Have you read the instructions?

Ok, I was supposed to update the "Remedy" post but a few things happened since that that warranted a new post. Well, On Saturday I did get the thermostat that I was waiting for and straight away I planned to do the swap myself. 1) I'm currently in a position of financial weakness (read: pokai), 2) I get alot of enjoyment from doing stuff myself and 3) I don't trust the local mechanics as they do not know the specific problems with my model of superscoot.


The new thermostat on the right compared to the old one on the left. Note that the old one cannot fully close at room temperature.

So, with reasons for my manual labour established I firmly set off on my thermostat replacing endeavor. Since the screws to access the thermostat was really quite remote and alot of pesky body panels needed to be removed, I didn't want to install a faulty new thermostat so I set out to test the new thermostat as suggested by the good old internet and also the Scooter's Service Station manual which I obtained form www.scribd.com. So, as with the last post heres how the old faulty thermostat looks like. Note the gap. The thermostat is stuck in this position allowing the coolant from the secondary circuit to enter the cylinder head thus providing an unnecessary extra amount of cooling to the engine. I my case, a cold engine results in more fuel being introduced into the engine causing alot of it not to burn resulting in alot of petrol diluted in the engine oil. Ok, I should've warned our non-technical readers there. Anyways, a perfectly working thermostat will open only at a certain temperature, in my case 85 degrees C and allow extra cooling only when temperatures exceed that temperature. This way a steading operating temperature can be maintained. Cool. So, here's the test.

1st, check out the thermostat at room temperature. Note that it is in a closed position.

No hot water: Thermostat closed

2nd, boil some water in a kettle and pour the water into the container with the thermostat, watch as the themostat opens. In the cooling system this would've allowed water from the 2ndary circuit to enter the engine to provide extra cooling to help maintain the engine temperature at the optimum engine temperature.


Hot water added: Thermostat open! Yay!

So, having been satisfied with the thermostat test results I went on to install the new baby into my bike. All rather painless procedure as all the body panels had been removed in the morning. After re-installing the thermostat I switched on the bike and it got up to temperature quickly as it should. Cool!..... So I thought.... So at that time I re assembled all the body panels again which was such a pain - Thank god for electric screw drivers!

The following day, I suited up ready to go to Mentari but as i set off, I have barely reached the MRR2 which is like 2 minutes from my house and the temperature gauge got pasted the middle mark! Damn!! I quickly turned back and when I got back, I had no mood to switch to the car and go to Mentari anymore. This was really puzzling me. I tested the thermostat and it was working perfectly. What could be the problem...?!

First time I took off the body panels I could get away with this. 2nd time i had to remove all the lower and back body panels! I wish I had photos of that but I was too pre-occupied with solving the problem to take any photos..

The the obvious thing to do was to refer back to the service station manual. Everything should be there. So i read the chapter again and low and behold, there are MORE pages after the pages that I read the day before! In my haste to get the job done quickly I failed to notice that there's a "coolant filling procedure" which involved bleeding the cooling system to get all the nasty trapped air in the cooling system. As we all know (sorry, getting a bit technical here) air is a good insulator so any air in the cooling system would impair the performance of the cooling system. Apparently the procedure involved letting the air out of a "bleed valve" located a place that was not detailed out in the manual! Cursed Italian manual writers! hehehe... So I had to peel away 90% of the body panels, comparing the image of the bleed valve in the illustration with what I saw on the bike... It was not easy! After several long minutes looking I found the devil located under the underseat storage box. I followed the procedure to bleed the system and with faith in what I had done painstakingly put back all the body panels. After Zohor prayers at the mosque (at which i prayed for my repairs to work), I restarted the bike again I went on a short ride around my neighborhood and the surrounding areas to see if the engine temperature would stabilise. The route was a mix of  public roads and a high speed stretch on the MRR2. Alhamdulillah, much to my relief all was good. the temperature stayed dead level and didn't budge, even in the blazing mid day heat! =) I was a happy bunny! After all that hard work I treated the bike to a quick wash and wax. Ah... my bike looks like new now! yay! hehehe...

So, the moral of the story:

If you have a dad/uncle/brother/husband/boyfriend/atuk that complains while DIYing, please, please do them a favor:  ask them "Have you read the instructions properly?!" hehehe... If i had to do it the second time I'd do just that! - At least I had alot of practice peeling the body panels of my scooter so the next time would be relatively quicker. lets hope that there's not gonna be a next time! Laters peeps.

Interesting....

This is an interesting article I found on CNN. Some of the companies are American companies so might not be so relevant. Enjoy...

Dozens of companies use acronyms or initials in their names, but how well do you know what the abbreviated letters mean? Let's take a look at the etymologies behind a few abbreviated company names.

1. CVS

Sorry, drugstore fans, there aren't three fat cat pharmacists with these initials running around out there. When the pharmacy chain was founded in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1963, it was known as "Consumer Value Stores." Over time the name became abbreviated to simply CVS.

2. K-Mart

Longtime five-and-dime mogul Sebastian S. Kresge opened his first larger store in Garden City, Michigan, in 1962. The store was named K-Mart after him. (Kresge had earned the right to have a store named for him; he opened up his new venture at the tender age of 94.)

3. IKEA

The Swedish furniture giant and noted charity takes its name from founder Ingvar Kamprad's initials conjoined with a the first initial of the farm where Kamprad grew up, Elmtaryd, and the parish he calls home, Agunnaryd.

4. DHL

In the late 1960s, Larry Hillblom was a broke student at the University of California, Berkeley's law school, so to pick up a bit of extra cash, he would make courier runs from San Francisco.

After he finished law school, he decided the courier business was the real racket for him, so he recruited his pals Adrian Dalsey and Robert Lynn to help him with the runs. Although they started out making their delivery trips in a single Plymouth Duster, the company quickly took off, and they named it after their respective last initials.

Mental Floss: Mojave Desert's airplane graveyard

5. AT&T

No surprises here. The telecom giant sprang to life in 1885 as American Telephone and Telegraph, although it's now legally known as just AT&T.

6. JBL

The speaker company is named after its founder, James Bullough Lansing. But if Lansing had kept his original name, the company might have been called Martini Speakers.

Lansing was born James Martini in 1902, but when he was 25, he changed his name to James Lansing at the suggestion of the woman who would become his wife. (The martini was already a popular cocktail at the time, and several of Lansing's brothers had also changed their name by shortening it to Martin.)

7. 3M

The conglomerate behind Post-It Notes gets its name from its roots as a company that mined stone to make grinding wheels. Since it was located in Two Harbors, Minnesota, the company was known as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, which was later shortened to 3M.

8. BVD

The stalwart men's underwear maker was originally founded by a group of New Yorkers named Bradley, Voorhees, and Day to make women's bustles.

Eventually the trio branched out into knitted union suits for men, and their wares became so popular that "BVDs" has become a generic term for any underwear.

9. H&M

The beloved clothing store began in Sweden in 1947. Founder Erling Persson was only selling women's duds, so he called the store Hennes -- Swedish for "hers."

Twenty-one years later, he bought up a hunting supplier called Mauritz Widforss. After the acquisition, Persson branched out into men's clothing and began calling the store Hennes and Mauritz, which eventually became shortened to H&M.

10. A&W Root Beer

Roy Allen opened his first root beer stand in Lodi, California, in the summer of 1919, and quickly began expanding to the surrounding areas. Within a year he had partnered with Frank Wright, and the pair christened their flagship product "A&W Root Beer."

11. GEICO

The adorable gecko's employer is more formally known as the Government Employees Insurance Company. Although GEICO has always been a private, standalone company, its name reflects its original purpose: Leo Goodwin founded the company in 1936 to sell insurance directly to employees of the federal government.

Mental Floss: 15 companies that originally sold something else

12. YKK

The initials you see on darn near every zipper you own stand for Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikigaisha, which translates into "Yoshida Manufacturing Corporation." The company is named after Tadao Yoshida, who started the zipper concern in Tokyo in 1934.

13. P.F. Chang's

If you go looking for Mr. P.F. Chang, you'll be in for a long search. The Asian dining chain's name is actually a composite of the founding restaurateur Paul Fleming's initials and a simplification of founding chef Philip Chiang's last name.

14. BJ's Wholesale Club

The bulk retailer is named after Beverly Jean Weich, whose father, Mervyn, helped found the chain as a spinoff from discount retailer Zayre in 1983.

Mental Floss: 10 snack foods originally sold as medicines

15. ING Group

The banking giant's name is an abbreviation of Internationale Nederlanden Groep, or "International Netherlands Group," a nod to the company's dutch origins and headquarters.

The company's heavy use of the color orange in its buildings and promotion is also a shoutout to the Netherlands; orange is the color of the Dutch royal family dating all the way back to William of Orange.

16. H&R Block

Brothers Henry and Richard Bloch founding the tax preparation firm in Kansas City in 1955. Their only problem was their last name. The brothers worried that people would mispronounce their surname as "blotch," hardly a term you want associated with your tax return.

They decided to sidestep this problem by spelling the company's name "Block" instead, so that nobody would miss the solid hard "k" sound.

The remedy

I remember that word and it always reminds me of the film "Braveheart" where he says to his girl "well that's some thing we'll have to remedy then" when he got a negative answer to whether she can understand Latin...

Anyways, this is not about Latin or any language for that matter. It's about a problem with my scooter that has been going on for a while now. The problem is that there's petrol dilution in my engine oil. Because I service my bike myself I noticed that the oil that comes out when I drain the oil is more than what i put in. It's supposed to be less than what i put in... hmm... I smell a problem brewing.. (literally cos there was Petrol smell in the oil).

The first course of action as with anything with me is:

1) Refer to the internet to see if anyone else has had a similar problem before.

The obvious first place to look is at the UK X9 owner's club forum... and sure enough, it's a common problem. The problem is the thermostat is faulty and the coolant is "always on". Usually the thermostat switches on and lets coolant in at  85 degrees Celsius. I noticed this problem with more understanding after I read up on it on the net. Whenever it rained, my coolant temperature would be drop and whenever it' stopped raining it'll go up again. A thermostat's function is to stabilise the coolant temperature. It shouldn't be fluctuating like this...

Anyways, today I started to take apart the bike to get to the thermostat. I downloaded the service station manual so i know where it is and how to take it out. It seemed like and easy task, and since i'm quite pokai nowadays, I dun wanna be paying someone to do something so simple... but the whole taking apart the plastic bodypanels yg leceh tu... :s But i succeeded. And this is what i found:

 See the gap at the top there? I think that's the problem but we'll compare with a new one when it arrives...

That's the cover and the three screws that hold it in

 This is where the thermostat lives... abit of a tight squeeze to get the old screwdriver in...
So, I'll go off to get the new thermostat now. I'll update the blog afterwards. laters...

Lunch escapade



We've spotted this place at the Kajang bust terminal opposite the EPF building during one of our trips to the EPF centre for ehem... EPF withdrawals... hehehe... What really stood out was the two shops beside it which were run by "Global Ikhwan Network" aka Al-Arqam/Rufaqa' corporation... They had a banner, which was taken off when we came to eat that read "Selamat pulang Abuya, kami di Malaysia merinduimu"...

Ok, that aside, here's what I thought about the place and the food.

1) Setting. Well, the place is in Bandar Baru Bangi off Jalan Reko so setting isn't the best. The interior decor is rather run down too... so I'd rate it 2 out of 5.

2) Authenticity: Well, the menu included Indian dishes so I guess I wouldn't call this place a really authentic place. The do sell Barbican so they are trying to be arab! The menu has the usual stuff u expect from an arab restaurant and the staff look erm, either North Indian or Afghan really... I dun think they're Arab. The boss s a Malay guy though. So i rate it 3 out of 5 for Authenticity.

3) Food quality: Hmmm... abit tricky cos I only had 1 dish so it's really unfair for me to pass judgment on this. What I can say is that they seem to use real arab rice... the meat that I had was really soft with a pleasing texture to it but I have to say, it was rather bland tasting... sorry. because of the real rice I've upgraded my rating to 3 out of 5...

 This is how my food came


Looks yummy! but biasa je...

Klah... enough food reviews for today... have a great day ahead!

Respect


It's been a while since I wrote my last article length post. I've just been either busy or just plain lazy. Well, today I have some time and am not so lazy so i think I'll talk about a topic which has been creeping up in recent events happening around me which has got me thinking about this. Respect I think plays a very important role in life and though I think that respect has to be afforded to everyone even in the very little most amount but real respect is earned by the actions we do and the examples we set.

  Respect in Chinese.... i think...

This is how Wikipedia defines respect:

Respect denotes both a positive feeling of esteem for a person or other entity (such as a nation or a religion), and also specific actions and conduct representative of that esteem. Respect can be a specific feeling of regard for the actual qualities of the one respected (e.g., "I have great respect for her judgment"). It can also be conduct in accord with a specific ethic of respect. Rude conduct is usually considered to indicate a lack of respect, disrespect, whereas actions that honor somebody or something indicate respect.

Specific ethics of respect are of fundamental importance to various cultures. Respect for tradition and legitimate authority is identified by Jonathan Haidt as one of five fundamental moral values shared to a greater or lesser degree by different societies and individuals.

 Respect should not be confused with tolerance, since tolerance doesn't necessarily imply any positive feeling, and is not incompatible with contempt, which is the opposite of respect.


There are many examples of respect in action in our everyday lives but I will talk about it from my point of view as to hopefully not offend anyone. I guess we all learn to respect others first from our family. I think the person I learnt to respect the most, similar to most children - young boys particularly is our fathers. As a young boy I wanted to be like my dad. He inspired me. He whet my inquisitive mind, challenged me and opened up the world to me. I think that is a very important trait of being a father and to a simmilar extent a husband. Gaining the respect of your family is key to being a good husband and father - the head of the family. When a man loses the respect of his children one will get problematic children that look elsewhere for role models, guidance and re-assurance whereas a wife that has lost the respect of the husband will at best lead to continuous fighting and at worse may even end up in divorce - nauzubillah...
Cute huh these two kids bowing to each other...

By association in Malay, Asian and Islamic culture a high degree of respect is afforded to elders. This is due to the greater wisdom garnered by the extra years of experience the have gone through. As the line in Anastasia's song "Who's gonna stop the rain" goes "There is no laughter without tears, no wisdom without years". This is evident in the customs and way of conduct in front of elders that we are taught at a very young age. However, as much as i respect my elders and older people generally I do not agree in using age as a means to shut younger people up or segregate between the age groups. One good example is children are often "banned" from joining in the conversations of elders, usually with the common phrase "Jangan menyampuk orang tua bercakap". Also at the mosque, in Malaysia we have a seperate row at the back for children. I think all this quite unhealthy practice as it stunts the mental development of these kids. I believe that the more a child is exposed to the thinking and ways of the elders, the faster they mature and the bigger their worldview. The learn responsibility and other mature values faster and in turn the respect for elders increases. The only thing is that the elders have to make sure their actions are worth or respect in front of the children. As quickly as children learn to respect their elders, they can lose respect of their elders just as quickly. So friends (and me too), you have ben reminded.

 The Buddhist way of showing respect

Another group of people who a high degree of respect is afforded to are teachers/mentors/coaches. These people are respected because of their knowledge/skills possessed and the readiness to impart the knowledge on us. In Islam there are specific rules of conduct when interacting with teachers and other people of knowledge and skill. Please refer to proper text on the matter. I will not elaborate here.
 
Friends and other people also need to be respected, and I don't mean just people from your race or religion only! Everyone is entitled to some respect. Even if the do shameless behaviour that makes you lose respect for them, I'm sure you can find some good in them for you to try to respect them. 

 
Last but not on any accord the least, one must have respect for oneself! No respect for oneself leads to low self esteem and we all know that is not good. Learning to appreciate what you have and what you can do, no matter how trivial they look to you is the basis for healthy self respect. Beware though, over doing it may lead to riak & takabur, or boastful/pompous behaviour which is not only disliked by most people but is also forbidden in Islam. [insert hadith here =P]

hehehe, ok... so I'm getting sleepy now and would like to summarise everything now. Que the Che Det blog style.
 
1) Afford other people respect however disrespectful their actions may be.

2) Be humble as humble people gain respect of other easier than pompous people.

3) Try to see the good in people, however little it is. Seeing the good in people makes respecting them easier.

4) Respect is earned. Sometimes a simple act of not doing shameful or disrespectful acts can earn one's respect. By extension, one should never do shameful/disrespectful acts because of this among other reasons.

5) Learn to respect yourself before respecting others. Being comfortable with yourself is one of the keys to happyness (deliberate spelling error in reference to the Will Smith movie "The pursuit of happyness" - if u haven't watched it, go watch it!)

6) Do not choose and pick who you respect based on any affiliation, religion, race or what ever. Selective respect will actually make you lose respect of others.

7) Respect others and others will respect you.

8) Repeat steps 1-7.

Oklah.. I'm starting to talk gibberish now. Remember, if there was one most important rule about respect, it is also the most simple rule, rule number 7 - Respect others and others will respect you. May we all live respectable lives and be respected by others. Ameen. Good night my friends.

Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa

 It should be quite apparent now that I have a soft spot for historical films or epics set in antiquity, especially if they props and costumes are nice. The last one was the Thai epic, Queens of Langkasuka which I blogged about before. That one had a flimsy storyline but the costumes were excellent and the fight scenes oklah... not really silat but hey, fighting is fighting...


I heard that KRU was going to do a historical epic film but I didn't really pay much attention to the title until I came across the trailer today. All I can say is it looks AWESOME! The props don't seem to be typical low budget Malay film. I think it's gonna be in english i think with the export market in mind. They picked the title Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa which I think is a pretty good pick. I think that the old Hindu stories of Malaya had more exaggeration and better storytelling value than the post Hindu Malaya... just my opinion. I don't know many old Malay stories and i guess this is a really good way to expose the newer generation to the history of this land be it an epic legend or not. For those who are not too versed in the story, here's a short summary from wikipedia about the said legend:

That head was soooo photoshopped onto that body! hehehe - it so disproportioned

Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa or The Kedah Annals is an ancient Malay literature that chronicles the bloodline of Merong Mahawangsa and the foundation of the Kedah, a state in Malaysia. Though there are historical accuracies, there are many incredible assertions. The era covered by the text ranged from the opening of Kedah by Merong Mahawangsa, allegedly a descendant of Alexander the Great of Macedonia till the acceptance of Islam.

Yeah man! cool props... this looks promising!
Merong Mahawangsa was a Hindu and there were nine Hindu rulers before Phra Ong Mahawangsa converted to Islam in 1136 and took the name Sultan Mudzafar Shah. The annal also describes Chola's attack on Kedah.The descendants of Phra Ong Mahawangsa is still ruling Kedah able to trace their lineage from Merong Mahawangsa.
KD Merong Mahawangsa is a Royal Malaysian Navy vessel named in the ancient monarch's honor.

Taken from a random guy's blog. Looks like he got to go on set!

Here's the trailer. Pretty cool for a local production huh? I hope the final product is better than Puteri Gunung Ledang!... ;)

Conditions of Prayer

Hehehe... I'm spray painting the top box I bought for my bike over the weekend so while waiting for the paint to dry (literally) before I put on the final clear coat, here's a follow up to the previous post on The Articles of Prayer. These are the five syarat2 sah solat, i.e the conditions for which a prayer is deemed valid. I always get confused between this and the articles of prayer. So the difference is that the articles are the compulsory actions/words/things during prayer whereby the others are those factors OUTSIDE the actual prayer ritual that may deem the prayer invalid if not done. First as a warm up, let's start with upon who praying is compulsory upon:

The compulsory prayer is obligatory for those who meet these three conditions:[1]
  • are Muslim
  • have reached puberty
  • are of sound mind
  • is pure of haid & nifas
Then we get to the five elements that make a prayer valid:[2]
  • Confidence of the time of prayer. Being unsure invalidates even if the time turns out correct.[citation needed]
  • Facing the qibla, with the chest facing the direction of the Ka'ba. The ill are allowed leniency with posture.
  • Covering the awrah
  • Clean clothes, body, place of prostration
  • Pure from hadath (wudu, tayammum, ghusl)
References
1 - Ismail Kamus (1993). Hidup Bertaqwa (2nd ed.). Kuala Lumpur: At Tafkir Enterprise. ISBN 9-839990-20-9.
2 - Ismail Kamus (1993). Hidup Bertaqwa (2nd ed.). Kuala Lumpur: At Tafkir Enterprise. ISBN 9-839990-20-9.

Yati Ayam Percik


Tried this new place, well new place for me in Bandar Baru Bangi for lunch today. It's a Kelantanese restaurant and as the name suggest the ayam percik is supposed to be good. The place itself is very nicely done up and the individual set meals are reasonably priced for the type of place it is. The interior decor is very nice leading to a very chilled ambiance. They even have a corner with one of those short tables for those who want to eat on the floor, japanese style. It's supposed to be a renowned place with it's roots in Kota Bharu, Kelantan. I think they have a few more branches around the Klang Valley. I wonder if there are any branches near where I stay? A quick google testifies to how good this place is supposed to be. "The best Ayam Percik in Kelantan" says this link.

 This is the bukak kasut eat on the floor section in the back

I tried the Nasi Kerabu with Ayam Percik set but the Nasi Kerabu with grilled beef looked and tasted good too! I usually have nasi kerabu with the grilled beef but since the restaurant says ayam percik so i ordered the ayam percik and it was really good. A friend ordered the keropok lekor and that was excellent too! Next time lah. So, if you are ever in Bandar Baru Bangi, Yati Ayam percik is highly recommended.

The menu is ok ok je, they've could've made it classier. You can see the guy grill your Ayam Percik, Daging Bakar or ikan keli bakar.. cool!


I like the open kitchen concept. You can see your food being prepared!

My Nasi Kerabu with Ayam Percik on the left and Grilled Beef on the right, both very yummy!

My friend said the Len Chee Kang was just average

By the way, we were talking of how to make Len Chee Kang so I googled it up and the recipe can be found here.

AUSTRALIA FINISH THIRD

 Oh well, the weekend wasn't too kind for Malaysian sports. We were creamed by China in badminton and today, Australia showed us why they are world champions in hockey. Admittedly throughout the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup the Malaysian team, ranked 14 in the world showed admirable performance. A big up to the boys for they're performance throughout the competition. Better luck next time! here's wishing our boys future successes yeah! The official report on the match is below:


Australia defeated Malaysia 5-3 to finish third in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament in Ipoh.
Australia were awarded a penalty corner as early as the 2nd minute but Malaysian keeper S. Kumar was at his normal best, palming away the attempt by Ian Burcher.
Malaysia’s first look at goal came in the 8th minute as Azlan Misron burst through the right and his reverse hit was padded to safety by George Bazeley.
In the 10th minute, Mohd Madzli Ikmar made a suicidal pass across the semi circle and it was picked up by Trent Milton but he sent his shot wide with all the time in the world.
Australia were then awarded two consecutive penalty corners, in the 11th and 13th minutes, but the heavy ground conditions affected the push outs and the chance was squandered.
But Malaysia struck in the very next minute as Faisal Saari broke through and relayed a pass to Hafifi hafiz Hanafi who sent in a reverse stick shot into the top net to put Malaysia 1-0 ahead.
Kumar pulled off a double save off Australia’s fourth penalty corner, first from the drag flick by Christopher Ciriello and when the rebound fell to Trent Milton, Kumar was there to save his team yet again.
The relentless pressure applied by the Aussies resulted in them netting the equalizer a minute before halftime via Matthew Swann.
In the 43rd minute, after laying siege to the Malaysian semi circle for almost two minutes, Australia went ahead via Russel Ford whose reverse stick hit gave Kumar no chance whatsoever.
Mohd Amin Rahim made full use of Malaysia’s first penalty corner in the 48th minute to make it 2-2 but Kieren Govers restored the Aussie advantage scoring a well worked penalty corner in the 50th minute.
Ciriello’s penalty corner conversion in the 54th minute gave Australia a 4-2 advantage. In the 56th minute Matt Ghodes was sent to the sin bin for a foul on Izwan Firdaus that resulted in Malaysia’s second penalty corner but this time Amin could not get it right.
Grant Schubert scored Australia’s fifth in the 65th minute and Malaysia were a beaten side though Tengku Ahmad scored in the dying seconds to make the final score 5-3.

Articles of prayer

Painting of Muslims praying in Cairo, Egypt, in 1865

Since it's Friday and that I'm also trying to remind myself of the pillars of salah or in Malay, Rukun solat I've copied and pasted the Wikipedia article about the very topic. I have modified the article to be more in line with how I practice the solat, if any. Anyhow, reminding oneself and others is the responsibility of all muslims and I try to do what little I can. Note that since this is an internet article if you read this and are not agreeable to any of it's contents please keep it to yourself. I do not want a public debate. Religious issues can be sticky for some people but this is some pretty basic stuff.
The articles of prayer are things that are compulsory during salah in which if not performed will nullify your salah. Please note that all verbal parts of the prayer, apart from the voluntary personal prayer, must be spoken in properly pronounced Arabic. Not following the correct sequence invalidates the prayer. There are 13 articles:[1]

[1] Having intention for prayer (niat)
The person should be conscious and aware of the particular salat that is being offered, whether it is obligatory, if it is a missed (qadha) prayer, individual or jamaat, shortened traveller's prayer etc. The explicitly verbalization of this intention is not required, though can be helpful.
It is done simultaneously with [2] Takbeeratul-Ihram (below).
The person should think his prayer to be the Last Prayer so that he may perform the best he can.
[2] Takbeeratul-Ihram
By rising the hands up to the shoulders , fingers slightly apart Saying الله أَكْبَر (God is The Greatest) is the start of the prayer.
[3] Standing right (berdiri betul)
For the able-bodied, leaning or not standing upright invalidates prayer. If one is incapable of standing, one may sit, lie on the right side, lie on the left side, lie on one's back or as one is able to do.
[4] Reciting Al-Fatiha
Recitation of Al-Fatiha is obligated for every raka'ah.then With Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Rahim (In the name of Allah , The Most Gracious the most merciful)
Reading another surah after Al-Fatiha is also obligatory for the first 2 raka'ah for all obligatory prayers, however it is required in all raka'ah of supererogatory
Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said,

«مَنْ صَلَى صَلَاةً لَمْ يَقْرَأْ فِيهَا أُمَّ الْقُرْآنِ فَهِيَ خِدَاجٌ ثَلَاثًا غَيْرُ تَمَامٍ»

(Whoever performs any prayer in which he did not read Umm Al-Qur’an, then his prayer is incomplete.) He said it thrice.
Umm Al-Qur'an (literally means the mother of the Qur'an) here refers to Al-Fatihah (The Opening). When standing behind Imam also one should recite the Fatihah. This is based on the following hadith.

Abu Hurayrah was asked, "[When] we stand behind the Imam He said, "Read it to yourself, for I heard the Messenger of Allah say,
(Allah, the Exalted, said, `I have divided the prayer (Al-Fatihah) into two halves between Myself and My servant, and My servant shall have what he asks for.' If he says,
[الْحَمْدُ للَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ ] (All praise and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of existence.)
Allah says, `My servant has praised Me.' When the servant says,
[الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ ] (The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.)
Allah says, `My servant has glorified Me.' When he says,
[مَـلِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ ] (The Owner of the Day of Recompense.)
Allah says, `My servant has glorified Me,' or `My servant has related all matters to Me.' When he says,
[إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ ] (You (alone) we worship, and You (alone) we ask for help.)
Allah says, `This is between Me and My servant, and My servant shall acquire what he sought.' When he says,
[اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ - صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّآلِّينَ ] (Guide us to the straight path. The way of those on whom You have granted Your grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray),
Allah says, `This is for My servant, and My servant shall acquire what he asked for.'). These are the words of An-Nasa'i, while both Muslim and An-Nasa'i collected the following wording,
"A half of it is for Me and a half for My servant, and My servant shall acquire what he asked for.'
There are many other Hadiths on this subject. Therefore, reciting Al-Fatihah, during the prayer by the Imam and those praying behind him, is required in every prayer, and in every Rak`ah.
As for the reading of Bismillah in the prayer, there are some different views whether this is necessary or not or should it be aloud or silently.
It is also recommended saying Amin (O Allah! Accept our invocation) after recitation of Al-Fatihah.
Imams Ahmad, Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi recorded, that Wa'il bin Hujr said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah recite,
[غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّآلِّينَ] (Not (that) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray), and he said `Amin' extending it with his voice.
Abu Dawud's narration added, "Raising his voice with it. At-Tirmidhi then commented that this Hadith is Hasan and was also narrated from `Ali and Ibn Mas`ud.
Also, Abu Hurayrah narrated that whenever the Messenger of Allah would recite,
[غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّآلِّينَ] (Not (the way) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray),
He would say Amin until those who were behind him in the first line could hear him.
Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah recorded this Hadith with the addition, "Then the Masjid would shake because of (those behind the Prophet ) reciting Amin. Also, Ad-Daraqutni recorded this Hadith and commented that it is Hasan.
[5] Ruku'
Ruku' is bowing the body until the palms are on the knees. Ruku should be such that when a person is bowing, his back should be erected at an angle at which poured water may not fall from it (means at 0' back w.r.t 270' legs) Stopping means all major body parts including arms, wrists, head, legs stop - as long as saying "sub'han-Allah". If the body still moves, stopping is not done. An additional option is to read 3 times سبحان ربى العظيم و بحمده (Glory to my Lord, the Most Magnificent Most Praiseworthy).
[6] I'tidal and stopping (I'tidal serta toma'ninah)
I'tidal is standing again after ruku'. While the body is raising up, an additional option is to read
سمع الله لمن حمده (Allah Listens to him who praises Him). During standing, an additional option is to read
ربنا لك الحمد ملء السموات وملء الأرض وملء ما شئت من شئ بعد (Our Lord, to You is due all praise...).
The body must stop as long as saying "subhanallah" Then after that say "Allah Akbar" (Allah is the Greatest) and raise hand to the shoulders as person did previously at the start and then go to sajda.
[7] Prostration [Sajdah] (sujud)
Prostration involves putting the following parts of the body - the bare forehead, both palms, both knees, the base of the toes of both feet - on the place of prostration. The forehead must be bare; a covered forehead invalidates prayer. An additional option is to read 3 times سبحان ربى الأعلى و بحمده (Glory to my Lord, the Most High Most Praiseworthy). There are 2 prostrations, the second is done after sitting between 2 prostrations (as [8] below).
[8] Sitting between two prostrations (duduk antara dua sujud)
During the sitting between the two prostrations, an additional option is to recite: " Allahummaghfirli, warhamnii, wajburnii, warfa'nii, warzuqnii, wahdinii, wa'afinii, wa'fu'annii" Oh Allah Forgive Me, Have mercy on me, ...
[9] Final Tashahhud (tahiyyat akhir)
At-tahiyyatu lillahi was-salawatu wat-tayyibatu was-salamu 'alayka ayyuha Annabiyyu warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu Assalamu 'alayna wa 'ala `abadillahi assaliheena Ash-hadu anna la ilaha illa Allah Wa Ash-hadu anna Mohammmedan 'abduhu warasuluhu.
[10] Sitting for final Tashahhud (duduk untuk tahiyyat akhir)
The final Tashahhud must be done while sitting.
[11] Greetings for Prophet Muhammad and for Prophet Abraham (selawat keatas nabi)
Required portion: At least by saying اللهم صلى على محمد. Allaahumma salli 'alaa Muhammadin O Allah, bless our Muhammad Recommended portion:
اللهم صلى على محمد وعلى آل محمد كما صليت على إبراهيم وعلى آل إبراهيم
وبارك على محمد وعلى آل محمد كما باركت على إبراهيم وعلى آل إبراهيم
فى العالمين إنك حميد مجيد


Allaahumma salli 'alaa Muhammadin wa 'alaa ali Muhammadin Kamaa sallaita 'alaa Ibraaheema wa 'alaa ali Ibraaheema Innaka hameedun Majeed Alaahumma baarik 'ala Muhammadin wa 'alaa ali Muhammadin Kamaa baarakta 'alaa Ibraaheema wa 'alaa ali Ibraaheema Innaka hameedun Majeed

O Allah, bless our Muhammad and the people of Muhammad As you have blessed Abraham and the people of Abraham. O Allah, be gracious unto Muhammad and the people of Muhammad As you were gracious unto Abraham and the people of Abraham. Surely you are the Most Praiseworthy, the Most Glorious.
[12] First greeting (salam pertama)
Greeting "peace be upon you" to the right side. At least with السلام عليكم, at best السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
[13] Second greeting (salamkedua)
Greeting "peace be upon you" to the left side. At least with السلام عليكم, at best السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
References:
  1. ^ Ismail Kamus (1993). Hidup Bertaqwa (2nd ed.). Kuala Lumpur: At Tafkir Enterprise. ISBN 9-839990-20-9.

MALAYSIA EDGE CHINA



As you may know two big competitions are currently being hosted by Malaysia this week. The Thomas and Uber cup for Badminton and also the SUltan Azlan SHah cup for field hockey. For both cups the Malaysian team is doing quite well so far. Just now Malaysia completed their final group stage game by beating China 2-1. It was good stuff and thanks to our own local sports channel - Astro Arena, Malaysians for once can what all the action live. Cool. We'll see who we will be drawn against in the semi finals. 
Tomorrow I'll be watching the Malaysi-China semi-final Thomas Cup match at the stadium. A friend couldn't make it and gave me his ticket! =) Of course, I had to oblige... Insyallah we can beat the Chinese defending chamipons tomorrow though statistics suggest otherwise. Pray hard everyone k. I'm off to bed. Leaving you with a short write up on Malaysia's hockey win earlier this evening...



Malaysia defeated China in their final match of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and will now await the results of Saturday’s matches to determine if they will play the final or end up in the classification matches.

Malaysia needed to score as many goals as possible in their last match against China, but for the first 10 minutes, they were at the receiving end as China won four penalty corner attempts, with one even hitting the bar. And they could well end up paying the price for it when all the matches are completed.
Malaysia came out of their shell after that but it was a tale of near misses as the forwards were blunt with their attempts, and the score was still 0-0 after 20 minutes.

China, sensing that Malaysia were not their usual self, became more confident and won their fifth penalty corner in the 22nd minute but bungled it, and Malaysia made a super break only to be stopped at the top of the China semi-circle by Cui Yongxin, who deliberately used his foot, and was yellow carded.
And a better organised Malaysia finally broke their penalty corner duck in the 25th minute but messed up the stopping, and let China off the hook again.
With six minutes on the first half clock, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin broke free and passed the ball to an unmarked Izwan Firdaus, who faced an empty goalmouth, but the young player failed to connect the sitter.

The second penalty corner, in the 33rd minute, also went to waste as Amin Rahim's push to Azlan Misron was poorly trapped. And so did the third penalty corner, won with three seconds on the clock, which hit the knee of Hafifihafiz Hanafi, instead of his hockey stick, in yet another bungled set-piece.
When awarded their fourth penalty corner in the 37th minute, Malaysia went for the direct approach and Amin sent his low flick on the left of the Chinese goal to put Malaysia 1-0 ahead.

Malaysia lived dangerously as their defence was sloppy and they paid the price when Liu Yixian scored the equalizer in the 55th minute through a penalty corner. Malaysia were then awarded a penalty corner 13 minutes from time but this time Su Rifeng read Amin’s attempt well to pad it away.

But Malaysia were not to be denied as Madzli Ikmar sent a searching pass from inside his own half and the ball was picked up by Azlan Misron who sidestepped the Chinese custodian and put Malaysia 2-1 ahead with eight minutes remaining.

Hockey: Our boys down champions India to keep alive final hopes

Not many people know that one of the other sports that I used to play for my school for was field hockey. Back then Malaysia was alot better than they are now in terms of world rankings. Anyways, at the recent Sultan Azlan cup, Malaysia recently beat India to keep our final hopes alive! Next match is against China if we beat them the road to the finals is very clear indeed. It is an exciting week for Malaysian sports and in both  cases, we have to beat China! The star records this moment below:

  
Malaysia turned on the power to whip India 5-2 on a day when goals flowed freely in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup here yesterday.

A total of 23 goals were scored in the three matches played at the Azlan Shah Stadium.
After Australia had drawn 5-5 against Pakistan and China having beaten Egypt 5-1, Malaysia kept the adrenalin flowing with the convincing win over the defending champions.

 Jubilation: Muhamad Razie Abdul Rahim (centre) celebrating with his team-mates after scoring against India in the Azlan Shah Cup yesterday

The win kept alive Malaysia hopes to qualify for the final and they may claim the berth with a victory over China today. India should secure qualification as they will be up against lowly Egypt in their final round-robin fixture on Saturday.

Malaysia broke the deadlock in the match against India in the 27th minute off their third penalty corner. Mohamed Amin, after missing two earlier attempts, made no mistake with a low flick past goalkeeper Bharat Chetri. The Malaysians went 2-0 up in the 39th minute with Tengku Ahmad Tajudddin scoring with a reverse hit.

Hardly had the cheers died down from the home crowd, Malaysia struck again in the 41st minute when defender Mohamed Razie joined the attack to score a field goal.
India earned two penalty corners in succession in the 44th minute and Danish Mujtaba made the second attempt count. Malaysia also gained two penalty corners in the 48th minute and Mohamed Amin restored the three-goal advantage over India.

In the 60th minute Azreen Rizal, who is making his senior debut in this tournament, scored his first goal for the national team after he collected a pass from Azlan Misron to slam the ball into an empty goal to give Malaysia a 5-1 lead. India reduced the deficit in the 68th minute through Ravi Pal.

Malaysia Through to the Semi finals of the Thomas Cup...

The whole evening was occupied by Malaysia's Thomas Cup match against Denmark. It was an evening filled with suspense and drama. Of course hopes were up after the surprise defeat to Japan last night. It was hoped that the players would pick them selves up after that embarrassing debacle. I sat in front of the tele from about 6 ish periodically going in and out doing things while listening to the cheers and jeers from my brothers and sister in the background.

 Fuyoh... ada gaya lah...

First up was (Datuk) Lee Chong Wei. This game was very entertaining both players showed alot of class and quality badminton at the highest level was displayed. Eventually however, Peter Gade Christensen was outclassed at 21-17, 21-17.
Next up was Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong. They showed admirable fighting spirit to subdue Carsten Mogensen/Mathias Boe with 21-17, 21-19.

Wong Choong Hann just barely lost to Jan O Jorgensen after that. He didn't manage to take advantage of his lead in the first set at 20-18 if my memory serves me right. He ended up losing that game at 20-22, and later won the second game 21-16 but lost a nail biting final set at 18-21. I think he must be really disappointed with himself for being so near yet not succeeding. I think he played very well and should be very proud of himself. Luck doesn't always come our way...

It was hoped that the "modified" 2nd doubles team, Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif/Hoon Thien How would make up for the loss. They also won on a suspense filled first set at 26-24 but the Danish doubles, Lars Paaske/Jonas Rasmussen clawed back in the second and third set to win 12-21, 19-21. It seemed that the Malaysian side had lost focus after winning the first set but they did try to make a late comeback in the final set having only just losing it. Another case of luck not going our way.

Hafiz in action

So again, the fate of Malaysia was shouldered by Muhd Hafiz Hashim. Alot of people would fret at that notion after what happened last night. But today he surprised everyone and made short work of Joachim Persson and beating him straight sets at 21-12, 21-10. He displayed admirable talent and deserved his win out right.

So, all in all I think Malaysia's performance is getting better and we really have a good chance of progressing further heck, we might even win this time if we manage to beat China in the semi finals this Friday. I know its a long shot but hey, we're the hosts this year so that must count for something. A few officemates and friend have bought tickets to this Friday's games so you can be assured that they'll be a build up towards the match at the office tomorrow. Anyways, I'm getting rather sleepy now. It is getting late. Hope you guys enjoyed the game today as much as I did! Good night!

Briefing

 Full credit to my friend Reza Ridzuan for this excellent photo taken on earth day. Pinjam ek...

This morning was the highly awaited VP's presentation to all staff of Research and Technology division (R&T) on the new corporate structure of Petronas as how it will effect our division which has now been renamed Technology and Engineering (T&E) division.


Then the part I was waiting for came up, the new structure for T&E.... It was very top level and not refined yet. Well, I had already been warned to not expect a detailed structure from today's briefing but hey, one has to be optimistic in these times of uncertainty. Well, the VP said that it can take up to 6 months for a fully detailed structure to be drafted, approved and fully implemented. The new structure will take effect 1st of June and for the most part business is as usual for me. Petronas Research will still be reporting directly to the VP but how we will operate and what kind of activities will be focused on is still uncertain. One thing is sure though: Activities will be "Aligned" to the business. Even when asked by my colleague about where the Products research dept (my dept) will be parked post 1st June the VP could not give a firm answer. Looks likes the details have really yet to be ironed out. So I guess it's business as usual for me.

Well, at least i managed to catch up with a few old friends from other parts of R&T after the briefing. I can't believe I've been in the company for 5 years now! So many people I have met in Petronas during this period. I thank God for the people I met. These people make me who I am now. Gosh...

Seems that alot will be happening at the end of this year for me. Dare I say it's going to be the most eventful end of year for me so far. A lot to look forward to. Thanks to Roe's blog entry last night I also feel charged up with Petronas spirit suddenly... hehehe... every dept in Petronas needs a Roe... hehehe.. Getting awfully sleepy. Good night dear friends.

Flowers for mother

Come mother's day every year I try to get my mother some flowers. She loves flowers. I don't remember every year (boo hoo) but when ever I do I will get them at this stall at the Seri Rampai street market. It amazes me that this elderly couple still does this till now and I'll be very sad if by chance one year I come to the stall and find them not there =(. This is how the stall looks like:

The humble stall that I have been a patron of once a year for many years

As you can see by the time I was there at around 8.45am alot of the roses were already sold out! I was left with yellow roses which actually signify friendship. Having not much choice I asked the aunty (my grandma would call her a "Nyonya") how much each rose cost. She said RM1 per rose. I was like, cool I'll take 5 then and can you arrange them in a bouquet too? She said sure and gave the 5 roses to the uncle behind:



The uncle in action

He picked and matched a few other flowers to compose his bouquet. The end result is very good, so good till my mum does not want to take the flowers out of the bouquet! Here's the bouquet:


So there you have it. The end product cost more than RM5 but I think for what I got it's still pretty cheap. A simple gesture that brings joy to other's hearts. It could never repay the times she had to endure when we were growing up but serves merely as a token of appreciation. The real gratitude is in your daily actions and how your treat your mother. Happy mother's day to all mothers out there! =)

Underaged drivers

Today we're having a maths test at Mentari so while they're doing thetest I basically have not much to do. I'm sitting by the side and they can call me if they need me. So I'm blogging in the mean time. Today I noticed a common thing but suddenly thought of it seriously. In flats, suburbs and kampung areas kids riding motorbikes is not a rare occurrence. In light of the recent police shooting of an under aged driver it brings up a few points about driving. Parents shud be aware.

 Though it might look cool to your peers, this is very dangerous behaviour.

What does it take to be able to drive? If u say clutch control, steering control, road safety awareness, alertness and things of the like you are only half right. I think a major part of driving on public roads is responsibility. Responsibility cannot be taught in driving schools and is a trait learned with time and experience. This to me is a major part of driving and what differentiates good drivers and those that shouldn't be on the roads. And that's why there's an age limit to getting a license even though many can obtain the skill to drive at a much earlier age.

Take for example running a red light. Could a young inexperienced driver internalise the ramifications of his actions? What if a car from the other junction were to drive by and he hit that car? Would he be responsible enough to stop and deal with the situation? Or would he just drive off away running from the collision scene? Does he know his rights and the rights of other motorists? Do you for that matter? It is indeed a sad say for that kid that panicked and drove away frm the
police only to get shot. That shud not have happened but parents should be aware that their kid's lives and the lives of others are at risk every time an under aged driver is on the roads. Cars are dangerous things. They have the potential to kill the occupants and those in their path. Which reminds me of a line from the movie "Hot
Fuzz" at the accident scene the police officer says "we call this a collision. An accident suggests that no one is at fault." How very true....

--
Sent from my mobile device

Where does your money go?

I don't know why I writing this this. Maybe just an excuse to not sleep early and sip some of my favourite Andalucian tea which I cannot get more of! Argh! I need to go back to Granada to get more tea! Obviously that's not gonna happen! This packet was actually given to me by a Moroccan shopkeeper I made friends with when I was there. I used to stop by his shop everytime I was in town. He could speak okay english. Not many ppl in Spain spoke english. Unfortunately my arabic was pathetic. =(

mmm... Andalucian tea. I love the big tea leaves. I don't need a strainer for pouring the tea. The teapot's strainer is good enough for the big tea leaves.

Anyways, back to my topic. Yeah, I'm not claiming to be the most prudent with my money, I do spend it on expensive stuff sometimes. When I started working about 5 years ago there was something that my parents always told me. This was to buy property before it gets too expensive. So after I confirmed my position with Petronas I bought a condominium in KL. 4 years plus onwards my parents words turned out to be true as It is almost impossible to buy property in KL for the amount I bought my property for. Property is a very good way of forced saving. I had rented it out for 2 years and throughout that period the property has paid for itself. I was lucky to quickly make use of my company's staff loan which allowed for 100% loan. In other words, I didn't have to fork out my own money to buy the property. Good for some poor person that's just started working...So if your company has a staff loan scheme, make use of it as soon as you can k.

Other than property, it is wise to diversify your investments in instruments like Mutual funds, Tabung Haji or the stock market.  Some even do side business. As long as it doesn't interfere with your day job and the sources of income is halal then why not. I am abit weary of multi level marketing schemes where the income is actually derived from other people's money. I seriously doubt the hallalness of those schemes but hey, that's just me.

Everyone should have some sort of saving. Experience has taught me that the best potential returns come from the stock market, Mutual funds are slow and Tabung Haji is the most care free as they pay the Zakat for you and give back reasonable returns. Though the stock market may have potential for large losses as I have observed with some of my friends but they all say the net is still positive.

On hindsight though, there are a few advice i would give out to those just entering the working world:

1) Don't buy an expensive car or better still don't buy a car until u absolutely need one. Pay as much upfront in cash or better still buy cash.A car is what people call a depreciating asset, or in other words a liability. The value depreciates and you will have to pay for the maintenance, running costs etc. Esp in Malaysia where car prices are very high, this is the single most thing that can erode your quality of life! The longer your loan amount, the more u stand to potentially lose when u decide to sell your car. Unlike property where it's value increases, car prices depreciate and a loan is an additional cost on top of that sticker price so when you want to sell the car, don't b surprised if you have to top up the loan! Beware k...

2) Get up the property ladder as early as you can. It will save you alot of money in the long run. Buy the most expensive that your budget permits. Remember that home loans are protected by MRTA so if the worse happens, you will not leave your spouse with a huge burden, If the property is high value, you might even leaving them with a "sweetener" as the MRTA will pay off the loan for you. Just an important point to remember: Property prices increases at a rate faster than your annual increment, especially in KL.

3) Have a disciplined saving habbit. My choice is Tabung Haji cos the returns are quite good and they pay the Savings Zakat for you. I also save at the company's employees corporation and also have an investment linked takaful as savings. Remember to take Takaful/insurance at a young age as the coverage costs will increase with your age and medical costs can really erode your wealth if not taken care of properly. Remember, that the best option is always to take good care of your health. Do sports. Run around the taman once in a while. Eat healthy... another community service reminder by yours truly =)

4) For muslims: Never forget to pay your Zakat. It's one of the pillars of Islam and one of the most ignored. Zakat cleanses your wealth. Just do it k....

Before I wrap up for the night, let me share the reason why we must invest our money. Well, other than the obvious reason of for future rainy days (or for a future wedding =P), the other reason is to preserve the value of your money. As we all know there's this thing in economics we call inflation. What is inflation? Inflation in economic terms is the increase in the prices goods. In other words, if inflation is 3%, then the price of a select basket of goods has increased by 3%. Remember how when I was joined school in Malaysia in 1990, a pocket money of 60sen was sufficient. A packet of Nasi lemak was back then only 30 sen. 60 sen got you a nice Nasi lemak kerang! hehehe... today, a simple nasi lemak will cost at least 1 ringgit and a kerang one would probably cost 2 ringgits. Therefore if u had 1000 ringgit and kept it under your pillow for 10 years, yes after 10 years you will still have that 1000 ringgit but you will not be able to buy as much stuff with it as you would've now. If you don't grow your money you are actually growing poorer with time - even if you don't spend any of your money! That is why we all need to invest our money in order to just preserve it's value at the very least and make more money from it if you can. So, next time you get your pay check, ask yourself how much of your income have you invested?

p.s: Tomorrow's mother's day. What have you planned for your mother?

What defines you?

What defines you? I'm talking about things that people remember you most for. For me, it would be Taekwondo and Tennis. The two things that I have always done since childhood until now. I was never remembered as a great speaker, a smart student nor a great sportsman, but everyone that knows me long enough knows that I've always been either kicking and punching or perfecting my top spin...

So, tennis. I started playing tennis what I joined secondary school in Lembah Keramat. I wasn't the "jock" type so games like football were definately off limits to me. I didn't smoke so there were not much in common with the other footballers. So an individual sport suited me most. Our school had a very old and dilapidated court but it was good enough to start learning to play with. We had this pro tennis coach that was malay and wanted to coach malay kids. He thought it was his obligation to do so. I know that sentence sounds a little racially biased but the reality of the time was that tennis was percieved as a very elite sport among Malays and not many Malays played it. As far as everyone was concerned only rich people play tennis and most rich people were Chinese. Well, my area was apredominantly Malay area so streotypes like that prevailed. Anyways, I got cheap coaching at the actually quite late age of 13. At that time I joined a few competitions but obviously failed miserably. 13 years old was a bit late to be good in my category.

When I joined KUSESS, my tennis also progressed a little. The school was new and the courts were pretty good. At that point I had a good sparring partner in my classmate Hadi. We both made it to the Selangor games, representing  erm... hehehe Kuala Selangor. It was a good experience going to centralised training, mingling with the other athletes from other games. But to be honest Kuala Selangor isn't really a tennis powerhouse. Elite sport remember. Petaling Jaya were the obvious favourites but it didn't matter, We both lost at quite early stages anyways.

I don't deal well with competition stress. Still don't.

At KMYS I used to play tennis almost everyday. On weekend mornings I'd practice my service on my own whilst listening to my mp3 player. The tennis courts were near the girl's chalet area. I guess they all thought I was a crazy guy playing tennis all by myself! hehehe...

At Leeds I didn't play much tennis as there were no real nice courts and the courts only open during spring/summer - the times I was not in the UK....

So why suddenly the talk about tennis? Well... I just had my racket restrung today. I've not played tennis for more than a year now. Since starting my martial arts I didn't have much time for tennis anymore. This saturday is the selection event for the Koprat tennis team. I'm not thinking that I'll make the cut since i've not been playing for over a year but who knows, it might all come back to me then...wish me luck!

My trusted Dunlop superlong racket I have owned since I was 16 years old. It has served me well over the years and I hope it will serve me better this year.

I have been playing for the Koprat team for three years already. Last year I didn't as I missed the selections as I was abroad on work assignment. This year I'm gonna try out. Hopefully better luck this year! Anyways, getting awfully sleepy now. gonna catch up on some shut eye now. Good night guys...

 Some old training photo. By chance the ball is right at the point of impact with my racket...cool pic whoever took it.