Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another internationally famous Malaysian lady

The world just love this kinda news particularly when it could be easily ridiculed and joked around by those anti-Islam people. It is a bit beguiling this case as she JUST so happened to be THE ONLY ONE caught in the act while downing her Beer in Malaysia. While alcohol drinking has become more of an open act at a certain areas in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, this lady may have then chosen the "wrong" spot by condoning her own happy hour act like nobody's business down at an east coast city, Kuantan.

So much of this brouhaha....However, she should also be given the laudable credit for sharing her own guilty conscience - a feisty chick. While drinking is forbidden in Islam, I also personally think that if she was doing it in a proper drinking vicinity then it is her own problems and not the authority. She did not ask the whole Kuantan to be merry with her on the street or in kampung thus making her an innocent in the eye of the civil law. Knowing that she has committed one of the biggest sins, she succumbed to the punishment and allowing herself to be caned as part of her repentence. Now, this is really truly brave of her to face her own peril while she is alive in this world. Lets pray that her acceptance toward such predicament will be rewarded greatly by God in the hereafter. I hope she may get excused for her first error like what Tun Det said.

The news is for your reading:

Caning of Malaysian woman who drank beer postponed

By SEAN YOONG, Associated Press Writer Sean Yoong, Associated Press Writer1 hr 2 mins ago

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – The first woman in Muslim-majority Malaysia to face caning for drinking beer was reprieved Monday because of the holy month of Ramadan. Her family said she would rather get the thrashing with a rattan cane now and put the ordeal behind her.

Islamic officials had taken Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno (pic), a 32-year-old mother of two, into custody and were driving her to a women's prison for the caning when they abruptly turned around and sent her back to her family home in northern Malaysia.

"She feels like a football being kicked around," Kartika's father, Shukarno Abdul Muttalib, told The Associated Press. "She's so exhausted and unhappy with the delay. She would prefer to just receive the six strokes and have everything finished."

Amnesty International, Malaysian lawyers and some politicians have condemned the sentence, while other critics have warned it would tarnish Malaysia's image as a moderate country. Islamic officials have defended it as necessary to uphold Islamic values — underscoring tensions between religious conservatives and more liberal and secular elements in society.

Beer, wine and liquor is widely available at shops, bars and restaurants in Malaysia, unlike in more austere Islamic nations such as Iran and Pakistan. Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and other minorities in Malaysia are free to consume alcohol but its Shariah law forbids Muslims — who make up 60 percent of the 27 million population — from drinking, although a minority of Muslims still indulge despite the religious stricture.

Islamic morality police — enforcement officials of the Islamic Religious Department — arrested Kartika in a raid for drinking beer at a hotel lounge at a beach resort in Cherating in Pahang state in December 2007. Kartika was sentenced to six lashes of a rattan cane by the Shariah court last month in what was considered a warning to other Muslims to abide by religious rules.

Islamic law provides for a three-year prison term and caning for Muslims caught drinking. Most previous offenders were fined and no woman has ever been caned.

The morality police are not a pervasive force in Malaysia, and most citizens were surprised at the verdict against Kartika.

Mohamad Sahfri Abdul Aziz, a state legislator in charge of religious affairs, said Monday the Attorney General's office advised that Kartika's caning should be delayed for compassionate reasons until after the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which began Saturday.

"The sentence is not being canceled," Mohamad Sahfri said, without specifying exactly when it would be carried out.

In an interview with the AP last week, Kartika said she regretted drinking and was even willing to be caned in public in order to send a clear message to other Muslims to avoid alcohol. Authorities said the caning had to be done at a prison.

Government officials have remained silent on the issue even though the local media have reported on it extensively. The only prominent personality to comment has been former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

On Monday, he urged authorities to check Islamic teachings to determine whether it would be appropriate to cane Kartika for drinking.

"Is it possible that a judge may have been unfair or mistaken in his consideration? Is there no room in Islam for mercy toward those who commit an error for the first time?" Mahathir wrote on his widely read blog.

Chandra Muzaffar, president of the Malaysian think tank, International Movement for a Just World, said the international attention on Kartika's case could "provide ammunition" for some people to criticize Malaysia's capacity for religious tolerance.

"She should not be caned in the first place," Chandra said. "What we should do is advise her. This punitive psychology is a bane for Muslim societies, and we should get away from it."

Islamic officials had insisted that the caning's purpose is to educate rather than punish. They say the rattan cane supposed to be used on Kartika would be smaller and lighter than the one used for men, and that she will remain clothed.

Men convicted of crimes such as rape and bribery in Malaysia are caned on their bare buttocks, breaking the skin and leaving permanent scars.

Rattan canes used in the punishment are made from palm plants common in tropical parts of Asia. They have been used for decades for corporal punishments in countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

Separately Monday, officials in the central state of Selangor near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's largest city, stepped up efforts to deter drinking by empowering mosque officials to arrest Muslims who consume liquor in public places, The Star newspaper's Web site quoted state lawmaker Hassan Ali as saying.


On a lighter note, caning a model sounds a bit kinky innit? U have been a naughty girl aren't u? Zappp.....Naughty naughty....zaaaappps.......You want some more caning? Zaaaaappps.......You loving it doncha? Zaaapppp.....

NO, wait...this IS Ramadhan. How could I be having such an unpure thought? Naughty me!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Watching the sunset from Marina Bay hotel suite

While killing my time waiting for Maghrib and then dinner at Admiral Cove, Marina Bay, Port Dickson, I took pictures of the scene just outside my hotel window by my Sony cybershot DSC-T77:





I see. You are expecting the Sun slowly setting like a half shape circle on the horizon eh? Naahh...it didnt happen like that the day I saw it. But I like the sky colours as the day turn to dusk. And whats more, I was facing the Sun. So I reckon my Sony Cybershot is quite nifty at capturing such shots.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Gucci, Levi's, Bonia, Ms.Read dan sandal Bata

Sabah.....where do i begin?

As if I went anywhere further than Kota Kinabalu, the state capital.

I instantly like KK...the people, the ambience, the south china sea along the newly appointed bandaraya status .They wrote it as "Bandar Raya" instead of bandaraya on their signboard. Initially i thought, there might be a bandar raya somewhere. But the Pusat gave out the clue. And so it was. ONE of the endearing yet quirky things about KK that I love. Dont mention the cutesy kadazan fellas clad in their hotpants and cultural tribe, similar to a Red-Indian ensemble custom (and those Amazonian tribes) siap ada feathers stuck in their headband lagi for culture shows laaa dey! Ape ingat diorang berkeliaran like that ka? I dunno why but I couldnt help looking at them and how they are almost FREE of visible body hair except on their head (hell, dont ask me whatever between their thigh ok....!)

Their coconut is only RM2.5o during the daytime, sold like abundant(!) along jalan tun fuad stephen opposite warisan complex, the one where Centre point is situated just behind it. The juice? Marvellous! One fruit could easily fill up THREE 300ml plastic cups. What a joy kan?

Where the fish is Pasar Filipino? OOOoooo now it is called Pasar Handikraf. But everyone seemed to be sticking to its old name and what is it famous for? Sabah handicraft laa...what kinda question is that? Ada orang filipino ka? Takda! They all kat Pulau Gaya bah. Or perhaps creating an eye-sore somewhere in the heart of the vibrant city. No, i am no racist bah (thats bah bah sabah for u), but apparently this filipino arent really accepted well in Sabah but they survived anyway, those political asylum seekers dating as far as 3 decades or more. So if anyone wanna start hunting for some decor or pearls (harvested ones), this is your starting point. Prices are bargainable and most sellers are ladies. One thing though, it was bloody sauna inside the market. They should install air-condition la!

What a conference trip that was. I enjoyed the city more than the conference though i met many researchers across malaysia, korea and india there. Organized by UMS and held at Novotel, 1Borneo, the ICCBPE-SOMChE 2009 conference was OK but that was it. I met my old friend there too, Rachel Mansa. She was soooo into her 2 beautiful princes and she just kept going on and on telling me how great her kids were and all. I bet she must be feeling so proud now that she is a mother of 2 and how she loved them to bits. It inspired me to be a mother more n more.

And so we rented a manual Iswara for only RM60/day, drove by yours truly, the 4 ladies went out shopping for pearl brooches, ikan masin, udang kering, pearls, Swarovski brooches etc all around KK.

BY Saturday, I was all alone again, and in the morning, I went on foot all the way to Jesselton Point from Promenade, stopping only 4 times at kedai kelapa muda and taking nasi ayam for brunch at a nearby resto, then to a local mobile phone shop to top up my mobile credit and after that bought four types of hot bread rolls. It was a fine day indeed and the only thing i had in mind was an island stroll. I also rang another old friend of mine, Sakinah reminding her of our meeting in the afternoon on my way to the jetty. I had 3 choices: Sapi, Mamutik or Manukan island? After a not so long thought, Manukan made into the top. Off I went to the counter asking for the boat ticket and so on. The price was very reasonable! Only RM17 return plus another RM6 for jetty tax. Brilliant innit? Duncha just love Sabah?

There I was, a pretty voluptious damsel riding the boat that also carried another 2 passengers , i presumed a couple, and they hailed from Thailand. The boat driver was a jolly tubby fella who probably has been doing his job driving to and fro for most of his life. He nonchalantly manouver the boat that occasionally, no, more than a couple of times sending the boat into a few bumpy rides. Thank god for my ample bottom, i muttered silently. They dont call it a bumpy ride if it wasnt for inflicting your bum or is it? Otherwise, lebam ok.

What can Manukan Island offer u? Besides the clean and shallow shores, yes, they also have this one mile , make it 2 miles return jungle trail. I took the trail 1st upon arriving and didnt really make it exactly 2 miles though but enough to have taken pictures of small monitor lizards which seemed to be the main inhabitants of this island. And while trudging on my returning route, i saw this 3-feet monitor lizards with the head the size of an average lady's fist. It was so shy (of my presence kot?) that it hid between the bushes as soon as it saw me heading not far from it. As if aku nak tangkap dia kan? But i stopped to wonder in amazement how old must this lizard be looking at his relatively massive size compared to the little ones that were only slightly bigger with tails longer than the house gecko. I felt , ok, i imagined like I was a National Geographic documentary lady just doing this trail. Only that I was in my Gucci shades (bought for Rupiah-150,000), Levis' jeans, Bonia sling bag , Ms.Read top, Ariani-like tudung and a pair of comfie Bata sandal. Which doesnt qualify me as a jungle documentary lady lest i would damage the whole dressing ensemble.

I then made more strolls down the beach, passing by bikini clad ladies, some looked like a whale on the lazychair. Why la she had to bare everything? Anyways, i picked some shells too, saja to kill the time. ON my way back I met 12 of our postgraduate students who were enjoying their time there too. We took some photos together and one of them pointed to a sea-cucumber creature near us resting and curling near the rock under the sea water. At 1st i thought it was dead, so i picked it up, but guess what, the Gamat , as it is known locally (also very famous in Langkawi) actually a living breathing sea urchin, with jelly like body as I squeeze it. I then put it back to where it was and not long after that, it started to curl again. Apa la punya animal. But it was sold at high price in the market, dried and ready to be converted into local cuisine as well as a source of ointment and healthy supplements.

Those postgraduates were more adventurous as they rented an Avanza and went all the way to Ranau where they headed to Kundasang and marvelled at the Gunung Kinabalu view. And all I had was the banjaran(rocky ranges) Crocker that could well be seen as the backdrop of KK itself. I told myself , with a little jealousy already creeping inside of me, that I will come back and this time will do the driving out of KK definitely. And of course, I will have to fork out some money too so i will only select the auto-clutch car for easier and more convenient cruising around some dodgy,potholed road en route to those places like Kundasang, etc. Maybe i can plan the trip with my parents and whoever nak follow to sabah for that reason. Or maybe i can ask out kot2 ade orang nak join. Ye la most of my friends are married people hence the difficulty for them to leave their family and be my travelling company. Susah kan? Thats why I ended up a lone traveller who happened to come across many wonderful people.

What else? Perhaps to get fitter with more money (or more conferences/outstations) so I can travel more.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Short Sojourn in Penang 4-6 Aug 2009

I came here for a meeting with our 3 3rd year students at MOX-Linde, Bayan Baru, Penang, and I still managed to have 2 lovely days here.

Upon arriving at a not so grand Berjaya Hotel at Jalan Burmah, Pulau Tikus, i had a quick rest before meeting an old friend, Ku-man who took me for a dinner at Chilli's , Gurney Plaza. It was our first ever meet since 2005. He got his Masters degree during that year and I was with a PhD degree from Imperial and we were friends since the end of 2004 when he began doing his Masters then.

Tuesday morning, from 9.00am to 12pm I was at MOX having discussions and presentations on visiting our students there. It was a pleasant meeting but I was tired nonetheless. Then I took a cab to Jalan Penang to shop for some pickles at Chowrasta Market. I thought of taking lunch too but the funny weather of hot-humid-rainy-hot-humid seemed to kill my appetite that I decided to just head back to the hotel for some afternoon siesta. That evening, I met more old friends at Queensbay Mall but the dinner was somewhere else. I was craving for Penang taste so I managed to coax Ku-man, the ever willing driver by the evening to go search for some awesome Char Koey Teow. So off we went near SunTech not far from bayan lepas and i ordered a small plate of Char Koey Teow. Definitely delicious! Thumbs up. Well, the dinner didnt stop there and our Jalan2 Cari Makan continued its journey to Restoran Hameediyah along Lebuh Campbell, off Jalan Penang for some biryani and some few dishes complementary to our taste bud. And what is biryani without raita salad eh? Though i didnt get to "down" mango lassi as it was already finished, it was still a fantastic meal. I got to taste turkey curry too for the 1st time ever. We ended our night by hanging out at Starbucks Cafe at Gurney Plaza before he sent me back to the hotel.

Thursday I checked out from the hotel and headed to Queensbay Mall by myself. It was a safe bet at it was the nearest mall to the bayan lepas airport. And I was also to meet Ubi, another blogger mate for the 1st time. For the 1st few hours, i went around the mall while tugging my lugagges around with me. Apparently that Mall didnt have the storage service. Oh well. I went to Borders just browsing the bookshelf and then i passed by a manicure spa. The prices were quite reasonable so i had some upper lips hair removal and pedicure - for the 1st time ever in my life!

Alrightie then, I am with Ubi at Coffee Bean over a nice warm Earl Grey tea and will then be heading to Bayan Lepas Airport.