I received sad news that Hajjah Asmah Tukiran, or more fondly known as Cikgu Umi, passed away at around 3.15 p.m. Saturday, 15 January 2011.

Cikgu Umi, who taught at PASTI Taman Meru since its very beginning almost 25 years ago, also taught my children between 2008 – 2009.


We arrived at her house just ten minutes after her jenazah was brought home from Pantai Putri Hospital. None of us could contain our tears, especially when we are reminded of her humbleness… how she was always full of love, and how she would speak to everyone in such a gentle manner.


I felt even more miserable when I keep remembering how the twins were talking about how much they missed Cikgu Umi early this year. It was just about two or three weeks ago when kakak said to me, “Mak, kakak dah lama tak jumpa Cikgu Umi. Nanti kita pergi jumpa Cikgu Umi lah.” Of course, we never made an effort to visit her.


May Allah bless Cikgu Umi’s soul and I pray that Allah grant her jannah for teaching and nurturing all her students with the love for Allah, Rasul and the religion. I will miss her terribly.


Al Fatihah…

6 Months ++

Sometime ago, someone commented to me: “Blog you dah ada sawang..”

Yeah. Bukan sahaja sawang. Habuk. Debu. Dan segala macam benda. Maklumlah, dah kena tinggal 6 bulan lebih.

Anyway, after my last entry on “being at a crossroad”, I had taken some time to reevaluate my life, rethink about my ambitions and try, as much as possible, to reinforce my values and principles in life.

Indeed, it felt like a tumultuous 6 months… but Alhamdulillah, I am back on my feet again and ready to fact this new year with more energy and drive… insya Allah.

Let me try and summarize things and give a glance of some of the events that have happened the past six months in the next few paragraphs.

And of course, I will start with the good things first.

I traveled quite a bit over the past six months… both for work and leisure… which I haven’t done for a very, very long time.

We went to Penang twice for short breaks; once in July and again in December. I simply love Penang because of the beautiful beaches and the food, no doubt.

We celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary on 31st of August 2010… but it was Ramadhan so we went to Damai Laut and had a wonderful iftar with the kids. Later, after the hectic schedule in October, we went to Bali for a 5-day break, and this time we left the kids with Opah and Atuk. It was a fantastic holiday. On the first day, we hired a tour guide to take us around but we decided to be adventurous, rented a motorbike on the 3rd and 4th day and practically had so much fun riding around the island!

I was in Turkey (specifically Ankara and Istanbul) on a business trip early November for a week. And of course, I did not miss the chance to perform my Zuhur prayer at the majestic Blue Mosque. Beautiful indeed… but of course, nothing compares to Masjidil Haram and Masjid Nabawi (am going to resubmit my appeal to go to haj this year… semoga Allah kirimkan kad jemputan Nya untuk kami tahun ini… amin)..

And on the last week of December, I took the whole family to Sungai Besar (there is a nice resort by the sea called DMuara Resort which was recommended by my office colleague) for a fishing trip. Not me of course, by dad and abang… which did not turn out to be so good in the end because dad was bitten by the ikan sembilang that he caught and we had to rush him to the nearest clinic in the middle of the night!

Another thing… before I forget… I also attended the Malaysian Law Conference late July in Kuala Lumpur where Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was the speaker for the closing session. And of course, he never fails to deliver the message with conviction and passion. You could see how much he is adored by the whole lot of lawyers in the auditorium! And on the way back to Ipoh after the conference, we met Asyraf, who just won the Imam Muda title the night before… and although the kids got so excited to meet him, they were embarrassed because they had forgotten to put on their tudung!

The twins did quite well at school. During the final examination, kakak got first place in class and second overall; whilst adik got fourth in class and seventh overall. But during the Ihtifal, although adik appeared calm and ‘redha’ that she is not going to get a prize on stage, she broke down when kakak went up to get her prize – in the middle of the school hall!!!

Alhamdulillah, I can never be thankful enough to Allah for all his blessings.

Now, some of the not-so-nice things that happened.

My house was broken into twice within these six months – once in October, and again in November (while I was in Turkey). The culprits took away the microwave oven, DVD player, mp3 player, my husband’s watch (that I gave him for our anniversary) and a few other things. I don’t really keep any valuables in the house… so I don’t really know what they are looking for. We had changed the sliding door into windows but after the second incident, we replaced the window with a wall! And we finally decided to install the alarm system – at least as prevention. Usaha, and tawakal.

Mom had to undergo another operation in November. Remember how she went for the first operation in February to remove her womb? Well, apparently, the internal wound was not properly sealed by the doctor (I guess it was a technical mistake) resulting in a small opening at the end of the wound. Her intestines could penetrate through that small hole bit by bit, causing a bulge or swelling on the right side of her stomach. So she had to undergo another operation, this time a minor one, to patch up that wound and get things back to normal. This time, we decided to do it at the private hospital where my brother has a clinic and alhamdulillah, she has recovered fully and is doing very well now.

And I got promoted to a higher position in September… which I don’t really feel that I deserve + I am not mentally prepared for it as I am still learning to juggle between my work and my family (not forgetting my studies!). But then again, saying ‘no’ would mean that I am not ready to take up the challenge. I have been under probation and will complete the period this February. So, again, usaha and tawakal.

My studies is still going really slow, but although my supervisor is not too happy at the rate I am going, but he is glad that I am on the right track. I need all the motivation in the world!

Alhamdulillah, I am again thankful to Allah for all that has happened… for there is always a reason behind all that.

Did I sufficiently justify myself for not updating An Ipoh Mom’s blog?

At A Crossroad?

The frequency of my posts has reduced from more than ten a month, to about 2 – 3.


Bukan tak nak update; in fact a lot has happened, but I just cannot find the time to write them down.


Alasan. As always.


Anyway, someone recently told me that he believes that I am currently at a crossroad. After the nerve-wrecking interview last Wednesday (of which he was one of the interviewers), he feels that I am indecisive of where I want to be in five or ten years time. The interview was actually part of the management’s effort to look for potential leaders in the organization.


1 hour and 15 minutes… and know he knows me or what I want in life?


Photo: The Teeming Brain


I am not going to say that he is wrong, because once in a while I do have that feeling. But at this current moment, my immediate aim is to actually complete my studies. I have got four more years before I turn 40. And I hope that I can complete before I reach 40. What happens next, whether I decide to join the academic department, or stay in the management, is something I don’t want to think about now. I will decide when the time comes. Ideally, I would like to be part of the management, but I would also like to teach one or two subjects so that I can share my knowledge with the future leaders of the country. Is that so wrong? At least I am not pretending to be someone I am not. Only time will tell because only Allah knows…


I leave it all in His hands.


Meanwhile, I just found out from Aini yesterday that Mynie’s mother had recently returned to the AlMighty after suffering a stroke. May Allah bless her soul… forgive her… and grant her the highest level of paradise… Al Fatihah.


I celebrated my 36th birthday last Friday, 18 June.

It was just perfect, since the huge project’s last day was one day before even though I left Kuala Lumpur earlier than the rest. Alhamdulillah, I am glad that everything went smoothly. Of course, there were hiccups here and there but overall, we received more praises than anything else. The management was very pleased with the great teamwork shown, so that really boosted up every one’s morale. Personally, I learnt a major lesson from this event – no matter how well you plan or how early you start work, it all boils down to crisis management because whether you like it or not, something unanticipated is bound to happen on that day itself, and you just have to be mentally prepared for it.

Anyway, I told my kids in advanced that I do not want any gifts from them, but they decided to give me thirty six kisses on my cheeks!

Abang took me out for lunch since we were both working on that Friday.

My brother took us all for dinner, including my parents, on Saturday night at a new eating place in Ipoh called Restoran Pondok Padang (it is at OneCasuarina, next to Impiana Casuarina Ipoh). The food was good, but the company was even better. The whole bunch was there and my kids, nieces and nephews’ voices were the loudest!!

Later we went for some cakes at Secret Recipe, where I met my primary school teacher who remembers me more than I remember her.

And finally on Monday, my dear boss bought a nice carrot cake to celebrate (and she even ordered some fried mee, and goreng pisang accompanied by sambal kicap!).

And this year, I think I received so many birthday wishes on my Facebook that I spent one whole day thanking each and everyone for their doa. I even received a special birthday wish on Capri’s blog!!

Thank you friends and family for your thoughts, and most importantly for the doa.

I feel extremely touched. And of course… another year older!

I haven’t updated this blog for nearly two weeks.

Not only that… I haven’t even had time to visit other blogs. And I haven’t read the Malaysian Insider for the past two weeks – which is one of my favourite sources of independent news.


Two weeks of hardwork and the D-day will be in two days time. We will be leaving for KL tonight, and I should be back on Tuesday night although the actual Congress will only end Thursday.


One year of planning but there are still some last minute items unsettled (which have finally settled yesterday), so hopefully, things will go smoothly, as planned.


I actually have so much to say. There are so many things and issues on my mind.


I wanted to say how extremely angry I was when I read about how the Mavi Marmara incident. To make it worse, one of the twelve victims is a personal friend of mine. Such atrocity! Such violence! Such cruelty! And yet the West claims that Muslims are terrorists!!! It was just a humanitarian aid, not a military troop! Laknat Allah ke atas bangsa Yahudi!!!! The struggle to save Gaza will continue indefinitely.


I wanted to congratulate Astro Oasis for introducing the Imam Muda reality show and how much I enjoy watching the young chaps trying to do their best for the specific tasks assigned to them. But I also wanted to tell Astro that they should be more sensitive towards their viewers because Akademi Al Quran (of which I am a huge fan) is also aired on the same day and at the same time! Marah betul rasanya! Do they seriously expect us to choose either one? Dah lah tak banyak on TV, and yet they want to fight for the same viewers. I think it would be advisable if either one could be shown on Thursday night. Right now, the remote is in my hand throughout the one hour so that we could switch channel every 5 – 10 minutes.


PAS is currently having their 56th Muktamar at PUTIK Kelantan. I haven’t had time to read the updates, but I will make a point to do so next week. I hope that the delegates will make thoughtful resolutions with regards to the current issues (especially on APCO and Palestine) and I wish them all, Selamat Bermuktamar.

Pray that I stay calm and composed.

A Short Break

Today is the last day of May. 


Lately, I have been feeling lethargic. Tired. Exhausted. There are so many things to do, in so little time. Work has been increasingly demanding for the past two weeks and I seem to forget that I am still struggling with my studies. At the rate I am going at the moment, I think I need at least another 3 years to complete. And… that is IF I complete because right now, I am still unable to see the light at the end of this journey. I keep telling myself that this increased pressure at work is only temporary, since we are in a midst of a huge project now. It should be over in two weeks time. I hope by then, I would be able to redirect my energy and focus towards other things in life.


My husband was kind enough to suggest that we take a short break over the long weekend because he felt that I needed some rest. Plus, I am unable to take leave from work during the upcoming school holidays (because of that project) and we wanted to spend some time with the kids. So, we took the kids to… whereas… but Cameron Highlands!


Dekat. Mudah. Menarik.


I had a good rest. And so did the kids and my husband.


I managed to complete two novels that I have wanted to read for so long.


One thing I realize is that the prices of the fruits and vegetables are extremely expensive now compared to some few years back. And to think that we drive all the way up there just to get them cheaper and fresher.


And of course, having tea at the Cameron Valley Tea Shop (there are actually three of them and we went to all three!) is an activity we would never miss doing whilst in Cameron Highlands!



I wished I could stay longer but two days was just nice. 

I feel refreshed, calmer and stronger, and all ready to work hard for the next two weeks!

DAP wins!


Source: The Malaysian Insider


I waited until almost 11.00 p.m. to hear the official announcement of the Sibu by-election results.



It was quite a surprise win for DAP because Sibu has always been a BN stronghold for the past 50 years. Although the margin is small (398 votes), the number of spoilt votes was almost as high. Pelik.



By 9.00 p.m., when there was no official announcement yet, I had a feeling that BN had lost. That is the trend, and I am sure a lot of people notice this. If BN won, the announcement would have been done quite early, maybe as early as 8.00 p.m. but if it was otherwise, the announcement would be made very late!



The new MP of Sibu, Wong Ho Leng, when asked by the reporters about what this victory means, he had a simple answer – “Sarawak is ready for change”.



Truth is, the entire country is not only ready for change; we are yearning for a better Malaysia but whether Malaysians dare to take that big step in the next general elections to make the change is what matters most now.



Congratulations to the people of Sibu!