Thursday, September 15, 2011

Masjid Negara: a national heritage

Standing proud right within the KL city centre, the Masjid Negara symbolizes the role of Islam as the official religion of the nation.

But more than that, it is also an iconic building. A landmark in itself. And now, an officially designated heritage building.

I am quite sure each and every Malaysian Muslim must have set foot here at least once in their life time. It could have been for a prayer break during one of those holiday visits to KL. Or it could be a short stop-by whilst on a trip to send their sons or daughters into one of the local universities.

Personally, I remember one trip to Masjid Negara with my brother, Azmi, when we were in our teens.

I think we were staying in Tapah at that time. Or was it Telok Intan? Anyway, Azmi had won a drawing competition and the prize-giving ceremony was to be held at the National Mosque. Apak couldn't make it to KL to accompany Azmi. So it was up to big brother to the rescue.

Not that I was familiar with KL myself! But we managed to reach KL safely by bus, and somehow succeeded in finding our way to the mosque. Right after the prize-giving ceremony, it was straight back to the bus station and home we went. For, as I told you earlier, I was not familiar with KL to go around and enjoy ourselves in the big city.

Completed in 1965, the mosque was designed by three architects at the JKR. It can accommodate a congregation of 15,000 at any one time. Featuring unique design features and a fascinating-looking roof, it was the biggest and most modern mosque at the time.

Once in a while I would pay a visit to the National Mosque. Its location is so strategic, one can just drop by when in downtown KL, or stopover en route from somewhere. It has changed a bit from during the day when I visited it with Azmi back then. But I am glad that it still retains its charm and calming ambiance.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Reality check for Liverpool FC

Stewart Downing (L) was outstanding

Didn't do too well last night Liverpool. We lost 1 - 0 to a resilient Stoke City.

With that, we have now dropped a total of 4 points from games thus far. And to make things difficult, the two Manchester teams are firing on all cylinders - it's full steam ahead for them!

To be fair, the team did control the game throughout. After all, we had 60% of  possession.

But what we clearly lacked was the killer instinct to finish games off. That, and of course the big smile from lady luck. An array of chances thus all came to nought.

But there were positives to take away.

For one, the team played their hearts out right to the end. I couldn't believe my eyes as I saw the Liverpool machine harangued Stoke with wave after wave of  attacks. In fact, practically the whole of second-half was played only in Stoke's half.

Secondly, two of our new boys played commandingly well. Downing and Enrique. Enrique was ever reliable at left back. And as for Downing, his incisive runs and crosses were a headache for the otherwise solid Stoke defence walls.

After a reality check such as this, let's hope King Kenny will do some soul searching and improve further on our game strategies.

It is still early days into the season. There's ample room to catch up yet.

All the best boys. YNWA