Wednesday, August 31, 2011


The tradition of visiting kicked off today when an old schoolmate dropped by with his family members in the afternoon. My friend, Mr. Ahmad Fadillah Md. Aris, is now residing in Pulau Pinang so occasion like this will be the best time to see each other. The last time he came for Eid celebration is more than four years ago.

In the evening, family friends, my ex-neighbours to be exact, dropped by. Actually I first went to their place on the first day of Eid so this was like being reciprocal in a way. Nevertheless, the list of story updates went on and on, and this will require for another meeting soon.

I am expecting more people to come tomorrow. Let's just wait and see.


So after one month of fasting, the moment to celebrate the success to restrain oneself from eating and drinking as well as activities that are prohibited. [read: if you do not fast without any valid reason therefore you are not entitled to celebrate Eid.]

I am expecting house visits and being visited, endless eating and enjoying varieties of food and seeing a few people who have been disappearing for quite some time. Hopefully, the Eid celebration is associated more with religious and positive values rather than just the festive mood throughout or else what will happen is people getting fatter at the end of the month.

Cikgu Zainal wishes everyone:

Monday, August 29, 2011


At last, a real Eid card arrived home, sent by the real postman. When I thought I would not get a card at all this year, an ex-student from SPM batch 2007, Mohd. Marzuqi Mazlan, was thoughtful enough to post me a card all the way from Melaka.

Another card, which was surprisingly sent BY HAND right to my door steps was a musical Eid card. You know, that kind of card that produces song once it is opened. And to think of the effort taken to send to my house all the way from Taman Universiti, I do not know how to thank you enough, Sharudin Mazlan, also from SPM batch 2006.

There are many ways how people send their greetings nowadays and the two top methods would be through short message service (SMS) or Facebook. However, out of hundreds of my ex-students out there, you two had done what not many people are doing anymore these days. I am truly touched by your kind thoughts and I will still reply even though it will arrive late. (Isn't Hari Raya celebrated for one whole month in our country?)

And I would like also to thank Nor Amalina Mustafa Kamal for the two cakes baked and given to me specially for Hari Raya. I cannot wait for tomorrow to taste a slice of each.


Almost the same narration as yesterday's posting. We had another sahur session because the person who missed the boat did not want to wait until next year's Ramadhan to meet up.

So thanks to both Mr. Suhaizie and Mr. Zahari for the company. After this, there will be Eid's gathering to look up to.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


I myself do not fancy breaking fast outside with friends or colleagues or ex-students. First, you tend to eat more than you should and that does not serve the true purpose of fasting i.e. to eat in moderation. Second, you have to hurry as there is the Maghrib prayer to be performed. Thirdly, as a consequence from the second reason, you cannot hang out longer. What more there are tarawikh prayers to be performed right after at the mosque unless you are willing to do that at home on your own.

So we planned to meet up for sahur - the early morning meal before the break of dawn for fasting. There should be five people but someone could not wake up I think but four was enough for life to go on. Surprisingly we found that there were many people eating their sahur at the restaurant. It was a short stay, from 4:15-5;15 a.m., but it was worth the effort to wake up earlier and come over all the way from Taman Universiti to my place. We should do this again next year.

See, we could also be like those people on TV3, having sahur together in their "Singgah Sahur" [translate: stop by for sahur] programme. Thanks to Mr. Zahari, Mr. Syahir and especially to Mr. Aminuddin for the treat.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Today was the last day of school before the Hari Raya break. Both the teachers and students were definitely happy, especially the Muslims as we are going to celebrate the Eid. That will be about nine days of away from school so enjoy yourselves while you can.

the happy students

and the happy teachers

cookies from Puan Yusidah

cookies from Puan Noraliza Mazni

and from Puan Mahanum Ali

Thanks to all the generous people too for their raya cookies. Ramadhan is definitely a month of sharing and caring.


This programme was conducted to mark the school community's success in completing the reading of the holy Qur'an in the month of Ramadhan. For afternoon session, it was done in the afternoon with students who had taken part in the tadarus programme beforehand.

reading the last juzuk of the Qur'an

prayer recitation

handing over donation to orphans and students in need

getting "door gifts" and shaking hands before being dispersed

teachers who did not have any class at that time and managed to attend the programme

It was a short event but definitely a meaningful one. It is hoped that everybody would continue to read the Qur'an not only during the month of Ramadhan, as well as to practice its teaching.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Eid ul-fitr must be around the corner. Everywhere you go, whether you like it or not, you can feel the heavy spirit of Eid hanging in the air. Some people take extra effort to bring joy to other people's lives and I am lucky to be one of people whose life has become happier for the gifts of Ramadhan and Syawal.

Mooncakes from Ng Ching Kai, Ng Jing Hann and their family. I am really impressed with the beautiful packaging.

cookies from Muhd. Faiz of 3EK1

and more cookies from Puan Zainab Mohamed

two additional Eid cards from Mr. Punithan and Ms. Indra

With a few more days to go, I am getting worried because there are so many things to be done and whether there will be enough time to finish all the work. Why can't we get longer holidays BEFORE the big day? *sigh*

Thursday, August 25, 2011


My first and could be the only one Raya card this year

Two more days before the school is dismissed for the one week school holiday cum Eid ul-Fitr break. Nevertheless, the spirit of Eid could already be felt around school. You can see packages of Hari Raya cookies and goodies are carried home from the staff room by teachers, you might get confused whether you are in school or in a bazaar.

I got my Eid hamper this year from my non-Muslim friends and it consisted of original Tupperware products. You might wonder why I was given such a lovely gift and the reason could be because I used to give my friends cookies for the Chinese New Year or Deepavali.

Another package was from Puan Sabariah Zainuddin, which contained her ever famous Biskut Kapal [translate:ship cookies - because the cookies are in the shape of a ship].

Ramadhan is truly the month of giving and thanks to all the kind-hearted people.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


We have 7 more days of fasting in the month of Ramadhan. One of the common practices among Malaysians is to eat traditional "kuih" - food that by right is similar to dessert, which mostly is sweet and some is hot, for iftar. You can get these varieties of "kuih" at the bazaar if you find it a hassle to make them on your own. So a survey was conducted on my Facebook to find out what would be the most favourite "kuih" among the people in my list.

TABLE: Favourite "kuih" for Iftar

From the table above, karipap is a clear winner as the favourite among the respondents (105). When I was still young, we used to call it "tepung bawang" but among the younger generation, they can only identify the same thing as karipap. It might derive from the English term of currypuff (pastry with curry filling). You can get many types of karipap which could be filled with sardines, potato or sweet potato and eggs which may also come in different shapes and sizes. There is one stall that I like in the bazaar that I always go to that only sells only karipap in abundance hot from the pan and business is really good.

The nearest contender is Buah Melaka (43). Whereas the other type of "kuih" recorded less than 20 votes from the people surveyed online.

There will be one last survey coming up soon for you out there.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Seen at Bazaar Ramadhan in Kampung Melayu.


The Iftar Ramadhan programme [breaking fast] was done today is school. This time, the event was held for all the teachers and students [from KAA classes]. Two officers from the Johor Bahru District Education Department were present as the guests of honour.

same colour baju Melayu

It was a merry occasion where many teachers, their family members and students turned up for the breaking fast session. However, as many of the teachers still have small kids and toddlers, they had to go back earlier before the terawikh prayers. The whole thing finished at about 10 p.m.

two kittens that I saw in school before the session started

However, a few friends and I continued our "academic discourse" at a nearby restaurant outside - something that I could rarely do these days. It could be either due to the lack of time or the lack of people to do so *sigh*

Saturday, August 20, 2011


You will get one question which consists of only one word. It is an open-ended essay, and therefore it is up to you whether to write a narrative essay [telling a story] or a factual-based one. Here is an example of an essay written based on facts.

TITLE: Friends

It is said that "no man is an island". Personally, I think that the saying is absolutely true. From time immemorial, Man has craved for companionship from his fellow man. It is one of our basest instincts, one dating back to the dawn of mankind. The need for companionship has become ingrained in the human psyche. With the passing of the millennium. we have become so dependent on this companionship that we simply cannot survive without it. In the modern context, our friends provide us with the aforesaid companionship that we so crave.

What, we might ask, constitutes a true friend? The emphasis here is on the word "true". Is a true friend someone who you say "hello" to every morning? Or is it someone who does you favours when you need them? Or is there something more: a connection that is more profound? The answer to the latter is definitely "yes".

Friends, in the purest sense, are one's soulmates. It sounds cliched I know, but I truly believe that it is so. True friends understand each others' needs and emotions. This understanding leads to mutual respect for each other. I also believe that understanding is a prerequisite for all good friendship. It is the mutual respect that friends have with each other lead them to care for one another whilst respecting their respective personal space and privacy. That is why when I say "soulmates", I mean that friends have an instinctive understanding, an "emotional compass" if you will, of their friends' feelings.

In the same vein, friends are people with whom one can just be oneself. With friends, there is no need for false pretenses or facades. A true friend is someone who knows the worst about you and loves you just the same. As the saying goes, "love is blind, but friendship closes one eye". This simply means that although friends see our faults and shortcomings, they choose to look past them to see only our positive traits. Thus, it does not matter if you have a host of annoying habits, or are not good-looking, or even you are singularly untalented in everything you do. A true friend loves you simply for being yourself. Nothing more and nothing less.

Friends are people whom you can trust implicitly. Have you ever told someone your deepest, darkest secrets only to have them go out and tell others? it hurts, doesn't it? What is worse, your secrets come back to you through the grapevine. That, most emphatically, is not what true friendship is about. A true friends will always keep your secrets, no matter how juicy they are and no matter how much they want to share them with others. For that reason, we trust our friends enough to pour out our feelings and thoughts to them, all the while knowing that they are in safe hands.

Ever heard the expression "laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone"? It is sadly, very much a norm in today's hypocritical and callous society. But every cloud has a silver lining. In this case, the "silver lining" comes in the form of our friends. Friends are always there when we need them. Whether we need someone to celebrate with, or we need a shoulder to cry on, they are always available. When we are down in the dumps and are discouraged, they become our mainstays to help us to keep our heads above the proverbial water. In a way, friends are like our personal cheerleaders and also our personal critics if the need arises.

The singer and scriptwriter Woody Allen once wrote in his lyrics, "I get by with a little help from my friends". The way I see it, he sums things up beautifully. A life without friends would be a lonely and sad one to say the least. Friends are like a ray of sunlight in the gloom's of today fast-paced individualistic world. Consequently, we must treasure the friends we have, for true friendship is rare. What would life without friends be like? I, for one, would never like to find out.

[published for educational purpose, writer unknown]