Sunday, May 13, 2018

What matter is “The Unity of Malaysian People”

Date: 13th May 2018

I have been voting since PRU13. It must be shocking to some but I have my reasons for not doing so before. I grew up in rural Kelantan where the people are being divided into “BN” or “PAS”. Everything has been separated in the name of the political parties. There are 2 mosque, 2 surau, 2 community hall and even the families argued over political disparity in my village. My family for instance has similar problem. Both of my parent are PAS members but our 2 neighbours (both are mother’s cousin) are not. BN sides are more liberal whilst PAS supporter being seen as traditional, conservative. Since young age, I hate the fact that the politician’s malicious act that separated the nation, the states, the villages, the families and the unity of the people. They doing so for their own benefit, to attract voters and as soon as they being elected as leaders, they ended up being so corrupt in managing the countries.

My father brought us up with just and moral values. He never take advantages of him assisting PAS party for his family benefit. He sponsored our studies with his savings. I did not enjoy any scholarship from the government except some small assistance from JKR, where he worked. I received minor compensation when I excel in my studies from JKR. So, I never expected to get support from the Government hence I do not any relevance for me to involve in voting at all the election.

In 2007, while waiting for travel arrangement to Karachi, I was for a short while station in IJM Headquarters. I started to buy newspaper reading about Altantuya’s murder case. Dato’ Seri Najib (hereinafter refer as DSN) and the wife were both linked to the case. I started to focus to this couple and little did I know at that time that the couple has a gut to do a lot more harm to the nation. What was concluded at that time was; DSN has misused his power being a Minister of Defence in getting his political aid, Abdul Razak Baginda freed from all allegation relating to Altantuya case. DSN and his political aid were clearly involved in the dealing to purchase the Scorpene submarines from France for the Malaysian government. Altantuya, who being filled with greed had threatened Abdul Razak Baginda only over USD11,000 and that caused her death. I personally concluded that the case is too big for DSN to clear his link to the murder case and will no longer has any privileges in the party.

However, after the election on 2008 (PRU12), DSN star started to shine brightly. Never in my rational thought could imagine that he would be elected as the Prime Minister of Malaysia and serve the country from 3rd April 2009 till 10th May 2018. How could, the only person that can authorise the 2 Government officer’s Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar to take out an explosives in the stock of federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman to be used in the murder of Altantuyaa being trusted with the most scared position in Malaysia. He is in power for 9 years where a lot more bad incidents happened to Malaysia.

Thereafter, I enrolled myself in University Malaya to take up a Degree in Jurisprudence to understand more about the rule of law and the governing matter. The only way to outcast the sacred post, Prime Minister is through exercising my right as Malaysian. I registered and started voting in 2013. Unfortunately DSN star was at his peak. Allah wanted to punish the Malaysian as we, the pupils are deserving to have DSN due to our ignorance too. Not long after, everyone started to change including Tun Mahathir. That was the results of 2018, i.e. PRU14. Now, as I’m writing this, justice started to surface one by one, including the truth about the RM2.6Billion scandal. But be careful, politicians are still politician. Not many people can put aside the temptation of “cash is king”.

Moving forward, though my prayer has been answered when DSN was overthrown and prohibited from leaving the country, I continue my prayer daily, seeking Allah’s assistance to guide all of Malaysian to gradually change for the better. Once we change, people around us will change too and who knows that one day the whole politician who is entrusted with power will carry duties following the Holy Book and the Rule of Malaysian Law. I would end this entry with small portion of Rumi’s quote of “Pity the Nation”

Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox,
whose philosopher is a juggler,
and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking.

Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpeting,
and farewells him with hooting,
only to welcome another with trumpeting again.

Pity the nation whose sages are dumb with years
and whose strong men are yet in the cradle.
Pity the nation divided into fragments,
each fragment deeming itself a nation"

Friday, March 23, 2018

The best burger at Big Bob Burger

Long outdated post!

I came to know about the Big Bob Burger when Atria Damansara re-open after a long renovation of its shopping outlet. The restaurant open its chain on the 1st floor just opposite Nando's. And Nasrul is a huge fan of burgers, so I thought that I should brought him one day to experience the burgers that he would definitely enjoy. True enough, not only Nasrul, hubby and Naim enjoyed it too. There was once I ordered a takeaway burger for Nazhif during iftar so he too would taste how good it was.

Big Bob Burger's most recommended for big eater!

Big Bob Burger brings together a combination of international flavors as a result of years of research and a careful selection of choice ingredients from it’s founder. They presents its unique blend of barbecue sauce, fresh patties and all the right toppings to make their burgers not only look perfect but the taste that valued for money. Big Bob Burger is a truly home-grown Malaysian company that serves quality food whilst preserving original flavors. Beside their signature burgers, they have many other choices menu to your liking too. Breakfast selection menus range from sandwiches, french toast, egg Benedict waffle while for lunch you could also opted for Italian Pizza and Pasta. Only 2 choices of freshly salad are available, i.e. Bob's Salad and Grill Chicken Creaser Salad. 

Nasrul choice "The Combo"
made of; a homemade Burger Bun, Cheddar Cheese, Cheese Sausage, Beef Breakfast Sliced,Tomato, Romaine, Hand Made Patties, Bob’s BBQ Sauce, Mustard & Ketchup

Another big eater that can eat real a lot, especially dessert

The 4 of us who enjoyed a dinner sometimes back

A broad menu presents a good selection of pastas, pizzas, bread and tantalizing side dishes, accompanied by the best coffee brew in town. True, their coffee selection is another killer menu for coffee lovers, must try. 

A closer look of Super Duper, a homemade burger bun, Cheddar cheese, beef breakfast sliced, tomato, romain, handmade patties, Bob’s BBQ sauce, mustard, egg, fried prawn & ketchup

A must have dessert - Fluffy Buttermilk Pancake with Vanilla Ice Cream, Blueberry and Pinenuts

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Batu Caves - Part 2 (The Dark Caves)

Date: 26th December 2015

Dark cave in the Batu Caves complex is a conservation site where the natural history gallery is been place for tourist viewing. It is open to tourist who wishes to explore every day, from 10 am till 5 pm, Monday to Friday and 30 minutes late on weekends and public holiday. It has been operated by the Cave Management Site and more information about the place can be access from their website "Dark Cave Malaysia".  This site contains a diverse range of cave faunas. It is among the most researched tropical caves site in the world where a number of renown scientist and researchers conducted their major research in this place. So, make sure to explore should you keen to go for an adventure tour of RM80/pax (RM55 for Malaysian) that lasted for about 3 to 4 hours and/or a 45 minutes educational tour of RM35.

While waiting for your turn to arrive, please enjoy the gorgeous view of the KL city from the dark caves waiting area

Dark caves is said to be a must see attraction for travelers who has reached the Batu Caves complex. It is a home to an ancient animal community of 100 million years old, including the rarest spider in the world named the Trapdoor Spider. It has a unique guano-driven ecosystem, which sustain a tremendous ecological significance of rich scientific and educational interest. Besides, Dark Cave has its own special features of magnificent cave formations, i.e stalactite, stalagmite, flower stone, cave pearls, cave curtains, column and gour pools which has taken mother nature eons to form. The management who has been in-charge of operating this place has protect the cave as part of their conservation efforts.

I'm sharing only the photos that we snapped at the natural history gallery while playing with lots of monkeys who has a home in this place.

Batu Caves - Part 1

Date of Visit: 26th December 2015

This is a very long overdue travelogue post, partly because I have difficulties in transferring photos snapped from IPhone to the laptop. Yeap.. it took me more than 2 years to record on my first trip inside the Batu Caves complex, which is one of the most popular destination to the tourist who came to visit Kuala Lumpur. In order for that trip to happened, I had to bribe Syahirah to accompany me as no one would want to climb and explore the Hindu cave. Just so you know, our family used to reside in Taman Seri Gombak that is located too close to the attraction and my parent in law also stayed in Selayang, just on the other side of the Cave.

A pose with the statue of Lord Murugan

Batu Caves is an iconic and popular tourist attraction in the state of Selangor, Malaysia. It is a site of a Hindu temple and shrine, especially to those Lord Murugan worshipers. Once a year, Batu Caves attracts thousands of worshipers and tourists, during the annual Hindu festival, Thaipusam. Please read more about Thaipusam Festival in "" write-up as you will be guided of the whole festive ceremonies in more details. Anyway, this limestone outcrop is located just on the north side of Kuala Lumpur which has 3 main caves featuring temples and Hindu shrines.We were surprised as there were more foreigners visitor than the locals at the time of our visit. As usual, they seems to know more than us about where to go when in town.

Syahirah on the famous 272 steps of Batu Cave

The main attraction of the complex is the large statue of the Hindu God, Murugan located strategical at the entrance. Next attraction is taking a 272 steep climb up where its steps gave resulting view of the stunning skyline of Kuala Lumpur city centre. Be careful of the monkeys romping around the caves and the steps as they are the added feature that make it as a popular spot for rock climbing enthusiasts. As soon as you reach the top, paintings and scenes of Hindu Gods can be seen in the Ramayana Cave. Take note that Batu Caves is a place where you should not miss should you visit Malaysia. It's location is near Selayang, in Gombak district where a famous and large wholesale market in Klang Valley is located.

One of them (the monkey) and a kind .. hehe

Besides, Batu Caves housed a distinctive geographical features said to be a labyrinth of spooky caves found within Malaysia's limestone abutments. This limestone hill that has a series of caves and cave temple. It takes its name from the Sungai Batu (Batu River), which flows past the hill. It is the tenth limestone hill that descend from Ampang. Batu Caves is also the name of a nearby village. The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India that is dedicated to Lord Murugan (the youngest son of Shiva and Parvathi) which becoming a focal point of Hindu festival, Thaipusam where the Hindu is paying penance to Lord Murugan.

Batu Caves in short also referred as the 10th Caves or Hill for Lord Murugan as there are six important holy shrines in India and four more in Malaysia that worship the same god. Three others in Malaysia are Kallumalai Temple in Ipoh, Tanneermalai Temple in Penang and Sannasimalai Temple in Malacca.

The limestone that forming Batu Caves is said to be around 400 million years old. Some of the cave entrances were used as shelters by the indigenous Temuan people, one of the tribe of Orang Asli in Malaysia. Later at around 1860, the Chinese settlers began excavating guano for fertilising their vegetable patches. However, the caves became famous only after the limestone hills were recorded by colonial authorities including Daly and Syers as well as an American Naturalist, William Hornaday in 1878.

Batu Caves was promoted as a place of worship by K. Thamboosamy Pillai, an Indian trader. He was inspired by the "vel" shaped entrance of the main cave and was inspired to dedicate a temple to Lord Murugan within the caves. In 1890, Pillai, who also the founder of the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur, installed the murti (consecrated statue) of Sri Murugan Swami in what is today known as the Temple Cave. Since 1892, the Thaipusam festival in the Tamil month of Thai, usually falls in late January and or early February every year has since been celebrated there.

Wooden steps up to the Temple Cave were built in 1920 and have since been replaced by 272 concrete steps. Rising almost 100 meter above the ground, the Batu Caves temple complex consists of 3 main caves and a few smaller ones. The biggest, referred to as Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, which has a very high ceiling and features ornate with Hindu shrines. To reach it, visitors must climb a steep flight of 272 steps.There are additional steps after the 272 steps constructed inside the lower and upper level temple for the visitor's convenience. You may see that from the photos that I'm sharing here where the upgrading works was ongoing in 2015. It must have been completed by now.

Take notice of the base of the hill which has 2 more cave temples, Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave, both of which are full of Hindu statues and paintings. Due to the humid weather, I let the visit to both places passes, maybe next time when I had another chance to revisit. This complex was renovated and opened as the Cave Villa in 2008. Many of the shrines relate the story of Lord Murugan's victory over the demon Soorapadman. An audio tour is available to visitors. I think it's worth to pay a visit inside the Gallery and Museum caves just to complete your tour.

To be continued with Part 2, ie about the Dark Cave which is another attraction inside the complex that you must include in your list. Naim took Nastja Sade Ronkko (my friend daughter from Finland) to Batu Caves and she paid for the tour inside the Dark Cave but unfortunately he did not save any with him.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

KL Bird Park

Date of Visit: 16th February 2018

Nasrul has been planning to do a video shoot for his little project "Short Stories" about 2 weeks ago. The shoot has to be on the first day of Chinese New Year as his theme would be focusing on the celebration. I said okay as he sounded that a visit to KL Bird's Park would be a good idea too. Honestly, I've never been there before, in fact none of us are. Hubby paid for an entrance fee of RM27/adult price. That fee is applicable only for Malaysian by showing a Mykad as a prove of citizenship. Foreigner has to pay an entrance fee of RM67/pax for adult and RM45 for childrens.

Ticket booth and display guide seated on the left side of the main entrance
Isn't she gorgeous?

I'm giving you the link to their website so that you would be able to learn more about the park and the birds that became an inhabitant inside. The link is here, just right click "klbirdpark-website" and you are most welcome to visit any day of the year. Do not wear heavy clothing as Malaysia's weather is quite humid. Bring an umbrella just in case the rains suddenly decided to join you too.

Love Aviary on Zone A

Brahminy Land

Areas to cover inside is not that huge but it's good to take your own sweet time exploring the areas. There are 4 zones altogether. My most favorites among all was when I spotted the black swans for the first time in Bulbul land. It was 2 of them swimming peacefully with the koi fishes. They were placed in a secured fencing as I believe these 2 are the precious property of the park. Besides, there are also a Hornbill Park, world of Parrots, Hunter booth where the owls will be staring at you like a haunted ghost, Flamingo Pond and areas for you to rest while having drinks surrounded with friendly birds and children had a special area to play as well as there is a children's playground near the Waterfall Aviary.

The ticket counter will provide you with an illustrated pamphlet as a guide into all the areas mentioned above. Love Aviary is the first area that you may encounter after passing the security guard. Do not get too excited seeing the peacock as many of them are actually wandering and walks freely so you can play with them at other parts of the zones. But I too was overly excited when I first saw one peacock that expanded her flaws. She was as gorgeous as the rainbow sky. Trust me, I wasn't the only one who acted like that. Hubby did that too. He cant seem to have enough of seeing their beauty from that close distance.

Nasrul had many times disturbed our moments of happiness as he was so eager to get a footage of the Chinese New Year celebration at Petaling Street. He changed his story saying that he never intended to explore the caged birds. He just wanted to get some footage outside the Bird's Park and shooting a free birds that flew at the time of sunset. We couldn't enjoyed more than what we could do in about less than 1 hour inside the birds park due to his nagging. He kept on pestering us to be focus on his objective instead. He was the one dragging us out from the house. Due to that disturbance, hubby and I made a promise to revisit just the 2 of us next time. We could do a peaceful tour inside the butterflies park should we come near the lake garden areas without Nasrul. I wanted to explore the National Planetarium (blue domed structure) that is located on top of the hill adjacent to the KL Bird's Park. There is also a ceramic museum, worth to visit located just next to the National Mosque.  Till then, I hope you may find this entry meaningful, to either a local Malaysian and/or tourist who visited Malaysia for the first time,

It was a feeding time at the Hunter Booth when we arrived

Flamingo Pond

Bulbul Land

2 Black Swans among the Koi Fishes

A group of Pink (hot leg) Flamingo