Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Malaysia is 59 | We all get what we tolerate | #iamnotyourguru



Pronounce it this way: mer (as in mercedes) - they - car.

That, in Malay, means freedom.

Today, the 31st of August is Malaysia's Independence day. We are 59! Alhamdulillah. 

We will not know what it feels like to be 59 as a person until we turn 59, God willing. By the way, I want to be real and level headed like someone who is 77 - my mother.  Thank God for my mother.

Frankly speaking I didn't mind missing the Merdeka fireworks display at KLCC last night as I was immersed in another real fireworks - Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru. 

It's  a documentary by Joe Berlinger, about Tony Robbins at work, at his "Date With Destiny" event. If I could sum it up in three words, I'd say: emotional, inspirational, empowering. You gotta see it for yourself folks. [But just ignore the adult language used in the film ok.] 

Two takeaways of many takeaways from the docu:
"Our entire life changes in a moment."

"We all get what we tolerate."

What's great about Tony Robbins, whom I experienced for the first time through Joe Berlinger's documentary is that, he is real. He described himself as "not a surface man", it's about what's deep inside. Of course, what's on the surface is just that -- skin-deep. The real is buried deep. And it takes a skilled practical psychologist like him to unmask the layers of shells and coverings that hide a person's true state - emotions (usually negative emotions such as despair, anger, hatred) and issues. But then again emotions and issues are interchangeable as a cause and effect that get deposited over time underneath a person's mask.    

Yeah...we all need fleeting fun like fireworks, sometimes, perhaps to escape to the happy comfortable zone before we leave the show and get back to the real show of life. And that's when we will need real fireworks that could crack us up for good, free us up for real so that we could function as best we can.

Happy Merdeka, Malaysians!

  • Merdeka is about sleeping in one's own bed in one's own house.
  • Merdeka is about not letting anyone bully you - people who make you sleep in the car, in your own house. (LOL)
  • Merdeka is about speaking up and telling off people who try to bring you down just because they think they are holier than you or if they try to undermine your rights.
  • Merdeka is about speaking one's mind with no fear.
  • Merdeka is about having the freedom to choose what good things you want in and what bad things you want out in your mind and in your life.
Since we all get what we tolerate, so let's tolerate only the real and the positive.


This was taken on 25th Aug 2016.
Captured it as I thought the KL Tower looked sleek in green and purple.
Last night on the eve of our 59th Merdeka (31st Aug 2016)
I noticed the KL tower looking flashy in a variety of colors - yellow/white/red/blue.
Yes, you guessed it right - the colors of our flag : )
Thank God for Malaysia!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

My breakfast - Their breakfast | The Budimas Charitable Foundation


We all woke up to heavy rain in KL this morning. As always my duty is to ask my mother what she would like to have for breakfast. So I drove to the nearby stall across our condo, yes drove as it was raining cats and dogs. I usually walk. Alhamdulillah for my mother, praise be to the Lord for a beautiful day and for a decent breakfast. Like most Malaysians, I had Nasi Lemak and my mother had Fried Koay Teow for breakfast. Like other privileged KL-lites we sometimes have exquisite bread and pastries for breakfast. 

Before I left for office [Alhamdulillah for being gainfully employed] I grabbed a stack of mails and one particular mail from Farah, Ali, Chong & Friends of the Budimas Orion caught my attention and brought tears to the eyes.

The Budimas Charitable Foundation is a non-profit organization which supports orphans and underprivileged children through three key initiatives: 
- home [Budimas Home Charity Fund]
- food [Budimas Food Charity]
- education [Budimas Education Charity Fund]

The Budimas Foundation is under the distinguished Royal patronage of Her Majesty the Queen of Malaysia. Funds are for managing the Budimas Orion (the home where Farah, Ali, Chong & Friends live) and for supporting 20 other charitable homes throughout Malaysia where 1,100 orphans live.

The foundation also does another thing which I myself had benefitted when I was in primary school. I enjoyed free breakfast for several years when I was at Island Girls' School in Penang. The Budimas Charitable Foundation provides breakfast for more than 4800 underprivileged children in rural schools nationwide. Breakfast, no doubt, is the most important meal of the day. It is even more important for school children. Imagine them having to go through lessons and class activities on an empty stomach. 

When you have your breakfast tomorrow, think about the possibility of sharing a bit of your monthly expenses, to "buy" breakfast for some 4800 children across Malaysia.

Malaysians had once helped a child like me have breakfast at primary school. I benefitted from it. I urge you to share your breakfast budget with the young ones. In the video below, you'll get to see their faces and hear their voices. Their story is such a beautiful story. I'm surprised and sad that to date, the video has got under 200 views. 

Please visit for more information and please consider joining their Direct Debit Donor Program (DDDP).

I came to know about DDDP at a mall in KL. That was after three of the Foundation staffs tried to distract me from shopping. I must have appeared snobbish and selfish to them! You know there are many organizations/individuals out there trying to raise funds. But I am grateful and thankful for the persistent and polite Budimas staffs who pulled me aside to explain about this wonderful charitable foundation.

I hope you'd find time to view the video below and be inspired to sign up for the DDDP.   
Thank you!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Believe in magic and you shall find it


Hello world! 
Glad we have plenty of foreign visitors, thus I hope you'd appreciate photos from beautiful Malaysia.

I am in JB (Johor Bharu) the southern-most state in Peninsular Malaysia. That's JB clock tower to the right behind that curtain and that not so far away land in the background is Singapore. I can't say I like JB as much as I love Penang cos Penang is my hometown. But our foreign readers should know that JB has got Johor Premium Outlet (JPO) - something worth considering if you intend to visit Malaysia - truly Asia 😆 

Am here for my good friend's wedding. Pray she'll stay happily married until her last breath, spend each day with her husband in ibadah and win Allah's redha every step of the way. Ameen.
[Congrats NY and MY!]

And here's a good piece of advice for those who are still looking for their right soulmate. It's from Roald Dahl: 
"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you
because the greatest secrets are always hidden
in the most unlikely places.
Those who don't believe in MAGIC
will never find it."

But why not reverse it a bit? I say:
Believe in each moment that magic has found you!

My harvest from JPO : )
Buying gifts for your loved ones/friends is sunnah too! And if I recall correctly from Habib Ali, there are three gifts that one cannot reject out of adab, one of them is perfume. A quick google shows a hadith by Tirmidhi:"The Prophet s.a.w said: Three gifts are not to be turned down: cushions, perfume and milk."

When in JB, a must buy item for me is their Biskut Raya (cookies for Eid)
simply the best in the country!
The selections for Eidul Adha is not as wonderful as Eidul Fitri though.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Retracing my voice | Make good art


A piece of oyster I consumed last Saturday has made me a little unwell right to this Saturday. But blaming an innocent oyster which had traveled all the way from Aussie is not fair is it? Our body reacts the way it wants to react, there's nothing much we can do, eh?

Anyhow, the point I am getting at is that when we are on the down side, we need a boost and our limbs would instinctively look for a boost - be it a mental boost or a spirit boost.

Thankfully, I accidentally came across Neil Gaiman's keynote address for a graduating class at the University of the Arts. This took place four years ago. I'm pretty sure that his frank words of advice to the class and everyone who listens to it today, is fresh and relevant, even forty years from now and beyond. He is a famous British writer. 

He articulated his advice in a relaxed, undiscriminating and unassuming manner. I liked that. He mentioned six advice altogether and the fourth one was: "I hope you'll make mistakes. If you're making mistakes, it means you are out there doing something. And the mistakes in themselves can be useful."

I am inclined towards anyone who encourages me to be human, that is to make mistakes. These people are real.

[I am no longer inclined towards people who outwardly appear as a religious authority but when they get to know a single and somewhat attractive lady like me, they show the other side of them. They say: "Shhh...let's get married. You are busy with your work, I am busy too, we just get married and meet once in a while!" I wonder if they would say something like that to a widow with half a dozen kids. When this person asked me my age, Oh I wish you were there to witness his reaction or rather frustration cos he thought I was in my 20s! Ahh, you may be a shaykh, but if you dare speak in such a manner, you are not speaking the language of faith!]   

Anyhow, coming back to Neil Gaiman and his advice. Gaiman said we should make good art when things aren't going well and we should make good art on good days too.

He said: "Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art. I'm serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it's all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow and eventually time will take the sting away but that doesn't matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art. But the one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision...."

"The moment that you feel that just possibly you're walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That's the moment you may be starting to get it right."

"Leave the world more interesting for your being here."


Yes, this mental boost from author Neil Gaiman, has made me come to surface again, grab my Surface and retrace my voice. Hopefully, I will remain truthful and speak my language of faith.

And be wise because the world needs more wisdom. But since I cannot be wise all the time, I shall pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would. LOL. [This too is Neil Gaiman's advice!] 

The 31st of August is Malaysia's independence day. Pray we will remain free to speak our language of faith and remain free to speak our mind about anything that comes to mind and touches the heart.

Friday, August 12, 2016

From a distance | A little closer


I was delighted to get a little closer to the KL Tower as can be seen in below photo.

I have been sharing many shots of the lonely tower from a distance. It felt good to see her standing so close before my eyes, for once.

It's always good to see things from a different perspective every now and again. It's not good enough to view a thing from a distance because you would surely miss its finer beauty. And the reverse is also true. Certain things appear to have more splendor when you view it from a greater distance. Having been to Mount Fuji, I know this to be true.

But it's not just about catching a thing's beauty. It's about getting to know a thing/person/situation better, be it from afar or near. If you have only seen something from a distance or a certain angle, then you should try to shift your viewpoint. It's always better to have both a micro and macro perspective. Everyone wants to be understood if not loved. Every thing, even the inanimate beings, all deserve an appreciation, regardless from near or far.  

KL Tower - a little closer - August 2016

KL Tower from a distance - Nov 2015

"From A Distance" is one of two inspirational songs by Bette Midler I love. The other one must be your favorite too - "The Wind Beneath My Wings".

Remember to appreciate the one who always walk a step behind us, who is always ready to catch us in case we trip and fall, in case we need to just stop for a moment to take a breather or pause to make sense of it all and have that loyal someone to lend his/her ears. Be thankful for the wind beneath our wings, people whose quiet presence allow us to fly.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Multipli-City | August company


I am secretly liking the fact that this space has got more audience from the UAE and Europe than Malaysia. Yes it's nice to see how people embrace life in different parts of the world.

I love driving up to my hometown Penang conveniently. Was there last weekend - the last weekend of Syawal, Alhamdulillah to go jaunting in multiple cities back and forth. Singapore again soon, Insha Allah. Each city has got its own unique appeal of course.

Chic cafes and vibrant malls aside, my eyes have got a strange attraction to old men on bikes LOL. I think I have got several photos like these captured in Melaka. This one was taken in Penang. In the background is my favourite Nasi Kandar/Nasi Tomato stall. People often talk about Nasi Kandar in Penang, but as a true Penangite, I have a thing about Nasi Tomato (Tomato Rice). I know where to find the three best Nasi Tomato in Penang for early dinner, breakfast and supper : D

I think people who cook great food religiously are highly spiritual people. They do their best and only serve the best. Only people who have got a good zest for life have the passion to cook good meals. Now, do you still wonder why Penang is famous for great food? LOL.

One of my post-retirement project is to share (as in sell) dalcha (dhall with veges and chicken/mutton) the way my mom cooks it because people need to be educated and reminded how a decent dalcha should be LOL.


Praise be to Allah Al Kareem - to be home, randomly switched on the telly and there was this show about beautiful sea-front homes in Scotland! OMG praise the generous Lord - the giver of joy here and there and everywhere. In fact, we should realize that in August and in each and every month, we are in august company always - He the Creator of beautiful moments!