Losing The Kith And Kin – Part II

This morning I felt upset with Wifey for pulling a long face. Then I saw tears well in her eyes. It frustrated me even more when I asked her what was wrong but received no satisfactory reply. After a few quiet moments, she said:

“I miss my grandma.”

Then I motioned her to come close to me and held her, thinking back to the day her grandmother passed away.

It has been 2 years and 4 days since her grandmother left us. And 12 years since the last set of grandparents of mine left us. Yet, lately I have been thinking a lot of them, and of friends I have lost along the way. My maternal grandfather passed away in February of 1998, a month before my expedition to the North Pole left Malaysia, while my maternal grandmother left us in September the same year. When they died, I lost the very two people whom had stood by me when I was down, and whenever the world seemed against me. And three months later, when I went for my minor pilgrimage (Umrah), I would perform the Umrah for them after completing the obligatory one for myself, for my paternal grandparents, my late uncle Ainuddin (my father’s younger brother who apparently played football together with my friend Renek’s father), my late Auntie Zahariah (my mom’s younger sister), and my late elder sister, Juliana. I did this every year for four years, culminating in my Haj pilgrimage in March 2001. At one point while still in Mecca, I dreamt of my grandmother, her feet covered in blood, trying to clamber up a hill after my late grandfather. She turned to look at me and asked me for help. I got up, went to the mosque and prayed for her.

Just a couple of weeks ago after having a bout of anxiety, I had a vivid dream of an old friend of mine, Jamsuri Hashim, who was the telephone supervisor at the then-Air Force Air Training Command HQ in Tanjung Bungah, Penang. We became so close that when I was going to marry my first ex, he became my spokesman. He had this banged-up white 1968 Volvo 144S, the kind you could see in P Ramlee movies. It was in that car that he, another late friend of ours and also my Warrant Officer Abd Rahman Said (Rahman Senget), my Flight Sergeant Zakaria Din, and I, would go in for late night Char Kuey Teow sessions at Tanjung Bungah. I last saw him back in 1996 or 1997 after he had retired, by that time his eyesight was about gone because of cataract. Rahman left us in 1996, apparently a victim of his ex-mother-in-law’s magic spell (I saw how he puked out a 6-inch corroded nail along with other crazy stuff) when he underwent traditional treatment.

In that dream, I traveled with Jamsuri inside his white Volvo to a food court. But instead of having food at the food court, he got some pre- packed Char Kuey Teow, laid down some newspapers for us to sit on, and there we were, having a picnic by the drain next to the food court talking about old times. I don’t know what the dream meant, but I remember telling him I had to get and and go, and when I woke up, my heart felt heavy and sadness engulfed me.

And this all brings me back to my mention of Heraclitus’s Panta rei in my previous posting of the same title mashed up with the interpretation by Plato:

Ever-newer waters flow on those who step into the same rivers.
Everything changes and nothing remains still.
We both step and do not step in the same rivers. We are and are not.

Are You Both A Fool And A Mule?

First thing’s first.

Iran is a hardline Islamic Republic.

Or so it seems.

It has become the symbol of the Islamic revolution that a political party even mimics the organisation structure of the Iranian government with a spiritual leader put above the party President. The only difference is that one tolerates Judaism and the other does not.

Yes, Jews have lived in Iran for more than 3000 years, and in Tehran alone there are around 25 synagogues.

Anyway, some time last week, there was an article in one of the mainstream dailies about a syndicate run by foreigners targeting local women who are single (single/divorced/widowed). They befriend these women over the Internet, usually in dating sites, claiming that they are from so-and-so country, so on and so forth, and ask these women what they do for a living to select potential targets. Then they will ask these women for their phone number, talk to them, convincing them that they are for real. They then go a step further, telling these women how special they are that they would like to send a gift to them. So they ask for their house address. Then they tell these women that they will be visiting Malaysia soon and if they could meet up.

Out of the blue, like in a day or two later, they would call up the intended target saying that they have arrived at the airport but have been held by either the Customs or the Immigration, and would like the assistance of these women since they are the only ones this person knows. So, this man would then pass the phone to one of the “Immigration” or “Customs” officers. These “officers” would then ask for some payment to be made, and usually an “officer” would go to the house at the given address and demand for the payment from these women.

So, if you’re single and desperate for a fuck, call a toyboy or get an equally-desperate acquaintance to help you out.

Anyone can be anything on the Internet.


Another trend now is to use these women as drug mules. Single Malaysian women have fallen for charming, sweet-talking and seemingly rich foreign businessmen who live in posh condominiums abroad, and these women would be lured to fly to wherever these men come from…and on one of those trips, get framed and jailed for drug-trafficking, or hung to death.

If you really are in need of a good fuck, you can always look for someone desperate here locally.


I seriously cannot comprehend why, for the life of me, would a super-duper rich businessman from a foreign land want to have any form of serious relationship with these women when they can buy supermodels or other equally-good looking women? If I were a filthy rich person, I would probably buy all the beautiful girls in Russia and move them into my mansion.

So for all you single/widowed/divorced women, please take a look at the photos below and tell me seriously if you think you are far better looking than the women depicted below:

Chinese modelNeeds no introduction

Come on, face the truth. Don’t become a fool and be conned, or become a drug mule and get arrested.

One day you are going to look into the mirror and see only this:

You're a fool

Power Off! Brakes On!

It is the order I would give to the jump-pilot prior to dropping my skydive students from the Cessna 172 aircraft from an altitude of between 4,000 feet to 6,000 feet above ground level. The jump-pilot would then put the aircraft in a slight dive, throttle back to idle, and apply the parking brakes. By this time the aircraft would be directly overhead the drop zone.

“Out!” I would signal the student who would in turn clamber out the aircraft, hands on the wing strut and one foot on the wheel. The aircraft would then be slightly upwind and I would then look at the student and shout, “GO!”

Five minutes later the student would be back on ground euphoric.

My first exposure to skydiving was when I followed my father when he opened the Benta Police Field Force (now General Operations Force) camp in Pahang in the late 1970s. Members of the crack police commando battalion, known as the VAT 69 or Komando 69, jumped off Cessna 182s using their GQ Parachutes. Then, during the 75th Anniversary of the Malay College back in 1980, members of the Army’s Special Forces Regiment (now Special Forces Group) jumped off an Air Force S-61A4 Nuri helicopter and sailed down using their Parafoil chutes.

My first jump was performed out of a de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou one January morning in 1989 from an altitude of 1,000 feet above ground level using the KS T-10 static-line chutes. I did a total of seven jumps before qualifying as a paratrooper. I did a total of 52 static-line jumps both with and without combat equipment using both the KS T-10 and MC1-1BD chutes before progressing to freefall parachuting in January 1993.

Above Gong Kedak, on the Terengganu-Kelantan border in 1993
Above Gong Kedak, on the Terengganu-Kelantan border in 1993

On the upside, I became the stunt double for my friend, actor and former model Ridzuan Hashim, in the movie Lurah Dendam in 1995. It was during the shooting of the opening scene that I experienced my first cutaway when my parachute had a total malfunctioned.

Two years later, in March 1997, I was selected to represent Malaysia in the International Parachuting Competition held at the Phra Ram 6 Camp at Cha-Am, near Hua Hin, Thailand. 11 months later, I represented Malaysia as part of the parachuting expedition to the North Pole. I capped that by being the first Malaysian to perform a BASE jump and did that off the KL Tower on 3rd October 1999. In 2000, I was involved in the first Survivor series shot on location at Pulau Tiga off Sabah. My role was to drop an air cargo for the Immunity Challenge.

Landing at the North Pole at 1.48am, 21st April 1998
Landing at the North Pole at 1.48am, 21st April 1998

The cargo and back-up cargo for the Survivor series drop
The cargo and back-up cargo for the Survivor series drop

Me (right) en route to Pulau Tiga
Me (right) en route to Pulau Tiga

And along the way, I have had lots of students; including from the US, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, India, Malaysia – and some are still in touch with me. They include my wife’s batchmate Rasidah Salleh (Course 07/2000) and Clement Thoo and Norikazu Kinoshita (Course 08/2000).

Rasidah (right most) after receiving her certificate
Rasidah (right most) after receiving her certificate

Clement Thoo upon landing at the Jenderata airstrip
Clement Thoo upon landing at the Jenderata airstrip

Nori receiving his certficate from Perak Aero Club's RFI, Captain Tony

The last time Rasidah, Clement and Nori jumped together was in June 2000 in Sitiawan during an air carnival. I could still remember how gusting and dog-legged winds blew most skydivers off the drop zone. But it was fun.

Sidah and Clement inside the Police Air Wing's Pilatus PC-6 in Sitiawan
Sidah and Clement inside the Police Air Wing’s Pilatus PC-6 in Sitiawan

Last night, after 10 years of leaving the world of parachuting, I met up with Clement and Norikazu (or Nori as we call him) again. Clement still works for a software company while Nori now works for a power plant west of Kobe, Japan. It was good to see them again. Both Nori and Clement quit skydiving not long after I did. Clement got hooked to riding big bikes before an accident put that aside. He now scuba dives as well. Nori left Malaysia in 2006 and both Clement and I have asked him to take a longer leave to take up scuba diving in Malaysia.

Clement and Nori at the Bangi Kopitiam, Wangsa Walk

Clement, Nori and I at the Bangi Kopitiam, Wangsa Walk

Yes, I miss skydiving, the freedom of “flying” through the air at almost 200km/h before opening the chute. I miss diving out of the plane and watch the ground rush up to me. But I would like to remember skydiving as that favourite sport for what it was, not for the politics involved.

And I would just like to remember that last jump I did over Dataran Merdeka for the Merdeka Fund fundraising, officiated by the then-Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri (now Tun) Dr Mahathir. It was from the Fire and Rescue Services Mi-17-1V helicopter, 6,000 feet above ground level. I was jumper number six. I leapt off the helicopter, face down, watching the AgroBank and Dayabumi rushing up towards me. I tracked for a while, increasing my vertical speed to beyond 200km/h before arching my body to return to terminal velocity, stable out and deploy my chute at 3,000 feet.

I shall never forget that feeling, the feel of the resistance of the air that I felt on my face, and that sense of freedom. And that is how I shall remember skydiving.

On finals at Mersing airfield in 2000

Racing Stripes

I have been so engulfed in work, firefighting here and there, and I know I will be doing so for at least another month before I would be able to take a breather. For more than a month, I have butterfingers, my concentration just about gone that I am unable to fathom what was said to me by anyone at all. Fatigue has taken its toll and my car has suffered for it. As I drove out of the basement parking lot, I slammed the side into a post, damaging the bumper. Eyda, a friend of the wife, told me to think of it as racing stripes. However, I am more inclined to think of the speeding tickets I’d receive, and the ones I’ll be receiving as my racing stripes. The only consolation I get after being burnt-out for the day is my wife’s cooking, or the things she makes me eat. It is almost an inconceivable thought that there are women who cannot cook.

Unfortunately, there are.

I had an ex who cannot cook at all. She can eat like a mammoth, but she was hopeless even at frying eggs. She would rather put her aunt through the trouble of cooking what she likes to eat, have them packed into a Tiffin carrier, and sent over to our house. With my horrible cooking skills, I would seem like Gordon Ramsay put next to her.

This is a busy world that we live in. Wives no longer assume just the responsibility of looking after the household – doing household chores; but women also go to work to supplement the household income (or to have more of their own money to shop so no one can say anything). Cooking is just another item on the long list of household chores that need to be done in a hurry each day after work. However, this applies only to those who can cook. What about those who can’t?

Female ineptitude in the kitchen, or a female being totally devoid of culinary skills are the results of upbringing or attitude towards cooking. Or perhaps, there is something intrinsic about it all. Fear of failure could be one – oh, what fun is it to be ridiculed by the mother-in-law, or the husband? But good cooks are those who take risks and learn from their failures! It’s part of Life’s 101! It is easy for me to dish out nasty male criticisms, but these women ought to know that to win a man’s heart is through the stomach! And if you have children, you want them to remember something about you, something for them to miss when you’re gone. I’m sure you would rather have them miss your cooking than be glad you’re gone because you were such a hopeless cook. And never mind being a plank in bed. If you’re a superb cook, he will come back to you every night and not stray away. Of course, if you are that dream-slut of his, you not only have him through his stomach, but have him by his balls too! Literally!

You can try dismiss this by saying, “Ah, I’m going to order takeaway/delivery every night from the most expensive restaurant” or “I’ll just turn gay and not marry or have kids.” But let me tell you this, I have a gay female friend who can cook and prepare food better than some wives I know. And I do cook once in a while, my style. At least every time I receive feedback on how crappy my cooking tastes, I’ll just cook the same thing again until I get it perfect. Let me tell you this, seeing the wife and kids enjoy my cooking is like eating two kilos of the best dish straight from the wok. And mind you, this is the father to seven children doing the cooking.

So, for you women out there who can’t cook, you will lose a lot. And you definitely have not earned your “racing stripes.”

Cheese Cake

My wife sent me a message asking me to buy some cream cheese for dinner tonight. I responded by asking her how does the package look like.

“I’m sure you’ve never bought cream cheese before,” she wrote on her message to me.

“Nope,” I replied.

“I’m sure your ex’s have never made you a cheese cake,” she asked.

“Cheese Cake? Never,” I replied. “One makes CORN CAKE with other people while the other makes cheese in her mouth and down there.”

As I Turn 44

This would be my 5th birthday post on this blog. I turned 44 today. I am overwhelmed with wishes on the phone and especially so on Facebook. I had this list of names of those on Facebook whom have wished me, thinking I could type them all here. Alas, the names ran into the hundreds. So, to those of you who wished me in any way and form, I would like to say a big thank you from the bottom of my heart. You know who you are.

So, what have I done for the past one year?

July 09

Delivering a speech before launching the vessel
I launched our company’s first offshore support vessel on my 43rd birthday.

Posing at 58 knots
Posed at 58 knots on board a Ultrafast Patrol Boat with Khun Sateeb


Wifey and I at 24 meters
Wifey finally becomes a diver

Attending NEBOSH
I attended what was the toughest short course ever…and passed with Credit while some failed

Diving during the fasting month
During the fasting month, we went diving at Tioman


Eidul Fitr with the BP family
We celebrated Eidul Fitr in Batu Pahat

At Tulai island off Tioman
We went diving in Tioman on the 3rd day of Eidul Fitr


Sailing to Bintulu
I spent 15 days offshore between Miri and Bintulu

Hana and Wifey off Tioman
And I took my daughter Hana to dive in Tioman before her SPM examinations


Wifey in Genting Highlands
I took Wifey to Genting after work for a surprise dinner date


Ushering in MMX
We had a dinner at home with friends ushering in MMX


Wifey with my photo
My photo was one of 42 chosen to be displayed at the National Arts Gallery

I attended two more courses
I attended two more courses back-to-back


On Erb West Drilling Platform B
I went offshore again to do a platform inspection 80km offshore Sabah

Group photo at Sipadan
We went for our first trip together to Mabul/Kapalai/Sipadan

MAY 10

Shah and Wifey underwater
Shah took his open water diver’s license


Approaching PC4 drilling platform
I did another platform inspection 200km offshore Miri

Wifey watching Germany vs Argentina
Of course it was World Cup 2010 season too

As I turn 44
And this was me as I turned 44…

It has been a great year for me.

Play Ball

If you know London well enough, take a walk down the Mall; no, not a shopping mall, but Pall Mall. The name was derived from a mallet and ball game called Pell Mell or Paille-Maille that was a favourite game of King Charles II.

That, and badminton, are probably as English as games can get. Golf is Scottish while football (soccer to those who seem to think the World as we know it, lies in the North American continent) has been played for thousands of years by countless ancient civilisations. And in the modern context, the world would be watching one event every four years – the World Cup.

Since this blog came about, this is the second time that the World Cup is being held. And never in the dreams of both Dr Samuel Livingstone and Mungo Park would people from all continents converge onto South Africa to watch people battle it out on a pitch, country against country, tribes against tribes, and nobody dies. And it is during this month-long event, will one catch me watching football. Forget La Liga, EPL and what-nots. I just do not like to watch football.

Well, that statement above is NOT entirely true! Once upon a time, I used to watch Malaysians play football; and the Malaysian team of the 70s through the mid-80s was a force to reckon with. South Korea and Japan were nothing compared to our team. Hell, we even qualified for the 1972 Olympics! That was the epoch of Malaysian football. Somehow, the aspiration of players nowadays differs, and material gains are what drives the current players. I stand corrected but seriously I don’t think we can ever beat South Korea – ever again. I strongly believe I will never see the likes of Soh Chin Aun, Mokhtar Dahari, Santokh Singh, V Arumugam, Wong Choon Wah, ever again – not in this lifetime, judging by the way people play nowadays.

Therefore, I am so sorry when football officials make statements like, “We should support our local football teams.” I won’t waste my money watching people play worse than Seafield Estate United versus Castlefield Estate Rovers.

Unless someone has the guts and stamina to change the mentality of both the players and that of the officials of the Football Association of Malaysia.

Therefore, I shall enjoy the semi-finals and final games of the World Cup 2010, and not look forward to seeing Malaysia beat Red Star Belgrade ever again. Yes, we used to beat them too. And I used to enjoy watching football from on top of a FRU Truck, eating my cold One Ringgit Burger that a pedlar sold me. Those were the days of football at the Merdeka Stadium.

Oh, Seafield Estate is where UEP Subang Jaya (or more commonly known as USJ) is now, while Castlefield Estate is where the IOI Mall of Puchong is now. The football teams, however, are fictitious.

Anyhow, there is a joke on Facebook that’s going around that goes like this:

Three football fans died. A Japanese, A Korean and a Malaysian. They were all granted a question each to God.

“When can Japan win the World Cup?” asked the Japanese fan.

“In 200 years,” God replied, to which the Japanese fan cried.

The Korean fan then asked, “When, oh Lord, can the Korean team win the World Cup?”

“In 300 years,” God replied, and the Korean fan bawled hysterically.

Then the Malaysian football fan approached God.

“When will the Malaysian team win the World Cup?” he asked.

God cried hysterically.

Marrying A Single Mother

Now, isn’t that title eye-catching? Whether this posting is going to be another controversial one or otherwise will be seen as it unfolds – and it also depends on my mood at the time of writing this.

This topic came about after my wife kept getting that question:

“Does your husband pay for the food your children eat? Does he pay bills associated with your children?”

I married a single mother. So, what’s the fuss? As any other husband, the moment I marry someone I assume the responsibility of housing her, feeding her, clothing her (this third category is still a subject of contention, being a no-frills person that I am she’d never agree to where I would want to buy her clothes). That is the purpose of the akad in the akad nikah ceremony – taking over the responsibility of feeding and housing her (see, I purposely omitted that shopping-inducing statement) from her wali.

Of course, her being a single mother, I also took in her baggage. She has three lovely children. While trying not to seem to be replacing their biological father (that is all their father is to them – strictly biological. IQ-wise I think they have gotten the superior genes from their mother), I assume the role of the one who feed and house them as well. And knowing that their father would rather play PS2 than look for money to buy fuel power his stupid bike, I know that when these kids get married, I will fork out money for their wedding as well, as any father (less theirs) would. That means, I will have to pay for the weddings of seven kids. Maybe I’ll ask my eldest to wait until she’s 38 before getting married so I can marry all of them together and save cost.

Housing them means I provide them with a roof above the head, I pay the utility bills as well. As with most modern family, my wife and I share the cost of our groceries while I pay for her monthly dives on top of everything else associated with the dive trips (Sipadan however, is an exception to this rule but I bought her a complete dive equipment set). I do wish that I earn double of what I do now so that she wouldn’t have to fork out a single cent for the upkeep of the family.

See, marrying a single mother isn’t all that difficult. As long as you know that when you marry her, you’ll be marrying her children as well. So, you feed her, you feed her children as well. That’s a no-brainer, unless you actually have no brain, are sick, and think you only have to marry their mother – not them. I do know of men who marry single mothers but prefer not to share the cost of bringing up her children and I think that that’s downright cruel. They may not be your own flesh and blood, but they are still your wife’s children. And if you want them to respect you, you will have to earn that respect by respecting their needs too. Only then can you command that respect.

So, you want to marry a single mother especially one that has baggage? You better make sure you are man enough to face the challenges, just as you should be man enough to marry a single woman and raise your child later.