerak ke saf depan yang masih ada kekosongan. Yang seronoknya, aku angkat takbir, center of gravity dah lari. Nasib baik tak tumbang ke belakang sebab kaki kanan still tak ada sensation. It felt like some heavy piece of junk attached to my balls hip. The second time tu, I was scratching my nose. Again, almost tumbang ke belakang.

Gila betul la. Susah aku nak concentrate sebab rasa menyucuk-nyucuk as oxygen-starved cells in the kaki tiba-tiba dapat blood supply balik. Semua angkara khatib nak tunjuk smart tapi akhirnya tunjuk semak.

Tidur masa dengar khutbah - Reza90

Kehangatan Pemilihan Parti – A Hypothesis


PEMILIHAN parti yang akan diadakan pada bulan Mac tahun hadapan akan menyaksikan perebutan jawatan di semua peringkat yang merupakan kali pertama dalam lebih 20 tahun. Wartawan kami, Syed al-Gojo, telah menemui Professor John F SeaDemon, seorang penganalisa politik dari Wanogo University, untuk bertanyakan pendapat beliau:

Syed al-Gojo: Jawatan presiden parti akan dipertandingkan. Calon macam manakah yang mungkin rakyat hendak lihat terpilih?

Professor John F SeaDemon: Senang. Yang dapat meningkatkan ekonomi.”

SAG: Adakah ini bermakna penyandang jawatan ini, yang juga bakal menerajui kerajaan, akan membuat kerja senang?

JSD: Sebenarnya, tidak. Kita tahu selain dari minyak, yang menjana ekonomi negara ini adalah sektor pembinaan. Bila ada satu kontraktor, dia akan ada lima atau enam subkontraktor. Di atasnya akan ada lima atau enam orang yang duduk di majlis kerajaan tempatan. Semua ini adalah merupakan kos. Untuk menyuap orang-orang di majlis kerajaan tempatan, maka kos pembinaan harus dinaikkan. Dan kos-kos ini akan diberikan kepada pembeli premis kediaman atau pejabat yang dibina. Bila ada projek pembinaan, maka aktiviti downstream akan menjana kewangan. Dari Ah Chong kedai hardware, Raju agen buruh asing, kepada makcik Kiah yang buka kedai makan dekat tapak pembinaan, kepada Sutarjo yang membawa dangdut express. Semua buat duit. Ini akan menjana ekonomi negara.

SAG: Dangdut Express? Boleh professor terangkan dengan lebih lanjut lagi?

JSD: Rumah jalang bergerak. Satu van yang penuh dengan perempuan Indon yang dibawa dari satu kongsi ke kongsi yang lain dengan tujuan untuk menghiburkan kehendak batin para pekerja binaan kontrak.

SAG: Sayap Kaum Ibu bakal melihat pertandingan di antara ketuanya dan naib ketuanya. Apa komen Professor?

JSD: Saya kurang faham kenapa Naib nak jadi Ketua. Kalau kita bertanyakan seorang wanita akan umurnya yang sebenar, jarang sekali wanita tua nak mengaku tua. Maka saya rasa Naib Ketua yang disuruh bertanding oleh kaum ibu yang kurang tua, tidak akan berkhidmat dengan ikhlas sebab dia tidak hendak tua. Dia tidak hendak orang berkata kepadanya, “Sampai ketua la lu!” Jadi, pada hemat saya, adalah lebih baik yang dah memang tua jadi sampai ketua. Sokonglah beliau.

SAG: Sayap LETUTASEDI (Lelaki Tua Tak Sedar Diri) pula bakal melihat pertandingan tiga penjuru. Siapakah, pada pandangan Professor, akan memenangi jawatan ini?

JSD: Yang mendahului dari segi pencalonan sekarang ialah Mr Moke. Tak banyak kerenah. Berwibawa. Tetapi kalau pencalonan boleh dijadikan ukuran kemenangan, maka saya kira parti ini tidak akan kalah banyak pada pilihanraya umum yang lalu kerana jumlah bendera dan bannernya melebihi parti lawan.

SAG: Bagaimana pula dengan faktor Barack Obama yang diperkatakan akan mempengaruhi para perwakilan yang akan mengundi?

JSD: Barack Obama boleh menang disebabkan kekuatan beliau sendiri. Black Omamak yang menjadi naib sekarang hanya boleh menang selagi beliau merupakan menantu kepada seorang party bigwig. Tetapi saya kira tidak begitu. Ramai akar umbi yang tidak menyenangi Black Omamak. Kalau Barack Obama yang bertanding, mungkin beliau akan menang. Tetapi tidak Black Omamak.

SAG: Bagaimana dengan bekas Ketua Menteri yang menjadi calon ketiga?

JSD: Kasi dia penyapu baru dia boleh buat clean sweep. Tetapi akan memenangkan pihak lawan. Sebab itu dia kalah penerajuan negerinya sendiri.

SAG: Bagaimana pula dengan sayap termuda, iaitu Sayap Dayang-Dayang?

JSD: Sayap ini telah bermula dengan baik walaupun saya kurang bersetuju ianya ditubuhkan sebagai satu sayap. Ia sepatutnya menjadi sebuah biro seperti Biro Budak Berhingus di bawah sayap LETUTASEDI. Ini apabila tiba umur menopause sahaja, maka tenggelam semua talent-talent yang bagus. Kemudian, apabila ketua sayap ini bertukar kali pertamanya, sayap ini seperti tiada tujuan. Ketuanya tidak mendapat sokongan daripada ahli-ahli exconya sendiri dan terpaksa bergerak ke hulu dan hilir dengan bantuan ketua-ketua dayang dari bahagian-bahangian sahaja.

SAG: Jadi apakah kualiti yang perlu bagi seseorang untuk merajui sayap ini?

JSD: Halatuju kena penting. Ahli-ahli kena tahu sama ada mereka perlu single atau berkahwin untuk yang masih bujang, dan bercerai atau tidak untuk yang telah berkahwin. Ini adalah kerana tugas dan tanggungjawab terhadap parti lebih utama daripada tanggungjawab terhadap keluarga. Ini yang kita namakan pengorbanan. Yang belum kahwin korban dara, yang dah kahwin korban dada. Jadi, seseorang yang hendak menerajui sayap ini kenalah dinamik dan versatail dari segi perwatakan, dan kena bekerja keras untuk memantatkan ahli.

SAG: Maksud Professor, MEMANTAPKAN?


SAG: Soalan akhir mungkin lari sedikit dari topik. Bagaimana dengan retorik ketua pembangkang bahawa beliau boleh menerajui kerajaan dengan sokongan ahli-ahli parlimen yang keluar parti?

JSD: Apa makna ‘retorik’? Cakap berapi-api tetapi kosong, betul? Saya lebih sukakan ANALogi berikut: kalau betul cukup sokongan terhadap beliau, beliau tidak akan sekadar melaung-laungkan perkara tersebut. Sudah tentu beliau akan ke pusat pentadbiran untuk mengambil alih kerajaan, bersama-sama dengan semua penyokong beliau. Andaian ini saya buat berdasarkan ANALisis saya. Beliau banyak bercakap tetapi setakat ini tiada apa. Seperti cerita keracunan ARSEnik yang dilaung-laungkan dahulu. Beliau sepatutnya mengambil contoh dari rakan-rakan parti komponen pembangkang yang benar-benar menang dan menerajui kerajaan negeri-negeri yang dimenangi dengan sokongan kuat ahli parti sendiri dan bukannya dengan membentuk kerajaan yang dipenuhi oleh orang-orang yang tiada pendirian politik.

SAG: Terima kasih, Professor, di atas kesudian untuk ditemuramah. Sessi temuramah kali ini amat pelik.

JSD: Sama-sama. Pelik untuk mereka yang tiada pengetahuan sahaja.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha

About 4 days ago, I took a quick nap in the afternoon. Wifey was down with fever and I was home to look after her. I had a sad dream of my youngest, Nisaa. She looked sad and was asking for me. When I awoke from that nap, I sent a text message to my ex telling her that I would want to take the kids out this weekend at 4pm, to spend a little bit more time with them, to which she replied, “OK.”

I know Nisaa whenever she is sad. I know for a fact that she does cry out for me in the middle of her sleep, and it is father’s intuition that I could feel whenever she is sad. I called her up several times to assure her that we would spend a happy weekend outing together, the last being yesterday afternoon when she said she wanted to go to a KFC outlet. It was the eve of Aidil Adha. And although it was supposed to be my turn to spend both Raya days (Aidil Fitri and Aidil Adha) with all my children, I let them be with their mother again this year, not because of choice, but because there was no choice. I simply cannot host all our children here this year. The space is a bit cramped. It is not anyone’s fault. It is something I cannot rectify overnight.

So, yesterday at 3.30pm, I sent another text to my ex saying I was on the way to the house to pick them up. It’s a relatively long drive in an urban area. It’s 35km one way. What more with the rain. To my disbelief, there was no one at home. I called my ex’s phone. It was switched off. Had she been in an area that was out of coverage, the system would have told me so. I called several times more. Still it was turned off. I then called my former mother-in-law’s place to see if they were there. I was told that they would only be there later that evening. I was fuming mad. Wifey felt helpless but tried to soothe my feelings. Ali, Wifey’s eldest, was somewhat disappointed as he was looking forward to be with my son, Farhan. I felt angry because I know the kids would be so disappointed in me for not keeping my promise to see them. And this wasn’t the first time that she had done this to me. And everytime this happens, it would take me some time to win the trust of the kids again.

My ex only sent a text message much later saying her phone was out of order for a while, and that the kids were already asleep.

I felt like crying…because I miss, and have been missing my children so much. Wifey never let my hand go, even throughout the rest of the outing. And that helped cool me down.

Parents, divorced parents especially. I beg you please do not use your children against your ex. They have suffered enough by being innocent bystanders to the problems your ex and you have created, and the scar they bear they will carry for the rest of their life. They do not need anymore damage done to them than what they have already received from you both. God gave you wisdom to distinguish yourselves from those in the animal kingdom. So please be wise.

As for Wifey, I thanked her in a text message for cooling me down. Her reply was simple:

“I didn’t do anything daddy. Love u.”

Selamat menyambut Aidil Adha, people.

Here’s a pic of Nisaa and I in happier times.

Nisaa and I

History Will Teach Us Nothing

The area affected by the landslide in Bukit Antarabangsa - Utusan Online
The area affected by the landslide in Bukit Antarabangsa

Just 5 days short of the 15th anniversary of the Highland Towers tragedy, the nation is shocked again to hear of the massive landslide that has hit Bukit Antarabangsa, my former dwelling back in 1997. 4 people are dead, scores injured, and thousands have been evacuated from their homes.

The Highland Towers tragedy - MVFRA
After the Highland Towers tragedy

Since the collapse of one of the three towers at the Highland Towers complex on 11th December 1993, several more massive landslides have occured in that area alone. On 15th May, 1999, 10,000 residents of Bukit Antarabangsa were cut-off from the world when the only link was overwhelmed by landslides; 20th November 2002, a former army chief lost his wife and children after his Taman Hillview bungalow was flattened in a landslide at the foot of Bukit Antarabangsa; on 31st May 2006, four people were buried alive after a landslide hit Kampung Pasir and forced 16 families in neighbouring Taman Zooview to abandon their homes; and last before this tragedy, 4 cars were destroyed after a landslide caused a boulder to roll down a parking area at Wangsa Heights in Bukit Antarabangsa.

Bukit Antarabangsa landslide - May 1999 - picture JMG
The 1999 landslide at Bukit Antarabangsa

Everytime that happens, someone in the local council will say “We will stop all hillside developments.” But since I left Bukit Antarabangsa in 1997, you have at least 3 more hillside developments on Bukit Antarabangsa itself, several more in adjacent Kampung Pasir area like Ukay Heights, Sering Ukay, Taman Hijau (which is still under development) and so on. In fact, right after the Highland Towers tragedy, the local authorities themselves said that they would bar all hillside developments.

Onlookers at the scene of the Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy - The Star
Onlookers at the scene of the Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy

Have they? Does the local government have the moral and political will to stop these developments? Or will they give in to individual greed?

Someone should be held accountable. Starting with those who have made statements vowing to stop hillside developments.

Rescuers and searchdogs combing the tragedy area - Utusan Online
Rescuers and searchdogs combing the tragedy area

Capek La Cipet…Macet La Macha

Sejak aku kembali ke hidup 9-to-5 ni, hari-hari aku kena tempuh traffic jam. Sejak harga minyak runcit turun ke paras yang paling rendah sejak sebelum pilihanraya umum dulu, kereta dah makin banyak, dan queue di stesen-stesen LRT kini bertambah pendek akibat ramai yang meninggalkan kehidupan ala marhaen kepada middle-income group semula. Dan aku jangkakan semua ni akan bertambah teruk bila budak-budak mula sekolah bulan Januari nanti.

Hampir tiga tahun aku tak perlu menyumbangkan plumbum ke udara KL, kini setiap hari aku dihiburkan oleh macam-macam gelagat yang lama dah aku tak nampak. Dari yang mengorek hidung macam Mail Kerbau merogol anak dara, hinggalah yang sembang dalam handphone sambil memandu motorsikal. Memang blood aku go upstairs kalau aku layan perangai-perangai cipet dijalanan…tapi aku sekarang buat relax aje sambil dihiburkan dengan telatah DJ Serena C dan DJ Pietro.

Aku terkejut tempoh hari bila aku sedang memandu, dengan tiba-tiba sebuah Proton Waja memotong kereta aku dengan deras dan memotong masuk di hadapan aku hinggakan aku terpaksa menekan brek supaya bontot keretanya tidak mencecah bumper hadapan aku. Berbakul aku menyumpah kimek yang memandu kereta tersebut. Aku cuba jugak perhatikan rear view mirrornya nak tengok muka kimek tu. Tapi tak nampak. Aku tengok side mirrornya juga tak ada arca muka pemandu. Kereta James Bond ke apa? Sampai di satu selekoh, aku dapat memotong kenderaannya semula. Rupanya satu makcik muda yang kelihatan tua, dan amat pendek, sedang memandu. Paras matanya betul-betul berada di atas steering wheel. Macam bawak kereta kebal! Pakai sunglasses lagi dalam hujan lebat pukul 6 petang tu!

Dan disebabkan hampir 3 tahun aku tak bekerja di pejabat, maka aku terpaksa membeli baju-baju kerja. Yang itu dah selamat aku lakukan 3 minggu yang lepas. Tapi yang tak cukupnya ialah handkerchief. Aku tak boleh tak ada handkerchief. Aku rasa aku banyak handkerchief tapi tak tau la magician mana yang ambik nak keluarkan arnab atau burung atau buat lap air akibat tak tahan nafsu. Tapi pokok pangkalnya, aku tinggal satu aje handkerchief.

So malam tadi aku ajak la Wifey pergi ke sebuah hypermarket…bukan la nak cari handkerchief, tetapi sebab memang nak kena beli barangan dapur. Jadi boleh la nak cari handkerchief sekali…dah alang-alang. Puas la kitorang pusing kat section pakaian. Seluar dalam memang bercambah. Begitu juga dengan stokin. Tapi handkerchief tak ada. Aku tak puas hati. Lalu aku pun mecari la staff hypermarket tersebut. Lantas aku ternampak seorang staff yang berat badannya aku boleh gerenti buat aku terasa underweight yang tengah kira stok di atas lantai.

“Dik, sapu tangan ada tak kat sini?” tanya aku kepada pemuda 120 kilo.

“Sapu tangan tu macam mana, abang?” tanya pemuda 120 kilo dengan penuh kehairanan.

“Handkerchief…handkerchief,” jawab aku.

“Handkerchief tu macam mana, abang?” tanya pemuda 120 kilo lagi dengan kebodohan yang bakal melihatnya dijadikan lembu korban Aidil Adha oleh aku di salah sebuah surau yang berhampiran.

“Macam ni,” jawab aku sambil menunjukkan sapu tangan aku yang dah 3 hari guna dan keras akibat selalu digunakan untuk menahan bersin aku.

“Tak tau la, bang. Takde kot!” jawab pemuda 120 kilo sambil menyambung semula pengiraan stok.

Kimek, memang aku nak kena guna lagi la sapu tangan ni selagi aku tak dapat beli yang baru.

Wifey pun kini telah bekerja di tempat kerjanya yang lama. Dia kembali ke jawatan asalnya dengan elaunnya dinaikkan lagi. Untung. Rasanya boleh tak lepas aku dah confirm ni aku berhenti kerja, lepak dua tiga bulan, join balik dan dapat pay rise?

Walau bagaimanapun, setelah pengstrukturan semula syarikat di mana dia bekerja, Wifey kini kena lapor kepada bos yang baru. Mamat ni aku memang tak suka langsung dan aku pernah warning mamat ni supaya jangan kasi aku nampak walaupun kelibatnya kalau dia tak nak kena lepuk dengan aku. Panjang ceritanya. Tetapi, cukuplah kalau aku nak beritahu engkorang semua bahawasanya Mamat ni adalah seorang WALI.

Walk Around Look Important

Kerja memang tak reti. Dia ni sebenarnya machai boss company tersebut. Tahap IQ rendah dari runner tapi tinggi sikit dari Forrest Gump. Tapi gaya macam Chairman bila bercakap dengan orang lain.

Aku bagi contoh la…ini contoh terbaik nak aku bagi untuk memberi bayangan akan betapa bongoknya Mamat ni. Wifey, rakan sejawatannya, bos lamanya, dan Mamat ni sedang duduk berbincang mengenai kerja bila rakan sejawatan Wifey kata dia nak pergi dengar mantan Presiden Negeri-Negeri Bersekutu, Bill Clinton, bercakap kat satu global branding forum. Semua forum speaker dibawa oleh Petra Holdings dan admission adalah free. Maka bos lama Wifey pun kata la Petra Holdings ni memang banyak duit nak bayar diorang punya lecture fees, dan sebagainya. Tak semena-mena Mamat bongok ni dengan penuh confidentnya bersuara,

“Petra ni memang suka buat kecoh!”

Semua yang ada terdiam. Kemudian salah seorang bertanya la kat Mamat ni Petra mana yang dia maksudkan yang suka buat kecoh.

“Tu la…Raja Petra…suka sangat buat kecoh!”

Apa lagi aku nak kata pasal Mamat ni? Mungkin engkorang boleh tolong komen sikit. Ini la orang yang jadi bos Wifey lepas ni. Standard macam tu aku sendiri tak berani nak suruh jadi gardener aku. Karang aku suruh prune aje pokok, dia tanamnya pokok plum sebab nak buat prunes.

Kalau aku jadi Wifey, memang capek la kerja dengan bahalol macam tu.

Inilah posting gara-gara selalu terperangkan dalam macet.