Saturday, August 30, 2008

It has been a busy August

There have been quite a number of interesting happenings in the past 2 weeks but I have been busy. So, to make it up, this posting will summarize the events for posterity.

21 August - We had a kenduri at our new office, just before we moved in on Friday, 22 August 2008

24 August - Annual General Meeting of my mosque. It was a tame affair and everything were passed without debates. The only "excitement" was when our "Advisor" decided to resign from his post as he felt he was treated like Dr M, whose advises were not heeded. I think these "Advisors" failed to understand the meaning of the word "advise". They thought that "Advisors" should be treated like the British Advisors when we were colonized by the British. Then, those Advisors were actually Rulers who held real powers. Anyway, its a pity we had to accept our Advisor's resignation as he had contributed a lot to our mosque.

26 August - Election Day for Permatang Pauh by election. Three candidates contested. Anwar, won with a bigger majority than his wife did in March. Hopefully this will pave the way for a period of reduced politicking.

27 and 28 August - A government delegation from Uzbekistan made a visit to the Malaysian Dept of Immigration.

30 August - The mosque held a course for slaughtering of chickens for youths. I brought my wife for check-up at SJMC. The doctor asked her to be hospitalized and she had to undergo a procedure. Major or minor I'm not sure.

31 August - Merdeka Day and eve of Ramadhan. I'm supposed to go back to Melaka for a kenduri but with my wife in hospital, I'm not sure I will.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Me and family drove up North on Saturday, 16 August to attend a staff's wedding scheduled for Sunday, 17 August. We decided to leave on Saturday so that we do not have to make 2 trips between KL and Sik, Kedah on the same day.

We left quite late for 2 reasons, one, we are not pressed for time and two, we want to avoid the expected jam near Seberang Jaya, Penang as the nomination for the Permatang Pauh by-election is on Saturday morning.

When we reached Penang, I started making calls to check for rooms availability. I had earlier planned to spend the night in either Sungai Petani or Alor Star which is already close to Sik. But my first few calls to hotels in Sungai Petani proved futile as there are no rooms available. The people going to Permatang Pauh must have been forced o go further north to S. Petani to get rooms. Finally, I decided to call Faizal who is back in S. Petani (his home town) for a kenduri for help. He managed to get 2 rooms in Emerald Puteri.

After checking-in (our 2 rooms were located at different floors), we decided to get something for dinner. I remembered the last time I was in S. Petani I saw a restaurant called Radix Fried Chicken but was unable to try it out as the place was full. So this time, I thought we should give it another try.

We arrived around 8:15 pm. The place is again full but we managed to get an empty table. I asked my children to stand in line and order the chicken which has an uncanny resemblance to KFC. It was a long wait. We only managed to get our food around 9:10 (almost an hour wait for fast food!!). No wonder the place is always full, people are there waiting in line for their food.

While waiting, I managed to snap a few photos of the place. My comments of the place:

1. The have a good crowd of customers. Not only are they customers, they are also customers with lots of patience.
2. The place is not well served. Even though it seemed to have a lot of staff, the tables are not quickly cleaned and the floor is strewn with things. I had to ask someone to mop the area around my table as someone before me had drop their drinks.
3. The wait for our order is too long. According to my children who made the order, the counter staff were efficient but its the kitchen that is late.
4. The overall decoration of the outlet is good. With its striking red, it is definitely eye catching. But the staff must be quick in tending to the tables.
5. To me, the food is nothing to shout about but it is a novel idea and I think the crowd will at least give it a try and having tried they could be persuaded to come for repeats. The drumstick that I had was bigger than normal so much so that the inside of it was not properly cooked.
6. The food is competitively priced compared to other similar joints and this could be its strongest selling point.

I hope the owner make the necessary changes fast because the outlet definitely has potential to be successful especially in the Malay heartland. As one of the customers remarked "They should get someone senior from one of the established fast foods francise such as KFC or McDonald's."

Saturday, August 09, 2008


Today is Walkathon Day for SMK Sri Permata. The PIBG of the school badly need to collect funds to repay loans of about RM100,000 taken last year to build a roof over the students' assembly area. Last year, we decided to build the roof costing about RM220k despite only having RM120,000 in hand. We had anticipated the cost of building materials to increase substantially and had we waited to have sufficient funds before proceeding, we would be forever waiting. On hindsight, we were proven right.

We had targeted to collect about RM150,000 this time around. Besides paying off the loans, we wanted to make another structure at the school field to make it more comfortable for students to be at the field during games. However, the current economic situation made our efforts more challenging.

The school has about 1,300 students. If each of them managed to collect a minimum of RM100, we would have had no problem reaching our target. But this is not the case. Some classes, hardly managed to collect any contribution. Personally, I feel, the teachers play a very important role in making the students do their part. However, not all teachers can be depended upon. But my biggest disappointment is reserved for parents who fail to contribute and encourage their children. Some of these parents said the government should be taking care of all the needs of the school. After all the government pride itself of being able to provide free education. But they forget that we also have to help ourselves despite the political rhetorics.

I left the school at about 2:30pm. It was tiring but I'm pleased that I've done my small part.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Anwar charged for sodomy for the second time

Anwar pleads not guilty to sodomy
Aug 7, 08 9:08am (updated 10:40am)

PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim pleaded not guilty to the charge of having carnal intercourse against the order of nature at the Sessions Court in Jalan Duta court complex this morning.

"This is a malicious slander and I'm not guilty," he told Sessions judge SM Komathy.

The prosecution did not opposed bail and proposed bail be set at RM20,000 and that Anwar be required to surrender his passport.

However judge Komathy said that there was no need for the RM20,000 bail and instead a personal bond would suffice. He also said that Anwar need not surrender his passport as the opposition leader was not likely to abscond.

The charge, preferred following a complaint by 23-year-old Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, carries a punishment of up to 20 years' imprisonment if found guilty.

Anwar was charged with having committed sodomy on Saiful under section 337B of the Penal Code on July 26 between 3.01pm and 4.30pm at Unit 11-5-1 Desa Damansara Condo in Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.

Earlier today, Anwar arrived at 9.45am to chants of 'reformasi' from 200 supporters who have gathered outside the court complex. He was accompaned by his wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and eldest daughter Nurul Izzah.

Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng read out a short joint statement from the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

He said should Anwar was denied bail, Wan Azizah would be the coordinator of the Pakatan council.

Other Pakatan leaders present include PKR leaders Azmin Ali and Tian Chua, DAP leaders Lim Kit Siang and Gobind Singh Deo and PAS leader Husam Musa.

The de facto PKR leader, who was in a greyish jacket and light purple shirt, appeared relaxed. He smiled and talked to some of his supporters and Pakatan leaders inside the courtroom.

He told Tenaganita director and PKR leader Irene Fernandez that this court case would be the "final round".

Anwar is represented by a seven-member legal team headed by Sulaiman Abdullah. The other defence lawyers are R Sivarasa, Sankara Nair, Saiful Izham Ramli, Amer Hamzah, Edmund Bon and Leela J Jesuthasan.

There are also other lawyers who are holding watching brief for Bar Council and Washington-based Human Rights Watch, Paris-based International for Human Rights and Bangkok-based Forum Asia.

Heavy security

The police have put the entire court complex under heavy security, with police personnel lining up along the roads leading to the complex, as well as within the complex itself.

At least seven police and Federal Reserve Unit trucks are seen in the court parking area.

Similarly the police have also mounted several roadblocks in certain parts of the city, causing massive gridlocks in all main arteries that enter the city centre.

The police are also limiting public access to the courtroom - Sessions Court 1 - in which Anwar will be charged. All members of public are also asked to register themselves before entering the courtroom.

Had bail been denied, as was the case when he was charged 10 years ago, Anwar would be detained and will have to fight his Permatang Pauh by-election behind bars.