Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Festival Jualan Buku DBP 2008

Tarikh: 12 Dis 08 - 11 Jan 09
Masa: 9.30 pagi-6.30 petang
Lokasi: Kompleks Dawama,
Lot 1037, Jalan AU3/1,
54200 Ampang/Hulu Kelang,
Selangor Darul Ehsan

Keterangan lanjut, hubungi: 03-4107 9037 atau layari


It has been a while since I've gone to DBP Book Fairs. I used to frequent it often as a kid. The fair is usually held at the above-stated Ampang Hulu Kelang complex, so the distance was convenient for my parents to drag 5 kids along (In hindsight, I am forever grateful to my parents for instilling the reading habit in me and my siblings since young).

I don't know what happened but I stopped coming to the fairs. Until today that is. Being under the white tents and checking out the familiar Malay-language books bring back fond memories (they are still selling old titles).

One of the obvious reasons I studied TESL was because I love the English language. I love reading Enid Blytons as a child, followed by Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley series, Fear Street, etc.

And since I am going to be an English language teacher, I devoted much of my time to improving my English, to the detriment of my Malay. Being a non-NEST (Non-Native English Speaking Teacher) makes you feel inadequate about your level of competency at times. Complaints in the newspapers about incompetent English teachers exacerbate my feelings of inadequacy.

Though my conversational Malay is all right (it is my first language after all), my written Malay has deteriorated. I feel more comfortable writing in English now, as is evident in my blog. This is not something that I'm proud of, as I would very much like to be highly-competent in both.

My current imbalance state reminds me of a theory in bilingualism (appropriately called The Balance Theory); where a bilingual person is pictured as having two language balloons in his/her head. These two balloons are half-filled/less-filled. And if one language is "pumped" higher, the other language, diminishes in size. In contrast, a monolingual has one well-filled balloon.

Other theories have since supplanted this theory. Our brain seems to have an unlimited amount of "room" for languages. So, being a balanced bilingual (or multilingual) is not an impossible aim. The renown Adibah Amin is an excellent example of one.

So, though I originally didn't plan to have new-year resolutions, I'll make one regarding this; I plan to read more Malay books in 2009.

*My long-deserted text-book: 'Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism' by Colin Baker came to the rescue when I was trying to recall and explain the Balance Theory.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


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[] On Saturday, December 27, 2008, a massive wave of Israeli air strikes against the sealed off Gaza Strip claimed the lives of at least 230 people and injured several hundred innocent Palestinians. The Israeli onslaught continues unabated over the already starving, tired and wounded people. Many commentators and reporters affirm that this is the worst massacre Gaza has been subjected to since Israel occupied it in 1967. Meanwhile, none of the formal parties whether they are international, Arab or Islamic have done anything yet to stop the continuing genocide.


Now, 3 days into the attacks, the death toll has reached 300 and the wounded 1000. These numbers are bound to increase as Israel promises further attacks.

Seeing the news on CNN/BBC makes me angry. Any Muslim would.

And the EXTREMELY BIASED reporting makes me even angrier.

I particularly loathe the Israeli Foreign Minister: Tzipi Livni for saying things like:

  • "Hamas, not Israel, is the one who needs to be condemned by the international community."
  • "Israel is a state that implements its right to defend itself and its citizens."
  • "Hamas [is] responsible for breaking the cease-fire and for the renewal of violence in Gaza."
  • the Jewish state had "no alternative" but to launch a series of attacks in Gaza
  • they had tried everything in order to avoid this military operation, but that Israel would not live under attack by Hamas.
  • "Israel is looking to give its citizens a decent life, the right to live in peace and quiet like any other citizens in the world."
Oh, the dripping hypocrisy!
Makes you want to throw your shoes at her, no??

Friday, December 05, 2008

Revealed: The Hajj

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I was happy to learn that The Discovery Channel will be screening the documentary Revealed: The Hajj again. I saw the documentary some time ago and really liked it. I watched it before I went for umrah, so many things were unfamiliar to me. I'm looking forward to watch it again and "relive" my umrah experience.

Admittedly, umrah cannot be compared to the Hajj. Hajj is attended by millions of people. Makkah is the most crowded place on earth during the pilgrimage. Watching the documentary, you will get to see how engineers, logisticians, doctors, paramedics, etc prepare to cater to such a huge crowd. It truly is fascinating.

The documentary also tells about Matthew Nelson, an Australian who is a recent Muslim revert/convert. His spiritual-quest story provides the foil to the (more dominant) scientific perspective of the Hajj.

So, celebrate Eid Al-Adha this year by watching this documentary if you can. Show times are shown below:

Discovery Channel (551 on ASTRO)
7-Dec-08: 10.00am
7-Dec-08: 3.00pm

Alternatively, you can see it on (where else?) YouTube. The documentary has been divided into 12 parts.


Thursday, December 04, 2008


News has it that the majority of us (B. Ed. TESL Menengah) will be posted to Sabah & Sarawak. And the majority of that majority (am I making sense here??) will be posted to Sabah.

This piece of news has perturbed/unnerved/shocked everyone concerned.

I just told my parents about it today. I was keeping the news to myself because I don't want them to be overly panic. But my fears were unfounded. My dad just said "So, you now have to prepare yourself mentally...".

He thought I would be the hysterical one (!) haha

The reason I'm not pushing the panic button yet is that nothing is CONFIRMED. When that fateful day finally arrives, I'll tell you how I react.


Below is an advice given by Imam Ibnul Wardi:

"Kegemaranmu tinggal di kampung merupakan satu kelemahan yang ketara. Oleh itu pergilah merantau mencari ilmu pasti kau temukan ganti dari keluarga yang ditinggalkan."

"Air yang tenang itu akan menjadi busuk. Begitu pula seandainya anak bulan itu tidak berjalan, maka sudah tentu ia tidak akan menjadi bulan purnama."

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