UCL , the Godless University of London claims 4th spot

October 9, 2009

Great news!! Great news for all fans of Bentham . Great news for all ex-residents of Goldsmid. Great news to all Cockneys, and jews and coloured, and Africans and Asians.

UCL occupies the no 4 spot in the World University Ranking.

The Malaysian Chapter of the UCL alumni is proud to be associated with the worldwide initiative to make UCL a world university. It is a University that has been associated with the birth of nations, the birth of Modern India, Kenya, Israel, Japan, not to mention its influence in revolutionizing conservative England.

We are proud Londoners.


Back in Malaysia, the special MH feeling

June 22, 2009

To be back in the cabin of Malaysia Airline 747 is like  being home.

It would be perfect if not for  the watery sambal on the nasi lemak. Otherwise it is like being back in KL. The chicken satay is the best in the world. For me at least because I never take chicken satay except on board Malaysia Airline.

You will be fed like a pig. You can eat non-stop. For a compulsive, obese eater it must be a feast , a non stop eating spree.

I am very predictable. I will have 3 sticks of chicken satay, avoid the starters and then bunk off. Prior to boarding I would have my routine at the seafood bar, complete with champie and the ocassional caviar.

Six hours into the flight I would have my maggi mee. The Maggi Mee is mandatory, the highlight of the whole journey.

The leading stewardess apologized profusely for the watery sambal. I said fire the caterer!

By then we would be approaching KLIA. Paula Malai Ali Asha Gill  is such a gem. I love her. You never get bored seeing her managing her arrival at KLIA in  her special way.

To all Malaysian, selamat pulang……

KLIA gets better by the day. I usually travel without any check in baggage so it is plain sailing.

At the immigration counter if not for the spoilt chip in my passport, the autogate is “wow!!” a breeze.

Walking through the waiting areas you see a more organized section. There was no tout approaching me. You can even buy the KLIA express tickets on board.  That is very smart.

My favourite Gate is number 5.  The door open and you step outside. Zapp!!!  You realize that you are really back home. The humid and hot wall of air jolt you into reality.

It is bloody humid and hot!!!

Your country is very hot!!!! Give me June in London and Paris minus the rain, please.

I am Lord of Kendal

June 17, 2009

I am Lord of Kendal. There is a street named after my peerage, Kendal Street. At the end of the street is my public House, the Lord of Kendal. My London abode stands at the junction of Porchester Place and Kendal Street.

I love this place.

To the left is the Arab quarters. How the place has changed in the last 30 years. There was a Safeway, a wollworth and Bali laksa House. Now it  is the place  for  tabouleh, tajines and kebab. Why not?

To the right is  the  quaint English quarters. There are many squares with well manicured English gardens. Within sight is Hyde Park. Parallel to the park is Bayswater Road.

I took a walk from Porchester Place to Lancaster Gate and then Queensway along Bayswater Road. It was a good 3 km walk. On the way back I stopped at Malaysia Hall. The Great Hall was no longer the Grand Hall where  we used to play table tennis and have our concert. I peeped inside and saw prayer mats.

I passed through Westbourne Terrace leading towards Sussex Garden. It is an old city but it is  a much better place then it was 30 years ago.

I love it. It is my kind of city. It is my city.

Damn the Parisien Traffic

June 17, 2009

I missed my flight to Dublin. I left the hotel at 8. The bellboy was in his element. As if knowing that I was going to give him a generous tip, he went out of his way to secure me a taxi to Aero Gare  De Gaulle. I gave him ten Euro.

The Lebanese driver was not not that smart. It was not a familiar route . Why did he go through Champ Elyse? Why did he pass through  le Bourget knowing fully well tha salon le bourget would cause tremendous jam.

We arrived at terminal one at qurter past 10. The flight was to leave at 10.25 . I never like terminal 1  of de Gaulle.
I went round in circle. Still I could not find Aer Lingus.

So I decided to take the train to Gare du Nord for the Eurostar.

Damn that driver! It cost me 75 euro!!

But I was so cool. This was just part of a traveller’s fun. Enjoy the eurostar!!! Here I am enjoying my glass of champagne as the train rolled down into the tunnel.

Negara utopia saya – Hak Rakyat perolehi ilmu

May 3, 2009

Pernah disuatu ketika, seorang rakan mengajak saya memulakan perniagaan menubuhkan institusi pendidikan. Dengan nama yang keinggerisan, dan model niaga yang menarik ia satu cadangan yang “bankable” yang bermaksud bisa dibiaya bank. Namun saya menolak kerana berlawan dengan prinsip saya.

Prinsip saya amat mudah. Tanggugjawab kerajaan sesebuah negara adalah menentukan ilmu mudah diperolehi rakyat. Ilmu hak asasi manusia. Ilmu tidak boleh dijual, kerana tiada siapa yang punya hak mutlak atau monopoli terhadap ilmu.

Berbeza dengak hak intelek, iaitu hasil kreatif berasaskan ilmu. Ilmu adalah hak Ilahi, segala prinsip fizik dan sains di sekeliling adalah sunatullah,  dan adalah fardu meyebarkan ilmu. Hasil dari ilmu, manusia berkarya, mencipta, mereka, dan hasilnya harta intelek jadi hak milik masing-masing.

Ilmu jika tidak dibebaskan perolehannya akan mengakibatkan penindasan berterusan. Disebaliknya, ilmu sahajalah yang membolehkan mobiliti sosial paling berkesan, meritokrasi sebenar diamalkan, dan hasilnya manfaat takterhingga kepada masyarakat dan negara.

Adalah berlawan dengan prinsip saya keadaan dimana pendikan dijadikan suatu perniagaan.

Lihatlah contoh negara Germany dimana pendidikan sehingga peringkat Universiti adalah percuma. Hasilnya, negara Jerman, suatau negara yang kaya dengan harta intelek dan karya -karya agung  dan jenama terunggul didunia.

Lihatlah sahaja negara Great Britain, yang mengubah polisi pendidikan percuma kepada pendidikan sebagai perniagaan. Perubahan ini dilakukanpada tahun 1977. Great Britain terus ketinggalan jauh dari segi ekonomi, kejuruteraan dan harta intelek. Kesemua kemegahan British, Mini, Harrier, komputer, enjin jet dicipta sebelum 70an.

Malang sekali Malaysia mengikut jejak langkah yang mengejar kekayan cepat olih sesetengah individu dan institusi. Tunggu sahaja akibatnya dari sudut sosial,daya saing  dan ekonomi.

Biasiswa Bumiputra hanya untuk anak UMNO ?- mana meritokrasi melayu

January 25, 2009

Melayu takut dengan meritokrasi? sebenarnya tidak, hanya suku sakat umno yang takut dan menakut-nakutkan melayu. Mereka takut kehilangan hak merampas hak bumiputra dan melayu.

Saya sering memperkatakan bahwa Melayu jika amalkan meritokrasi, walaupun dikalangan mereka sendiri bolih tandingi dunia. Ambil sahaja contoh yang terbukti , The Malay College Kuala Kangsar, MCKK, suatu institusi melayu yang kekal dengan nama dan isinya.. Selepas Merdeka sehingga akhir 70an, meritokrasi diamalkan tanpa kompromi. Hasilnya produk MCKK unggul menandingi terbaik didunia.

PETRONAS adalah satu lagi contoh dimana penubuhannya berasasakan meritokrasi Melayu.

Malangnya, UMNO bermula dari Mahathir mula memandang ke pusat sendiri, naik berahi syok sendiri. Jika kamu bukan AJK UMNO Bahagian lupakan, anak kamu walau pandai melangit biasiswa luarnegara akan dirampas olih langau-langau.

Dua hari lepas saya menemuduga seorang graduan UITM anak “security Guard”. Kenapa tidak dapat keluarnegara? kawannya yang punya kelulusan yang tidak setanding, dapat tawaran, ia menunjuk kehairanan.

Saya sarankan PKR dan PAS atau mana-mana NGO buat kajian

a. Berapa ramai anak UMNO, MCA, MIC dapat biasiswa ke United Kingdom. Mungkin Pak Unggal bolih bantu.

b. Berapa ramai anak UMNO yang tinggal di MARA hostel di dunia. Pasti ramai, keran sewa di London GBP 100 seminggu. Mereka mengambil hak Melayu lain.

Gadaikan lah masa depan melayu UMNO!!!

The Year that was

January 2, 2009

What a wonderful and challenging year it was. It was a year of travel, physical and spiritual. In business it was a year of transformation and dogged determination. Grateful I am to the Almighty, that the family was a source of joy and strength.

The eshams, I meant ALL eshams spent the year in the home country. They did their travels but mostly for short stints. Almost all celebrations were fully attended. The younger ones had this wonderful privileges of being pampered and bullied by the big sisters and the big brother. The older ones in return had the joy of becoming responsible big brother and big sisters. They had been wonderful.

We had two new members of the family. Georgia Chapman was with us to be part of the family. Aiman in return, became the little ambassador to the Chapmans in Melbourne. What a wonderful job these two eleven year olds have done to strengthen and cement the ties and relationship between people of two far away lands. They put many elders and politicians to shame.

We adopted coco but not for long. He could not get along with the boys. Combined that with the heaps of poos, I had to clear, cut short the good intent. The children still missed him.

My frequent flyer was upgraded. I went to places I have never been. Yangoon was exotic. I rediscoverd ole amsterdam enroute to Munich. I had a taste of real Arabian hospitality. I did the journey to see His signs. I was the dew that managed to become part of the brook.

I had to travel to ole England three times in a year, to salvage a ground zero situation. in the end, It was relationship and trust that saved the day.

At work, relationships were put to the most severe of tests. My transformation agenda, many thought was impossible. They forgot that the tiger has been polite and kind. He may be wounded but he is still the king of the jungle. There were many I trusted that abandoned ship but I took it in my stride. The skipper may be wetting the pants, but no he will not let go the wheels to steer the fleet off the fierce tempest.

I learned something. Talents are every where. Reach out and leave the Zone.

There were those who were not honest and trustworthy. To all these people, thank you for leaving. To those who were genuinely affected and could not wither the storm., I thank you and I am sorry. To those who stayed back to become my deck hands I am grateful and will not forget you.

One after another the ship set sail, its sails raised in full glory. To the young skippers this is your day. Leave the comfort of the anchorage and discover the new world. Bring back the bounty.

It was again a double new year. On the day of Higra, my brother and I finally settled the unsettling issues of our inheritance. Mother must be pleased and relieved. I thank you almighty God.