Pendekar Laut. Gangster. War casualty look.

My room mate chuckled, "My God, you're turning into one of those aliens in 'District 9'."

Arvin threatened the opposing manager, Sateesh. "If anything happens to Afiq, if he loses his sight, i'm gonna whack you for it." Source of laughter of the floor. The joker.

It all happened in a split second. That microsecond or milisecond to be precise, like those sprinters who consider time to be gold, platinum, silk or whatever they want it to be. The ball hit my right eye, and pressed on the metal frame of my spectacles and somehow it lacerated my eyed lid and and left it bruised. And the pain arrived a few moments later, with a radiating, pulsating sensation.

I squatted, hands over my face, my spectacles crushed and pieces scattered on the ground; a divorce of the lens and the rim. Disjointed and dislocated.

Then i removed my hand, and there were blood stains there. Cool. Never thought i would bleed playing football. The pain was bearable, nothing much but my visual field was acutely reduced for a moment.

It's not the first time. Since i was small, i've frequently changed glasses after being hit by a football.

But that was something new to experience.

Now, i am not a Japanese looking Malaysian anymore. I am a Frenchman, who goes by the name of Ribery. Here's a picture of the guy they call scarface in case you don't know him.

If he had worn braces and afterwards fashion a pair of sunglasses, we would look the same. I wish i could play as good as he is. Or maybe better.

Where i schooled previously, there were all boys and we only played football. Wonderful days. The freshly trimmed smell of grass, that large football field silently whispering to our ears, 'This is freedom' and we ran up and down the field full of energy.

Luckily i didn't lose my sight. At times like this, you must be thankful that you still have a pair of eyes, no matter how myopic they are. It was real blurry at first but now i'm getting better.

By the way, my head is becoming more like this guy below. So if you don't want to call me Ribery the Frenchman, call me by this guy's name. :)

I left my YM status before going to the field ,'mari kita membola sepakkan diri kita.'

And my salty statement (mulut masin) came

PS : To Nazrul, if you're reading this, i'm OK. Don't worry.
I wish that we could live in a constant state of autumn.

But without those yellow dried falling leaves which are quite a mess!

The nature has spoken, and the trees answer its call. The leaves of autumn fall one by one from atop of the trees lining the streets, in a process called abscission. They appear yellow, undyed from the stain of chlorophyll and as the sun abates its light, their photosynthesis halts. They appear to be dead, starved of sunlight but they're always ready to bud out once spring arrives.

It's not quite heaven but it's gorgeous. I was never reluctant to choose autumn as my favourite season. Maybe it's the joy of seeing those trees undress themselves.

Cue the first autumn, my first autumn in 2004.

Autumn welcomed me in Moscow in 2004. There i was, a Japanese looking Malaysian staying for a few days in the suburbs of Moscow . There were unfriendly stares but i just assumed i was so good looking that they thirsted for a gaze of my face.

A foreigner, i was. But it was not love at first sight. Autumn in Moscow didn't leave a good impression on me. The air was too dusty for my liking. There were modern day buildings everywhere. I was yet to discover the real autumn until i descended South towards Volgograd, or better known as Stalingrad.

And there, i settled down and sunk deep into the tranquility of autumn's perfect weather. If it were a furniture, then it should be one of those large massage chairs. That comfortable sensation once you toss that 50 cent coin into the slot of one of the chairs in those big shopping malls. If it was food, it has to be KFC or Ikan Keli with that thick irresisteble sweet sambal sauce. I go "OoooAaaa" thinking of those delicacies. Nothing beats those foods. Period.

It was neither cold nor hot, the perfect weather to play football. You can say the same thing about spring, but my love for autumn vetoes any semblance of affection for any other season, because true love needs no reason. As Pushkin once said in his poem, a tribute to his beloved season :-

The latter days of fall are often cursed,
But as for me, kind reader, she is precious.

To the late Mr. Pushkin, we share the same sentiments.

The birds buy their tickets not to run away from autumn, but to escape from the forth coming winter. They flock their nests behind for a warmer climate. The trees start to descend into that deep coma, that hibernation akin to polar bears. These are called deciduous trees, while there are evergreen trees which are able to withstand the cold weather, such as the pine tree.

As Tariq Ramadan noted in his book, 'In The Footsteps of the Prophet', " close to nature, observing, understanding and respecting it, is an imperative of deep faith. ". According to the book, while facing conflicts in Medina, Allah revealed verse 3 : 190 "Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day,- there are indeed Signs for men of understanding,". It was reported in a hadith narrated by Ibn Marduwyah that one morning, while Bilal was alerting the Prophet SAW for the Dawn prayer, he asked, 'O Messenger of Allah! What makes you cry?'. And the answer was ,"O Bilal! What prevents me from crying, when this night this verse (3:190) was revealed to me." (This can be found in Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

There are other verses for example 2:164 that asks us to ponder the nature, the invention of the Creator. While some think that learning religious techniques (prayers and pilgrimage) is sufficient, Tariq Ramadan argues that these spiritual substances (understanding nature, universe, emotions) make up a portion of religion to help us understand the objectives of life, in general, which could bring us closer to the Creator.

Henceforth, the nature has spoken, and i gaze and observe its beauty with a sense of sincerity and thankfulness for such a marvelous season.

A song to accompany autumn. :)

1. Selepas bertahun lamanya menjadi peminat Liverpool FC, kelab ini akhirnya menamatkan kontrak dengan syarikat minuman keras ternama di dunia. Boleh menang liga lah lepas ini nampaknya! Ya lah, macam mana nak berkat main bola sambil mengiklankan minuman keras? Aku iringi berita ini dengan rasa penuh kesyukuran penuh ikhlas.

2. Senang sikit nak beli jersi lepas ni. Bukan apa, memang ada jersi Liverpool cetak rompak yang tulis 'Liverpool' menggunakan font tulisan jenama minuman keras itu, tapi aku nak jugaklah jersi yang nampak macam asli sikit. Peminat Manchester United mahu ke beli jersi yang tulis BIG,CIG,ZIG kat depan? Nak ke peminat Arsenal pakai jersi tertera 'Fly Sekolah' di dada?

3. Diharapakan lepas ini Celtic dan Real Madrid dapat mengikuti jejak langkah murni ini dengan menamatkan kontrak bersama syarikat minuman keras yang tidak begitu ternama dan syarikat judi alam maya.

4. Selepas sambutan Raya, rakyat Malaysia akan kembali menumpukan perhatian kepada kes Kartika yang ditangguhkan hukumannya. Hakim Mahkamah Syariah Kuantan, Datuk Abdul Rahman Md. Yusof tetap dengan pendiriannya, dan saya bersetuju dengannya.

5. Mari kita lihat balik al-Qur'an, bagaimana pengharaman alkohol (dan sewaktu dengannya lah!) dilaksanakan oleh Allah. Allah menurunkan 3 ayat; 4:43 pada mulanya, yang melarang manusia bersolat dalam keadaan mabuk, kemudian turunlah pula 2:219 yang menyebut "..pada keduanya (arak dan judi) ada dosa besar dan ada pula beberapa manfaat bagi manusia, tetapi dosa keduanya lebih besar" dan akhirnya turunlah ayat melarang pengambilan alkohol 5:90-91.

6. Kenapa Allah perlukan 3 ayat, sedangkan Allah mestilah sudah tahu manusia akan menyalah gunakan minuman tersebut? Saya bukanlah penafsir hebat seperti Ibn Kathir yang mengaitkan hadis dan penurunan ayat-ayat al-Qur'an atau Sayyid Qutub yang menghasilkan tafsir yang dikatakan moden, tapi saya rasakan ini menunjukkan psikologi manusia yang sukar berubah dari yang buruk ke baik. Sukar untuk seseorang manusia berubah secara drastik, jadi pendekatan itu haruslah halus dan Allah menurunkan 3 ayat supaya mereka tidak culture shock kerana budaya itu menjadi sebahagian daripada mereka.

7. Sisters in Islam pulak memohon penangguhan hukuman ini dan meminta agar ia dikaji semula. Mungkin mereka menganggap ini satu penindasan kepada kaum wanita iaitu suatu hukuman fizikal. Tapi bukan mereka kah yang memperjuangkan hak sama rata dan adil bagi laki dan perempuan? Laki kena rotan, kenapa perempuan tak boleh pula? Sama rata? Nak sangat kesama rataan tersebut, nah ambik kau! Kartika pun dah setuju.

8. Tidak kurang juga media antarabangsa yang ada memberi komen tentang isu ini. Salah seorangnya ialah Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Dia mengatakan penggunaan perkataan ijtinab (menjauhkan atau avoid) di dalam ayat 5 : 90 adalah perkataan yang lebih lembut dari tahrim (pengharaman atau prohibition) di dalam artikelnya dan tidak bersetuju dengan hukuman tersebut.

9. Tetapi apa yang kita nampak di sini adalah kelemahan Mahkamah Syariah yang tidak diselarikan di seluruh Malaysia. Nampak kelonggaran yang senang dipermainkan oleh pihak asing. Tidak kurang jugak mereka yang hanya tahu mengkritik tanpa mengetahui hukuman rotan itu tidaklah se-brutal hukuman rotan di mahkamah sivil. Mungkin perlu dikaji semula sistem Mahkamah syariah dan menguatkan lagi Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan seperti cadangan Dr. MAZA.

10. Aku bersetuju dengan pemuda PAS yang ingin mengemukakan cadangan mengawal penjualan arak, tapi sampai sekarang tak nampak lagi apa cadangan tersebut. MB Kedah pun menyoal tindakan pemuda PAS ini.

11. Tapi keadaan memang tidak dimudahkan akibat jeritan 'Ini hak asasi manusia!' daripada golongan yang memperjuangkan hak kebebasan.

12. Persoalannya siapa nak dipersalahkan? Salah kerajaan kerana tidak mengharamkan terus arak? Salahkan ibu bapa yang tidak mendidik anak-anak? Ataupun kau nak salahkan Liverpool kerana mengiklankan minuman keras di dada? Daripada menuding jari, aku masih rasa perlunya didikan dari semua pihak tentang keburukan minuman keras ini. Kalau kau nak salahkan Liverpool pun aku tak kisah.

13. Dan juga perlunya undang-undang yang selari dan lebih ketat agar pesalah-pesalah lain juga diberi hukuman yang sama dengan Kartika. Memang nampak kurang adil apabila ramai lagi yang terlepas sedangkan Kartika ditangkap dan dijatuhkan hukuman. Aku fikir perlunya perbincangan yang mendalam tentang hal ini kerana hukuman tersebut bukanlah sesuatu yang absolut, tetapi relatif yang boleh diubah-ubah kerana tidak pernah ditetapkan sebelum ini.

14. Harus diingatkan, janganlah kita pandang rendah kepada sesiapa sahaja yang melakukan kesalahan dengan hinaan yang tidak tentu fasal. Di dalam satu hadis : - “Seorang lelaki bernama ‘Abdullah, digelar ‘himar’ (kaldai). Dia pernah menyebabkan Rasulullah s.a.w ketawa. Juga pernah Nabi s.a.w. menyebatnya (menjatuhkan hukuman) disebabkan kesalahan meminum arak. Pada suatu hari dia ditangkap lagi (disebabkan kesalahan meminum arak), maka baginda pun menghukum lalu dia disebat. Seorang lelaki berkata: “Ya Allah! Laknatilah dia, alangkah kerap dia ditangkap”. Lantas Nabi s.a.w pun bersabda: “Jangan kamu semua melaknatinya! Demi Allah apa yang aku tahu dia mencintai Allah dan RasulNya”. (Riwayat al-Bukhari). Artikel penuh boleh dibaca di sini.

15. Malangnya sekarang ada setengah golongan yang mengutuk malah ada yang ingin memboikot orang-orang yang melakukan kesalahan. Habes macholah kot nak boikot-boikot ni.

16. Apa-apa pun, marilah kita doakan agar Kartika dapat lebih mendekatkan diri kepada Yang Maha Esa selepas ini.

17. Itu sajalah kot! Sekian, terima kasih.
Sebelum aku cakap benda yang serius, harini aku nak cakap pasal gusti.

Bukan gusti lengan. Sukan yang sungguh gay di mana 2 lelaki berpegang-pegang tangan. Bukan juga gusti Greco-Roman. Itu lagi gay, berpeluk-pelukan di atas lantai. Tapi aku maksudkan ialah gusti lah, yang paling gay antara ketiga-tiga jenis gusti ni, yang biasa ditayangkan di TV tu.

Taktau kenapa, aku sungguh tertarik dengan gusti WE (dulu WWF). Ramai kata ini hiburan tahap rendah, tapi aku apa kisah. Aku tak tengok Doktor Rumah, Anatomi Kelabu, Pembisik Hantu, Gadis-gadis gosip, Duit kotor seksi atau serial yang lain. Aku bukan kaki series atau kaki televisyen, cuma kalau terbuka TV, ada wrestling, aku tunggu tengok sekejap.

Kebanyakan cerita-cerita ini mempunyai watak-watak yang pretentious, konon-konon merekalah orang paling penting di muka bumi ini.

Tapi aku tengok jugak Nur Kasih balik Malaysia haritu. Dan aku rasa series terbaik adalah '6 kaki dalam', cerita pasal pengurus rumah mayat dan keluarganya yang tak dapat melarikan stigma minda daripada kematian dan pengendalian mayat yang dicop oleh masyarakat sekeliling.

Aku rasa gusti 90an adalah antara era terbaik sekali. Terbukti sekali ia era terbaik kerana DegenerationX kembali wujud di WE sekarang kerana mereka sedar populariti gusti era 90an.

Gusti sungguh stereotype dan predictable. Tapi aku still suka.

Tiap minggu ada saja yang kena penangan 'Siku Rakyat' dari The Rock. Teruk lagi, kena pencak 'Batu Nisa' Undertaker. Tak puas lagi, ada yang kena sepakan maut 'Musik Dagu Manis' Shawn Michaels. Tapi paling aku suka bila tengok Dudley Boyz keluarkan meja untuk buat slam.

Tiap minggu kau akan tengok benda yang sama. Pukul skit-skit, emosi terlebih. Kena slam sikit, sakit macam kena sebat di dalam mahkamah sivil.

Tapi still aku enjoy. Aku selalu sembang dengan Ilyas Zubir, rakan karib aku pasal gusti waktu sekolah dulu. Kami bincang gusti dengan penuh intonasi intelektual. Apatah lagi dia, suka bergusti dengan abangnya di rumah. Macam-macam jenis gerakan dah dicubanya.

Apa pengajaran yang aku dapat? Tiada apa-apa. Sebab itulah ianya entertainment semata-mata.

Tapi rasanya lepas ni, aku nak berhenti tengok wrestling. Selalu sangat The Rock menang, tak pon John Cena.

Life goes on. Mungkin aku nak tengok tinju muai Thai kot lepas ni.
Bangun pagi ini, tatkala matahari memancarkan sinar UV yang membantu menghasilkan Vitamin D dalam badan, terlintas niat di hati kalbuku untuk menulis di dalam bahasa ibunda, bahasa Melayu.

Nak kata aku mimpi cikgu BM aku, tak jugak. Nak kata aku mimpi pun, aku tidurr mati malam tadi selepas mengintoksikasikan badan aku dengan makanan-makanan berminyak bin berlemak.

Teringat zaman aku pernah tulis bahasa Melayu di dalam 'between faith and football', walaupun seketika. Aku gabungkan minat bola sepak dengan sisipan keagamaan. Ramai komen ia lawak. Aku pun rasa ia bangang bin lucu.

Zaman kanak-kanak kot. Belum betul-betul dewasa. Kids say the darnest things.

Ada kata aku lepas geram. Mungkin benar, mungkin tidak.

Memang penulisan bergantung kepada pembacanya. Kau tidak tahu pun isi hati aku, aku pun taktau apa isi hati aku sebenarnya. Aku ikhlas atau tak, geram atau sayang, rindu atau benci, aku serahkan kepada Tuhan yang Maha Esa untuk menilaiku dari ujung rambutku yang makin menipis, hinggalah ke jiwaku yang misteri.

Macam Butterfingers pernah bagi tazkirah (peringatan), "Dosa dan pahalaku, Tuhan saja, Tuhan saja yang tahu," di dalam lagu 'tentang-tentang'.

Grunge rockers pun punyai emosi.

Apa-apa sajalah!
If Ramadhan was a preparation, a training of sorts, then these following few days are the acid tests.

Actually, yesterday was the acid test. The first. Numero uno. Pervi.

It was actually about setting goals for yourself. If you've set for a change in certain aspects in your life, for example, to be more consistent in doing things, then measure yourself and see if there's any improvement.

If you've told yourself before Ramadhan ,"I want to try not to talk bad things about people", then look at your words. Have you been saying bad things about someone?

Weight reduction? Go and buy a weighing scale and check your weight. If you've lost some, then bravo.

Did you eat a lot yesterday? Did you starve yourself for a month only to vehemently push yourself to the limit by eating a lot on the first day of raya? *looks to the ceiling, whistling*

Or maybe you want to set yourself up to wake up once a week for qiamullail after this?

It's up to you to redefine your Ramadhan, which could be measured by as early as these following weeks to see how effective it was.

I want consistency, in everything i do with my life. Here i would like to share a hadith with you guys : -

Daripada Aisyah r.a bahawa Rasulullah SAW bersabda: "Tingkatkanlah amalanmu dengan baik, atau lebih dekatlah kepada kebaikan, dan bergembiralah, kerana amalan seseorang itu tidak dapat memasukkannya ke dalam syurga. Para sahabat bertanya, "Adakah amalanmu juga begitu, wahai Rasulullah"? Jawab Rasulullah SAW: "Amalanku juga begitu. Tetapi Allah melimpahiku dengan rahmat-Nya. Ketahuilah, sesungguhnya amalan yang paling disukai oleh Allah SWT ialah amalan yang dikerjakan secara berterusan walaupun sedikit". (riwayat al-Bukhari dan Muslim)

So in the end, the efficacy of Ramadhan depends if there's any change in you, if you've set a goal of your Ramadhan. It's never too late to check yourself up.

Better late than never, as they say.
  • I have a pet. It is a cat. His name is 'Teh Besar' because his fur used to be milky white, but now there are patches of milo brown on his body. Now, we only call him Teh.
  • Actually we had a few cats in the house ; Abu, Teh Kecik, Tam and Teh Besar. Teh Kecik died after an accident in front of the house, and we buried him in the lawn, where flowers are blooming over his cemetary.
  • Abu then got depressed, and caught hepatitis and passed away. Tam was more of a punk rock cat and was really rebellious. His body was found mummified in between the tall grass of the field in front of the house.
  • And so, the only cat remaining is Teh Besar.
  • The title of this post is borrowed from a translation of 'Wagahai wa neko de aru', a Japanese novel. Grammatically, it translates as 'I am a cat', but according to a friend's post, there's a tone of arrogance in the original Japanese, which may be properly translated as 'We are a cat', in royal plural form.
  • As you can see above, the cat still has balls, literally. Mama decided not to castrate Teh as she predicted he might be depressed after the procedure. So right now, he might be inseminating a she-cat, at some cat club, in a cat town somewhere in a cat universe.
  • And he likes to mimick sleeping poses of human beings. As you can see above, he is sleeping in this supine position, although nampak kurang sopan sikit. Few weeks back, my mum slept beside him on a pillow, and he went on to sleep on my mum's shin, which becamse a makeshift pillow for him. I saw my sis sleeping in the living room, with her back arched. And he went on to sleep in the same way beside my sis.
  • The cat doesn't like me much. I still remember a time when i arrived back home from Langkawi, he saw me and made the jump for safety, only to end up hitting the sliding door which he thought wasn't there. But when i was in Malaysia last summer holidays, he became super friendly with me. At times, he even rubbed his back against my legs.
  • Maybe because he was sick. He was dehydrated when me and mama brought him to the clinic. Some ticks were sucking his blood and when the vet sprayed some medicine on his body, those ticks came out in droves from the creases of his body.
  • He is scared of males. He recognizes males as creatures who wear long pants. He would recognize me as a female everytime i wear a sarong in the last few years.
  • However, this past summer, just as i thought he knows me pretty well, he proved me wrong yet again. I changed spectacles and in an instance, he thought i was someone else and ran away everytime i came close to him. But i don't really mind.
  • He seeks for attention. As you can see in the picture above, everytime i start to read the newspaper, he will come over and sleep over the spread so that i could shift our attention to him.

There is a legend that our Prophet Muhammad PBUH had a pet cat named Muezza (When Cats Reigned Like Kings, page 4). According to a line of the book, 'He once cut off the sleeve of his garment rather than disturb the little fellow who had fallen asleep there.' Althought the validity of such story could not be confirmed through any hadith (or maybe i've yet to discover it), there is another hadith which instructed us to take good care of pets in general : -

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: A woman was punished because of a cat. She had neither provided her with food nor drink, nor set her free so that she might eat the insects of the earth.

Literally, Abu Huraira means 'father of the kitten' because he used to have a cat when he was small. He was a sahaba who was blessed with exceptional memory, whose name is mentioned in a lot of hadith as a part of the chain of transmission.

So please be nice to your pets, even though they don't recognize you once you've changed your spectacles.
Ramadhan is a vacation. A peaceful retreat from our worldly endeavours. For one month, Muslims observe fasting from dawn til sunset. And at nights, we continue our intensive month-long devotion by performing extra prayers and some wake up in the wee hours of morning to supplicate to Allah.

For the past one month, we have slipped ourselves into the shoes of those who are suffering from scarcity of food and hunger. But fasting, as a concept is not only confined as a physical test for Muslims. It was a spiritual journey to find ourselves.

It was narrated in a hadith that Jinns are being tied in this holy month. Whether it was a metaphorical statement or a reality which does take place, Ramadhan should reflect who we really are because there are no external voices to influence us. And we should look at the reflection and observe if there's anything wrong with it, do a post mortem.

The month itself is a gift, with Allah giving all sorts of benefits never bestowed upon any other period of the year. It was the month the Quran was revealed. It was a month where we train ourselves not to entertain our desires.

It carries a message of universal understanding, to make us realize that there are those who are not as lucky as we are and the zakat fitrah (obligatory alms giving) plants the seeds of charity inside us all. And our health seems to optimize in this month.

Now, we have arrived at the end of this month. Some of you may cry, because you miss your loved ones back home, and some of you might miss Ramadhan because you love it so much.

Regardless of your reasoning, i think we all should stay upbeat for Syawwal. It is the time for us to rejoice. Don't be sad, because it is a time of joy and happiness, to give and forgive. Don't regret something you were not able to do in the month of Ramadhan. If you think you didn't give enough for charity, or didn't wake up in the early morning hours to pray, you still have a lot of time til the next Ramadhan. You could perform these deeds in any month preceding Ramadhan, although the benefits might be different. You won't get anything by only regretting and being sad.

And if there's any good deed you've done, keep on doing it, don't let the momentum stop. The month was a training process for betterment, not merely a stop where you decide to become pious for one month and leave everything behind afterwards.

And enjoy Raya, too. I used to dislike Raya, but as i grow older i do understand the significance of Hari Raya. It is actually the only time every family member would gather and meet each other.

Therefore, i would like to wish you all Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitiri especially to my beloved mama, kak eja and kak yein. And to all my family and friends and the readers of this humble blog. Thanks for the support.
When Dr. M suggested the look East policy, he was actually asking us Malaysians to glance our eyes upon Japanese looking people like me.

Now, a lot of Malaysians like sushi and watch anime.

Dr. M himself opened his restaurant, 'The Loaf' which is based on Japanese technology in bakery.

More importantly, there are a lot of Japanese half breeds like i am. I am Japanese, not Jawanese, and you are not.

Proton cars, yes, they are like me, half breeds. Malaysian cars with either Mitsubishi designs or engines complementing them. Mixed marriage. But if this machine fusion is an indicator of how a Japanese and Malaysian human marriage would turn out, then i suggest you not to tie the knot with any Sakura, Kukiko or Kaoru. Just read all the testimonials of Proton users and you will be left wondering what would be the fate of your children. Better not and never.

Reading Prof. Dzulkifli Abdul Razak's column this morning, i keep thinking, 'what are the cultural artefacts could we really classify as Malaysian culture?". Our cars are not really Malaysian 100%. Chinese and Indians brought their culture from their mainland. Now the Malays are accused of shoplifting Indonesian culture by some journalists who go by the name of either Susilo, Wijayanta, or Markisa.

Now, attempts are being made to culturalize our kuih muih to become some sort of national identity or emblem so that some day, some Englishmen who bear the names of either David, Beckham, Michael or Owen (yes, the ones who ruled our country) will never claim those kuih muihs were invented by them.

"Kek Lapis Apollo tu, I yang buat tau," will probably be some of the stereotypical lines you may here from some Victoria, Diana or Margaret who had learned to prepare such cuisines while they colonized our land.

It is a well known fact that the English, while colonizing the land of Muthusamy, Ramalingam and Chandra, discovered that the locals were playing a game called poona. The English took it back to England, reburbished it and renamed it badminton.

What will be the fate of our kuih muihs? Only time will tell.

But knowing Malaysia, as the Prof testifies, these are just mere attempts that will never transpire.

Our dreams of seeing "karipap (R)" or "karipap (TM) will never see the light of day.

All i can say is, the Malaysian culture is a complicated culture. Even in the Islamic lifestyle of ours, there are a lot of cultural mix up which could still be traced until today.

Now, we go back to Japan.

According to Dr. M's blog, the Liberal Democratic Party, the party which had been ruling the country since post world war 2, lost against Democratic Party in the recent elections.

Since we like to learn from the Japanese, will there be any changes in the political sphere of Malaysia?

And so, in the end, could we hypothesize that the policy was successful?

PS : The title was meant to promote my blog to some 3rd or 4th graders who are finding out what the real 'Look East Policy' is all about for their History assignments.
1. It was a good movie.

2. But it doesn't rank in my top 5, because it is not an excellent film.

3. After watching Americans (and only Americans) trounce aliens in most movies, it was good to see a South African male saving the universe.

4. Not all aliens are evil.

5. It was clearly a resemblance of the apartheid issue in South Africa, but on an intergalactic scale.

6. I like the way the story unfolds and the cinematography, the message is at times akin to 'Watchmen' which i watched on the way back to Malaysia last July.

7. It's this heightened state of paranoia, the uneasiness stemming from the fact that there are much superior beings living by our side; that at any split second, they are able to kill you.

8. In 'Watchmen', which was adapted from a graphic novel written by the supremo, Alan Moore, instead of aliens in District 9, there were superheroes who were above the law and have mutant like abilities (only Dr. Manhattan actually) in the movie.

9. Both movies depicted the possibilities that might materialize if such events were to take place, fiction tales with social commentaries.

10. In reality, a pandemic of paranoia towards America is a normal tradition throughout the world, since they have the abilities to wipe out countries that they deem to harbor terrorists.

11. In Malaysia, i don't think it is befitting to label it as being paranoid, but people are rising up against ISA because such act magnify ministers to the point of being 'superman', according to "Section 8(1) of the ISA provides that “if the Minister is satisfied” that a person is a threat to national security or public order, the Minister may order his detention. The Minister’s power is absolute and subjective. No prior procedural requirements or need to consult with anyone are required. Courts have no jurisdiction to review the detention order" and suppress a person's right to protect himself by defying the detainees from appeals or reviews.

12. Nevertheless, i still favour ISA, but in a less draconian modified form, as mentioned by Prof. Datuk Dr. Shad Saleem Faruqi in his article in The Star.

13. Didn't i mention i wanted to write something shorter?

14. Neill Blomkamp is legend.
Since lately most people prefer to write short posts, i will try to keep em short. Got to be cliche once in awhile.
It has been quite awhile. How's your Ramadhan going on? We are into the final third of Ramadhan and hopefully the month has been a blast for you.

Since we are still in the holy month of Ramadhan, i think i am obliged to write something beneficial.

38 : 29 (This is) a Book (the Qur'an) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings, that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember.

What about the Qur'an you ask?

Well, as Khalid Yasin explained in one of his lectures, it's a manual for human beings.

Like, for example, i just bought this dSLR Nikon D40 and was complimented with a user manual from probably the inventors of that camera. Of course any invention or machinery comes along with a set of manual on how to use it. In order for me to be able to fully utilise it, of course i have to go through the pages, try to understand what it is all about.

Likewise, Allah gave us the Qur'an as the divine message, a guidance, a manual on how to live this temporary life. Since the creator knows us better, what better way than for us to follow this manual. This is the final revelation from Allah, and is guaranteed to last til the end of times. And at the same time, he chose Muhammad PBUH as the final messenger to show the way. Just like some complicated machinery that needs an explanation from a technician, the Prophet PBUH was an example for each one of us to follow.

The Prophet PBUH received his first revelation at the cave of Hira, when the angel Jibrail came to him and taught him the first few verses of the Qur'an (96 : 1-5). While the popular belief is that the event took place on the night of 17th Ramadhan, some scholars believe that the occasion transpired on the night of 21st of Ramadhan. From a hadtih narrated by Abu Qatadah,when the Prophet PBUH was asked about fasting on Monday, Muhammad PBUH replied "On it i was born, and on it the Revelation descended upon me." From calculations conducted, the 7th, 14th and 21st nights of Ramadhan that year fell on Mondays. And aptly, they prefer the 21st as the possible night since from the Qur'an was sent down on the night of Al-Qadr (97:1). As we are informed through some narrations, Lailatul Qadr occurs in the last 10 nights of Ramadhan, most likely on odd nights. (The Sealed Nectar, page 87).

The Prophet went crazy, and it was normal for a sane man, with a perfectly normal mental status would react, and Allah explained in the Qur'an that he was not a madman (52:29). And in the period of 23 years, he received revelations in various forms and established a reform never seen before in the history of mankind.

Throughout the years, the Qur'an has been studied extensively, with various discoveries ranging from science to human relations to the study of nature, jurisprudence and so on, it was a revelation that changed the course of history.

One aspect of the Qur'an which is hard to replicate is its intricate and eloquent Arabic language. At that period of time, Arabia was full of kahins who were according to Reza Aslan "revealed divine messages through rhyming couplets". And so, Allah delivered the Qur'an in with a touch of divine literature, applying Arabic with a poetic touch to challenge these poets to produce something similar.

Of course, they failed miserably.

17 : 88 Say: "If the mankind and the jinn were together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they helped one another."

It's hard to replicate such writings and the translations could not really capture the originality and beauty of the language of the Qur'an. Marmaduke Pickthall tried to translate the Qur'an with a poetic touch, and wrote his magnum opus "The Meaning of the Glorious Qur'an" which was authorized by Al Azhar university. He mentioned that the Qur'an has "that inimitable symphony, the very sounds of which move men to tears and ecstacy." However, he made quite a simple claim in his foreword, "the Qur'an could not be translated."

In the end it depends on our intention and hardwork to understand the Qur'an. There are a lot of translations out there for those who are not well versed in Arabic. Recall this hadeeth from Bukhari :

"He who is skillful in reciting the Qur’aan is with the unveiled, honorable, and pious (i.e. Hur al-Ain). And he who stutters when reading the Qur’aan, (and its recitation) is difficult upon him, will receive two rewards."

For our difficulties, we will receive twice the reward. So what are you waiting for?

Sidenote : Whoever did those demonstrations with the cow head, well let's just call them ignorant. There's a good article by Amin Ahmad on Malaysian Insider.

6 : 108 And insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides Allah...

Real Muslims tolerate other religions and cultures, as that was the way the Prophet PBUH showed us. And those people do not show the slighest semblance of what Islam is all about. Believe me, those are just politically and emotionally influenced people who have nothing else to do in life. Malaysian Muslims, mostly are silent because they are sick and tired of the political fiasco behind all those demonstrations.