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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Raya here and there

Ramadhan will be leaving us again this year, tomorrow, as it did all those previous years, taking away all that extra offerings and barakah from The All Mighty with it. We never know if we'll breathe another day to meet with this holy month again next year. With that, what a shame it would be to those who didn't gain anything, whether it be Allah's mercy, barakah, or forgiveness, in this holy month. How sad it would be to be getting nothing other than hunger and thirst during such a blessed month.

But heads up people, we still have one more day of Ramadhan! So, insyaAllah, let's make the most of the final moments we have with Ramadhan. Tomorrow signals the last day of fasting for the majority of Muslims world wide, in Nashville included. 1 Syawal will fall on Wednesday, October the 1st.

It did struck me however, the fact that Muslims don't celebrate this glorious day together. My sister in UK for instance, is celebrating Eid tomorrow, on Tuesday, a day earlier than the most of us. Same is said of Saudi Arabia. Heck, I even heard the Kurdish community in Nashville is having theirs tomorrow.

Why is this so? I mean, Eid-ul Fitri besides Eid-ul Adha is two of the greatest, most glorious celebrations we have in the Muslim calender. The least that could've been done is assign the same date for the celebrations. Why differ from one place to another, from one organization to the other? The dating of 1 Syawal is year in and year out, the hottest discussion most of have towards the end of Ramadhan.

The two methods applied to determine the day is first, by lunar sighting. If that is impossible, then the calculation method is used. Saudi Arabia and other parts of the world celebrating tomorrow used the former method while the rest agreed to use the latter. Why is that we can't agree on one specific date? If someone claims to have witnessed the moon, why can't we all follow suite?

Is it a case of ignorance and ego? With one claiming to be the better than the rest? Are we to stubborn to agree with each other? What message are we sending out to the non-Muslims when we can't even have a consensus on one of our holiest day? Christians are able to celebrate Christmas on Dec 25 with no fuss. Why can't we? Where is the unity that we talk about?

One Eid throughout the world. Read what AMJA online had to say.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ninja Cat

Watch this incredibly cute cat:

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Hurrican Effect

After being hit by two hurricanes, Gustav and Ike respectively, the havoc in the oil rich region has continued to effect many other parts of the US to this very day.

And as an immediate effect of both hurricanes, oil refineries in the Gulf of Mexico region were shut down and are yet to receive full power. Nashville receives 80% of it's oil supply (or gas as they pronounce it in the US) from that region. And thus, almost 80% Nashville's oil is supply is missing. The effect? Gas stations across Nashville have next to nothing gas. Most are seldom open, while some are open only for a while. And the price? At least 4 bucks a gallon. People are really finding it hard to fill their cars now.

Yesterday night a routine trip to Walmart by some friends turned sour when their car ran out of gas midway. And heck, there was no possible way to fill it up since all gas stations were out of gas! The car is now standard there some where. The moral of that story is never go anywhere without enough gas!

What's sad is that it's only been a week since the disaster in Texas. If the oil refineries can't be back and running sooner, God knows what will happen.

Luckily, my carmates had the initiative to fill our car full the night before gas ran out. So now, running on full tank, insyaAllah we'll be able to make it through this depressing time. As they say, sediakan payung sebelum hujan. But then again, who knows how long this upsetting time will last.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Zahid's Flaw

In the wake of the recent ISA arrests, Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department claimed that the detainees had to be blamed. He said that those detained had ignored past warnings and history when they chose to propagate disharmony in the society.

Being a former detainee himself, we must all think that this guys knows what he's taking. He defends the act since it's for the greater good.

Then came his flaw.

'He also lambasted those who wanted to use religious principles in justifying whether the ISA was Islamic or not, adding they must differentiate between criminal, civil and syariah laws.'

Er, mister, I thought syariah laws consist all, INCLUDING criminal and civil laws as well?

Read it here.

Politics of Fear

The Malaysian government runs on fuel propelled by politics of fear. They plant fear into the hearts of every Malaysian citizen so as to keep us voting for them. For if the country does fall into opposition's hands, as they say, all hell would break lose. Malaysia would be in total chaos. And heck, we don't want that.

But is it actually true? Is it really true that hell would break lose if Anwar were to make it into Putrajaya? Is he really planning to sell our beloved country to the US?

Be afraid, be very afraid!! That's always been the motto for our government for the good part of 51 years of independence. Why go for another government if this government is still ok? It's not like we're living in a backwards nation of some sorts. Hey, we used to have the tallest building in the world, you know! And in KLIA (even though rather empty), we own one of the biggest and most beautiful airports you could find. The Sepang circuit, Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, man into space, bla...bla.. The list of our achievements just goes on. We have had our moments in history. So why root for a change when it is obvious we are living in a moderate, developing and comfortable country as it is today?

But than again, all this is just too familiar. I've heard commotions similar to these before. Ahh, now I remember. I read these almost same exact lines from my secondary school history books. Yes, true indeed. Have they forgotten that some half a decade ago, these were the same exact lines that came out of people who didn't want independence from the British? People who would rather stay safe and sound in the hands of the British rather than run a government of their own. People who were too afraid to change, to move on, too selfish, and were all too comfortable living in their own comfort zones. Luckily we had people who cared back then, people like Tun Abd Rahman, Dato' Onn Jaafar, and Dr. Burhanuddin Al-Helmy. Later UMNO was formed, and with that, the Alliance Party, and together they 'fought' hand in hand to gain independence from British. UMNO back then was brave, intelligent, and sincere. But, ironically and sadly, it is the same party that is now sitting back too comfortably, selfish, and plain ignorant.How things change..

I remember attending a dinner by Yayasan Terengganu a month ago intended for overseas students who were back home for the summer and basically, it was an 'ada udang disebalik batu' kinda thing. After the dinner (luckily I left the room) all they did was campaign against Anwar's proposed revolution. This Exco Pendidikan guy gave the speach, and one of his many ridiculous points I heard was (and I quote), "Anwar is doing nothing more than selling the country to the US. And the US, as they are, will never want to see any other country develope. So, if Anwar does succeed in his mission to become they next PM, Malaysia will be in total chaos. And you guys studying overseas, I heavily doubt will be able to come back to Malaysia. The government (amid the destruction) will have no money to take you guys back. Now I hardly believe that anyone out that is gonna buy that, but what irritates me, besides the lousy food they served in the hotel, is the hypocritical stance the government is taking. They tell students not to get involved in politics, to stay away from it, and to those who fail to oblige will be dealt with seriously,i.e. sponsorship stripped etc. Then again, they're the ones giving out those 'free dinners'.

And this whole ISA thing? Yup, just another tactic to struck fear in people's hearts.

The recent arrest of Raja Petra, Teresa Kok, and the Chinese reporter, Tan Hoon Cheng demonstrates just that. All of the above were detained under ISA for spreading/reporting racial comments to the media. Home Minister, Dato' Hamid Albar later claimed that Tan Hoon's arrest (under ISA) was more of a safety measurement taken because she had recieved death treats. You can however read the 18 hour ISA detainee's experience here. Dato' Ahmad Ismail, former Bukut Bendera UMNO division chief wasn't arrested after claiming that the Chinese were merely 'penumpang' in Malaysia, as he had already been punished by UMNO. Don't get me wrong, but arresting somebody under ISA to 'protect' the them seems absurd (read here) and not arresting another for the same violations seems pilih kasih.

Surely people would think twice before ever daring to go against the government. Or is it? After these recent arrest, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim resigned from his post as Minister in the Prime Minister's Department as a sign of protest against the ISA. Now that's really brave and well worth noting. He stood by his stance and belief even though the it would've been so much easier to just keep quite. He was, by all means, already a minister! So what's next for Zaid? We'll see.

So that's that. Malaysian's fear factor is the government itself. So let's rid of it, shall we? And if it does turn out that this newly proposed government is worse than the one we currently have, we can always repent come 4 years. Come on, there's nothing to lose!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ike Hike

Hurricane Ike, with winds 110 mph, was not only affecting the Texas region it hit, but the whole of USA. Oil prices, as of yesterday night, climbed back to it's all time high of $4/gallon.

It's still a bit too early to declare the damage caused by this category 3 hurricane, but this $4/gal oil price can still possibly go up. I heard rumors last night that the price can go up to $5/gal (mentioned here also), but then again, it's rumors. Oil price will surely depend on how long it will take to get oil refineries back on its feet after the almost direct hit. The hurricane hit region, produces nearly 1/4 of the nation's oil.

Read more here.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Err, Pardon Me? I don't get you!

Would somebody please (you can see I'm begging here) translate this for me! I have the slighest understanding of this text. However my limited knowledge does tell me it's in English, even with all those misspells and grammar mistakes. Heck it was published in NST, so it MUST be English!

So here's the text I was talking about, which Lim Kit Siang copied in his blog.


D.K.II, S.P.M.J., S.P.C.M.

Yang Amat Mulia Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Al-Mutawakil Alallahi Shah has born on 14th of August 1959 in Hospital Batu Gajah, Perak. Yang Amat Mulia Raja Zarith is a third son to Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Sultan Perak Darul Ridzwan and Duli Yang Maha Mulia Raja Mazuwin binti almarhum Raja Arif Shah.

Yang Amat Mulia Raja Zarith Sofiah get early education in Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan Datin Khadijah Kuala Kangsar in the state his birthplace namely in Perak. After end of the education in primary school, Yang Amat Mulia continue the education to form one at Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Raja Perempuan Kalsom Kuala Kangsar, Perak.

In the month of September 1972, Yang Amat Mulia Raja Zarith Sofiah have set forth to England for further education in Chaltenham Ladies College, Gloucestershire to form six. Then, Yang Amat Mulia continue learning it in Davies College London in September 1977 and his following year in receive enter to Somerville College, London after having passed Oxford Entrance Examination.

After graduated at Oxford University with Bachelor of Art in June 1983 and follow the traditional University of Oxford, Yang Amat Mulia Raja Zarith will receive Master of Art after three years in 1986. Yang Amat Mulia also is a linguist follow several courses including language Mandarin at the tertiary level, French and Italy language.

As his father, Yang Amat Mulia Raja Zarith Sofiah is a person that talented in picture arts. Refinement of soul, Yang Amat Mulia always watching natural beauty environment immortalize in the form photograph and painting to make look and reference. Yang Amat Mulia Raja Zarith performance become guide to deliver the message education to general public. Yang Amat Mulia concern on women and natural world and it custody aspect in become deep theme in painting.

Yang Amat Mulia Raja Zarith Sofiah comply have interest profoundest field documentation. Apart from producing book, Yang Amat Mulia Raja Zarith doubled up guest writer in the The New Straits Times newspapers and in personal column it “Mind Matters” in The Star newspaper. Besides writing, Yang Amat Mulia comply active presenting a working paper at the conference national level and international.

Education from her father and mother over concern to the people, make Yang Amat Mulia Raja Zarith Sofiah likes engaged in voluntary activities about as Deputy President of Majlis Wanita Johor (ROSE), Chief of Persatuan Pandu Puteri Malaysia Johor branch, Chairman of Nationalistic Community Service Red Crescent Malaysia, Patron of Spastic Children School in Johor Bahru, Patron Rotary Club of Tebrau Foundation, Advisor of Traditional Arts School International in London and become Pro Chancellor University Technology Malaysia (UTM) and becomen Royal Felllow Faculty of Language and Linguistic University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

As the appreciation towards her contributions of ideas and efforts in the development of education in Malaysia, Chancellor of University Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, Duli Yang Amat Mulia Tunku lbrahim lsmail lbni Sultan lskandar, Tunku Mahkota Johor, has approbation to presented the awards to Yang Amat Mulia Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Al-Mutawakil Alallahi Shah the Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy in Education at 7th Convocation Ceremony of University Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia in this year. Congratulation from us, University Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia members.

This is the text as published by NST.

If you're curious what the heck this low quality work is, read here and here.

Golly, whose awfully poor work was that?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What the Heck?!

I was reading across the internet today and came to this article in Berita Harian dating before the Permatang Pauh by election (yes it's quite old). It's about Arif Shah believing that he would be getting luck in that election because of the date and some related numbers. Read it here.

What the heck? Never thought there were still some Muslims believing in such khurafat. Boy was he wrong!