Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri

This year, Hari Raya falls on the 1st October 2008.
Guess what my friend's birthday also falls on the same date. May she be doubly blessed.

To all my Muslim friends, Selamat Hari Raya and Maaf Zahir dan Batin.

I have fasted and broken fast with my muslim friends and it has been an interesting month... Today my family and I will also join some close family friends in celebrating Hari Raya. Let the Muhibbah spirit continue to live among us, let us continue to live in multi-racial harmony, in the true spirit of humanity, minus the bickering, the political brickbats and unhappiness, the economic unease, the unhealthy threats and uncertainties, the prejudices and bitterness we feel in our hearts and minds.

A wise man once said: Let us let live. We only live once and we have only one chance to do it right. We do not have the time nor the energy to waste in creating unhappiness and disharmony.

So my friends, let you and I start by really being nice to one another, not merely just tolerating each other but really, really accepting that in our differences (race and religions) and diversity, there may be unity. And I believe that is what Malaysia needs today...greater understanding and peaceful means and dialogue to move forward for time and chance once lost cannot be regained. You and I have only one chance...let's do it right for ourselves and for the generations to come. Cheers!

For those who still dont know what Aidilfitri means, here goes...

Hari Raya Puasa

Muslims celebrate the festival of Aidilfitri – popularly known as Hari Raya Puasa, or simply Hari Raya (Day of Celebration) in Malaysia – to mark the culmination of Ramadhan, the holy month of fasting. It is a joyous occasion for Muslims, as it signifies a personal triumph, a victory of self-restraint and abstinence, symbolising purification and renewal.

Fasting during the month of Ramadhan is compulsory or wajib, whereby Muslims are required to abstain from satisfying their most basic needs and urges, daily, between sunrise and sunset. It is one of the five tenets of Islam; as is the paying of zakat (alms tax for the poor), which must be tithed by the end of Ramadhan.

In Malaysia, the period of fasting ends when the new moon is sighted on the evening of the last day of Ramadhan. The actual sighting is conducted by state appointed religious officials at various vantage points (usually at hilltops) throughout the country.
If the crescent is sighted, the following day is then declared the first day of Aidilfitri, which is also the beginning of the 10th month of the Muslim calendar Syawal.

A time to forgive and forget
Aidilfitri is celebrated for the whole month of Syawal, but in Malaysia, only the first two days are observed as public holidays. It is widely common however, to see Muslims taking the first week off from work.
Urbanites make their annual pilgrimage to their hometowns (this is popularly referred to as balik kampung), to be with parents, relatives and old friends. Thus, cities like Kuala Lumpur get relatively quiet during the festive season of Aidilfitri.

The Muslim community ushers in the first day of Aidilfitri by congregating at mosques for morning prayers. Everyone is usually decked out in their traditional best to mark the special occasion. Men are usually dressed in Baju Melayu, while the Baju Kurung, the quintessential Malay attire for females, is the prefered choice for the fairer sex.
Then it's usually breakfast at home with the family, followed by a visit to the cemetery where deceased loved ones are remembered; graves are cleaned and cleared of overgrowth, and prayers are offered to Allah.
This is also a time to forgive and forget past quarrels. Asking for pardon is done in order of seniority. The younger members of a family approach their elders (parents, grandparents etc) to seek forgiveness, to salam (Muslim equivalent of a handshake), then kiss the hands of the older person as a sign of respect.
The usual greeting (that is uttered with the salam) during Aidilfitri is “Selamat Hari Raya”, which means “Wishing you a joyous Hari Raya”.

Children and old folks are given duit raya or gifts of money, in small envelopes. In recent years, many givers have opted for the Chinese practice of putting the money in ang pow packets; however instead of the usual red, the packets are green in colour.
Although the first three days are celebrated on a grander scale, many Muslims hold “open house” throughout the month, where friends and neighbours of other races are invited to join in the celebrations.
Before the big day
The joy of Hari Raya Puasa actually begins before the first day. A week or so before the big day, excitement mounts as the house is readied for the celebration with new furnishing and decorations.
Of particular interest are the last 10 days of Ramadan, where many keep vigil for Lailatul Qadr (The Night of Decree), the night when the Quran was sent down. It is believed that angels descend and shower blessings on that particular night, so homes are brightly decorated with oil lamps or pelita.
Mosques, as well as government and some commercial buildings, are also decorated and brightly lit to mark the auspicious day. The most predominant colour seen in decorations during this season is green which is commonly associated with Islamic items. It is often combined with yellow or gold.

As for motifs, by far the most frequently used symbol is that of the ketupat (rice cakes wrapped in coconut leaves); it is invariably used on Hari Raya greeting cards, hanging decorative items, and as a promotional image for the season.
The ketupat is traditional Hari Raya fare and is often served with beef rendang (beef cooked with spices and coconut milk) and/or satay (grilled meat on a skewer).
Other festive delicacies include lemang (glutinous rice cooked in bamboo tubes), serunding (dessicated coconut fried with chilli) and curry chicken.

To all Muslim friends, once again, Salam Aidilfitri.

Photo gallery...so far this year...

Hi, I think its about time I shared some photos with you all...
so many stories, so many memories....

...January 2008, waiting to board plane to KK then a bus ride to Kundasang for a BTN course .

...with fellow participants at the course...

....2008 March, on a visit to Sandakan,
photo taken with a lovable "orang utan" at the airport.

...June 2008...Mesyuarat JK Pasukan petugas Kualiti BTPN
di Heritage Hotel, Cameron Highlands.

...dengan Pn Fuziah dan Pn Fadzilah semasa Mesyuarat tersebut.

...Julai 2008, with Datin Normadiah during a visit to the famous

Crystal Mosque in Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu.

... August 2008...with the VIP, YB Tuan Shamsul Kahar, Exco Pendidikan Kerajaan Negeri Sembilan bersama KPP BTPN N9 dan pegawai-pegawai BTP, semasa Karnival Pembestarian Sekolah.

...dengan Pn Nornailah semasa Majlis Penutupan Karnival Pembestarian Sekolah KPM.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Making the most of a week...

Yes, folks,
My daughter who is studying in Singapore came back last week for a break.
It had been two months since we last saw her...time really flies...I had a busy week and could only manage to take a day off to spend with her... she didnt complain, her calendar was full with visiting friends and buying some stuff back to her hostel at NUS.
I enjoyed my day with her, shopping,visiting with her grandparents and having lunch together, getting her hair hi-lighted...yes that's what she wanted... a change from her regular hairstyle and visiting a family friend who just had a grandchild ...how sweet and beautiful baby Ayden looked.

I missed her when she wasnt at home, and so did her brother and sister.. eventhough the week flew by we managed a number of dinners together and before we knew it, she was off again. Yes, she travelled by bus... remember her experiences at KLIA...
Did you know that the bus fare from here to Singapore is much cheaper than from Spore to KL!
Yes , much cheaper to buy in RM than in SD!
But I guess in the end its pretty safe and she was with a friend...so mum has no worries.
She'll be there for the rest of the term and will only have a break in December.
She;ll be having her exams soon and we hope she will do well. Give your best girl, as we know you always will.
Maybe we will visit her sometime... but it was a good week for all of us...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The "BE" Attitudes


Be Understanding to your perceived enemies
Be loyal to your friends
Be strong enough to face the world each day
Be weak enough to know you cannot do everything alone
Be generous to those who need your help

Be frugal with that you need yourself
Be wise enough to know that you do not know everything
Be foolish enough to believe in miracles
Be willing to share your joys
Be willing to share the sorrow of others

Be a leader when you see a path others have missed
Be a follower when you are shrouded by the mists of uncertainty
Be first to congratulate an opponent who succeeds
Be last to criticize a colleaque who fails
Be sure where your next step will fall, so that you will not tumble.

Be sure of your final destination, in case you are going the wrong way
Be loving to those who love you
Be loving to those who do not love you, they may change
Above all, be yourself.


Be the person you hope to be and want to be.

I fear....

I feared being alone Until I learned to like Myself .
I feared failure Until I realized that I only Fail when I don't try .
I feared success Until I realized That I had to try In order to be happy With myself.
I feared people's opinions Until I learned that People would have opinions About me anyway.
I feared rejection Until I learned to Have faith in myself.

I feared pain Until I learned that it's necessary For growth.
I feared the truth Until I saw the Ugliness in lies.
I feared life Until I experienced Its beauty .
I feared death Until I realized that it's Not an end, but a beginning .
I feared my destiny,Until I realized that I had the power to change My life.
I feared hate Until I saw that it Was nothing more than Ignorance.
I feared love Until it touched my heart, Making the darkness fade Into endless sunny days.
I feared ridicule Until I learned how To laugh at myself.
I feared growing old Until I realized that I gained wisdom every day.
I feared the future Until I realized that Life just kept getting Better.
I feared the past Until I realized that It could no longer hurt me .
I feared the dark Until I saw the beauty Of the starlight.
I feared the light Until I learned that the Truth would give me Strength.
I feared change,Until I saw that Even the most beautiful butterfly has to undergo a metamorphosis before it could fly .

(poet unknown)

Fear...silent on everyone's lips... but felt nonetheless.
Fear not for God is with you...
Feel no fear when you have faith in your God.
Realise that fear is a lesson to be learnt.
Have no fear, face the truth and live life to the fullest.

Three Things In Life


There are many things in life that we treasure and hold dear in our hearts. We think of our loved ones, family and friends, we reminiscence about past events and savour the memories.
…let’s look further …

3 Things that once gone and never come back:

Time flies, time heals, time spent cannot be recouped, this too shall past…common clich├ęs we all use in our lives…time is but a phase…

Words once spoken, cannot be retracted, the tongue is sharper than a sword, words not spoken will never get the chance to be spoken…speak only when spoken to, children should be seen and not heard…
Words, powerful when its meant to be, and saving lives where its needed…

Opportunity knocks but once…
Grab the chance when it comes, opportunity lost cannot be regained…

3 Things that can destroy a person’s life
Count to ten before you speak when angry. An angry man is a hungry man.
Anger will only make things worse…Control your anger and it will make you a better person.
Pride comes before a fall. Take pride in what you do but don’t go overboard.
Pride and prejudice will lead you nowhere…
Forgive and forget, easier said than done…To err is human, to forgive divine…have forgiveness in your heart and it will make you a better man…

3 Things you should never lose

Hope for the best.
Where’s there’s hope, there is life…
Lose hope and all is gone…hope is what we all hang onto…

-Peace :
Peace on earth, goodwill to all mankind.
Peace of mind and peace in our hearts.
They will help you sleep better at night.

Honesty is the best policy.

3 Things that are most valuable

Love with all your heart and soul. Love like there is no tomorrow.
Love and you will be loved. The greatest thing on earth is love.

-Family and friends:
Hold your family and friends close to your heart. They are the ones who will stand by you, with you when no one else will…

Be generous and kind. There is no price tag to kindness.
Kindness begets the soul…

3 Things that are never certain

What is yours is yours and will come back to you.
Fortune smiles on those who deserve it. Good fortune should be enjoyed in its entirety and
should never be taken for granted. Here today, gone tomorrow…

Work hard and you will get the success you deserve. Success comes to those who work hard.
Maintaining success is your choice. Failure is not an option.

This is what dreams are made of…you can dream but you may not get what you dream…
Hold on to your dreams for you never know…

3 Things that make a person who they are
Commitment, a word that maketh a quality man.
Be committed in what you do and stick to it. All else comes when there is commitment.
It is the responsibility of everyone to do his best and give his best.
-Hard work:
Hard work never killed anyone. Work comes before success everywhere and every time.

Three things in life...think about them...abide by them...use them...
Have a healthy, creative life.
Good luck!