Saturday, February 21, 2015

Amal

Saturday 21st February 2015 marks an auspicious day in the young life of Amal, Calit's only daughter.  Except for Yan, this is the last of the Yunus clan to get hitched. Soon, perhaps, Calit becomes "atok"!

I got to officiate the ceremony, witnessed by brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, and first cousins from both sides of the family, something I'd done many times for various nephews & nieces. Usually in the past I'd carried sheets of scribbled "pepatah petiteh" to scare the visitors. For starters I would have dramatically said in very authentic ( "pokat" - thick ) nogoghi dialect:

Sakit bermulo
Mati bersobab
Awal berpumala'an akhir berkesudahan

Melompek nak bertumpuan
Menconcang nak berladasan
Mengompang nak beralahan
Memagar nak berpintu
Kedarek Adat Perpatih
Kelaut Adat Tomonggong

Masuk kandang kambing mengembek
Masuk kandang kobau menguak
Lain padang lain belalang

and that would have sent the already nervous leader of the entourage into a tail spin.

Instead of perhaps continuing:

Bercakap siang pandang-pandang
Bercakap malam donga-donga
Datang nampak ghoman
Balik nampak belakang
Apo hajat tuan kesini ?

I said let's simplify ("singkap daun ambik buah" - lift the leaf and pick the fruit).

He said they were here to ask for Amal's hand for "W" ( Amal had pasted a sign "W & A" outside. I asked two of her friends before the visitors came why W & A ? When they were puzzled I said if it was A & W people might order waffle and ice cream !) Actually he used more words, from his written notes, but that was the gist of it.
So I simply replied that the query usually comes with "cincin tanya".  I might have said:

Cincin sobontuk menanyokan ibubapak
Cincin duo bontuk oso sekato
Oso sekato kato dibalikkan
Tak oso sekato cincin dibalikkan
Untung lelaki ditanyo-tanyokan
Untung perempuan dinanti-nantikan

and that would have really stumped the poor bugger.

So instead I just said show us the ring, which they did, and Ina officially consented to the proposal, and I asked to say my piece, and the future m.i.l. slipped the two rings on Amal's finger, and the gifts were exchanged, and the dua was read, and everyone was invited to the prepared reception. That was it.

Actually there is much more to all of that.

This is of years of love and tender loving care for a precious  only child,  seen through the fond upbringing and the tedious schooling and the priceless shared moments in life, and now this private bond has to be shared with a stranger ! It's not a frivolous passing episode. It is  a momentous life-changing occasion for both parents, to let go, and yet to open up to a new life chapter that promises nothing but hope.

We all cherish this sort of moment in our lives, and as believers in the Islamic faith, we pray that for fragile, fragile Amal and the young man she has chosen to share the rest of her life with, God would Look upon their union with Compassion, Amin.



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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Kak Ngah has left us too soon.

Kak Ngah Kak Mot was 55. That's too soon to meet her Maker; so much life to live for, things to do still, and future grandchildren to dote on -  are all  not to be. She succumbed to the long-suffered illness about Asr yesterday, Thursday 19th. February, 2015, just eleven months after the passing of her father. In the last days of her life she had said her dad was waiting for her to join him.

I went to the Tuan Hj. Said Muslim cemetry this morning with Adik and later Ari and Thareez joined us, to see if we could get a spot next to the father. The caretaker came an hour later than  he had promised Ari, but all's well that ends well - we got the burial spot right next to Bang Sudin's. They had to use the MPS JCV though, to break the tarmac already laid there. Kak Mot was happy with the news when I stopped to tell her on my way home, after leaving the workers to finish the job.

Kak Ngah's last post was that of a Professor at the University, having done her doctorate in the US in the late 80's. She went to TKC, just like Dek Na and Dekma and Azza, and most recently Acam's granddaughter. She also did her first degree in the US.

I first met her after I got married in 1971. When we went for a two-week holiday in Florida, she was just completing her Ph.D. in neighbouring Georgia, and she drove over with her family to join us at the resort we were staying at not far from Disneyland.

When she got married, I forget the year, we all went to the groom's at Bidor, Perak. She bought her first house in Kajang. Some years ago she moved to a bigger house in Bangi. This was where she died.

The family decided to lay her to rest in Seremban, where most of her mother's kins are, but more importantly, where her late father is buried. Her remains will be prepared for burial this morning, and funeral prayers will be held at the Masjid Dato' Kelana Petra after the Friday prayers, before taking her to be by the side of her beloved father until the Day of Resurrection. May they both find peace in their wait.



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Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Permatang Pauh and Chempaka bye-elections.

"To study first" and "let's not contest" are two early and  glaring statements coming from the "UMNO corner", to use the boxing jargon. That's a shame.

The two seats were vacated by two very different personalities for two completely  different reasons. Replacements must be immediately found, or the rakyat's representative would be void. It's not about respect or otherwise for  the previous holder.

In the Kelantan case, PAS shouldn't worry about retaining the seat. It held it for nearly three decades. UMNO also shouldn't worry about it. If it loses again no one would be surprised. It cannot be because of a show of respect for the dear departed. There wasn't much shown when the poor fellow was alive.  Or fear of a threat to the much-hoped for UMNO-PAS "reconciliation". Hopes and dreams are ingredients of fantasy.

In the Permatang Pauh case, the only study left would be to find a credible candidate. That wouldn't ensure victory, but it's a good starting point. But fighting for a person is different from fighting for a movement. The one is straight forward. The other monumental.

The legislative system the country has chosen dictates that vacated seats must be filled, and no buts. The political parties have to field their candidates. Otherwise the political missions they claim to have stood for for more than half-a-century  becomes hollow and in fact fraudulent.

This idea of "looking good" gets carried away. We must look good and sound good. What about being steadfast in sincerity ? We are sincere in our fight for the good of the majority, and we are determined about it. Not everyone will agree to our style. To even think so  is  absurd. We have a good track record  in the "short" 50 - 60 years, comparing well with the international experience of far bigger countries with far longer histories. Even communism is practically dead. The multi-racial mix of Malaysia is like no other. That there has been one black spot of racial rioting is in fact remarkable for such a complex, young and learning country.

Don't throw aside judgement, sure. But this is past that. UMNO and BN and all the political parties aspiring to provide leadership for Malayasian citizens must offer themselves as choices to make. To not contest the bye-election is a betrayal. In fact it's cowardice.


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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Anwar.

Md. Nor Zakaria used to say once a dog eats shit, if it can't eat it again, smelling shit will do.  I don't know if there's truth in that, because if it's true, that's the mistake Anwar made.

When he got away with Sodomy I, people chuckled he got away with it. Anwar thought so, too. As the sitting judge at that time himself said in a public forum recently, "I believed he did it, but I'd to decide on the basis of the law, and the technicalities faced meant that I had to acquit him."

A Malay saying goes "the mousedeer can forget the trap, but the trap doesn't forget the mousedeer !" Anwar went back to his old habits and got caught in Sodomy II. 

He must have cursed himself. Remember he ran to the Turkish Embassy, saying someone's trying to kill him ? If there was any knee-jerk reaction from someone  caught pants-down for the same stupid mistake,  this fairy tale of attempted murder was clearly one.

In the light of the Western acceptance of  public homosexuality, should it surprise us that the US, for instance, condemns Anwar's prosecution because of his sexual preference ? The Bible prohibits it, but that hasn't stopped  the US Authorities from allowing it. Unfortunately for Anwar, Malaysian Law doesn't allow it. 

It falls in place that the theory of the Anwar "rocket" that Mahathir shot down looks credible to US Congressmen, who had too often seen such drama in their volatile politics. The facts seemed simplistic, that Mahathir, after receiving the reports for a period of time, finally agreed to meet the newsbearer, verified the accusation, and believed that his protege was in his eyes immoral, and cannot be allowed to be the PM. There's no conspiracy. Nothing like the one Anwar hatched to topple Ghaffar, and nothing like Anwar's failed campaign against the "cronyism" politics of Mahathir.  Sure, with Mahathir's help, Anwar came like the typhoon. It's poetic justice that it was also Mahathir who pulled the rug from his feet.

Typhoon is "angin". Maybe now it's "masuk angin ?" But Sg. Buluh is no "makan angin" I think.

The future of PKR ? Who knows. Even "Tuhan Harun" had his followers ! Wait for 2020.


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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Tiger Woods: is this the turning point ?

At 39, Tiger's performance these last two weeks seems indicative of a turning point in a remarkable sporting career - a downhill ride.

Let's take stock.

In 18 years as a professional golfer, he'd earned from his sport, on and off the course, USD 1.363 billions. That's RM 4.77 billions in total, or RM 265 millions per year.  Tiger could have paid for the two submarines Malaysia bought and still have almost a billion change! 

Before turning professional toward the end of 1996, he'd won the US Junior Championship for three consecutive years from 1991 to 1993 when he was 15 years old. Then he promptly won the US Amateur Championship for three consecutive years from 1994 to 1996, a feat even Jack Nicklaus couldn't do. 

When he turned professional at the end of 1996, he was PGA Rookie of the Year.

He was voted PGA Player of the Year in 1997,1999,2000,2001,2002,2003,2005,2006,2007,2009, and 2013, eleven of the eighteen years as a pro. That's about 61 % of the time.

He won the Vardon Trophy in 1999,2000,2001,2002,2003,2005,2007,2009, and 2013,  nine of the eighteen years, or 50 % of the time.

He won the Byron Nelson Award in 1999, 2000,2001,2002,2003,2005,2006,2007, and 2009, eight out of eighteen, or almost 45 % of the time.

He won the 10-million-dollar FedEx Cup twice, in 2007 and 2009, in the last 8 years that the Cup has been contested. That's 25 % of the time.

He was ESPY Best Male Athlete in 1997,1999,2000,2001.

He was AP Male Athlete of the Year in 1997,1999,2000, and 2006.

He has won 139 tournaments worldwide.

He has won 79 times on the PGA Tour alone, the second best record in its history, just 3 short of the record. The statistics up to August 2012 is 74 wins in 277 starts, or a success rate of almost 27%  or more than one win for every four competitions entered !

Until May 2014, Tiger has held the no: 1 Golf World Ranking for a total of 682 weeks. That's more than 69 % of the time. The next best record belongs to Greg Norman who held it for a total of 331 weeks, which is slightly more than 48 % of Tiger's duration.

Finally, Tiger has won 14 Majors, second to Jack Nicklaus' 18, the last one won by Jack at age 46, seven more years than Tiger.

Perhaps the most impressive record of all is the fact that Tiger made 142 consecutive cuts from 1998 to 2005. Unfortunately, only a true golfer would  appreciate this achievement, no offense to the others.

39 isn't old in golf. Vijay Singh won most of his tournaments after 40. And after 50 there's the Senior Tour, where people like Langer and other less luminous players have won more than once. So for Tiger fans, clearly there is still hope. But the signs are right now not good. Unless the desire remains, and the body is willing.


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