Sunday, July 08, 2007

42 eventually

I turned 42 eventually. I was going home after a long day at the office meeting almost impossible deadlines and as I was going to my car, I saw all my babies outside..and I said..what are you people doing here! And they said "Alamaaaak Kantoi!" (Oh dear Busted!). They were supposed to give me a surprise Party. Umair who was not supposed to be back made the loooong trip home from Cyberjaya..and we had a grand party even if my two office mates couldn't make it.
Here are some of the photos taken..of course Muaz argued that it was his birthday and that was his cake..due to some miscommunication, there were two cakes so well and good :-)

Monday, July 02, 2007


Your Aura is Red

You have a high level of emotion. This can mean passion, but it can also mean rage.
Usually, you don't take these emotions out on others. You just use them as motivation - and it works!

The purpose of your life: embracing all the wonders of the life, lots of travels, and tons of adventures

Famous reds include: Madonna, Marilyn Monroe, Jennifer Lopez

Careers for you to try: Dancer, Boxer, Surgeon

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Tiger Woods' Secret Of Success

Anyone wants to know one of Tiger Woods' success secret? Well here it is:

“My parents always told me they loved me every night, every time we said goodbye. That was just something that I was never afraid to go out there and push myself to the limit. And if I failed, so what?
I always had them to pick me up. I think that’s something that not all people have, but I was lucky to have that my entire life.”

I found this on one of my favourite blogs,the Intent Blog
That is the kind of parent I want to be. It doesn't matter that single me has to stand for the plural "parents". I set my mind to do it. And I think every parent should too.

Getting A's and excelling in academics isn't everything. And regardless of how bad things are, YOU as a parent should be there for them, should give them hope that they are really made of good stuff..simply because they are.
"Kaizen" should be the mode here..not "automatic switch mode", expecting them to change in a split second..
and utter only positive loving words to them.
Alway always have open arms for them to fall into..
And never feel too high and mighty to say you are sorry...because parents err too..infact, all the time...

Well you can't rewrite the begining, but you certainly have the chance to make right the end.

I love my kids with all my heart and they are getting better and better every day...

Saturday, June 30, 2007

friends for life

Just last week, my daughter had to make up some names for her school project. She was supposed to conduct a survey on income levels and career or something of that nature, and since I do not have many friends that I meet and we are like recluses in our area, she had to make some of her subjects up. Her tuition teacher warned her against making up Chinese names..because according to will stick out like a sore thumb....the chinese would know... So she asked me to come up with my primary school friends’ names..I was glad quite a few of them rolled out smoothly on my tongue..but then there were some..which I just couldn't remember. I tried to picture them at their designated seats in Standard 6 Mawar Green Lane Convent 2..some seats were without occupants, some occupied by faceless girls, while others I couldn’t place a name to their faces. Some I just remembered their Christian names, while others, I had their names spinning somewhere at the tip of my conscious memory. I once vowed that I will never ever forget them..I remember how mom just smiled when I said that..because she knew that I would..
But my batch mates in Kulim, is a different story altogether. Having lived with them under one roof for five formative years (yes i consider those years formative, it formed my personality and general outlook about life), I hold these individuals close to my heart. These people I am positive I will never forget till the day I die. I keep telling my children, that it is these friends that you make in secondary school which will stay with you for life. Yes you will leave them behind for a while, move on, get on with your life, chase your dream, build a career, build a family..but one day, you will realise these are the friends that you read about in poetry and in quotable quotes. Who will be there for you when you are in need. All the idiosyncrasies which you despised when you were in school with them, will dissipate into thin air, and you will start to see only their best side. Even if you disliked them when you were in school, they have been so embodied into you that to pry them away will entail cutting bits and pieces of you away too, and you realise that you actually love them. I look forward to my reunions with them with glee. I mark the date weeks ahead and check the date again anda again less I forget or get confused. And inspite of the 30 odd years which lay between the time since we bade our last tearful farewells, the wrinkles that has formed on each and everyone of us, the hair loss (for the guys), the greying strands of hair, the extra flesh in odd places..I see them just as those 17 year old girls and boys I used to know. I love them with all my heart.
Last two weeks , we girls had a wonderful reunion at Ikea..not many came but enough to make our hearts glow to last us till the next reunion. It was grand to see ka..oops i mean vogue and beautiful as ever. Liza brought along her cute baby girl who has grown so much from the last time I saw her. And of course Wan brought along her twin princess in their beautiful frilly dresses. My heart warmed to see my beloved friends..I am still carrying the good feeling of seeing them around until today. And when it gets chilly, I just need to look at these pictures and give one of them a buzz :-)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

try nt 2 be so bitter, it already mk u look so old

Out of the blues today I received an sms in my phone just a moment ago. Among other things said to satisfy the heart of the sender was "Try not to be so bitter, it already make u look so old". It brought a smile to my lips which spread to my eyes and to my heart..and lo and behold add another wrinkle on this ‘old face’.
Thank you dear sender. It is a reminder I do not need from you. I know I am mature, and looking my age is something I do not try to avoid. Every wrinkle I develop is a testimony of my life. Every single crease tells its own story, every joy every pain every loss every gain. I look "so old" because I am and I have no grouses about that. With great gratitude to my Creator I enjoy what He still grant me to enjoy, good food, good life Alhamdulillah. In fact I need not look at myself to feel old. I look at my children growing everyday, into better persons, taking full responsibility as sons and daughters and brothers and sisters. Every struggle I make to provide for them, to get them back on track with their education and to build their self esteem which was almost completely demolished is a reminder that I am ageing. I realise it is a responsibility God has placed on my shoulders which I have carried and will continue to carry with joy. I ask for nothing back except to see them happy and successful in their own right.
Am I bitter? Again i thank you for probing into my thoughts and mind, asking me to revisit my real intentions for each of my actions. People need that sometimes.
So thank you dear sender. I really appreciate what you have done. May God bless you.

Monday, June 18, 2007


I bet many children who have lost their mother long for a father who love them this much. Perhaps the father has refrained from remarrying for fear that the incumbent may not be able to love his children with all her heart.
Many studies have been carried out on the effects of positive father child relationships. Whilst mother child relationship is important, findings of these studies unanimously show the positive impact of loving father-child relationships on children development.
Surely thse kids will grow to be wholesome adults.

I hope Star will soon feature a Muslim father who is as noble. I knew a few when I was much younger. One of them was my father's cousin, whom after the death of his wife raised his children single handed until they were all successful in their own right. Then only did he worry about looking for a new wife.

the link to this article is here



KEPALA BATAS: He runs a 4ha vegetable farm, takes care of his two young children, cooks and does all the household chores.

Farmer Tiu Seng Nyap, 37, is something of a “superdad” to his daughter, Chien Hua, seven, and five-year-old son Chu Yin, assuming the roles of both father and mother since his wife's death in 2002.

His day starts at 6am when he prepares breakfast for Chien Hua before taking her to school. Then he tends to his farm in Pinang Tunggal, supervises his workers and returns home at around 8am to prepare breakfast for Chu Yin before packing him off to kindergarten.

With the farm just outside their house, he is back to work until noon when he buys lunch and brings the children home.

When the children do their homework, he goes back to farming, returning later to cook dinner.

“Dinner is just a simple meal with three dishes, mostly vegetables plucked from the farm. After that, I will tackle the household chores and only go to bed around 10pm.”

Tiu said his sister used to help out at home until she got married in December.

“I found myself cooking, washing and caring for my children while running the farm. Things have turned out all right so far and I’m very proud of my children as they are very well behaved,” he added.

Tiu said his wife Bock Kooi Nee died from womb infection just two months after giving birth to Chu Yin. He was then working as a salesman and often travelled out-of-state.

The family had a pleasant surprise when Penang Wanita MCA chief Ooi Siew Kim led a delegation to visit them at their Pinang Tunggal home on Saturday in conjunction with the Fathers Day celebration.

The women brought along a cake, school bags, stationery sets, chang (dumplings) and durians for the children.

“Wanita MCA recognises Tiu's sacrifices as a single father and we want to give him as much support as possible,” said Ooi.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

another day at the courts

Last Monday was another day at the Syariah Court for me. I have been going through life without any hitches lately. Everything well laid out. My chaotic days set in a pattern, well planned in every aspect to ensure that the paramount need of my children are covered - EDUCATION.
It was a cruel awakening when i received this letter, delivered to my son by hand.
It said:
Perkara di atas yang ditetapkan untuk sebutan pada 11 hb Jun 2007, jam 9.00 pagi adalah dirujuk.
Puan adalah diberi notis agar menghadirkan diri ke Mahkamah tersebut di atas pada tarikh dan masa yang dinyatakan. Sila ambil maklum bahawa sekiranya puan gagal berbuat sedemikian, kami memohon agar waran tangkap dikeluarkan ke atas Puan.
The above matter which has been set for hearing on 11th June 2007, 9am is hereby referred.
You are hereby, given notice to present your self before the abovementioned Court on the specified date and time. Kindly be informed that should you fail to do so, we shall request for an arrest warrant to be released against you.
Now that isn't very kind, is it?
Is it really necessary to arrest me?
It just mind boggles me.

So my beautifully laid out plan for the week had to be relaid out..just a bit..and off to court i went..:-).
No just got to do what you got to do..
And I always am thankful for this odd trips I have to make to the court as it teaches me humility and gratitude for all the things that I have. It just makes me realise that you can plan so much, but it is up to Him. And it reminds me of the Ultimate Court we would have to face in the hereafter.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


A week of the school holidays has slipped through my fingers like sand and all I did with my kids was take them to the movies. I was never a fan of the "Pirates" series, but i went anyways. No regrets there..for one, Orlando Bloom is soooooo cute ;-)
But i wanted to do something more interactive with the kids. Something which we all can chat as we go along..experience new things, that sort of thing...but at a reasonable price, of course..
So..why not ...the ZOO!!!
i decided to be as comfortable as possible..It’s going to be sunny, can’t risk ageing faster than i already am i slathered on some sunblock, slathered blobs on my’s going to be humid, so i put on my old t a cotton sweat absorbing skirt and the best footwear in the world....the "selipar jepun" a.k.a its glamour name the flip flops.. The kids can be as comfortable as they i just let them pick their own attire, well, it’s always like that with muaz anyways..if he decides to wear pjs in the daytime, that’s what he will do why argue. But thank God he chose something reasonable..

It was wonderful to just let the little ones take the lead and I just followed.
We really took our time to "smell the roses (elephant's pooh)". I have been to the zoo many times, in the past, but never with this resolve. As a result, it was as if I went with a new pair of eyes. There was no hurry, no one else to please except ourselves. So we walked, stopped to look at things i never noticed in the past, like how there are actually many species of bird in the storks, pelicans etc etc. Like you just need to look above among the leaves of the many trees to find storks relaxing on the branches. We had a great time counting the birds and identifying the different species. And in the past we never noticed the size of the animal's pooh.."Besarnya poo poo gajah!" We read the captions on the animals. We reached out to touch the friendlier animals. We saw the tortoise whose best friend is a crocodile and a Tapir who was so lazy he was chewing while he was sleeping..
It was sad to see the bird house closed..apparently for breeding, but who can tell..and the ape house looked so sad and lonely. Even the penguins seemed like the saddest penguins I have ever seen. The animal show also could have been better. I wonder what the problem is. It is really sad to see such a wonderful place deteriorate in this manner. Is it lack of funds? What is it...
I wish something can be done to make the zoo a better place for both the animals and the visitors..animals reside in a very special part in my heart. And all my children, thank God, are animal lovers too. If I have time, i don't mind sitting all day seeing the antics of the monkeys. I wish something can be done...
I once dreamt that one day when i am really rich, i would spend my free time not sipping coffee in la bodega, but showering or feeding the animals in the day..on days i don’t work with teens ..


I have been up to my ears with work. Have been meaning to write, but never come around to it, until today.
Waited for weeks for my mother's day pics from my sister. And eventually I managed to get it from her camera. Since Umair has the family camera ( he brought it to Penang for his Gempak Selebriti ASTRO and then to Cyberjaya), I had to borrow Nani's camera for my zoo trip with the kids. She loaned me ever so reluctantly because I am known for my carelessness and clumsiness. But she loaned me anyway. Right after the trip, i rushed to the office to download them into my puter..But hey, it's a double bonus. We've got the Mother's day Pics and the Zoo pics all in one go :-). S
Can’t remember much, except it feels good to have lunch with Mom and the entire family.It is so fulfilling to see Mom beaming because we remembered to celebrate the special day.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


I found this in the Sunday Star. I would like to congratulate fathers who have been successful in getting a tick for every criteria. I relinquish any form of responsibility which has given the children of such fathers their current point of view about their fathers and stepmoms.

You can also read it here
Here’s a ‘guide’ to turning your brood against their stepmother.

In choosing a stepmother candidate, pick a person who is rigid and inflexible. Even better if she is a control freak.

It would also be preferable to marry someone who has never had children and knows zilch about parenting.

People tend to imagine all stepmoms like the evil queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
If she has children of her own, ensure that they come first and are treated better than your own.

Forget about merging parenting styles; let your new spouse assume total parental control. Allow her to set the standards in the household and mete out punishments.

Never let the children see you making an independent decision in her presence: they have to see that you are helpless in her evil grasp so that they can be angry with her and feel (very) sorry for you.

Encourage the stepmother to harass your children. The more she pesters them, the better it is to set her up as the bad guy, and you as the goodie-two-shoes.

To build up resentment for her, force them to participate in family activities and make them do household chores. Ensure that the children never see their stepmother picking up a vacuum cleaner, washing dishes or even scrubbing the toilet.

Never contradict her in front of your children. She is “perfect”, and your children just the opposite.

Be sure to tell the stepmother your conversations with your children. This will allow your children to understand that your relationship with her is much more important than yours with them.

Remember to tell people how you believe that she is a much better parent than their real mother. Make sure the children hear this so that they hurt deeper, setting the stepmother up for resentment.

For extra points, have children with the stepmother and compare their good qualities to your children’s bad.

Pretend your children don’t notice the change in your behaviour since their stepmother came into the picture. Although you risk losing the respect of your children, for the spineless man this is a minuscule price to pay.

After all, having someone to mother you is more important than your relationship with your children. – By ROSE YASMIN KARIM

Friday, May 11, 2007


It is almost a tradition in our family now, these midnight birthday parties. First there was Huzaifah’s birthday in August last year. Quite grandios with lights off and the big shout out 'SURPRISE', superman cake, balloons, presents and all. Still confined within the family though.

Then each of the March babies, Muaz, Umair, KT and Ammar. Due to financial constraints we managed to buy a discounted half cake from Strudels for each of them, discount courtesy of good ole Johan. The cake i must say is one of the most delicious’s shaped like a pyramid and it is so finger lickin’ good.

Then there's the May babies, Amira and Mariam. We had a nice family affair at my sister Nani’s house. 12 midnight again, we had a cake blowing session and some makan-makan pizza. The next day was Mariam’s birthday, but even the birthday girl couldn’t keep her eyes open. But she had a big do at the hockey stadium with her hockey mates from school and St John’s after their training session that evening. All of us went, umair arrived just on time for the table cleaning session..poor fella. But that’s what you get if you are late, right?

But the most looked forward to birthday is the grand Matriarch’s birthday, our wonderful MAMA, the kids lovely TOK.
I brought the cake, Nani the murtabak, and we gathered at Nani’s house again for the midnight celebration..gosh it’s almost like an occult. Mama was all set for bed after making sure everything was spick and span and was quite surprised and perturbed to see us at the door since the next day was a school day. But all of us “buat bodoh” ..we went in leaving the cake on the shoe cupboard to be sneaked in later. It was 15 minutes to midnight when we arrived. Huzaifah with his innocent face mumbled Happy Birthday, Tok, as he walked into the house. Everyone stopped short in their tracks and glared at him..and he glared back ..and mouthed "What", we glared at him even harder..hoping that that would shut him up somehow, but he glared back. Then he ran to Mama and gave her a hug around her middle and said in his manja voice Happy Birthday, TOK!! Everyone went ..alaaaaaa..there goes the surprise!!! Mama’s face immediately lit up...”ooooo..laaaa..i was wondering why Nani bought so many murtabak..i was going to keep them in the fridge but it was still too i just left it on the table.” She was so delighted and touched. I could almost see tears in her eyes. I suppose at that age, simple things like family gatherings and appreciations like this mean a lot to her.
KT brought in the cake and placed it on the dining table. “That’s my cake,” Muaz cried. I want candles. Kt began putting the candles on the cake. “That’s not your cake’s tok’s birthday, not yours," she said.
“No! it’s Muaz cake!! Muaz caaake!”
“Okay okay, muaz’s cake ok?,” the tok said.
“Alaa tok”, KT said.
“KT, he is still’s ok”
KT pulled a face at MUaz and Muaz glared at her.
“Spoilt brat” she mumbled.
We gathered around and sang Happy Birthday..and when mom blew the candles..muaz screamed..”Noooo muaz birthday” Mama stopped, we told her to ignore him and carry on..she carried on to blow her candles and we all clapped. Meanwhile, Muaz slipped down from the chair and ran into Adeil’s room and screamed “Muaz birthday..muaz birthday..” So we lit the candles again, dragged him out of the room..and sang him a birthday song and let him blow the candles.
Peace was once again restored. We sat chatted and later Umair called from Cyber to wish Mama, that made her so very da very happy.
Now that we have reached this age, we realise what a wonderful Mom Mama has been. What a great and perfect family we came from. Mama is a mother with such a big heart that she just give and give to her children. She has always been very careful with what she says because she is well aware that what ever she says is a supplication, which Allah will grant. No matter how we hurt her, she will only pray for the best. She is truly the epitome of love itself.
I saw her staring blankly into space..a far away place where perhaps her memories are kept safely to be replayed in her own time. I know at times like this she misses Babah. They were such a loving couple and Babah being taken away so abruptly like that, really broke her. On her birthdays , Babah without fail would buy her something special, be it a diamond ring, a bracelet or watch or anything that he knew she fancied. I grew up believing that the men folks’ task was to spoil their other half ...with gifts and love. How wrong i was.
Mama used to be so full of life, heading the Wanita UMNO in Penang, being the examplary headmistress, giving all she could to society and helping anyone who requested her help in the area of education. But joy has been grabbed from her when Babah passed on. She decided to confine herself to the house venturing out only when necessary.
But I am glad my sister and I can be around her now. My children and Nani's keep her company, Muaz being her favourite.
Mama is all I have now. It’s her arms i run into when i am down. Her lap that i rest my head on when my burden gets too heavy. She has always been there, with all faculties ready to help anyone of us. God alone knows how afraid I am of losing her as i see her age every day.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

My sister..

“Why are you so fat, now?” my sister jested. “You don’t want to slim down aa”.
I know I have put on a lot of weight. I can't wear most of my office attire now..and can't afford to buy anymore. So I have resorted to wearing the good old faithful baju kurung.

“Can’t help it..I am happy la.”

“Not a nice way to celebrate happiness, is it..being fat..” My sister quipped.

Now the annoyance set in, mainly triggered by guilt of course..of not watching what I eat and not exercising as I should.

I had to come up with something...hmmm

“There was a time when we didn’t have enough to even have a proper meal. I can’t keep coming to you to ask for help..I know you will never deny us, but i also know you had your own problems too..and I have seven, ok.” I began..

“Do you know that we used to go eat at the Mamak shop and really tawakkal. I would tell the we have only enough for half a roti canai each, ok. Let us make doa that Allah will make this sufficient for us, ok, that this will be filling enough for us and will give us enough energy to carry on. Be thankful that we do have food. Don't worry, this is temporary..things are going to get me.."

Now that was what we used to go through during the first few months ..

Now I can afford the simple pleasures of buying good food, why not..
What better way to show gratitude than to eat what is there, what I like. We used to look at chocolates and salivate, and it used to break my heart when the little ones ask for some and I couldn’t afford any. And of course la, we share la what we have with those who don’t."

Now that was almost a full discourse ...giggle.

My sister pouted with a glint in her eyes..which said, "Excuses, excuses" written all over it.

Looking back, I realised we have come a long way from those days when I almost lost my self esteem and all my dreams. I was just living from day to day. All I knew was I had to live for my children. I was so fortunate to have my mother, my sister and my brother who were always there for me. My sister especially, never failed to inspire me. When i was down, she would tug me from the ever demolishing state of self pity. She has been a pillar of strength and never once has she ever denied me her help. I also am so blessed with friends who were ever ready to help. In fact I need not ask, they sensed and they held out their hands. All these people offered whatever they had, their ears, their shoulders to be wet by my tears, while others emptied their purses to help put my feet back firmly on the ground, they made sure that i could stand on my own. They saw my transformation into someone different, not very amiable at times, but they never deserted me. These friendships, some forged so long ago, when I was growing up and studying locally and overseas, while others when i first started working, have been my CPR at the most critical of times..

During these trying times, I saw that pure hearts are simply pure hearts. It need not be cloaked in any form of dress code. They transcend race, faith and every other criteria which man created to categorise the human race. It simply shines through sincere acts of compassion and kindness. And you can see it gleam even in the darkest of rooms.

I just hope that I will be able to return the same favour to someone in need, one day. If I can come out of this..anyone can. They just need some firm push from sincere hearts,like i was lucky enough to have.

Now time to figure out how to get back into those office attire...

Friday, April 27, 2007

all white bean..

It was the day where Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, the Sultan of Terengganu was installed as the 13th Yang Dipertuan Agong.
And being the patriotic lot..we all decided to celebrate by watching a movie.
We all came to a consensus that this time, it shall be Mr Bean’s Holiday..cliche as it may sound. The comedy was mediocre at best. To top it off we had to sit right up front since all the other seats were taken given it was a holiday. But what is so enduring about Mr Bean is the fact that he can always find cheer in every mishap. No matter how ridiculous, how terrible, how trapped he may be, he will always find a light side to it. It's the classic case of “if life throw you lemons, make lemonades", and life throws loads of lemons..doesn’t it..

I just wish, there’s more colour to the cast, instead of all whites. Come to think of it, Mr Bean's cast has always been predominantly, if not all; white..ever wonder why?

Thursday, April 26, 2007


“PROVOKED” is a definite must watch, if anything else because Aishwarya Rai is the epitome of beauty with such powerful acting skills. Even if you watch this movie for that reason, you will be able to bring home with you some very important lessons and insights on domestic violence, at the end of the movie.

Provoked to me shows the multifaceted universal face of domestic violence. Wherever it rears its head, it would be the same ugly face, the elements which separates one case from the other would merely be the cast, circumstances and the scene.

The infliction, the remorse, the apology, the special treatments afterwards and the whole process rotates like a viscious circle, grinding the victim deeper and deeper into depression; to a point where she will be immobilised into a state of helplessness.

Domestic violence has this uncanny capacity of making the victim feel absolutely trapped in an invisible cage, completely incapable of escape. It would take mammoth strength to outsmart this mental cage.

If this grinding goes on long enough, the victim will eventually snap. This “snapping” would manifest itself in various ways. As in the film “provoked”, In Kiranjit’s case it manifested itself in the form of her dousing her husband’s feet with gasoline and setting it on fire, while he was asleep. For others it may be in the form of taking an overdose of some pill or the other. In the case of the latter, the victim may feel that her existence is worthless and the children, if any ,would be better off with the spouse, because that would have been grilled into her mind over and over again throughout the years of abuse. This act is actually a silent cry for help, which in the case of our Eastern setting, where protecting the family name and honour is placed high in our life priorities, often misunderstood and frowned upon, penalised, even.

What touched me most was the scene when Kiranjit was asked how she was treated in prison and how she felt, the words which poured out from her lips, as if in a trance, was, "I” It just goes to show the kind of torture she has been enduring and how trapped she was throughout her married life.

In prison, Kiranjit managed to learn to speak, read and write in good English. She abandoned her kurta and traditional attire for a more modern one. She also trimmed her tresses, an act she hesitated except after persuasion from her prison mates. This shows the need for the victim to express her liberation in some drastic manner. Perhaps in the form of a completely different wardrobe, a drastic hair cut or getting involved in a special cause for her to fight. This form of emotional catharsis is an absolute must for the individual to ensure that she remain sane before she can reach an equilibrium again.

Perhaps this story could help us understand better our friends who have gone through the same pain. Instead of berating her or castigating her into isolation, be there for her, because after hiding so much for so long, crying out for help would be a new skill she would need to acquire. And unless we want her to be a lone sheep which will fall prey to the hungry wolves out there, we should try our best to show that we care.

Here is a link to an interview with the real Kiranjit Ahluwahlia.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Can someone please explain to me how they collected and verify these figures? Why people bother just mind boggles me..Published in the NST 18-4-2007

Malaysians rank sixth fastest in love-making

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians spend an average of 19.9 minutes when they make love.
Hardly the stuff romance novels are made of, they ranked sixth quickest in the world in terms of time spent in a love-making session.

However, if it’s any consolation, the average time spent is above the global average of 18.3 minutes.

India’s lovers were the world’s quickest, spending only 13.2 minutes per session.

Nigeria once again topped the ranking on a leisurely 23 minutes.
Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand and Australia were all well below the world average time.

Malaysians were just a heartbeat ahead of China’s lovers who took 20 minutes.

This was the findings from the "Global Sexual Wellbeing Survey" by condom-maker Durex. It was revealed at the ongoing World Congress on Sexual Health in Sydney, Australia.

More than 26,000 people from 26 countries were screened online by global research firm Harris Interactive from August to September last year.

Durex’s local distributor SSL Healthcare Malaysia general manager Voong King Yee said sex played a fundamental role in the physical and emotional well-being of a person.

The survey found two in five (or 38 per cent) of the 1,026 Malaysians polled were fully satisfied with their sex lives.

Forty per cent of Malaysian women were completely satisfied compared with 37 per cent of their male counterparts.

Want to know how you can spice things up?

"Seven in 10 (74 per cent) of the Malaysians surveyed said the situation could be remedied by injecting some old-fashioned love, tenderness, adventure and romance.

"Two-thirds (64 per cent) like more intimacy and better communication with their partners," said Voong.

Even in the "country of romance", France, they do not get it right all the time. Only 25 per cent said they were satisfied with their sex lives.

Nigerians, on the other hand, know something others don’t. They have the most people (67 per cent) satisfied with their sex lives, followed by Mexicans (63 per cent) and Indians (61 per cent).

The survey found that Malaysians have sex 115 times a year compared with the global average of 103.

The Greeks made an Olympian effort of 164 times, with Brazilians the next most amorous at 145, followed by the Poles and Russians (both 143) and Indians with 130.

The survey also found that Asians were least satisfied with their sex lives.

Australia’s Bond University sex expert Gabrielle Morrissey said it reflected cultural issues relating to sex in Asia. "Work is more important than sex in many Asian countries."

Sunday, April 15, 2007


“My student. She got 5As..” mom what’s so great about that, I thought..I got 5As too, mom was emotional but not this emotional...

Mom used to be the Headmistress of the oldest National school in Penang, or is it Malaysia, SK Sungai Gelugor. I am not sure. At the time, the students comprised of kids from the nearby Gelugor Village and they were generally from the lower income group.

Mom was so devoted to her vocation as a teacher. Given the demographics, at the time, it was difficult to get even one student who could achieve 5A’s from that school. The school would rejoice if they had 2 students achieving 5 As. How could that be achievable when some of them couldn't even read when they reached standard six. But mom never used demographics as an excuse. Where ever she went, she needed to give her best.

I remember the first thing mom set out to do was to gather her teachers. Long before teachers were required to go to school on saturdays, she already lined up dedicated teachers to set up remedial classes,. They and she were in school every weekend, not just on Saturdays, but Sundays as well, without fail; doing up flash cards way before Glen Dorman and Montessori came to our shores. I used to be so jealous because she was hardly home. I felt she loved her students and teachers more than me. Think about it, I came all the way home from Sydney and she was still spending her weekends in school. Sometimes, I would hear her complain to my Dad her closest confidant about her woes, about how she wished she could do more, about how some teachers were not committed enough. But she had a few, who were all the way behind her. The great thing was they were multiracial, and the kids in the school were 99% malays. They did not require any racial unity reforms to get them to give all they've got to these low income malay kids. Simply, because their hearts were in teaching.

This girl, couldn’t read until she was in standard four. That’s what so special about this case. She could not read!! One year before her exams she was illiterate. Her mother was hardly at home, because she was a single mother earning a living working as a factory girl in one of the free trade zone factories in Bayan Lepas. She also had a second job apparently. When you think about it, a normal person would think that this girl doesn't stand a chance to change her life and that of her family. But she was lucky, her school was her refuge, her teachers and headmistress were her foster parents. They encouraged her and nurtured her, not giving up on her in spite of her handicap. What she was deprived of at home, she found in school, her second home. Even food was provided, I remember mom organising something for the poor kids; something relating to food.

A lot of tears was shed when the girl's mother came to see my mom that day. Apparently she cried thanking mom profusely.. because they cared enough, not to give up on her daughter. Mom cried too, and when my sister and I heard the story in the car, we cried too. To mom, that was gift enough for all her sweat and toil and for her efforts cajouling teachers to support her cause . This happened more than twenty years ago. I still shed tears of pride when i think about this episode. I am so blessed to have a mom like that. And my mom was so lucky to have dad who always supported her every effort.

Sek Keb Sungai Gelugor, became quite famous thereafter. Lecturers from the nearby Universiti Sains Malaysia began to send their children there too, when previously everyone tried hard to send their kids to La Salle and Convent Green Lane…I don’t know what has become of that school now though..

When I visited mom, who is 73 this year, she couldn’t remember any of this anymore. She said she didn’t do it to get recognition. To her that was just an investment for her hereafter.

So, where are teachers of that calibre now. Can you find any? I know there are a few but they are certainly very hard to come by, and I bet it would be quite tough for them to gain support.

These teachers did not ask the girl to stand in the hot sun because she couldn't pay her school fees. They helped her out, I remember mom working hard to help kids who couldn't pay school fees by collecting money among her teachers and other parents. Do you ever wonder what would have happened to this child, if she had gone to school in this era...because I certainly do..

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Reading my mate's blogs, made me so envious of them. Take for example Ashraf’s or Kay Own’s They seem so profound, fraught with such brilliant ideas, humourous jokes, and intelligent opinions, while mine is so airy fairy. And I haven’t seen the others. So I made a resolution which I hope will last. Unlike my lifelong attempt of making new year's resolutions which never lasted for more than a few weeks. I resolved that I am going to read the news every day. So read the news I did. But I found that I skipped all the columns and pages on politics and went straight to Opinions or Life and Times. Well at least it is a great improvement from going straight to the entertainment column. Baby steps, I told myself, baby steps.

So last Sunday as I was browsing through my favourite portion of the Sunday Paper, Opinions, amidst such motivating and amazing features and opinions on interesting, informative and beneficial matters like About capturing history on film, and about providing better working conditions to our men and women in blue, I chanced upon this article.

It just stood apart from all the other columns I had read. In short I found it simply braggadocian. It just perturbs me if our nation is eventually going to be led by leaders who came from snooty upper class as so clearly painted in this column. Ok, I admit, hands down, I am covetous of such a lifestyle. I am angry at myself that I cannot provide such luxury to my beloved children. But my personal insane womanly kiasu envy aside, let’s all pause and think for a second. How an article glorifying and bragging such privileged lifestyle, inherited by birth, not through hard work, or intellectual capacity, do any good to the nation as a whole?

How can a leader who has had such priveleged upbringing, who can shop for the latest techno gadget in Tokyo feel for lesser people who never had a chance to watch Astro, or even know the existence of PS1 or 2, let alone PS3 or PSP. How can he feel and fight for the poor farmers and the blue collar or even white collar workers who will be expected to vote for him come election day. What cause would he champion? Those already wealthy “entrepreneur” who will suck the nation dry, so that the rich will be richer, and they can spend all the money they earn here, overseas? to buy all their electronic paraphernalia in Tokyo, perhaps?

. Who will champion the cause of single mothers whose children’s sustenance are never being paid, who has to work twice or three times as hard to be recognized, who end up paying hefty legal bills just to keep their children who they have been supporting for years single handed anyway. Who will champion the cause of youths who have done wrong, but wish for a second chance to improve their lives by going back to school but do not have the means to do so?

With leaders like that, What is to become of our father land, I wonder.

  • Link to article

    Out of the cage: My mother, the techno whiz-kid

    18 Mar 2007
    Khairy Jamaluddin

    OUR family had a birthday dinner a couple of nights back. It was the best kind of family birthday dinner.

    Just the immediate clan, three generations eating chocolate cake, banoffee pie and Thai food.

    When the presents were finally unwrapped, the birthday girl was beaming from ear to ear. She was not surprised with her gifts, but rather the delight was merely a confirmation of getting what she wanted.

    First to have its wrapper torn off was a black Bose SoundDock for her to blast the music on her iPod anywhere in the house — loud enough to play out by the pool and small enough to carry downstairs for her dancing classes on Sundays with her buddies.

    The next present, which she was already anticipating, was a 7.2 megapixel Lumix camera with a 28mm wide-angle Leica lens (she insisted on a model with the Leica enhancement) in matte black and loaded with a 2GB memory card — in time for her to take on her 10-day trip to New Zealand next week, again with her buddies.

    It wasn’t any of my sisters’ birthday, neither was it my wife’s. And my nieces are both too young to appreciate techno toys.

    No, the proud recipient of the stuff that would make most tech-savvy guys jealous was my mother, who just turned 72.

    We were all going to get her presents that we thought a septuagenarian would like, but it turns out we were mistaken.

    We should have known better.

    My mother has been at the cutting edge of technology usage for quite some time.

    When I was a small boy growing up in Tokyo, she used to take me to the electronics district in Akihabara every other week looking at all the latest gadgets and gizmos that early 1980s Japanese innovation was throwing up.

    Those were the days of the first Walkman and full-sized, remote controlled (but not wireless) R2D2s.

    Without having to ask, she got me my first video game console — the Atari — on which I learnt hand-eye co-ordination and timing, especially by playing Jungle King, which I thought at the time was the greatest game invented and certain never to be bettered.

    She followed that up by buying me my first PC, with roman alphabets and the basic hiragana Japanese characters on the keyboard for me to attempt to learn word processing.

    This was followed by a whole host of Nintendo hardware, including both the game console and the portable games with Donkey Kong throwing down barrels at you to jump over.

    When I first went off to boarding school, she would snail mail her letters, but as soon as they became affordable, she got a facsimile machine at home from which she would fax her weekly messages to me.

    At university, when most people were still figuring out how to navigate around the world wide web, we began communicating via email (she was an early Jaring subscriber) and quickly learnt how to add attachments and links.

    She was the first one I knew who bought a flat panel LCD TV (she knew exactly which one she wanted and she knew she didn’t want plasma).

    She surfs the Internet regularly, either directly or getting her secretary to print out her favourite websites, which oddly include blogs that vilify her son.

    Although a late adopter, she has become an SMS fiend ever since my wife showed her how predictive text worked, rattling off quick messages throughout the day.

    She now carries the Nokia E70, which flips out a full QWERTY thumb-board for her oxymoronic long SMSes.

    I have seen people stare at this elderly Malay lady in a selendang, typing away furiously on her specialist phone.

    Sometimes when she is at a function which I could not attend, she would snap a photo on her phone and MMS over the (sometimes incriminating) image to me. Nobody ever suspects my mother of being James Bond.

    She is relentless in her desire to want to learn and keep up to date.

    When we bought her the iPod, we thought that she would reach her breaking point. After a while, surely, the old timers just give up learning about the latest fad.

    We couldn’t imagine her loading up songs on her iTunes and sorting out her playlists. Clearly we were wrong.

    I checked her iPod recently and was surprised to find her favourites — Hetty Koes Endang, Broery Marantika, Elvis Presley, Nat King Cole — all neatly organised in her "Mama iPod Playlist".

    Of course, later I found out that she didn’t really do it herself but asked one of my sisters to load up her music player.

    She has reached a stage where she knows she can master all gadgets she fancies, but is content to let other people sweat away at the thankless job of downloading and uploading songs.

    Still, I wouldn’t put it past her to start downloading songs on her computer (legally, hopefully) and insisting on an iPod adapter for her car stereo.

    She saw me using my BlackBerry the other day and wondered out loud if she should also get one — this is usually a cue for me to go and buy her the device.

    Sometimes, the technology has traction with her (iPod) and sometimes it fails her tech test (Nokia Communicator). But she hasn’t been afraid to try.

    My generation was already born in the electronics age. My mother was born before World War Two, way before modern communications technology.

    Electricity in Alor Star in those days was generated from the river by the Hutten Bucks company.

    For our generation, the change has been tremendous, but when compared to the advances that my mother has seen in her lifetime it must seem glacial.

    It amazes me that she continues to try and stay ahead of the curve. This is an example of life-long curiosity in how things make our lives easier and more enjoyable.

    On her birthday, I prayed for her good health so that she will one day enjoy movie on-demand from the classic Shaw Brothers library streamed directly into her handheld device via mobile broadband while making a conference call with her grandchildren over seamless internet telephony.

    When these services become available, you can be certain Mama will be among the first to sign up

    Sunday, March 11, 2007


    The article below from The New Straits Times touched me immensely. Suicide- filicide, u name it, I think we all should ponder on why this seems to be such a common occurrence of late. Such incidences were almost unheard of when family closeness was a norm and not an exception and members of a particular community look out for one another, regardless of race, colour or belief. Yes, you may hear about the occasional suicide, but filicide? God forbid.

    Whatever happened to us?

    We are emotional creatures. All these problems stem from emotional upheavals. Stress from the everyday demands of this modern life – Living beyond one’s means, Ah Long, husband’s affair with another woman, and the list goes on.

    Whatever happened to our spirituality and moral values. Almost all faiths abhor suicide. Has spirituality taken a back seat, materialism now is the God for a majority of us.

    Meanwhile, the importance of support cannot be stressed enough. Yes the PM just launched a counselling campaign- but how thorough is that. Would counseling be enough when it only grazes the surface. Counselling should come from the heart. How can an attempt such as this be a success when we are generally raised within a culture where judging people and isolating people who are different from us, is the norm. At the end of the day, for any measure to be successful, it should be founded on the genuine intention to help fellow humans and not just to sweep problems under the carpet and embellish them with what seem like impressive but in truth are hollow programs.

    After all the prophet p.b.u.h. once said:

    "Actions are (judged) by motives (niyyah), so each man will have what he intended…”


    Kathirasen on Sunday: The heart weeps but the mind is thankful

    25 Feb 2007

    HOW could she? O my God! It’s horrible! These were among the exclamations that burst through the lips of relatives and friends last week.

    They were agonising over the death of two children. Every death is tragic but this tragedy was made more unbearable by the news that their own mother was said to have strangled them.
    And it came so soon after the case of a man who strangled his two children before committing suicide.
    It is incomprehensible. Why would a mother want to kill her children? Why would a father snatch away the life that he helped bring into the world?
    How could they do it? I’m sure when the mother strangled her sleeping children — one at a time — they must have awakened as they struggled for breath.
    Their terrified eyes would have met her eyes. Perhaps, as the life was being squeezed out of them, they were trying to fathom the reason for their mother’s madness. Or perhaps the shock of it suffocated any attempt at thinking.
    And what was passing in the mind of the mother?
    Only days earlier, on Feb 14, jobless Lee Thian Sing strangled May Shan, 10, and Wei Shen, 9, before taking his own life by drinking bleach and washing liquid.
    It happened in the daytime. They would have been awake as he murdered them. Did they struggle? Did their bodies convulse in contortions as they writhed in agonising disbelief? What terrified thoughts tumbled through their innocent minds as the hands that had comforted them were now wringing the life out of them?
    Lee left a note saying he did it because he did not want his children ending up as failures like him.
    His moment of madness is believed to have come about shortly after a tiff with his wife.
    On Feb 22, labourer M. Murthy, 29, was charged at the Klang magistrate’s court with murdering his two-year-old son Ruthren in January. The child is said to have been beaten and kicked to death.
    On Dec 1 last year, Seah Wong Chong and Kau Mei Lin fed rat poison to their children Siew Cheung, 12, Siew Man, 10, and Siew Tong.
    The children died but the couple was reported to have failed in their attempt to take their own lives. They said harassment by loan sharks drove them to it.
    Last July, K. Sangeetha, 30, collected her four children and stood in front of a Singapore-bound express train. Her eldest daughter, Victoria, 8, managed to wriggle free and run, taking her five-year-old brother Jason with her. But Sangeetha and daughters Sagaria and Esther were killed.
    Killing of a child by a parent. It’s called filicide.
    Cases such as that involving Lee are classified by psychiatrists as "altruistic filicide" because the parent thinks he is actually saving his children from real or imagined suffering by killing them. Studies in the West show that the majority of filicide-suicides are "altruistic".
    It was reported that the mother who allegedly killed her two children in Penang did so because she was angry with her husband for wanting to take a second wife. Psychiatrists call this "spouse revenge filicide". It’s an old theme.
    Those who have read about Jason and his quest for the Golden Fleece would be familiar with queen Medea. When Jason abandoned her for a princess, she killed their two children to spite him.
    Martha Ann Johnson of the United States, who wanted to get at her husband after an argument, rolled all 250 pounds (114kg) of her weight on her daughter while she slept. Johnson was convicted of killing her daughter on Feb 21, 1982.
    What triggers the horrendous act? What makes such parents snap? Psychiatrists usually blame it on stress and pressure. Behavioural scientists hold that violent behaviour has no single cause but is the result of an accumulation of factors, including childhood experiences.
    Neuroscientists may conclude that a breakdown in communication between the limbic system of the brain and the frontal cortex could have caused emotional information to be incorrectly processed. Or they might point to a possible malfunction of the amygdala, that tiny almond-shaped mass of grey matter where fear and aggression arise.
    It may be that even the perpetrators of this atrocity would be unable to say what drove them to this instant of insanity.
    What is clear is that we who hear about it are shocked. We are horrified. And that, I think, is good.
    Because it means that such incidences are rare; because if they were an everyday affair or even a frequent occurrence, our hearts would have become numb to them. We would not be shocked.
    When I see that for every mother who suffocates her child, for every father who kills his child, there are millions more who don’t, my faith in parents is restored. The vast majority take reasonable care of their children; many shower love and affection.
    While my heart weeps for the children who were killed, my mind is thankful that these are but instances of aberrant behaviour.

    Children belong in families, which, ideally, serve as a sanctuary and a cushion from the world at large. Parents belong to society and are a part of that greater world. Sometimes parents are a channel to the larger society, sometimes they are a shield from it. Ideally they act as filters, guiding their children and teaching them to avoid the tempting trash. — Louise Hart

    Monday, January 15, 2007

    Yesterday as I was driving home with KT in our good old faithful, Kt pointed out to the car which I just overtook. “Oh My God, Ummi. Pity the lady driving that car”
    “Why?”, I asked her. The car wasn't too grand or fancy, but most certainly more grandios and definitely fancier than the one we were in. "She is crying like crazy, ummi. She looks so bad, poor thing." "Where?" I asked KT. "There just behind us, in the right lane". Being the busy body as all humans are..I slowed down.."Slow down, ummi” “ Oh No Ummi, I am so sorry for you think someone died?"
    "Perhaps..", i trailed off. We came to a traffic light but I never managed to actually look at the lady but I can picture her like a big screen tv on my windshield. My hair stood on its ends. Past emotions, sights, smells just overtook me as I remembered how I used to be that woman, on this very road. How my solitude in the car was an opportunity for me to pour out my frustrations, scream and speak to God aloud, and ask Him, "Why me?". Why must He bring my marriage to an end, why He ravaged the one thing that I valued most, way above my ambitions, way above everything. I remembered, how Allah put that small voice in me which said, "Be will see why. It is because He loves you. He loves you and has a lot more stashed away for you..He just wants to see how patient you are…you’ll see." " How can that be" I asked Him back. "I do not want this. I do not want you to show your love to me this way..Love me like you love everyone else..those you gave wealth, happiness perfect families!" "I have something much better for you”, the voice would come back..I wanted to believe that voice, but at the time, it just did not seem plausible. But oh..the conundrum of life…He has all the answers…and from me at the time, the answer He wanted was merely “Patience”
    Patience is certainly a virtue which I have not achieved, but regardless how impatient I was and am, who am I to fight The Omnipotent..Like it or not, I had to accept what He has destined for me. Looking back, I feel like it was similar to those first few days in school when Mom told me, she had to leave me alone in school, she won't be waiting in the canteen because she had to go teach in her school. I used to cry and throw tantrums, but she still left me, just so that I learn to be independent, learn to be a girl instead of a baby and later a woman, instead of a girl. Similarly, that was what He was doing to me. It was painful, but the fruits are sweet..bitter sweet, like the best Durians you can find in town. Now, I love every minute of my life.
    I wake up every morning with a purpose. Just quoting one blessing is enough to sum up the cornerstone of my happiness right now..the peaceful faces of my sleeping boys..and their cute protests when I wake them up to go to school is enough to make me thank Him that I am still alive and able to do good and repent for another day. Instead of being all tensed up and screaming in anger in an attempt get them ready in fear, I laugh at their antics, and they always eventually relent ..and when they step out of the car into their school grounds, they go with a zest rather than all deflated after their esteem has been stampeded all over by angry parents.
    I felt warm water flowing down my nostrils ( i know ewww) and then i realised the tears on my cheeks. My tears were for 2 reasons..Firstly, for the wrongs I have done to my elder babies, my impatience and stress simply because I had no inner peace, and I was too caught up in trying to please others. And secondly for the girl in the car. I feel some form of solidarity, a strong bond, linking me to her…fellow sisters on this earth, trying to decipher what God has in store for us. I wish i could reach out to her, hug her and tell her..listen to that small voice in your heart. Go back to God..He really have something better for you..I know you don't believe me now..but one day not far from now, you will understand what i am saying. I love you dear sister..and God Almighty Loves you..and who can beat that love!!