Monday, September 19, 2016

R & R

The past few weeks, I had the chance to join in the exercise in attending to job applicants for my campus. I had the chance to exchange some related info with a few of my Sarawak seniors about one job applicant from Sarawak and some other 'infamous' applicants. The info shared with me made me noticed that, when we assigned jobs, tasks, or positions, we subconsciously (or maybe even intentionally) abide by the 2 R principles - 'Rapport & Reputation'. You don't get to be assigned a particular job, task nor post solely based on your CV. Most times you get assigned based on your good 'Rapport & Reputation'. Building a good 'Rapport & Reputation' involved a lot of time, efforts and most importantly, honesty and sincerity. 

Sometimes, people of good Rapport but with unscrupulous work Reputations get the job, which means, the job will never get done properly. They are busy projecting that they are great at their jobs, but in truth they are merely using flattery as a smokescreen for their incompetencies.   

Sometimes, people with bad Rapport but excellent work Reputation get the job, which means, he/she will not last long in the job, if you know what I mean 😒 . It is said that 'Flattery makes Friends and Truth makes Enemies'. So most times that is how it's going to be. No nonsense people have no time to flatter their superiors. What's more important is to get the job done, and to get it done properly. Fortunately for these kind of people, they usually will want to swiftly move on to do other things rather than linger around.

So at the end of the day, people who have both the 2 R principles applicable in their lives will always try to fill the empty spot with others based on the same principles. But then again, people with the 2 R principles rarely got chosen to be the one to make the choice. Again, if you know what I mean 😉

Friday, August 19, 2016


When I first started off living in Seremban, I find the place rather off putting, chaotic and all over the place. It's not like Sungai Petani (SP) at all. In town planning structure, Seremban is comparatively like Sydney in a way, while SP is more like Melbourne. Everything in SP in placed on the two major lanes of the town, while Seremban is a bit here and there, albeit a bigger town than SP of course, with more suburbs.  Like SP, Seremban too has an old and new part of the town. But Seremban's new town (Seremban 2) is all the way on the other part of Seremban, while SP's new town is just on the same stretch of the town's two major lanes.

It took some time (months, actually) to get used to how the town and its adjacent suburbs and most importantly shopping areas are placed. But truth be told, once I got the hang out of it, I personally find Seremban such a lovely place to live. It's always so calm, nothing much goes on in this town, we're never held by much traffics and everything is cheaper that in Bangi/Kajang. It's a perfect place to raise a family.

While in SP, the majority population is of the same ethnic, the population of Seremban are diverse but they seem to get along quite well. Seeing a mixture of ethnicity working, eating together is such a common occasion here, unlike in SP. I have been observing this for a quite a while now, and I find that rather comforting, especially in the social media era where everyone seem to want to kill one another due to their differences. Seremban, clearly epitomized 1Malaysia. And of course, need I point out more that they love their MB to pieces. Tok Mat should be propelled to be PM some day, seriously :-)

Needless to say, Seremban has slowly grows on me. If it's the only thing that may prolonged my service here as a lecturer, probably the thought of continuing living in Seremban would be it. The working stress nowadays sometimes is unbearable, especially when needing to deal with fools running around this place they termed higher learning institution (HLE) - pretending to be 'moulding' our future generations. Most are frauds, but they failed to see that. I, myself think I am a fraud, pretending what I had in myself in sufficient to last another generation of students. Truthfully, I am not sure I can catch up. I fear for the sanity of the next generation of educators and their students. I fear for my own sanity, when everything seem to be so superficial. Things are running so fast nowadays, I wonder if anyone is really absorbing anything while they walk and run through the corridors of this HLE. I seriously doubt it.

I can't turn back time, but I remembered being ever so passionate about doing this without needing to check on whether my students are actually attending my class, whether they can understand what I am trying to convey, whether they learnt any soft skills from the course, whether they are able to communicate in English, whether they are job market ready??? These things never really linger on my mind when I went to class. I just went and be myself, and with the grace of Allah, my enthusiasm and commitment simply rub off on these students and they themselves took care of all those things I am made to worry about now. Such a vast difference between back then and now. What made it worst now, the HLE no longer seem to trust the lecturers to hand them the prerogative to do what they love most - teach, teach the way they love to teach. Gone are the dignified days, where teachers are revered as the experts and listened to. Now, it's all about the market. I am not even sure, why I teach no more. Sad, isn't it...

But I tell myself, in life, we must always be prepared to make changes or adapt to changes. Some changes are for the best, while some others may be blessings in disguise. I guess me living in Seremban is one of those blessings. So I still have Seremban. And the kids are doing so well. Could they be the next generation of students which are better off than the current dopey-eyed ones? I sincerely hope so. Because for now, it seems like the only thing that is stopping me from walking away from all of this is - Seremban (and my PhD Bond, of course) ;-)

Saturday, July 30, 2016


Dalam hidup aku ni, memang dah beberapa orang yang aku jumpa yang memang sangat berkira dalam segala benda, duit, masa, ilmu, kelebihan, harta benda, you name it. Kalau orang-orang ni tiada pendiddikan tinggi, tiada diletakkan harapan sebagai seorang pendidik professional, mungkin aku boleh lah tutup sebelah mata, pendamkan saja. Namun, sepanjang 15 tahun sebagai pensyarah ni, bukan seorang dua yang aku jumpa begitu. Jumlahnya mungkin 10 thn lagi sudah tidak boleh dibilang dgn jari tangan lah kot. Dalam kelas pun contoh yang diberikan kepada pelajar ada unsur2 materialistik aje. Aku rasa bersalah dan kesal pulak kepada pelajar sebab ada cikgu dia yang perangai huduh mcm ni. Aku nak doa apa pun aku tak pasti. Nak doakan dia berubah lah kot dak, tapi in the meantime, tah berapa byk ajaran sosek yang dah dia beri dalam kelas gamaknya huhuhu...

Anyway, orang-orang berkira ni ada banyak jenis. Tapi yang paling teruk aku pernah jumpa, bukan sahaja dia ni berkira, malah dihasut nya sekali orang lain supaya turut bersama dengan pemikiran dia. Yang tambah choiiii lagi, dia tu dah lah berkira kan, hasut pulak org lain berkira semacam dia, pastu dia tak boleh terima atau tengok org dapat lebih daripada dia! Adoi, ini mcm punya olang pun ado!!! Aku pun pelik lar drp mana lah org2 ni datang. Takkan mak ayah depa pun mcm tu kot? What kind of upbringing do they actually impart on their children that led to their children jadi org yang sgt berkira ni? Aku pun bukan org senang dulu (skrg pun bukan lah millionaire, fefeeling jer millionaire hahahaha). Semua benda kena berjimat, berhalus penggunaannya. Tapi takde lah mak pak ajaq jadi kedekut, bakhil, tunggu ganjaran punya mentaliti.  

Tapi satu lah aku nak habaq, sepanjang2 aku berurusan dengan org yg berkira taik idung masin ni, hidup diaorg tak senang pun. Ada jer masalah rezeki tersepit. Daripada nak cepat jadi lambat, daripada benda mudah jadi susah, daripada terasa kaya jadi rasa terhimpit. Ada jer lah masalah yang menimpa. Yang bestnya diaorg tak perasan pun. They keep on dengki jer dkt org lain yang didakwa dpt semuanya senang tu. Dia terlupa nak tanya pulak agaknya, apa lah yang org Allah mudahkan hidup tu pernah buat selama hidup mereka. Dia terasa semua org nak kenakan dia je. Bongkak, riak dan takabbur menghiasi kehidupan. Kadang-kadang bentuknya nyata, kadang-kadang tersirat, namun sikap yg 3 ni tetap ada. Terlupa agaknya Allah bagi pinjaman je semua benda. Hatta, udara yang kita guna untuk bernafas ni, kalau dah ditarik balik, satu sen pun tak guna.

Aku bosan betul nak melayan. Kalau ikut tahap kesarcastikan aku yang dah lama aku bersarakan, dah lama dah aku laser balik. Namun setakat ni, bolehlah lagi nak bersabar. Seperti mana aku layan boss setiap kali aku nampak dia lalu - aku akan pusing kot lain - begitu jugaklah aku layan org2 macam ni. Kadang-kadang senyum pun dia tak mampu sedeqah. So apa lagi lah nilai yang tinggal huhuhu...Wallahu'alam...    

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

It's that kinda time again

Every 5-years cycle it seems this feeling will come creeping in...Now, the best part is I gotta share this feeling of wanting to do my own thing with my children (and students) too. I bet they are as confused as I am. I just feel something is wrong somewhere. Education now seems so 'structured', so religiously following a certain 'regime' that I am feeling rather flustered. I always feel so alive in class, being able to look these students in the eyes and discuss things. But now, I am so busy being #daboss, it's so annoyingly annoying that I am mostly not ready or not myself when I walked into the classroom. Some people here don't get it, some will never get it. As for now, I have already known what I need to do in the next coming months, and I am going to make sure it's gonna work. My own way out of this black hole feeling! Ya Allah, please have mercy on me. I think you have shown me enough...

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Aliyah turns 12 :-)

Last Sunday, the 22nd of May, Aliyah turned 12. That means I have been a mother for 12 years already. Time really flies nowadays. Guilt still crept in from time to time when I can feel that I have been spending too much time thinking of work than thinking of the children. This may be the year everything changed for her. Next year, if she succeeded in persuading her father to let her pursue her schooling at a boarding school, then she will be spending most of her time away from us...huwaaaaa. But I am sure some good things will come out of her time away at any boarding school. She's trying very hard to get her Maths sorted out. Because that's the only subject that's a bit problematic for her. Most time when she can't relates them, so she took too much time thinking about the questions and time runs out on her. Whatever it is, come November, we shall know. Whatever the outcome, I am happy with her, will continue to pray for her to be the best that she can be, In Sya Allah.

By the way, next year on, Aliyah will celebrate her birthday with her latest cousin - Adamzarif, my youngest brother and sister in law's newborn. He was born around noon on the 22nd of May in Putrajaya. Aliyah tersenyum simpul jer dengar ada orang sama birthday dgn dia :-)

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Memory Lane...

I got to catch up with Simon and Irniza yesterday. He flew in Thursday night, transiting in KL to meet us before flying off to Penang for some collaboration work with some Penang Institute, was it Health something - haha I wasn't paying attention... He had chosen to stay near Brickfields, so that we could take the public transport, but Niza chose to drive anyway - to his horror huhu... For the record, both of us had him as our co-supervisor (in my case he turned as the main one, when my main supervisor retires from La Trobe) but he had always been there for us, and we are really grateful for all that he's done for us.

Every other year, he will dropped by Malaysia and we shall have a short meet up in some coffee shops, either in KL or in Penang (he's crazy about Penang). And he will be nagging about publishing and publication ventures. So basically, yesterday was mostly about life in general and again publications. He seemed well now. The last few months of last year including earlier in the year he's had several bouts of illness, including being totally depressed with the state of affairs of his uni. La Trobe is no longer the way it used to be when we were there. So we talked about La Trobe, going down memory lanes of and about some of our past ventures there.

He has now totally given up on La Trobe and is going on a couple more periods of long leave before he eventually retires. He's planning on that soon, since the Australian Government is currently contemplating on taxing their superannuation fund (the KWSP/EPF equivalent). I think he can't wait to go on a freelance services and take more trips post retirement. I know he's been withholding those plans for a while now, because he's thinking about all his students. Now, he no longer take in anymore PhD students. He has one or two of them still pending and by the next 2 years, he will really severe all official academic ties with La Trobe. We had a good catch up, and it was great to see that he's in good spirit again. 

The usual jajan - jellies for kiddos and mak kiddos
We bid him farewell, and I thought of strolling down the memory lane further by checking out on my Alma Mater, MGS (1). Since I last visited the school in 2010 (I was there post an interview with one of my PhD respondents), it seems that most of the school's grounds have now been taken over by the Methodist College. It used to be that my schoolmates were mostly from Bangsar & areas surrounding Brickfields. From standard 2, there would only be mostly 6 Malays in my class, 30 over Chinese & a couple of Indians. However, due to the massive development around the area and Bangsar's own development in terms of other school, enrollment at the school had dwindled. I doubt they could even reach 20 students per class nowadays. 

The 'Antique' Clock Tower

The top level, near the palm tree was my last classroom at this school, Darjah 6 Biru ;-)
All surround by either skyscrapers or public rails...
This tree has been here since forever....
Anyway, I wonder what would be the end for all the schools on the same stretch of the street. All the developments in Brickfields have somewhat changed how I used to remember it. Kinda sad, actually. But at least I could see that the nearby Malaysian Association for the Blind & YMCA is doing well & thriving. I have fond and wonderful memories here. This place and its teachers set the foundation for who I am today. I wish the next time I dropped by, it will still be here, continuing doing what they do best - providing sound education :-) 

That brings me to the fact that I too need to catch up on provisions of sound education. Life has been hectic, but I think I just need to do some readjustments and realignment of priorities. Speaking of priorities - Mama completed all the Cancer Institute's treatment - radiotherapy, chemotherapy and brachytherapy. There's a slight glitch with her blood level earlier this week which dragged the treatment further by a few days, but Alhamdulillah it's all completed. So now we wait for the next MRI scan and see the outcome. In Sya Allah, all being well, post Aidilfitri we'll ask her to be referred to the Traditional Chinese Medicine Unit at the Institute for continual alternative treatment.  

And finally, here I throw in a pic of my bambam girl... It has been tiring juggling responsibilities, but  at the end of every day, I just throw in the towel, shut everything down, head home and catch up with her. She made returning home everyday, after dealing with all the lazy bumms out there, so much worth it :-D

She has now shown interest in all her brothers' blocks and could follow simple instructions.
This cutie pie is being adored dearly by his brothers and sis, of course :-)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Scene with VC UiTM 2016

After months of preparations (ding donging here and there, Seremban Shah Alam, Shah Alam Seremban) and a couple of babies later (imagine how long it took), the UiTMNS Memorandum of Agreement with MAINS Zakat Sdn Bhd was finally materialized last Thursday. 

As usual, I was almost not invited to the whole MOA ceremony. Haha that's typical treatment for people who love to do kerja di sebalik tabir - and make that tabir siap dengan 'blockouts' sekali yer. And as usual, orang yang ingat kat orang yang buat kerja belakang tabir ni would be orang-orang yang seangkatan jua. Terima kasih lah sebab teringatkan saya. The lady that had the ball rolling thanked me various times, sampai nak naik malu aku. Rasa terharu pulak, sbb ada orang-orang macam ni. She would also be watching from the sidelines, not going to be in the official pictures with all the big shots, because in ranks she's a nobody. But on Thursday, she was the happiest person in UiTMNS. I was thinking had it not been for all the behind the scene hard work these people did, including her, would you even have the VC sitting there with the NS YB Speaker waiting to sign the MOA? Oh well, that's life ;-) And as usual, the people behind the scenes would always learn to take it gracefully.

The ceremony, interesting enough also allowed our newly appointed Rector, Prof Nash to start off his commandeering of the soon to be 3 campuses with a bang. Rezeki hasil kerja orang-orang di balik tabir semuanya, 10 months in the making, if only he knew. But malas nak ponder dah. Let's move on to another topic - the VC, Prof Emeritus Dato' Dr Hassan Said!

Ok, we all met the VC for the first time on Thursday. After the MOA ceremony, he spent almost 2 hours with the rest of the warga kampus. Personally, I think he's such a lovely man. He did not appear pompous, although his position could easily 'allow' that 'projection'. He's so generous with his smile and his choice of words in his speech although carefully chosen, reflected his humility. Funny, I said all that. I met a lot of people like him in my life, so what's the difference?? It's just that we are not used to such characterization when it comes to describing all our previous VCs (for the record I have only gone through 2 VCs before) hikhikhik...

Ni bukti kehadiran hihi, with two lovely lady bosses, Dr Rozita & Dr Norwati
Alhamdulillah :-)

The Rector introducing UiTMNS to the VC
The VC emphasized on a couple of things, one of the main thing is in the use of technology in teaching, and in improving the quality of our graduates as a whole, and of course to focus not only in the ability for them to communicate but also how to communicate. The key according to him is to produce students that can apply the 3 H - Hand (Skills), Head (Mind) and Heart (Values). He also stressed on the need to change some of the process in implementing our work in UiTM (so that most task can be completed efficiently and effectively), improving the role of alumni and to manage our assets into low risk income generation projects. He appeared calm and collected in answering most of the questions asked and from time to time shared his experience when managing Taylor's and USM. In fact, I don't really think the time allocated was really enough. There's just so many things running through our minds. And of course, some of us were a bit cautious - a norm that is.

In the end, in gist, he was quoted saying, 'we want our staff to be happy working with us because then they will perform better'. That's nothing new actually, but how that 'thought' translates to the grounds remained to be seen. In Sya Allah, may Allah grant him the ease to perform what he planned for UiTM. I believe he has it in him, I pray he will manage to get it through to all the warga UiTM.