Better be safe than sorry…

18 06 2010

TRAGIC ROAD ACCIDENTS… I’ve seen at close hand a fair share of them. And just this morning not far from E-Mart in Miri, I saw what transpired to be a corpse lying next to a crumpled-up motorbike which might have been directly hit by a car. 😦

In fact, I’ve had enough share of my own misfortunes due to road accidents in which I had been involved in although I’ve never been injured or hospitalized due to my countless self-accidents over the years. A couple of my previous cars were badly damaged, though, and one had been a total write-off after it flew over a water-logged road during a heavy downpour, hitting a tree in the year 2000.

I recall not long after I bought my first car in 1983, I managed to avoid hitting another car that drove straight across my path. In doing so, I had to fly over an ‘island’ (road-divider) and landed onto a road in the opposite direction but luckily enough, no oncoming cars that time! 😉

And 16 years later, my previous ‘four-wheeler’ treaded in heavy rains on a water-log rushing down an accident-prone road near Bukit Panggal along the highway. It slid to a halt when it hit the safety-grill fencing and turned over sideways! I looked down from top to bottom and realized that had my baby daughter, who was only three then, been a passenger… I just couldn’t imagine the tragedy and worst nightmare any father would have gone through! 😦

The last worse accident I experienced was in 2006 (remember FIFA World Cup when Italy emerged as Champions!)… After watching the Live match between hosts Germany and England, I drove back home at about 3.00 a.m. when suddenly my eyes shut for a split second and before I knew it the car veered aimlessly in the middle of the ‘dark evil’ Seria-Mumong Bypass and got ditched on the side in the peat-swampy bushes. Dangling on to the seat belt, I had to get out of the car from the top before I pushed it back into position again from outside. 😀

People may say I have like a cat’s 99 lives… still it’s no fun to be involved in any road accident which could prove fatal i.e. if you’re destined to die there and then… Nauzubillahi minzalik (touch wood?!). 😛

Nowadays since some years back, I often make it a point to always read my prayers or supplications (Do’a) before starting any road journey and while driving. 🙂 Sadly, I’m still a fast and furious driver at times but somehow common sense prevails. 😉 So really it all comes down to taking good control of the wheels and practising a much more defensive driving style. Also, I always try my best to tolerate other reckless drivers.

Just as in everyday life — interacting, mixing around and socializing with people — mutual respect for each other should be part and parcel of safe driving practices. So whatever you need to do or however rushing you are, please do drive safely! 🙂



Worldly life oh so temporary…:(

17 06 2010

Poetic chronicles of life

Sleep perturbs soul
Lately body and spirit
Timeless in space
Easy-going so steadily
Yet bounce up and down
Not sure like in a dream
My thoughts of life
Exactly temporary
Yet permanently disabled
Death so near but still far
Ready for the Hereafter?
Run away from the world
Destination is Paradise
Eastern values to seek
Keep off western ideals
So pray, do righteous deeds
Somewhere and somehow
When God wills me to be
Be pious, be fearful always
So Most Merciful Lord Almighty
You are my One and Only God
Don’t the human race know?
What is this life on earth?
Has no meaning without
The Supreme Power of
Forever the Most Forgiving
God the Universal Creator
Rendering men helpless
Struck by natural calamities
So severe, stern punishments
Start to make frail minds
Seek solace and menace
Eating out their hearts
So dark and devilish
Haven’t the creatures
Still not heed the signs?
Signalling that the end
Does seem to be near.

PEACE. Love. Kindness

FIFA World Cup — What’s the big deal?

15 06 2010

OF COURSE I’VE always been a fan of the World Cup Finals just as millions others globally. It may astound even myself sometimes thinking that here I am fanatically supporting other national football teams but not my own country’s soccer squad. Since when has Brunei Darussalam ever entered even the preliminary qualifying rounds of the world cup tournament? In all likelihood, not in my lifetime… never! 😦

And yet the World Cup fever is so infectiously contagious, so much so that even little children are pretty much hyped-up by it all! 😀

Some of the most memorable World Cup legends I could name from off the top of my head now: Pele, Eusebio, Gordon Banks, Johan Cruyff, Gerd Muller, Zico, and many more I can hardly recall… call it short-term memory lapse. 😛

One of my most exciting experiences of sharing the joys and thrills of the World Cup craze was back in 1994 when a not-so footballing nation, the United States hosted the event. And the Americans prefer to call the game — soccer — due to the fact that football is another different all-American favorite sport (which hasn’t really caught the fancy of the world citizens at large). Surprisingly enough, the US soccer team is poised to become a World Cup strong contender even now… It won’t be long until Americans celebrate their jubilant World Cup Final win, big time, man! 😛

That unforgettable year, my newly-born baby boy was only about a month old and I happened to take a two-week long vacation from work. Incidentally, at the start of the World Cup season, I injured my left middle finger that got sandwiched in between the door of my car. It got swollen up pretty painfully and caused agonizing sleepless nights for me then. Fortunately or unfortunately, it helped me stay awake to watch live matches at odd hours since the US Time zones differ by up to 12 hours from our supposedly sleeping times. At the same time I had to make bottled milk for my baby boy, too… so just as well! 😀

My most favorite team to become World Cup Champions in that historic FIFA World Cup USA was Brazil, which they did by beating Italy 3 – 2 in penalty shootouts after both teams drew 0 – 0 in the Final. It was the first time that a World Cup final had ever been decided by penalty kicks. For Brazil to have won their fourth World Cup title was also a first for any national football team in its history. Audience-wise, it was also one of the highest ever recorded when about 3.6 million spectators thronged stadium venues in the States, not to mention live telecasts to millions more TV viewers worldwide.

I remember during the 2002 World Cup, I was away on a sojourn in Malaysia for more than a month when the World Cup Finals were jointly hosted by Japan and South Korea — an Asian debut to stage the prestigious global event.

My son who was eight then hated the game of football because a couple of years prior to that I socked it to him to join in a soccer training scheme. He wasn’t so into team-play as much as he loves individual sports activities like swimming, tennis, etc. until today. But that year in the FIFA 2002 World Cup, even though I wasn’t around to coax him to watch the globally-televised matches at home, my son still followed it on his own. And his favorite player then was trend-setting David Beckham of England who sported a mohawk-like hair cut that particular World Cup year. My boy even drew David Beckham in one of his art lessons at school. Such was the impact that this most popular sporting event of the world had on an 8-year-old who hated the game itself… 😛

In fact, that year happened to be the only World Cup I missed watching telecasts of the matches since I was too tied up to watch any TV. About the only match I could squeeze in to watch then was the closely-fought ‘pitch battle’ between Brazil and England which the Brazilians won brilliantly… 😉 Brazil who were my clear favorites, then, went on to win their fifth coveted World Cup trophy in that year’s Final defeating Germany by a two-nil margin.

I was only three years old myself when England successfully hosted the World Cup Finals in London but unlike any toddlers aged 3 these days who could still catch glimpses of the Live telecasts on LCD or HDTV flat screens, I doubt most Bruneians then even bothered to read up about it in delayed news prints. Probably, only a handful of young Bruneian students who were sent on Government scholarships to study in the United Kingdom then knew who Bobby Moore was (England’s captain who led his team to their first and only World Cup victory that golden English football year).

During the last World Cup Finals in Germany four years ago, I actually rooted for Cote D’Ivoire simply because I admired the scoring ability, skilful and determined leadership of the Ivory Coast striker, Didier Drogba, then. And this year, I’m neither an Ivory Coast ‘sympathiser’ nor an ardent Brazil supporter but I’m now a fully-fledged England’s No. 1 fan. Why? Because of the tenacity and admirable qualities of England’s skipper.. the one and only Steven Gerrard! 😛

And the midfielders-strong English team will face Argentina (coached by its famous World Cup legend on his own, Diego Maradona) in the Final — Lionel Messi — its star player to give England team members some headaches on the ‘battle-field for the Falkland Islands’! 😀

Ole! Ole! Ole! England will be the new World Cup Champions soon enough! 😉


A youthful voice…

11 06 2010

MY YOUNG TEENAGER has some history with an educational organisation in Brunei Darussalam called the Brunei English Language Teachers’ Association or BELTA for short. Not long after its formation when BELTA first organized its inaugural Belait District-level ‘English Spelling Bee’ competition, my son had emerged as its first champion when he was in Year 5, if I’m not mistaken.

In Years 7 and 8 respectively, he had taken part in BELTA’s ‘Word Play’ contests at the national level amongst the secondary school students in the country. On both occasions, he was a member of two different schools — the Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar Secondary School and Chung Hua Middle School respectively in Kuala Belait.

On his birthday late last month, he successfully qualified out of 30 participants representing secondary schools from throughout the nation, as one of the eight top finalists of the 4th BELTA Oratory Competition 2010. Below was part of his speech text:

The Power of Youths

Our world today is consumed by crises. Diseases, terrorism and wars are all calamities which affect our lives and minds. But the real crisis lies beneath the surface of negative events. That crisis, ladies and gentlemen, is ignorance.

Have you ever heard of an English proverb that goes, “If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem”? Well, this statement is certainly true in almost any circumstance. But we tend to forget that one problem can lead to another. If you do not solve the root cause of the problem, then none of its consequences will be solved. We youths, as the future of our country and the world today, are responsible for identifying these problems, and hopefully provide the solutions as well.

Last March, I participated in the ISB Borneo Global Issues Conference, in which local and overseas students came together to create solutions, as realistically as possible, to try and solve global issues. From there, I realized that everything good and worthwhile doing starts with a proper education. Equal opportunities, most importantly in education, should be given to less fortunate children to enable them to become more independent so that they are well-prepared to face the harsh realities in this era of globalization.

When more youths have a strong educational foundation, it is possible to further develop a country. With an excellent education system in place, we’ll acquire a better mindset which would lead to better critical thinking skills and, in turn, to the crises being solved in more innovative ways.

Once again, I reiterate my concern that ignorance is our main crisis. Therefore, we need to replace it with something of much greater value — knowledge. Knowledge, my friends, is power. The more you know about a crisis, the better prepared you are to make a point. Making a valid and relevant point is what has the power to change people’s mindsets. We have the power of youth and fresh ideas. We have freedom and voice. So let’s transform those fears into a sign of hope — hope that with our generation’s abilities, we can end our fears and change the world for the better.

(Speech by Awang Basil Ali Witsqa bin Awang Mohammad, Form 5 Science of Chung Hua Middle School, Kuala Belait, Negara Brunei Darussalam)

My 16-year-old boy will be competing in the Final of the 4th BELTA Oratory Competition sometime in July, 2010 in Bandar Seri Begawan. It will be only his second speech contest he has ever competed in — the first time when he was in Year 9 participating in an English Public Speaking Competition amongst the Private Secondary Schools nationwide. He could only manage to achieve 5th placing in that particular contest.

But earlier this year, he did come in third in an ‘Environmental Project Presentation’ competition amongst secondary schools which was hosted by the Anthony Abell College in Seria. Well, the best of luck next month, B.A.! 🙂


Puisi cinta terlarang

9 06 2010

Hujan Rahmat

Astaghfirullahul Azhiim!
Sang istri dalam mobil
Tak peduli tanpa izin,
Jalan depan suami,
Tak kenal maka tak cinta?!

Sang suami sabar,
Hati terguris luka,
Pacu laju ke Rumah
Ambil wudhu’ reda,

Lalu solat munajat hati
Usai Fardhu, Hajat lagi
Entah cowok apa sama istri?
Bisa diajarin atau bunuh diri!

Bismillahi Tawakaltu al-Allah
Wala Hawla wala Quwwatta
Illa Billah
Walau hati amarah rendah diri
Sabar tawakal zikir pada Ilahi

Di luar masjid, hujan lebat
Ku dongak ke langit,
Guruh hebat
Maha Suci kurnia nikmat
Ciptaan Tuhan
Sambil selawat, daku senyum
Melangui awan

Cucuran air dari syurga
Burung-burung berterbangan
Hujan rahmat membasahi
Kuyup sayap
Hamba Allah kedinginan sedih
Meratap… 😦

Keris Warisan

All the World Cup’s a stage…

8 06 2010

Much ado about a ball!

Once ev’ry four years
The whole world buzzes
The soccer ball is now in
South Africa’s court.
For World Cup 2010
is abuzz with news
of England’s newly
appointed skipper
Stevie G, midfielder.
The Ivory Coast Captain
Drogba is still uncertain.
Messi, the Argentinian
may strike at the heart
of the footballing action.
Torres, Viva Espana!
Englishman Rooney,
Portuguese Ronaldo
all vie for best striker.
Host team, South Africa
control Adidas Jabulani.
The round ball of footy
to be kicked off officially
June 11, all fans be wary
Bafana beat Mexico, maybe?
The defending champions, Italy
give Brazil a run for their money
England is my choice, personally.

Peace.Love.Kindness to FIFA World Cup!

June 5 at 1:56pm

Not so Happy Father’s Day… :(

4 06 2010

Daddy’s dilemma

In the stillness
of a silent night,
a father takes
his ablution
one time,
too many
due to his
heart’s anxiety
to welcome
his princely baby
into this world,
cruel but kind,
by the “Azan” call
to prayer, right ear
whispering “Iqamat”
to his baby son’s
left ear to shoo
away evil whispers.
And four years on
poor old Daddy
performs same rites
on his lovely baby
princess day-born, sunny.
And both sweetest of
moments so touched
by the Most Gracious God!
But alas!
Now his kids’
teenage years are
filled with bittersweet
ups and downs in
their lives so far
so good through
all life’s tests and
worldly temptations
soothe ’em with
full gusto and dance
to the devilish rhythm
of West meets East
all hells break loose
whilst the father in
sorrow, regrets and
repents so deeply in
his praying heart, lonely
to God, the Almighty
the Most Forgiving… 😦