How convenient, and what great timing! I had promised to write something here since a couple of days ago but was/am facing a big problem – I’m dead tired. Fortunately, Mohd Zawi of the Pasir Mas: Land of the Golden Sand came to the rescue.
Yes, I do realise that I’m well due for another post – preferably the continuation of “The powder of joy” (the one before “Elviza’s”). Unfortunately, I have been caught up with a lot of things, with one thing coming after another. Among other things, I had spent most of yesterday writing a book review; which was immediately followed by the need to draft a work proposal email. Having done that, it was off to service the Cendana Blues: Addicted to Politics blog (replied a comment); plus lengthy comments at Mamasita Mamamia! and also at up-and-coming Demi Negara – a generally Malay Nationalist blog.
By the way, the frequency and length of my comments left at any political site should not necessarily be taken to mean that I support all or even any of their ideas. At Tun Mahathir’s blog, I leave comments for one practical reason – to try get more clicks to Cendana Blues (leaving provocative and intriguing ones are important). Anyway, write x-number of comments of y-length and soon you’ll be mentally and physically spent. But I must write a post for here!
Fortunately, a glance at the Inbox in Mozilla Thunderbird showed something great: an e-mail with attachments from Mohd Zawi! Well, the pictures are related to this blog – they were about a function I had attended last Sunday. [Note: All pictures here are by Mohd Zawi. He has another site: Life As I See It (LAISI). If you like “localised photo-journalism with a personal touch”, and have a connection better than dial-up or my GPRS, LAISI and Pasir Mas: Land of the Golden Sand are recommended. You might finally be inspired and motivated to make full use of your digital camera by starting your own blog along similar lines]
First of all, I must say this about Zawi – he’s heroic! And dedicated. I had told him about this majlis by SMS at Subuh. He said he’d attend, and take some pictures. However, a few moments after that, and unknown to me, he had a bout of high-blood pressure. I came to know about it a couple of hours later when he SMS, informing me that he was at the town’s clinic.
Well, I had hoped and expected that he would then go home and rest. I don’t know what it’s like but I could imagine “it must be bad”. Was so nervous about him being in that condition that I could not help sending a SMS to Elviza and Sherry about it.
However, since he had brought along his camera, he decided to stop at the district council’s hall first! I was nervous and felt guilty about it, for it was I who had informed him about this function. Well, it will indeed be a memorable AADK Raya function for me mostly because of Zawi. “THANKS, Bang Zawi!”
I’m not too well-versed when it comes to digital pictures. The pictures he sent are of 1024×681 and around 250KB each, with the camera model of “DSLR-A350″. He mentioned that pictures of a higher resolution are available, but I feel those he had sent are already good enough. BTW, after seeing Zawi in action with his camera – and the results – this thing of digital photography has become more fascinating to me. Among the attraction is the fact that one no longer needs to spend a bundle on negatives and processing; and you could send copies to as many people as you wish. Plus the ease in editing them (Using freeware IrfanView, with additional plugins).
CAPTION: AADK officers manning the registration desk outside the hall. I’ve not attended the activities since a few months ago since my supervision officer (Cik Azie) knows that I’m working, fully understands what I’m doing, and has afforded a lot of leniency towards it. This I’m thankful for. The Raya function, however, is compulsory – a major annual event. So, in due respect and appreciation to the AADK officers for their previous tolerance and encouragement, I certainly would not have missed it despite being genuinely busy.
One thing that struck me was the quite-high number of parents/family members who had attended this year. This is something the AADK stresses on – having the family’s support. From my (very) close involvement, observation and experience, this is a crucial matter. When it comes to the Pusat inmates, those who were without any support from their family or relatives would tend to relapse – maybe even on the first day of being released from the Pusat.
Anyway, as with similar functions, there was the almost mandatory “ceramah agama” (religious talk). When it comes to the Pasir Mas AADK (and “frequent” with Kuantan, which I have some experience at), it’s a staple and guaranteed to be part of the program. For this particular ceramah, I can’t seem to remember what it was about, unfortunately.
CAPTION: To protect others’ privacy, the more visible faces are pixelized. The AADK people are very particular about this, and I appreciate their being sensitive. BTW I’m the one behind the guy in red-and-yellow t-shirt; the one looking down. No, it’s not “camera-shy” – I was exchanging SMS messages with someone who was attending a course in KL (must have been dull too). In fact, I wasn’t even aware that Mohd Zawi was there!
The guy on the left in white – “PG Naga” (tattoo of a dragon) – Was once charged under section 39B, which was later amended to 39A (1) and got `only’ something like three years, three strokes in the late 90’s. He’s someone I have known from the Pengkalan Chepa prison; and my junior by eight months at Gambang when I was already a high-ranking “Pengawas”.
Would often call me from his fenced-in “Orientasi A” hostel (where he has the most friends), appealing for some tobacco (illegal), knowing full well that a Pengawas would most probably have some extra tobacco to spare:“Cxxxx, habuk ado ko sikit, buwi ko kita…? Buleh sbalut LIMA oghe isap takpo doh…” (“Cxxxx, can you give me a bit of tobacco, please?…just enough for FIVE of us to smoke”. And I would ALWAYS oblige. Even when I didn’t have any (rarely), I’d go to my Cendana hostel in front and get a pinch of it (for TWO only) from someone. These things… the grateful receivers appreciate and remember “their saviours” long after they’re discharged.
Another interesting thing concerning Zawi that day: The district chief AADK officer Puan Rahimah Awang Lah, on seeing “a SLR camera-totting stranger with a hiker bag”, had called me to inquire about this. “Oghe suratkhobar ko?” (Is he with a newspaper?) My answer was truthful: “Bukae suratkhobar… Nulih blog hal Pasir Mah dengae Kelate hok paling sohor skali”. (Not a newspaper, but writing the best-known blog about Pasir Mas and Kelantan) And yesterday, Zawi was at the Bank Rakyat Raya Open House – and had written about it here. So I’d say the description was accurate enough…
*Update 24 Oct 12.23AM: There’s an interesting comment at the old post of Malaysia Stoke City Supporters Club: I dream of. A journalist from Stoke found this blog. However, it’s unfortunate that I can’t give him any good news to write about. Will tell Rocky Bru about it at his latest post…
*Update 26 Oct 12.55AM: I had just seen this short account at the Just Me n Us blog, which is really sad and tragic: A True Story