Saturday, 29 December 2012

The Proposal

At this moment, I am suddenly feel that I am like Tun Nila in 'Musang Berjanggut' mesmerize with Puspawangi, when she eventually sorted out the bag containing a jumbled up mix of rice, salt, chilli, onions, garlic and spices and was able to cook something out of them

For all his life been waiting for to see a dream coming true. So there he was, try to make it all his own. Alone and soon thought he couldn't change the whole world. For all his life been searching always try to find someone like you.. are everything I never knew I always wanted. You are a my Swiss army knife. It is that little things you do, and you keep pulling out things, and just when you think there couldn't be any more cool things, a new cool thing comes out, and that was you.

I probably will not tell you guys the story about how we met. It might come as a surprise to many of you that we didn't know each other for very long before we plan to get marry . What can I say - when you know, you know.

When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

I wanna marry you because the first time that I saw these hands, I could not imagine not being able to hold them. But mainly, when you love someone as much as I love you, getting married is the only thing left to do.

Azni.... I guarantee there will be tough times. I guarantee that at some point, one or both of us is gonna want to get out of this thing. But I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, I will regret it for the rest of my life, because I know, in my heart, you're the only one for me.

When two people love each other, commit to each other, it has to be an act of will—a decision…You have to hang on to that decision and the choice to love each other even if it’s only by a thread.

Today on our engagement day witness by our families & friend again..

Nor Azni Binti Abdul Latiff... I have come here with a view to ask you would you be my wife, and I promise to love you, honour, cherish, in sickness and health, riches or poverty, and will forsake all others and cleave thee only unto you as long as we live.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Continuing Professional Development

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
- Henry Ford

In our society, we often think of “learning” in very narrow terms: it’s what we do in school, and once we’ve got our college degree, the learning phase is over – it’s time to work.

Of course, things aren’t really that black and white: we carry on learning after we’ve left school, and not just in our careers but in every aspect of our lives. And learning often doesn’t equate to taking qualifications or passing exams. Approached the right way, learning isn’t a process of ticking boxes on a curriculum or course outline – it’s about exploration, growth and enrichment.

For me, the primary reason to keep learning new things is because I enjoy it. It’s not quite the same enjoyment that I get from watching a movie, and there are always frustrating and even miserable moments in learning anything new … but I’m happier in the long run.

If you take the time to consciously learn new things, you’ll find that you live life more deeply. Instead of chasing quick entertainment that fails to satisfy, you’ll have the pure pleasure of those ooo! moments when something finally clicks. The more you learn, the more you’ll be able to make connections between pieces of knowledge – and the more creative you’ll become.

If you feel like you don’t have the time, consider audio books. I use the Audible app on my smartphone and Laptop to listen to them. This allows me to listen to a book while I drive, walk, or when I am doing something that I don’t have to focus on.

Whatever way you choose to keep learning, do it with a keen attitude and a sense of its value to your overall growth. While keeping up-to-date with the skills you need for your career is important, don’t close your mind off to outside education. It will definitely help you down the road and give you confidence as you navigate the working world

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Tall Poppy & Bent Paddy

My mom used to tell me when I was young, “ Whatever you do, make sure you don’t get too proud.” It was a mantra used not by the old folks to young people, afraid they may forget their roots(with good intentions) but even by peers during school days. When someone did well, we assumed the person has now become proud. 

With that drumming into our young minds, we seldom flaunt our talents or gifts, afraid people may label us as “proud” people. Instead, we embrace average results and settled with mediocrity. We are programmed to reply, “No, I’m not that good lah” And we repeat that a hundred times! Until it had become part of us – self-fulfilled prophecy! Oh, how we celebrate mediocrity! Cos we are afraid if we come across as too good, we may be called “proud” or trying to show off.

And we brought this mentality to the workplace. We become like everyone else. We dare not perform too well less we’ll be labeled “si bodek”. So, we hide in a corner, give 70% of our effort and never our 100%. Again, mediocrity is to be celebrated.

There is a field of poppies and while all the poppies are generally the same length there are a few that outgrow the others. Those tall poppies are then cut down. I still don’t know why, I’m guessing it’s for aesthetic reasons that those poppies will ruin everything for the other poppies

In Australian English, tall poppies are usually individuals who, on the basis of unwarranted self-adulation, itself a consequence of success, amassed fortune or fame, have become targets for criticism; or, less frequently, individuals who, overcome by success, amassed fortune or fame, and on the mistaken assumption that they are above the law, have engaged in unlawful behaviour, only to find that, eventually, the law catches up with them as well.

Tall poppies could once expect to be cut down. This social leveling attitude went hand in hand with belief in concepts such as giving everyone an "a fair go". Tall poppy here doesn't mean you shouldn't excel or "rise above". It’s about the way you conduct yourself. What Australians actually despise is when a person achieves success and appears changed by it. When they act as if they are a step above everyone else and no longer equals.

I was sure to emphasize ‘genuine merit’ above because a tall poppy is one who excels, stands out amongst the competition, possess talent that the others do not have. I honestly believe that we have no idea what we’re doing by cutting the tall poppies.

In Malaysia, the nature of paddy in the field is difference. The more rice it contains, the more bent it is. This these elements that play a strong influence in shaping the traits and character of the Malay community. This Malay proverb reflects the philosophy of humility.

The meaning of the proverb is to remind us in our daily life, the more knowledgeable one is, the more humble one need to be. In fact, an intellect or wise man that remains humble is highly respected by the Malay community.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Kelate Chipmunk

The Malay culture is a rich and romantic one which has interwoven into its fabric, threads of Thai, Indonesian, Indian, Chinese, Arabic and even Western cultures due to Malaysia's position along the ancient sea routes of trade.

A personal favorite of mine is an art form called "Dikir Barat" which is widely practice in the state of Kelantan. It is widely believed to have been introduced to Kelantan from adjacent southern Thailand. "Dikir" means a prayer or a ritual while "Barat" means west. Indeed Dikir Barat is a style of singing which is accompanied by an almost ritualistic chanting and southern Thailand lies to the west of Kelantan.

I even joined a club to learn how to sing Dikir Barat when I was in school but alas, that was many years ago and I am no longer able to remember enough to sing it. However, I thought you might like to hear how this art form sounds like.

I have chosen a song called "Anak Tupai" which means, "Young chipmunk". The song is about a young chipmunk with a bushy tail and empty stomach wandering about in search of food and enjoys the fruits from people's orchards. The villager set a trap for it and eventually poison it.  

The song used to satirize human behavior by linking it with the chipmunk which the natural habitat of animals sufficiently reliable in jump while sitting on a tree. It will jump from branch to branch and would just fall to the ground once in a while. Is suitable for the symbolic nature of human behavior, which can sometimes be cocky and arrogant.

It also has similarities with human behavior is often done evil and eventually they will not got away on their actions. This is due, their actions will be inhaled by people in the end even though they try to hide it.

Enjoy the video versions of the song. I should also mention that this is not in the formal Malay language but the colloquial dialect of the Kelantan state.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Six Million Dollar Man

My eyes wondered on a beggar who was asking for money as he was presenting himself to be disabled. This got me thinking. Who was the richest person on that busy street? 

Net worth is basically the assets (wealth), that one has, minus the liabilities (what he/she owes). I will let the picture do the talking

Most of us were using the assessed value of our home and property as an asset for calculating our net worth, and that pushed us well into positive territory overall. By including the value of our home as an asset, it was a relatively net positive worth.

But every time I calculated my net worth, I asked myself about the home and the automobiles. Could they actually be liquidated without really altering our life? Is it even realistic at all that we would just sell our house if we needed cash? 

Since cars are really just a depreciating asset, I’m going to stop tracking the values of them completely. I made the decision to stop counting the value of my home as an asset in my net worth calculations as it was still on mortgage anyway.

Our primary resident is an asset we need to use. It’s where we live. It’s something that would be very difficult to liquidate from our current position because it would require us to move elsewhere. Similarly, an automobile is something we need to use and to liquidate it would require us to make major life changes.

To put it simply, our home and our car aren’t liquid assets. Yes, of course, we could get cash value for them, but it would involve major life changes and significant effort.

Instead, they’re tools. They’re things we utilize to live our life. If we lost those tools, our lives would radically and severely change, something that wouldn’t happen with any other assets we hold.

So we just made a simple change. We’re no longer counting our “tools” – our not-very-liquid assets – in our net worth calculations, and that means we just dropped a significant amount from our net worth. And this put us right back in the negative. Our debts, including our mortgage, significantly exceed our other assets.

Perhaps one day I’ll be able to cash out the equity or have the mortgage paid off and be able to live rent-free, but in the meantime it just seems to be a bit of a distraction.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Take a lead

Marriage is like Tango, It takes two to dance. The lady has her own moves and gentleman has his own moves. The gentleman take the lead and the lady surrenders to his leading in her lovely moves

The gentleman is not being the “boss” just because he leads but instead it is the lady who makes the choice to follow his lead. The gentleman proposes the step. It is the lady’s choice to accept by following. Now, to follow takes as much strength as to lead.

It cannot be done without trust between partners… But trust must to be earned.

If the lady allows the gentleman to lead, the lady trusting the gentleman... But more than that, the lady trusting herself.

The gentleman has the opportunity to use every bit of strength and skill you possess–not to dominate her–but to take her on a journey. It is a lot to ask.  If and how the gentleman take the journey–that’s entirely up to him.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Happily Ever After

I recently celebrated the wedding of my best friend wedding Marzuke & Nadia. It’s been said that said that a man is not complete until he is married and then he’s well and truly finished.

For a happy marriage, it is always a good strategy to wake up every morning and apologize to your wife. You may not know why but, hey, during the day you will commit some mistake or the other and you might as well get the apologies out of the way early in the day.

For the fact is that your wife will always be right, everything will always be your fault and you will never win an argument. Just remember that a man who gives in when he is wrong is a wise man but a man who gives in when he is right… He is married!
In a more serious vein, always be respectful of each other, particularly in public, and always fight for each other and not against each other!

A friend of mine thinks everyone should get married because no one deserves to be happy their entire life but I hope that you two will prove him wrong and that fifty, sixty, seventy years from now, you will be just as happy and as much in love with each other as you are today.

Note: Remember SM Salim Song "Dulu lain, Sekarang Dah Lain" 

Saturday, 24 November 2012

My Best Friend Wedding:- Marzuke & Nadia

For an occasion such as this, I do like to thank you all for coming to celebrate the marriage of Marzuke and Nadia’s

I am writing today representing the category for best man. A term that is unjustly appointed to me, and not deserved. Though it’s a great honour, I’m not really the best man, just a good guy. The best man here today, is Marzuke Mohammad. Now as I mentioned it’s a great honour to be his best friend.

Juke and I met in Uitm Machang while we doing our diploma, and haven’t been able to get rid of one another ever since. The truth is it took many years, and wasn't until we much older in which Juke and I realized that our foundation was impenetrable and our friendship was more than just a friendship. We were inextricably linked for life, and found ourselves with a friendship that re-framed our definition of the word. Which is why I was so surprised he chose Nadia over me. 

I have never been a best man before but I’ll try my best. Because Juke said if I do a good job today, I can be Best Man at his next wedding, too.

So here I am writing here with this great opportunity to reveal to all, Marzuke’s past misdemeanor. So I could trot out the usual stories but I thought of getting some visual to help putting you guys into perspective:-

Enough with one secret, I’ve decided to use this time to talk of Juke’s achievements. Without doubt his greatest achievement is marrying Nadia. Marzuke and Nadia are each great individuals and together they truly make an unstoppable couple. Their love for one other is apparent to each one of us today. 

The great thing about Juke and Nad is that they have planned far more than their wedding, they have planned their marriage. As a matter of fact, Juke has already learned the ugly truth that married man is one who replaces the money in his wallet with a picture of his wife.

I have watched Juki live a life of determination, dedication, and passion. I have watched him excel at nearly everything he’s set his mind to, and I have watched him apply that attitude to loving Nad.

Nadia, your grace and humor and your delicious appetite for life make your new husband a better man. You are his sunshine. You are wonderful. You are also now responsible for his moody mood next time.

Marzuke, you are a brother to me, there is a saying "a friend is a family we
choose for ourselves" Thanks for the honour being my best friend.

And so I say to all of you who are my friend in bachelorhood, we have lost another from our esteemed ranks.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am truly humbled and now it gives me immense pleasure to invite you all to congratulate Marzuke and Nadia - We wish them well for the future and hope they enjoy a long happy marriage. 

"Selamat Pengantin Baru... Semoga kekal ke anak cucu".

Saturday, 17 November 2012


 A Japanese, Taiwanese, Singaporean & Malaysian

I spent a major time of my career to work for international companies. When I remember these assignments contracted in international companies, I can say there were exceptional opportunities for many reasons, and not only for professional opportunities, but also for personal opportunities.

In international environments, you are working with colleagues from different nationalities, multicultural environments where often, the working language is English. As Malay speaking native, living in a country where there are three different cultures (Malay, Chinese and Indian), and the presence of colleagues from other countries was the opportunity to improve and practice English language on a regular basis. The basis of collaboration is the communication, but communication is impossible without language knowledge. But language is also the basis of the thought. Better will be the knowledge of a language, better you will express your thoughts, your feelings. But you will be able also to understand also the others.

Starting from the language, you will talk with your colleagues about professional matters, but also about many other matters, which means that you will learn other cultures. By learning different cultures, you will probably discover other sensibilities, other customs and habits, which will make you better understand the point of view of the people on a particular subject, to see different approach from yours. You will establish a better relationship with the people. And if you take care of this, most of the time, people appreciate the interest you bring to their culture. Most of the time, if I know the language of the people I want to talk with, I start to speak in his language. It is an opportunity to practice and to improve my language knowledge.

By sharing our knowledge, our experiences, by sharing different point of view, we acquire new possibilities to move forward our thoughts, our ideas. In some mind mapping seminars, we talk about radiant thought. If for example, you think about an apple, you can think about the tree, about the country where the apple was picked, to the person who picked it, What I mean here, is that the point of view of somebody having a different culture than your, can bring new ideas, new approaches to you, and increase your intellectual capabilities.

Do not forget also the social dimension of such multicultural environment. When people from different cultures are developing smooth collaborations and relationships, the success of social integration is ensured. The gratitude of the accomplished work is a key element of our self-respect, the condition to respect the others.

As conclusion, it is obvious that working in multicultural environments are experiences that I will treasure for both my professional and personal life.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

New Financial Year

Ma’al Hijrah’ signifies the emigration of Prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina in 622CE/AD. The remembrance of this significant historic event serves as a reminder for Muslims to better themselves in all aspects of their lives, leaving and moving from the bad to good, and from the better to the best, all in the name of Allah.

The significant of "Hijrah" is to "starting fresh" and marks the beginning of new checkbook; we put last year's accounts to rest. But, what about our own balance sheets? When was the last time we assessed our minuses and pluses, our strengths and our weaknesses, our good deeds and selfish deeds? How many years' worth of grudges and bitterness and pain have we left unchecked?

As professional accountant and a person who have received a conventional accounting education and I have been brought-up on the idea of accounting as an ‘objective’, technical and value-free discipline, the idea to applied to daily life is quite interesting.

A good businessman always checks his balance sheet: how much he spent, how much he earned. And they assess themselves accordingly: "Am I a good businessman?" In the same way we must assess the balance sheets of our lives. Look at the last year. Where do we stand? How many people did we hurt? How many did we heal? How many times did we lose our temper? How many times did we give more than we received? 

Likewise, just like we make it a point every year to file our worldly taxes, it is worth taking the time on a regular basis to file our 'heavenly' taxes and review our deeds and actions of our lives. Whether we do it on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis is up to our convenience; however, doing so daily is a much easier task than doing it occasionally.

The idea of self-accounting is highly recommended in Islam, and there are numerous narrations which urge us to observe this disciplinary practice. We are encouraged to call ourselves to account before we are called to it and to weigh our deeds before a day when they shall be weighed for us.

The purpose of this exercise of scrutiny and self-auditing is to discover one's faults and sins, thus leading to repentance and struggle to correcting one's faults and purifying one's self. So, let us start afresh, with a new book, unadulterated by old grudges and bitterness.


Salam Maal Hijrah 1434H to all Muslims all over the world :)

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Colour of Rangoli

The name Diwali is itself a contraction of the Sanskrit word Deepavali, which translates as "row of lamps." Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil.

There are many legends and religious accounts related to this celebration. Regardless of the mythological explanation, what the festival of lights really stands for today is a reaffirmation of hope, a renewed commitment to friendship and goodwill, and a religiously sanctioned celebration of the simple - and some not so simple - joys of life.

In general, Diwali signifies the light over darkness, of righteousness over treachery, of truth over falsehood.  The light which dispels the darkness of our ignorance; it is a festival of the light which shows us the way on our journey through life.

It is a perfect time to revive our inner joy and happiness and provoke this copious positively and cheerfulness into other areas of our life including family and the society at large. The time when we gather with loved ones, celebrating our family, our friends and the prosperity bestowed upon us.

So, on this day, let us fill our entire beings with the "light" that clean out our minds and hearts, making a true "fresh start."

To all my Hindu's friends, I wishes you all "Happy Deepavali" and hope it brings lights of happiness, togetherness, spiritual enlightenment and prosperity for everyone.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Hot Air Balloon Communication

The hot air balloon is the oldest successful human-carrying flight technology. Taking a balloon ride, I can feel the thrill of suspended in a basket under a glorious hot air balloon. As the balloons gently rise from the ground at daybreak as the silence of night is interrupted by the first birds of the morning. The view from a hot air balloon is undoubtedly spectacular, and the experience is one you will remember as enchanting and uplifting.

While flying the balloon, it remind me the story is told of a man flying in a hot air balloon who realizes he is lost. He reduces height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon and shouts, “Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?” The man below says, “Yes, you’re in a hot air balloon, hovering 30 feet above this field.”

“You must work in Finance,” says the balloonist. “I do,” replies the man. “How did you know?” “Well” says the balloonist, “everything you have told me is technically correct, but it’s no use to anyone.”

The man below says, “You must work in Management”. “I do” replies the balloonist, “but how did you know?” “Well”, says the man, “you don’t know where you are, or where you’re going, but you expect me to be able to help you. You’re in the same position you were before we met, but now it’s my fault.”

Here is a classic example of "Chicken and Duck Talk", based on an old Chinese proverb to describe how two groups of animals can't understand each other because they seemingly speak different language.

For this instance, communication barriers exist due to difference in the ideologies or the presence of conflicts. For me, it really reminded me to be thoughtful of the different filters these two disciplines think about the world and needing to ensure that we connect the dots between the two worlds.

It is essential that we identify our communication barriers and work towards rectifying it. The most practical way or approach to get rid of communication barriers is to communicate more and more and at different levels.

Back to my hot air balloon flying, it was an amazing experience. So much to see, but often it's the sensation of floating silently over this picturesque landscape at sunrise for your 60 minute hot air balloon flight, that really makes this such a special time. Breathe in the wide-open spaces and be amazed at the colourful spectacle of our other balloons in the morning sky.