27 November 2011

Moment to Reflect ( Pt 6 ) - Hijrah 1433 – Dimana kita berada?

Setelah berakhirnya seribu empat ratus tiga puluh dua tahun, dimanakah kita sebagai satu umat berada? Sudah berapa lapisan keturunan berlalu semenjak tahun junjungan kita berhijrah? Tahap manakah bangsa Arab berada hari ini selepas datangnya hidayat? Tidakkah mereka dianugerah Tuhan kekayaan didunia ? Beginikah kedudukan keturunan satu bangsa daripada mana seorang nabi teragung dilahirkan, dan dalam bahasa mana turunnya AlQuran yang teragung? Tidakkah mereka diberi sumber kekayaan?

Aku kembali berfikir:

Tahap manakah aku berada, umur dan pencapaianku? Selagi ada hayat dibadan ….. biar setitik peluh mengalir dibadan, tidak semata mata melaung azam

Let us spare a moment to reflect

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

13 November 2011

With a Sigh (Pt 10) - Toil and Trouble

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.


I have often sighed with despair watching children who, for their poor performance, are grouped into the end of the class. A large secondary school within my vicinity may have as many as ten classes of about thirty-five pupils each. I do not blame schools for placing the better pupils together. They are the likely children to give the schools a place in the honoured list when the PMR and SPM results are released. But I do blame the school principles who put up pressure on teachers to maximise number of excellent results, at the expanse of the pupils who are being grouped and neglected as ‘no-hopers’. We do not do that to our children. Likewise we are duty bound to help these children if we take pride pride in being teachers, and earn our livelihood at that.

In a large primary school in certain rural areas many children come from very poor background. They never see kindergartens. Their only hope is to learn something from schools the moment they join Standard One at seven years old. The seemingly total efforts of this state, in maintaining at all costs the record of UPSR results, often leave the needy children behind. And the situation goes on for six years at the end of which the poorer children hardly learn anything. Instead, they have sadly acquired all the bad habits within the years. I have a girl of thirteen with all E’s in her UPSR who admitted, “ Saya malas Pakcik ( I am lazy).”

For the first time in seventeen years I am now seeing a strange phenomenon; children of poor families and orphans do not only have poor UPSR results but have also acquired bad behaviour. By logic these are the children who should have been given all the helps and motivation in schools. Our zest and demand for record-breaking performance of all A’s at UPSR exam at all costs has this bye-product which many in authority may not wish it to be highlighted.

An now, as the state religious department have picked up children from nooks and corners of the state and put then in one home, I am seeing this phenomenon, the presence of which, people who matter may not wish to recognise. But, for the very first time I have about 80 of these children, from Form One to Four. I have never lost my temper as often as I have of late. It is a combination of anger, helplessness and desperation. You see it all in most of these children, the playfulness, misbehaviour, laziness and stubbornness. Only very few show rays of hope.

Should Pakcik weed out those very difficult ones? No, it is a challenge. Additionally I understand it too well the following two beginning ayats from surah Alma’un:

Surah AlMa'un

107 - 1&2

Hast thou ever considered (the kind of man) who gives the lie to all moral law? Behold, it is this (kind of man) that thrusts the orphan away.”- according to Muhammad Assad’s interpretation.

I talk to my children and children of Almanar the need to overcome challenges which make better men and women of us; and I shirk a challenge involving the orphans and the poor?


Two weeks ago I noticed a girl of Form Four struggling to copy notes from her beighbour. Half suspecting the reason I asked her and got the expected answer. “Dia rabun, Pakcik! (She cannot see!) came a chorus of cries from around her. But she was not alone. There were two other girls who had trouble all the years with no apparent help coming. Immediately after class I drove them to an optician. One and half hours later I drove the three girls home, looking shy but with confidence in their new gift of clearer vision. Deep in my heart I regret that this state of mine is very proud of dishing out computers to teachers of Standard Six (to encourage them to better UPSR results!) and children at all levels. And the likes of these poor children suffer the indignity of struggling just to be able to see. Could this be a rare case? There have been other pupils of Almanar requiring that simple and inexpensive gift to enable them to see the board, not something to play cyber-games with or join the face-book community.

Such is life and I can only draw a long sigh.


But I am going to get some small help!

A young lady teaching English at a university close to us is looking forwards to give half a day a week to Almanar. When forewarned of the difficult children she merrily said she would make them sing to her music. She has the equipment to bring along.

A senior lecturer at the Teachers’ Training Institute nearby, who is has a couple of years to retirement, is anxious to find something to usefully fill his time. He specialises in Mathematics. He too will, for a start, contribute half a day a week to Almanar.

Who knows there is a secret floodgate somewhere. We must not despair.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemsnusiaan


To a number of teachers who call at my blog, I regret having to express harshly against their profession. There are umpteen dedicated teachers and I certainly have not lost my deep respect for them. It is often the case of 'Seekor kerbau ..... '. At the same time I believe in expressing oneself, giving and receiving criticisms.

11 November 2011

11-11-11 - What’s in a date?

I write about the dates which are meaningful to me.


I saw beauty in 1.11.11, a date that appears once in a century, one day that I was blessed to have lived through, and I was thankful to Him for that. ( Click here)


May 13th 1969 was one day I wrote about, a day of frightening experience to Pakcik. (Click here) This date has become a land-mark in Malaysian history.


August 31st 1957 was a day greeted with pomp and pride in a small country named Malaya, now standing tall among the independent countries of the world. On that very day the young Pakcik was sitting alone far, far away from home, strangely wondering whether that independence would indeed be a good thing. ( Click here )


And ninety-three years ago today, the hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 was the official end of World War I. November 11th of each year was the Remembrance Day, the Armistice, celebrated year after year during Pakcik’s young days. It may no longer be celebrated in the independent Malaysia but the date was well etched at the back of Pakcik’s little cell. ( Click xxxx.)


Dates are turned into memories.

At this juncture I wish to apologise to Ninotaziz for having overlooked her comments for Pakcik’s 1-11-11 posting. As luck would have it, I was going through my deleted list when I noticed my mistake. In a way I am glad that it did happen as her contribution is not inappropriate to be included here. With apology to her, here it goes:

By Ninotaziz


“It is the way of the world
Time and tide, await no man

Except in the heart
Where memories reside

And yet there are those
Who belittle our hold to the past

I say to them...

Learning and teachings
Would be meaningless lessons

Why, civilisation was built
upon the memories of man!”

Isn’t that a beauty? Thank you Ninot.


Of course there are many other dates of importance to us all; of birthdays, anniversaries and so on, especially for one with a big family. But on top of all the dates, each and every one of us has a mysterious date of ultimate importance, a date we cease to be who we are, stripped bare of pride and position. Let us offer Alfatihah to our loved ones who have had theirs.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

04 November 2011


( I prefer Qurban to Korban for that specific rite in Islam - and Quran )

What did P Ramlee say?

P Ramlee


Berkorban apa saja
Harta atau pun nyawa
Itulah kasih mesra
Sejati dan mulia

Kepentingan sendiri
Tidak diingini
Bahagia kekasih
Saja yang diharapi

Berkorban apa saja
Harta atau pun nyawa
Itulah kasih mesra
Sejati dan mulia
hmm... hmm... hmm...

Untuk menjadi bukti
Kasih yang sejati
Itulah tandanya
Jika mahu diuji

Berkorban apa saja
Harta atau pun nyawa
Itulah kasih mesra
Sejati dan mulia


Kalau hendak melakukan qurban seekor lembu secara berkulmpulan, buatlah.” The speaker said. “Tapi janganlah membuat masalah kepada diri dan orang lain” ( If you want to perform the rite of slaughtering a cow jointly, by all means do it. But do not create problem to yourself and others involved.”

Makcik was listening to an Ustaz talking on TV early one morning a couple of days ago. Pakcik was reading a book, with half an ear on what was going on. Those words from the Ustaz interrupted my reading. I stopped to listen with interest. On matters related to accepted practices in religion he was against asking too many questions on whats and whys at the point of performing them. It would be right to put those questions for clarification while being taught in class. If one is being told by a person in authority what is good and he intends to do it, just do it without kicking up an awful fuss. Read your ‘niat’ ( be sure of your intention) and push on.


I like to make reference to a Quranic parable contained in Ayat 67 to 71, Surah Albaqarah, which begins with:

It tells how a group of people during the time of Prophet Moses were told to ‘sacrifice a cow’. It was to be performed for a specific purpose related to unsolved murders at that time. The requirement was just 'a cow' of any sort. Instead of doing just that, they repeatedly sought to know greater details regarding the animal. Ir went on from a simple cow to its age, colour, pattern etc etc until the final descriptions made it extremely difficult for them to find a cow so specified.

Ask too many questions and you get it, so to speak!


Selamat Hari Raya dan selamat BEQURBAN

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemnusiaan


I wonder how many people know about Qurban as organised by Yayasan Kemanusiaan of Muslim Aid, Malaysia. For more information click Cat-from-Sydney.

01 November 2011

1-11-11- One and the Only One

Today is an odd day, a truly rare one at that. It happened a century ago, in 1911, and will only be here again in another century, in 2111. And I know this, today, happens only once in my life time. Many of my friends, even those who were a few years younger, have left us and they never lived to see one. I think we ( meant for my Muslim visitors ), who have the opportunity to experience today, say ‘Allahu Akbar. Walahul Hamd ), and for our loved ones, who never lived to see one date like today, we offer them Alfatihah instead.


And last week was very unlike any other week. The two of us at Nuri received two very special and distinguished couples, two bloggers, GuiKP and Cat-from-Sydney. GiuKP came with his family and Cat-from-Sydney just like a honey-mooning couple.

To me it was not just a get-to-know-you occasions to meet these learned people with varied, very varied experiences. They are doing things bigger that what I have ever done, one deeply involved in higher education and the second in charity work. Conversations with these very special visitors are an eye opener – how much one can do in education, on one hand, and on charity work, the other.

To me blogging is immaterial as far as these visitors are concerned. What they have been doing is what I can never hope to do.

Makcik and Pakcik appreciate the trouble they took to locate our home, giving us the pleasure of knowing them, and leaving us hoping that that they should not wait for another 1-1-11 to be at Nuri again.

These learned visitors are doing just what I believe in:

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan