Thursday, November 10, 2011

That Small Deeds

Field Trip USA was on the tv last night. It is that tv show where they bring some Malaysian students to the US as exchange students. It is quite good that they offer some kind of different perspective to our local students as they can learn a lot about the culture of the people there. One of the exchange student even said that he likes the teachers there as they are different in their approach compared to Malaysian teachers. His favourite teacher there is a Social Studies teacher because the teacher likes to crack jokes and is like a friend to him. That is not actually surprising as even I, who is teaching right now, would like to have a teacher who understands me, rather than dictating what should and should not be done. Then I also read an article which discusses the impact that a teacher has on the students. The encouraging teachers who always say the right thing at the right time, who do not condescend the students whatever their capabilities might be, who have that little sprinkle of trust dust which would help the students to be confident of themselves, no matter how insignificant they might seem. So I tried to recall those teachers who have shaped me to be who I am today

Primary School : Cikgu Badariah - my Mathematics teacher who was very fierce but actually meant well. Teachers nowadays don't do things like she did back then. You don't do your work, be prepared to be pinched until it leaves a mark. Haha. Though I am not exactly a fan of Mathematics, I somehow realized that I like being calculative and technical even in my language works.

Secondary School : Miss Umi Kelsom - When you only have one English teacher for that 5 years of secondary school, you know that somehow, sooner or later, you would bond with that teacher. And I did, I have always liked being in her class as I would sometime escape some sort of punishments while my friends did not. Haha. She managed to make me love English and trusted me when other teachers did not. You surely can't ask more than that.

University : Madam Sri Hariaty - There was this time when we had a group work and have to write articles. For my article, I wrote something about the elements in water. Once the work was submitted, one of my friend from another class told me that she complimented my work in front of the other class and said that my work was good and I could be a writer for a magazine or something like that. Though I am not exactly a writer now, I feel that that recognition motivated me to write more and not to give up on writing. Though she did not say it directly to me, I will always remember how it affects me in my writing.

To have these teachers who have influenced you and helping you to be who you are right now is really a blessing. So last week when a student of mine gave me a letter, I was not expecting the things that she wrote in it.

Yes, she spelled my name as Sayfiq. Haha. I can't exactly remember when I said this to her but I am almost certain that I was joking. I was not expecting this letter at all as I would just say something without trying to preach or nag them. But I am honoured that at least what I said has some impact on them. At least she likes going to my class and enjoyed it. That is one thing done right by me. Haha. So being an educator is more than just teaching, it is leaving an impact on the students and helping them to improve. It is more than helping them to learn what is in the syllabus but to learn about life as well. That is not exactly an easy ride but that is something that I am willing to do.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Two in One.

My eldest sister just got married early this month. It has taken her quite some time to get married. Suffice to say, it could not get any sooner.

She had gone through some ups and downs in her relationship, from the best of time, having men 'jostling' to get her hands, to the worst of times, watching her burning her ex's love letters and asking me not to treat my lady badly. Well, that is one advice that I dont have to reminded of, just ask those who have been with me.haha. Jokes aside, she deserves to get married, to be with someone who she loves. After what she had gone through, this is the least that she should get.

As loud as she is, as tough looking she is, she is one fragile lady inside. Just wait for her to be in her occasional breakdowns and you know what I mean. Luckily she has someone as patient as her husband, who could keep up with her tantrums and mood swings. Patience should be his middle name as I dont even think I have his level of patience. If I were him, I would have walked out a long time ago. But no, he was persistent for the past 6 years or so, being her long time boyfriend before finally marrying her. That is one great guy and my sister is lucky to have him as her boyfriend and now as her husband. And no one can deny that.

Have I told you that she is a devious scammer? Maybe I already have but I am still going to say about it here. I was in my primary school years when I was duped into parting with my money, in the context of sharing, so that 'we' could buy a No Doubt's album. Though I could not really understand why I let her dupe me into doing that, I am glad that she did that because, hell, No Doubt is one good band. She influenced me since then into liking many great female singers. Maybe she likes women who are tough and independent and you can really see her in that mould once you know her. And I have no regrets whatsoever liking these great female singers.

To Along, a great sister, hopefully you are happy with the man of your choice because I know that he is happy to have you too. Both of you are great together and that is a No Doubt.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

While We Celebrate.

Today is Raya Aidilfitri. Selamat Hari Raya to everyone. It is also a day to celebrate and do good deeds. But while we have fun and visit our loved ones, just remember that there are those who are not able to indulge in the lavish activities that we are used to. Some people even have to resort to living in toilets.

Early this year, the night before Chinese New Year, I was sipping my teh tarik at the usual mamak stall in front of my house when I saw a Chinese family, a mother with her two daughters, eating roti canai when they should be having their big dinner.The mom just watched her daughters sharing a cup of water with one roti canai. It made me realise that poverty is not restricted to certain people when actually it covers some percentage of people in Malaysia, no matter who they are. There are always some people who need help from us, you just need to watch Bersamamu on TV3.

So for this Raya, help those who are in need. Who knows, maybe someday you would need some help too.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I was involved in a CSR programme that was organised by my workplace. As I am used to being involved with programmes like this when I was studying, I figured that I might as well lend a hand in helping my colleagues. It was a CSR programme that was held at a primary school nearby where we had some language games and book donations. While we were playing the language games with the students, some students, even the weak ones were very participative. Though they can hardly understand English, they tried their best to give the answers. Partly because we offered some prizes to entice them, I guess. But that is not the point. What the students need is motivation. Some of them see English as something that is so alien, so foreign to them that they can't seem to see themselves to be involved with it. What makes matters worse is when teachers label the students as incompetent thus demotivating the students. Some teachers need to know their students better because that is how we can motivate the students. For example, there are students who like to be praised for them to work hard. While some students prefer to be challenged for them to give their best. But when teachers do not even take their time to engage the students, that is when the problem comes. Sure, some teachers are recognised as the best teacher when they are able to help the students to get as many As as possible. But what is untold is that most of these students are already bright students, teachers do not need to do much to help these students. Meanwhile, students from the remedial classes are ignored because they do not have much hope to score as many As as their more intelligent friends. Sadly, that is the situation nowadays, those who seem to have less are ignored.

I was talking to some of my seniors colleagues when the topic of their younger days suddenly cropped out. Those were days, they said, when it was in the 80s up until the early 90s, when people don't really wear hijab, even for some of the ustazah. Both of them have almost the same story. One of them said that she was not wearing any hijab at that time but she wanted to know more about Islam. But the problem was, the Muslim bodies in her university shunned her because she was not wearing hijab at that time. As she did not have anyone to guide her, she did not wear hijab until few years later. The other one said that her friends who wear hijab also shunned her because she did not wear hijab. But one of the now-outlawed Muslim bodies (it was not outlawed at that time) accepted her and helped her to know Islam and others things related to it. They lamented how easy it was to judge people and have negative perception just because they do not conform to the same set of standards that other people have. They said it would be better to help them rather than making them feel like an outcast. Sure, it is easy to give sermons to those who always come to the mosque everyday. But what about those who do not, should they be left out? Maybe this is why some people gave up and went to other bodies in request for help as even some Muslim bodies prefer to wash their hands of difficult things and concentrate to things that are easier.

Chances. It is very easy to be said but not very easy to be given to those who need them.

Nur Kasih The Movie 2011 PPVRip 01 by daniNor15

I like this scene from Nur Kasih The Movie, watch from minute 25 onwards. It is very much related to what I'm writing today.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Fish That is Fed

Life is not a bed of roses, no one can deny that. It is a very materialistic world now, that sometimes people are divided between the haves and the havenots.


I went to Singapore last week, with a hope that I could enjoy myself there. Instead, I had to follow a group for visits to mosque around there. The committee of the mosques explained that they did not get any direct funding from the government. What they got were money from Mosque Building Fund (MBF) and discounts in buying plots of lands for their mosque. MBF is a fund where Muslims in Singapore would have their salary to be deducted and put into the fund. The minimum is 5 Dollar while others can opt for more. This is the fund that is used to buy the lands, build the mosque and for the upkeeps of the mosque. While some mosques received fundings from MBF, there are also those that do not receive them. What these mosques did was they organized programmes, such as selling food and selling items that have been donated to the mosque. What impresses me the most, for them, mosques are more than a place for you to pray five times a day. For them, it is a community centre, where it is not limited to praying only. They have programmes where they engage the community and the youths in liking the mosques. They worked for it as they know that if they do not work for it, then no one else will. In the midst of that monetary hardships, they persevered and did not whine hoping for assistance from the government. Of course, as the minorities, they had to compromise such as they cant use the loudspeakers for azan but they did not see that as a problem as everyone knows that they can still listen to the azan in the radio. These are the examples where you have to persevere and not let the problems to get you down.

Tourist spots.

While the Singaporean Malays persevered, Malaysian Malays prefer to wait for everything to come to them. Very well known for being lazy, all the fundings should come from the government, that is what the Malays have always thought. Thus, they did not actually work for the fundings, they just have to apply, contact some YBs and they will get the fundings. Not only that the mosques are used for praying only, sometimes the main purpose that they are actually built are for tourism. Yes, we can show to the people that we have alot of mosques, but who actually use them? Maybe what should be done is we have something similar like MBF, so that the Muslims here actually feel some sense of entitlement to the mosques because they actually contributed their money to the mosques. Maybe only then, we will work hard with what we have and not being ignorant just because we already have our day jobs and we can put food on our table.

The fault here is when we feel comfortable with our life that we tend to ignore hardships that other people had been through and not to work hard to achieve something that we actually want . Like the saying, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. "

Saturday, June 25, 2011



I was playing basketball last week when I accidentally hurt myself and had a torn ligament. It was not fun. Really. I could barely walk in the first few days and had to wear leg braces. At that time, I had to get people to drive me to places and buy me food. Feeling hopeless is an understatement. I lost the ability to walk for awhile and it hit me how important a simple act like walking can be.


Klang Valley was hit with a major water cut that led to many grouses for two whole days in certain areas. People were suddenly panic because they could not do their daily chores because of the disturbance. Not many actually realised the importance of water before that. Only when there is a major water cut that people go huha about it.


I heard that there will be some changes to the scholarships for SPM students. I think this is long overdue. Some students thought that scholarships are rightfully theirs when you have to be chosen to obtain them. There are already too many scholarship holders who have not returned to Malaysia even after decades finishing their studies. Why should we have more? Only give scholarships to those who got to top universities then we can control the outflow of taxpayers money. How can we keep on bashing the local universities when we do not even send the top students to our local universities? It is obviously a case of which one comes first, the egg or the chicken. The scholarships should rightly be taken away and be given only to those who deserve them.

People go crazy when they lost something, including their insanity. Hopefully we can be like the Japanese, calm and disciplined, during our adverse times.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Sungai Lui

I was listening to the radio and Aizat was on an interview. One of the question was about his song, 'Sungai Lui'. He explained that the song is about a man who is successful but still comes back to his hometown, knowing where his root is.

There are many news highlighting about Malaysians migrating for the greener pastures, some of them due to better job offers, not satisfied with the treatment that they received in Malaysia plus many other setbacks that prompted them to choose leaving rather than staying.

Of course, I would be lying if I say that I'm satisfied with the happenings in Malaysia. It is harder nowadays, especially for young people like me who are burdened with loans and other difficulties, to get a good life. There are people who suggested that I should be leaving to other countries where life is better there. But for me, I can't correct the things I want to if I leave this country. I love this country and I will fight for it by staying here.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Reliability of Emails

While I don't want to comment about the 1Malaysia email as there have been alot of comments from other people, I just hope that apart from having emails for ordinary Malaysians, they better have a system where the government agencies actually reply the emails that are given to them. Waiting for an email reply since November last year is not a good thing.

At least an MP actually replied my email promptly.

Friday, April 22, 2011

How To Know Whether You Are Ready for Postgraduate Studies

I was at the Post Graduate Education Fair last week. Sensing that it is time for me to pursue my studies, I went there with a hope that I would learn few things before I enroll myself into the painstaking world of postgraduate studies. I really did learn alot of things when I talked to the university representatives at the fair there. What I want to highlight here is the experience that I had before going there.

Some people, after they are done with their bachelor degrees, would want to pursue their masters degrees naturally, which is fine with me. Learning is a never ending process. The problem is when they have problems in determining or not knowing how to choose appropriate course to pursue their postgraduate studies.

1. Time
There are people who can't really wait to do their postgraduate studies after they have graduated. While this is not an act of fault, there are some who simply rush into things. Doing a postgraduate study would require you to actually know what you are doing. Taking the time to work after degree, having work experience would really help. For example, in TESL, as this is my area, how would you know whether you are interested in linguistics, literature, TESL, ESL, Educational Psychology or even ESP when you are not actually practising them? By working and practising them, you would know whether this is something that you are really interested in or something that is viable to study and do a research on. Unless, you want to do a master degree just for the sake of having a master degree. This is the reason that I would advise people to take their time in getting to know themselves and what they really want to do in life. Once you know that, by all means, please go ahead.

2. Maturity
Usually, postgraduate studies would require you to make some researches. This in turn requires you to have a critical mind. I have seen some PhD students, not all, just some, who can't even identify their mistake in a sentence. Doing a postgraduate study would need you to be analytical, being able to see what is wrong and what is right. This is where maturity comes into place, where the ability to make deductive reasoning is fundamental. Of course, there will be a supervisor who will check your work but you can't expect him to correct your every other sentence. In short, make sure that you are able to judge your work so that it won't be called an utter rubbish.

3. Reason
Last but obviously not the least. This is one of the most important reasons. Why would you want to pursue your postgraduate study? Can it help you to get a better pay? Or because you want to make researches? Or simply because other people are doing it, so you are just following the crowd? You need to ask yourself, why would you want to do a postgraduate study. Make sure that it is a valid reason. I have a friend who continued his study after he had finished his TESL degree. I asked him, why now? Why right after finishing a bachelor degree? I would always remember his answer, even until now,

"I don't want to teach at schools. I want to teach at colleges"

which offends me much. Being trained to teach at schools, a masters degree means nothing compared to the wealth of experience that some of the teachers have. Obviously, he assumes that teaching at schools is degrading for him. I used to teach at a school for a while and I must say school teachers have one of the toughest job around. So if you want to get a masters degree because you do not want to teach at schools, that is a totally skewed reason. In short, have a valid reason before pursuing your postgraduate studies.

I hope this would help especially for someone like me who used to be unsure on what to do about my postgraduate study.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Two Days of Enjoyment.

Being someone who lives in Seremban, I am already tired of going to Port Dickson as I am used to it. But when Groupsmore had an offer for a buggy ride at PD Buggy Trek I quickly snapped it up and asked my friends to join me. We had alot of fun but it was not raining that day so there was no mud, just dust and dirt. It would surely be more fun being drenched in mud once in a while.LOL.

PD Buggy Trek 1

PD Buggy Trek 3

PD Buggy Trek 2

Then we went to the beach, had some food while watching the sunset.The serenity of it.Ahhh...

On the next day, I used a voucher that I bought from ilovediscounts for a meal at Pie in The Sky at Plaza Damas, Hartamas. No, that is not cheapo, that is smart buying. Haha.

We were given two cold drinks and I chose Ice Lemon Tea.

Two chicken chops.

One moist chocolate cake.

And one apple pie.

Going to a pie restaurant would be incomplete without a pie, right?

The food was very good. I enjoyed the chicken chop, it was tender and crispy. Even the salad was good and I am not someone who enjoys my veggies. The cake was soft and moist which I prefer than the apple pie. It is not that the apple pie was not good, it just I like something sweet better. To top it all, I went with someone special. That made it even better. :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Picturesque Putrajaya

Yesterday I went to Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. The place was at Monumen Alaf Baru, Putrajaya. The last time I went there was back in 2009 so when I reached there, it was certainly different from the last that I remember. Now it has more food stalls and activities lined up for the visitors. The only gripe that I had was the spot where they have the food stalls were all muddy when it rained. They could have made the venue much better for next time. Here are some of the pictures that I took at the event.

balloon 4

balloon 1

balloon 2

balloon 3


We were also entertained by the smoky firework during the night.


I managed to take a picture of the 'Supermoon Phenomenon'. Luckily I didn't turn into a werewolf or I would have to rip my tshirt apart and look good without it.

Or did I?Haha.


Putrajaya has some scenic views and now I can't wait for this year International Fireworks Competition at Putrajaya which will be held around July or August 2011.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

For the love of movies.

I have not been writing a lot these days. One of them is due to work commitment that requires me to be doing something else in front of the computer except blogging. As if I dont have enough work to occupy my time, now I have another blog in place. I will be writing on that blog with my friend Ijan which will discuss about movie reviews, news and once in a while some feature articles that will be written by us.

I love going to the cinemas and Ijan does too, I think. So we figured that maybe we should write about something that we have been discussing all this while. We are by no means experts in this field but we figured that there are not many blogs that talk about movie in English. We will be discussing about international and, not forgetting, the local movies. While my blog here mainly talks about serious things, this movie blog will talk about about something light that we all love. I guess.

Have a look at Hope you enjoy it.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Why Malaysia is better.

As the time of writing, many pro-democracy protesters are on the streets of Cairo and Alexandria, demanding that Hosni Mubarak steps down. You do not have to take a flight to Egypt to actually see the effect of the protests. While they have many reasons for protesting, it is undeniable that there are some side effects such as unruly atmosphere that forces many foreigners to flee the country, including Malaysians. So what should have Mubarak done?

From my point of view, there are two. First, leave the country like what Tunisian ex-President Ben Ali did. Once he stepped down and left the country, the political unrest stopped and they are now looking forward to a new government.

Or, if he does not want to step down, make sure that the protest does not happen from the start. While the top military chief already declared that they "will not use force against protesters calling for the removal of President Hosni Mubarak ahead of a 'million people' march", but I guess it is already too late now. They should have used force from the start, preventing the protest from even happening. Like what Malaysian police usually do, even to a candlelight vigil protest. No protest, no problem.

I love Malaysia.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I was driving and as I reached a traffic light, the signal turned to red. Minding my own business, I looked at the traffic light while waiting for it to turn to green. It was at night and I was badly lit by the horribly maintained lamp post. Suddenly I looked at my right and I realized that a group of girls were looking at me. I tried to look around, just to be sure that they were looking at me. I was alone at that time, unless they saw something on top of my car and the smiles that they gave me were actually horrified look looking at some ghost with long legs just like in the movie Karak.

So I checked.Yeah, they were looking at me.Haha. They were smiling and grinning and I thought to myself, " Yeah, this feels good. Though it was dark at the time. They might be thinking in the car here looks like Ashraf Muslim though in actual it looks like Shrek."

Yes,this is how I look at night. But with hair.

So now I know why women like to get dressed, put on alot of make ups, get their hair done. It is because they like the attention! Don't tell me that they simply put on those thick make ups just because they like it. I was given a small attention by girls in cars and I already felt flattered. So no wonder that many false advertising like wearing skimpy clothes, being skinny are A-OK as they are already ingrained with the understanding that it is ok to be looked at, to show off what you have. If that is the common thing right now, I just can't imagine what would I do if I have a daughter in the future. Chain her to her bed?

So while women are being looked at by their looks, there are some of my friends who told me that men are judged by what car they drive. The bigger the car is or the louder the sound that it makes, the better men feel in their pants as they are judged by their cars. Talk about being shallow right?

Oh, by the way, I only drove a Kelisa that night, so either the theory about men with cars is false or the girls were just trolling me. I guess it is the latter.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


History is a delicate subject as sometimes it can be rather skewed, depending on who writes it. Those who propose a subject might be the heroes while those who oppose are being portrayed as the villains. Though history is a subject about facts, how it is being presented can actually change how the facts are being portrayed. For example, we know that the past Sultans and the lords are actually the people who gave away our land to the British when they need some support over territorial problems. Here the Sultans and the lords are being portrayed as those who were being cheated while the British were being portrayed as the sneaky opportunists. Well, if no one is fighting over some territorial prowess, no opportunists could even have the chance to fool anyone right?

So the problem of our history textbooks have been debated heavily once it was decided that History would be a compulsory pass subject. While some quarters are opposing the amount of 'biased' info in the text book, the latest uproar related to the BM literature novel for SPM students once again put the limelight on what do we teach our students. So some books have been burned, pictures of the author have been slapped with slippers all in the name of opposing the content of the book. While I have not read the book Interlok yet, I just wonder what was the fuss about. Did the writer write some false information there? Or did the writer incites the races in Malaysia to go against each other? If what have been described by the writer are things that actually happened, then what is wrong with that? Ok so the name calling might not seem so appropriate, but is it something that is false there? We have seen how P.Ramlee's movies have cursing words in it but well, that is just how it was at that time. No one kicked a fuss out of it, People are still watching the movies and no one is complaining. Interlok was published in the 1970s so maybe it was something normal at that time with the name callings. We just accept that it happened at that time. Wanting to change the terms in the book to please some quarters is like the idiot request of some people who wants to change the term of Harimau Malaya, our national football team nickname, to Harimau Malaysia to really represents the true composition of the country. What a load of bullshit when no one even cares when the team was losing but everyone wants a piece when the team is winning. So it goes the same here with the book. It was published in the 1970s and no one cared about the terms. Even if they disagree with the book, there is actually no need to resort to burning the books as books should be appreciated, not to be burned. Engage in an intellectual manner, not in a barbaric form.

Have you read the book Salina by A. Samad Said? I would really suggest you to read that. I read it when I was in school, around 15 or 16 years old. I never really knew about the book at that time but I guess the red cover of the book intrigued me to read it. I can not really recall all the points in the book now as it has been a very long time since the last time that I read it. What I can remember is that the book is a story about Salina, a prostitute who lives in a run down house with a very poor environment. I can still remember the description of the feces being passed in the book. So the book actually refers to Salina as a prostitute, so does that mean that I should be angry because I do not believe that my race should be portrayed as prostitute? What is wrong with us now that we have become too sensitive with everything? We keep on trying to reach for perfectness when in truth we never will be. Just embrace the fact that we are not perfect but we must never give up to improve ourselves. The more we try to find perfectness, the more imperfectness will come creeping out of the closet. By that time we will realise that we are just mere human, not God.