Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Subuh yang hening

Malam tadi aku susah nak tidur. Terlalu banyak di fikiranku. Macam - macam yang difikirkan. Tambahan, bilik aku diguna orang lain, jadi aku sepatutnya tidur sebilik dengan sepupu aku. Namun, kerana takut digigit serangga halus yang berkerumun di dalam biliknya, serta keadaan biliknya, aku membentangkan tilam di ruang tetamu.

Aku ni, kalau bab tidur berkira sikit; bilik kena gelap, pengudaraan mesti 'cantik', baru senang lena. Tapi, tidur kat celah - celah sofa, dalam keadaan silau lampu tangga, tak tidur aku. Toleh punya toleh, tahu - tahu saja, dah pukul 5.15 pagi. Aku terus sambar tuala aku, pergi meronyeh dalam bilik air.

Sambil mengemaskan tilam, aku dok fikir; mana nak sembahyang subuh? Surau belakang rumah? Tobat tak bukak punya. Masjid Daerah Bandar Perda? Tak ada 'feeling'. Masjid Batu, Masjid Permatang Janggus? Jauh bebenor. Akhirnya, aku dapat idea; Masjid Kebun Sireh, lebih kurang 5 minit dari rumah, di kampung berhampiran. Di kampung ini juga Atok dikebumukan. Dah rezeki Atok 'landing' jauh dari kampung.

Selesai solat subuh, aku ambil angin kejap di luar masjid.

Ahhh...angin sepoi - sepoi bahasa, bunyi ayam berkokok. Kat KL tak merasa. Lalu teringat kepada Atok; masa kecil - kecil dulu, kalau balik kampung, Atok selalu bawak sembahyang suboh kat Masjid Jamek di Kampar. Lepas tu, Atok 'rasuah' aku pergi pekena teh tarik di Batu Mesjid, dekat - dekat dengan Tapah. Itu masa kecil dulu. Sekarang dah besar, Atok pun dah setahun lebih pergi menghadap Penciptanya.

Terlintas hajat nak ke kubur belakang masjid. Tapi hari masih gelap. Karang tak pasal - pasal silap kubur, entah dengan roh siapa aku dok 'sembang' pulak. Dah lah berterabur kubur kat situ, tanam ikut dan aje. Harapkan batu nisan aje jadi penanda.

Huaaaarrghhh...mengantuknya aku. Tunggu semua orang pergi kerja/kelas/sekolah, lepas tu, up, up and away!!! hehehehe.....

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Zon S&T: The PMH secretariat that was generated by brotherhood

Last night, as I was clearing my laptop of unwanted, expired files, I encountered a folder labelled "Persatuan Mahasiswa Hadhari". In it was another sub-folder labelled "Sekretariat Kejuruteraan". In it were numerous files of my/our works in ye olde days, consisting of the draft of the first ever copy of PMH's official newsletter, the Raudhah Tribune, programme reports, minutes of meetings. My God, how the years have passed.

It was the middle of Ramadhan in 2005, I attended the first Annual General Meeting of PMH, which was then newly established, being only a month old. It was during this meeting that the first official president, Yusfizal Mat Yusof, who would later become one of my closest companion, was elected.

Without even realizing it, I was nominated for the post of Chairman for the division of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering by my friend, Azmil Abrar, who was also the founding father of PMH, and won uncontested.

The initial stage of enliving the division was a tough one. Unlike other chairpersons of other divisions, I knew no one in the Majlis Tertinggi (High Council). Furthermore, I've never met them before. One night, as it happens, I came face-to-face with the president himself. From there, I asked him of what I am currently supposed to do. He told me to firstly recruit students from my faculty, and fill in the posts of vice-chairman, secretary, treasurer, and relevant bureaus.

In the first round of recruitment, there were only 6 people; 4 girls, 2 guys. This was predicted of course since, in my days, engineering students were somewhat isolated from the world of religious societies and activities. Furthermore, the term Hadhari in those days was a strong political sentiment. I took this oppurtunity to explain as to how the term came into existence, plus the REAL objectives of this society

This was followed by assigning posts to them. Since not all of them were electrical students, automatically the division of Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering was born. Alhamdulillah, in the weeks to come, a generous number of students called / sms-ed expressing their intention to be recruited. Not only from the engineering faculties, but also from the faculties of pharmacy and medical.

Since we were not assigned any special tasks by the High Council for that particular semester, we were free at our own will to plan our own activities / programmes. Amongst all listed, the one activity which lasted until today was the establishment of PMH's official newsletter.

Only three were involved in generating this newsletter, including myself, as many others were involved in final-year presentations, say nothing of those who signed-up, but never turned up.

The name given to this newsletter was Qaulul Mujaddid, later renamed Qaulul Jadid. It was a simple one; one-paged, and only one simple article (extracted from the book, Laa Tahzan). The beauty of it is that, as it was not official, being but a test-drive, we were not funded. So, each of us (including those not involved in this newsletter) contributed any RM1, RM5, RM10 that we had so that this 'project' can initiate.

Following the success of this newsletter, distributed like hot cakes, we decided to upgrade the newsletter. Since we were nearing the examination period, plans were made for the newsletter to be presented in front of the High Council next semester, and acquire the rights to manage it.

The next semester, the newsletter project was successfully presented during a meeting with the High Council and EXCO members. We were acquired the rights. I mentioned our intentions to rename and regenerate the newsletter. An EXCO member, Khulailah suggested the name SOUNDS OF HEAVEN. I took this name to the division meeting, and after considering, and using the arabic term of HEAVEN which translates it as RAUDHAH, we renamed the newsletter, RAUDHAH TRIBUNE. And thus, a newsletter was born; with multiple pages similar to the size of a standard magazine. We were funded by the Islamic Center of UiTM (CITU).

During that semester, many left UiTM, not to mention the only surviving division being that of electrical and civil. And so, we combined our division and renamed it, GABUNGAN FAKULTI - FAKULTI KEJURUTERAAN. That semester, apart from the newsletter project, we were assigned to establish a public forum. It was the first tough challenge ever for us, having no experience whatsoever, with limited assistance. Alhamdulillah, despite certain glitches, the programme went on well.

The following year, Yusfizal was replaced by Zul Husni, of whom I would later make a companion out of him. In the earlier stages, I was no longer associated with the division. I was an EXCO member for a week, until the Student Affairs' Unit asked me to resign due to technical glitches. I was assigned Head of Publications, in charge of the newsletter established previously.

I was never happy. One of it being that 'while I was gone', the High Council-elect made modifications to the newsletter, even changing the name. Alhamdulillah, they changed the newsletter back to its original state after multiple arguments. But, upon all, I was working with bureaucrat-minded people.

In February, Zul Husni reestablished the society divisions, including my former division, which was renamed SEKRETARIAT ZON SAINS & TEKNOLOGI (Secretariat of the Science & Technology Division), which comprised of all engineering faculties, plus pharmacy, medical, and dentistry faculties. I was recalled to lead the secretariat.

My first order of the day, was to recall all those who were previously part of the division, and still in UiTM. There were a large number of fresh members too, most of them from the pharmacy, dentistry, and medical faculties. Amongst all, they were people who were willing to engage themselves in any given task/activity.

We had our first assignment from the president, and it was this assignment (programme) that contributed to the landslide popularity of this secretariat. Not the succession of the programme, but the management, and the people who were involved in it; most of them being freshies with no experiences, but performing high rank tasks (in those days, it was common for a certain task of high rank to be distributed among closest friends and those with connections to influenced individuals).

Later, after being informed of the possibility of being transferred to Penang, I vacated my post, only to receive a letter by Zul Husni a week later, insisting that I replace him temporarily as president of PMH, since I 'had nothing better to do'.

My two years being in the division was a memorable one. Despite the 2007 half being a promising one, with all the popularity earned, I was more devoted to the 2006 half.

Compared to 2007, in 2006 we were nobody in the eyes of many. We started humble, no cable no nothing. Everyone struggled to keep the division going. Everyone had their share of responsibility and contribution. We were strongly attached to one another, being a community of less than 10.

The initial success of this secretariat / division was not based on bureaucracy. It was based on the flexibility of performing a given task. It was not based on the number of strengths, it was based on the strength of the heart.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Thesis...but it ain't mine

When I entered university, I took up a course in electrical engineering, instrumentation branch. Some call it mechatronics, and some electromechanical. Anyway, throughout my current semester, which was recently wrapped up by the final examinations, which too has been wrapped up, I had lots of free-time.

In fact, taking up only three courses, I had all the free time any UiTM student would ever want, despite the fact that my schedules were organized in a way that one would have thought that I had no free time.

At first, it was 'fun' thinking that I had time for almost anything. Until about a month, I felt the boredom of having too much unattended time, though I tried to fill it up by doing assignments and other academic-related activities.

One day, as I was chatting with my housemate, I suddenly realized that a reasonable number of friends of mine had trouble with english profficiency.

And thus, I said to myself,

"Hey nonny nonny, why not take the oppurtunity to brush up on their english, and communication skills?"

It turned out a few months later to be a session of inspecting reports, thesis, and final year projects for grammar or vocabulary errors.

Among other things, the reports handed to me were unrelated in any way to the discipline of electrical engineering. The people who asked me of my favour were from various fields of study; Civil Engineering, Office Management & Technology, Accounting, Hotel & Catering.

Of all who did ask me of my favour, only those from Office Management and Civil Engineering (which makes ~98%) handed their reports to me.

I faced the 'horror' of having to reconstruct, rewrite, replace whatever that was written, or in this case, typed down. And, to perform so, I had to first understand the statements being typed.

Nontheless, despite all the troubles I went through, I found out that while trying to understand the typed statements, I was actually gaining knowledge regarding the fields of the respected reports.

By the end of the day, I learnt how a fast-food outlet regaulates its service quality, I learnt the difficulties and obstacles faced by a contractor. And all of these, had nothing whatsoever to do with Electrical Engineering.

Four years ago, I worked as a Food & Beverage personnel, under catering services. Among my job was to transport food from the kitchen to to wherever the heck a function was taking place.

Consequentially, I left after a fortnight due to the fact that my left thigh had to bandaged almost at all times and could not handle any heavy loads or activities (as a result of falling from the roof a year earlier...having found out 6 months after my resignation from the job, that there was a fracture in my kneecap). Besides, I couldn't cope with their policy of wearing shorts.

Despite having worked only for a fortnight, the foods that I handled were no ordinary foods. They were top-of-the-class cuisine, rich man's lust. Amazingly, I found out that the so-called luxury cuisine, were made from basic and common ingredients. The same ingredients we use in our kitchens at home.

The only thing that deviates between luxury cuisine and home-made cooking is the touch of art. While the latter was simply chucked from the pot to the serving dish, the former was heavily pampered; every grain of rice, every garnish of parsley, every grate of cheese is arranged in a way that, one look at it can be mouth-watering.

Furthermore, having worked in the respected field, I realized the pressure one has to encounter daily. That is why, whenever I go to a fast-food outlet, hawker stall, restaurant, I avoid being harsh towards them (employees), because I've been in their position, and I know how one would appreciate the kindness shown towards him/her despite the working pressure currently being encountered.

It is true when the say that the amount of knowledge Allah spreads throughout the land, is beyond the boundaries of man.

The knowledge of a wise man who spends his lifetime studying and learning, is but a mere drop of water that hangs from the end of our finger, compared to the amount of knowledge that has yet to be discovered.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

The Eleventh-Hour Syndrome @ Being fashionably late

Last Friday was the third day of my post-examinations honeymoon. It was an exciting relief that my supposed-to-be last examination ever ended a week after the examinations period began. Early that morning, I drove from my home to Kg. Pertama, a village just a short walk away from UiTM, where a friend was expecting me to join him for breakfast.

While at the Politeknik Seberang Perai junction waiting for the traffic light to go green, I noticed the car behind me via the rear-view mirror were full of girls. It's not the girls that I'm interested in, it's their situation that attracted me.

I noticed that a UiTM student's vehicle pass (sticker) was displayed at the far end of the mirror, thus I assumed them to be students heading for the campus. There were three of them; the driver was checking her eyelids, the front passenger seemed somewhat nervous, the passenger behind was going through her lecture notes.

I noticed that the clock showed 8.23am, approximately 7 minutes before the next examination session was due to commence.

"Good Lord, they are late for their exams..."

A few seconds later, I drove through a kampung (can't remember the name) at 65km/h, approximately 5km/h above the legal speed limit. I gazed behind, and saw that I was drifting away from the girls' car. Thus, I corrected my statement,

"They're not late. They're bloody fashionably late!"

I can't seem to understand why people tend to perform everything, or anything whatsoever at the eleventh hour (last minute). Whatever they do, they tend to perform it upon reaching the end of the line:

1. Appointments
2. Meetings
3. Assignments

Surprisingly, even when driving, do they tend to perform the eleventh hour syndrome. How's that? It occurs at junctions or highway exits. Drivers were informed of any given junction / exit. There is even a considerable stretch of lane designated for the junction. Yet, these drivers tend to stick to the main lane, and make a turn only upon reaching the divider, no signals whatsoever, giving trouble to the drivers on the main lane, and those already on the dedicated lane.

What bloody idiots!!!

Throughout my life in the world of societies, I attended numerous meetings, either as a participant or as the chairman cum organizer of the meetings. In both cases, the eleventh-hour syndrome became a common plague amongst the members.

Being late is one. Failing to inform of late arrival initiates the plague, arriving fashionably late without any sense of guilt turns it deadly cancerous. Don't these people ever think of the people who turn up early, some earlier than the appointed time, so that the meeting can begin on time, and possibly end early?

A few months back, I attended a communion amongst brothers. I was new to them, so I took the oppurtunity to express my stand, one of them being my despise for the eleventh-hour syndrome.

One of them told me,

"I do not deny that we have the habit of performing our jobs last-minute. But, upon the end of our jobs, we feel satisfied with what we have done."

You may feel satisfied. But deep in your heart, do you reaaaaaaaaaaally feel satisfied? Surely there must be a sense of guilt, pressure, anxiety, exhaustion deep within you. Have you thought to consider others who had to have their scedule altered or re-altered just to wait for you to pass on your job to them?

When it comes to appointments, it ain't anything different, mate. It's the same story. People tend to arrive 20 to 30 minutes beyond the appointed time. Surprisingly, it seems to be a fashion, when one gets up to wash him/herself 10 minutes before the appointed time, leaves the house at the appointed time, arriving 20 to 30 minutes after the appointed time.

No wonder we're known for our Janji Melayu. The one race that takes time lightly, struggling to keep up with time only when they approach the end of the line. The one race that disrespects others of their time.

Almost every nation have their own proverbs regarding time. The Chinese,

"Time is money."

The Malay,

"Time is gold."

In fact, Islam too emphasises on time. In Islam, time is life. Treat life well, and you'll live well, Do otherwise, and you're doomed to damnation.

We hear people being fined for maniac driving, or just being 'plain stupid'. Some come to the extent of being involved in accidents. Most of them, when asked of their 'stupidity', their excuses are simple,

"I'm LATE for xxxxxxx..."

That's what you get for mistreating or underestimating time, without any reasonable explanations for performing so. If for some reason, you were unable to evade it (reason for being late for anything whatsoever), then that is no problem, provided that you inform others of your minor glitch.

To those out there, who have the habit of mistreating time, or have no respect whatsoever for it, and others affected by it, I urge you to change your way of living. Not only do you create chaos for others, you are doomed for humiliation throughout your lives.

وَٱلۡعَصۡرِ (١) إِنَّ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ لَفِى خُسۡرٍ (٢) إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ بِٱلۡحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ بِٱلصَّبۡرِ

By (the Token of) time (through the Ages), Verily Man is in loss, Except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy.
(Al-'Asr; 103:1-3)

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Haji...biar betul jemaah kita ni!!!

Sebentar tadi, aku sedang mengemaskini laman blog aku, sementara pakcik aku sedang membaiki amplifier ciptaan beliau di hadapan sambil menonton berita. Kemudian, aku terpandang headline di skrin televisyen, 2 TAN. Aku pun cabut kejap headphone nak tengok apa bendanya.

Rupa - rupanya liputan dari Madinah Al-Munawwarah. Yang dapat aku tangkap, warga Malaysia antara pelanggan harian di kedai - kedai di Madinah. Tak hairan pun. Aku masak sangat perangai diorang.

Yang buat aku sakit gigi, apabila wartawan melaporkan bahawa jemaah haji turut menghantar barangan mereka pulang ke tanah air awal, pada kadar jumlah 2 tan sehari.

2 tan, weh!!! Itu jumlah berat 2 kereta sedan! Kalau naik kapalterbang, seorang penumpang terhad kepada 20kg kargo. Lagi memeningkan, haji belum mula lagi.

Nak beli, tak salah. Tapi, kalau sampai ke tahap kena hantar balik rumah siap - siap, melampaulah tu.

Ape kehe le deme ni? Naik nama bukan main seronok, bersyukur, tawadhu'. Sampai - sampai, terus buat perangai. Macam mana nak dapat haji mabrur ni?

Aku tak lupa lagi masa buat umrah tahun 2005 dulu. Makcik - makcik yang sekumpulan dengan aku; jangan kata mengumpat dan mengata kuat, beli - belah macam esok nak kiamat. Asal balik dari masjid, ada saja benda diangkutnya.

Seingat aku, yang buat penuh sesuatu kedai, ataupun majoriti yang berada di dalamnya tak lain tak bukan orang Malaysia lah.

Sebelum berangkat ke Mekah, mak pesan siap - siap kat aku, jangan kuat shopping. Dugaan memang kuat. Ini aku tak nafikan. Dari Masjidilharam nak ke hotel kena tembus Pasar Bumbung. Kiri kanan orang panggil masuk kedai. Kedai yang paling dahsyat ialah kedai Riyalaan (Kedai Dua Riyal; 2 Riyal ~ RM 2.00).

Alhamdulillah, dugaan itu dikawal oleh tiga hakikat:
1. Mak abah atau ahli keluarga tak ikut buat umrah. Jadi, kalau fulus (duit) habis, habislah aku.

2. Aku bertemankan seorang sahabat yang hampir buta; jadi kena pimpin dia ulang - alik ke masjid serta sewaktu ziarah sekitar Mekah/Madinah

3. Aku hanya membawa dua hand-luggage; satu untuk baju - baju aku, satu lagi untuk kain ihram. Jadi, ruang tambahan agak terhad.

Apa - apa hal pun, aku berdoa mudah - mudahan jemaah haji tahun ini, baik dari Malaysia, atau mana - mana sekalipun, memperoleh haji mabrur...bukan Haji Marlboro!!!

Friday, 7 November 2008

Islam: Di antara Negara Islam & Negara Atas Angin

Seorang ulama' Mesir yang dibuang negara kembali semula ke tanah airnya setelah 20 tahun menetap di London, England. Ditanya beliau akan kehidupannya, maka jawab beliau,

"Aku lihat Islam di England, tetapi aku tidak melihat Islam di Mesir."

Mungkin ramai yang tidak terbayang, apakah yang cuba digambarkan oleh ulama' tersebut. Bahkan, mungkin ada yang akan menafikannya, melihatkan hal - hal semasa yang berlaku.

Alhamdulillah, dengan rezeki yang Allah S.W.T. anugerahkan kepada keluarga aku, aku merasa menetap di England, menjejak ke serata Eropah barat, U.S., Australia, Korea dan tak lupa juga negara - negara timur tengah.

Dan daripada pengalaman - pengalaman tersebut dapatlah aku menghuraikan sedikit sebanyak tentang apa yang dimaksudkan oleh ulama' di atas.

Apabila beliau menerangkan tentang kewujudan Islam di England, bukannya bermakna termaktub hudud dan qisas, tetapi termaktubnya the basic teachings of Islam.

Di Korea, aku bersembang dengan seorang warganya. Aku bertanyakan hal Korea dan warganya. Jawab beliau,

"Di Seoul adalah aman. Kita boleh berlegar - legar pukul dua tiga pagi tanpa rasa takut. Kalau kata kamu tinggalkan kamera kamu di mana - mana sahaja, balik dua tiga jam kemudian, ianya masih di situ. Orang - orang Korea, mereka takkan sentuh apa yang tiada kaitan / kena - mengena dengan mereka. Disiplin mereka memang kuat. Disiplin ini bermula daripada didikan keluarga. Di Korea, hukum menculik adalah samada mati atau penjara seumur hidup."

Aku juga memerhatikan, orang Korea memang sangat pembersih. Tandas - tandas awam mereka amat bersih, tiada sampah sarap di jalanan.

Mereka juga adalah orang - orang yang sopan. Jika sedang memandu, dan kita bagi ruang kepada pemandu lain memasuki lorong kita, mereka akan mengucapkan terima kasih dengan menyalakan lampu 'hazard'.

Kalau memasuki mana - mana bangunan tertentu, akan ada orang bukakan pintu sambil 'mengarut' bahasa Korea. Apa yang menarik, aku perhatikan di hotel aku, ada bangunan letak kereta di sebelahnya yang tertera "Ladies Only".

Di negara - negara Barat seperti UK, US, Eropah, Australia (walaupun tersesat di ceruk - ceruk Pasifik), bukan susah sangat nak hidup di kalangan warga - warganya. Buat baik kepada mereka, dan mereka akan melakukan perkara yang sama kepada kita.

Biasa terjadi apabila ada orang mengatakan bahawa layanan orang - orang tempatan di negara Barat amatlah teruk. Pada mulanya, aku hairan juga. Namun, kemudian baru aku memahaminya. Adapun layanan 'teruk' itu bukanlah kerana siapa diri kita, tetapi sikap kita terhadap mereka.

Sewaktu di Australia tahun lepas, pernah sekali aku tersesat, sebab bas yang aku naik terlajak jauh ke hadapan, jadi kena aku berjalan patah balik ke belakang. Aku nak cari di mana Melbourne Museum, jadi aku buka peta. Kemudian, ada orang perempuan datang kat aku,

"Are you lost?"

Aku jawab,

"Not really. The bus I rode stopped a few yards ahead, and I'm trying to get to the Melbourne Museum."

Dia jawab,

"Oh, the museum. Well, you're not that far, really. You just walk 'til the end of this block, then turn right. Walk for a couple hundred metres, and you'll see the museum across the street on your left. You can't miss it. Enjoy yourself."

Selama aku berada di Australia, kalau nak solat, ada tiga pilihan:
1. Cari masjid / pusat Islam yang berhampiran
2. Singgah di mana - mana universiti / kolej
3. Solat aje atas padang rumput di mana - mana taman

Sewaktu di Sydney, aku terserempak dengan papan tanda yang menyatakan bahawa merokok dan meminum arak di kawasan terbuka adalah dilarang, dan denda minimum AUS$ 1600 (~ RM 4700) boleh dikenakan.

Alhamdulillah, selama aku berjalan berseorangan di Australia, aku tidak ada masalah bergerak dari satu tempat ke tempat yang lain. Orang - orang tempatan amatlah baik hati.

Sebagai seorang mahasiswa, aku memperoleh kemudahan untuk memasuki muzium - muzium mereka dengan percuma. Sebagai seorang warga asing yang sedang mengembara, aku ditunjukkan jalan. Sebagai seorang Muslim, aku mudah menunaikan solat di mana sahaja, bila - bila masa sahaja, baik di atas rumput taman bunga, mahupun di platform kosong stesen keretapi. Juga sebagai seorang Muslim, aku adalah tetamu kepada pengusaha makanan halal.

Amat menakjubkan, apabila melihatkan segala nilai yang patut ada pada negara umat Islam diamalkan oleh negara - negara bukan Islam.

Allah S.W.T. menunjukkan kuasa-Nya apabila kita diperlihatkan kehidupan orang - orang Barat ini. Sungguhpun tidak beragama Islam, rata - rata mereka mengamalkan apa yang diajarkan oleh Islam kepada umatnya, sungguhpun mereka tidak menyedarinya. Dan apa yang mereka amalkan, hanyalah secubit daripada keseluruhan ajaran Islam.

Namun, berapa ramai dari kalangan kita yang beragama Islam yang menyedari hakikat ini? Berapa ramai yang cuba menuju ke arah itu?

قُلۡ سِيرُواْ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ فَٱنظُرُواْ ڪَيۡفَ بَدَأَ ٱلۡخَلۡقَ‌ۚ

Katakanlah: Mengembaralah kamu di muka bumi, serta lihatlah bagaimana Allah telah memulakan ciptaan makhluk-makhluk dari asal jadinya.
(Al-'Ankabuut; 29:20)

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Obama's victory speech

...I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn't start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington - it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give $5 and $10 and $20 to the cause.

It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; it grew strength from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organised, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from the Earth.

This is your victory...

(Click here to read more)

Source: BBC NEWS

Why Barack Obama won

Two years ago, Barack Obama was barely a blip on America's political radar.

But, with a brilliant, disciplined campaign, a vast amount of money and a favourable political climate, the junior senator from Illinois has risen to the most powerful job in the world.

His campaign will be a template for those seeking to replace him.

It was, even Republican strategists admit, a technically perfect ground campaign.

The money was key. Mr Obama realised during the primary contest that he had developed an extremely broad donor base, which he could keep going back to for money.

So, he rejected federal funding for his campaign and the financial limits that came with it.

(Click here to read more)

Source: BBC NEWS

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Maka berakhirlah peperiksaanku...

Selasa, 4 November 2008, dengan menyerahkan kertas jawapan Control Systems KEL 234, maka tamatlah secara rasminya peperiksaan akhirku untuk semester ini, seminggu lebih sejak tarikh rasmi bermulanya peperiksaan, yang juga diharap menjadi semester terakhir aku (mintak - mintaklah...).

Lalu, melangkahlah aku meninggalkan laman peperiksaan menuju ke kereta aku yang diletakkan di tempat letak kereta Pusat Islam, dan berangkatlah aku pulang ke rumah untuk menunaikan solat Asar, dan menatap kitab Crayon Shin Chan sambil menanti masuknya waktu Maghrib supaya aku boleh berbuka puasa.

Selesai solat Maghrib, aku berangkat pergi ke rumah sahabatku, Najmuddin. Beliau hendak pulang ke halamannya, lalu diminta supaya aku menghantarnya ke Terminal Feri Butterworth.

Jam 10 malam, aku bersama beliau, ditemani dengan Yusfizal (sahabat sewaktu di Shah Alam dulu) dan Mustapha yang tiba beberapa minit sebelum bertolak, berangkat ke Butterworth. Oleh kerana ada sejam lebih sebelum bas Najmuddin tiba, kami ke Bagan terdahulu, untuk menjamah nasi kandar Kamar Jahan.

Selesai makan, kami ke tepi laut di Pantai Bersih, Bagan Ajam. Tempat tersebut, bolah nampak skyline kota Georgetown di seberang laut. Angin yang bertiup, serta bunyi ombak menghempas pantai, sekaligus melepaskan aku daripada bebean peperiksaan akhir, serta beban yang aku tanggung semenjak bulan Jun dahulu, tatkala aku dimaklumkan perlu melanjutkan tempoh pengajian.

Pantai itu memang bersih di lokasi yang kami lewati. Namun, yang buat kotor ialah apabila ianya dikerumuni pakwe dan makwe yang datang memadu asmara di atas tembok, berpakaiankan sarung nangka dan baju pengemis.

Kebetulan, aku pakai jubah pada waktu itu (malas nak salin pakaian, menyangkakan setakat menghantar Najmuddin ke jeti sahaja). Aku melintas sepasang ayang dan aling, yang kononnya pasangan terbahagia di atas muka bumi ini. Mereka baru nak bercumbu, tetiba melihatkan aku sedang menenung ke arah mereka, terus bangkit terkial - kial tak tahu nak lari atau tidak. Hahahaha. Sungguh kelakar.

Selesai menghantar Najmuddin di jeti, aku menurunkan Yusfizal dan Mustapha di Permatang Pauh, dan terus pulang ke rumah bagi memulakan sesi bulan maduku.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

The day I indulged myself in politics...practically

During my school years, I wore a songkok to school. Initially, it was a sign of protest to Mr. Ang Tun Seng, who was then the disciplinary teacher for the afternoon period. He disallowed the wearing of the songkok as it was not listed in the school's dressing code. The year was 2000.

In 2003, I was appointed president of the Islamic Society. At the same time, we had a new headmistress, Pn. Norhayati Alias, whom I was close with 'til she was transferred to the Ministry. My juniors (anak buah) in the afternoon period complained to me of the neverending peril of Ang Tun Seng and his songkok issue. Seeing the oppurtunity of the current position I was currently in, I forwarded this matter to the headmistress for further actions.

A couple of weeks later, I was informed that the headmistress has warned all teachers and staffs not to restrict students from wearing the songkok at any given time.

A junior of mine told me shortly, that "we have won the battle". To me, the battle may have proved successive, but the war is yet to cease, as I found out later throughout the respected year.

I soon learnt that the Islamic Society is not just about organizing ceramahs, religious-based activities. It is also about performing da'wah upon others. In those days, organizing an event was easy, as the headmistress pays special attention to the society.

But that was short-lived, as she was transferred to the Ministry 8 months after she was appointed headmistress. Rumour has it that the transfer was planned by certain staffs, since, compared to previous headmistresses, she was a strict and firm one, and not one of the staffs are to play-the-fool while she's in charge.

I'll remember her as the one person whom I dearly respect.

My career does not end there. In late 2005, I was appointed the first chairman of the Engineering Division Secretariat of the newly established Persatuan Mahasiswa Hadhari (PMH), a religious-based society in UiTM Shah Alam. I was re-appointed the same post in early 2007, only that the secretariat has been renamed to Secretariat of The Science & Technology Division.

Throughout the period, I still indulged myself in da'wah activities, only that my method of performing so has been upgraded from the previous experiences obtained during my days in the Islamic Society, in which I learnt how to know and understand the mentality of those who are my targets, and organize something in a way that they are able to accept mostly, if not fully.

Alhamdulillah, they proved to be a success, though I do not deny that there were times when things went wrong. But from it, I learnt to be calm, as those under my guidance would look up upon me for solutions. I had experiences being under someone in certain activities. And, dear me, the tantrums he would be in, not to mention us being the victims of those that we did not commit.

And, it is from these experiences, that I taught myself not to inherit such attitudes, as I know how much it would hurt those under my guidance. My intention was for them to gain knowledge and experience, not as my punching bag.

Today, I am a retiree, or veteran as some of my friends describe me as. Most of the time, I would sit alone in my own world planning for the future, while people would come to me seeking my opinion regarding the things I have performed in the past that are about to be performed.

Yet, I do not deny, at times I would be called upon, to participate myself as a committee member of certain activities.

Truly knowledge does not come to one ready-to-use. They come in forms of experiences, for us to mould and shape, to be used whenever and wherever possible, for the benefit of us and the benefit of others.

One of the factors that man is respected for, is his knowledge and experience. Not to say that I am one of them, of course. Besides, I remain in cognito of whatever it is that I possess within me, be it good or bad, beneficial or otherwise.