Thursday, June 29, 2017

My Syawal Take

~ For the first time since kahwin (except for when I was abroad in 2002 & 2003), no new baju Melayu raya for me. Decided to recycle my old baju Melayu, but wore it with different samping so that I looked different in photos.  I have over 10 pairs of baju Melayu already, and they have been put to good use when I was in the Navy.  Now I’m no longer in the Navy, complete baju Melayu has only been worn not more than 5 times a year, mainly to attend weddings.

~ The usual Surau I went to for solat raya has been fully renovated.  Beautiful, tiny but beautiful.

~ Very good raya khutbah in my opinion. Content with tersurat and tersirat message like this - “Alangkah lucunya masyarakat yang ghairah bersatu untuk berpecah sehingga menjadi kecil dan lemah! dan akhirnya musuh bertepuk-sorak kerana berjaya merembat kejayaan. Link - khutbah raya 

~ The khutbah was recited by a very young Khatib. I have a mixed feeling about this.  Very young Imam (especially Hafiz) to lead prayer I definitely agree, but to recite Khutbah I think it is better for the older surau’s leaders to do it.

~ Striking red is in this year.  Inside joke among Sani’s Clan; Ungu Terung and Hijau Kacang will do if you scramble to do your shopping last minute.

~ When we think of sacrifice of not going back for raya, normally the military, police and similar organisations in uniform come to mind.  This time my attention was also drawn to others who have to work on the very first day of raya like toll booth operators, bus drivers, even my own staff who have to support the company’s year round operation. Salute to these unsung heroes!!!

~ Suddenly the image of this old Pak Cik selling lemang alone by the road side on the first day of raya came across vividly in my mind.  Saw him for quite a few years enroute to visit my mother; and every time I could not help but to wonder why was not he at home with his family.  Never had the courage to ask him, and now I will never know why as I don’t see him there anymore.

~ The amount of duit raya my kids received would be unthinkable during my childhood days.  How life has changed over these years, and how much the value of ringgit has diminished over the same period.

~ Listening to the usual evergreen raya songs has been part of raya culture.  But this year, I stumbled upon a song which was tunggang terbalik with terrible melody and horrendous lyrics. Can’t believe someone actually recorded that song.  Hopefully it only made an appearance this year.  My God, how did you come up with such a song?

~ Feeling awesome celebrating raya in Lembah Kelang due to no worries about traffic.  Boleh baring atas jalan.  My heart goes to my friends who spent record time on the road travelling north, south and east of KL.  Gombak Toll to Genting Sempah alone took 2 hours, over 50 cars overheated along the stretch of Karak Highway…. Well I guess raya at this concrete jungle is not that bad after all.  Then some have said; kalau tak jam, bukan raya namaya.

Photo credit: The Star

~ MEX highway was free for a day, PLUS and some highways did not have have “Tambah Nilai” lanes leading to traumatic raya experience for certain unsuspecting motorists…. And surely more dramas on the road as people inched their way towards home sweet home.

~ Lemang Kemensah for the second year running became my preferred choice for 1st day of Syawal. No hangit part, just perfect combo of pulut (glutinous rice), santan (coconut milk) and garam (salt) cooked to perfection each time.  Btw, Sharifah Shahirah is also a huge fan, based on her IG posting according to my wife. She said “sep sep tom tom” said my wife in expressing her liking for Lemang Kemensah. So peeps please give it a try and support these very hard working Malay entrepreneurs.

Photo credit: FB Lemang Kemensah

Just about to pass the first week mark and you know what that means; Raya Open House.  And for Lembah Klang, the return of chaos and traffic jam across the city is going to be the norms for the next four weekends.  Selamat Hari Raya folks.  Jangan lupa puasa enam J

Monday, June 19, 2017

My Rugby Teams

In the span of over 30 years I have been privileged to either play for, coach or manage all of these teams.  Each is unique and super special, with lots of fond memories.  Equally memorable is the opportunity to play and associate with some of the most talented rugby personalities. What can I say, it has been very fulfilling and rewarding journey.

Here they are:

Royal Military College (Black Scorpions) U-15

1986: MSSWP (First Runner-up)
1986: Milo National 10s (First Runners-up Plate)

Royal Military College (Black Scorpions) U-18
1987: MSSWP (Champions)
1988: MSSWP (Third Place)
1988: Qualifying Round - Jonah Jones International Schools 7s (Champions)
1988: Jonah Jones International Schools 7s (Semi-final)
1989: Qualifying Round- Jonah Jones International Schools 7s (Champions)
1989: Jonah Jones International Schools 7s (Champions)

Majlis Sukan Sekolah Wilayah Persekutuan (MSSWP)

1987: Majlis Sukan Sekolah Malaysia (MSSM) U-18 Tournament (Preliminary rounds)
1988: Majlis Sukan Sekolah Malaysia (MSSM) U-18 Tournament (Third Place)

United States Naval Academy, USA

1990-1992:  Potomac Rugby Inter Collegiate (Champions)
1991: Collegiate East Coast Finals (Semi-finalist)
1992: Collegiate East Coast Finals (First Runner-up)
1992: BEAT ARMY at West Point (12-10)
1993: Cherry Blossom Tournament (Champions)
1992-1993: USNA Rugby Letter (with a Star for beating Army)

US Combined Armed Forces Jr All Star
1992: Selected for Battle of New Orleans Tournament but did not go
1993: Battle of New Orleans Tournament

Virginia Beach Rugby Club, USA 

1992: Virginia Beach 7s Tournament (First Runners-up)

Royal Malaysian Navy (Navy ORCA) Officers Team  

1993: Armed Forces Inter Services Officer (Champions)
1994: Armed Forces Inter Services Officer (Champions)
1998: Armed Forces Inter Services Officer (Champions)

Royal Malaysian Navy (Navy ORCA) Senior Team

1994: Armed Forces 7s (First Runners-up)
1994: Singapore Blacks 10s (Semi-final)
1994: Perlis 7s (Qtr-final)
1994: UUM 10s (First Runner-up)
1994: Haatyai 7s (Semi-Final)
1994: Jonah Jones 7s (Champions Plate)
1996: Armed Forces 7s (Semi-final)
1998: Penang 10s (Quarter Finals)
1998: Penang 7s (Champions)
1998: Trengganu 10s (First Runners-up)
1998: Jonah Jones 7s (Champions Plate)

As Coach & Club Chairman (2007-2010 & 2015)

2007: Perak Super League (Champions)
2007: Perak President’s Cup (First Runners-up)
2008: Perak Super League (First Runners-up)
2008: Perak President’s Cup (Champions)
2008: Armed Forces Inter Services (First Runners-up)
2008: MRU President’s Cup (Semi-final)
2009: Perak Super League (Champions)
2009: Perak President’s Cup (Champions)
2009: Negeri Sembilan 7s (Plate Runners-up)
2009: Perak Isa Abas Cup 7s (Cup Runners-up)
2009: Jonah Jones 7s (Plate Semi-final)
2010: Perak Super League (Champions)
2010: Perak President’s Cup (Champions)
2010: UPNM 10s (Plate Champions)
2010: Taiping 10s (Plate Semi-final)
2010: Jonah Jones 7s (Plate Semi-final)
2015: Selangor League Div 1 (First Runners-up)

Old Putra Association (OPA)

1998 – Penang 10s (First Runners-up Plate)

Royal Naval Engineering College (HMS Thunderer), Manadon, 
Plymouth, United Kingdom 

1995: Plymouth Region League (First Runners-up)

HMS Osprey, Portland, United Kingdom

1995: Portland/Weymouth Regional (Preliminary)

Malaysia Armed Forces 15s and 7s Teams 

1994: Agong’s Cup (Champions)
1994: National 7s (First Runners-up)
1998: National 7s (Semi-final)

Malaysia Rugby U-23 

1993: Friendly vs Singapore (Malaysia won)

Malaysia Rugby 7s (Senior) 
1994: Fiji Sevens, Suva, Fiji (Preliminary rounds)