Saturday, October 27, 2007

UNESCO brouhaha

The Education Minister, Hishamuddin Hussein, was elected to the Unesco Executive Board on 25 October 2007. And the brouhaha it caused among the local media was nothing short of spectacular.

If they had it their way, they’d have you believe that Hishamuddin Hussein was elected as the Secretary-General of the United Nations. And to top it up, his election was touted as “membuktikan negara mempunyai produk pendidikan yang diiktiraf dunia”, whatever that means…

Alas, the brouhaha is just that – a clamour arising for no good reason.

Firstly, there’s nothing much special about being elected to the Executive Board. Hishamuddin is just one of fifty-eight (58) elected members. Others include representatives from minor-league nations such as Niger, Albania, Cuba, Jamaica, Mongolia, Pakistan, and El Salvador.

Secondly, the sloganeering “produk pendidikan yang diiktiraf dunia” does seem to ring hollow, doesn’t it? What does it really mean? What international recognition are we talking about – if any?

After fifty years of Merdeka, what have we got to show in terms of education advancement?

Our children continue to be subjected to endless “experimentation” as a result of the politicization of the education system.

Just look at the policy on the use of English as a medium of instruction.

As our politicians stumble and muddle through it to suit their political interests, our poor younger generations are slowly but surely being turned into a confused lot – not to mention possessing poor language skills.

As a result, while the Malay students can’t even construct a single sentence in English without being littered with grammatical errors, the non-Malays would shy away from using the National language at the slightest of opportunity. This certainly does not augur well for our future unity as a nation.

To say that this is a sad situation would be an understatement.

I say this because it is at the schooling age that our children have the biggest opportunity to interact closely and make close friends with people of all races without any of the inhibitions and prejudices that we adults might, unfortunately, posses.

It is also here that they can get exposed to the cultures and way of life of other ethnic groups. Oh, what a fertile ground for nurturing and instilling the concept of muhibbah, isn’t it?

And from my personal experience, bonds of friendship developed over that period are the most meaningful and long-lasting.

Too bad our politicians are more interested in getting elected to the Unesco Executive Board in far-away Paris, rather than focusing on real and more pressing issues back home.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Post Raya blues

Just got back from kampong this afternoon in time for solat Jumaat at our local surau. The traffic on the highway today was smooth, thankfully. But wait till tomorrow, or this Sunday, and the balik kota traffic will reach its climax as people rush back in time for work on Monday.

The thing with balik kampong for Raya is that, no matter how bad a propspect it is to 'do battle' on the roads and highways, one has no choice but to join in the exodus.

This is not to say that one is forced into it. For there is always that nice thought and warm feeling of joining our parents, siblings and relatives for Raya to look forward to.

There will also be chances to catch up with old friends, and to engage in bersoreh with the elder relatives as I update our Buku Salasilah Keluarga. And of course there is the joy, laughter and merry-making by the children which is very infectious during the festive period.

And the food. Well...what can I say. I am pretty sure the term 'balanced diet' was never meant to go with 'Hari Raya'.
Caution goes to the wind as I gulped down plates of rendang (Mak's), lemang, ketupat and lots of sweet drinks and kueh (Mem Besar's jam tart...mmm). Enough to get my doctor to give me a good dressing-down when I see him during my next appointment -- IF he finds out, that is (wink, wink).

Alas, come Monday, it's back to work!

What a drag. I can just see Mem Besar pinching me out of the bed this Monday. And mind you she's got a mean of a pinch. Ouch!

Happy Hari Raya while Shawal lasts, but together, let's not forget to do puasa enam, okay.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Selamat Hari Raya

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri
Minal Aidin Wal Faizin

to all my friends, colleagues and visitors to Seri Kepayang blog
May ALlah grace us with the chance to greet Ramadhan again
next year

Azizi Hj. Ahmad Termizi
Kampong Kepayang Fair Park
Perak Darul Ridzwan

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"Lift off, we have lift off...!"

Right after solat tarawih at the surau we rushed home to switch on the television and catch Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, Malaysia's first astronaut, hurtling towards outer space.

Of course by then we had missed the countdown. But it was an exciting and proud moment nevertheless.

A quick check on the internet, and below is how the BBC News reported the event at 13:48 GMT (9.48pm Malayisan time), i.e. exactly 16 minutes after lift off.

Soyuz rocket sends crew to space

A Russian spacecraft heading to the International Space Station (ISS) has blasted off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

The Soyuz rocket propelled Malaysia's first astronaut into space alongside the first female astronaut to become commander of the space station.

Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor and American Peggy Whitson were accompanied by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko. Ms Whitson and Mr Malenchenko will remain on the ISS for six months, replacing two other astronauts.

Mr Shukor will spend nine days on the space station before returning to Earth with the outgoing crew.

The launch has been eagerly anticipated in Malaysia, where it has been hailed as a landmark for the Asian nation.

The Soyuz-FG rocket lifted off on schedule at 1752 Moscow time (1322 GMT), topped with a spacecraft containing the three crew members.
The crew are expected to dock at the space station on Friday.

Friday, October 05, 2007

A clean bill of health for Syafiq

Just after iftar today, whilst resting on the sofa in the living room, I received an sms on my handphone.

It was from my son, Syafiq, who is studying in MRSM Kuala Kubu Bharu. He had good news that the specialist doctor at Hospital Selayang has given him a clean bill of health.

You see, Syafiq injured himself playing soccer at his college last July. In fact, he wrote about the incident and his Super MRSM KKB soccer tournament on this blog. He had internal bleeding and, as a result, acute pain in the stomach.

This morning he went for his appointment with the specialist. After looking at the result of the urine test for signs of blood and an ultra-sound scanning the doctor was satisfied that the wound has healed.

Alhamdulillah, I am a much relieved father for that. I had been worrying for him all this while for fear that the injury might be long term.

I guess it is all part of parenting to be worried and sometimes stressed-out with our children's sickness, injuries, emotional rollercoasters, tantrums and demands.

We get worried because we love and care for them. When it comes to our children, we always want the best for them. Always.

Sadly, the simple acts and pleasures of parental love are not always appreciated by children. It is only when the parents are no more around that the stark reality sets in.

Surely this need not be the case? Ask Raudhah, the little orphaned girl whose story has been recounted by Count Byron, just how painful it feels to miss the hugs and tender love of a father she never had.

To all my beloved children, I pray that you will all be able to understand and appreciate this. Hormatilah ibu bapamu. Ingatlah bahawa melakukan kebaikan kepada ibu bapa merupakan suatu perintah dari Allah s.w.t.

Berbaktilah kepada ibu bapamu, doakan kebaikan kepada kami semasa kami hidup, dan apatah lagi setelah kami tiada nanti. Kerana sesungguhnya do'amu adalah antara bekalan buat kami untuk ketika kami menghadap ALlah kelak.