نحن قوم أعزنا الله بالإسلام ، فهما طلبنا العزة بغيره ، أذلنا الله

We are the people whom Allah honoured through Islam, so whenever we seek honour other than it, Allah will disgrace us.

The blog is under slow transition to http://specifichumidity.wordpress.com

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Choosing your university

A copy of my email to a friend.

Salam ramadhan,

The clock is ticking, and you are now approaching the moment for you to decide the university you'll be going to for the next 3,4,5 or for some 6 years. I happened to talk to few KMB lads yesterday, and hope that I may be able to advise you in the matter.

When I made my application back in 2001/2002, I listed all the good engineering schools, and started going through the list. Then I shortlisted 4, and received the offer letter from all. Being an engineering student, that was not something uncommon.

I did not put much thought into the application. I was so excited of going there, that to me location was hardly an issue. I chose Bristol over Imperial College (London) and other sites. I was also quite influenced by some of my mates, that 'helped' me make the decision.

Later, after I graduated, I realised my mistakes, and hopefully, no-one will be stupid enough to repeat them.


I chose Bristol over London, quite simply because of the cost of living. I thought, hey, maybe if I go to Bristol, I can save a lot of money, live more comfortably and go everywhere. This thought is simply wrong. Considering us being sponsored student, Money should NOT be an issue. Yes, it can be a rather stressful subject, but so far, I have not found anyone dying of starvation in the street of london, simply because the sponsor does not give enough allowance. The point here is 'Duit boleh dicari', and you should not have any problem if you can plan your expenditure carefully. And don't forget, you can work up to 20 hours a week, and that can really help you financially.


Sometimes, we make the decision to go to a certain place simply because we know that our friends are going also. There were 4 of us who went to Bristol. I was quite close to one. But guess what, when I went to Bristol, I made new friends and at the end of the day, I was not even that close to my close friend. So, drop that friendship issue. Do not really care where your friends are going. Start seeing yourself as one 'muslim' in the world of 2 billions muslims, and you shall find no problem embracing new people to be good friends for years to come. There are the arabs, english, europeans, americans, black, white, pakistanis, bangladeshis.. well so many nations out there for us to reach to, and understand. So, start standing on your own, and make new friends along the way.


When I looked at the UCAS form, I was looking for the best engineering school in the country. Well, I have to agree that the teaching excellence does carry some points, but that is not everything that may satisfy you. I have deep interest in British politics. And I have to blame myself for the silly mistake that I made. Now I realised that I should have gone to London, or Oxford for better understanding and appreciation of British politics and history.
I have a friend who is excellent in violin. So, he went somewhere, a place where he can develop his talents, as well as the academic. He decided to go to cambridge, and I believe he got the best of both ends over there.
The point here is look deep into yourself. Teaching quality wise, every university is quite on-par throughout the country. But, what do you like? What do you enjoy most? Believe me, you will not be sitting 24 hours a day reading engineering/ medicine/ finance/ law whatsoever. So think of doing things that you like, and where you can develop your talents in those areas.

Well, of course there are other factors to consider. So, I wish you all the best in your application, and hopefully you will achieve what you come seeking.

Selamat berbuka puasa, dan selamat hari raya to you. Make full use of the remaining ramadhan, and insyaAllah we'll meet again.

Ramadhan Greeting

Ahmad Zaki

p/s: Those who believe the email is useful, please comment. and those who think it is a piece of garbage, please also reply so that I know where I stand.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Pantun Rakyat

Negeri pahang indah dan makmur
Rakyat aman, bermain gasing,
Adnan yakob sangat tersohor,
Status menteri perangai samseng.

Kain batik kain basah,
jemur di bawah sinar mentari,
Negeri johor banyak jenayah
MB ikut cakap bini

Hari cuti pergi berjalan,
tercucuk kaki terkena duri
negeri melaka negeri sembilan,
dua dua banyak babi

Mentari terbit langitpun cerah
Diiring suara ayam berkokok
Polis terengganu sangat berhemah,
tembak orang di batu burok.

Sabtu ahad kita cuti
Pergi kerja di hari isnin
Kedah lahirkan dua perdana menteri
Namun rakyat masih termiskin

Burung merak burung kenari,
Ikan Kelah Ikan Duri
Negara Kita penuh korupsi,
Zaman Paklah makin menjadi.

Sungguh harum bunga kekwa,
Harum lagi buah kuini,
KJ kaya sungguh orangnya,
Haram sapu projek sana sini.

2 3 kucing berlari
semua masuk ke dalam guni
selangor maju makmur sekali
sampaikan MB wajah 'berseri'

Anak dara anak lelaki,
pergi merantau berdagang rempah,
anak merdeka 'happy go lucky'
anak haram bersepah-sepah

Pergi ke kedai membeli gula
Gula dibeli berkati-kati
gaji baru naik se-ela
barang naik berkali kali

lintah darat lintah laut,
semuanya sama menghisap darah
menteri & YB cakap melalut
Yang senang mereka, rakyat parah

Pergi ke kedai membeli tauhu
pergi ke reban mencari telur
orang jadi menteri dia pun mahu,
orang mesyuarat dia tidur

Pergi ke masjid mencari berkat,
dihalau pakcik, lari berterabur,
Sudah kahwin lagilah penat,
Mesyuarat lagilah banyak tidur,

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fussball Spielen?

Football news..

Michael Owen has been in fine goalscoring form.

Newcastle tasted the first defeat of the season at the hand of the newly-promoted Derby.

Maurinho left Chelsea. I think it was rather unwise for Chelsea to let go of Maurinho. Afterall, people know what he is capable of doing, and too much interference from the owner and co really ends it for him

Well, afterall, football is a ball game..

Derby is pronounced as Darby
Reading: as in past tense of read-ing
Leicester: Lester
Newcastle: Kasel not kesel
Tottenham/ Fulham: say it without the h

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The ramadhan story

Ramadhan comes again, this time full of different tale and twist.

Day 1

1st ramadhan, I was in singapore. I ordered room service at 445am, in lieu of breakfast. Had some fruits, cereals, omelette, croissant, hot choc, toast, and.. well that's all I could remember. The hotel does not serve halal chicken or beef.

Later that evening, broke my fast at Changi airport. Burger King was the only visible option. Just after finishing the Triple Whopper (at last, I found something that looks like 1/2 pounder), large fries (fries is an insult to the chips' establishment), and cappucino, I tried to locate the prayer room. On the way there, I found swensen's, but it was too late already. Next time maybe.

So, first ramadhan came and left. The interesting bit was the following day.

Day 2

As usual, that friday was a working day. I went to work, and stayed rather late at the office. As it was already approching maghrib, I decided to go to masjid kampung paya. Went there, did my wudhu' and prayed tahiyyatul masjid. After that, I settled into on of those chairs provided by the mosque and started reading the quran.

Then came a pakcik (old man). The conversation went as follows:

PC: Datang dari mana? (where are you from)
ME: Saya duduk tanjung gemok ( I live in tanjung gemok)
PC: Kita kat mana sekarang ni? (where are we)
ME: Kampung Paya pakcik

At this point, I had almost assumed that this man must be rather senile, and simply lost his way around PD.

PC: Tengah baca kitab apa tu? (what book are you reading)
ME: Quran
PC: Kamu faham ke maksudnya? (do you understand the meaning)
ME: Faham la sikit-sikit (litlle bit)
PC: Haa, cuba bagitau apa maksudnya (haa, tell me the meaning)
ME: Ayat ni pakcik.. bla bla bla (this verse, bla bla bla)

Then, he turned rather aggresive

PC: Boleh ke baca quran macam ni, tak salah ke? (can we read quran like this)
ME: Eh, boleh pakcik, apa salahnya (of course)

Raising his voice

PC; Tak salah kamu kata? Kamu tau tak, ni rumah Allah, kamu ni dah biadab terhadap rumah Allah dan quran (Nothing wrong you say? This is house of Allah, and you have been ill mannered to Him and the quran)
ME:Pakcik, kalau ada salah saya, bagitau (Please tell me if I have committed any wrongdoing)
PC: Macam ni kamu kata boleh? Tak pakai songkok, pakai baju merah, duduk macam ni (you said ok? no headcover, wearing red shirt, and sitting like this)

Again, I got confused. I don't see anything wrong with those. The chair was provided by the mosque anyway.

PC: Mana tok guru kamu yang kata tak salah tu? Bawak dia lepas solat tarawih, saya boleh ajar. Tu, pintu tu luas, Boleh jalan la, aku tak nak tengok kau lagi. (where is your teacher who says ok? bring him after tarawih, and I can teach him. That door is widely open, go away, I don't want to see your face again)

At that point, I was so dissappointed being chase out of the mosque for reading quran inside it.

ME: apa pakcik buat kat saya ni sama macam apa yang orang arab jahiliyyah buat kat Nabi dan sahabat. Pakcik tau tak apa dosa pakcik halau saya dari masjid? (What you are doing to me is similar to what the arab jahiliyyah did to the Prophet and the companions. Do you know how grave your sin is?)

At this point, i read a verse from al-baqarah

2:114 And who is more unjust than he who forbids that in places for the worship of Allah, Allah's name should be celebrated?-whose zeal is (in fact) to ruin them? It was not fitting that such should themselves enter them except in fear. For them there is nothing but disgrace in this world, and in the world to come, an exceeding torment.

ME: Azabun azim pakcik (exceeding torment)

And I walked away, going to PD main mosque. The bilal there, was quite surprised to hear my story. But that was it

Day 3

I went to KL to see my brother at Sains Alam Shah. Mum told me that he was ill, so I cancelled my plan to go home to JB. Mum told me to pay him a visit.

I got there, and the hostel was weirdly quiet. I asked few remaining pupils, and they informed me that people went home for the weekends. And worst, my brother went to his friend's house the previous day.

My mum simply forgot to inform me that my brother was away.

So, what the hell am I doing in KL? Got so frustrated. Ended up doing my iktikaf in a Surau in keramat until almost maghrib.

The tarawih in Keramat was great. Out of 4 ramadhan nights, to me this one is best.

More to follow...

Monday, September 03, 2007

Matematik dan Sains dalam Bahasa Inggeris?


Sungguh pelik membaca komen-komen manusia.

Tahukah anda (MEXT : Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan) adalah satu kementerian. Ya, satu. Ini menunjukkan betapa pentingnya kemajuan sains, pendidikan dan kebudayaan bagi orang jepun.

Belajar MATEMATIK dan SAINS dalam bahasa inggeris membantu penguasaan bahasa inggeris?

Bagi saya, langkah tersebut adalah satu langkah songsang, akibat pihak tertentu tidak melihat isu yang betul, dan cuba selesaikan dengan cara yang betul.

Ketika saya berpindah ke Kolej Mara Banting, saya dari sekolah agama, dan haram tak boleh bertutur dalam bahasa inggeris. Mengapa dalam masa yang singkat (2 semester) berbanding dengan zaman sekolah (10 tahun ) saya tiba-tiba mampu bertutur dengan baik?

Jawapannya terletak pada cara pengurusan kelas bahasa. Kelas bahasa inggeris di KMB lebih menarik, ada kelas masakan dan sebagainya.

Ketika di UK, saya sempat mengambil bahasa spanish dan Jerman. Aktiviti kelas bahasa jerman saya sangatlah menarik, termasuk program membeli belah dan memasak, serta menjamu selera. Semua pelajar diwajibkan bertutur dalam bahasa jerman sahaja.

Nah, jadikan kelas bahasa anda lebih menarik, pastinya minat dan penguasaan menjadi lebih baik.

Kenapa matematik dan sains yang dipilih untuk menyelesaikan masalah bahasa inggeris? Saya pun tidak tahu. Kalau mahu pelajar lebih banyak membaca dan bertutur dalam bahasa inggeris, ajarkan sahaja sejarah dalam bahasa inggeris. Ataupun pendidikan islam. Ataupun subjek-subjek lain yang sememangnya memerlukan banyak pembacaan.

'This is a case of people who identified the gap, but did not respond in the rightway to close the gap'. If this is an individual mistake, one may be forgiven. If this is an authorised body, one has no other choice but to conclude that the body is simply incompetent and yes, stupid.

Mengajar matematik dan sains dalam bahasa inggeris, bermaksud membantutkan perkembangan bahasa melayu dalam dua bidang tadi. Akhirnya, bahasa melayu hanya tinggal bahasa ahli-ahli drama dan puitis, dan tidak akan dapat dipentaskan dalam seminar-seminar teknologi pada masa yang akan datang.

Ya, bangsa Jerman maju tanpa perlu menggunakan bahasa inggeris dalam mempelajari sains dan matematik. Bangsa sweden, belanda dan banyak lagi Dan lebih menarik lagi, saintis-saintis mereka fasih berbahasa inggeris. Mengapa? Kerana mereka melihat bahasa ini sebagai satu alat komunikasi yang penting, bukan sekadar subjek picisan.

Yang harus ditangani di sini adalah kurangnya minat di kalangan masyarakat melayu untuk menguasai bahasa lain. Jangan kata inggeris, mandarin dan tamil pun tidak dipeduli, sedangkan kita telah 50tahun merdeka dan hidup bersama-sama. Bukan setakat itu sahaja, berapa ramaikah umat melayu yang berminat belajar bertutur bahasa arab hingga fasih, sedangkan arab itu bahasa alquran?

Seharusnya, usaha dilakukan untuk memupuk minat mendalami bahasa-bahasa lain, bukan sekadar mewajibkan itu dan ini. Lebih menyedihkan, ramai di kalangan kita yang tidak melihat isu ini dari kacamata yang lebih besar. Semuanya kembali kepada kelas sains dan matematik dalam bahasa inggeris.

Buka mata, dan lihat.