Friday, December 31, 2010

Land of Cuti

The country gets a holiday today when the national football team won a minor title for the first time since the inception of the AFF Cup 14 years ago, a regional tournament in South East Asia. Malaysia has been known as one of the country that has the most public holidays. Winning the title is just another excuse not to go to work on the last day of the year 2010.

As I look out from my bedroom widow I noticed cars being park like on normal working days in front of the business office block across the road. I don’t believe they are unaware of the announcement by the Prime Minister on Wednesday night immediately after the match as I believe most of the staff working at the advertising and marketing firms are keen sports followers. Definitely dateline has to be met and year end stock taking cannot be put on hold on the last day of the year. These business concerns also seem to be open on Saturdays which has been declared a holiday in the public sector beginning 2010. So much for the private sector in contrast to the public sector.

Yesterday parents had to change their schedule and rush to school to make arrangement for their school going kid’s fees etc to avoid the inconvenience when schools reopen on the Monday 3 January 2011. When I return from Tanjung Karang early evening yesterday I noticed cars streaming out of the city, may be people are taking time off during the long weekend to greet the New Year away from Klang Valley. Strangely the roads were clogged with vehicles in Subang Jaya, and the supermarkets and shopping centres were crowded.

I suppose everyone one else is in holiday mood except those who has to attend to the datelines and appointments. They expect a holiday be announced when the football team captured the Cup.

The football team grabbed the imagination of the country and retiree like me came out to lend support after a long time. The Prime Minister took advantage of the mood by making the popular announcement to the chagrin of the distracters. Anyway the mainstream media did not bother to entertain their grouses.

Let’s hope the team keep up to their good showing and savour the reception they are getting for doing a good job. Keep in mind the same reception the Italian football team received when they won FIFA World Cup but when they lost the title they were pelted with rotten vegetables and eggs. At least in Malaysia nobody bother to greet them when they failed as mentioned by one of the member of the victorious team.

Enjoy the holiday and Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Good Year Ending

It has been a long time that I sat in front of the TV set to watch the Malaysian team played both their full matches at the Nasional Stadium, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur and Gelora Senayan Bung Karno, Jakarta against regional rival Indonesia. For that matter I have never set foot at the Nasional Stadium since it was constructed but have been a regular at Gelora Senayan when I was a commentator and RTM’s Chef de Mission whenever there were Games or matches held there when I was with RTM prior to retirement.

The last time I went to watch a local match was when the Sarawak team played their matches in their heyday winning the FA Cup. Those were the days when the late Dato Taha Ariffin, a good friend lead the State FA. I never missed any of their matches at the State Stadium, Kuching when I was serving there 1992-3. They had a good team in the mould of the present “Malaysian Tiger” and I believed in them.

It was great to see the “Harimau” thumping the “Garuda” 3-0 at the Stadium Nasional on Sunday 26 December 2010 after a humiliating defeat at Senayan 1-5 in the preliminary round. I saw good football sense among the players, smart passing especially the long ones, and great stamina. They lacked the art of ball possession, losing to the clever and wily Indonesian. I am sure coach Rajagobal will work on that department. 3-0 lead to the second leg of the Finals was unexpected but all the goals were gems.

I didn’t expect the Malaysian to win the second leg but knew they would put up good resistance to deny the Indonesian the AFF Cup. Win the Cup the Harimau did with 4-2 aggregate. I expected them to defend solidly and use the long balls as counter attack which did produce the precious lead goal. Although the Garuda managed to score 2 goals to be winners at 2-1, the turning point was definitely the penalty that Malaysia custodian denied the Garuda skipper early in the first half. That must have disheartened the Garudas and their full house supporters.

That was a good ending to the year for the country’s football. Last year the same team took home the football gold at the Vientiane SEA Games. I hope the officials at FAM house are not gloating at these minor winnings and start sitting on their laurel again. They have to work hard to continue with the winning formula and revive Malaysia’s lost glory in football. They should make full use of the planned football academy. The biggest job at hand is talent spotting and revolutionising the league in the country.

A new dual league should be introduced base on the old method at district level for Clubs and Schools, the champions ending up at the national level competition. Let not it be politicised; make the District chiefs be in charge. The Majlis Sukan Negara should start a foundation towards this with the corporations of the FAM and the Multinational and GLC.

Now after the good win against Indonesia the Malaysia should jump up the ladder of FIFA ranking now at no 144 just ahead of Myanmar (149) and Philippines (150). Up the ladder are Singapore (140), Vietnam (137), Indonesia (127) and Thailand (121). So we are the best of the bottom half of ASEAN team. May be in January 2011 we should be in the top half after winning the AFF Cup.

Happy New Year.

Monday, December 27, 2010

One Year of Blogging

It was a year back on 17 December 2009 that I put in my first posting in this blog. I still remain a reluctant blogger.

I have penned some of my experience at the work place, activities that I feel were affecting my life style, and some thought that I share with some friends on our past experiences in our career. I have not ventured into the political front as I prefer to be a bystander but I have no reluctance in revealing what I feel about the environment and social scenes affecting our daily life.

The last one year moved on at a fast phase, days turn into weeks and weeks into months in no time at all. It is difficult to believe that we are going into another new year soon.

I can easily recollect the losing of loved ones and good friends, the happiness of marriages and engagements of the younger generations, the arrival of the babies, and the occasional meetings of friends new and old. Then there are the regular visits to the hospitals, clinics and doctors, supplemented by the visits to “mandi wap herbal” at Tanjung Karang with my regular kaki Zainal Imam.

I do keep a diary just to be sure I remember the dates of the visits to the doctors and marriage invitations.

When I was introduced to the Facebook (FB) I kept some hours in the evening to chat with my group of friends. Initially we did it through the chat room at PVRTM website which was a wee bit slow and decided to move to the FB chat area. We manage to keep ourselves updated.

I feel there will not be much change in the New Year as far as my daily activities are concerned.

Here’s wishing everyone Happy and Healthy New Year.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Vain of Facebook

Suddenly I lost interest in Facebook (FB), the new social network on the internet. The propagation did not meet my expectation and it is a distance from the truth, may be my expectation and ideal is too high, which I am not willing to compromise. I have seen too many compromises in real life that went against the rules and norms that lead to the formation of a “culture” that contradict. I know I am going against the tide here.

From the beginning I don’t expect to widen the circle of my friends as I am very cautious about meeting strangers especially on the world wide network. I prefer those I knew personally, relatives and friends. When it comes to strangers I prefer those I feel are telling the truth in their profiles. Strangers with vague profiles are my main worry. Those without photos or with pictures of some other things except themselves are suspect of hiding things. These are the people who are brazen in their comments and we have to safeguard in our counter comments so as not to go against the rules and regulations. It is easy for them; once an account is closed they just created another one under different name.

I find most of the discussions on FB are trivial and childish. Perhaps I am not moving with the time due to my age. It could be fun for teenagers and the younger set but I am just not with it how much I tried to assimilate. I find the language and spelling atrocious be it in Malay or English or both. Most resort to the SMS spelling which is beyond my grasp in any languages. There are some obviously are very weak in both languages and tried to hide by using all sort of spelling methods. Worst still are those who use both languages at the same time to express themselves but failed in their attempt to write the proper way. I get worried over this as I feel it could be the result of our education policy on medium of instruction. Many blamed on the TV shows which in a way are true. This kind of going on has got to be stopped. I am happy there are still many who respect the proper usage of the language and its spelling.

I noticed the FB has become some sort of “Pasar Malam” (night market) where all sort of things are on offer. In abundance are offering for the ladies from nice dresses to undergarments, from glittering jewelleries to healthy and slimming food including ”jamu” and medication that will turn back the clock into the first night experience.  Of course for the men there is the “Tongkat Ali” the Malay version of “Viagra” and associate, being touted as giving a lasting impression for the ladies, beside other thing that give better and healthier life.

These offerings have not moved me at all. I have not tried these products as there is no guarantee of their quality. I will stick to my normal “pasar malam”, sundry shops, shopping complex and supermarket which have a better choice and offering.

Of course, there are those who propagate their beliefs and interests. The one that conflict with my belief is horoscope and the reading of the stars on one’s future. I have never subscribed to them, not because of religious teaching which says it is “syirik” (blasphemy). I have never find them to be true neither accurate. There are a few who religiously post or link these horoscope and stars for others to read. I feel they just should keep them in their personal file instead of wasting FB space of people who are not interested in such thing. Religiously I just made all these postings and links disappear from sight. Contributing to more useful thing in life would be beneficial than believing in speculations.

Then there are those who propagate their religious and political beliefs vehemently. I have learnt from the beginning to keep my distance from them.

The one that cheese me off are the bragger and the flamboyant that cares only for their world. They will come out with the most bombastic of language which got me so confuse and decided not to continue reading for lacked of understanding and getting my thought in a muddle. I appreciate good language but not the one that is mind boggling.

Finally there are friends who boast that they have thousands and hundreds of “FB Friends”. According to my experience who has been into FB about 3 months back and have about 100 “friends” I know about 80 of them personally while the others are those interested in making me their friends and I did have a closer examination of their profile just to be sure. I have deleted quite a few as they don’t fall into my category of “friends”. I just wonder how they entertain friends of more than a thousand in numbers, and how many are truly friends. This is typical of Malaysian attitude of going for quantity rather than quality.

Monday, November 8, 2010

When It Began

It was on a bright sunny morning 47 years ago on Thursday 7 November, 1963 that I reported for duty as a broadcaster at the Malay Service of Radio Malaysia in Federal House, Kuala Lumpur.

Being in the temporary post of Broadcasting Assistant Grade II (BA2) I reported straight to the Head of Service, the late Abu Bakar Ahmad, himself a prominent broadcaster in his younger days. After sorting out the formalities I was introduced to his assistant the Programme Organiser the late Jamaliah Long and the rest of their staff. I did not realise then that the post was in the middle-rung of the hierarchy of the Service.

I was then despatch to the administrative division of the Department of Radio Malaysia to sort the official documentation where I had to produce the original of my identification and education certificates to be verified and documented in my Service Book by the Chief Clerk the late Mr Sinathamby. Obviously it was a tedious job compared to today’s computerisation and usage of the IT technology. Photostat machine or scanner was unheard then.

Then I was given a few Medical Examination forms and a letter to the General Hospital for their execution. I was given time off to go to the hospital. Luckily my residence at that time was at Circular Road (the present Jalan Tun Razak) within walking distance. So I don’t have to waste time travelling. It was a whole day affair and the result came a week later. It was positive which mean I am a bona fide staff of Radio Malaysia on a temporary basis.

I started my actual working day the following Monday with observation being termed as “double banking” with my new colleagues who were eager to share their experiences. The new staff did not have the benefit of a formal training at the Centre as today. We were only given specific guidelines to perform our function.

 I did my best to shine in my job for the next 32 years.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Sports Commentator Honoured

I was thrilled to hear the news that Haji Hasbullah Awang the renowned sports commentator has been conferred “Darjah Indera Mahkota Pahang” (DIMP) which carries the title Dato’ by DYMM Sultan Pahang on His Highness birthday on Sunday 24 October 2010.

I have known “Bol” as Hasbullah is fondly known among his close acquaintance since the late 70s when he was attached to RTM Kuantan and I was on RTM’s Sports circuit covering sports events all over the country. At that time he was a rookie broadcaster (on a part time basis) learning the trick of the trade in Kuantan. I took notice of him for his booming voice and good delivery. He was the sports’ voice at RTM Kuantan and would tag along with the crew from the headquarters Kuala Lumpur. At that point and time I happened to be the lead commentator over Radio and TV. I pass the word to my boss that he should be in KL as we were short handed of capable and quality commentators for live events.

By the time the Sports Department of RTM was inaugurated and I was appointed the pioneer Head in the early 80s Bol was already a RTM staff as Broadcasting Assistant Grade III (BA 3). Naturally he was recruited into our Radio section. By that time work load did not permit me to sit in front of the cameras and I left the scene with a tinge. Hasbullah, Rahim Razali, Aziz Ibrahim, Abdullah Hasim among others were ready to take over the mettle.

At that time the duty of a Radio broadcaster was not confine to his or her own department and the Radio staff was allowed to lend their voices on “voluntary basis” to television. TV has no such post on their pay roll but has a substantial budget for “part-timers” as it was suppose to get the best talent around for the job. The payment for the part-timers was lucrative. As it was on piece meal basis the accumulative monthly payment exceeded even the salary of a senior staff in the programme division.

A BA3 like Bol was getting an equivalent of a clerical service staff. I felt it was an irony for someone with better performance to do the job gratis (he made the normal claim for outstation duties with permission from his boss). With a growing family he was trying to make ends meet in costly KL. There were others in his position as well. I made a recommendation to the directorate and the Treasury Dept that such Radio staff be given the stipulated part-time allowances for their contribution to TV. Of course the duty has to be outside their working hours. It was strongly endorsed by the then Director-General the late Zain Mahmood.

The Treasury took a long time to make its decision and by the time they gave a positive answer our friend Bol quit his post as BA3 and straight away became our “permanent” part-time. Of course his living style changed for the better. He could even build his own bungalow in Bukit Naga, Shah Alam, on a “part-time basis” literally for a few years. When I went for his Raya Open House two months back he proudly announced that the “part-time extension” of the house has ended. Yes, he has a beautiful home fit for a Dato’.

Congratulations Dato’ Haji Hasbullah Awang.

Monday, October 11, 2010


My friend Tengku Asri sent me an intriguing e-mail that set me thinking all the time. I am in two minds, to accept it as authored and at the same time debate over it with issue close to heart.

It was a short story on the subject of “excellence”. Here is the quote of the last 2 paragraphs that bother me:

The desire to excel is exclusive of the fact whether someone else appreciates it or not. "Excellence" is a drive from inside, not outside.

Excellence is not for someone else to notice but for your own satisfaction and excellence.

Whenever fellow veterans of RTM met they will somehow ended up discussing the issue of the standard of broadcasting in the country mainly focussing on RTM, their alma matter.

It is besetting to the present day staff as everyone seems to pour their dissatisfaction at the indifference of attitude and lack of quality of what is seen or heard over the air.

I am not alone in ceasing my viewing of the local TV broadcasts especially RTM that I used to oversee as its Director.

In my days as a practicing broadcaster we were meticulous in making sure our work is of the highest standard and free of misrepresentation. In short we took pride in our work. We were quick to take notice of criticism that came through various channels of the day, and made amend to rectify, making sure it will not happen again.

I had my own philosophy on criticisms from the audience: “They care and want us to improve” to their satisfaction. There were instances we overlooked certain fact or situation which the audience noticed. The feeling and attitude should be reciprocal to the benefit of both side.

Both sentences are correct in its motive but in broadcasting and similar field the audience, the intended target, has different perception. Even the obvious could be misinterpreted and eventually manipulated.

I cannot understand at all with the attitude of the present staff of the stations that just couldn’t careless to the quality of what is on the air. Mistakes keep on repeating everyday in almost all the news and local productions. The abundant criticisms seem to fall on deaf ears to the annoyance of the audience, especially the veterans. So much so they decided to retire from viewing local productions.

It is a great loss to the betterment of the stations.

I have stopped watching RTM for the same reasons. I do watch the news at times just to keep abreast with the latest, ignoring the weak standard of productions and presentations that I was so particular about when I was in service as the “supremo" of TV 1 and TV 2.

I heard lately RTM has a new leader, a career journalist (newsman) as its Director-General. I have not met the gentleman and don’t know much of his background. I assume a newsman as a leader would revolutionise RTM’s news for the better. I regret to say the news has been regressive under the new leadership. One wonder at what level of news production the new leadership has in his previous career in different places and medium. I suppose this is a time to “pause and ponder”, a time of adjustment and a time to “get use to”. I am sure after all these times are over, we shall see the “revolution” and improvement.

I have been told in the local TV production sector there seem to be improvement in quality except the presenters who seem to lack the punch and vigour of modern day broadcasting. I was told they seem to be stereotype moulded in the “old way”. RTM must be in difficulty looking for the right talents in that field. Could it be the real talented people just bypass and ignore RTM for some reason or other that RTM staff are grumbling in the Face Book. I don’t think low payment is the result. Previously there are talented people who make used of RTM as a stepping stone to “stardom”. I may be sued if I mention names.

So kindly have a second look at the two paragraphs mentioned and be reminded that there are many out there watching (viewing) looking for “excellence” in their personal perspective, or lose them according to your whims and fancies.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


By 17 December 2010 it will be a year that I dabble as a Blogger. It was at the persuasion of my good friend Tengku Mohd Ali Bostaman.

The computer is not a new thing to me as I remember having bought the Apple PC way back in the early 1970s. As work schedule was tight then, it was left to the whim and fancies of my growing up children at home.

Later I bought the latest model of the day to assist me in my office assignment. It was short live as I have to give that up. Izad was pursuing his tertiary education and needed a PC to complete his assignment. When he finished it was niece Diyana turn to inherit when she was pursuing her Bio Science degree at University Malaya.

By the time they graduated I was getting use to life without the computer and as a retired person I don’t need one. As it turn out Tengku Ali was encouraging members of Persatuan Veteran RTM to be computer savvy to fill in the long hours available in life. He conducted a computer course at IPTAR which was well attended and I was one of the participants.

That was the time I learn the development of the New Media that everyone was talking about. I was easily taken up by the latest communication technology development. Blog, Face Book, Twitter, Spyke etc really impressed me. With a little nudge from T.Ali I was easily taken in. I went round window shopping for a good PC or laptop. Then at the spur of the moment I decided “if you want to go big, look for safety and comfort, get among the best in the market”. Without blinking an eye lids I became the owner of a Sony VAIO laptop to the surprise of my computer kakis, especially our Sifu. I have no regret for the price paid. So far it has not given any serious problem.

Then it was choosing the so called broadband. None of the brands impress me. They have their defects but I just pick one. I could not go to TM to continue with my old account that was defunct. Streamyx was in the house but Izad took the modem and the account with him to his workplace in Segamat. I was biding time to get the latest fibre optic connection which has been well publicise by TM. It came in April 2010 to Subang Jaya and I was among the first to take up the offer around the housing estate. I enjoyed 2 months of free usage (May and June) compliment of TM while waiting for UniFi to be fully utilised officially. I have no regret. All who came to the house with their laptops was impressed with the speed of the connection, and they came in drove to download materials which seem to take ages on the broad bands and Streamyx.

Now I am in full gear. I had this particular blog that I step in once in a while.

Two months ago I had a look at the Face Book and like it. My “friends” are growing in numbers but I have to be selective as there are the few who seem to hog our link as if it belongs to them. As usual you meet all sorts of characters as in everyday life. For the sake of ‘friendship’ we have to be patience.

I am happy to renew acquaintances all round especially old friends and relatives who I have not been in contact for ages. Best of all is the positive response from the younger set of the family who were willing to come forward and produce ‘gems’ and ‘treasures’ in the form of photographs that revive poignant memories. Thank you ‘guys’. What I like most about these kids whom I have known since the days they were in the cradles is they were so shy in real life but in FB they are so open and articulate. They find it much easier to communicate with elders like me which is a good sign for FB, especially its ‘chat’ and ‘message’ areas.

Due to time constrain I have not venture into other areas of the internet except to update myself with the latest news and events globally.

Waiting eagerly for further development.