Thursday, December 6, 2012

The milk

It's almost 11 pm. I am in my study room.

Just a few minutes ago, Farhan, yet asleep, said, 'I am hungry but I'm sleepy'. Everyone else is already in bed. The Dad who is in charge tonite to look after the kids must be in hybernate mode too.

'You can have warm milk', I suggested, continuing my work. 'Just take some and warm it up in the microwave'.

A few minutes later, I realised he'd already fallen asleep under his blanket - in his room, next to my study room. He must be lazy, ... or scared(?) to take the milk on his own.

Suddenly like feeling regret, should I have taken the milk for him?

Oh anakku.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Trip to Wellington

It has been a while since last post, when I said everything was excellent and the kids were fine facing the the early winter.
But then we were made to realise that winter is too hard for us - the people bornt closer to the equator. We thought that the third year must be easier. But regardless of whether winter was the main culprit, after few weeks, each of us,  one by one, was down with flu, together with high fever, cough and cold.  It begun a week before our one-week trip to Wellington for a conference. Starting with Ainaa, Mr daddy and then Ammar. Ainaa's chest was very bad with almost non-stop coughing that we were advised to administer 4x puff of the ventolin. All the week preparing for the travel was difficult. We were not really ready and left many important things.  
I started feeling sore throat in the morning before the flight. Poor Ammar was coughing all the way in the flight. I was also sorry for the passenger next to him who looked really uncomfortable.
We arrived in Wellington at around 10 pm. Everything took more than 2 hours. Sadly our cooked chicken sambal was thrown away by the quarantine. Luckily we still got rice for the dinner. Car rental process was long too.   And in the midnight, our phone that we arranged for roaming was unable to contact the house owner that we rent. We tried to find a public phone, but all used card. Luckily the staff at the car rental service allowed us to use their phone. The car that we rent had no hand brake, the kind that we were not familiar with. It took a while to learn and confimred with the staff.

But exposed to 7 degree cold outside for a few hours, I suspect, worsen our health. Farhan caught the flu too. Mine was getting worse that I almost canceled my attendance to the conference. It was so bad that my cough prolonged for almost 5 weeks. But since we were there and considering the cost incurred and considerable time allocated for the preparation of the paper and poster, I managed to attend the one-day postgraduate workshop and made presentation along with my coughing. It was a postgraduate workshop held by the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law. Another is their annual conference that I attended some sessions relevant to my study only.

Because of our health, we spent most of the time indoor. That must be the most expensive journey for the time wasted there that otherwise could explore the region. But at home, watching Maori tv was fun too. We learnt some Maori language. I like the channel, but find the language is difficult to remember.

It is amazing actually seeing the position of the indigenous group in Wellington. Unlike Australia, when we arrived in Wellington, we could see that this is the country of Maori too. I think they are regaining their  golden age. Talking about the legal treatment of the indigenous minority, Steven, a student there said, the position of Maori in the country made them proud. It is regretful that I could not go around to see their life closer.
However, although unable to go to the places that we plan to visit, we managed to visit a few: The lively Te Papa (the museum), the stunning Te Whanganui a Tara (Wellington Harbour), and the amazing heritage buildings around the Victoria Law School of Wellington like the Bee Hive (Parliament) and courts buildings. For us, the Victoria Law School is excellently located as a law school. Around it is the Parliament, the supreme court and the court of appeal. The law students must have very good exposition on the working of the law in action. Mr daddy also brought the boys around taking ride in the cable car.
Wellington is a small city in mountainous area facing the sea. A low profile city, I think, but very beautiful. The waterfront is the background of the city. They preserve their heritage and natural environment very well. This is what made the city beautiful. There is no too big or too high building that if not make a city a brick jungle. The public transport is excellent, but quite expensive compared to Melbourne. The parking service is really expensive. The raw food I think is cheaper in Melbourne.

Halal meat and restaurant are easy to find. We found many restaurant serving halal food and a few restaurant serving Malaysian cuisine. We tried Biryani rice and teh tarik at an Indian Restaurant. The rice was so good that we feel we have to be here again if we were in the city again. We also visited Wellington mosque.
Hope we can visit this beautiful country again.

The Bee Hive, Te Whanganui a Tara and Victoria Law School located in the historic old government building.

 The cable car, replica of Treaty of Waitangi in the Te Papa, a historic building in the city locating a shopping centre, Victoria Law School of Wellington and the main entrance to Te Papa.

Friday, June 22, 2012

When to complete?

I received an email from an activist of the cause that I am writing at present. We met during my fieldwork in Malaysia last year. He said,

"How are you keeping? I trust everything is well with you. How is your thesis coming along, already completed or still writing it. I'm eagerly waiting to read it."

This can be a pressure indeed. Seen from another angle, it is certainly a positive push factor. I really hope I can finish the first draft by end of this year. Nearing July already, the pressure is surely building up.

Winter and chilblain

The forecast for today.

What a gloomy day.

Coming from a hot climate, winter is certainly the most challenging for us.

The kids seem fine. Only in the beginning, Ainaa was not well with a bit athmatic symptoms. Thanx Allah, she is doing well now.

Only Mr Daddy has quite serious chilblain this time - the term that only recently I found out. Ammar and me especially had suffered from itchy and swollen toes during the first winter we were here. I thought it was only a simple eczema. At that time, I tried to search through google to find out what it is - using terms such as "cold and itchy toes", "winter and itchy toes" - but they did not lead to this finding, that it was actually chilblains. Only recently I found out that it was a condition caused by cold. Mr Daddy's is quite serious, all his fingers and toes are swollen, itchy and painful.

This is what chilblains is caused of:
What are Chilblains caused by?
When your feet and toes get cold, the blood vessels constrict and the circulation is impaired. In your effort to warm your feet as fast as you can, you may accidentally be causing damage to tiny capillaries and vessels in your toes. Putting your feet into a hot water bath will increase the circulation to your toes, but faster than the blood vessels can expand. The rapid increase in blood pressure can cause the restricted capillaries and cells to rupture, allowing blood to leak into the surrounding tissues. This blood plasma seepage creates the chilblains.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ammar's gallery

Ammar is into drawing, writing and painting these days. For a 5 year old, his drawing especially amazed me. He is also able to write his own simple sentences. The third picture he drew is about his visit to Werribee Zoo in his school excursion last week.

There is something I notice however. Often he seems to see things from a mirror angle. Once he drew a police car copying a picture of a police car, but whilst the picture that he copied is right-faced, his drawing faced left. And the word "POLICE" is left faced. I also found he wrote the word "AUSTRALIA" facing left.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The kid's gallery

Ammar's drawing today - he said "Mak and me".

Farhan's out of Bright's autumn leaves.

Friday, June 1, 2012

When missing home...

My favourite forever.
Always made me feel like missing the dearests in the far away.

"My Island Home" by Warumpi Band.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Little helper

We've got a new helper. It's a little robot for a specific purpose - vacuuming that is. It is irobot roomba model 530.

I actually have kept in mind to buy this little robot since last year when reading about it somewhere. Finally, last week seeing the price has gone down since last year - it has been superseded by a new model - and it's on offer in Good Guys - with some extra in the salary this month - it's time to grab one.

I could say so far it works very well - really love it indeed that I feel I should have it long before.

But the price held me back.. For $390 (advertised as $396) - it's still expensive for such little thingy - almost 3/4 of the price for the washing machine. But it's good that you don't have to do it on your own. Because with the three creative little musketeers, vacuuming is a must every day.

And the kids were really excited at the beginning seeing how the little robot moving around the house to clean the floor. We also think that it's cute - it goes back to its home base when it's finished. Farhan even said, the roomba is his new smart toy that he named it - "Mike the vacuumer".

Is there any robot that could do cooking? I want one.

Friday, April 27, 2012

To cleanse?

I am still reading Amartya Sen's Ideas of Justice (2009) - and still grappling with one chapter which seems to be the greatest hurdle so far. Reviewing the first draft, my supervisor still seem not to give the green light.

However Sen takes me to think about the situation in the home country especially facing the day tomorrow.

For those who are concerned, the philosophical justification by Sen is useful:

"Democracy has to be  judged not just by the institutions that formally exist but by the extent to which different voices from diverse sections of the people can actually be heard."

"Public reasoning is clearly an essential feature of objectivity in political and ethical beliefs." (p. 44)

In Sen's Development as Freedom (1999), he points out why political freedom is important. He said:

"Political freedom ... help to promote economic security. Social opportunities ... facilitates economic participation. Economic facilities ... can help to generate personal abundance as well as public resources for social facilities. Freedom of different kinds can strengthen one another" (p.11)

Hope things get easier.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Message from the forests

It has been many times actually I have come accross this message. But every time I read it again, it would not fail to make me stop and think, what is it that we are all trying to find in our life. It seems that wealth must be the most important thing, as seen from what we encounter in every day life. Say differently but it has taken the centre of our life.

What is the message though?

Tebu, from the forest of Pahang, said through Tuck-Po:

"Take away the forest, the ... (world) ends.
We want people to know that the world can end.
Already there aren't trees." 
Lye Tuck-Po, Changing Pathway: Forest Degradation and Batek of Pahang (2005)

Another similar message from the people of Dandakaranya forest:

"Can you leave the water in the rivers, the trees in the forest?
Can you leave the bauxite in the mountain?"
(Arundhati Roy, Broken Republic, 2011)

Arundhati bitterly reminds, "if they say they cannot, then perhaps they should stop preaching morality to the victims of their wars."

Monday, April 9, 2012

Four seasons

It's four-seasons day today. Since morning, weather changes almost every hour. It started cloudy and windy in the morning, hail stones in the last hour, clearing the sky revealing its stunning blue with sunshine minutes ago. And now clouds are developing again. Temperature is dropping. At 3pm, it's already 12 degree.  Tonite, thick blanket must be.

It's Easter and school break. The kids are home. I am in the study room - anxious hearing the kids are excited outside - getting ready with their boots, hats and raincoat hoping to see another hail stones. Ainaa is shouting to jump in the muddy puddle outside. Must be like Peppa and her lil' bro ... Really love to join in.. huh ;-)

Friday, March 30, 2012

The world of fish

Of late I come to admire the writing of Amartya Sen. I think he gives answers to many questions that linger in my mind particularly regarding my research project.

In his book, The Idea of Justice, he mentioned about how life especially in society life - ie the life of human beings - should not become like the world of fish. The "world of fish" (matsanyanya) is where the big fish can freely devour a small fish. This story has been mentioned in early Indian legal theories. He said it is crucial to make sure that the justice of fish is not allowed to invade the world of human beings.

I found similarity of this analogy with a statement mentioned to me by an MP I met during my fieldwork. She said the reality of life is when it comes to dealing with small people is "if you are a big fish, you meet with a small fish, you just eat them!"

Doesn't it come to our realization, that there are many circumstances both at global and domestic, that we live in the world of fish?

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Just to share the photo of fresh tinn or fig fruits. We've never seen or taken it fresh before. It is really sweet and has beautiful taste when taken fresh.


We went to Tasmania last week. It is a beautiful place indeed. We really wanted to travel accross the country. But with the kids, it would be such a bad plan. So we went to three regions at southern area. From Hobart International Airport, we went straight to Richmond about 20 km north. From Richmond we headed down 70 km to Tasman Peninsula and spent one night in Taranna. The last two nights were spent at Hobart, in Treasure Island caravan park. The kids really had a great time.

Here are some of the photos to share.

A fest at Richmond.

Tasman devil and the friendly kangaroos,
Conservation Park, Taranna, Tasman Peninsula.

Flowers at Botanical Garden, Hobart.

The famous Sea Shepherd ship, park behind the Supreme Court, Royal Botanical Garden, and the windy summit of Mount Wellington, Hobart.

Stunning beaches: Nubeena, Tasman Peninsula and
Dunalley, taken near Dunalley Fish Market.

The historic Richmond Bridge and
the sunrise from the cabin at Treasure Island Caravan Park, Hobart.

Historic buildings and University of Tasmania, Hobart.

Richmond and the historic buildings.

Buildings near Salamanca Parade, Supreme Court of Tasmania and Parliament.

 Mosque at Hobart, but it was closed when we arrived at 3pm. The others are the park near Salamanca Parade at the back of Hobart Supreme Court.

Salamanca Fruits Market.

Treasure Island Caravan Park, Hobart.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sharks also need compassion

Minding the shark

Adopt law to utilise whole shark

I REFER to “Inhumane finning act must be stopped” (The Star, March 12). Social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye’s suggestion that shark hunting in Sabah and Malaysia waters be banned is commendable.

In May last year, Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjum stated that shark numbers had dramatically fallen to 20% of what they were previously due to shark hunting.

Sabah, he said, would amend its law to ban shark hunting. With immediate effect, the state government also removed shark’s fin from the menu at official functions.

Federal Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid had in September 2007 banned shark’s fin from being served at the ministry’s functions to help conservation of the shark species.

Despite the actions, shark’s fin remains one the most popular and luxurious items on the menus of distinguished hotels and seafood restaurants.

Conservationists report that the normal practice to get the fins from the wild shark population is by removing the dorsal fin of the sharks while the sharks are still alive. The finless sharks are thrown back into the sea, and being unable to swim die slowly.

This conduct is irresponsible, barbarous, cruel and inhumane. Environmentalists have long called for a reduction in demand for shark’s fins.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in 1999 recommended an International Plan of Action for Sharks. Even though the recommendations are not legally binding, they encourage member nations to develop their own shark management and protection plan.

As a member country of this international organisation, Malaysia through the Department of Fisheries in 2006 published the National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Shark (Malaysia NPOA-Shark).

This plan recommends that where sharks are fished, the entire carcasses should be utilised, not just the fins. Therefore, sharks are not to be killed for the use of their fins only.

However this plan only operates as mere guidelines for Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and has no legal effect.

I propose the Government adopt the Conduct for Responsible Fisheries as a provision in the law relating to fisheries to require the carcasses of the sharks to be retained with their fins to ensure the full usage of the sharks.

The law is in line with the spirit of Malaysia’s commitment at international level to ensure the conservation and management of sharks and their long-term sustainable use.

Melbourne, Australia.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

All the way with you for the rest of my life

By today, it has been 10 years we are together as a family.
Happy anniversary.

I praise Allah for sending me you my love
You’ve found your home it’s here with me, and I’m here with you
Now let me let you know
You’ve opened my heart
I was always thinking that love was wrong
But everything was changed when you came along
And there’s a couple of words I want to say

For the rest of my life, I’ll be with you
I’ll stay by your side, honest and true
Till the end of my time, I’ll be loving you
For the rest of my life, through days and nights
I’ll thank Allah for opening my eyes
Now and forever I, I’ll be there for you
I know it deep in my heart
I feel so blessed when I think of you
And I ask Allah to bless all we do

 You’re my wife, and my friend and my strength
And I pray we’re together in Jannah
Finally now I’ve found my self, I feel so strong
Yes everything was changed when you came along
And there’s a couple of words I want to say

And now that you’re here, in front of me
I strongly feel love
And I have no doubt, and I’ll sing it loud
And that I will love you eternally

“For The Rest Of My Life”
 Lyrics: Maher Zain, Charbel Amso, Abou-Daniell & Bara Kherigi

Friday, January 13, 2012

"Why warriors lie down and die?"

I came acrros a book recently that held me reading till the last page. The book is titled "Why warriors lie down and die?". It was written by a community development worker, Richard Trudgen. He wrote through his own experience dealing with Yolnu of Arnhem land in Northern Territory, Australia.

The story of Yolnu is just an instance of sad history of indigenous peoples all around the world. It tells a very powerful lesson that human being has the ability to survive and to prosper if they have power to control their own life. Yolnu history tells that, mass killing that their previous generation had gone through did not kill the community - they survived and thrived as warriors. But take the power to control their own life, it is the true and real destructive weapon that has massive greatest effect to the whole community. They live but a living hell.

The only means, the author proposed, is empowerment - allow them to take charge of their own life, recognize and respect their system of life and law as valid, give them their means to continue their life on their own term.

When I read the book, I actually remember about a Jakun family who live within a palm oil plantation in Rompin. They collect scattered palm fruits to eke out their living - a story that was told by an MP in the course of my fieldwork. I also remember about the Temiar who put up timber blockade in Gua Musang last week. I was frustrated to read the response by those in the authority that simply use the cliche to brush aside their claim - frustrated especially because those who said so was a person highly respected in the community as a religous leader.

I hope the life of these people would get better.

The book should be read by all involved with the indigenous community development especially the policy makers, the workers dealing with these people, the preachers, academics and anyone indeed.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Teddy picnic

Ammar really wanted to have a teddy picnic. His brother had had it in the last week of his term past few weeks. He also saw Peppa had the picnic in one of the episodes (he he it was a cartoon.. "PeppaPig"). So we had the teddy picnic yesterday on the first day of the new year .. but indoor ;-) with everyone cuddling fav teddies ;-) on picnic mat in the hall.

We wanted to have it outside in our backyard, but, it was too hot with temperature reached up to almost 40 degree. Since Mr Daddy and the big brother were not around, attending their Ibadah Camp, we held the program for three of us.

The menu: garlic bread, tomato slices, potato chips and creamy lamb soup. There is reason for this .. Mr Daddy could not really tolerate lamb, so I took the opportunity to have lamb when he is away.

Somehow they enjoyed the picnic very much!

Happy new year.