Sunday, February 25, 2018

Stirling Minds | Sterling will | "Start Your Impossible"


A couple of nights ago, at home, in Penang, that's my reading material. [See pic below].

Not sure about you, but my alma mater matters to me. The University of Stirling turns 50. It got me thinking what will I be when I am 50? Bi-iznillah, by Allah's will, I should be graduating from the Strathclyde Uni in two year's time insha'Allah. Yup, we ought to learn all the way to the grave. Age is not a limit to self-development. Theoretically speaking, I want the "last decade" of my professional life to be super productive and hence super great. For that to happen I have to update my knowledge and sharpen my skills. This is another example of how Allah's plans always prevail. To be honest, I was planning on something else, yet His plans slowly and gradually emerge, overriding mine. We'll have to embrace the Lord's decree, don't we?

I pray Allah will grant me and you, especially those of you who need a little push to move forward, a strong sterling will and support to achieve all that we need to achieve. That we have himmah (passion) and sabr (perseverance) for success.

I spent the day recuperating while watching all 19 episodes of "Impossible Moments" on the Olympic Channel. Yes! Hard to choose a favorite as they are all heart-warming.
Here's one:

Big thanks to Toyota's brilliant campaign "Start Your Impossible" featuring stories of Olympic and Paralympic athletes whose sacrifices and determination could bring tears to your eyes. More than that, it taught me the value of self-belief in pushing one's limitation and facing one's "impossible". Well, not just face what you fear or may perceive as impossible, it's about starting it, it's about acting on it and overcoming it.   

I have read some very good copywriting materials before but this one by Toyota stirs the spirit.

"During the Olympic Winter Games, beyond rooting for medals, Toyota is aiming for the best example of society, one that strives to uplift spirits, triumph in achievements, and learn from setbacks that open door for improvements, advancement, and potential."

You have to read it, watch the stories and feel it for yourself. I salute Toyota for their remarkable initiative.

"I hope that everyone affiliated with Toyota, will feel inspired by the Games, to challenge their impossible and defy their limitations."
-  Toyota President, Mr. Akio Toyoda

Yes, feeling inspired!

Stir up your spirit
start your impossible
For the first time ever, Malaysia is represented at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Thanks to two young gentlemen who pursued their interests and dreams, proving Malaysians could do something we thought impossible. Kudos to Julian Yee and Jeffrey Webb!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

My country Malaysia


It's a day to reflect and rationalize, for me, after a 7-day hectic trip abroad, 3-day work week, 11-day break in my lovely hometown Penang and then back to work at the office for two days and then came this meaningful, brilliant, historical Friday when we had Malaysia's Prime Minister in da houze y'all - quite literally - at the Axiata Arena in KL, Malaysia.

I have always been a patriotic person and never apologetic about it unlike some people who think being patriotic means you are being less-religious LOL. I was glad when I heard at least two genuine shuyukh saying "loving one's country is part of faith". Of course, it is part of faith because being patriotic means being grateful for Allah's blessings for you that you have a place to call home - a peaceful, a relatively rich, and a beautiful country named Malaysia. Of course, I am grateful for my Negaraku (my country) for it gives me a good life, I don't have to migrate elsewhere just to have a good life. The country gives me wealth by virtue of working with a good homegrown corporation. I agreed with the Prime Minister on a lot of things he said at the event held on 23rd Feb 2018 at Axiata Arena especially this one: that "when you create a company like Axiata, you create wealth and you create talents." 

The atmosphere at the event was amazing. The photos below are my own personal favorites. They were taken in the morning during rehearsal, hence the empty seats. I wondered what was going through the mind and heart of the President of Axiata (the gentlemen standing alone on stage) as the song Hebat Negaraku was playing. He has been championing the company for 10 years and yesterday the Prime Minister acknowledged Axiata as "a truly regional champion with Malaysia at heart."

He, the President of Axiata has quite a brain, needless to say. Last night I was reading the news report of Axiata's stellar performance. To be frank, I could not "brain" his brain. LOL! I was thinking to myself, all the financial jargons he quoted and the complex-sounding biz strategies he undertook - I thought OMG all this I will learn and will have to master in my soon-to-commence MBA course. LOL.

But of course, Allah teaches us what we need to know as He prepares us for roles He has decided for us. Our job as He instructs us from day one is Iqra - read!
Prime Minister Mohd Najib Razak mentioned at the event, a philosophy he introduced several years back, it sounded so brilliant in Malay - "Akal global, akar lokal." which means one has to think globally while being grounded to one's root. 

I know my nieces and nephews will be reading this posting (sooner or later), thus I hope they will understand and appreciate the importance of education, of nurturing one's talent continuously even after school/college, at the workplace, anywhere and everywhere at every opportunity. The opportunity need not be big, it's as easy as reading up a short piece of useful information, it's as easy as being quiet for a moment to think and reflect. And imagine. And dream.   

Negaraku, tanah tumpahnya darahku.

I am a grateful and a proud Malaysian,
I take my seat in this country gladly!
Hebat Malaysia!


Yesterday was the second time in decades that I got to sing the national anthem Negaraku. I must say it felt different - in a very good way. The first occassion was about a month ago. It felt special to have stood up and sang the anthem in the presence of a very bright, tall, dark and handsome Malaysia's Sports Minister who spoke at the event without a script. He spoke intelligently befitting his impressive education background. While we stood up and sang, the screen showed visuals of our King - Sultan Muhammad V. I had goosebumps then looking at the King's regal image and knowing how pious and humble a man he is. I had the same feeling at the Axiata Arena yesterday. It's very clear to me that this country is very blessed indeed! Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

Hebat, hebat, hebat, hebat Negaraku!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Island in the sun


Hope you have had a fab Sunday.
My 11-day hols are not over yet. Don't be jealous ok LOL.

Today we went around Penang island starting from Gelugor in the north-east, we headed southwest to Balik Pulau (it literally means the other side of the island) and drove up to the north side of the island where the touristy Batu Feringghi area is and back home. Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah the drive was safe and smooth.

I am liking the fact that I could easily compile all my video clippings pretty easily. And the fact that I don't have to work tomorrow - Monday.

Allah Kareem.
Balik Pulau - southwest

Batu Ferringhi - north
At another 5 star hotel that has been like a second home to my family.
Thank God for wonderful times.
Home - Gelugor - Northeast

Visit Penang, Malaysia.
It's worth every Ringgit you spend.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

That which starts in your head


"What makes you happy does not need approval from anyone else."

Me and my partner at "Fat Nose & Co"
 just because beauty starts in your head,
 not in your mirror. LOL

Just another set of clippings of fun time in my hometown Penang.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.
For that grey matter between our ears and every lil thing, He puts in our hands.

Have a fab weekend folks.
Enjoy the moment but don't get attached to it, good or bad, it shall pass.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Sunny blissful Friday | Gong Xi Fa Cai



Of course, we praise the Lord Almighty for the simple pleasures of life, like catching that glorious sunshine I did yesterday over the tiny strait between Penang island and Butterworth (mainland Peninsular Malaysia).

We have to pause and take the time to think about how blessed we are. Alhamdulillah, He woke us up today, so be thankful to Him, by doing good and doing more. Bruce Lee says: to love life is to not waste time because time is what life is made up of.

I am going to make myself useful to my mother today, as always. What about you?

Wish y'all a blissful Friday.
And Gong Xi Fa Cai to our friends who are celebrating the Spring Festival, the Chinese Lunar New Year. May our lives be more prosperous this year.

Singing: I got that sunshine in my pocket, 
got that good song in my feet 😉

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Merry time | Maritime Waterfront Penang


Assalamualaikum folks,

Be merry and be grateful no matter where you are.
Greetings from my hometown Penang 😁

I was delighted to see Khoo Salma's book at the hotel.
She narrates histories of Penang in a pleasant and warm manner,
you wished studying history in high school was just as fun.

Good morning, let's seize the day.

The view from my blogging spot.
Penang Bridge in the background 

looking a wee bit faint at 7 a.m.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Istiqlal Mosque - Jakarta | Mukena | Bandung's Cipaganti Mosque


Assalamualaikum folks,

Happy Monday. My thoughts are with those of you at the office. LOL. I am on holiday for 11 days YaHuu Allah Kareem.

Here's a lil sharing from me for those who are not familiar with this region. The biggest mosque in South East Asia is located in Jakarta Indonesia. Jakarta is situated on the west side of Java island which has the highest concentration of Muslim population.

What is unique about this mosque other than its size is the simple functional architecture in terms of natural ventilation. It's made of steel, therefore, maintenance is minimal and less of a burden. I am not an architectural expert but I noticed some clever features of the mosque. Just that I hope they (and all other prominent mosques elsewhere) would have an escalator and make it wheelchair-friendly. There's an elevator at Istiqlal but it's only made available on Fridays, this I was told.

Another uniquely striking feature is that women get to pray alongside men in the main prayer hall. There's a low-height partition in between, so for those who are not used to this open concept, might feel a little uncomfortable.

As a tourist, I was excited that I was able to capture the mosque's minaret and the famed Monas - Jakarta's iconic National Monument, in one frame.

Masjid Istiqlal - Jakarta
Minaret on the left. Monas on far right.

On the same note, as a tourist, I was impressed by the cleanliness and quality of mukena (woman's prayer gown) at Istiqlal mosque, the musolla at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta airport and also Cipaganti mosque. The mukena at the latter were so pretty!

Prayer garments (mukena) at Jakarta airport.
Two thumbs up!

Once again, I wish you a happy Monday.

From Penang with sweet trifle love 😁

And here are some clips I took at Bandung's oldest mosque Masjid Cipaganti, built by a Dutch who was a Muslim revert, Mr. CP Wolf Schoemaker in 1933, three years after embracing Islam. The plot of land was a gift from a local lady by the name of Nyi Oerki, wife of a wealthy Italian chocolate manufacturer in Bandung at that time. 

Main entrance to Masjid Cipaganti,
the oldest mosque in Bandung, built in 1933