Friday, April 28, 2017


April will now be remembered as the month where all my family members near and far rallied together, giving us the support we need to provide the best care and comfort for Mama, especially for the past two weeks. No amount of gratitude can repay all the act of love and kindness they showed to her and all of us during those trying two weeks. May Allah reward all of them with Jannah, In Sya Allah. 

Sadly, at 10.15 pm on 24 April 2017 (Monday), Mama eventually succumbed to her illness and passed away surrounded by all her close family members :-((

إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ

Mama with Aliyah last October, before her health starts to deteriorate...

Mama's love, care and concern is the glue that bind all of us together. She shall be remembered in our prayers as such a person. May Allah forgive her for all misgivings and grant her Jannah. Ameen Ya Rabbal 'Alamin...

Her last birthday with all of us last December...
I kept repeating the past two weeks over and over again in my mind, but at the moment everything is too raw to be written down. Some day perhaps...

As for now, please rest Mama, I will do you proud and take care of everyone. May we all meet again some day in Jannah, In Sya Allah.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Uncertainties (2)

January 2017 started with uncertainties and basically ended with more uncertainties. But that is life, no matter how hard we try to assure certain things go the way we want them to be, nothing is definitive. Only Allah has that power, we only make plans. 

Mama has been diagnosed with cervical cancer for a while now. She first had her initial bleeding in June 2015, but she only had it checked in August 2015. She started treatment at the Cancer Institute in Putrajaya by late 2015 and completed her first round of combination treatment by May 2016. She had even managed to fast and celebrate Aidilfitri free of any for two months. But come Aidiladha, she started bleeding again. We went back to the oncologist at the Cancer Institute and made another rounds of check up. It was discovered that although her cervical cancer may have subsided but there were bit and pieces here and there and some of the cancer cells had metastasizes to her liver. She listened to the doctors with most of us there and was the one who finally made the decision to proceed with second bout of chemotherapy, a different type, a different dosage. None of us really said anything much, because seriously we are not sure what else to do. She started chemotherapy in November last year. Early this month, the doctors decided to stop Mama's 5th chemo cycle for her cervical cancer treatment for her platelet was going haywire. Further, her cervical bleeding is still ongoing, showing signs that the chemotherapy is not doing much for her. Her body could no longer take the chemo toxicity level. I personally feel they should have stopped it after the 3rd cycle, as they promised to do a review after the 3rd one initially, but they didn't. I meant it's pointless to proceed anymore if it's not doing much for her.

I was the one who finally got her officially 'discharged' from chemotherapy.
I stalked the doctor, until I got to meet her up and ask for a thorough explanation

It's been a month now. She's getting weaker by the day. She lost a total of almost 20 kg since her treatment last year. Funny, at one point she was saying - "I spent thousands of ringgit in my younger days to lose weight, but now I lose it effortlessly". In fact, she wasn't losing it effortlessly, she simply wasn't eating. 

Tomorrow, it's going to be April. In two months time, I turned 40. Will she still be there for me, to celebrate my 40th much uncertainties. But one thing is certain, we all love her dearly. Abah definitely. He's been going around trying to get her here and there for alternative treatment. I fear the day when he had to be seated, to accept all that is coming.

Please pray for my Mama, pray Allah ease her pain, pray she is granted Khusnul Khatimah. 


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Seminar Companies Act 2016’s Implementation

So, life must go on...

Next immediate project will be handling the Seminar on the "Companies Act 2016's Implementation".

The Companies Act 2106 is now in its first implementation phase starting from the end of January 2017. It’s a brand new statute with some major changes that totally revamp how company law and its compliance is dealt with.

So I thought organizing a seminar would be the next best thing to going for a holiday... haha

Anyway, please click the link above for further details. I hope the seminar will help especially academics who need to prep for the new company law course soon. It will be a transitioning period for all, and hopefully the seminar will shed some light on how we prepare for the new implementation of the Companies Act 2016.

 The main topics of discussion would be:
  • “Implementation and enforcement of the Companies Act 2016: Key Changes”
  • “Companies Act 2016 vs Companies Act 1965: Academic issues in transition”

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Uncertainties (1)

January 2017 started with uncertainties and basically ended with more uncertainties. But that is life, no matter how hard we try to assure certain things go the way we want them to be, nothing is definitive. Only Allah has that power, we only make plans.

Earlier in the month, formal schools started for 3 of my children this year. Aliyah was supposed to start in a new school and Luqman of course just joined in formal schooling this year. It was an exciting and stressful time for everyone, actually. However, things became even more stressful, when Aliyah didn't get a place in SMAP Kajang. I purposely chose that school in the SBP form, because I wanted to her pursue whatever she's been learning during her KAFA days, including her Arabic which she was rather good at. We went around to see the school and she had approved of it. In addition, it was rather close to my parents's house in Kajang so that would make even easier for visitations purposes.

For a while, it was a rather disappointing and uncertain time because I didn't register her to any of the school nearby our home, except for all the Sekolah Kawalan (which we only chose 2, instead of the usual 4). When the time came for the result for Sekolah Kawalan - her first choice of school, an SMKA, SMK Agama Sheikh Haji Mohd Said, also known as SHAMS in Sikamat had also turned her down. I was getting sleepless night. I don't understand what was going on. I heard many version of rationales. It appears most SMKAs don't wanna consider students with good results for fear they will be snatched away by SBPs and MRSMs. Anyway, since the result for MRSM is yet to be out by then, so we appealed for both SBP and SHAMS. I changed from SMAP Kajang to SMAP Labu instead, for I heard there's a stiff competition for placement in SMAP Kajang. So the few days between all the rejections and what happened next cause a lot frustration on my part. Aliyah in the meantime appears to be rather nonchalant.

By the end of December, I receive a call from the State's Education Department, stating that Aliyah is offered a place at SMK King George V (popularly known as KGV), in Seremban town. KGV was her second choice of Sekolah Kawalan. KGV is the best daily school in Seremban. So we gladly accepted the offer, thinking at least now she'll have a school while we wait for all the appeals. I registered her in the first week, bought all the relevant things that she needs for the moment for the school, since it didn't cost us more that RM80 (inclusive of her School T-shirt). Then, something great happened.

KGV has been running a Kelas Aliran Agama (KAA) for the past 4 years with a Tahfiz curriculum for a number of students in the school. Students who secured a place in the KAA would usually be boarded in a nearby hostel for the school. So the first week of school, while also monitoring Luqman at his school and Aliyah attending her school's orientation, I ran around KGV, met up with this teacher and that teacher, went up and down the State's Education Department twice, wrote an appeal letter and buat muka seposen calling here and there, praying hard so just to get Aliyah a placement in the KAA class. Alhamdulillah, finally by the end of the first week, a light beamed through, and she was deemed qualified to join the class and a couple of days later we enrolled her into her hostel nearby the school. (let's have that story another day)

In between this process, ironically the State's Education Department called informing us that our appeal for SHAMS has been approved, but we decided to reject it for various reasons. KGV is an English niche school, absorbing the Dual Language Program to the core, hence, Maths and Science will be taught in English for everyone in Form 1. And now since Aliyah is in KAA with the Tahfiz classes, she gets the best of both worlds, not to mention the ability to still mingle with students from other ethnicity in KGV. And the best part, although she was taking time to adapt to hostel life, she actually enjoyed the school very much. She was always excited to talk about what happened in school. So we took that as our sign that KGV is the best for her. In fact, when the MRSM result came out last week, we are so sure we will also reject the offer. She was offered a place in MRSM Alor Gajah which caters for the Cambridge IGCSE curriculum, which I think would do nothing much more for her. Her English is almost impeccable, and KGV is already teaching Maths and Science in English. What she will be getting from the KAA class will be more that what the MRSM will be able to provide for her. In fact, she had already started her Quranic Classes and starting memorizing all the short verses of Juzu' 30. So what more can we be asking for...May Allah have mercy on her and our family and help her in her striving for knowledge for both this world and the hereafter.
A Georgian now :-)

On a side note - I am actually fed up and annoyed with the way the SBPs and the MRSMs system are managing their placement offers. They caused parents and students so much heartache and stress for not being able to sort things out between themselves and issue their offers at the same time. I don't understand why MRSM had to start classes in February every year. Don't they know that parents would have already spent so much money in the initial school their children were enrolled in?? I don't understand why if students were offered a place in SBPs, they can no longer get a placement in MRSMs. Then why do you allow them to apply for both SBP and MRSM in the first place??? Is this some sort of a popularity contest? Weighing in whether there are more applications for SBP or MRSM that year? And then campak them here and there??? I simply don't get it!!! And due to what happened with Aliyah, I have decided in the future, I will no longer consider SBPs and MRSMs anymore for all my children. I will apply for the Sekolah Kawalan, yes. But I have no interest anymore to be sucked into the level of uncertainties created by their so called elitist 'mismanagement'.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Summing up 2016 in pictures

I think these best 9 pictures from my IG account practically sums up my life in 2016. THIS IS my life. My life revolves around them. Work? What work? haha... Sometimes, I think I am only moonlighting in UiTM ☺. Basically, I have given up thinking of any sort of career development. I take each new day as it comes. Looking at these pictures, reminds me to be grateful for all the happy faces that greet me everyday. It beats dealing with students with no drive, colleagues with no common sense, and managers with no sense of directions. Really, I have reach a point where I no longer care. No point stressing out over people you cannot change. I have completed most of the things I want to do this year, and next year will continue to be for and about my family. I will just do what I really love to do and simply ignore other superficial matters or artificial/fake/pretentious people. Seriously not worth my time no more! 

Btw my Luqman starts formal school in 2017. Today he registered in Sek Keb Taman Rasah Jaya.
He will be with Uwais at the same school. These two will definitely keep me busy! 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

UPSR 2016 in Aliyah's Diary

It has been a week pass the UPSR result. The guinea pig batch they called Aliyah's batch. But I have high hopes for the KSSR (read up my earlier thoughts). It was supposed to be different from the KBSR batch which started with my batch in school in 1984. That also means I was from a guinea pig batch too. KBSR was an oversimplified version of the curriculum than the ones before. KSSR is totally different. It was supposed to emphasized on the ability of the students to make sense of what they learned. But alas the teachers mostly still carry the same mentality they had before - the KBSR mentality. They would finished up the curriculum in a rush and then focus on students to answer as many questions as they can, which they hoped would be asked in the exam. They were surprised, because that's not what happened. In a way, I was kinda relieved this happened. I hope the teachers and the school managements would now learned their lesson and eventually throw out this 'latih tubi' akin to memorizing mentality. It has to stop. They must first focus on students' ability to understand, digest, think and the ability to reprocess the information in a different scenario. Yes, all the subjects need 'latih tubi' but not at the expense of them not getting the knowledge first.

Last nite LANDSKAP on TV1 had a great discussion on 2016 UPSR. The panels emphasized, yet again, chase after the knowledge and the As will come. That should be the mentality impressed on the students and parents too. Probably it would be too much to ask for in such short span of time - 6 years, but seriously everyone have to change, including parents. Including myself. I shouldn't let the euphoria of 'As' engulfed me. Every parents wanted the best for their children. Understandably. But the As although important, because it shows persistence, hard work and determination, is not everything in your child's development. Some child have different tendencies, different needs, different interest. Parents need to always remember that and provide the necessary supports for their children.  

And Aliyah?
I remembered early in the morning on the 17th November, my DH quipped to Aliyah - "It doesn't matter what you got, what's important you have tried your best!" and he gave her a kiss on the forehead and a hug (something he rarely do, I must say) and off I went to send her to school. By 10 am I have already known her result through sms. It was 5A1B. A near miss, because in the last 2 trials she had scored straight As in all the core papers. And the B is for her favourite subject - Science. It was Maths we were worried about, because she carried a C throughout last year till early this year. A 'C' in Maths is a NO NO to me, not because I was after the 'A', but because that means she doesn't get the concept, in other words she was unable to process the questions and solve them. That was worrisome, because Maths is important in everything, not only her academic future, but her life too. I resorted to hiring a personal tutor to get the Maths concept through to her. And because she inherently is a brilliant kid, eventually after a few months she got it, Alhamdulillah.
I told her the result before the headmaster's announcement because I don't want to her anticipate otherwise. I couldn't really sense how she was taking it but I congratulated her and assured her how proud I am with her. I also texted the school's PIBG WhatsApp group to thank the teachers for all their hard work this year. I am one of the AJK PIBG and I personally know how committed the teachers were throughout the year. Anyway, Aliyah has not been so sure of her Science paper even after the exam. And I went through the paper too. The questions were rather tricky. But when asked what do you think of Science now? She said I like Science, there's so many interesting thing about it. That was a relief. She even believed she just got lucky with her Maths paper. The questions were easy she once told me. I assured her there's nothing considered luck in Maths. Maths is akin to learning something that requires psychomotor with a twist, it requires  not only understanding but regular training and problem solving exercises. She did all those training and exercises regularly this year, which made Maths appear to be easy to her, Alhamdulillah.

Anyway, there's 3 students with 6As, and 3 students with 5As1B at her school. There was a feeling of disappointments after a few students started crying. All of them were consoled by the teachers and parents too. To me it was only natural - to cry, that is. People can put a lot of interpretations into it. Probably they had high expectations and the exam let them down, probably they will be scarred for life, probably they will feel intimidated and so on.  But I believe children are a resilient lot if you gave them the right and necessary support they will bounce back in due time. In fact, a week after the result, everyone is back being their happy self that they are - children being children. Aliyah couldn't even be bothered to investigate what her friends got for their UPSR. She's just happy to spend the last few days of her primary school days with her friends. They are ready to move on. I hope their parents would too :-)

Aliyah and her friends on their Primary 6 Graduation Day :-)

Monday, October 31, 2016

5 days & 4 nights in Kota Kinabalu, when you have kids

This is a long overdue post. In fact, this post is almost 2 months overdue. So many things happen in the past 2 months that I couldn't actually calm my mind down to actually properly write things. But I did promise myself I would at least update once a month, so here goes. 

Bukti kehadiran ke Sabah :-)
I have always thought of heading to Sabah some of these days. It's the only region in Malaysia I have yet to reach after all this years. And where else best to start getting to know her, but Kota Kinabalu. So I planned one right after Aidiladha, because the kids and the uni had a full week break, and I wanted to get Sofiyah's an infant rate only for the flight (She turns 2 at the end of the year). Many things were running through my mind when I make those plans or itineraries  (mostly I made plans, but eventually whether it became a reality depends on everyone else haha), which were evident from what happened throughout the trip.

Day 1/Night 1 (13 September 2016)

We started our trip on a low key. Abah dropped us at KLIA by 2 pm. Our flight was after 4 pm. The return flight tickets for the 6 of us was RM1700 (around RM350 for adults and RM300 for kids, RM 30 for infant). I'm not sure of the usual rate, because the tickets were bought during a MAS promotional period. Anyway, I purposely bought a late evening flight, because I wanted everyone to have a good night sleep before any plan the next morning. This would also be Sofiyah's first flight and I wanted to 'tire' her down before the flight so it would be easier to wind her down during the flight. Sofiyah was initially very excited but eventually, once the flight took off she slept through the 3 hours flight. Wonderful girl! :-) I, myself was still suffering from a stomach bug throughout the whole day. Probably all the korban beef was getting to me from the day before. 

We safely arrived by 7.30 pm. We bought some dinner at the OLDTOWN WHITE COFFEE Restaurant at the terminal and later got ourselves an airport taxi which cost us around RM45 if I remembered correctly (I'm sure it's not more than RM50) I booked a hotel through one of those online booking sites, Traveloka. I eventually settled for Hotel Grandis which, was actually attached to the Suria Sabah shopping complex for RM300 a night. Quite pricey, I think, but I wanted it to be as close to Jesselton Point Jetty as possible. And it is the only hotel within a 5 minutes walking radius to the jetty. Furthermore, since this would be our first trip to KK with the kids, being close to a shopping mall would really help when we're desperate for some sort of familiarity and convenience (mostly food, of course haha). We checked in the Hotel and got settled into our room by 9.00 pm and cleaned up for our first night in KK.

Semua pun nak dipicitnya ;-)
A few minutes after take off, lulled to sleep like a baby that she is :-)
Day 2/Night 2 (14 September 2016)

It’s a brand new day in KK. I was still suffering from a mild stomach bug, but I still head to breakfast with Aliyah (We always ate in turns if the boys and Sofiyah were fast asleep). Don't feel like eating much, plus the Grandis' breakfast spread was rather bland and kinda limited. The plan of the day was to go Island hopping to any of the islands nearby. All my online research have advised visitors on getting to the islands early. But as always, the first night on some 'foreign' beds will always get everyone slow on their feet. Anyway, we managed to get everyone ready to head to Jesselton Point by 10.30 am. Since it's only a 5 minutes walk from Grandis, we saved some time and transport money there. But because we were late, there's only a couple of boat trips left. And knowing how unpredictable things can be with the kids, we only opted to go one Island instead, the biggest of the lots, Manukan Island. The return boat fare cost a total of RM126, about RM31 for adults and RM22 for kids, not inclusive of the Sabah Parks Conservation Fee. The fees were RM3 for adults and RM0.50 for kids, which you'd need to pay when you first set foot on any of the islands gazetted within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. 

We were off to Manukan by 11.45 am and arrived by noon. This would be Sofiyah's inaugural boat trip too. It was fun watching her trying to avoid getting saltwater on her face :D. We didn't make any plans to get wet, so I didn't really packed for such occasion haha... And looking at how people snorkeled and swam under the hot scorching sun, we think we made the right decision. The important thing was to ensure everyone had a proper hat and sufficient snacks and water. We roamed around the island for awhile, let the kids played with the sand on the beach under the shades. I can't really comment about the other islands nearby, but Manukan was kinda full with people. It was clean, but the beach and water fringes were full with all sorts of woods and stuff. Not the place to be if you are here for a proper getaway. There are beautiful wooden holiday villas situated on the island, but am sure the rate is the 'no need to ask' kinda rate huhu... After some ice creams break, we cleaned up in time to hop into the 2.00 pm boat back to the mainland. Then we dropped by the Suria Mall for a late lunch before we walked up back to the hotel. Truly the convenience of Grandis' location was undeniable. 

One selfie before we are off back to KK ;-)
Later in the evening I booked for a trip to Marimari Cultural Village, situated in Inanam, about half an hour away from KK. Initially I wanted to book through a tour agent, but I discovered that it's way cheaper to book direct with the the Village. The whole trip cost RM570 for 4 (Luqman and Sofiyah not counted), RM150 for adults and RM135 for kids, inclusive of return transfers to the hotel, a guided tour, a cultural show and lunch.

Day 3/Night 3 (15 September 2016)

We all had breakfast early and got ready to leave for Marimari. The Village had a tour van picked us up promptly 9.30 am. We started the tour with our guide, Ben around 10.30 am and spent the whole day there and finished the tour of the Village by noon in due time for the cultural dance recitals. And with lunch thrown in later, I'd say the whole Marimari experience was well worth the price we paid for it. In my opinion, the guide’s explanations, the demonstration, the free samples and the real placing with 'lived-in' tribes kinda environment gave Marimari its own uniqueness. If you have money to spare, Marimari is a must experienced trip. Not to mention, the whole village's setting is beautiful and felt authentic. The place was clean, shady and had proper walkways for strollers. We definitely had a lot of fun. Aliyah even joined in one of the cultural dance recitals. Lunch was of a traditional kampung menu and was actually rather fulfilling, which actually make for a happy camper for everyone by the time we head back to the hotel. 
Trying out the Madu Kelulut

Couldn't get the video here, but as you can see, Aliyah was really into the Magunatip dance :-)

One for the camera!
Initially, the plan was to drive to the Mount Kinabalu National Park the day before we leave for KL, Day 4. I was thinking then if we were to drive all the way up to the park on our last day in KK it would be rather risky considering that we might missed our flight home. But after 2 full days on our feet it was getting rather tiring. So as with any trips with kids tagging along, there's a need to be as flexible as possible. At first, we were considering whether we should just spent the night in Poring. But thinking it would be such a last minute change of plan, plus Poring is a few hours drive away, we then declared Day 4 to be shopping day instead. I booked the rental car for Saturday/Day 5 from KK Leisure Tour & Rent a Car. The company has an office at the KKIA so it'd make it easier for us to simply dropped the car at the airport before the flight. That means we could check out from the hotel, drive our way up to the park and later head straight to the airport. Considering we had a 10.00 pm flight out of KKIA, I think we have more than enough time to reach back the airport. 

Later in the day, the kids got to grace the Grandis' roof-top pool and watch the sun set. And for dinner, we got to try out all the fresh and rather considerably well-priced seafood from the Sinsuran night market, a 15 minutes walking distance from Grandis. Anyway, apart from the convenient location, there's nothing much to boast about Grandis. The room was the right size, but the water heater and the toilet's waterworks was somewhat problematic. And at least for our room, the wifi was terrible, not to mention the bland choice of breakfast spread. We will definitely be staying elsewhere for our next visit.

Can you see the plane?

Day 4/Night 4 (16 September 2016)

I let everyone sleep in, while I planned what to buy as souvenirs.We had breakfast, let the kids rest awhile and later we had a KFC lunch and starts packing for tomorrow. Around 6 pm the KK Leisure sent a driver to pick me up and drive me to the airport to get one of their rental cars. It was a SAGA sedan for a rental of about RM190 per day. It had the smell of durian, probably because it's in season then. Anyway, I went with Aliyah and afterwards head straight to the Philippines Market to get a few more souvenirs and head back to the hotel. That's almost RM300 worth of souvenirs and snacks, inclusive of all the pearl brooches and the famous kuih cincin and amplang.   

Rambang mata Aliyah :-)
Day 5 (17 September 2016)

Earlier in the morning it was raining rather heavily. I had timed the day's plan, and I knew that if we didn't leave before 11 am, we'll never make it back to the airport in time to return the car and catch our flight. Anyway, after checking out, we managed to be on the move by 10.30 am and drive straight to Tamparuli and all the way to the Kinabalu park. The weather had cleared by the the time we reach Nabalu. The view was excellent. and the windy spring weather graced us when we arrived at the park. There's some fees to be paid to enter the park, RM3 for adults and RM1 for kids. You'd have to pay more, for the permits and what not if you are climbing the mountain. We're just there for a look-see we walked around for while, snapped the beautifully surrounds of the park and the Mount Kinabalu, of course. 

Then we drive further up to Kundasang town, a short distance away from the park. Subhanallah. Great to be here. Again wonderful cool weather. Even sampled some of the fruits of Kundasang, including durian. Then we dropped by the Masjid Jamek Kundasang for solat at 3 pm. The water was freezing haha... Then right after solat we drive back down to KK, straight to the airport. I think there's just too many place there we had to simply give a miss because of the limited time. The drive took almost half a day, and all in all I think we spent not more than 2 hours there. Next trip, we'll definitely stay somewhere nearby Kundasang, so we could try out some of the activities up there.

Had some coconut on the way...

My cutie pie wanted to try out the Durian too :-D
Masjid Jamek Kundasang
After filling up the car's fuel tank, I dropped everyone at the departure level before returning the car by 7.00 pm. We checked in, dropped our baggage. But we do have time for dinner and solat before we got to board the plane. So it was more than enough time not to get anyone stressed out before the flight. Alhamdulillah, we arrived safely by midnight, to be picked up by my brother. 

The next day, I was still wondering about KK. A week of disappearance feels rather good. It was a great place to visit again. And the kuih cincin is to die for. Sedap giler!!

And the fact that other people at work still find ways to get things done, even without you around.....that makes life more meaningful, isn't it??..

As the Ancient One used to say to Dr Strange: "This is not about you..."

No it is not. 

It's about going on holiday and making sure everyone else is on board and happy in the end. :-)

AT: This post took almost 5 hours to write. Ever wonder why I find it difficult to update post regularly...sigh...

And oh yes, the whole trip cost more or less RM4,500 inclusive of all the food for 5 days. I think for a 5 days, 4 night trip for 6, it was rather alright. It came to about RM750 per person. I'm sure I could do so much better in the next trip, now that I know what to expect from KK :-)