Seven months on blogosphere – the good & the bad

There’s a whole lot of work to do – six articles to edit, a magazine to proofread, two book reviews, research for an article due next Thursday, an article “about anything” (really), politics-related writings, research on Web hosting and Internet marketing for a very dear friend… But for once, I’m going to ignore these and write this post.

It’s also because of some guilt – the comments from sepadu, satD, nadya.s and Capt here do have an effect on my conscience:-) Then there are those who have been prodding me elsewhere – Distractor (from Facebook), Sherry Nor-Jane; among others. And yes, it’s been a good 20 days since the last post: honestly, I do feel bad about people coming to see whether I’ve written something new – and being disappointed.

It’s been seven months since I started this blog, and it’s a good time to sit back and review what has happened. There have been a lot of good and great things that have occurred as a result, directly or indirectly. And there are also the bad things.

Then there’s one particular comment from An-Nimr at the Demi Negara blog… I don’t know how this post will come out – I have the feeling it’s going to be long and rambling because there are so many things on my mind right now. Well, as usual, I’m just going to write whatever comes to mind: this never-ending journey towards recovery and the struggle to try Live life on Life’s terms.

There are times when things are rough, like right now. There’s this matter of my case at the Syariah court, which would sap my emotional energy sometimes. And there’s also in dealing with a society that mostly refuses to give recovering addicts a chance; always too glad and ready to bring up incidents of past wrongs and expecting and hoping for… what?! that those like me would always suffer and be deprived of success and joy until we die?

Oh, practically all of them would proclaim “being supportive”, of course. However, their actions and words over a period of time would belie this; and bringing out what their real thoughts are. One of the reasons is because they had already come up with a conclusion, and have made it publicly known whenever there are discussions about “drug addiction”.

It’s this one: “Once an addict, always an addict… People who become addicted will remain this way until they die… they might stop for a while, but they will ALWAYS return to drugs.” “Dadah sudah sebati dalam tubuh, memang tak boleh tinggal,” they would sagely and smugly declare. And they’d give examples as proof of this – of someone they know who was addicted until he died, despite being sent to four pusats and five times in prison. To `strengthen’ their conclusion, they might quote some authority – doctors or AADK and police officers they claim to have heard from.

It’s a fact that people, by nature, want to be right. However, there are those who would somehow take it as an affront should they be wrong. Having already decided on this, they regard their opinions as “facts” that must be defended at all costs. So, when some former addict looks to be doing okay, they’d feel threatened – and harbour resentment too… They’d go out of their way to find `proof’ that “it’s only temporary – he’ll get back on drugs soon, if not already”.

And they’d wait with eagle eyes for the slightest `indication’ – real or otherwise – so that they can pull him down, “and put him where he belongs; in the gutter”. I have no doubts that should I suffer a relapse and slide, all of you here will hear about it in all its gory details – and more. The veracity of their `fact’ has been defended, and they’ll trumpet this for all to hear.

Yes, that’s the sad and disappointing part about the past seven months. Although I had expected some hostility when coming out in the open and being a visible target, I was still shocked with and angered by the devious manner in which they try to subvert and undermine. It’s me and my life, my name that they’re mucking up; so, if I don’t turn the other cheek but instead slash and hack, please don’t be too shocked. But I’ll get to this in its own good time.

Do I regret coming out into the open then? Definitely not, for indirectly, through the Grace of God, this blog has also helped to solve a major problem that I had faced for almost two years – unemployment. As it is, I’m now actually having to refuse new jobs and projects – at least until I’ve comfortably adapted to what I’m doing now. [I have to thank two people – Brigitte and Sheila especially… and Puteri Kamaliah, her son and David R too. But another time.]

No less importantly, I’ve come to know of some truly excellent people; of whom I would never have come across had I remained in the shadows… Elviza, Mat Salo, Datin Mamasita, Zara and others. And a few of them have become crucial factors in my life – people whose counsel I’d always seek when deciding on important matters. They have come through for me on quite a number of occasions; including a few really critical moments when I was on the brink.

sherry-family-raya2008 I’ve already mentioned about Sherry and her husband Nazmi on a number of times before. Suffice to say for now that they aren’t “very good friends” anymore – it’s more than that.

CAPTION: Nazmi, Sharifah Nor Jannah and children during Raya Aidilfitri 2008… The single most influential factor during this journey of the past six months.


There’s also An-Nimr, with the uncanny ability to turn up at crucial times with crucial things – often without her realising it. For instance, there was something she wrote at Demi Negara a few days ago, when I was in emotional turmoil:

Who/where would this knight be without those positive urine tests of the past today?
“Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him.”– Aldous Huxley
And the exemplary man you are today (as a result of your “experiences”), in conduct, speech and character plus an acute sense of perception, sensitivity and empathy for others, and your attempts to make every minute of this life count for something puts many of us to shame.

As I had replied to her then: “exemplary man” I certainly am not! And No, this isn’t “merendah diri” (humility) – she need only to ask my wife. But An-Nimr/Malaysian Tigress/Tehsin already knew of my case – and from Day One too. Why and How then did she come up with those lines, which describe “someone else”, whoever he is?

And something happened that day: I have to strive and be that person… Whenever a negative thought came up, I’d remember what Tehsin had written and try to correct myself – she might “have seen something”, and had actually written a creed for me to live by. Ah, Tehsin: You have made life difficult for me!:-)

By the way, to those who might not know Tehsin, all I’m going to say is this: After what she has gone through, she “has special powers” – things that Life doesn’t yield through reading books and having a PhD in Psychology, but “through painful experiences, and how one goes through with them”. As such, to me, what she says are always to be noted.

Shakirah_Muaz It was also through Tehsin that I’ve come to know of another special person – someone whom I look up to with admiration, and who helped to explain and make sense when some aspects of life appeared twisted. Like Tehsin, Shakirah has gone through challenges that would have mangled, crippled or totally break down those with lesser qualities; and she “knows things” as a result.

CAPTION: Shakirah Zain and youngest son, Muaz. Permission to use graciously given at 7.33PM on 14/3:-)

It’s interesting to note that all whom I’ve mentioned are better educated than I am: David R has a few degrees, all in different fields; Elviza and Zara are lawyers, of course; Sherry and Nazmi are both accountants, and Sherry has a MA too; Tehsin has a degree in Finance from the United States; and Shakirah has an Accountancy degree having studied in Australia and England. And I have, erm… not accepting a chance for a Mara-sponsored degree in English in England due to “misplaced priorities that came about through drug addiction in the late 70’s”, plus two way-not-completed courses…

But this is what that makes them special: Never, not even once, did they ever imply of being superior to me in any way. And with Sherry, Tehsin, Zara and Shakirah especially, there were a lot of chances for them to have done so, for I’m in frequent communication with them through SMS, calls, Yahoo Messenger and Facebook. But they didn’t. 

There’s another thing that I’m appreciative of, and which has made me hold them in even higher esteem. Even from early on, they don’t even regard me as “a recovering addict” but… a person

Besides Sherry, Shakirah too has been responsible for one very important improvement – self-esteem and confidence. Now this is someone who knows a lot about spiritual matters, and is always willing to share.

There were quite a number of times when chats with her would result in my being introduced to new concepts and perspectives that I never knew existed. And some were of such stunning significance as to make me feel liberated or empowered; and feeling that I’ve gotten more pieces of a jigsaw that make life a lot clearer. And simpler too.

With this matter that I’m facing now – the one at the Syariah court – the four of them, plus Sheila, have been of immense help. And comfort. I do have a basic idea of what the future would be, regardless of how things turn out at the court. Through them, I know what to strive for – bringing out the powers inside me and be the best that I can. Because of them, I don’t feel either superior or inferior to anyone anymore. Thanks to them, I’m my own person; whatever I decide what I want to be, not what others think I should be. Tehsin had written out some very high standards, and it scares me – someone who had done deplorable things in his life. But I want to be… why can’t I be? To those who have honestly and sincerely helped over the past seven months: Thank you, to all of you.

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87 thoughts on “Seven months on blogosphere – the good & the bad

  1. Matt,
    Your fans are addicted to your write-ups and the real test of whether
    one knows the subject is whether he can explain it to another who does
    not fully understand the addict’s mind and predicament. In this
    regard, your write-ups does so with alacrity, as such highly
    recommended for its treatment of the addict enigma !. In fact, by
    writing it down, you are taming the desire and surely winning it day
    by day also for the rest of us, fighting similar battles out there against other forms of addiction!.
    The exceptional yet simple explaination make your reader rethink
    his/her knowledge or understanding of the various frustration faced by
    you or oneself in your/our personal battle against the inner beast within.
    You set an living example of how one is facing the challenge head on.
    Others can really learn from you,,,,do write more brother!. I only wish that I can write like you !

    Cheers mate,


  2. Capt
    Firstly, your wish has been granted: there’s absolutely nothing wrong with your writing… in fact you might be asking for a downgrading with that one!

    There’s something very true in how writing helps. That one about some people having already made a decision: I’m going to admit here that the whole thing had clicked while I was writing this post!

    Yes, I didn’t quite make the connection before this. The fact that people in society have a stigma against addicts – active or otherwise – is well-known, of course. But all these years, I had never been aware of the insides of some of them; of their need to prove that their theory is correct AT ALL COSTS.

    And so they go about it… investigating to find proof of a relapse. But it’s not a scientific nor fair investigation – it’s like the policeman who has already decided you’re guilty, and he goes about collecting things that will *lead* to others believing him to be right.

    That means he’ll pick and choose – anything that would disprove his conclusion is discarded, even when it is critical and would show the truth. Remember, the theory must be upheld – `facts’ must be manipulated to fit the theory.

    And some of these people – they are the `pillars of society’ or community with their kupiah, jubah labuh and houses full of those red-covered kitabs and Islamic art and holy verses adorning the walls; punctuating every other sentence in their conversations with something God-related…

    But in reality they don’t even have the basics of what it means to be fair and just. And they’d shake their heads, wondering why “these people don’t follow Jalan yang benar and why there isn’t much respect towards them”. This is another reason why society becomes distanced – there’s no mutual respect and there’s no real care towards the less fortunate.

  3. Matt,

    The special thing about your writing skill is that you can write – YES, write movingly and genuinely about yourself and your inner feelings plus real experience in your life battle.

    Guess what’s important is how you feel about oneself,,,, as for myself I live my life by myself on an island !. To be free from the rat race,,,,am easy going, so as not to suffer from a premature heart attack !.

    Take it easy Matt, drink lots of water daily too,,,yes lots and lots of H2O. Just plain water will keep our body healthy. Tiap kali saya mandi, i drink one cebok of well water without fail. This is my ‘petua’ for healthy living.


  4. Capt
    Thanks for reminding me – it looks so `simple’ that most people would not even mention it… “drink lots of water”. I haven’t, although I know I should.

    Okay, since you have the credentials when it comes to “healthy living”, it would be close to a sin should I neglect this: I’m going to drink “lots of water” from NOW. And boil enough for tomorrow. Even `simple things’ need to be made a habit.

    The water I’m using – it’s from a well. And a deep one too (17 big kerek). You mean you drink one whole cebok? That’s quite a lot!

    BTW I was thinking last night: of all the people here, I’d say YOU have the nicest life. That’s a really great situation you have there, Capt – I’m sure a lot of people would love to be living like you are right now.

    Well, I’m going to have to move towards one of my dreams too; try make it a reality – would love to have a house by the beach. The area around Cherating and Balok looks great enough – RM500K should be enough, right?

    Now I just need to get the money. Don’t have much right now (which is actually a BIG improvement from the previous “practically don’t have *any*”), but I’m convinced of one thing: When God opens the way, the seemingly impossible now will materialise. I’ve seen it happen with my wife’s nephew.

    With me, I have a general idea where it might come from – a few well-timed entries in the futures markets, and on leveraged trading, should make that dream possible. Yes, or to have the capital wiped out within two days… Let’s see whether I really have the stomach to risk it when the time comes.

  5. Aiyo Mat!

    Sodih den dongar ni hah! Boo hoo hoo (dah kena penyakit Mamasita…hahaha)

    Laaa…my PirateKingKapas pun ade sini…he is very wise Mat…and very blessed to be able to live on that lovely island (Capt…sponsorlah kita org cuti kek Kapas…kita jadik deckhand, tukang sapu, tukang masak, tukang petik kelapa, tangkap ikan, siang ikan…semua2lah…basuh pinggan pun okay…tapi si Jane punya poop…saya tak mau angkat…itu Capt kasi tukang urut tu angkat…hehehe.

    Mat, every one has their own battle, drug addiction was/is yours. You are no different from any of us. Every one is tested in his/her own way. My battle is not yet over. Neither is yours. But Allah has promised, that with every difficulty there is relief, with every difficulty there is relief.

    He Said it Twice.

    He does not test any one with more than one can bear.

    We will win, or at the very least, we will die fighting.

    This is our jihad.

  6. PS:

    AMBOI! Lawa nyer makwe Shakirah tu…saya pun nak call dia…kasik number! kah kah kah… (Sherry pun lawa gak, tapi dah ade pakwe)

  7. Hola Bro,

    Many many moons ago, when I decided to start blogging I asked a few close friends whether what I gonna do will have any implications on me personally?

    Some of them were shocked when I told them that I gonna publicly claiming that I’ve problem with drugs. They told me the public at large are not ready to accept even a recovering addict despite proclaiming they were the true masyarakat penyayang.

    But then I still believe there were indeed a masyarakat penyayang. There are still people with a heart of gold, people like our mutual friends Mat Salo, Elviza and Sherry.

    Sadly, I’ve my share of angry emails thrown at me. Many a time I’ve been called a dog, “kalau dah anjing tu, anjing jugak. Kalau tak dimakannya, dihidunya jua!”

    Mostly I would just ignore it, but then I’m just an ordinary human being trying to make good after what I had done. Yeah, it’s really hurt most of the time when an anonymous writer spit that words to me!

    I know how you feel, Bro. I wish I know some inspiring quotes to ease your pains, but you’re welcome to shoot me an email or two.

    Talk to you later, Bro.

    Greetings and lots of love from Kuale Kangsor.

  8. Hah..I was going to sleep, but taking a last look, Mat…ArahMan7 cakpa kat depa2 tu…hidu jer tak pe…heheh apa salahnye…besa lah…saya pun suka hidu bau cologne pakwe2 hensem wafting towards me as they have their teh tarik in the morning before going to the office in their crisp white shirts…ahhh…nothing like a freshly showered man splashed in cologne…tapi hidu jer dari jauh, dekat2 tak leh!

    Paling sedap bau Drakkar Noir…tak leh challenge sampai hari nih.

  9. Hola rimau malaya,

    Aisey men, Drakkar Noir? Teringat masa dulu2. That was my theme. Don’t believe me? Ask to all the girls I love before, hehehe! Memang tak leh challenge gua cakap lu.

    Apapun, I bring you…

    Greetings and lots of love from Kuale Kangsor.

  10. ArahMan7
    Based on what you have said, it’s obvious that you’ve faced this one too. But there’s one good thing about people who say it directly – at least you know where they stand. It’s those who say one thing but mean another that I have issues with.

    In a way, I can understand why some are so bitter – they have had some personal experience with someone addicted to drugs, and they’re taking it out on whoever is associated with it. It doesn’t matter whether he’s an active or a recovering addict.

    But there are lessons and revelations from all this – it provides an opportunity to see the “intan” (diamond) from the “kaca”(glass). I don’t expect people to roll out the red carpet or any sort of special and preferential treatment. I wouldn’t mind people staying on the sidelines; of being neither here nor there when it comes to this matter. Not having an opinion is okay – in fact, it’s a lot better than those with opinions based on false data.

    What I detest are those who say one thing but actually harbour something else. And the holier-than-thou and know-it-all types.

    The words from these true friends – they had helped. I now see it as this – It’s not my problem that these people are like this… it’s their weakness. And this is also a good time to look at why I’m into the recovery plan – I’m doing it for ME, MYSELF. So, I’ll just leave it at that.

    However, if and when their words and actions affect me to the detriment… well, they’ll see that I won’t meekly accept whatever. There are times when it’s better to just keep quiet. But there are also those situations where you need to do something – stamp your foot down instead of just accepting whatever crap these people bring on you. I just hope that I’ll have the wisdom to decide on which to do during these moments.

  11. Tehsin
    See? People like you, Shakirah… you always manage to put things in perspective. When you mention this one being my personal jihad, it becomes clear again. Your fight is different; as is Shakirah’s. As always, the “Sabar” (Patience) is important.

    Anyway, there’s one thing I’m extremely pleased with – the loneliness that I used to feel is no longer there. And it was alleviated through starting this blog. Then there are those frequent contacts with Sherry – it’s a comforting feeling to know that they are just a SMS or Call away. And then you, Shakirah, Zara on YM… I wonder how I had managed to make it from one day to another before coming online.

    But I remember the dreariness of it all after coming back from Gambang – of being and feeling so alone. One day was like the other… these days just meld together to be one big period of nothingness… days, weeks. How often I’d think of pumping up some morphine to deal with the boredom and loneliness. Thank God for the Internet!…and having these jobs.

    Drakkar Noir… I’ve just realised something: I need to get that or something similar. It’s been YEARS since I had bought cologne. I used to, before the big relapse. Never did when addicted. And I keep wishing I had some cologne at Gambang! Thanks for mentioning it – looks so trivial but this is a self-statement that “it’s a new phase in life now”.

    No telefon Shakirah? Err, can’t help you there; tak ada, sorry. Haha!

  12. Tehsin @ harimau malaya,,,,(Matt tumpang blog ya !)

    di-pulau ini tiada harimau tau, so anytime-lah ‘you plus kawan-kawan’ boleh di-sponsor yaaa,,,, but only when am on board saja cas. my pirate crew semua terrorist type, nak rompak duit saja !. Tapi don’t forget to bring beras and fruits cas. di-pulau we are always short of it,,,,ikan banyak don’t worry. Last night we got lots of fish from fisherman friend, penoh peti ice dgn ikang saja.

    RIGHT now, its still raining for past 48 hours already, lucky dekat pulau tak akan flood but my God its so wet and cold, i pity those school kids camping along the beach front. (cam anak ayam sejuk jatoh parit)
    Its 4;18 a.m. right now,,,,nak tidor balik-lah. Sejuk sejuk sedap pelok bantal saja-lah.


  13. Capt…

    saya baru lepas mimpi ni ha serious…dok kat pulau…berjam2 saya nak buat breakfast sebab semua buat sendiri kene beratur…baru siap roti…saya carik pulak telur saya buat scrambled sebelum tu, tapi org lain dah sapu, pastu saya buat teh, roti saya pulak org lain sapu…frust tul…then I woke up…ish itu betul kat pulau pirate…hehehe

  14. MC, Arahman7, I came across this story, rgearding this doa that we are encouraged to make from the quran daily, for wronging ourselves (kalau Allah in His Infinite mercy can Forgive us, who are those people to judge…they better make this doa too lah…ceramah sket pagi ni ek…sekadar berkongsi, tak layak pun untuk berceramah…)

    The Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa salaam said, �That the dua of Dhu Al-Nun (The man of the fish i.e. Yunus/Jonas) by which he invoked Allah from inside the belly of the whale is: There is none worthy of worship but You, Glory be to You, verily I am amongst the wrong doers. No muslim ever makes dua by it but Allah will grant it.”
    Reported by al-Tirmidhi in his sunnan [4/260], Ahmad [1/170] & al-Hakim [2/383] who authenticated it. Al-Dhahabi agreed to it. Also our Sheikh al-Albani in �Al-Kalim al-Tayyib� no.122)

    The Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa salaam said to Ibn Abbas radi Allahu anhu : �O young man, I am going to teach you some words: Be mindful of Allah, and He will be mindful of you. Be mindful of Allah, and yo will find Him before you. When you ask, ask Allah. When you wish to seek help, seek help from Allah. Remember that if all the people come together to bring you benefit they can not benefit you except that Allah has written. on the other hand, if they come together to cause (you) any harm, they will not be able to do it except for what Allah has written. The pens have been laid aside, and the scrolls have dried. (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi who declared it Hasan Sahih)

    Allah Almighty says:
    Call on your Lord in humility and in secret. For He loves not those who trespass beyond bound.(7:55)

    THE PROPHET YUNUS (peace be upon him)

    The Prophet Yunus (peace be upon him) is also addressed by two other surnames “Dhun-Nun” (Lord of the Fish) and “Sahibil-Hot” (Companion of the Fish). The Holy Qur’an says:

    “And (mention) Dhun-Nun when he went off in anger and deemed that We had no power over him but he cried out in darkness, saying: There is no god save Thee. Be Thou glorified! Lo! I have been an evil-doer.” (11 ·: 87)

    “But wait thou for thy Lord’s decree and be not like the Sahibil-Hut who cried out in fear.” (68 :48)

    Yunus (Jonah) was the son of Mitta according to a Tradition quoted in Sahih Bukhari but the Torah states that his father’s name was Amittai.

    When the prophethood was conferred upon him, he was commanded to go Nineveh for preaching the true faith of God. Nineveh was situated on the right bank of the river Tigris. It was the capital city of Assyria. Its people were arrogant and conceited. They led sinful lives. The Prophet Yunus (peace be upon him) tried his best to reform them but they turned a deaf ear to his advice and warnings. Soon he began to feel disgusted. Consequently human frailty overpowered him. He flew into a rage and invoked Allah’s wrath on the people of Nineveh. He became impatient and departed without waiting for further command from Allah. He imagined perhaps God had no power over him. The Prophet Yunus (peace be upon him) proceeded towards the sea and took a boat. Unfortunately the boat was caught in a storm. The sailors held him responsible for bringing misfortune to the boat. They decided to throw Prophet Yunus (peace be upon him) into the water but the passengers did not agree to their decision. Then lots were drawn and the name of Prophet Yunus (peace be upon him) came out. The Prophet Yunus was thrown into the sea for the safety of the boat. When Prophet Yunus (peace be upon him) fell into the water, a great fish with capacious belly drew him in. He was in extreme distress. He realised that he had to suffer for committing dereliction towards his duty as a prophet. Instead of running away he must have relied upon the power of Allah even in the most discouraged circumstances.

    The Prophet Yunus (peace be upon him) felt penitence and supplicated to Allah in the humblest tone. His repentance was accepted and he was to be delivered ashore. He was provided with the shelter of a spreading plant. The Holy Qur’an relates this incident in the following Verses:

    “And lo! Yunus verily was of those sent ( to warn). When he fled into the ladenship, then drew lots and was of those rejected, the fish swallowed him while he was blameworthy, and had he not been one of those who glorify Allah, he would have tarried in its belly till the Day of Resurrection, then We cast him on a desert shore while he was sick and We caused a tree of gourd to grow above him, and We sent him to a hundred thousand (folk) or more. And they believed, therefore We gave him comfort for a while.” (27: 139-i18)

    When Prophet Yunus (peace be upon him) regained his health, he was commanded to go back to the same town and fulfil his mission of making the people give up their iniquitous life. Now the people of Nineveh repented and followed their Prophet. God showed mercy and they prospered remarkably. They got a new lease of glorious life. The Holy Qur’an says:

    “When they believed, We removed from them the torment of disgrace in the life of the world and permitted them to enjoy their life for a while.” (10:98)

    Etiquette of doa.
    Fortification of the Muslim: Collection of doas from the Quran and Sunnah.

  15. Fortification of the Muslim: Collection of doas from the Quran and Sunnah: The doa I higlighted here earlier, you should check out.

  16. Mat,

    I think you are progressing well in the blogosphere and in your recovery.

    As ArahMan7 said, ignore the negative comments. When feeling down, we may console ourselves that others have problems too, like Tehsin said. God is great and is always fair.

    Like you said, when feeling bothered by the indiscretion of others, we can tell ourselves that it’s their problem, not ours. Agree 100% with you there.

    Best wishes.

  17. Tehsin,
    Just a short and quick reply (tak siap lagi kerja yang semalam; and I’m sleepy):
    This is one of the torments that we face – the wrongs that we have done towards others. Even during those times of addiction, the feelings of guilt were always there. It’s not right or accurate when people conclude “addicts don’t care about others, about anything”. They do… except that when in withdrawal upon being deprived of some substance, the body’s chemistry change and they’d have altered priorities.

    These are the things that I have to face – of making amends to those I’ve wronged. There are no two ways about it: I had learned through Narcotics Anonymous (NA) of how it affects the process of recovery. It’s a major aspect – in fact it covers a few steps… from Step 5 to 9; which just goes to show how important and difficult this aspect is.

    But when we have the desire, the will builds up. Then it’s the question of “opportunity” – even when you want to make amends and have the ability, it would still depend on the action of the person you owe it. And with `some people’, the opportunity isn’t given… I haven’t learned how to handle this particular area yet.

    Anyway, I agree with how you’ve put it when it comes to “outsiders” who somehow feel that we need to seek their… `forgiveness'(?). It’s “their approval”… that we need “to prove ourselves” to them. This is where many recovering addicts face a lot of heartache and frustrations. And they would give up.

    Well, with me, I won’t give up because of one very fundamental reason: I don’t seek their approval. I hope this doesn’t come across as “irresponsible” or “arrogant”, for it isn’t. I’ve often heard of this one: “Buktikan kepada masyarakat bahawa awak telah berubah”.

    Sorry to say this, but I’m not doing this “for the masyarakat” or anyone but for MYSELF. This way, there’s no pressure on me to please anyone – I just need to consider my own conscience.

    And anyway, it’s an impossible task to “jaga hati” everyone: WHO should I listen to to provide the “do and don’t”? Actually, there are many who’d be eager to fill this position, of `setting standards and supervising’ me… to the point of exasperation.

    But I do have a general list of what to do (and not); and they come through these most important people whom I consider the “masyarakat” for me – Sherry and Nazmi (predictable, isn’t it?); Shakirah (ah, now you see how very important and how highly I trust and rate her knowledge and sense of “What to do in x situation”); Sheila (Who’s she? Another time…). I haven’t done each and everything they say, of course. But there’s one thing I’m glad for: that they care enough… and I feel it. I thank God for them.

  18. Dearest MC,

    Thanks for the article. Mana ada i pressure you tulih… i hint sikit2 jer..:)) Jangan ckp kat org..Malu i tau!!!..

    Anyhow, as i’ve said in Facebook, there will always be people who want you down but always remember there are other half who truly wants to see you berjaya.. so tell them like what i’ve told Man Utd fans, EAT THAT SUCKERSS!!!!

    p.s.1 still high on Liverpool’s result…
    p.s.2 come la join Liverpool!!! hahahahah
    p.s.3 bila nak tulih new article *wink* *wink*

  19. ArahMan7
    Well, ArahMan7 has made it onto the page of a newspaper: <a href=””Voyage of recovery.

    Hopefully people will gradually realise that there’s no “One size fits all”. It’s encouraging to hear of things like this. At the same time, I’m 100% sure ArahMan7 would not claim that he’s “fully cured”; that the authorities or anyone can issue a “certificate of guarantee” that he is certain to not become addicted again. It’s a lifelong process, and we can only take things bit by bit, step by step. The “One day at a time” is the most practical way of approaching it.

  20. Hola Bro,

    Thanks for mentioning the Malay Mail’s article.

    The reporter emails and phones me about it last week. I thought she was just pulling my leg. That’s why I kept mum about it. Still didn’t have the chance to thanks her yet. Do you think she’ll accept my offer of the famous Laksa Kuale as a way to say, “Thank You?”

    Greetings and lots of love from Kuale Kangsor.

  21. Mat,

    Never you mind about those judgmental persons and their sheepish theories about drug addicts.

    Wherever we have been and no matter how far we have steered away from the path, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Cliche this may be to many but I believe it.

    And you, you are so much more than a piece of degree or professional qualification (which does not guarantee happiness anyhow). To be your friend is my privilege truly.

  22. welcome back Mat!!!

    Not many ppl have the courage to come out like you to share their experience…..n on-going struggles…my doa to u to b strong in facing all these elements

    Tabik bro to u as well as your buddies who have stood on ur side to provide the support and encouragement…

    I suspect u got time management problem..keke…and a desire to achieve perfection in the work that u do…the key is the “perfection” part….redefine that then maybe your time parameters will improve..


  23. satD
    It’s actually a relief that you mentioned these – “time management” and “desire to achieve perfection”.

    I’m going to take advantage of this by acknowledging that I do have a problem… maybe you – and those who have handled this – might be able to offer some insights. I know that Capt has served his time handling big projects… perhaps he might have a few ideas. And satD – well, I do know that you’re handling quite a number of things, and yet managing to do them well… as far as I can see.

    I’m quite aware of the first one. Last November, when I was to start these two main (paying) jobs, plus maintain an existing one, AND two blogs, I knew I had a problem. Had talked with Nazmi about it, and he managed to help – despite my still having a problem, it was a lot worse before.

    I strongly suspect that “wanting to achieve perfection” is one of the reasons behind it. You’re not the first to mention it – Sheila had too. I had denied it… but I don’t know.

    To me, it’s “just trying to do my best, produce my best”. But I might tend to overdo it, always not satisfied. There’s this feeling, after completing some piece of work, that “It could have been better”. Of course it could!… but it also means NEVER completing any work when one keeps trying to improve it and not put in a full-stop! I don’t know where the limits are on this “trying your best”, on when I should stop and just hand things in.

  24. I came by this blog by accident; I’m glad I did and don’t regret spending the time reading through. The posting is a moving piece that also reminds me of the John Wayne movie “True Grit” (that’s by way of telling you how old I am!)

    What moved me was the unerring desire of a recovering addict to do right for himself, who wants to really climb out of the hole he has found himself in. Also the terrific support he is getting from all kinds of people. It really is a great feeling to be able to share the trials and tribulations of someone who has been in trouble with himself and admits to the problem and to see non-judgemental support for him coming from all over.

    There is, after all, a great spirit amongst Malaysians to do good for themselves and for others as well. I salute you guys.

    I will be visiting this blog again and again. There are lessons for me to learn about human endeavour so close to home (used to read Reader’s Digest about this kind of thing). Thank you Mat Cendana for opening my eyes and my spirit to a new experience.

  25. Matt,

    ,,,Firstly you MUST learn to say “NO” !
    ,,,Don’t accept everything “given/ask/detail/order” by others to you,,,,be your own BOSS about managing your TIME,,,O.K. !.
    ,,,Its you that determine the final delivery, once you are happy with your deliverables.
    ,,,Nothing wrong going for perfection but be realistic about it too.
    ,,,List out your assignments/jobs and creat a simple checklist on what you must perform in a systematic manner. Make it as simple as possible !.
    ,,,Review your action/deliverables daily, set the timing that you are confortable with.
    ,,,Enjoy doing what you are doing,,,most important-lah.
    ,,,Never blame others, its your baby your life !!!.
    ,,,Relax be happy,,,keep in contact with friends, have fun, laugh/smile and its not the end of the World !
    ,,,Finally, YES do say “NO” often O.K. ?.


  26. Step 1.
    Get a tape recorder

    Step 2.
    Record ur tots so that you can do ur work anywhere(i also suspect memory is a problem…) so this part will save u time perhaps gives u 30% more than normal…

    Step 3.
    Control your schedule according to ur capabilities, when ur nego ur timelime for delivery make sure u take into consideration the necessary factors..if u can finish it in 3 days nego for 5 days ..get as much additional buffer that u can…so if u can deliver in 3 that shows additional performance on ur side…..

    Start with that bro…insyallah its gonna get better

  27. AYAH
    I didn’t realise there was a new comment here – had come to reply something to Elviza and was pleasantly surprised to see this. BTW Sir, your mentioning that John Wayne film: Erm, I have never heard about it. During my time, the screen hero had moved on to Clint Eastwood (among my all-time favourites that later included Robert De Niro, Kevin Spacey, Daniel-Day Lewis and… Ahmad Yatim – seriously)

    It’s interesting, your discovering the blog “by accident”. In fact I’ve discovered various things on the Internet that way too – usually by intending to go someplace and then getting sidetracked by clicking on another link, and another and another…

    Just to `suka-suka’ indulge in some spiritual angle, and maybe try to sound `intellectual’:-) … BUT the things that we easily term as “accidents”; they actually aren’t so. I’d say they are further proof of Destiny.

    I keep remembering that detention and arrest that happened to me in August 2005 (If you’re new here, it’s in the “About” page at Rebuilding a self and a life destroyed There are also links to three articles I had written for The Star last June under the name of “A. ANON”).

    Well, this is an opportunity for me to reveal and explain a few things – there’s work to be done but I feel like bringing this one out right now. To readers like satD, Distractor, Capt etc who have (rightfully) complained about my not writing often enough: well, sometimes my Replies in the comments section should serve as Posts… something like what KijangMas does:-)

    I should give a bit about the background; of how things were for me before that fateful day. Can’t write in detail right now, but suffice to say that it was “bad”.

    No, it wasn’t the “physical and mental side of addiction” – when it came to usage, I could be considered as a “very light user” at that time. When compared to 1998 for instance, the *quantity* ratio was perhaps 1:30!… Yes, at least 30 times *lighter*!

    But “amount of usage” alone doesn’t decide one’s condition; although the withdrawal will be extremely severe for heavy usage, of course… I can remember all those withdrawals – 1996 in a lockup, when I had felt like I would die!… and 1978 too. Anyway, after those years, heroin/morphine had eventually brought me to my knees.

    Among other things, and almost entirely due to my fault, I had become estranged with my father and sisters for a few years. Plus with my wife. I was almost alone… At that time, my spirit was almost totally broken – I didn’t have much desire to live. But feared death. I simply didn’t know how to get out of the mess; the broken relationships, the dire financial condition…

    All this brings about intense torment on one’s self; and there’s one thing a lot worse than people disliking you – it’s you hating yourself. And I had… having so much hate for this person that I was.

    And there was that debilitating condition brought about by hopelessness; something like Dante’s “Abandon ye all hopes”. Islam has warned of “Jangan putus harap” no matter how bad the situation; and with very good reasons too. But I had – I simply couldn’t figure out how to get on with life.

    I did pray on occasions, for God to help. And He did!… But I’m convinced this was more because of my parents’ prayers, not mine. As I had discussed a few times with friends at Gambang later on: God might not have any `sayang’ for me… but He most likely did for my parents. If this is really so, then whatever later happened is due to God fulfilling the doa of the parents… of Him having mercy on *their* sufferings and pain, and maybe not for me. And “How God works” is something for us to marvel at.

    I never knew it was the beginning of “His Help” early on. And how He had gone about it! The first was in the arrest: I had very rarely gone out to find morphine early in the morning – it was almost always from noon onwards.

    But on that day, I was at the pusher’s house before 9AM… and not being aware that the police were inside, ransacking the place to find evidence! There I was, like an idiot, and just walked up the house… And to be met by a few strangers who asked: “What are you looking for?…Where’s your I/C?… Go sit down first.” I immediately knew I was in trouble.

    If I had gone there during my `normal time’, I would definitely have missed the raid – the police were gone by 9.30AM without finding anything. And I was to learn many months later that it was the only time they were there… which means that I would NEVER have been held there had I missed that fateful short period.

    “Accident”? No, it was “Destiny” – God had something in store for me… GOOD and GREAT things.

    But it certainly didn’t look like it then – I was cursing of how “sial” I was… And especially after being sent to that horrific prison in Pengkalan Chepa. It took me two months before “I surrendered”… of accepting my fate and leaving to God “to give me the best for myself”. The third month was Ramadhan… and it was the FIRST TIME in how-many-years that I fasted. Oh, it wasn’t full though – 28 days, if I’m not mistaken. But that’s a big improvement from the previous year (2004) of… ZERO; and 2003 of 1 day (and that too was only because I had waken up at 5PM and decided `to tough it out’); 2002 of 2 days…

    But I still had the temerity to ask God for specifics in my doa: while asking for “segala apa yang terbaik untuk diri ku” (whatever is the best for me)… a doa one pretty `janda’ had taught me in 2001 (Mekyam knows her). However, I had also asked “that I be given supervision” by the court, and not sent to Pusat first. Based on my previous (clean) record, most of the inmates in that room (about 45; the size of a classroom) had felt that I would “go home” on 31 Oct 2005.

    But it was “Pusat Serenti Gambang”… Of the four people with me that day, three had `worse records’. But they were given supervision – and released that day; just in time for Raya Puasa two days later. I was in total shock – had intended to break fast “in resentment against God for abandoning me”. But I forced myself “to believe in Him” and held on, The Puasa on that day – it was probably my most challenging.

    Well, suffice to say that I later discovered that God had indeed fulfilled my doa – the more important one. Had I known what I was to gain from being at Gambang, and had the court released me on that day (and missed out those experiences at Gambang), I would have screamed, cursed and cried!

    Yes, of the four people, *I* was actually “the Chosen”; of God wanting to give me the opportunity to do something about my situation. And I would later spend a lot of days feeling so grateful for His Precious Gift.

    Well, the problems with my wife were not settled – as far as I can see. But many others were. Among the most important is that the problems with my parents and sisters… they gradually disappeared! Only just now my father had sent an SMS – prior to being in Gambang, he had refused to even talk with or enquired about me.

    “That person” whom I found at Gambang – the one “that I could be”… “Cendana287” (as opposed to “Mat Cendana” or “the person I once was”) – THAT is the person Tehsin had referred to. And Yes, Tehsin – that Cendana287 is indeed someone worthy; someone I want to be, can be…

  28. Sat! Sat! SatD…jgn teriok lagi…nanti I kasik budu vintage 1999…(maggot tu kira penyedap macam casu marzu…)

    Capt..really cute that description of budak2 tu macam “anak ayam jatuh parit”…hehehe and good advice too btw.

    Captn, kerah Mat jadik anak kapal kat pirate ship nanti, tour of duty…balik kang ade muscle sket…hahaha

  29. tehsin…

    man this women sure got identity problem!! :)

    Girl do u know how budu is made traditionally….

    First put ikan in balang…..with all ingredients then tutup balang peram sampai BERULAT….then take out ulat and all other accumulated crap…..filter it then bottle it…….

    every budu is already a vintage in its own…

  30. Dear Mat,

    I must first apologise for assuming your name’s Mat based on one or two commentors who have addressed you either as Mat or Matt. I’m comfortable with that and I hope you will be too. As for John Wayne and THAT movie I guess anyone born in the late 60s and thereafter may not be at all familiar with either one.

    You can really write Mat; you appear to have a natural predisposition to writing and expressing yourself freely. From your response to my comments (and others’ as well) I guess you have had a variety of experiences that you can turn into a book. I saw so many chapters in your life, so clearly defined. Perhaps you should give that – writing a book/autobiography I mean – a thought. You are good you know. An unsolicited compliment but a sincere compliment nevertheless.

    I’ll need to catch up with reading your past postings so that I’ll get to know you better and can perhaps communicate better with you then. It’ll be quite a slow process I can tell you because I’m rather slow now, like John Wayne would be if he were still alive :-))

    Like most people, I see you have problems with datelines. I used to have the same problem too, preparing my lectures or articles for in-house publications, conferences or seminars. This was due more to procrastination on my part than anything else. Waiting for inspiration and producing the perfect article. It used to go down the wire but I was somehow lucky because there was such a thing as ‘creative tension’ for me. The tension would build up until I was forced to sit down and write. I managed to meet deadlines many times because of this creative tension. Its surpising how creative you can become when you are under immense pressure! You can complete the assignment but you can also forget about it being perfect. I wouldn’t advise those with weak hearts to resort to this approach.

    Well, its already getting rather late for me. So until next time, I once again thank you for providing me an opportunity to interact with an incredible person. Last but not least, please don’t be too hard on yourself. Give credit where credit is due, even if it is to yourself. There is a lot of credit for someone who is fighting a battle to regain himself. Right?

    Goodnight and have a good rest.

  31. satD March 16, 2009 at 10:27 pm
    Taking a short break to reply on just one comment for the time being. BTW to AYAH; “Ahmad” is my real I.C name, plus the original that I’ve now officially (although not with the National Registrations Department) replaced with “Cendana”. Yes, it does sound funny, and it’s okay if people laugh… it’s in honour of that hostel at Gambang where I had spent 210 mostly happy days.And Goodnight to you, Sir. However, it’s not resting time for me yet (had slept in the evening)

    This one from satD: “aduh…..beraso no teriok..”

    Here’s a bit more of the details for those folks interested “to understand” what all these mean to me. It’s a continuation of that SMS I mentioned my father had sent while I was writing the last reply. It also has to do with the SMS I had exchanged with satD a few hours ago; concerning Sherry, Nazmi and their three children who are now on holiday in Jakarta.

    You might remember that I am the main cause of heartache, shame and worry for my elderly parents – both my sisters have done very well since school days right until now. But they are starting to see improvements, and I know their minds are much more at ease now than it once was.

    In their old age, I sense they want to hear more from me… and this is something that I need to be more sensitive about… to SMS at least once a day. But there were times when 3/4 days would lapse before I did so; and I feel bad about it.

    It’s as if I had forgotten the relief when my father *finally* got in touch with me again… Friday 13 January 2006; still a Phase One, red-shirted `botak’ at the Orientasi “B” hostel (but now in charge of that hostel’s administrative affairs; taking over from 266/05 Jaffar Gemuk who had moved to Cendana) two months after coming to Gambang… with the counselor giving me a letter and a copy of The Meaning of The Holy Quran By Abdullah Yusuf Ali. There was a lot of anger and disappointment in his letter. But I was happy!… relieved that he had at least CONTACTED ME! Believe me, silence was VERY painful.

    Nowadays, they just want to know about “anything”… I had told them about Sherry and Nazmi. And today, mentioned they were in Jakarta; and how much they had helped me and how grateful I am.

    Well, my having these people as friends make my parents happy – had not mentioned people like Elviza, satD, Capt, Zara, Tehsin etc yet (but Shakirah was mentioned thrice already – she was in Australia at about the same time as my sister), although I had `jual nama’ and had mentioned Dato’ Sakmongkol, Datin Mamasita, Dato’ Shamsuddin Nawawi “Small Talk” and KijangMas before.

    There was that word today; something that my father had NEVER uttered before when it comes to me [8.57PM 16/3/09]:

    “Syukur Mat telah dapat menilai segala kebaikan. ALHAMDULILLAH. Abah, Mak BANGGA”

  32. MC, dah berayor mata i nih….

    Know that you have love and support from us.


    May god bless you always!

  33. Distractor
    Nor, it’s far from over; can’t ever be complacent and assume “I/Mat is truly saved… that was that; it will be happily ever after from now until the end”. Please remember that it’s an ongoing thing, only ending on the day when you receive a SMS, call, email or blog message that I have died.

    In reality, it’s on the basis of a *daily* respite. You would most likely have heard it, for it’s near to being a cliche; that line from Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous of “One day at a time“. It’s like us having to renew something on a daily basis; day by day… not like a driving license where you don’t have to think about it until it expires a year or two later.

    But then, isn’t sembahyang like it too?…Can’t allocate an hour or two per week where we’d perform prayers for the following seven days or one month in advance. They are “at the right time; one by one”. There’s similarity with the NA philosophy – Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow. It’s a fact, so the best thing is to accept and live by it.

    But it’s a blessing too actually: when things get real rough, we’d be glad to just have to deal with this *one* day, and not of the “weeks and months” that lie ahead.

    This is one of the important tools that I had used at Gambang to remain on the straight and narrow path and not to yield in to the temptations. And there are unique enticements – and opportunities – at Gambang and other Pusats too.

    I hope this doesn’t come out as “riak” (showy), but I do admit being proud of it, and it does give me a lot of satisfaction now and especially then: During all 13½ months (and 3 months in prison) that I was in Gambang, and then Kuantan, I didn’t take an iota of drugs, alcohol or thinner. And despite these becoming a lot easier to come by when I was a Pengawas (Prefect) after six months.

    (In Pusat culture, there’s always a cut for the `Tok’ when a `kuda mas’ (runner with drugs) successfully returns after an outing. And you could get drunk with samsu *at least* four days per week – a Pengawas is regarded to have an open invitation and can walk in to other hostels having a party).

    Do you know how `terlior’ it was for me, to pick up the smell wafting in the air or/and seeing all those happy and jolly inmates with a `kole’ in hand, with silly smiles. And then a few guys so sincere in inviting you for a mug or two. (BTW at the Cendana hostel, they drink in the long bathroom, not at the living area as most of the other hostels. It’s voluntary, as respect for the non-drinkers)

    No, I wasn’t `strong’. But that “One day at a time” and “Just for today” helped to keep me from yielding. Despite wanting to drink once in a while, I had comforted myself with, “Maybe the next time; but NOT TODAY”. This postponing, delaying and `positive procrastination’ went on until I was released.

  34. Matt,

    Just drink lots of water only ! Well water even better-lah. Boil it first, if water has never been tested by the authority.
    The well water at Kapas Island is super clear/clean and I can drink it straight from the well or tap.
    Water keeps me fresh, kind of young too and bloody healthy. No kidding my dear friend plus I don’t smoke too ! Hahaha ,,,,,mana tak sihat-lah yaaaa.
    Another secret is that i swim or play almost everyday too for 1 to 2 hrs in the sea unless am scuba diving or fishing for our food.
    My other drink is air nira which we make ourselves. Air Nira is also very good plus healthy for your body. (but not toddy o.k.)
    My main diet is fish, fish and more fish !. In fact, we eat fish everyday,,,, 365 days in the year. Ikan yang bersisik sahaja kalau boleh,,,grilled over open fire is the best cooking style.
    Makan ulam pun tiap tiap hari,,,pucuk pucuk daun and young ladies finger. Cili padi is also very good for the body, always eat lots of it as sambal. Rice only, once a day for dinner. ,,,,,We have late but heavy b/fast and skip lunch on the island.
    For fruits, I take banana everyday too,,,,a BIG monkey like me must have my banana ! hahaha.
    Take care and sleep well too, noticed that last night you were blogging at 0300 a.m.
    For me, I have to check my boat, so its o.k. to be awake at 0300 a.m. but you must have your beauty sleep Matt !.
    We must love our body and keep it healthy all the time.


  35. Capt
    I’m filled with some shame – yes, I have not been serious at all when it comes to taking care of my health… Makan, minum tak cukup; irregular sleeping hours too. The last one came about after I had slept in the afternoon/evening last Sunday (I think) and started this pattern again.I hope I can force myself to sleep after this – that should set the clock right again.

    Working is good, of course. But being so obsessed with it is something else, most probably. There’s one thing I’ve gotten seduced by – researching. I’m still trying to adapt and get a grip on this. It’s only since mid-November that I’ve really worked again after… how many years??…2000. There’s this desire to “give ALL” – and I mean all, to show my gratitude to those who have given me the openings. And I LOVE what I’m doing too, because this is something that I had been searching for all these years – and now I’ve actually gotten to do them!

    But I realise this matter on health is crucial too… Okay, I’ll sit down and review things soon – after “Super Thursday”. Must focus on this one first.

  36. Dengar cakap Pirate tu mat,…I told you also to get a stove already, dari nak keluar jauh2 pi makan…just fix something simple for yourself!

    Don’t forget your “santapan rohani” also…get exercise, eat properly and feed your soul and heart…

    When someone commits a wrong, he/she first does it against his/her own heart, and it then affects the whole human being and he/she often tries to suppress the agitation the heart feels by turning to things like drugs, alcohol, pursuit of material gains, heedlessness, fun and temporary entertainment, etc – when all the heart desires is to return to its state of equilibrium – at rest- in remembrance of the Creator.

  37. hello. i dont exactly have anything brilliant to leave here. neither do i perform any judgment from reading your blog. and there’s pleasure in reading that way. shallow as it may be perceived. nothing constructive nor destructive. just another blogger finding her footing in the real world and at times fall hard on the ground and now reeking of sadness. so your blog have been a pleasure to drop by and read.
    many thanks.

  38. cheMAT,

    thank you thank you and thank you for sharing.

    and thank you to those u mention in this post, yg buat hidup ni jadi warna warni.

    thanks you for this long & interesting post.

    good day sir.

  39. Hai MC, I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it over and over again.You are a very brilliant guy! Luckily your years of drug addiction did not ravage much of that precious Einstein brain of yours.
    You are an excellent example of hope for all those who accidentally prowl into that ‘territory’!
    We love and respect you so much!
    Psst..sorry banyak2 lambat leave a comment..asyik sibuk dengan housework je! hehehe

  40. Mat

    Enjoying reading your postings. You are right, your comments are like postings too, like KijangMas’.

    Not much to say. From what you write, you already know what to do and not to do. Wishing you the best in the doing and not doing, the priorities, enough sleep, etc.

    Rather envious of the life Capt leads. Ikan panggang, sayur, ulam, exercise every day. He must be a bloody healthy fellow. Wish you continued good health and happiness, Capt.

    And you too, Mat. One day at a time. Day in, day out. Keep yourself occupied by all means but have sufficient rest.

    Best wishes.

  41. Guys,,,thanks !

    The fact that we are discussing/expressing ourselves and growing as people,,,,we are participating together with Matt, in his/ours humanistic approach for self-actualization !. A process we human need to organize oneself in hierarchical form, from the lowest level to the highest level of needs.

    Matt,,,,you have our respect/love/belongingness, these extreem needs are kind of met,,,,the highest level of your/ours of need is our need for self actualization,,,,the need to express ourselves and grow as people.

    We must be committed to achieving the goal.

    But 1st of all, always stay healthy ,,,O.K.


  42. mizkook | nadya.s
    sepadu | Capt

    Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comments. Oh, if someone asks why I haven’t included Rimau Malaya too in the names above – it’s because I’m in quite frequent contact with her. I think I’ve sent at least two SMS to her; today alone.

    To mizkook and nadya.s – and everyone: Actually, I had seen your comments from very early on. I’m almost always connected to the Internet; thanks to fixed-rate subscription (hoping Celcom will eventually feel guilty about providing me with just one-fifth of the speed that I’ve paid for). I’m often at the desk too, and I use an email client in Mozilla Thunderbird (instead of Web mail), which is set to check every 5 minutes.

    But this week, I’m trying to implement what AYAH, satD and Capt had written about “time management” – I stick with the job at hand and not get distracted by immediately replying. The tips that were given here – I’m trying to make them work for me. It will take some time, for these are habits ingrained over time. The procrastination mention by AYAH is a major problem too. But I’ll continue to work on it.

    And speaking of habits: As I had noted earlier, it’s very hard to start GOOD ones. Like “drinking a lot of water” which Capt had mentioned. Well, I forgot about it yesterday; and most of today. Until Sherry SMS me to verify what Capt has said. And I immediately remember… and immediately forcing myself to drink again Heheh! For the whole of yesterday, and part of today, the 1.5L bottle wasn’t emptied yet! (I do take around 5 cups of teh-o daily.) But that’s it – turning this into a habit requires constant reminders. I’m going to write “DRINK” on a Paste-It note and put it on the wall in front.

  43. mat, I always paste note in front of me and forget to read them…even I stick on my forehead pun lupa gak…so i go around town with a note on my dahi and wonder why everyone looking at me (ok, that was a joke….)

  44. Hi rimau,

    Am in Alor Star right now,,,,, Geeeee this town/city is full of flies !. Hundreds flying around my face/food/drink and no one else taking any notice of them ????.
    ,,,If this is what kerajaan PAS is doing to the state ?.
    ,,,They better change its name to Kota Lalat from the look of it soon enough.
    ,,,I want to get back to Kapas soonest
    ,,,cannot take it anymore.


  45. Capt,

    same here in Wangsa Maju….tapi rats besar kucing siam…hehe…ini area municipal councils all tido or corrupt…KL ni kota tikus….Zulhasnan pun tido…PAS/ UMNO/ PKR semua sama bang…

    saya pun nak pindah Kapas tapi tak de fulus nak beli Makcik Gemuk…untungnye Capt nih

  46. rimau malaya | Capt
    A lot of flies in Alor Star – and at night too?? As you all know, that was my hometown and where I had spent my life from birth until I started my young adult life. I’m trying to remember about “flies”… It’s remarkable that all these years, I’ve never thought about that; never once making a comparison with any place that I had lived in after Alor Star.

    Now that Capt has mentioned it; Yes, I’d say there were more flies there than in Pasir Mas or elsewhere. BUT not exceptionally more. However, from Capt’s remarks here, it appears to be an issue now.

    RM: You’re in Wangsa Maju… it’s the area near Ulu Kelang, Melawati, Setiawangsa right? I often hear of this place but don’t have its exact location pinned in my mental map.

  47. Hi, found your blog when searching for information about the old addiction treatment center Pusat Pertolongan, in Batu Gajah. I used to work there, 1981-82, as a therapist/counselor. Do you know anything about it? Or any people who used to work there, or get treatment there? Your site come up on a Google search …

    Good blog!

    … and best wishes to you,
    Alan AtKisson

  48. arep
    Had not seen you around for some time. I’m guessing things are busy with you too. There’s a whole load of posts from your blog (and Ted Baker’s too) that are in my FeedDemon RSS program that I haven’t read yet. `

    Busy’ isn’t the word anymore – it’s `hectic’. At this very moment, I need to complete something that might see me at the desk till dawn – and I have to be at the mahkamah in the morning. After mahkamah, there’s that other piece of work – the one that leads to “Super Thursday”.

    Yes, it’s already seven months… and so many things – mostly good – have happened. For this, I’m grateful to God.

  49. Alan
    Thanks for visiting this blog and leaving a comment. I had visited your website and also sent an email earlier. Your comment here leaves me with this strong urge to drop everything and write a new post – a continuation of The Dark Side of the Moon” series of how it all began and the things I went through. But I have to prioritise, else I’ll get in trouble again when it comes to the daily running of life. It will have to wait for a few days – the earliest being Friday.

    It’s impossible to turn back the clock and re-live those years – the best that one can do is to look at them for what they were and try to learn what the lessons were. There’s a reason for everything – including the `bad and negative’ experiences.

  50. Matt,

    Stay cool and take it easy. Learning to say ‘NO’ is not easy and you
    just can’t please everyone,,,,just please yourself O.K.,,,hahaha.
    Remember you are the BOSS of your life and time.
    HECTIC-kan cas. life is so interesting/challenging all in a short
    time,,,,space it up, yes break it up into smaller parts so that you
    can enjoy chewing it.
    Good things comes in little packages-kan ,,,,,hehehe !!!
    Take a break now,,,get a glass of ice cold water,,,,now drink it
    !.,,,enjoy it, feel it and feel good about it.
    Am in Miri, Sarawak right now,,,,,making arrangement to sell off my
    house here and relocating the family back to West Malaysia,,,,not easy
    cas. we have been here for so long,,,,,,22 years for myself and we love
    living in Sarawak,,,,the people are just great and lifestyle free of
    bias/racial/religious extreems,,,,just enjoy life and be happy
    everyday !. Longhouse lifestyle plus sharing, so much so I built one
    at Pulau Kapas to share the spirit with the rest of the World.
    You should come down and visit me at Pulau Kapas one of these days too. By the way, 5th june is my birthday and every year we have a island joget lambak to celebrate it.
    Do try to make it,,,,you need a break too !,,,everyone is invited-lah,,,, O.K. to enjoy living life !

    Cheers Mat,


  51. Hi, thanks for the response to my comment, I read the other post you linked to, well done … didn’t get your email though! Best way to send it to me is through the address on the “Contact” page on my business website, … be well … /alan

  52. (off topic MAT!!! SORRY)

    You tau Capt, i pi beli Zentel, pastu i balik baca, dia boleh deworm certain kinds ja in one dose…cacing pita ngan cacing apa tah, kena 3 dose, 3 hari berturut2! I plak beli satu dose ja…

    Esok nak pi carik yang one shot kills all!

    Ewwww…geli betul la you citer pasal dalam kaki tu leh nampak…my legs have been feeling all creepy crawly since you told me….hahaha..betui ka Capt leh nampak kat kaki dia? bukan main cool je minah tu masa I pi…she was pregnant already then….aduh, tak sabar i nak pi tukar esok ubat lain…Capten oi!!!

  53. Matt,

    While talking about deworming, when was the last time you were dewormed ?. Kita semua ada cacing in our system and kena lah di-ubati every year or 6 monthly for kids to remain healthy and full of energy everyday of our life.
    Zental is a good product to consider or you can get other types from the hospital/clinic.
    Kalau ada kuching kampung di-rumah yang tak penah di-deworm there is a great chance that ring/tap worms be transmitted across to their owners !.
    Ring worms bukan sakit kulit type but whitish/transparent worms that would survive just below your skin,,,,my friend’s wife on the island ada kena worms ini from her cats and we can see the ulat ulat under her fair skin !.(she’s Dutch) Semua orang mesti makan ubat cacing ,,,,,Mat Oooiiii.!!!!.


  54. Capt!

    I asked a doctor friend…dia ade kasi I gambar “larva migrans” they call it, can see under the skin like you said…tapi dia kata…daripada ANJING…hehehe…bye bye Jane! Hahaha!

  55. Capt
    De-worming medicine… Now that reminds me – yes, it’s about time I’d say. Thanks. I remember the last time – it was at Gambang in mid-2006, where I had asked the HA at the Jaya Gading polyclinic for this. It was in tablet form – he gave two, I think. Well, that’s almost three years ago. I hope I’ll remember to get Zentel the next time I go to town.

    BTW Capt: Had seen your messages from early on, as usual. Had refrained from writing anything yesterday – had been to the syariah court, and if I just `ikut hati’ and write what I *really* feel and think, it might be uncomfortable for many people. So I didn’t…

    And today is… SUPER THURSDAY. Rushing to meet a deadline. Later okay, folks?:-)

  56. matt, Ikut hati..mati….hehehe…carry on working, don’t mind us…

    Hey Capt! I found a natural medicine…virgin coconut oil…also helps in deworming….

  57. kittykat,,,meoooow
    ,,,coconut oil for virgin i know-lah but not virgin coconut oil. hehehe
    ,,,pucuk paku is also a natural deworming medicine.

    So Mat,,,how’s the going with your syariah court case ?,,,any help we can offer ? as long as tak kena kawin dgn your janda o.k. kot ! (joking only jgn marah). my suggestion, kalau boleh berbaik baik semula, cuba-lah for the children sake yaaa. After all, you were both lovers before, sampai beranak renek-kan. You pun dah berubah banyak, so maybe boleh bersatu semula ?. I don’t want to get involved with family affairs but somehow things can be ‘reason out’ if both side put aside pride etc but focus on the future,,,forget the past-lah.
    Looks like you are under stress right now Mat,,,bersabar-lah and play it cool O.K.
    Do have a good night sleep, it will normally clear your head after some rest n sleep but remember to drink lots of water too. Lacking body water can cause stress and headache.

    Relax and take it easy !. Your KJ pun dah menang kan.


  58. as long as tak kena kawin dgn your janda o.k. kot ! (joking only jgn marah).

    Aduh PirateKapas ni…mat mesti tersedak baca…heheh

  59. Kittykat…

    Jom Pi Kapas Island Kita visit Capt PirateKapas .Kita paint the pulau red…Sure Best..Err boleh ye capt.

    Sorry Bro MC..tumpang lalu…jom lah join sekali pi Kapas Island.

  60. Salam MatCendana,
    So this is where Capt. Kapas Pirate hangs out ‘aarh?. He mentioned you to me and had invited me over. I admit I had eavesdropped a little on the chatter before. There’s a lot of camaraderie here, I’m impressed.

    Anyway your articles are real eye-openers to what you and perhaps others in similar situations had to face before and presently. I had a cousin who did not make it. They found him lifeless in a public toilet. It was tragic and sad, especially for his Mum. He was in his early twenties.

    Sorry if that was crappy or out of line.

    I’ll be visiting again, Insya Allah.

  61. Dear All,

    Drugs is indeed a big problem in Malaysia and if am not wrong almost every Malay family has a member that is actively involved or had tried fooling with drugs.
    As for my family, I lost a brother and a brother-in-law to drugs. Yes, indeed my late mother was so disappointed too!.
    Am not too sure about other races but just looking at the Malay youth nowadays in the East Coast of Malaya i.e. Marang in particular, I find almost everyone have had some kind of substance abuse experience.
    At my Capt’s Longhouse only one guy is clean and he does not even smoke or drink. He will be leaving the island to be trained as a technician for Petronas Carigali soon. A rare success story for a Marang youth !. He is my best right hand man at the moment that can be trusted with running the show while am away.
    The rest of the island boys and crew are regular user of ganja/air ketom and hard drinks !.
    Two weeks ago, I had to terminate one of my staff bcas of drugs abuse, he was caught injecting himself and his kaki kaki in his room.
    Things were going missing on the island and even I lost some cash from the petty cash box etc etc,,,and our only suspect was this guy since to support his habit, apparently he needs rm200/- daily worth of drugs !.
    There are about 5 other guys on Kapas Island involved with injecting themselves with God knows what and that the authorities been advised but nothing is happening so far !. Slowly slowly catch the monkey ?.
    House guests are losing their stuffs, dive centre broken in plus many other incidents which are happening since these 5 guys are hanging around the island since the start of this year.
    We don’t want to take the law into our own hands, further more we know these guys plus their families back on the main land.
    In fact, am trying to help them too by giving them job opportunities to earn extra income as guides and boatman etc plus free lodging & food,,,even special bonus for not creating any trouble !.
    This is where I can learn from Matt as to how to understand/appreciate the real subject issues related to drugs based on his 1st hand experience plus honest advise.
    Am not trying to be a hero but I have help trained many of our Marang youth at Capt’s Longhouse (about >50 so far in the past 20 years) to gain the business skills and confidence/leadership skills to manage themselves on their own !.
    Many success stories too and they are now running their own business plus settling down with their families.
    A few got married to Western ladies (long term house guests) and settled down in France/Holland etc too.
    Many are confirmed ex-addicts nowadays and am very glad for them too.
    To a certain extend am guilty too bcas I introduced them to an alternative outlet i.e drink beer instead of drugs !.
    I will be punished later !.

    cheers !!!!


  62. Aisey Kapitan!

    Baddd strategy there…a bit like them jumping from the pot into ermmm “hellfire”…haha

  63. ,,,yes,,,am guilty as charge !
    ,,,but taking this strategy of ‘the best of the two evils!’
    ,,,perhaps should consider toddy since we are producing our own air nira ?.
    ,,,or take them diving for their special high bcas indeed you get such a ‘high’ underwater too !.

    Capt.,,,, thinking out loud again !!!!

  64. Kapitan,

    I think diving, working around the place, physical and spiritual activities better kot…NO NO NO to the toddy, bang oi! Hahaha….

  65. The closest I got to a “drug”-induced high was when I was in labour with my 5th and was in obvious distress, the gynae instructed the nurse to administer this gas, and as I inhaled the first time, with Surah Al-Ikhlas still in my head, and hubby close by, I felt like the labour room was dissolving away, honestly. The second inhale… like I too was dissolving or floating away and I got this sense of calm and euphoria?, and I thought, hey this is nice, really nice. Suddenly the gynae said enough, enough and I was thinking like “oh no, can I have more please, please”. Then I was back to reality and the gynae went “push hard now, baby’s coming ….” and then “IT’S A GIRL!”.

    NOW THAT felt better than the gas ……..

    But I certainly do not know whether it’s the same kind of high as hard drugs

  66. Tak tau-lah kami tak penah masuk labour-lah ! hahaha.

    Betul-kan Matt ?. We are lucky, can’t get pregnant !

    YoooHoHoo,,, but not like seahorse, its the male that gets pregnant yoooo.

  67. Sherry,
    Yes,,, you can paint the pulau Green not Red O.K.
    sekarang ini, zaman Green kan !
    My late Mom call be “Sherry” and Dad call me “Cherry” and late granny call me “Che Ree”
    But everytime i see your name, it reminds me of my mama !

    Capt. (sorry Matt, kami tumpang guna your blog untuk sembang sembang since you banyak kerja hahaha !!,,work hard play hard O.K.)

  68. Kapitan,

    Sherry tak idup sana….tak de shoppping!!!!! hahahaha…

    Zendra, I gas tak suka masa nak bersalin…tapi when i severed my tendon on my hand, doc nak kasi local ja…so i dapat tgk la dia jahit…tapi dia ade kasi one ubat to calm me…I lupa nama dia…wahhhh…I was soo high that i was laughing as he pulled out the urat and showed me and explained each step….man…that one was good….hahahaha

  69. Oh, hello newlife! What a coincidence!!!! I vividly recall this name JUST given to me by someone…you seem to know me so well…

  70. Hello kittykat. You and an-nimr ni alter-egos of same person ke? Anyway how did you get your urat putus like that? Must have been really painful sampai kena bagi laughing gas. At least our highs were legal.
    Us females kan, orang tua2 kata, setiap kali bersalin, putus entah berapa urat. I imagine the dosage of gas I had must have been setimpal dengan bilangan urat yang putus… sampai surah pun lesap di awang-awangan… hahaha. Itulah pengorbanan seorang ibu dan isteri. Got that guys?

  71. Girls,

    Pls go to bed !. Poor hubby kena peluk bantal saja, dah pukul berapa ini ?.
    By the way, I was the only baby born laughing tau hehehe. In fact, at 9 months old, I won the Dumax Baby Award !,,,ada gambar, real cutty pie me.
    Zendy,,,,kittykat/tigress/an-nimr dan lain-lain sama person, dia ini tak tau nak jadi siapa !!! hahaha suggest jadi Ketua Wanita UMNO next time round ?.

    O.K. go to sleep !!!!!

  72. Ssshhh, malam Juma’at was last nite-lah Capt. But I’m going now. Have poco-poco class 7.30am. Also i guessed that about your feline female friend – purring or roaring depending on mood.


    Thanks MatCendana for obliging us

  73. in fact, i enjoy watching her cat fight with her best friend,,,meoooow.
    i have a dog fight to referee too.
    another day another challenge O.K.!

    howdy Matt,

    ,,,been busy busy like a bee yaaaa ?
    ,,,don’t worry, we will manage your blog site while you have to work hahaha.
    ,,,hope you are happy with your deliverables ?.
    ,,,Remember Rome was not built in one day too.
    ,,,politics is out of the window for me, thank God for it yaaa. – island man – independent type yooo.
    ,,,Its a crazy world out there-lah.
    ,,,this UMNO thing which is so confusing, i just can’t get a handle on it. But if its your bread n butter, so you must eat/drink/sleep with it i guess ?.
    ,,,its survival of the fittest, so be ready for it.
    ,,,stay healthy in body n spirit.

  74. Capt, An-Nimr, Zendra, Newlife, satD and all:

    [To Zendra – Had seen your comment a few minutes after it was sent. I was still up at that time:-) Had gone to your blogs after that – and saw a Quran verse there that is of immediate significance right now.

    To Newlife – Thanks. I’m happy you’re still around and able to come here occasionally]

    THANKS for your comments. And sorry for not being able to update – and this is *my* blog! Had suffered total exhaustion yesterday – had rested right until noon today, with the laptop and connection left as they were. Was surprised to see that I was not disconnected!… 36 hours and still going strong.

    I had wanted to write a bit about the mahkamah syariah thing – and it’s nasty. However, I’ve decided to refrain. For now.

    But I must mention here about Sherry Nor-Jannah (and by extension her husband Nazmi too, for they are a team and one) and Shakirah: They are a blessing who have been a tremendous source of comfort during difficult times.

    Work-wise; things have been very good. No, rest assured that despite whatever `problems’ (they *seem* like it, but are actually “opportunities”. And this is no “positive thinking” mantra I’m deluding myself with).

    Had received “something” from satD in Jakarta, through Sherry and Nazmi. Plus two excellent books just now to review. About 1) Google 2) Essays by Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and others. More of these later – I hope.

    But right now, I have to go to town. Have not had breakfast or lunch yet, and I’m really hungry. Later folks…

  75. I should be replying to what you all had written here. At the same time, I feel that I need to write this new post and not wait: it’s tentatively titled “satD iPod and mahkamah monkeys”…

    Okay, let’s compromise – I’ll write the new post first, and then come back to this section. I hope it’ll be completed tonight. Had already started up Windows Live Writer. But there’s the possibility of various interruptions… someone chatting me up on Yahoo Messenger; or a blackout (thunder in the distance).

  76. There are so many things that I should write here; and most are due to the comments from Capt. But there are a few things that I won’t be mentioning just yet. Especially about the mahkamah syariah thing and matters related – you all will be shocked. Whatever my faults and previous wrongs, I’m not of the cowardly and deceitful kind who go around whispering… However, when I do decide to say something I feel wronged about, you can expect explosions. But another time.

    Firstly, about KJ (Khairy Jamaludin) etc. The person at this blog should be separated from that “Mat Cendana” found elsewhere although they do sharethe same body. Ah, now I’ve managed to confuse most readers:-)

    This “cendana287” is someone “I aspire to be” – someone I found while at Gambang. He’s the good part of me, and a glimpse of what I could be. And that’s why I’m a lot more refrained here; not wanting to dishonour this part of me.

    And how I miss him; for 27 months after leaving that wonderful place of Gambang, I’m starting to be corrupted and influenced by this world of “normal people”; by the deceit, untruthfulness, hypocrisy… I had mentioned this quite a number of times: I wouldn’t mind it at all were I to spend the remainder of my life in Gambang (but with some added amenities, like having this Internet connection). But this is wishful thinking – I have to get back into everyday life, for better or worse. So…

    Anyway, this “Mat Cendana” is what I am right now, most of the time – something between that “cendana287” and “the person I once was”.

    When it comes to politics, I do my very best not to mention it here because of one thing – it tends to be divisive. On this matter concerning KJ, I feel I must mention it here – I’m not his supporter BUT “a supporter of Dato’ Ariff Sabri aka Sakmongkol AK47 (Mamasita’s other half, if you folks don’t know it already).

    It was SOLELY due to Sakmongkol that I had chosen to lend support to KJ too, and nothing else. That’s because of my respect and admiration of Dato’ Ariff, whom I regard as someone who knows a lot more about Umno and politics than I do. Heck, if he had supported Khir – or anyone – AND ASKED MY HELP, I would have done so. That’s just about it.

    “But what if Sakmongkol supports any of the Pakatan Rakyat party and asks you to join or support it?” Well, he must surely have a very good reason, so why wouldn’t I, should it come to that:-)

  77. Salam Bang Mad..

    I actually wanted to be among the last who will comment on this entry, and am waiting for the new entry, so that I have the chance to spill in what I’ve been meaning to do so for the past week since the first day of this entry.

    I’ve been checking your blog quite sometime, and also from Sir Mat Salo who left comment in my blog that your blog is worth a visit. I’m impressed with your writing and the way you build up and putting the pieces of jigsaw puzzle in place…one by one..and that gives me the courage to actually ym-ing you. But…that’s not all. You have a lot to offer to the readers..and that is subjective. :)

    I actually prefer my name to be off the screen, but that would not be fair to you, it seems. Yes, you were right. I never see you as a recovering addict. It doesn’t seem to enter into my RAM at all. All I see is Mat Cendana a.k.a Bang Mad with a lot of life experiences and knowledge to share, to advise and also to remind me to be thankful for what I have and not to take things for granted. You are indeed an inspiring person, Bang Mad, and I am glad to have known you thru this cyber world, even if its YM.

    I hope things turn out well with you and the Syariah case (do let me know of its details, please) and I hope that HE will always bless you with loving people and giving you a good great blessed blissful life to live with.

    Have a nice day, Bang Mad.

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