Dear Readers,

Salam & Good day to all... I hope you'll have fun reading and probably collect something useful here. I welcome all comments & commends. Please don't be anonymous. I'd like to know my visitors :)

"La Tahzan, InnaAllaha ma'ana" (Al- Quran: Surah At- Taubah- Verse 40)
Translation: "Be not sad (or afraid), surely Allah is with us."

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." ~Edmund Burke~

'It's not what the world holds for you, but what you bring to it' ~Anne of Green Gables~

Sunday, March 27, 2011

National Masjid - Kuala Lumpur

Salam & good day y'all!

Today, I just want to share with you guys some photos of National Masjid, Kuala Lumpur that I took. I love the design and the art of this masjid... it's not too much. Just nice. If you have time, come and visit. There are so many things to learn here... about Islam & all :)

If you are a tourist, you can get on the 'Hop on hop off' bus... there's a stop right in front of this masjid.

The prayer hall - centre

The prayer hall - side

 The roof...

 The carpet...

 The pillar...

 The wall...

 The chandelier... I like!

The view :)

Hope you enjoy the photos!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My deepest sympathy for Japan

11-March-2011... it was a grey day in KL... It is now a rainy season... We usually get heavy rain & thunderstorms in the evening. But, it is usually bright in the morning & hot in the afternoon. But last Friday, it was really cloudy since morning. I didn't suspect anything. Until it was in the news.

Earthquakes & tsunami hit Japan... it was 9.0 on the Richter scale.

It was devastating. Natural disaster always is... no matter what kind, no matter where it hits, no matter big or small.

I hope Japan, especially the people, remain strong. It is hard, but I know you will get through this.

To Malaysians... I hope we realize that we are not invincible even though we are away from the tectonic plates. Like it or not, we are all inter-connected, inter- related, one way or another. Be grateful with what we have, do not be selfish & always help others in need.

To Japan... be strong.

Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa - The Movie

*In Malay*

My gang & I, we were really looking forward to this movie. We've made a plan to go & watch it as soon as it hits the cinema. And we did just that :)

So, 6 of us... really excited. We met up after work, have enough dinner to get us in the right mood and give us enough energy to enjoy this movie. Heheheee... why were we so excited? OMG! Didn't you guys see the trailer? It was just WOW. It's like an epic movie... complete with warriors, battles, warships, pirates, black magic, the mythical bird 'Garuda' and not to forget, love. Auuuwwwww...

How was the movie?

Mixed feelings *Sigh*

Perhaps I shouldn't have put my expectations so high... but that would be so wrong. I've been waiting for Malaysian movie to start picking up and try to be on the same level with Hollywood movies. KRU Productions did just that. The movie effects were really excellent. It just need a little bit more tuning up & a little bit more experience. So, for effort and an attempt to bring Malaysian movie industry to the next level, I give this movie 10/10. Bravo KRU! I've always respected your vision & talent.

BUT... other than that, there are a lot of improvements needed. I'm not a professional movie critic, so I wouldn't know the aspects that I should consider when judging a movie. In this case, I'm only able to judge based on my overall feelings after I watched this movie and my feelings tell me that a lot of things were off. I came out of the cinema thinking 'what????' and confirmed that this is not the movie that I want to watch for the second time. Once was enough...

The movie wasn't all bad. Some of the parts were good:
  • The fight scenes were good even though I think the fights were too fast and I couldn't see the fighting movements, therefore couldn't really appreciate it.
  • I like the scenes between the Roman Prince & the China Princess. Good chemistry there *wink*
  • Kamawas was really a bad a**. Convincing character. Same goes to the China's Admiral.
  • The Princess's maid was a good character. She colored the movie :)
  • The scene where we can see Rome's & China's battle ship came to their aid was great. Great CGI at work :)
  • And the China Admiral's last dialog was really touching... "Princess, let this life be your wedding present". Wahhhhh... really made me want to cry!
I wrote the good news first. Now, the not so good ones... the list is longer... eikkssssss....  
  • I hate the dialogs. Inconsistent and some are really ridiculous. When they speak Malay, I was sure that ancient Malay do not speak that way.
  • What's up with the narrator's weird sore throat voice? Are you guys trying to out do Bruce Wayne's voice in Batman Begins?
  • The fight scene... what kind of martial art was used in that movie? Not Silat... not Tomoi... although I can see a bit of KungFu. But, there was hardly art in the fighting. Only actions... I think...
  • What's up with Embok? That woman seems cuckoo to me... looks like she's having PMS all throughout the movie. Really unstable hormones...
  • Poor Rahim Razali... that wig was horrible! And don't get me started on the tiger wig that the bad guy was wearing... worst Halloween costume ever! :P
  • Merong Mahawangsa speech before they go into battle with the pirates... could it be any longer? I wasn't inspired nor motivated... it made me sleepy. I rolled my eyes thinking, this Merong really 'syok sendiri'. *yawn*
  • "Kami ini bangsa yang banyak parut..." I think I remember that line correctly. I figured it was meant to be implicit... but that sentence was a joke... it made me laugh.
  • Somehow, I feel that Stephen Rahman was not the right person to be Merong Mahawangsa. I don't know what is it... but something's off...
  • And lastly... I hate the script. It made me lose interest in history. I don't think Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa is that bad... eeeikkkssss...
At the end of the movie, there were people clapping, so I guess there are people who will disagree with what I just wrote :) As for me, I wasn't expecting to laugh at this movie... but I did. To defend myself, I wasn't the only one laughing. I could hear people on the last four rows laugh as if we were watching a comedy. We can't help it. It was ridiculously funny!

I don't mean to condemn Malaysian movies... I admit there are good ones. Hollywood movies are not all good as well. 'Into the Blue' for example. But I didn't blog about that movie.

I blog about 'Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa' because I care. I hope KRU will be extra careful next time, especially when the movie is about history. If the movie is fiction, you are allowed to go crazy as far as your imagination can go.

So... one last question.. is this movie going international??? Oh no...

'Selamat malam, sayang...'

OMG Kamawas... you tickled me! *Sigh*

'Movie critic not for hire' signing out.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Too Late for Tears

I remember reading this in a comic magazine ‘Ujang’ a couple of decades ago. It’s a good read… I copied it and put it at the back of my Technical Writing text book… I liked to do those kinds of things. It’s like putting my right brain to a little bit of creative work. I still like doing it now… only now, I blog. I can share with more people this way :)

This is from a PERKIM pamphlet I took from National Mosque. I feel that this text is a bit different from the ones that I read decades ago. But, the lessons to learn from it are still the same.


Too Late for Tears
Adapted by Dr Y Mansoor Marican, Ph.D from “Operation Death” by  G.H.E Vanker.

Death knocked on
a bedroom door.

“Who is there?”  The sleeping one cried.

“I am Angel Izrael, let me inside.”

At once, the man began to shiver
as one sweating in deadly fever.

He shouted to his wife,
“Don’t let the Angel take my life.”

“O Angel of Death, I’m not ready yet.
My family, on me depend,
give me a chance to go back and mend”

The Angel knocked again.

“O man, it’s your soul that I require,
I come not with my own desire.”

Bewildered, the man began to cry:
“O Angel, I’m so afraid to die.”

“Let me remain here as your slave,
don’t send me to the grave.”

“Let me in, O man”, the Angel said.

“Open the door,
get up from your bed,
you can’t stop me from coming in,
Angels can go through objects,
thick & thin.

The man held a gun in his right hand,
ready to defy the Angel’s stand.

“I’ll point my gun towards your head,
You dare come in – I’ll shoot you dead.”

By now, the Angel was in the room,
saying, “O man, prepare for your doom,
foolish man – Angels never die,
put down your gun and do not sigh.

“Why are you afraid – Tell me O man –
to die accordingly to Allah’s plan?”

“O Angel, I bow my head in shame,
I had no time to remember Allah’s name.

From dawn till dusk, I made my wealth,
not even caring for my spiritual health.

Allah’s commands I never obeyed,
nor five times a day I ever prayed.

A Ramadhan came and
a Ramadhan went,
but no time had I to repent.

The Hajj was already obligatory upon me,
but I would not part with my money.

All charities I did ignore,
taking usuary more and more.

Sometimes I sipped my favourite wine,
with flirting women I sat to dine.

O Angel I appeal to you,
spare my life a year or two.

The laws of the Qur’an, I will obey,
I’ll begin Salat – this very day.

My Fast & Hajj I will complete,
and keep away from self conceit.

I will refrain from usury,
and give all my wealth to charity.

Wine and unlawful women,
I will detest,
Allah’s oneness, I will attest.”

“We Angels do what Allah demands,
we cannot go against his commands.

Death is ordained for everyone –
father, mother, daughter and son.

I’m afraid this moment is your last,
now be reminded of your past.

I do understand your fears,
but it is now too late for fears.

You lived in this world,
two score or more,
Your parents you did not obey,
hungry beggars, you turned away.

Your two ill- mannered, female offspring,
in nightclubs, for livelihood they sing.
Instead of making more Muslims,
you made your children non- Muslims.

You ignored the Azan (call to prayer),
Nor did you recite The Holy Qur’an,
Breaking promises all your life,
backbiting friends and causing strife.

From hoarded goods,
great profits you made,
and your poor workers –
you underpaid.

Horses and cards were your leisure,
money- making was your pleasure.

You ate and ate,
and grew more fat,
with the very sick, you never sat.

A little donation, you never gave,
that could a little baby saved.

You thought,
you’re clever and strong,
but O man,
you’ve done enough wrong.

Paradise for you? I cannot tell,
the disbelievers will dwell in hell.

There is no time for you to repent,
I’ll take your soul for which I am sent.”