Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Soothing Ruffedge & Sensual Me

Ruffedge New

Last month I've the opportunity to attend and assist in Tunku Atiah's birthday preparation on request from her grandmother, HRH Tunku 'S'. They invited Malaysia's top R&B, soul and hip-hop vocal group - Ruffedge (click to go to Ruffedge official website) to entertain the guests with their soothing and harmonised voices. They dazzled the crowd with pulsating and spirit-soaring tunes from their new album. They also injected soul into familiar tunes to make them sound more magical especially hits popularised by Black Dog Bone back in the 80s. They even had disco session which I've (and most of the guests) been waiting for.
The pic above taken right after the grand scale birthday bash at Grand Straits Garden Restaurant, Johor Bahru. The maroon coloured stripe shirt guy standing on the far right is the latest member of the Ruffedge, he introduced himself as 'Tepak Sireh' - "Voice from the pond"........

Monday, December 05, 2005

Look! Who's Singing....


IMG_0591
Originally uploaded by
rushmurad.

It was surprising Rhoni! He sang some 'hot & spicy' Dangdut's songs during the wedding of my friend's brother at Chismosa. He eventually succeded in persuading the crowds to 'goyang dagdigdug' and makes everybody shakes their body. 3 songs of Dangdut seems not enough but it has been very late and I ended being sweating and exhausting. Can't imagine that Malaysians still appreciate and enjoy the Dangdut's rhythm. The pic shows Rhoni doing the karaoke on one of the Dangdut song surrounded by his 'fans' and the bridegroom as well.

Before the karaoke session started, the guests was mesmerised by the 'Samrah', a type of Arab dance accompanied by traditional Arab music. The bridegroom is a local Arab mixed but the ceremony more to the Malay tradition - fascinating culture!

Happy Birthday Guys!!!


IMG_0574
Originally uploaded by
rushmurad.

I was so proud of myself for actually writing again after so long. It has been an ages!!! I've uploaded a bunch of interesting and memorable photos in flickr.com to be displayed in the blog but it went 'dried-up' in the process due to well known reason.... LAZINESS!!!

This pic was taken sometime last weekend at my place on the occasion of Rhoni, Kelvin, Jas, Amat and Rosli's birthday - The Sagitarians. The venue was initially held at Rosli's house but due to some 'technical' difficulty, it has been moved to my home, just across the road. Maka segala Dayang-dayang berpusu-pusu menjunjung, menggalas, mengangkat, mengendong, menjinjing segala kelengkapan keramaian, pinggang mangkuk, periuk belanga yang berisi segala macam makanan dan hidangan yang begitu lazat tidak terperi. A simple and decent party I would say as nobody get drunk and fucked
!

We also wishes good luck and bon voyage to Din 'Utih' as he will take up a new job in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia before end of the month. The party ended when Rosli suddenly snoozed off on the wing chair - thats about 3am!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Ramadhan Is Coming!!!!!!!

sujud ramadhan


Ramadhan datang lagi! Inilah bulan yang amat aku nanti-nantikan. Aku sendiri pun tak pasti kenapa aku gembira sangat bila datang Ramadhan atau 'bulan puasa'. Mungkin juga disebabkan pengalaman dari kecil, aku sungguh beriya-iya ingin puasa walaupun baru berumur 7 tahun. Sejak itu, aku tidak pernah meninggalkan puasa setiap kali Ramadhan. Ramadhan kali ini tiada bezanya dengan Ramadhan yang lepas-lepas. Segala-galanya berjalan dengar lancar dan tenang. Hari pertama berpuasa, aku sibuk memasak untuk keluarga. Aku dah beritahu adik-beradik yang lain supaya berbuka di rumah orangtua aja. Aku akan masak untuk semua, hidangan istimewa aku, nasi briyani. Lauknya dah tentulah briyani juga, tapi briyani ayam dan telur rebus. Aku buat juga sedikit pineapple salsa atau 'pencuk' atau kerabu nenas bersama tomato, timun, lada hijau, bawang dan daun ketumbar. Memacam juadah dan kuih-muih depa beli nak buat buka puasa, biasalah, hari pertama puasa, nafsu nak berbuka dan makan tu membuak-buak.
Sedang aku duduk di meja makan dan menghadap juadah berbuka, teringat pulak peristiwa masa kecik-kecik dulu. Pernah sekali tu aku merajuk semasa nak berbuka, aku tak pasti pulak sebab apa, mungkin masa tu aku menggomel yang makanan yang mak sediakan tak cukup pedas. Masa azan berbuka, aku masih duduk merajuk di luar rumah. Puas mak teriak suruh masuk ke dalam dan makan, aku buat bodoh jer. Selang beberapa minit, mak muncul kat depan aku sambil tangannya memegang sesuatu. Mak sekali lagi kata 'nak masuk makan atau tidak?!', aku jawab 'tidak!!!!' dengan sepantas itu juga mak menenyeh dan melumur sambal cili api ke mulut aku. "Nah! rasakan, nak makan pedas sangat!". Habis mulut aku dilumurkan dengan cili padi yang pedas menyala. Aku apa lagi la... meraung sekuat hati........................

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Chismosa! Chismosa! Chismosa!

Farewell Foods At Chismosa
These are the spread of dishes that we had for my farewell dinner on last Thursday evening organised at... well, where else... Chismosa Restaurant. Thanks to HRH Tunku 'S', Zara Al-Juneid, Feisal Al-Kaff, sis Judy, abang Lan, Dr. Raja Amin, Karlina, Richard & Lela for organising the party. Really good mediterranean and Arab foods. We had lamb kebab, seafood skewer, baked mousakka, mango salsa, leek soup (sis Judy says its not leek but lick! so for her its lick soup...:) with garlic bread, cheese and spinach springroll etc. I received a grey coloured Timberland sweater (they said you need this for winter in New Zealand). You all are so good to me, great friends and again thank you very much!!!!!!!!!!
If anyone interested to know about Chismosa Restaurant, kindly call this number +607-2263548. It is located at 9A-B, Jalan Kolam Air, 80100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia. Its only 30 minutes from Singapore across the causeway.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Laughs On A Boring Night

nia_vardalos1

Last night I was so bored and suddenly remembered that a friend of mine slipped a DVD into my briefcase on my way to parking lot. The movie called "Connie and Carla". This film stars Nia Vardalos and Toni Collete, featuring David Duchovny and an over-the-top caricatured "closer cameo" from Debbie Reynolds.
Nia Vardalos held the audience captive throughout the entire film with her remarkably courageous ability to make something as unbelievable as "Connie and Carla", believable. There is not a camera made that does not feast on Nia, whether she's the homely character in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", or the attractive romantic interest in this film.
This film is positioned as a light hearted musical comedy and targetted at the Will and Grace demographic. We don't expect much more from this movie than we would from a sitcom, except to be entertained. Nia does a great job in this film. Her characterization of "Connie" is brilliant and believable. Her heart is pure and her love and confidence in herself is infectious. Toni Collett was a very effective comedic foil and the two played each scene as if they understood exactly what the audience wanted.

Debbie Reynolds, who showed up in the film at the end, inserted as a kind of "deus ex machina", kicks the action up a notch and holds our attention til the very end. Im so happy at the end with the way the story comes together (especially the kissing part between Nia and David). There it goes my boring night into the drain!!!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Traditional Sumatran Wedding

Malam NikahPelamin Dgn Vera

It has been more than a year since I attended this wedding in Jakarta. A three nights and three days grand scale wedding which is full of colours, sounds and lights, traditionally packed with music i.e. gamelan & kompang, ethnic costumes and silat, syair and pantun (poem and poetry), the air fills with aroma from distinctive herbs & fresh tropical flora, showcase of hundred years old 'reception' ceremony, the solemnity of 'akad nikah' or 'marriage vow' and thousands of smiling happy faces. The wedding ceremony between Teuku Ryan and Veera Yuniar was such a fantastic one. For more photos of the wedding, do click the above picture which will navigate you to my flickr fotopages.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Masjid Putrajaya - Mosque in Malaysia

masjid putra



It has been a week since my last posting on HIV/AIDS. Our NGO are going to organize a workshop entitled "Counselling Related to HIV/AIDS" for two days starting tomorrow. HRH Tunku 'S' organized my 'farewell' party on last Sunday at our favourite Chinese restaurant. Everybody were so energetic to dance and do the karaoke and we spent almost 4 hours together.
Im just too bored at the office this whole week as I've delegated all my assignments and jobs to my office-mates. Just can't wait to join the new company in Northern Borneo next month, dont know what to expect there, but one thing for sure I will go for Cave Mulu's Expedition (click to see link to Mulu Cave webpage) as it is close to Miri. I like jungle trekking, and I've been doing this since my childhood as my hometown is close to Mount Pulai or Gunung Pulai (almost 700m above sea level) in Johor. Gunung Pulai is not that huge, around 8 hectare and it has few waterfalls and picnic spots. One can do the trekking up to its peak, and I've done this for so many times. Entering jungle or forest is like entering into a new world, peaceful and serenity........
The photo shown above is one of the dome of Masjid Putrajaya, viewing from inside. It is such a majestic building and beautiful architecture. One would notice that the Masjid is 'floating' on a lake if one view from South and North direction. All the buildings in Putrajaya are so attractive, unique and full of aestetical values. Will visit Putrajaya next week.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

AIDS: IS ANYONE POSITIVE?


HIV Logo
Originally uploaded by rushmooradt.

Sejak semalam aku menjadi begitu sedih dan runsing mengenangkan berita seorang rakan karib yang disahkan menghidap HIV/AIDS. Walaupun perkara ini dirahsiakan dari rakan-rakan, namun ada saja 'mulut tempayan' yang tak boleh ditutup. Ramai di antara kita ambil mudah perkara seks tanpa perlindungan atau 'safe sex' ini. Kerajaan dan NGO telah menjalankan pelbagai kempen kesedaran dan aktiviti bagi memberi maklumat kepada masyarakat. Peratusan yang menghidap HIV/AIDS di Malaysia semakin tinggi, ini bermaksud semakin ramai yang membawa virus ini dalam tubuh badan mereka dan kemungkinan untuk menyebarkannya kepada orang lain juga amat tinggi. Ada juga yang mengatakan angka sebenar penghidap HIV/AIDS ini berlipat kali ganda dari apa yang dihebahkan melalui media, dan Malaysia mempunyai penghidap HIV/AIDS tertinggi di Asia selepas Thailand. Sungguh mengerikan dan menginsafkan.

Kalangan penghidap pula bukan sahaja dari mereka yang menjadi penagih dadah, tetapi juga pengamal seks bebas - heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual etc. Ada juga segelintir pembawa virus ini dari kalangan mereka yang 'tidak bersalah' yakni mendapat virus dari pemindahan darah, dari suami/isteri/ibu HIV+ dan juga mangsa rogol/sumbang mahram. Kita masih tidak terbuka dalam membicarakan perihal HIV/AIDS. Ianya dianggap subjek 'taboo', isu yang cuba mereka elakkan dan jauhi. Mereka menganggap penyakit HIV/AIDS ini 'bala' atau 'balasan' dari Tuhan kepada mereka yang menderhaka atau pembuat dosa. Ianya tidak benar 100%! Ramai isteri solehah yang teraniaya akibat suami mereka yang mengamalkan seks bebas atau mengambil suntikan dadah. Isteri tidak tahu, anak-anak mereka pula sudah pasti tidak mengerti. Mereka menjadi mangsa HIV/AIDS kerana kesilapan orang lain.

NGO atau pertubuhan bukan kerajaan banyak memainkan peranan dalam membantu masyarakat memahami risiko, akibat dan kesan HIV/AIDS. Kerap kali mereka yang terlibat dengan NGO ini dipandang serong, sedangkan mereka ikhlas membantu penghidap yang memerlukan bantuan, sokongan, nasihat dan sebagainya. Saya sendiri terlibat dengan sebuah NGO berkaitan HIV/AIDS iaitu Johor AIDS Action & Research Society (JAARS) sejak 5 tahun dulu setelah menyedari dan menginsafi apa yang sedang dihadapi oleh masyarakat. Seruan saya kepada semua, amalkan gaya hidup yang sihat. Keseronokkan yang hanya beberapa minit boleh mengakibatkan penderitaan sepanjang hayat. Manusia masih belum menjumpai penawar kepada virus ini maka sentiasalah berwaspada.

Monday, September 05, 2005

My Nieces and Nephew


Birthday Shameen
Originally uploaded by
rushmooradt.

We had a very simple and quick birthday party for my eldest niece, Nor Shameen at my parents house on last Sunday afternoon. She is 8 years old now, tall and talkative. She just had a little sister a month ago, they named her Sarah Natashya. My sister Linda and her hubby wanted a baby boy actually, but they still very gratefull to God after waiting nearly 8 years for another child. I also has a nephew, one year old Muhammad Daniel, my brother's only child.

I went for a strolling in the city after the party, accompanied by Rhoni. We were not sure what to do to kill the time, so we decided to go for a movie at City Square. I recommended him to watch The Dukes of Hazzard after somebody told me that the movie rank no.1 in the UK's chart. Nothing much to comment on that movie because there's nothing special about it. Actually, I dozzed-off for a few minutes during the show, too much food I think.

Jom Tien Beach, Pattaya - Bangkok.

pattayabeach

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Malaysia National Day


MALAYSIA
Originally uploaded by
rushmurad.

Fireworks explode over Malaysia's landmark, Putra Mosque, in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur early August 31, 2005. Malaysia on Wednesday celebrated National Day, marking the 48th anniversary of its independence from the British rule on August 31, 1957

Merdekamu Negara Tercintaku

Memercikkan sejuta pengharapan

buat anak bangsa

Ku sambut cabaranmu

menjadi bangsa yang cemerlang, gemilang dan terbilang

Bangkok Trip 2005


Near The BTS
Originally uploaded by
rushmooradt.
This is my first trip to Bangkok but not Thailand. I've been to Phuket a few years ago for my diving and snorkelling. I departed from Changi Airport, Singapore on the evening of August 27th. Before that I met my first blogger ever, a lady from Medan, Indonesia - Julia. A wonderful meeting indeed!
It was a very brief vacation and packed with night life activities and shoppings. Chatuchak is 'the' place to go for handycrafts and souvenirs - cheap, attractive and unique. Soi Nana near Sukhumvit is the 'eating place' for Muslim. We went to the Grand Palace by 'Tuktuk' (a three wheel transport), swear to God Im not going to ride that thing again! The weather is very hot, so I declined to take the boat ride along Chao Phraya river. We also went to Pattaya, the beach city. 5 days in Bangkok is not enough, there are so many places to explore and experience. Thanks to Kak Pah, Kak Qintan, Alymiey and Rhoni. It's such a wonderful vacation with you guys.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Indonesian Cultural Night 2005


IndoChoir
Originally uploaded by rushmurad.
Again another busy weekend for me. On Saturday night I've been invited by HRH Tunku 'S' to accompany her for a casual dinner at Pan Pacific Hotel. I asked Rhon to come along as there will be another 2 ladies joining the dinner. We proceed to Chismosa after the dinner for another round of drinks and karaoke until 2am. The next day I have to go for lecture at the College. I managed to snooze for 1 hour before attending the Malam Kesenian Indonesia 2005 organised by Konsulat Jenderal Republik Indonesia in Johor Bahru on Sunday night with some friends. The show went very well, especially the Keroncong, Gamelan and the Tari Jaipong. The Tari Pendet, a dance from Bali Island acted as a welcome dance. Tari Kupu-Kupu performed by Tunku Atia, my friend's daughter, Gusti Raden Adjeng Putri 'A' reflects the gracefullness of a butterfly. They also showcased Tari Sekar Putri, Tari Klono Topeng from Jogja, Pencak Silat, Tari Merak, Tari Putri Cino Kelasworo and choir by students of Universitas Siliwangi Tasik Malaya. I never thought that the keroncong group is local as they performed and accompanied the Indonesian singers so good and professionally. We ended the night at Hyatt Hotel for some teas and coffees.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Singapore in 30 minutes.


Arab Street Singapore
Originally uploaded by
rushmurad.
I went to Singapore on last Saturday to meet my Indonesian friends who arrives from Jakarta. This is my 12th visit to Singapore this year. Well, its only took me 30 minutes from my office to Arab St. in Singapore. I met my Singaporean friend - Mohammad AlSagoff for a cup of tea while waiting for them to arrive. We always hang out at this particular area because its convenience for both of us and the atmosphere is lively. This used to be one of the earliest Arabs settlement area in Singapore. You can still found Arab descendants (like Mohammad himself) around the area, doing tradings and businesses. The photo is the Sultan's Mosque with shop houses on the right and left selling souvenirs. I purposely took the photo from this perspective so that one can capture most of the surrounding colourful scenery.

Friday, August 05, 2005

My Latest Album Collection - "IL DIVO"


Il Divo
Originally uploaded by
rushmurad.

I was listening to a radio while driving back to home from the office and suddenly strucked by this divine voices - IL DIVO, and rushed to the nearby music store to get the album. Here you are, 4 gorgeous model looks men with beautiful powerful voices. All these while I've been listening to classical tenors and baritones like Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras and Andrea Bocelli with images of pot-bellied middle-aged men. Imagine then a group of four male classical singers with looks fit to grace the cover of GQ and a repertoire that ranges from classical opera to contemporary pop tunes – surely an irresistible package destined for chart domination? 'A Mi Manera' or My Way (one of my ever favourite song), they sang it so passionately and beautiful, whilst 'Regressa Mi' or Unbreak My Heart makes me so emotional and I even drops my tears. Happy weekend all, another busy weekend for me.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Puisi: Di Sudut Bandara Adi Sucipto

Di sudut Bandara itu
Aku cuba mengimbas kenangan indah
Mengutip sejarah Kraton
Dan melerai kesibukan Malioboro

Di sudut Bandara itu
Ada sepasang mata memerhati
Penuh tanda tanya dalam hati
bertentang mata, namun tanpa bicara
bertukar senyum, namun tanpa mesra
Ada yang menarik, buatku tertarik

Salam pun bersambut
Kehangatan persahabatan mulai terbit
Tetapi sebentar cuma
Entah bila akan bersua semula
Memadu rasa menyulam kalbu

Dalam hujan renyai-renyai
Kota Jogja mula ku tinggalkan
Seribu kenangan ku bawa bersama
Sejuta harapan ku simpan mesra
Khas buat Dr. Ado
RushMurad
RUANG UDARA JOGJA – BALI
21 JANUARY 2005

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Malays - Who Are We?


Malay Annals
Originally uploaded by
rushmurad.
"I cannot but consider the Malayu nation as one people, speaking one language, though spread over so wide a space, preserving their character and customs, in all the maritime states lying between Sulu Seas and the Southern Oceans." - Stamford Raffles, 'On the Malayu Nation', Asiatic Researchers, 12 (1816):103.

"........for the purposes of this article, however, only those among these races which bear the name of Orang Malayu, speak the Malayan language, and represent the dominant people of the land, can be included under the title of Malays. These people inhabit the whole of the Malayan Peninsula to the borders of lower Siam, the islands in the vicinity of the mainland, the shores of Sumatra and some portions of the interior of that island, Sarawak and Brunei in Borneo, and some parts of Dutch Borneo, Batavia and certain districts in Java, and some of the smaller islands of the archipelago..........." - http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/MAL_MAR/MALAYS.html
The present-day Malays of the Peninsula and coasts of the Malay Archipelago are described anthropologically as deutero-Malays and are the descendants of the tribal Proto-Malays mixed with modern Indian, Thai, Arab and Chinese blood. In northern states of Perlis and Kedah, inter-marriages with Thais were commonplace. The east coast state of Kelantan still has traces of Javanese culture that date back to the era of the Majapahit Empire of the fourteenth century. The Sumatran Kingdom of Acheh dominated Perak for over a century. The Bugis from Indonesia's Celebes Islands colonised Selangor and fought for rulers in States along the length of the Peninsula - from Kedah to Johor. The Minangkabaus from Sumatra has their own independent chiefdoms in what is today Negeri Sembilan. This mix of different races to form what is the Modern Malay.
Saya terpanggil untuk menjadikan topik di atas sebagai 'entree' terbaru kerana beberapa orang rakan dari Indonesia agak terkejut apabila saya mengaku yang ibu saya mempunyai darah keturunan Jawa dan Banjar (manakala ayah saya pula kacukan India Muslim, Arab dan Melayu Thai). Bagi masyarakat di Malaysia ianya bukanlah sesuatu yang asing atau baru. Majoriti masyarakat Indonesia berpendapat bahawa masyarakat pribumi yang tinggal di Malaysia ialah bangsa dari suku Melayu sahaja - 'purely 100% Malays' , sama seperti suku Jawa di Pulau Jawa, Banjar di Kalimantan Selatan, Bugis di Kepulaun Sulawesi dan Minangkabau di Sumatera.
Sekiranya anda berkunjung ke bandar-bandar atau perkampungan di Semenanjung Malaysia, dan bertanyakan soalan mengenai bangsa atau keturunan, dialog di bawah akan pasti anda dengar.
Achmad: Boleh saya tumpang tanya, saudara ini orang apa?
Ali: Saya orang Malaysia
Achmad: Ialah orang Malaysia, tetapi keturunan apa?
Ali: Saya orang Melayu
Achmad: Melayu? Melayu itu asalnya dari mana?
Ali: Dari sinilah!
Achmad: Orang Melayu asli?
Ali: Oh! tidak, bapa saya orang Jawa dari Parit Ponorogo kat Batu Pahat, tapi mak saya memang asal Johor Bahru, orang Bugis. Isteri saya pun ada darah Bugis jugak, tapi dah campur dengan orang Banjar, sebelah mak dia.
Saya masih teringat cerita dari arwah datuk saya beberapa tahun dulu. Peristiwa ketika Konfrontasi antara Indonesia-Malaysia di awal kemerdekaan Malaysia. Indonesia telah menghantar sejumlah tentera untuk menyerang hendap di pantai barat Johor (Pontian, Batu Pahat, Muar). Tentera Indonesia ini telah masuk ke dalam rumah-rumah orang kampung pada waktu malam dan cuba menakut-nakutkan mereka. Tetapi apa yang sebaliknya berlaku, tentera Indonesia ini terkejut dan merasa sungguh terharu. Orang "Melayu" atau Malaysia yang hendak mereka serang itu ialah dari keturunan mereka sendiri! Orang-orang Jawa yang telah menjadi warga Malaysia, telah berhijrah ke tanah Melayu lebih 100 tahun dahulu. Mereka masih bertutur dalam bahasa Jawa, mengamalkan kehidupan desa seperti di Tanah Jawa dan yang pasti....mereka masih makan tempe!

Friday, July 22, 2005

The Lone Angler in Johor Bahru

The Lonely Angler in Johor Bahru

So many things happened to me since last weekend. On last Saturday, I attended Zara Hair Saloon soft opening at Chismosa, graciously opened by the Sultan's nephew, had an amusing chat with the Indonesian Consulate to Johor (we ended the conversation on the saloon's chair!) and Gusti Raden Putri 'A', attended the food testing of my friend's new halal Chinese restaurant (extremely beautiful Zen arte deco) at her hotel right after the haircut. On Sunday Morning together with my parents, we went to uncle's 'Dusun Buah-buahan' or fruits orchard some 32 km from our house. Plenty of fruits especially Yellow and Red Rambutans, Fragrance Jackfruit, Duku Langsat, and we also collected some Calamansi Limes, Bird's Eye Chilli (Cili Padi), Petai and Milk Fruit or Sukun. HRH Tunku 'S' gave me a wonderful present for my birthday at her palace on Tuesday night, Zharny, the 'Padang Boy' accompanied me - thanks dear! Test drive for my new car on Wednesday, Im not sure which one I should buy, Proton Perdana, Honda CRV or Mercedez Benz C200, gonna go for second test drive for Merz this Satuday. I had good food and laugh on Friday night at Chismosa. And tonight, I just want to stay at home, drop-by at Carrefour on the way back for some 'jajan' or titbits. Happy weekend all!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

WHO ARE THE REAL TERRORISTS???

I came acrossed this article from somebody's blog and totally agree with him. All comments are welcome.
"I am outraged, partly because of all the misdirected outrage that I saw today. To use an old clichĂ©, I am, yet again, shocked by man’s inhumanity to man. At least seven hundred Iraqis have been killed—just in the last two months. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been injured—just in the last two months. Overall, because of the American invasion of Iraq, a quarter of a million Iraqis have been killed. Millions of Iraqis have been injured, maimed, or incapacitated. Millions of other Iraqis have suffered unspeakable deprivations and horrors of various kinds, not to mention outright torture, all because of and only because of the invasion.

Had there been any humanity left in this world, the carnage in Iraq would have ended the reign of the American Empire long ago. There would have been such an outcry of morally outraged humanity the like of which would never have been heard before. Yet, there is hardly a peep from anyone. Even the daily toll of the dead has disappeared from newscasts.

Today, 37 people died in bomb blasts in London. 700 others were injured. There has been nothing else in the news today. Is the blood of these 37 people any redder than the blood of the quarter million Iraqi dead? Hotlines have been set up for Canadians and others to call to find out if anyone they knew is among the casualties. Where are the hotlines for Iraqis to call to find out the fate of their loved ones? Am I being unsympathetic to the plight of the British dead and injured? Are you being sympathetic to the plight of the Iraqi dead and injured?

All that a sane and rational person can hope for is that this attack will have the same kind of effect on the British people as the similar series of bombings in Madrid last year had on the Spanish people. The Madrid bombings incited the Spanish people to throw out the Bushite government of Aznar, and elect a new government that put a quick end to Spain’s complicity in the Iraqi genocide. Will the British people finally say a loud and clear No to the government of the ignominy whose name is Blair?"

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Indonesian Queer Film - Arisan


Arisan Film
Originally uploaded by
rushmooradt.
I read an article from the website 2 years ago about this controversial and most talked about (among the queer especially) film in Jakarta and so excited to watch them. I managed to buy the vcd from a street monger by luck. It is a valuable contribution to the world of Indonesian cinema, ARISAN! is the second film from acclaimed director Nia Di Nata. Focusing on a group of friends who live the high life in Jakarta, ARISAN! illustrates how their lives aren't quite as great as they may seem. Puppy-faced Sakti is a successful young architect, desperate to keep his homosexuality hidden from his domineering mother and his gal-pals Meimei and Andien--especially when he finds himself in a romance with movie producer Nino. Things hot up as Sakti enters into a relationship, with Di Nata steering the film into a sympathetic and realistic portrait of what it means to be gay in Indonesia at the turn of the 21st century. Very challenging and successfull I would say for a queer movie to be premiered in a world's largest Muslim community.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Happy Birthday Mom!


Mom's Birthday in Pastel
Originally uploaded by
rushmurad.

We celebrated Mak's birthday on last Friday night at a golf resort nearby our home. It was a surprise party or I would call 'makan-makan' gathering for Mak. I've invited Mak Ngah's family together with my other siblings to celebrate with us. The live band musicians serenading us with oldies and dangdut numbers. Abah and Pak Ngah really enjoyed the music and the female singers as well. I can see tears in Mak's eyes when all of us sing the birthday song accompanied by the live band. The cake was superb, her favourite - strawberry ice cream cake, its colour matches Mak's baju kurung and scarf ;-). Semoga Mak dipanjangkan umur, bertambah rezeki, diberi ketenangan dan kebahagiaan - dunia dan akhirat. We love u Mak!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Mencari sesuatu......Kedamaian....


Birthday Dinner Sis Judy

It was a lovely sunny day when we left Mersing. I was there on last April with a bunch of friends for a weekend camping. We really had a great time doing some fishings, sunbathings, BBQ, watersports etc. It only took us 2 hours from Johor Bahru city to this beautiful sandy beaches. Tadi seronok baca artikel pasal MAWI. Aku tak peduli apa orang nak kata, memang lah aku ni fanatik MAWI. Bukan dibuat2, ianya datang sendiri, secara tiba2. Maybe MAWI tu ada aura agaknya. Nak jadikan citer, aku ni pun asal Kulai gak. Sebelum nih tak pernah ler aku gila2 tengok AF, tahun ni plak macam kena rasuk, ni lah yg dikatakan fenomena Tsumawi. MAWI ada X-factor. Hari ni jugak aku asyik teringatkan si Rhoni, kenapa ek? Aku suka berkawan dgn dia sebab dia ni low-profile, educated, simple dan tak der kerenah. Tapi yang buat kengkawan aku dan aku sendiri begitu hairan ialah.....kenapa aku ni senang sangat berkenalan dgn bebudak Indon. Bebudak Indon ni jugak, senang sangat sangkut dgn aku. Sampai aku punya bahasa Indon pun dah very fluent, orang Indon sendiri pun ingat aku asal sana. Memang ler tok nenek moyang aku asal sana, tapi tak ler sampai 'badi' tu aku bawak.Sebelah mak aku ada darah orang Banjar dari Banjarmasin, then ada plak darah 'biru' atau ningrat dari Kraton di tanah jawa, tu belum citer lagik pasal bapak aku yg memacam mixed. Hari ni pun aku asyik pikir pasal adik aku yg nak sambung master kat UTM. Rasa macam nak pi temankan dia mendaftar jer, kesian plak dia pi sorang2, dah ler pompuan.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Puisi: Trafalgar Square

Di Trafalgar Square malam itu
Cuaca sungguh dingin
Bayu November menghembus perlahan-lahan mengena keseluruh tubuhku
Aku peluk erat-erat tubuh muda ini
Agar kedinginannya tidak terlalu menggigit

Di Trafalgar Square aku bersujud kaku
Buat pertama kalinya aku mengenjak kaki di bumi Inggeris
Ini rupanya Trafalgar Square yang terkenal itu
Dan mungkin juga aku pernah ke sini suatu ketika lama dulu
Kerana kerinduan ini begitu memuncak-muncak

Di Trafalgar Square aku memerhatikan pancuran air
Yang keluar dari tengah-tengah kolam buatan
Yang di atasnya berdiri megah patung Jenderal Nelson
Menjadi mercu tanda kemenangan ke atas Napoleon
Dan kini menjadi pusat tumpuan kota London

Di Trafalgar Square aku teringatkan insan yang tercinta
Alangkah romantiknya jika dia dapat bersama
Mengecapi malam indah bersama bintang di langit
Sambil untaian kasih bersilih ganti diucapkan
Dan pastinya kisah cinta kami terpahat di atas kerusi batu itu

Di Trafalgar Square hatiku mula berdetik
Betapa sayunya kota ini akan kutinggalkan sebentar lagi
Kunjunganku hanya beberapa minit sahaja
Namun meninggalkan kesan yang amat mendalam
Dan kerinduan ini masih belum terubat

Di Trafalgar Square aku menunggu bas terakhir
Berwarna merah, dua tingkat dengan penumpang yang sedikit, untuk pulang
Ku pandang panoramamu dari jauh, begitu syahdu untukku tinggalkan
Janjiku padamu Trafalgar Square, akan ku kunjungimu lagi
Jika bukan waktu terdekat, mungkin seratus tahun lagi
Aku pasti kau tetap di situ menantiku….
Rushmurad
Johor Bahru, 14 Mei 2002

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Sis Judy Birthday Dinner

This is the table setting for the dinner we had last night. Extremely delicious foods, a fusion of traditional Malay and Western. The grilled stuffed squid, grilled mackerel with spices, pineapple fried rice, sambal belacan mangga, grilled king prawns and grilled banana are my favourite. The karaoke session and the salsa dance spice up the party which lasted until 1am. She received a lot of gifts but the one that Zahra and Faisal gave was so beautiful, a bracelet and necklace from Tiffany & Co. I gave her a trinket embedded with Swarovski crystals.

Birthday Dinner Sis Judy


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Sunday Night Dinner


Sunday Night Dinner
Originally uploaded by rushmooradt.

We really enjoyed the foods they served at this Chinese restaurant in Johor Bahru. We had 7 type of main dish, namely Scallop in chilli, lemon grass and ginger sauce, Garoupa fish in apple Thai sauce, mixed vegetables and chicken in yam basket (my all time fav), mixed vegetables with three types of mushroom, oatmeal prawns, soft tofu with spicy minced chicken, and Thai fried rice. We sang and dance until 12 midnight. What a fantastic party to end the weekend! And there will be another party tonight, birthday party of sis Judy (she is 50 now but look much, much younger than her age) at Chismosa restaurant.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Tengku Zaharah Palace

I did asked to one Royal family last evening about this building, and Her Royal Highness answered that it was built in the early 1900s. It belongs to Tengku (Princess) Zaharah, daughter of Sultan Abu Bakar, the Sultan of Johore then. After the WW2, they converted the Palace into an Islamic Religious School called Sekolah Ugama Bukit Zaharah. Now the condition of the building is deteriorating. It is situated near the Grand Palace and Royal Garden. For more interesting building photos of Johor Bahru, do check the thumbnail on the far right of this page.

Tengku Zaharah Palace

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Sultan Abdul Samad Building, KL

The Sultan Abdul Samad building used to be Kuala Lumpur's prime landmark if not Malaysia (now the Petronas Twin Tower replacing it as Malaysia prime landmark). Built more than 100 years ago in Moorish and Indian style. I was there 2 nights ago with some friends on our way to Bangsar for "teh tarik" (tea with milk). There are so much things to see and do in Kuala Lumpur.

Monday, June 13, 2005

An Evening At The Port

Asia's Best Container Terminal 2004
Evening At The Port

Ships Ahoy!!!!!!!!!!

Just love the "rustic" view............
Ships

Mission Impossible


Batam June 2005
Originally uploaded by rushmooradt.

The photo speaks itself loudly of my journey this time. I was in Batam Island, Indonesia yesterday for the third visit in 2 years. But this time around the intention was to 'smuggle' in Midi (my Indonesian friend) to Malaysia through Batam. I needless to say more about this so called 'mission impossible', if I want to safe my own arse! It was some 2 hours travel from Johor Bahru to Batam Ferry Terminal vice versa by ferry or boat. Batam is a paradise for golfers and shopoholics. The returned ferry fees is RM72.00 plus Rp20.000 tax fees payable at Batam terminal. A big shopping mall newly erected near the passenger terminal but the one at Nagoya district offers more varieties and goods are cheaper.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Segget Walk

This is Segget Walk. Sebelum ni tempat Segget ni jadi sarang drugs addicts dan 'money boy'. Sekarang ni dah upgrade dan ada beberapa cafe operates kat situ. I was there last night while cruising the city. Nak juga tengok night life kat JB nih. Tak ramai orang, maybe baru lepas hujan awal malam. This pic I dah edited, it looks macam lukisan plak. Actually ni adalah antara beberapa pancuran yang ada di situ.

Segget Walk

Di Lorong...Melorong...Lorong Mana???

1.00am at one of the famous street in Johor Bahru city. I just got back from my Salsa dancing class and as usual I will go for some cruising. Orang bandar JB sure tau ni kat area mana. Memang depa dah upgrade dan jadikan kawasan bandar ni indah, but...sayang tak 'happening'. Cuma pengunjung yang mencari 'mak nyah' yang ramai berkeliaran.

Jalan Dhoby

Near The Wharf

This one also taken while on my way back from office yesterday evening. I accidently found the plant sprinkler not properly turn off. Infact I've tightly pulled the tab but the water still dropping. While looking at it, I found the water droppings and the background would make a very nice photo. And yes, it turned out to be amazing!

Motorbike Parking

Motorcycle Parking

Taken while on my way back from office. I've just realized (after 6 years in the Company) that the design of this particular motorcycle parking is so unique and quite attractive. Dont you agree with me?

Motorbike Parking

Thursday, June 09, 2005

OzTrek, Sydney 2005


Oz Trek, Sydney 2005
Originally uploaded by rushmurad.

Catatan Perjalanan -Travelodge

I took this photo with my newly bought Canon PowerShotA400. The photo came out nicely in composition of colour, light and exposure. Sekali tengok macam poskad dan macam professional plak yang ambil. Kalau tak silap time ni around 4.00pm, keadaan sekeliling dah mula suram tetapi langit Sydney masih membiru. This tower popular by the name of OzTrex. Taken from court yard of an old market precint.

Abah and friends, Penang 1960s

Another favourite of mine. My Abah (father) wears white trousers, white shirt and white shoes - quite trendy for a guy of 17 years old huh? If Im not mistaken, at that time he just got back from England or preparing to go there with his English friend. Like myself, he is also an avid traveller. I think this pic was taken somewhere in early 1960s at Penang Botanical Garden (Kebun Bungah Penang).

Stork Hotel, Melbourne 2005


Stork Hotel, Melbourne 2005
Originally uploaded by
rushmurad.

Catatan Perjalanan - Travelodge

This is the place where I stayed during my visit to Melbourne. The place called The Stork Hotel, located at 504, Elizabeth Street. I got a room with a view of Queen Victoria Market. It is one of the earliest and historic hotel in Melbourne built in 19th century. Hotel ni tak ler besar sangat, cuma 2 tingkat jer, ground floor ada pub, besar dan happening, dekat dengan tram, bus dan 7-e. Semua perabot reproduction of 19th century, very basic dan kukuh. Masa kat Melbourne sempat juga aku pi sauna dan steam bath kat Subway. Sauna ni kat bawah jambatan railway, rasa macam dungeon plak, really...kelam, dengan tembok batu-bata, very huge jacuzzi dan sedikit bising, gangguan bunyi train yang melintas atas kepala. Quite happening juga la kat sini, met few nice people from Spain, Britain and Thailand.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Dr Sutomo Hospital-Surabaya 2003


51040002
Originally uploaded by rushmurad.

Catatan Perjalanan - Travelodge

All of you must be wondered, what have happened to me and the guy lying next to me. Kami dalam perjalanan dari Bali ke Surabaya, menaiki bas + ferry (actually kapal besar). Lebih kurang jam 5.30 pagi, bas kami terlibat dalam kemalangan maut di sebuah kampung pesisiran pantai bernama Pasir Putih, Banyu Wangi kira2 8 jam perjalanan ke kota Surabaya. Rosli mengalami patah tangan, patah 3 tulang selangka, kaki, kepala berjahit etc. Kelvin pun teruk juga. Aku tersepit ditempat duduk. Pengalaman ngeri.... 3 orang mati di tempat kejadian termasuk driver. Siap keluar paper NST dan Utusan di Malaysia. Kami dikejarkan ke Hospital Dr. Sutomo, Surabaya selang beberapa jam selepas kejadian. The next day aku terus pulang ke JB melalui Singapura. Kami ucapkan jutaan terima kasih kepada staff Hospital Dr. Sutomo kerana telah menjaga kami dengan begitu baik & berdedikasi. Tak pernah aku lihat staff hospital (swasta mahupun kerajaan) yang berdedikasi seperti they all. Terharu dengan layanan mereka. Rosli & Kelvin terpaksa tinggal di sana for 2-3 weeks sebab menjalani pelbagai rawatan & pembedahan. Syukur, kami masih lagi bernafas di bumi Allah!

Mom and friends


Mom and friends
Originally uploaded by rushmurad.

This is one of my treasures. Aku memang cari, simpan dan jaga all these pic yang lama2. Suka tengok pic black & white. Macam nak hidup zaman tu jer. Ni pic anak-anak dara dari Kulai, Johor. Mak aku ada la kat situ duduk bersimpuh, maklumlah perempuan Melayu yang penuh adab sopan dan tatasusila, macam aku ni... sopan santun ....I think this pic was taken circa 1969, in front of then called Balai Raya Kulai (now Dewan Raya Kulai).

Monday, June 06, 2005

Baju Kurung Teluk Belanga


51110034
Originally uploaded by rushmurad.

I've been photographed and shakes hand with this person for so many times since my university day at UiTM. Ramai orang kata kami bersaudara, hehehe.... tang mana tu yang sama??? janggut ciput? senyuman meleret??? I always like to wear baju kurung Teluk Belanga Johor for official function like this one. Nampak segak! Orang Johor panggil Baju Kurung not Baju Melayu although for male.

Europe Tour 1995


51030005
Originally uploaded by rushmurad.

Catatan Perjalanan

Aku sengaja letak pic lama nih. Masa ni aku stranded kat sempadan Belgium - Switzerland. Umur baru masuk 24 time tu, tapi dah travel Europe sorang2. Kira aku nervous la jugak, immigration officer tu tanya memacam. Nasib baik ler aku ni gifted, pandai kelentong. Terlepas lah aku masuk wilayah Swiss. Sempat posing lagik nih, yer la...tunggu the next bas lalu situ berjam2, naik berjanggut. Agaknya aku memang dilahirkan cekal hati, terang hati dan selalu berhati2.....

Tapi lagi kesian cerita member aku nih, pi Europe dengan hubby dia, dari KL pi Amsterdam (sampai Schipol airport jer), then depa fly pi Cork kat Ireland, kena tahan immigration kat sana, deport balik Malaysia, tak sempat nak jalan2 kat sana. Trajis....Cik Bee mungkin kenal dengan pasangan tuuu.....walaupunnn.....

Kuta Beach, Bali 2003


51120033
Originally uploaded by rushmurad.

Catatan Perjalanan

Im standing in front of the hotel we stayed when visiting Bali for the first time. It is somewhere along the Kuta Beach road. I've tried to search the hotel on my second visit last January but I cant find it. Strolled around the streets and finally I saw this huge development around the area. They have demolished the place and now the site is under construction for a new 5 storey commercial building. Banyak memori kat hotel tu.....very quiet, traquil and clean hotel. Banyak poko2 bunga dan terjaga rapi.

Parangtritis, Jogja 2005


51110005
Originally uploaded by rushmurad.

At one of the many cafes along Parangtritis Road in Jogja. Famous for backpakers and they serves international foods. The atmosphere almost like Bali but the foods we ordered from this particular cafe was almost unconsummable!!! On my left is Simon (anak ikan :)), far right is Alymiey and our buddy from Surabaya, Taufik (when are you coming to Johor again?)

Bali 2003


Bali 2003
Originally uploaded by
rushmurad.

5 Bujang Pinggitan. Taken during 2003 Bali's Trip with Rosli, Kelvin, Mohammed and his Belgian friend. We all pi round island, not so bad, but banyak sangat pi melawat temple, sampai naik muak. Setiap kali masuk temple, diwajibkan pakai kain sarong. We all semua memang suka lah bersarong ala pario ni, jalan gelek itik sebab punggung semua nampak tonggek!!!!

Borobudur Jogja 2005

Catatan Perjalanan

Borobudur Jogja 2005
Originally uploaded by rushmurad.
It was noon when we arrived at the Borobudur temple. It's damn hot and we are all sweating right down to the boots. Masa nak enter main gate, Alymiey kena tahan, coz dia cuma bayar ticket/fees for local sedangkan dia foreigner, dan memang pun dia nampak macam dari Pakistan, berseluar pendek segala. Macam muka aku nih, depa tak sangka ler foreigner, muka Melayu. Letih nak panjat bukit, then panjat anak tangga sampai puncak. Its rewarding anyway, coz the view from atop is soooooooooo.....puas! Dont forget to touch the Buddha's statue that sits under the big bell.... and make a wish!

Arabian Nite


Arabian Nite
Originally uploaded by
rushmurad.

Sempat jugak posing malam tu. The one sitting in the middle is the owner of Chismosa Restaurant (Middle East and Mediterranean Cuisine).Semua nampak dah lepak, coz time ni dah kul 12 malam. But we still have reserved energy for another round of belly dance with those pretty and sexy ladies.

Belly Dancer


Belly Dancer
Originally uploaded by
rushmurad.

As promised....ni ha pic "perempuan gelek".....nama belly dancer ni Zahra, from Turkey. Dia punya gelek.....tak der lah macam gelek/goyang gerudi Inul. Memang best tengok dia perform. Banyak kali juga dia muncul, atas permintaan. Apa pun, sempat we all pi supper after the show....menarik....