Wednesday, August 27, 2008


hello everyone

its been a month since my last posting
this is the month for celebration for all of us as a malaysian-cuti panjang:)
i have been given the opportunity to mark my 29th birthday with visit frrom MR auditor for PPSMI and celebrate my anisah's birthday with baking cakes for my students. what a relief to see them devouring the whole cakes without much complain. thats th nature of children, just enjoying everything and no worries at all. i wish i can be small girl again..
then came the cuti sekolah where the children are able to let go their heavy bags and palying all day without worrying about my homework. also this is the chance for the teachers to relax after 2 months of mid-exam, marking, recording marks, writing buku adab, and many other menial things that might bored all of holidays are spent for few days to spring-cleaning my tiny house. rearranging tonnes of things that i wish i can throw(so i can buy new one:)), ironing my husband's and my baju kurungs. sometimes i iron my daughters dress as well-out of boringness. then on wednesday my husband said, JOM BALIK KAMPUNG( the word sound so sweet like lagu datuk siti nurhaliza)-but i have to said, sorrylah dear, umi have to finish some things at school first, we go back tomorrowlah.. so, thursday we start our journey early in the morning. however due to heavy downpour, we only manage to reach LUMUT at around12( this time, we going back through coastway-jalan tepi pantai-although its not highway, but the road is ok and not so much cars-plus we save fhe toll)from segambut to shah alam , meru, kuala selangor, setiawan n finally lumut for lunch.
women can never be separated from shopping rite. at this tiny lumut jetty, i still able to find a dress each for my daughters, some sotong kering for my mother and few others for the in-laws. my husband shaking his head in disbelief at looking to my purchases since the car's boot is already full of things. but thanks to me, mesti muat punya:)
finally after hours of 'begaduh' in the car with my two daughters, we arrive at cherok tok kun exactly at asar. first thing first jumpa ayah. not much different, much worse i think. his whole face bloated up with water( water retention). again, our offer to take him to clinic is met with HUH...TADAK MENDA LAIN KA NAKATA...despite his frailness, hiis firmness is still sound like Sarjan ABdullah 9145 days( 24 years passed already)..
then chatting with mommy, bathing my two daughters and my husband took my anisah with him untuk belayar(zzzzzzz la..)
the next day we went to the opening ceremony of JUsco Seberang Perai City- cantik design-mcm jusco bukit tinggi and jusco queensbay mall but still kelam-kabut, first day la katakan and then in the evening, we just passing through to place is most famously known in malaysia now-PMTG PAUH_. the area is definitely like a warzone of flags, banner, buntings and pondok panas(temporary shelter for campaign). but may be its already 6o'clock, all the pondok panas are empty and there are no ceramahs in sight. we just passing through the area and noticed the congestion due to heavy traffic and most of the cars are like ours-with outside plate number, not P for penang). no rusuhan or demonstration in sight( so eager to see since the tv keep bombarding us about keganasan dalam pilihanraya yang terburuk). i noticed more policeman and along jalan baru, about 20 fru's truck being parked as preparation for the election. i dont see any of the things at all but maybe i'm not at the right place.
as we already know the result by now, like sirih pulang ke gagang..p44 is back to Datuk sri NAwar Ibrahim. i hope he will give what he had promised and get all his work done and ggod luck to him. while for the bn, its time for muhasabah and munasarawak why they did not win even when they are in control of all the media-except internet and have all the machineries needed. i think pmtg pau voters are still obsessed with DSAI is also a atrong point to be remembered by the UMNO leaders.

after that, i'm going to my mothers in law's house and hear another anwar-bashing from her:) and on sunday we came back to Kuala Lumpur

i thinks that all for now, salam ramadhan al-mubarak to everyone. hope its going to be better ramadhan for all of us this year. ameen

Thursday, August 14, 2008



A Town called Cherok Tok Kun
post info
By Anwar Ibrahim
Categories: Sidenotes

By Debra Chong

From The Malaysian Insider

CHEROK TOK KUN, Aug 13 — While all eyes are on Permatang Pauh right now, where opposition leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, is contesting in a by-election in two weeks’ time, the story really begins in a remote neck of Penang, called Cherok Tok Kun, where the former deputy prime minister grew up.

“You missed it,” said the middle-aged woman kindly from behind the sundry shelves at the petrol station where we had stopped for directions to Anwar’s childhood home.

“You need to make a U-turn. It’s just next to the mosque on the left after the traffic lights. It’s the one in white,” she instructed. You can’t miss it, she reassured, it’s right next to the main road.

But, of course, it was missed, because the whitewashed house wasn’t really right next to the main road, as Kamsiah, the petrol station lady, had said; it was on Jalan Kilang Ubi, off the main road next to the mosque.

It’s something of a universal law of navigation that outsiders will never find the spot they’re looking for following the exact directions as given by the locals because X does not mark the spot — Y does.

One thing she got right though, the house where Anwar grew up in is impossible to miss. It is the most distinguished building in the neighbourhood, not counting the golden domed mosque.

There were no signs posted outside the gateless compound, but Anwar’s ancestral home is an impressive two-storey bungalow in wood and brick painted a pristine white. It is the tallest house in the village.

But no one was home. Directly opposite the white house was a single storey building with a signboard out front stating its name: Galeri Pejuang.

Built in 2002 from donations collected from the villagers and other Anwar supporters, it is a tribute to Anwar’s fight, going back as early as his youth activism days, for a progressive Malaysia where the rakyat’s welfare is the topmost agenda.

What’s inside? The photographs and other memorabilia that used to be housed within have been cleared and the space now serves as a village community hall of sorts for ceramahs and when the state assemblyman comes for his weekly visits on Tuesday nights.

Anwar’s elder brother, Idrus, the caretaker, had gone out and would only return in the late evening, the neighbours informed. “He’s got a lot of work.

He’s also helping out Anwar’s campaign,” said a chubby-cheeked makcik three doors up from the white house. Turned out she is their cousin by marriage, and had inherited the signless noodle shop first started by Anwar’s grandfather, Abdul Rahman Ismail, before being passed down to his uncle and her father-in-law, Saad.

Lifting the lid off a cauldron sitting on a wood fire stove, she revealed a beefy red broth and released a cloud of steam pregnant with the most appetizing savoury aroma into the open air kitchen.

Turning around, she noticed the look of longing on our faces.

“That’s the kuah for the mee… mee reformasi,” chuckled cousin Saloma Hussin, in her 50s. The gravy would not be ready till 3pm, she said, shooing us away.

“Go speak to Mak Su. She is good at telling you stories about this place. Her late husband was a teacher and had taught Anwar.”

Mak Su was sitting in the shade of a pomelo tree facing the back entrance of a primary school, selling flavoured ice,10 sen a tube, from out of a large vacuum container.

Above her, the fruits dangled enticingly.

Some were wrapped in new-looking Barisan Nasional buntings. She is one of the village elders and a close friend to Anwar’s family.

She had watched him grow up. Everyone in the village loved him. He was a good boy, a filial son, she said, and had been since young.

She remembered his anguish when his mother passed away following the 1998 scandal. She was there at the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital with several other villagers when Anwar was finally allowed out of prison to see her. But it was too late by the time he arrived.

She didn’t believe the current rumours circulating about him, never had since Sodomy I in 1998. “Itu bohong. Mereka jahat,” she said emphatically.

Anwar was not a homosexual. He would go to the masjid and perform his prayers religiously, even now, when he returned home. Those who spread the rumours were liars and bad people.

But there are always those who don’t support him and don’t want him to win the by-election, even in the village.

The village headman confirmed it. Sitting on a weathered bench outside his wooden house, he gave the surrounding a slow sweeping glance.

“Anywhere you go, there are always two sides. This village is no different. Not everyone supports Anwar.”

But if the Parti Keadilan Rakyat flags decorating one wall in his living room is any hint, the headman is among Anwar’s staunch supporters.

Back at the nameless noodle shop, Saloma’s famous mee kuah was ready and attracting a slow but steady stream of regulars: teens on motorbikes, young working adults looking for a nourishing before-dinner bowl, and old, retired men looking for a good jaw.

One pakcik, who declined to be named or photographed, saying that Bukit Aman had his picture already, delivered a fiery commentary on the political situation.

Despite living in a different parliamentary constituency - Tok Kun falls under the Bukit Mertajam parliamentary seat - he was one of the few villagers registered to vote in Permatang Pauh.

“I lived there 25 years ago, before moving here. Sekarang, serupa cacing kepanasan,” he quipped, waving his hands around to mimick a worm rolling on a burning floor to illustrate the heat.

The whole country and beyond was pouring into Permatang Pauh, he said, packing up the town. Why, he questioned; what was the draw for them?

Despite knowing the answer himself, he insisted on a reply from the rest of the crowd in the noodle shop, especially the two newshounds from Kuala Lumpur on their maiden trip.

Crowing at the answer, he expounded at length on why Anwar had to win. “Siapa yang boleh bela nasib bangsa, agama dan negara? Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yang seorang sahaja!”

To him, Islam had taken a severe battering under Barisan Nasional rule. Moral decay grew more prevalent under Islam Hadhari, he went on, you could see it in the entertainment and so on.

What he wanted was change, he added, like everyone else.

He was toothless and pushing 70 but remained as mentally spry as the young ‘uns in the shop that listened carefully to his every word even as they slurped up the beef soup.

“We want change. We don’t want people who place priority on themselves and turn their backs on the rakyat. What is the responsibility of the leaders? Is it to impoverish the people? The price of petrol is going up.

Even Mahathir when he raised it, was only a few sen.

“Now, what is the true purpose of them descending upon us thus,” he thundered, referring to the delegation of Barisan Nasional’s top guns, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein and Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

“They want to conquer-lah. Habislah kampung kita. Tempat kita pun tak ada,” he sighed.

He proudly announced that he would be lending a helping hand in Permatang Pauh on Aug 26, polling day.

He was worried about how the election process was going to be carried out, whether there would be obstacles as in previous by-elections, such as in Ijok.

The other diners smiled. Not to be beaten, Saloma quipped that she would be going to show her support for Anwar this coming Saturday, nomination day, knowing full well that the pakcik was busy with a wedding kenduri on that day.

Lighthearted as it were, Anwar’s brother, Idrus, drove home the seriousness of the election campaign when he got back later that evening.

He was in charge of co-ordinating the entire PKR election movement in Seberang Jaya.

For the last few days, he had been commuting to the PKR action centre there from home several times a day. In fact, he was due back there after dinner.

Despite the hometown advantage - due in no small measure to Idrus’ grassroots’ influence as the chairman of the mosque committee - the villagers and Idrus himself dare not predict a sure-fire win for Anwar.

His biggest worry this by-election is not just his little brother’s safety, but the safety of everyone involved in the whole process, including the supporters and as-yet-unnamed candidate from the rival Barisan Nasional. It had happened before, said Idrus, in Sarawak and in Indera Kayangan.

The present political situation is extremely fragile, he said. It only needs one wrong move by either side to send the whole place up in smoke.

He implied that there were people with vested interests, who had benefited from the economic status quo, who might decide to take advantage of this flammable situation and cause a flare-up at this time.

“They are afraid, if Anwar becomes prime minister, they are afraid what projects they can get from the government now will be affected.

“We just hope everybody can cool down…What’s happened to Anwar, let it not happen to anyone else, not even Dollah or Najib.

We are going forward. The country is going to prosper. Our mission: Once we rule the country, nobody should suffer as our family has suffered. Let it end with Anwar,” said Idrus gently.

Saloma now runs the namesless mee stall near Anwar’s family house.

“Insya-Allah, he will win. We pray that he will win,” he added, echoing Mak Su and cousin Saloma.

Idrus, older than Anwar by four years, is now the de facto head of the household following brother number one’s death, also while Anwar was incarcerated. Their father, a former Member of Parliament, is still alive but sickly and currently stays in Kajang Country Homes.

The folks living in Cherok Tok Kun are far from ignorant about the goings-on in the world of politics.

They have a sharp-mind and a sharp wit that would equal any international political analyst’s.

Just like the Siamese bomoh, Tok Kun, which local legend says, used to dwell in the remote cracks at the foothill of Bukit Mertajam and whose name is enshrined in the village’s; and just like their most famous son, whom they are all praying will be the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia.

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