Friday, December 31, 2010

The summer peak

Is today the peak of this summer? Maximum of the temperature is expected at 40 degree celcius. The minimum is 12. A very wide range.

And now, at this time of writing, 4.18pm, the temperature meter in the computer monitor shows the maximum expected - 40 degree.

Since the study room faces towards the sunset, the heat is really distracting.

"It is Allah Who created everything in the best of form…"
(As Sajdah 32: 7)
It is He Who created and perfected all things."
(Al A'alaa 87:2)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ibadah Summer Camp

A concern of parents here is whether the kids could have the bi’ah or the setting necessary for them to be a good Muslim. Islam is made and felt as the way of life - the fundamental ideal that could be the base of everything in life. Out of this concern, the communities here held an ibadah summer camp for the children last week. The program was held for two days on the 23-24th December at the Belle Vue Park Primary School hall, Glenroy.

There were 85 children of Malaysian communities attending the program. They came from the areas around the northern suburbs of Melbourne. Farhan also joined camp. The father also participated as the facilitator. Ammar who was also keen to join, but not allowed for he is still too young to concentrate, just took part in the sport session.

Many others turn to a range of roles, from cook to cleaners, teachers to managers. We could see they were so committed to make the program a success. Hope to have such a program again soon.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The obvious contrary

The doctrine of stare decisis may be of limited application in raising children. This I found true both at vertical and horizontal levels. The style of our mothers or grandmothers may not all be suitable in dealing with the next generation with different needs and pre-disposition. The dealing with the first child to the subsequent children may require adjustment.

An occasion that I found difficult to deal is the ability of one of the children to speak of what I call ‘the obvious contrary’ to justify things or whatever he wants to do or refuse to do.

He would say, for instance:

‘I don’t shout’ (whilst he is shouting).

‘I have taken bath’ (whilst he hasn’t)

‘I haven’t watched the computer today’ (whilst he has been in front of the computer for hours)

‘I have washed my hand’ (when we asked him to wash hand before meal and he hasn’t)

And another which surprised me:

‘It is the one that you cooked will cause me stomach ache’ when I asked him to take the cookie that had been cooked instead of the one that was not for it may cause stomach ache.

But I found that it’s normal for the child of that age to deny the obvious:

“Lies to get something they want or to avoid something they don't want - Preschoolers tell these types of lies for the same reasons that adults do, but they often don't see anything wrong with telling a lie to gain a result they want. When children this age tell these types of lies, parents should try not to overreact. Instead, they should point out to their children that it is wrong to lie, and that it is important to tell the truth.

Even though preschoolers don't generally know that lying is wrong, this is a good time for parents to start teaching them the basics of truth telling. A good place for parents to start is by letting their children know how happy it makes them when their children tell the truth, and that not telling the truth makes it hard for them to develop trust.”


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Please ainaa

I found a serious (but funny;-)) note posted in front of the door of the boys' bedroom today. The note was addressed to the one-year-old litle girl.

The note says: "Ainaa, you can't eat in my bedroom."

What led to the note? This evening I asked the boys to clean the mess in their room. They were so mad that the culprit of the mess was Ainaa. After the cleaning, the big brother angrily wrote the note and posted it in front of the door!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fruits picking experience

Fruit picking experience at Natureripe Fruits, Bacchus Marsh. Located about 40 minutes drive from our house heading to Ballarat, the farm is so clean and beautiful. Many who have gone to other farms said, it was the best.

There were about 13 families joining the excursion. Entry fees for cherry farm is $4.00 for adult and $3.00 for children above 5 years old. Admissions for strawberries and nectarines are free.

The children, as well as the parents, were enjoying the day so much that we feel we want to go again before the season ended.

The fruits in season are cherries, strawberries and nectarines. They are so beautiful and sweet that I think they must come from heaven.

A note on this week’s weather

The severe wintry weather of the northern hemisphere must have come to the southern hemisphere. Glenroy is in summer - but with the temperature plummets as low as 7 degree especially at night, the weather this week is just like winter. There are intermittent rains, strong wind bringing chill air, thick grey clouds in the sky and even snowfalls in mountain areas. As November, it is said that this month is the coldest December in at least 53 years. As a result, we have to take out all the thick blankets, socks and jumpers kept for the winter for us to keep warm. With the range of temperature within a day is very wide; very cold at night and warmer during the day especially in the afternoon, noses also start complaining…

Earth, Man and Allah – The Ultimate Creator

Human being is a book
A story line foretold with a proper look
God’s signs shown in the cosmos *
But sad to say Man has forgotten all those

(Qalamuddin -

Friday, December 10, 2010

Child marriage?

Just to share.. interested with the issue:

When the expectation towards law is beyond its limit

The marriage of a 14 year old girl to a 23 year old man recently has sparked debate in the country on the relevance and suitability of such marriage.

Many arguments were advanced; many are against such a marriage.

Nevertheless, the fact that the law requires permission of Syariah Court to be obtained before child marriage to be solemnized indicates that such marriage is to be considered with care. It suggests that such decision is to be exercised with caution. The paramount must be the interest of the child. The parents are involved in the consideration. The judge has to decide upon the application with certain consideration in mind. To allow does not mean to encourage. The law needs to be flexible to cover certain situation of necessity. Life is complicated. There would come situation that warrant such flexibility in law. Prohibiting altogether child marriage makes the law rigid to cover every situation.

This does not mean that I agree with child marriage. A marriage may not be a solution to social problem. High rate divorce among young couple is a fact. This may lead to another social problem too. Further, it is difficult to expect a teenager to fully comprehend all implications in decision of that kind. It comes with responsibility, not only rights. For teenagers, being different from the others may be difficult to go through. Whilst education is seen as important investment for good future, to continue studying in a secondary school with other teenagers who are always seen as having greater freedom, marriage may later be seen as a burden. It could start being felt when having children. Any parent would agree that to raise a child is no easy task. It is difficult to comprehend how can a young teenager go through the difficult situation. Is she or he ready for such a patient-testing job?

On another account, I see something from the debates ensued; everything seems to be perceived with distrust. Man could no longer be trusted to devote his life for the happiness of a woman. Woman should be able to be independent for her own life so that her fate would not need to depend on the whim and fancy of the husband. The parents seem not to be believed to decide for the interest of the children. Somehow, it may be because of the fact of life currently. Things happening around us are real not to be ignored. It dictates our option and decision in life.

But prohibiting a child marriage may not be the answer. The law has limit in its role.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lamb kuzi and masak lemak cili api

About cooking and eating again this time. With abundant of lambs and meat in the fridge from the Aidil Adha, I thought of trying new recipes. It has been quite a long time that I wished to cook lamb kuzi style, especially after tasting some cooked by Kak Sham in one of our BBQ gatherings of Malaysian fellow community here. After some googling exercise, I tried a recipe from here: I forgot to take photo of the very first of my kuzi, but it was so delicious. Farhan and Ammar ate the gravy with bread.

Another dish that I longed for for quite some time is 'daging salai masak lemak cili api' or if according to the masterchef style of calling the dish name: 'grilled meat with coconut cream, tumeric and chilli'... A couple of days before this, Kak Nab gave us some of the same dish, but cooked with green plum from her backyard. It was so delicious that Farhan just sipped the gravy despite the spicy taste of chilli. So this morning I made it again. I grilled the meat in a gas griller. Its purest form to get the real taste should be on coal / firewood, but where to get those here? It may not supersede the one with the pure coconut cream as made by our long lost friend, Shuhaida (missing her very much), whose hometown is Kuala Pilah which is popular with a variety of masak lomak cili apinya.., but it did taste good. Talking about this masak lemak cili api, I remember the one cooked with grilled sembilang fish. Kak Yam brought this dish couple of years ago when the family dropped by at our home - also from Kuala Pilah, her husband's hometown. That was a pure dish of its kind till we won't forget it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oh my baby

It has been several days that Ainaa was quite restless at nite. We suspect that must be because of the change of temperature in the transition to summer these days. Temperature is getting higher each day, but sometimes it drops drastically leaving the inhabitants struggling to cope with.

A restless baby means sleepless nite for the parent too. On Tuesday, I went to see the supervisor at 9am for weekly meeting with back pain, dizzy and blurred mind for lack of sleep, trying to concentrate the long response of the knowledge-generous professor to my short explanation of the what-has-been-done things for the week. I believe if I have written down everything he said in our weekly meeting, I should have published a book.

I left the supervisor’s office at 11 o’clock more blurred. The intention was to go home and to have some sleep. May be I could spend the nite to study if I could have some sleep in the afternoon. But once I reached the house, I notice there were many missed calls from Ainaa’s care centre recorded in the phone. It was in silent mode for the morning meeting. When I called back, Susie, the babysitter, told me that Ainaa was having fever for 39.4C. It is the policy of the centre not to give a baby any medication, so we would have to be quick to pick her up. So off we went to the centre, gave her some panadol, brought her home and tried to lower down the temperature. She was good then. So no sleep for the afternoon, no study for the night... Coffee would not work in this situation.

Until yesterday night, she was still restless, having difficulty to sleep but active and healthy during the day. Hope the phase will get over soon.
This morning, the father proposes something to deal with this. The one who will not be going to the university the next day will look after the baby the nite before if she was not asleep. If both of us stayed awake, we would not benefit the following day. Will this work?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Moving house

It has been almost a year. This is the last month for the first year of our study. It also means the tenancy contract for our current house is expiring. We do not want to renew the contract but to find another house.

There are 4 criteria that we set now. First, Farhan should not change school because of that. Second, it must be near to the train station; to shorten the travelling time which is currently up to more than an hour. Third, it has at least 2 bedrooms. Fourth, it must have a ducted heating system; to avoid the recurring flu that frequently inflicts almost all of us due to uncertain weather here. Sometimes we feel that there is no other three seasons here except winter. Last year, I think summer was only 3 days!

So since last month, we started hunting house again, looking at advertisements and inspecting houses. Our first two applications were rejected. But the houses still appeared in the advertisement. We suspect that must be because the starting date of occupation which is more than one month ahead. Things seem not to be fair. As tenant is expected to give notice whether to continue the tenancy upon expiry of contract 28 days before that, the landlord normally will refuse application which proposes a start date too long from the application. It's a lost of prospective rent for them. Giving notice without another house secured is taking risk for the family. It is not easy to get house. Last year, out of 7 applications, only two were approved. So the negative possibility is high. But securing house earlier means extra costs incurred which is very huge for us - double expense for house rental this month.

Another thing, if we put an end to the contract earlier, we will have to pay for advertisement cost for them to find another tenant. And if there is no other tenant, we will have to pay the rent until the expiry of the contract. Always safe side to the other party. So, freedom of contract is nonsense idea in the world of reality...

And finally, our house searching ended yesterday. We got a house. Thanks to Allah for answering our prayer. It fits all criteria that we set. 300m from train station. 2.7 km from Farhan's school. It has a ducted heating. It has 3 bedrooms. And now, it is going to be another unsettling phase of moving.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


After eyeing for a dishwasher for quite some times, especially in the ebay, we finally got for ourselves a dishwasher. Interested with one advertised in the website, we went to inspect the item in the factory, located about 5 km away from home. Actually, we never see a dishwasher before, and do not know how it works. So the inspection is to satisfy ourselves that it does the job well. I specifically mentioned in my message to the seller that I’ve never use a dishwasher before. So he took quite a great length to explain to us the operation of the machine. He was also kind enough to deliver the machine for free.

It is a refurbished machine which comes with 6 month warranty. From my survey, it’s a good quality brand. The price is AUD$280 - a good price even for a second hand machine such as this. So far it works very well and we hope it lasts as long as we are here.

So it saves about an hour of our time for washing dishes. We should have bought it long time ago. For a family of three children such as us, we only wash a full load of the machine once a day for dishes from breakfast up to dinner. The way is, all dishes are to be put straight away after each meal to the machine, and to be switched on after dinner every day. For normal and economy cycle, it takes about one hour without dry function. The economy cycle skips the drying function. This is to save electricity bill. After all, the dishes and cutlery are not too wet when the machine finishes. We just left it dry overnight.

Since time is the essence, we hope it is a good investment. But we will have to scoop out extra money for the electricity bill. Still some say, a dishwasher saves more water compared to washing dishes by hand. We'll see how it goes.

Melbourne Cup Day

It is public holiday today for Victoria. It is especially for a horse race! My supervisor specifically mentioned to me last week, that this is the day that a nation stops for horses.

Since my office at the City Queen campus is closed, I went to City Flinder campus library – located just across the Flinder Street Railway Station, the central station, just like our Kuala Lumpur Central, but KL Central is bigger in size. When I reached at the Flinder Street this morning, I saw there were so many people around wearing beautifully. The gentlemen were in full suit. The ladies were in bright color dresses with hair accessories and flowers and high heels. Despite the cold temperature and occasional rain today, they wore short dresses and skirts. They were just like attending a special dinner. I wondered where they were heading. Only then I knew that they went to watch the horse race – with those clothes!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Audit again

Every time public audit report is issued, the same highlights we could notice. The trend is discernible. The same stories.

We do not want to rehearse again and again all of the irregularities transpired in so many news media, blogs and pages.

We are worried if those are the practice in the system.

Can we see action?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Petai jeruk..

A good friend of mine talks about this topic in her page recently. Check this out:

Rohie, that is my favorite too. When the season comes I used to make my own petai jeruk. What I want to relate is here in Melbourne we can get the petai jeruk too. One that I found is petai beans in tin of Ayam brand, sold in a wet market, Pascoe Vale market, I know belongs to a Vietnamese. It is named "petai in brine". Parkia speciosa is the scientific name for it (sedap didengar nama saintifiknya). We still enjoy prawn or anchovy sambal with the petai beans once in a while.

Generally, almost nothing couldn't be found here if we miss anything from the hometown, even those of the exotic one. Just name it: durian, pandan leave, kesum, curry leaves, tumeric leaves, kaya etc. Except maybe the specific kind that we like such as my favorite Kedah belacan, which was thrown away by the quarantine officers at Brisbane airport, brought by my father-in-law who came here recently. Miss the belacan so much.. :-(

Once, there was a local lady in a shop asking whether I am Malaysian and where she could find kaya (coconut cream and egg jam) in Melbourne for she wanted to taste it. I said I myself did not know. Never found it here. At that time I was just arrived and I did not know the existence of Asian grocery shops here like Laguna Asian Groceries where almost everything can be found.

See, I realize that human beings have a very special connection to their land of origin. At least represented in what we crave for when we are far away from the home land. Maybe many of the white locals here still think that they belong to their country of origin in Europe?

The Twelve Apostles, The Great Ocean Road

We arrived here minutes before sunset, after a long day journey through the 243km of the Great Ocean Road - one of the world's most scenic roads, I read in a website. Indeed, it is. It's truly amazing. Along the road, you can see almost everything representing the beauty of the nature and life - beach, ocean, forest, yards and farms, lighthouses, bay and rocks. We should have booked an accommodation here to enjoy the scenery better.

But the winding roads are as challenging as facing the complete tantrums of the three musketeers... It's not somethings that kids enjoy.. I mean travelling through the long roads with little times to stop.

Family visit

One of the happiest moments is the visit of our dear family members. Last month, on the last week of Syawal, we had special guests for the Aidilfitri - the Tok (grandma), Tokwan (grandpa), mak anjang (auntie), pak anjang (uncle) and Amin, the cousin of the children. They spent about 5 days here which were too short.

Justice and virtue

I am touched by this phrase that I borrow from Dr Asri's page (

“Sesungguhnya syariah Islam itu binaan dan asasnya adalah atas segala hikmah dan kebaikan untuk manusia di dunia dan akhirat. Syariah Islam itu segalanya keadilan, kebaikan dan hikmat. Maka setiap perkara yang terkeluar dari keadilan kepada kezaliman, dari rahmat kepada yang berlawanan dengannya, dari kebaikan kepada kerosakan, dari hikmat kepada sia-sia maka ianya bukan syariah Islam sekalipun diberikan takwilan untuknya”.
(Ibn Qayyim al-Jauziyyah, I’lam al-Muwaqqi’in, 3/3, Beirut: Dar al-Jail).

It's a beautiful construction and I do not think I can translate the phrase well. Anyone can suggest? I am currently thinking about justice and the position of justice as a yardstick in both processes of legislating and assessing the law.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The green flowers

The greens are not leaves but flowers. Green flowers all over the trees.

Location: Playground, Merlynston train station, Hadfield.

Climate and the law?

It's spring now. This means it's almost a complete cycle of 4 seasons that we are here. We arrived at the early summer last year. Even so we feel the change of seasons is not obviously seen for the uncertainty of the weather and temperature here. Another reason could be that there is no snow except in mountainous areas.

In autumn and winter the days are cloudy, grey and gloomy. Leaves changed colors from green to yellow and then brown, and fell to the ground leaving only branches. There were more rainfalls and temperature kept excruciatingly low especially at night. Scenes were without colors on this part of the earth. Almost everyone in the train was wearing black excluding me who hate black when it comes to cloth. Heart could be gloomy too influenced by the weather and the colors. It affected us emotionally. We started missing the sunshine of the home country.

But with the grey and golden hues of tree branches and leaves especially in the afternoon when a bit of sunshine falls on the brown and orange leaves, there is also distinctive beauty for the seemingly bleak and gloomy days.

Now I understand why peoples from this part of the world enjoy sunshine very much when it comes.

(Melbourne city, near Flagstaff train station. In the middle is the tree with the golden leaves)

(City Queen campus, Victoria University)

By September, when spring starts leaving winter behind, flowers blossom, new green leaves appear, colors are dancing again and earth is smiling again. Flowers are everywhere. We really feel it is a sign of new hopes - at least, the hope for sunshine.

It also makes us wonder that people behave the same. They start wearing colors.

The new leaves and flowers:

(City Queen campus, Victoria University)

(in front of the house)

But after September, this year, winter seems to remain for most of the days. From news we know that this year’s winter is the coldest in decade, and September is the coldest and wettest September for 16 years. Victoria which is practically in draught experiences flood and heavy rain falls. Even last night, the temperature was lower again - 3°C.

Now I understand Hickling's opinion when he said in one of his books, on how the legal system of a place has connection with weather. Rough climate such as that of four seasons affects the way people behave. He theorizes this as reason for litigious society such as of the western. This is different from those of the then Malaya which he viewed prefer compromise than face-to-face advocacy. The weather which is almost the same with no apparent changes shapes the people’s thinking and behavior. That is certainly interesting explanation.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thousand words a day

Early in the morning today, Bruno, a professor of law in my school, give me a yardstick on how to assess whether a student, i.e. postgraduate by research, is working hard. Have you written a thousand words today, or 500 words? If you’ve not, then you are not working hard. It’s a simple yardstick.

So, posing that question to ourselves, it’s hard to answer in affirmative. Hold to that, we must have almost half finished our theses by now.

Bruno is a man full of advice that every student desired for. He once said to me, just write everything that comes across to mind especially while reading. It can be in point forms only scattered in different documents. Stick to it. After a while, you’ll see it grows and expands.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Something to ponder

Again it has been a while since we updated this page. There are so much things to write... about the Aidilfitri, travels, the visit of our dear family members, etc, but there are so much other things to do.

Just for this, we would like to extend this thought for us to ponder and to remind ourselves. Think about our office, do we have the right attitude, the right order in priority?

Unable to avoid comparison, there are things that we can learn from them. In the university offices and library for instance, we can feel being treated as a customer. Some may not be friendly, but we can expect our problems solved. With just an email or a phone call, things can settle. Books via inter library loan even from foreign countries can reach within days. Softwares are shared with students. In the beginning when we were not really familiar with the system, we could rely on the library staff to assist us in so many things. When once I got problem with my endnote software installed in my personal notebook, with a phone call, an IT technician came to my office to get it fixed and he called the next day to see if things were running smooth.

With the facilities and physical infrastructures that we have in our home country, I believe we could be better, provided we have the right attitude and we know the right priority. Good procedure is also inevitable for many good intentions and efforts are hampered simply because of bureaucracy issue. Many improvements have been achieved though, and should be acknowledged, but a lot more are needed.

Just to share the following article that I take from Utusan Malaysia today (in Malay language). This is really meant to be (and hope to be taken as) constructive.

Satu-satunya Masalah Di Malaysia Ini ialah...

SAYA amat tertarik membaca tulisan Syed Akbar Ali dalam blognya OutSyed The Box bertajukThe One & Only Problem In Malaysia atau Satu-satunya Masalah di Malaysia Ini.

Topiknya lari sama sekali dari politik. Ia berkaitan dengan realiti hidup seharian di Malaysia. Ia berkaitan dengan sikap dan etika kerja. Ia berkaitan dengan bagaimana anda, sama ada kakitangan kerajaan, pelajar, mahasiswa, peniaga, orang makan gaji melayan orang lain atau berusaha untuk memperbaiki diri sendiri.

Kononnya, orang Melayu itu bersopan-santun, beragama, berilmu? Jika itulah amalannya maka tiadalah masalah yang akan berlaku di kalangan orang kita sekarang atau dalam sistem jabatan kerajaan.

Seperti biasa tulisan Syed Akbar banyak mengondem sikap orang Melayu, namun seperti beliau mempunyai nawaitu yang baik dan murni. Walaupun pedas didengar tapi itulah hakikatnya, yang semua orang Melayu harus menerimanya --- untuk kebaikan mereka.

Syed Akbar yang juga penulis buku Malaysia and The Club of Doom (Malaysia dan Kelab Kemusnahan), menyimpulkan orang Melayu masih gagal bersaing sepenuhnya. Kita harus mencari jalan segera bagi membolehkan mereka bersaing, katanya.

Full article is here:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The middle

Our sweetheart.

Being parent of three, this is important for us to watch out. The following useful extract is from here:

“Yes, the “Middle Child Syndrome” is very real. Middle kids bemoan their fate as being ignored and often grow resentful of all the parental attention given to the oldest and the baby of the family, and feel short-shifted. Three kids triangulate sibling relationships, with one child at any given point feeling like the odd man out from the chumminess of the other two. .."

"The middle child usually has to fight harder for the attention of their parents and therefore crave the family spotlight. They may feel that they do not get as much praise as the older children for simple firsts like tying a shoe or riding a bike. Those things just become expected.”

"Having a third child also means a changed parenting style. Here you must move from one-on-one to a zone defense. You no longer have one parent per child and everyone gets less individual time and attention. You have to double-up and the logistics get more complex."

"With three kids comes three times the chaos! Older children have to become more independent, which often involves being more adventuresome and more destructive. Suddenly you are feeding the baby and have sofa divers on your hands! Older siblings grow closer and develop as collaborators and co-conspirators."

She's learning to walk

She will reach one year old by next week. Started to have confident walking. Spends all days walking around the house, exploring and starting to climb too.

Australian Federal Election

While waiting for my peanut sauce on the stove to cook, let me upload these photos. The father has marinated some meats for his satay that he talked about since last several days. So I am preparing the nasi himpit (following my mother's traditional style) and the peanut sauce, while updating this page.

Today is the federal election day for the country. We went out this morning for a while to see their election process. Farhan's school is made the polling centre. There are many differences can be seen comparing to our home country. There is no posters war around the street. Only one or two can be seen from some private houses. Some people were seen distributing posters days before the election at the train stations. No busy road on the day. No crowd around the polling centre. Just like the day that they changed their Prime Minister couple of months ago, everything went just relax on the day which is said as the closest run race in years for the two candidates for the PM seat.

Unlike ours, voting is compulsory for the citizens. The election for the House of Representative is held apart of maximum of 3 years. The media are very open giving opinion for or against the candidates even to the current PM.

Iftar Jamaie with members of Madrasah al-Muhajirin

Last week the father brought the boys to attend an iftar (breaking fast) program held by Farhan's Sunday school. It's for all the pupils and the families. Ainaa and I not attending for the day was so windy. The lil' sweetie always suffers stomach upset and wind lately at night. Maybe because of the cold and wind these days.

Farhan and his friends perform nasyid "wudhu"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


It’s Ramadhan - starting by tomorrow, Thursday 12 August 2010 - the fasting month for Muslims here ( Fasting in Malaysia starts today. May we all have the blessing by Allah. A month in a year - always serves as a reminder to our discipline, as a refresher to our soul, as means to strengthen our faith, as an aides-mémoire for thanking for all that we have in life granted to all of us. To all who are so dear to our hearts in our home country, it is also a month that we wish we are closer …

We wish you all a blessed and a holy month. Ramadhan al-Mubarak.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Our school

The golden leaves from the window of our office.
Our school in autumn.

Look more classic in winter.

A note of frustration

Since last March, the fee for Ainaa's child care increased twice. Our application for certain scheme to assist with the fees refused. We were not elligible even - just trying luck for provision of special consideration since there are foreign students approved. And my inquiry to certain officers for certain payment undertaken to be paid, left unanswered.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The kids and the Malay language

The need to preserve native language balanced against the assertion to have mastery of English language shared the concern of many Malaysian parents here. This thought is actually prompted by this article entitled 'Indonesians fear for their language', from the NST Our society faces the same challenge too.
For us, the need to prepare the kids for schools here often sidelines the importance of our own language. Introduction of double languages at the same times may lead to confusion, as happens in many pre-schools and kindergartens in our home country. They kids at the end seem to get nothing especially when it comes to reading and writing. The children, being taught here, picking up the language very fast. The environment gives the necessary support. Even Farhan started to correct my pronunciation when I read books to him every night (mine must be the 'Manglish' :-)
But the concern is, how are they going to adapt the school in the home country later on, which the standard level of starting the primary school for reading and writing is very high by relative. It is worrying indeed when the kids start to read Malay word with English style.
Hope the young generation will continue to be proud of their own native language despite their mastery of other language. It is the most important treasure for our identity. If not the Malay language will be extinct like thousands of many other languages in the world.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Watching the Masterchef finale the other day, I recalled a question given by my teacher of previous school. Eating for life or life for eating? I think from the context of the Masterchef, life must be for eating..
After all, regardless of the critic against the top rating program, it was so tempting that even Farhan said he wanted to be a Chef when he's grown up.
This is a simple example of how media can influence and develop culture.
Thinking about the moral of the story for such a reality program: Do your best in whatever you do.