Baru 8.40pm, tapi dah ngantuk. How laidissszzZZzz.....
Baru 8.40pm, tapi dah ngantuk. How laidissszzZZzz.....
Did we mention that sepanjang-panjang perjalanan pergi ke dan balik dari Penang, we did not even step an inch outside of any Pakatan Rakyat state? ;-)
'Feels damn good, yo. Macam tak keluar-keluar dari dunia putih suci lagi halal. Haha
Now at Sg. Perak. La'ers!
Ayah depa pi ambil Mak depa kat airport, so we waited for them both at the apartment to join us later for a dip in the sea.
After which, they treated us yummy yummy seafood dinner at Jerejak for volunteering to take the kids in for the night so that they both could have Mummy Daddy time.... hahaha. You didn't think that we think great food really do come for free do you Kak Rose?? Hahaha ;-D (Anyhoos, thanks for the yummylicious food and the girls too!)
After dinner, the girls' parents went straight back to SP, and Pak Ngah retired soon after we got home from Jerejak. The girls and I stayed up watching the movies on Astro till almost midnite.
Kira till the packs of wild dogs kat luar started to bark and howl into nothingness la. Agak scary kawasan apartment tu waktu malam, though very brightly lit all throughout.
This morning, I actually promised the girls yesterday to take them out for a swim before we pack our stuff to check out, tapi since Pak Ngah was still asleep and resting, so we didn't go.
But for breakfast, Cik Lin has been wanting to get the roti canai durian that she last had with the girls' mother near USM exactly a year ago. Cik Lin and Pak Ngah did try to find the place outside of USM yesterday tapi tak jumpa.
The girls' dad said maybe Restoran Khaleel ada. So when we went looking for a place for breakfast up in Batu Feringghi, imagine Cik Lin's excitement when she saw a Restoran Khaleel in Batu Feringghi. Qia pun suka, sebab dia memang kaki durian and equally would like to have a taste of roti canai durian.
Alas, the Khaleel don't have roti canai durian -- bummer. So all 4 of us end up having roti tulur instead. Ni kat Bandar Sri Permaisuri pun bley pekena, kanna...
After breakfast, since Abang's interview with the new deputy CM Fairuz at 11am was cancelled at the 11th hour, we headed straight out of the island to send the girls back to SP. We need to reach the Vet in Cheras before it closes at 5pm today.
Dah nak sampai the bridge baru la Cik Lin teringat -- laaar, patut kita ambil the ferry to the mainland with the girls la 'Bang! -- Cik Lin told Pak Ngah.
More like Cik Lin wanting to buy more time with the girls, really... but by then a wee bit too late. Pak Ngah pun nampak macam tak berapa nak sihat, so Cik Lin pun tak berapa nak push sangat.
So, okay, we're now on our way back to reality -- big huge bummer -- and can't wait to get hold of my furry boys!
s i g h .
We had nasi daun pisang for lunch -- yummeh! -- apart from them exchanging some intellectual discourse, ideas and views, while also contributing some funny possible ideas for Abang's next cartoons, haha. ;-)
From left: Mr. Anil Netto, Komas' Shobana's guy (aiseh sorry couldn't recall your name, lah :-( 'Kris', probably? He works with the NGO to educate the Orang Aslis on their rights in Malaysia, apart from helping in their welfare. Also the webmaster for Dr.Nasir's kotadamansara.net), Mr. Ramakrishnan the current and very humble President of Aliran, and lastly who else if not Mr. Cartoonist himself.
Such humbling experience juga lah today. I get to meet such great personalities who are also known international-wide, but even the Earth would swallow herself up for their humbleness.
I am deeply humbled indeed.
We were also lucky that we decided to visit Pak Shahnon in the morning at 10am 'coz according to Mak Wan due to Pak Shahnon's present neurological illness 'Myasthenia Gravis', Pak Shahnon would easily be exhausted and ridden to his bed by after zuhur till isya'.
We were there for about an hour -- Abang and Pak Shahnon catching up stories while Mak Wan and I exchanging details of our lives.
For one, they have a pair of architect daughter and son-in-law, and a soon-to-graduate-architecture-from-RMIT grand-daughter.
And one of their besans a.k.a parents to their daughter-in-law apparently live on the same road as my parents'.
See? Aku habaq dah, aku tak leh wat jahat.
Pak Shahnon was also clearly impressed when he found out that Abang is now the Editor for SK, one of the papers that Pak Shahnon langgan.
And after makan-makan dan minum-minum hidangan kuih-muih dan nasi impit Mak Wan, we decided to make a move when we realised Pak Shahnon dah makin lemah dan letih.
But of course, him not without first handing Abang a signed copy of his 2006 book 'Perjalananku Sejauh Ini: Sebuah Autobiografi'. In return, Abang also left him a signed copy of 'Cartoons On Tun'.
Masa nak balik, Mak Wan pesan to read back buku 'Shit' tu, dan tengok sendiri segala yang Pak Shanon ramal dalam buku tu benar berlaku.
I think I might just do that bila balik KL.... cari balik buku tu.
Dan kalau aku tahu nak jenguk Pak Shahnon, dah pasti aku akan bawa buku 'Ranjau Sepanjang Jalan' untuk Pak Shahnon sign. Aku beli buku tu tika aku masih umur 10 - 11 tahun, woh (I also just got to know that this book was translated into 5 languages - English, French, Swedish, Japan & Turkey - and filmed in Malay and French).
Semoga Allah memberikan Pak Shahnon dan Mak Wan akan kesihatan yang bagus serta berpanjangan....aaaamin...
Tapi kacukan, rasanya... bulu kembang semacam, tapi muka macam Labi. Bila dia tidur pun, menelentang macam Labi. Tomey tangat.
"Baru lepas mandi, tu. Nanti cucu-cucu nak mai, main peluk-peluk dia. Letak dia kat luar tadi sebab bulu tak kering lagi, ni ada orang mai dia suka la," Mak Wan kata.
"Suka menayang, si Ninja ni. Exhibitionist," Pak Shahnon mencelah.
Ish windu betul kat Labi...
Complete set of apartment, here - two rooms, two bathrooms, two water heaters, three a/c units, kitchen complete with microwave and cooker-top and rice cooker and blender and pinggan mangkuk and cutleries and periuk belanga and fridge, living room set and full Astro, dining room set, balcony overlooking the sea and Tanjung Bungah... Alhamdulillah, complete. With a fraction of price pula tu... Alhamdulillah.
Tiba-tiba, sambil baring-baring atas sofa and Abang sitting at my feet watching the movies, I saw a hook at the ceiling (see photo).
Eh, hook apa pulak tu?...aku tanya Abang.
Abang looked up.
Ntah, hook untuk orang gantung diri, kot ...Abang kata.
Huissssh! Capul molot tu! ...aku balas.
Aku tenung dan fikir-fikir kegunaan hook tu. Nampak teguh gila. Macam nak gantung kipas siling. Tapi takkan la nak gantung kipas betul-betul tepi pintu sliding, kan?
Ooo, untuk orang gantung spring buai budak kot, tuuu ...aku kata.
Abang looked up again.
Yeeeeaaaa, yeaaa, logik, logik ...Abang concur.
Ada ke untuk orang gantung diri... Ikut sedap je.
Habis cita wayang concorde kat cinemax ni nanti, kami nak pi keluaq makan nasik kandaq. Akak yang jaga apartment ni kata, yang paling famous either kat Line Clear di area Komtar atau kat Restoran Khalil di Padang Kota.
Tah kat mana tah tu. Haha.
Antara plan esok ialah, after breakfast Abang nak bawa aku pi ziarah and interview personaliti kesusasterawan besar.
Abang tak kasi aku habaq dulu siapa kat entry ni. Esok baru buleh, katanya. Eiii, can't wait!!
Whatever it is, tis just so bladi good to be away from KL. Aku rasa macam nak gila dah kat situ.
Being fellow 'pejuang', Abang addresses Pak Rustam macam kawan-kawan lain address Pak Rustam -- just plain "Rustam". Since I was uncomfortable calling him just plain "Rustam" (which I find is pretty disrespectful) or "Abang Rustam" (since he's a couple of years older than my dad), I just avoided having to address him as anything during my first visit over their house.
I never knew who he really was at first, but on the way to visit him at his house in Bukit Lela Gombak, Abang briefed me that his friend Rustam is the son to Ahmad Boestamam, one of Malaysia's great historical figure.
(Read what Pak Rustam wrote about his late father here.)
On our first visit, the four of us sat talking in their study room facing the front garden, the study room brimmed with books and paperworks, and framed family photos neatly arranged on the walls. There was a cat that they both adored, and also their first new-born grand-daughter Arissa (and with the daughter-in-law still under confinement) that both Pak Rustam and Aunty Rohani couldn't stop talking about.
Both Pak Rustam and the missus, Auntie Rohani spoke highly of their two intelligent grown-up kids. Back then, Auntie Rohani pula baru balik dari tolong set-up libraries in tsunami-hit Acheh.
Little did I know that the daughter-in-law was actually my housemate of two years and close friend, Salha, back in Edinburgh days!
The day I discovered Salha was quite funny to me. It was my 2nd or 3rd visit to Bukit Lela, and Abang and I was already engaged to be married. Dok tengah borak-borak kat living room, the son and daughter-in-law balik dari kerja.
When the son Azi first emerged from the front door, Pak Rustam said to Azi, "Haa ni Zunar ni..." and Azi salam Abang.
And then suddenly I saw a familliar face behind Azi -- it was Salha! Kami macam terpempan gitu.
Aku siap jerit, "Eh. Salha! Fancy meeting you here!"
And then dia pulak went, "Eh, Faz! What are you doing here???" and when I said I'm engaged to Zunar, we just laughed.
I knew she's gotten married, tapi aku tak pi wedding dia in Perlis hence tak tau who she's married to and she of course didn't know that I was going out with Abang.
Small, small world eh. Tak bley wat jahat langsung, haha.
Anyway, that was when it made it a lot easier for me to call Rustam as Pak Rustam and the wife as Aunty Rohani since they are both Salha's in-laws.
And so along the years, I occasionally met Pak Rustam and Aunty Rohani -- at my wedding as part of Abang's entourage, at functions, demos, talks, dinners. Pak Rustam and I exchanged a wee bit of notes when Pak Rustam baru nak dabble in blogging, and he would be The Person who Abang would refer to kalau Abang rasa sedih bila Labu Labi jatuh sakit.
I think, apart from Pak Rustam being one of the loyal contributors to Suara Keadilan, Abang looked highly upon Pak Rustam as one of the elderly figures he could feel at ease with and also could refer anything to.
And then...... this morning masa aku tengah mandi nak bersiap pi kerja, tiba-tiba aku dengar Abang ketuk pintu bilik air, which is something extra ordinary 'coz selalunya masa aku tengah mandi, Abang masih lagi guling-guling atas katil.
Abang kata, "Abang dapat 7 smses pagi ni --
Rustam meninggal dunia mengejut kena heart-failure pagi ni! We have to go. We have to see him."
We were just.... speechless. We never knew he had heart problems, just sakit-sakit kaki sebab diabetic aje.
Unfortunately, Abang has to attend a mentioning at the court untuk kes tahun 2001, along with Tian, Nora and Abg Isham Rais among others. So, I had to follow Abang to court first before convoy 3 kereta dari Jalan Duta ke Bukit Lela - our car, Tian & abang Isham in Tian's car, and geng-geng Nora in another.
We reached Bukit Lela by almost 11am, and by then orang dah ramai ada. Since jalan masuk is so sempit, people had to start parking dari bawah bukit lagi, which is around 400m down from Pak Rustam's house.
So Abang and I parked our car near the main road, and then tumpang naik kereta Tian (maklum, kereta YB, buleh tumpang sekaki) sampai ke atas.
Kat atas at the house, I saw Ginie, Lim Kit Siang, Raja Ahmad, Amir Muhammad, Che'gu Bard, Black, Pak Syed Husin Ali, Dr. Nasir, Nat, YB-YB baru lain and a lot of Abang's friends. The so-called two-face Dr. Chandra pun ada. DSAI, Kak Wan and Izzah dah pun balik by the time we arrived. Abang sempat solatkan Pak Rustam. Aku pula hanya sempat derma baca Surah Yassin dua kali. Aku tak sempat tatap muka Pak Rustam untuk kali terakhir sebab ramai sangat orang dalam bilik.
What a great loss to us all, and to the Nation.
Pak Rustam was actually in the midst of releasing a new book, "Failed Nation? Concerns of Malaysian Nationalist dan Social Roots of The Malay Left" this Saturday in Shah Alam too. But we heard it'll still go on in his memory.
We will definitely miss his gentle ways and smiling face.
1. On Pak Rustam's passing over -- The Star, NST, Kak Nuraina Samad, Nat's own moving entry, Politikus, KLPos, Sang Pemantau, MSOMelayu, or just google Pak Rustam on his passing-over
2. Belasungkawa: Siapakah Pak Rustam
3. Pak Rustam's moving poem to his son Azi in 1974
Labu. Abang's official favourite (and vice versa).
Like, tah sejak bila dia pandai cari jalan panjat naik atas almari and lepak atas beg, watching down to the world. Mentang-mentang dia slim & ringan.
Si Labi pulak, bila tak jumpa Abg Labu dia nak diajak bergusti, mula lah bising -- ngouuw ngouuw ngouuw -- sikit lagi macam anak rimau mengaum bunyinya, I kid you not.
And bila Labi jumpa and nampak Abg Labu atas almari, mula lah dia berleter pulak -- mengengengehhh, mmmehhh -- sebab dia debab sangat nak lompat naik to join Abg Labu.
And Abg Labu pula non-chalantly continues watching the world underneath him.
You know, back in May 2005, when Tian ajak Abang untuk sama-sama 'revive' the almost defunct paper, nobody wanted to print for them. No printers trusted them enough that they could sell the papers and settle the printing bills.
The 1st issue under Tian & Abang's helm was only 20,000 prints. Back then Harakah was already printing ten-folds per issue.
And without approved permit, vendors takut nak jual. At one point, rampasan akhbar berlaku all around the Peninsula almost every week. Tian, Abang and team worked so damn hard -- not only for the long overdue permit (I remember the time that Tian actually camped inside the Kementrian to see the officer-in-charge), but also to pay bills and overheads.
Every issue was a struggle, but I saw the unwavering & unquivering dedication that Tian&Abang put in the team.
People came and went, but the number of prints per issues kept growing. At one point, Abang was so short-staffed that even I had to help on some of the work. Vacant posts were advertised, yang apply 2,3 kerat je. Like, who would want to work with a press-office without a permit, kan??
But prior to and after 8th of March certainly changed everything.
Tian&Abang's paper sold out like hot-cakes. And as at two weeks ago, they had to print 90,000 copies, with printers practically berlumba-lumba offering them good bargaining prices.
Post 8th March also calls for rapid expansion. They're now looking into new premises -- their third move within their 3 years. Vacant posts are advertised, and the sambutan has been so good that at times Abang had to interview 10 candidates in a day.
And for this coming issue this Tuesday, they are printing 100,000 copies -- that's five-folds from the first time Tian&Abang took over almost 3 years ago.
Alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah...
And this morning, while Abang was driving to work, I sat by the pool for my Sunday Star paper.
And then I saw it, on page N8 -- 'Permit for PKR Paper Approved' !!
I thought, aik? Awat Abang tak beritahu aku on the great news??
Aku terus call Abang, who hadn't reached office yet.
'Bang? Awat tak bagitau Alin pasal SK dah dapat permit??
"Haaa?? Mana ada!"
Laaa, ni dalam Star, page Nation-8... (and aku baca apa Syed Hamid Albar kata).
Abang terus menjerit, "YA KE!! Syukur!! Yahuuu!"
And that, to me, was my proudest moment this year thus far -- apart from me finally getting my hands on the guitar, of course!
Aku terus sms Umi Ayah on the great news, and also congratulate Tian and the team on the sms.
Alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah...
Despite their challenges of being short-staffed, kena fitnah, kena back-stab and kena betray...aku ingat lagi pesan Abang: "Abang tak takut, sebab Abang tahu Abang ikhlas. I have no personal agenda whatsoever. If one day I've to go, I will go. In the mean time, this is an amanah to me and the team, and I've promised to do my very best for the paper and for everyone."
Aku tak pernah lepas berdoa, semoga kesungguhan dan ketulusan perjuangan Abang akan mendapat perlindungan dan balasan setimpal. Moga Allah selalu melindungi Abang dan rakan-rakan yang ikhlas (yang tak ikhlas boleh doa sendiri, ok. Aku tak mau masuk pot). Dan jika tiba waktu kena undur, moga Allah beri ruang untuk berundur cara paling disenangi dan terhormat.
Never under-estimate the power of sheer determination & commitment... Juga doa keluarga, dan isteri...
So so proud of Abang and team.
Alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah...
And behind there, is Labi sleeping to my 'crooning'. Yes, all together now -- "Awww....". Haha.
Ok, nak sidai baju my last load of the week, and then turun bawah to update blog kat c/c, naik atas gosok baju Abang yang dia nak guna masa interview Tan Sri, mandikan Labu Labi, ganti pasir diorang, vacuum rumah, cuci bilik air, sambung jahit manik baju kurung Celi dia nak guna untuk konvo Udi kat Bath this June, and then lastly practise guitar lagi sementara tunggu Abang balik.
Abang kata dia balik keja pukul 7pm arini. So, kalau aku tak take nap, aku boleh complete all my tasks. Aaaaamin.
Atu, last Feb, akak submit la competition entries kat @stro website... LIMA, kau. Nak tengok Kak Celine perform on the 13th April for free punya pasai.
Ye la, kau ingat tiket dia murah, kaa deyyy. Nak beli, kena beli dua, dik non oi. Takkan nak pi sengsorang, kan.
So, sementara nak tunggu keputusan, akak pun familliarised myself hard with her songs from her latest album, Taking Chances. Kira 75% hafal la kan. Macam hafal ayat-ayat lazim, gitew. Ennnteng. Siap cuba lagu Taking Chances on the guitar, lagi.
Tapi, biasa la. Aku agak aku kena antar 50 entries baru hit the jackpot, kot.
Tak macam Mariah Carey in 2004 dulu, aku antar 2 entries je, dapat gak tiket.
Tapi akak tunggu call sampai 13hb pagi, tau...kot @stro ternampak lima entries akak and kesiankan akak ke...but to no avail.
Tapi, no phonecalls, sob.
So, malam tu, akak hanya mampu tengok je la lampu stadium dari kejauhan dari tingkap rumah...huwak.
Menci menci menci @stro.
Pada sapa-sapa yang dapat tengok Kak Celine on the 13th -- i haytchew. Hmph.