Aidilfitri 2009: `The Elviza Raya’

There’s usually – but not always – something memorable during each Hari Raya Aidilfitri. And sometimes these are nowhere near joyous, for I’ve had Rayas that were bleak and despondent. Interestingly, all these were during the years that I was addicted, which makes the correlation obvious to all but those who choose to be in denial.

Hari Raya – I’ve had so many depressing ones from the year 1996 onwards that I had grown to dislike the approach of this season. In my mind, there was the thought that something unpleasant would happen. And sure enough, it did… all sorts of incidents that brought about negative feelings would happen. For instance, the Raya of 2005: it was like the six preceding it when it comes to being forlorn and despairing… except that it was even worse. That was the raya which I had spent in the dank Cell 3 of the Pasir Mas police lockup, awaiting transportation for a two-year “Treatment & Rehabilitation” at Pusat Serenti Gambang. And that came after spending three months in the harsh confinement of the Pengkalan Chepa prison.

Anyway, that was what I had written about in a post here before this one. Unfortunately, something close to a `digital tragedy’ happened (which is why you don’t see the post here). I was moved to write that post on the first day of Raya after reading something that a good friend in Kajang, Risma Danial had written at her Facebook page: “sedihnya dengar takbir raya” (How mournful it is to hear the Raya takbir). It immediately brought about those memories inside that lockup – at a time when I know everyone outside was happy.

Zoundry Raven I was writing that post by using the online blog editor at WordPress.com, and I was probably “three-quarters completed”. If you know how long I’d often write here, then you’ll agree that it was “reasonably long”. Normally, I’d use a desktop/offline blog editor – either Windows Live Writer (which was introduced by the great Mat Salo of Borneo Blues; and which I’m using now), or Zoundry Raven (freeware, with enough frills but nowhere near the bells and whistles of Windows Live Writer of course). I had also wanted to try a Firefox addon – Zemanta, which some bloggers and reviewers had given enthusiastic comments about.

Zemanta-download

CAPTION: I had failed to notice that there is a special plug-in for Windows Live Writer until just a moment ago when I went to take a screenshot of Zemanta (see the link below the one for Firefox)! That means users don’t have to use the Web version-plus-Firefox to use Zemanta. Would have saved me the heartache had I known about this earlier! *30/9 POSTSCRIPT: Had downloaded this plugin for Windows Live Writer – it kept crashing WLW and I had to uninstall it.

Then the disaster struck – Firefox crashed. Now that’s not unusual because I’ve had this happen fairly regularly (but like the hardcore sucker that I am, I keep returning to it. It’s because of the addons and extensions – I just love them). Incidentally, ArahMan7 had mentioned it in his status update at Facebook just a couple of hours before that. Anyway, I had taken precautions by saving the draft once every so often when writing it. After I restarted Firefox, I went back for it. My throat went dry when only the first paragraph came out. A check of saved “Earlier Versions” returned the same results – my almost-finished post had essentially disappeared! “Rewrite it”, you say? Yes, I could. But I won’t, for I have other things to do. Let’s just consider it as what most Malays would say: Tak ada rezeki (Not fated to have it) [In case you’re wondering why I’d often include the English translation, it’s because of my very good friend, David].

“The time before dawn is the darkest”, goes a saying. It was true for me – after that Raya where I was almost in despair, the ones that followed were markedly positive. In fact, the one that immediately followed – Raya 2006 in Pusat Serenti Gambang/PKAADK Kuantan (very near the offices of Sherry Nor-Jannah and her husband Nazmi) – was, unexpectedly, among the best that I’ve ever had. God Bless the National Anti-Drugs Agency (AADK) officers, its policemen & women, and my fellow Gambang & PKAADK residents for this memory.

After that Raya of such magnificence, meaning and joy, I knew that realistically, it would be extremely difficult to equal with the ones to follow. As such, I wasn’t too disappointed with Raya 2007 at home here. At least there weren’t any negative moments or thoughts. It was also the first time in more than a decade that I was clean during Raya when `living outside’.

SoulofMalaya-40

CAPTION: The following people surely deserve to be recognised and remembered as the title. If they don’t, then who does?

The following Raya 2008 was memorable and pleasant – through this blog, I had come to know the couple of Sharifah Nor-Jannah and Nazmi Azahar and their family. Now a few of you might roll your eyes and think, “Why are they, and especially Sherry, mentioned so often and so much here?” It’s only because of this: that they, and she especially, had covered for me so often and so much. To tell the truth, I haven’t mentioned even 10 percent of what they had done. As time goes by, I feel I could reveal a few of these as the opportunity and situation arises.

They had started as my link to society. One of the reasons why recovering addicts fail to rejoin society is this – distrust of people. Actually, over the following months, I did encounter people and incidents which might tend to justify this. However, at the same time, I had also known people who have contributed immensely to my life. This, I suppose, neutralises the negative episodes.

After 12 months, they have become crucial factors – people whom I’d trust with my life. And no, I’m not exaggerating with the last sentence. Sherry had helped to comfort and handle some moments of inner turmoil which might have provoked negative reactions from me. One specific example occurred early this year when I was emotionally hurt, disappointed and angered after seeing  some deceitful manoeuvres against my interests where people had taken advantage of my previous record. In defiance, I had wanted to give the middle finger to society, religious figures and institutions and everyone else – I was going to do whatever they disliked, regardless of the effects to me.

Fortunately, an extremely timely call from her when she “had sensed” (which were often right) something wrong helped to pull me back from the verge of entering the morphine abyss again. How near was I then? Less than 200 metres… and walking in `the right direction’. Her voice – those who had spoken with her would know – the calm, comforting and bubbly voice that to me signifies all that is good with people… it was powerful enough to persuade me to turn the other way.

If there are people disappointed that their theory – which they had repeatedly expounded to all and sundry (but never daring to do so when “those who can and would contradict” were within earshot) – that “Mat will get addicted to morphine again soon due to his troubles”… well, blame Sherry Nor-Jannah for being the main obstacle. And Nazmi. And Shakirah Zain, Tehsin, Mekyam, Zara, Norfadzilah,  Elviza…

Speaking of which… Raya 2009 recently – it was memorable because of Elviza Michele Kamal who runs the Write Away blog. In the minds of many, she’s associated with the “Sleepless in Setiawangsa” series (and continually annoying her readers with her delay in not writing a book from that). She’s also the person who has appeared the most times in the post title here for some reason or another. This is one of the glamorous bloggers with a sizeable and devoted following – see the number of Page Hits there plus the people who comment. This is a name that is synonymous with “elegant sentences”. To my mind at least.

She’s also the target of occasional anonymous sniping over errors which only a nitpicking faultfinder would ever highlight. And someone was enraged (no, it’s not to do with`outraged’ where the afflicted might have had some justification) when she was invited to write a column for the Malay Mail. From what I see, the overriding motive is jealousy. Now this anonymous person (this kind never dare to come out in the open) tried to spray her/his venom on Elviza. If you folks read the comments, the criticisms she hurled are way too harsh; with Elviza’s errors grossly magnified. But on at least one occasion, this anonymous whiner found herself on the other end of an industrial-grade, acidic reply from some indignant reader of Elviza’s column.

CountofMonteCristoI hope Elviza won’t ever be discouraged by this kind. If anything, that’s another proof that one is “on the way up” – the increased visibility attracts more attention as compared to one near the bottom. But let’s come back to the main matter in this longish post…

CAPTION: `Jealousy’ is also an element in Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo

I had known about Elviza coming back to Kelantan during the Raya holidays. And she did mention – not once but a few times – that she’ll visit me. It’s fortunate that I had met with her before last November in Kuala Lumpur – something that wasn’t planned. As some of you would know, I still have the shyness factor which many might say is on the extreme side. Well, that’s what years of addiction can do to you; by leaving scars in the form of inferiority complex, guilt, shame and worthlessness.

Fortunately, thanks to the happenings over the past year or so – and regardless of the divorce matter – this shyness isn’t too extreme anymore. I think. Knowing that Elviza would most probably come to my house with her husband Jafree and three-year-old Luqman made me just a little nervous. For this, I have to thank all of you who had helped in one way or another to build back my confidence and self-worth, and wanting to be a part of society. I have to mention Sheila especially, whose direct and indirect contribution had been enormous.

With Elviza, I had been in rather regular contact over the past 12 months; ever since she gave me a pleasant surpise by sending a Selamat Aidilfitri on the first day of Raya last year. I was elated actually (ah, only now does she know!) – I’m one of the readers who would patiently wait for her new posts after discovering her blog. There was something about her writings – apart from the elegance – that was attractive and engrossing.

Sherry Nor-Jannah loved Elviza’s  blog too – except that she was an even bigger fan who adored Elviza to the extent of not daring to even send in a comment! (Heheh, I’m revealing things today). And one day I did something for her which was `little’, but certainly not inconsequential as I discovered later. I and Sherry had already been a Friend of Elviza in Facebook. Then, on a desire to do something nice to Sherry to express my gratitude for giving me faith and confidence to face life, I contacted Elviza by SMS. I mentioned about Sherry, gave her number and asked Elviza to send a short message. This she did – and had also called Sherry.

MyNameIsRed70 She was excited by this and sent me a couple of SMS to thank me. Sherry mentioned about “a dream come true” when she received that call from Elviza. I didn’t know it was that precious to her. It was one of those moments when I was truly touched – knowing that Sherry became this happy as a result of my action released tears down my cheeks.

CAPTION: My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2006. I don’t usually read fiction but this is one which is giving me a lot of pleasure (am almost halfway through the 508 pages novel)

And last week, Elviza did it again by making me happy. She had planned to visit on Fri Sept 18 just a bit after Isyak. Unfortunately, she suffered food poisoning after breaking fast that day from eating etok (a type of mollusc). Knowing her busy schedule, I had thought that it would be another time in the future before she might be able to come. Apparently, she wasn’t content to give up that easily.

On the first night of Raya (Sun Sept 20), I received a SMS at 10.30PM from her enquiring whether I was already asleep and whether it was okay to come over. This is something that I appreciate – of her contacting first before dropping by. She was coming from Kota Bharu, and although it was night and that my house is in the rural area, I felt she would find it easily enough. I then waited by the roadside with a flashlight; and my youngest son, Iman, had his motorcycle’s light on to signal her. And pretty soon, an expensive-looking vehicle slowed down. I was surprised to see that she had driven alone (Luqman had slept and Jafree had stayed with his son).

BrothersKaramazov

CAPTION: The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. This will take some reading (1,045 pages in small print). But I will definitely read it. Fortunately, I’m no longer intimidated by the 19th Century Russian writers for I had read a digital version of Crime and Punishment a few months before I was arrested in 2005. And David had sent a book comprising a collection of the author’s shorter stories that include Notes from the Underground when I was at Gambang in 2006.

Elviza must have been surprised to see so many people at my in-laws’ house (My sister-in-law’s big family were there; as is their tradition during each Raya holiday). And Elviza was a hit with them! She might have been surprised that my brothers-in-law and everyone else were quite okay with me (My ex-wife didn’t come out though). She was here for an hour and left for home at 12.30AM.

The 12 months from the last `Sherry Nor-Jannah Raya’ to this one: I thank Allah for all the joys and fortunes that have come my way. Like the one in 2006 when I was at Gambang, my life has turned into one that I now find purpose in living.

26 thoughts on “Aidilfitri 2009: `The Elviza Raya’

  1. Mat C

    Am glad to note you are feeling positive about life in general. Am sorry I have not communicated much; then again you didn’t update your blog for yonks! I was beginning to wonder apa sudah jadi..

    I feel good reading this latest entry of yours. I think you are truly well on your road to recovery. Even though you don’t see me often, please know that you are always in my thoughts.

    Selamat Hariraya Maaf Zahir & Batin.

  2. Salam MC,

    Selamat Hari Raya.. wishing you again..

    I am glad that you had a good early 1st day raya… hope it goes through out the whole month and non stop feeling good through out the year..

    I know it’s been awhile since last commented in here but we’ve been speaking through FB. Nevertheless, i read all your entry here.. and it touched my heart all the time..

    Ok lah MC, we speak again in FB and have a good day before your super crazy thursday!! Do keep in touch!!

    Take care..

  3. Salam Aidil Fitri to you and your family Mat.

    PS – I’m one of your blog groupie (as many of us are of Elviza’s)and showing it too by jumping here and leaving my paw-print as soon as I see an update hehe.

  4. hello buddy !

    ,,,Welcome back, mana pergi lama lama nee Yeop oii !!…busy with your work I guess ya ?. O.K. Selamat Berhari Raya every day from Capt’s Longhouse crew.
    ,,,my 1st mate Asaari is from Kelantan and fighting hard against the monkey on his back !!..your article helps me to appreciate the devilish monkey business going through his mind and the many challenges ahead for him too.
    ,,,BUT its within himself to fight against the monkey yaa !!..am just around to hold his hands plus support him when he is down in his crazy moods.
    ,,,Will keep a close eye on him in getting rid of his monkey business hahaha. Unfortunately, he still is hooked on ‘pill kuda’ which somehow is available on the island from the looks of it. Can you enlighten me more about this Pill Kuda ??..its hazards and effects on one’s mind ? With it, he works like a horse indeed – rajin/kuat gila !!. his mood change without it geeee !! malas/tidoring/leteh – tak guna satu cent Yeop !!.

    Capt

    • Just a bit before the battery runs out…
      Capt, talking of battery, that’s what a morphine and pil kuda addict is like – he will have to `recharge’ himself before he’s able to do anything. Your description of Asaari when he’s without his dosage “tak guna satu sen” is genuine. Yes, only someone with the experience of handling them would know.

      Pil Kuda is methamphetamine. In the US, it’s available with a prescription. In Malaysia, previously it was `only’ under the Akta Racun – I can’t seem to remember the English name (but it’s now placed under the Dangerous Drugs Act).

      Drugs like ice/syabu are in the same group of “amphetamines”. They are teremd as “Uppers” which boosts the user – becoming aggressive, alert, enthusiastic, active (as opposed to “Downers” of barbiturates – the `Roche pill’, valium where the user becomes calm, relaxed, `dumb’)

      Pil Kuda is usually in pink, reddish tablet form about one-fourth the size of panadol. But there’s the green version too. Heck, it can be ANY colour! (the content is more important-lah).

      Have to stop – will continue when there’s electricity.

  5. To Puteri Kamaliah, Nor, Zendra and others: Like the version at Facebook, I had seen these comments at 3PM or before. I was about to reply to each when a thunderstorm suddenly occurred; with the emphasis is on “storm”. After quickly getting this laptop to Hibernate (can’t risk getting it fried), with the three-point socket pulled off from the wall connector, a really fierce storm and heavy rain arrived.

    I was actually a bit scared by the power of this one – it’s easily the fiercest since late 2006. This house is surrounded by trees on three sides, and it doesn’t require a genius to speculate on what might happen. I suddenly remembered previous news reports of roofs being pulled off. Then the electricity was disrupted. There must have been power lines snapping due to branches or trees falling on them.

    The storm lasted less than 20 minutes – it stopped as suddenly as it had started, with the rain ending a few minutes later. Everything was so peaceful.

    Well, it’s more than seven hours but the electricity isn’t restored yet. I’m using the laptop’s battery – it’s relatively new and not used too often but had never lasted more than an hour (at 83% now from full). I’m saving it to check emails every 2 hours or so should there be no electricity in the morning. I’ll get back to this when this very basic utility is available again..

  6. thanks Matt,

    ,,,appreciate the sharing of experience and knowledge on subject issue so that we can understand/assist how to cage the monkey better yaa!!
    ,,,have had many candidates (>50 odd) through Capt’s Longhouse and now having my 1st and ‘AWOL’ 2nd mate !!. The former Chef Kolid has graduated/fired for his own good, honeymoon over after many years under my wing, in fact he is doing just fine on his own as a qualified Chef (Capt’s training-lah haha !!) at another set-up on the island !!. I however still monitor his progress and keep an eagle eye on him plus arm length support nowadays only.
    ,,,my AWOL 2nd mate is still missing from action but I hope to get him back b4 the monsoon season to start our construction of an traditional Malay house beside the Longhouse. We need skilled carpenters urgently too which the 2nd mate is ! ..but perhaps will get a few more from Pulau Duyong boat makers pool that need to earn some extra income at year end ??. They built my in-law’s wooden house in K.T. some 25 years ago and its still standing as good as new – “kayu cengai” Yeop !!. Best timber for any wooden construction-lah…’The BEST’ species in the world.
    ,,,guess its how I want things to be in life, long lasting/strong/all weather type/reliable/responsible/trusting….hahaha.

    Cheers Matt…..good to be talking (blogging) with you too again yaa!!

    Capt.

    • “malas/tidoring/leteh – tak guna satu cent Yeop !!”
      Capt, actually that’s GOOD, comparatively. Someone on opiates (heroin, morphine) won’t be limited to that… because he CAN’T. At least that Azaari isn’t disturbing anyone by doing that, although work-wise I understand your predicament (and those who must cover for him). After a week or so, he’ll start to get back into normal mode. But during this time, you’ll have to persistently check up and urge him firmly but GENTLY (remember the `moody’ factor) until he gets back into the groove again. If after a few weeks he’s still like that… well, it isn’t “withdrawal from pil kuda” anymore – he’s just plain lazy!

  7. Hello Matt again,

    ,,,Just to highlight the methodology at Capt’s Longhouse, its just the ‘practical strategy’ adopted by my ex-military & real life experiences as follows-lah:

    ,,,a. Building STRONG motivation for change,
    ,,,b. Strengthening individual commitment to change,
    ,,,c. and ‘follow-through’ strategies..agreed by the individual himself.
    ,,,d. go for Win/Win for both parties.

    This kind of (real life & living) therapy via proactive real time consciousness of shared values and continuing dialogue will eventually lead to a greater commonality of value-system back to standard common values.

    Am no expert BUT just a good Listener/Counselor to those that really wants to change or help themselves-lah back to society. So far so good but I do face some black sheeps too,,, unfortunately!!.

    The above mentioned programme is self supporting without any financial aids from outside. We earn our living ourselves through hard work, blood sweat & tears !!. Real ACTIONS and DELIVERABLES i.e. process-lah haha !!. …………NO free Lunch yaa !! but Win/Win Yeop Ooi ??.

    Capt.

    • Capt, it’s a noble thing you’re doing there. From what I see, there are no `failures’. Someone who relapsed did it on his own accord. I also don’t have any issues with the method that you’re using – you’re the boss and you call all the shots. And who’s to say what you’re doing is `wrong’? Oh, I’m sure you get your share of unsolicited comments on what’s `wrong’ with your project there… and these `experts’ are often people who haven’t done anything of use to others.

      After reading this, I’m reminded of a few people I know at Gambang who just don’t have a better place to go to when they’re discharged. These are the people who’d find themselves in pusat and prisons every other year; often sooner.

      It always made me quite discouraged when I hear of my senior inmates getting picked up again just a few weeks or months after release. Two of them were detained under bridges. What were they doing there? They didn’t have any place to go, and when they hang around places like that, with people injecting or smoking around them, it’s just a matter of time before they succumb to take a dose “just this once, for old times sake”.

      And these are people with various talents – when inside pusat, when they are clean, many look to possess more potential than the average guy I see in the towns and kampungs. The guy who had painted the wall mural at the Cendana hostel, for instance (wish I had the pictures to show). I’ve seen murals everywhere, but if you’d look at this one, you’ll be astounded by the quality. Then there are those who can cook very well, singers, musicians, carpenters. I’m thinking of those in the `very good’ category, not who `can do somewhat’ – they were all there at Gambang.

  8. Alamak besar nya nama saya di atas tuh? Aaahhh? Cerita makan etok pun ada *dying of shame*

    Thanks Mat, you are just too sweet yourself. Would be home again this Christmas for my sister’s wedding. You and your family MUST come.

    Yeah, was a bit surprised (a good one) when I found out the you are still close with your inlaws. Where’s your wife though? She must be thinking what kind of a rude person I was considering the hour of my visit. LOL

    • My wife? I don’t remember, but did I get married recently and forgot about it?:-) No, no one said anything of that kind – it’s Raya. Wedding in December? Now I’m getting nervous! I’ve just remembered that the last time I had attended a wedding was in… the middle of 1996. Yes, that long ago. I no longer receive any invitations because of this. Heck, I might even not attend my own:-)

  9. Btw Mat, I don’t give a hoot about the surat layang cursing me. I got “thick” face mah! Honestly, I don’t think anything could ever get in between the craft of writing and myself. If I don’t do it, I’d die anyway.

    Eh, I forgot to bring camera that day I went to your house! Duhhhhh, gerammnya dengan diri sendiri.

  10. thanks Matt,

    ,,,since my 1st mate came back after the Raya break, he is not well, coughing blood too yesterday according to him (am still in K.L but be back on Sunday) but dia degil gila nak ubat diri sendiri !!. Must be the ‘ganja effect’ kot cos apparently that was/is his …b/f, lunch & dinner lah from what I gathered via our daily tel. conv. If am away, his buddies on the island will raya sakan at the Longhouse !!.
    ,,,the good part is that he no longer takes opiates but again if its available, I don’t think he has the guts to say NO to his friends !,,,,the bad part is that he still on ganja/pill kuda from the looks of it.
    ,,,If am around, things are pretty organised plus routine stuffs are being performed, furthermore we are too busy to waste our/mine/his time fooling around-lah !!…there are 1001 things to be carried out, or rather blood sweat & tears in ACTION for DELIVERABLES in earning a living on the island-lah.
    ,,,My 1st mate is a no.1 Skipper and he loves the sea and boat management. Also an darn good Surfer plus long distance Swimmer, he spent 75% of his time in the waters with our houseguests, earning his keeps plus bringing back all types of fishes for our dinner !. In fact, am learning about the seas from him almost daily when we go out fishing or spending time with/on our boats together. His commitment to vessel maintenance is at almost 100%, does all the rewiring, hull repairs, engine servicing without fail daily unless in his crazy moods-lah ….hahaha !. (so that’s an area I have to be on the watch-out plus careful too )….his priorities goes ‘hay wire’ Yeop !!….plus his safety behavours unacceptable to my minimum standards. Fortunately all of these short comings shall be covered during our regular weekly debriefing sessions and indeed it does slowly slowly sink in after our “one to one” open talk. But “Melayu Cepat Lupa” attitude is hard to remove !! hahaha.
    ,,,Its about respect and recognisation that we must handle with kid gloves when dealing with people like him, don’t ever forget that they have very very sensitive feelings. I will always admit my mistakes/short-comings too and will apologise as and when it happens, don’t wait too long or else the damage will be long lasting. See it from their perspective/angle and try to be in their shoes as often as possible in-order to appreciate the subject matter/issue rather than only from my own selfish personal eyes. Give them the TIME to think about their actions or in-actions, only intervent if Safety is compromised. BUT the biggest challenge is to WALK THE TALK with them, don’t ever say something and/but doing otherwise that will piss everyone involved ! haha,,,even oneself.
    ,,,o.k. here I go again, writing too much !! Hahaha,,,,,,have to learn to STOP talking/writing too much but to DEFINE/ACT/EXECUTE/OPERATE/REVIEW i.e.,,,, PRACTICE what one PREACH mahhh??….follow the process without question !….. Yeop Ooii !!

    ,,,,will discuss on other issues as we progress forward, you see am only interested on the present happenings and what’s for tomorrow…..forget about the past, there is nothing much we can do about it !! yaa.

    cheers mate

    Ooooo ya Matt,,,,,nothing too ‘noble’ about what am doing-lah, its a Win/Win situation, I need them as much as they need me-kan hehehe !!…..no man is an island yoooo !!

    Capt

    • This 1st mate – that’s me too, except that he has a lot more contact with others. I’m glad that he’s doing okay -relatively speaking. It could be a lot better of course, but the fact that he’s not on opiates is encouraging.

      I’m heartened to know how much you’re aware of the “walking the talk”. It’s something that I’ve seen many fail to do. Since we’re talking about rehabilitation of addicts, I’m limiting it to the people I’ve known when dealing with this matter especially. Many people don’t realise how intelligent and sensitive some recovering addicts could be. They would quietly listen to what you say – and then see how far you mean what you had said. Failing to walk the talk is a sure-fire way to lose their respect.

  11. Howdy Matt,

    ,,,You as my 1st mate ?? hehehe no-lah you are my “O.K.” mate,,,Yeop Ooi !!. And the other wording such as ex-ADDICTS is not part of my vocabulary but rather term them as EXPERIMENTERs hehehe !! cos. they are full of imagination and creativity.
    ,,,Now the good part of island living, we indeed can utilize to the max. one’s imagination & creativity !. We are the law here or rather kind of lawless being away from the major public plus Authorities though of late, they are poking their noses too into non-issues made into one…guess playing politics to satisfy one’s ego. (guess am beginning to sound like a REBEL yoohohoo !!).
    ,,,As for me, seriously ‘Imagination’ is better than knowledge cos. there will always be a better way!!. Plus ‘Creativity’ can solve problems and indeed boost achievements. In fact, Einstein declared,the power of imagination and creativity is the birthplace of human inventions and progress. Well, it allows us to pursue untested/untried methods, and better things yaa ??.
    ,,,We don’t have to seek others approval cos. we just don’t have the time to gain such acceptance !!..now this is where my 1st mate plus the rest would willing participate in whatever projects/programmes, just to gain the end results without outside pressure. It builds up their confident level and start all over again as new, with self-respect!.
    ,,,the following tips on improving your imagination and creativity as practiced at Capt’s ;
    …..a. Take your TIME-OFF or just SLEEP on it, its O.K. in fact would encourage it !! Yoo.
    …..b. Take a FRESH LOOK plus associate FREELY. Link ideas together and to things plus subject/environment outside the context..to tajam your pisau mah !! hehehe Tok Lanun punya otak-lah hohoho.
    …..c. FANTASY for things..’beragan gila’..Yeop Ooi !!
    …..d. Keep asking unlimited “WHY” & “WHAT” that could add improvements both physically plus psychological values be improved ??.

    ,,,in simple conclusion, just don’t act like a sheep, please don’t just follow the conventional way of doing things, FIND a better way !.

    ……..REMEMBER THAT ONLY TIME IS LIMITED BUT NOT IMAGINATION…….

    ,,,Also to ENJOY the occasional flight of fancy !!! hehehe..your creativity will indeed build a better future-lah hohohoo.

    ,,,oh yaa !!.. many great ideas have been lost cos. the guys who had them could’t stand being laughted at !!!..Gee what a pity ??.

    ,,,Hahaha !!

    Capt.

    • This one about “imagination” and “creativity” being of more value than knowledge – it’s not just interesting but also encouraging.

      There’s another aspect that’s a lot lower than knowledge but is placed at the top when it comes to service with the government – ACADEMIC CERTIFICATES (which explains why most departments don’t move forward much despite all the noise they make).

      It is assumed that those with Y certificate has Y-level of knowledge in that field. This isn’t guaranteed, of course. As most of us should know, someone with a Masters in Civil Engineering had obtained it not because of excellence in the pursuit of knowledge but because:

      (1) He had taken the trouble to `bodek’ coursemates into lending him their assignments, which he `ciplak’ and produced his own at the end (he didn’t really understand what’s going on actually but since he got 55/100 marks, then he’s through).

      (2) He attended enough classes, and is friendly and polite with the lecturers. From my experience in various environments, this ability to be on others’ good side is more valuable than academic prowess or excellence in work. Lecturers/Superior officers will always “give extra” for they don’t have the heart to be the obstacle to this kind.

      And we’ll have a guy who isn’t clear about engineering principles – you wouldn’t trust him to create any structure where lives are at stake.

      It would be great to have all three/four aspects, of course – Besides imagination and creativity, he also has the knowledge. And if he comes with strong discipline, stoic in facing adversity and gets on well with others, then this will be the best there possibly is.

      At Gambang, there was someone who came close to this, and whom I considered myself honoured to have known – 049/05 Zaidi Jainuddin, 40, from Penang. A security manager (former army). Whatever attributes he may have lacked in the above, he was fully covered by other inmates. During his talk to ITM Kemaman students around Jan 2006, for instance, I was his scriptwriter:-)

      He was the Prefect at my first hostel of Orientasi “B”; and I had felt safe, encouraged and inspired since the first day I was there. He then became the Ketua Pengawas, and I remember feeling sad when he was discharged (8 months earlier than me).

      There was an outstanding case against him (he didn’t undergo supervision as ordered), and would have been arrested upon discharge. But this was someone whom many people respect and `sayang’ – the Commandant pulled strings to have this case buried.

      There was a condition attached though – he was to be the manager for x months and handle the workers for a businessman around there – Lepar – who had a cattle ranch, restaurant etc. It just showed how savvy this businessman is. A retired colonel, if I’m not mistaken. He’d often hire the `budak pusat’ to put up the fence etc, so he knew who the ones with the right attributes were and didn’t care about previous records.

  12. hello Matt again !

    ,,,hope you are not too busy, i might be taking your time away with my nonsense here ?? hehehe..but indeed its good to blog with you once in awhile since am back on the island again.
    ,,,hujan kuat Yeop Ooi !! plus very strong wind, habis tunggang terbalik rumah panjang kapten buat nya !!. Dah-lah jari kita berdarah kena keritek bila basuh boat bottom petang tadi..adoi !! sakit berdenjut jenut rasa tangan sekarang ini.,,, nak kena urut dgn minyak gamat hehehe.
    ,,,But, tak apa as long as am happy !,,,sendiri responsible/answerable for my life instead of blaming the world. Am having the accountability to creat a better person within myself to find peace and delight plus to attain success..sendiri tanggong yaa ??.
    ,,,yoo..happy people rely on their personal power to control plus to influence their fate-kan ?. Bila I look back, i find that whatever happens to me is directly or indirectly my own making-lah ..Yeop Ooi !!
    When am careless, complacency tersangat or stagnant it normally would lead to lossess plus suffering-lah. Bila tak caution and with poor wisdom in making choises/decisions, with no back strategy or any contingency planning and so on, end result will be a failure !!.
    ,,, So many hard lessons learn, so kena stay away or steer clear of pitfalls AND take full RESPONSIBILITY, and indeed my life will become an enjoyable game, an EXICITING journey of discoveries !! plus FUN.
    ,,,guess what am trying to share here is one must accept full responsibility for your life, as the conclusion to my just finished debrief with my 1st mate Asaari just a couple of minutes ago too !!. (dia kena 20 biji pil kuda when he was back for Raya !!!! patut-lah sakit teruk bila sampai balik kat pulau ??..Geeee !!..sampai batok darah even till today and tak mahu pergi berubat di-hospital)..he did most of the talking plus advising me on hazards of various drugs which he had tried before !! Interesting character this Asaari fellow, he knows a lot more than you or me can imagine. In fact, he is a very intelligent guy with lots of talents too.
    ,,,the CHANGE must indeed come from within himself and be fully responsible for his own actions, am just his island buddy plus BOSS !!. hahaha.

    Capt.

    Matt, hope you don’t mind my style of writing plus keeping some of these dialogues into my Capt’s Longhouse blog as ref. or dairy of events too ??. O.K. with you my friend !. (if NOT pls say so, will remove it-lah or keep it private only ).

    • Capt, Sorry for being tardy with this reply. I had seen your comment there some hours ago and had “wanted to” write something the whole night and most of the day. And only managing to now. Even then, I’m rushed into having to move on to do something else immediately. This kind of hectic activities isn’t good, I know. Have to step on the brakes soon – I’m in danger of a breakdown, seriously.

      I’m going to limit it to this: “style of writing” – I’ll be the last person in the world to mind someone’s style of writing. People are welcomed to write upside down if they want (yes, there are utilities to do this!). But I won’t be reading it, of course. As for taking quotations or whatever here – yes, go ahead. Thanks for having the courtesy to mention this.

      BTW just to kep the record straight, this blog isn’t with a “Creative Commons-free to use” type of license; or “copyright given away”. I’m hoping for someone to lift a post without permission and print it along with other things somewhere… that’ll present me with the chance to squeeze him for US$xxxK heheh! But seriously, my manager/business partner/friend is watching closely. She has a great plan for quite a few things…

      Oh, Capt – I’ll be contacting you by email on something “soon”. Something to do with Pulau Kapas, which has been on my mind quite a lot of late.

  13. I enjoyed the read but if you smoke marijuana and find that you are becoming tired and de motivated and you do not want to quit using marijuana. Try vaporizing your marijuana and you will get more a of a clean headed high buzz.

    Like tobacco, marijuana smoke contains toxins that are known to be hazardous to the respiratory system. Among them are the highly carcinogenic polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, a prime suspect in cigarette-related cancers. These toxins are essentially a byproduct of combustion, separate from the pharmaceutically active components of marijuana, known as cannabinoids, which include THC. When you burn marijuana it produces quite a lot of tar. Pipes and joints generally do not have proper filters. Bongs are not the answer, because you inhale concentrated smoke.

    The vaporizer certainly reduces the level of tar. You will not have to worry about the harmful carcinogens your body is absorbing when you inhale marijuana smoke.

    I will suggest 2 places that I use the first one is [url=http://www.herbalaffiliateprogram.com/herbalsmokeshop/aff_manager/newaff/redirect.cfm/i/2009105061/] Legal Bud![/url]

    The second suggestion I have is [url=http://affiliates.grasscity.com/shop/clickthru.cgi?id=thesuperlucky ] Gass City![/url]

    • Wah, this is clever – the kind I’d expect from you. Instead of wishing at Facebook like almost everyone else, you have done it here and becoming the only one in the process. And I also have a record of the date. Thanks.

      BTW had thought about writing a post here since a birthday happens only once a year. But the thought of my being behind work deadlines has discouraged it. Things are getting tighter, and I must improve on my time management to extract more productivity.

  14. Matt,

    ,,,happy birthday too, yang berapa pak ??

    ,,,,,,,just concentrate all your thoughts upon the work in hand buddy-lah,,,after all, the sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus too .

    Capt

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