9.44 AM

Some of us are very busy lately, especially with Minggu Citra Budaya taking place until Friday. The busy schedule is expected to continue for at least two more weeks before I can finally take a deep breath and relax a bit. The boria guys are doing a great job so far, I'm hoping that the same goes with the results tomorrow when they perform it at the Great Hall. Pertandingan Berbalas Pantun took place yesterday. Our pemantun2 were great:) It's really great to have enthusiastic juniors in the house, it kinda gives me the motivation to do my best as the housecaptain.

Math class yesterday was awkward. I don't think I'm interested in commenting it here though. "Desperate times require desperate measures" would probably justify the whole thing. I'm just hoping that it will all get better soon. Sigh.
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I'm Home

I'm finally home after two weeks of college. The induction week is over (thank God), so no more morning exercises. I am still struggling to make myself comfortable when speaking in public, it's a disease that I can't seem to get rid of. We had a good time on Wednesday. Owh, I received an award! Now how awkward is that? Anyways, I appreciate the juniors' effort with the Batch Anniversary, even though there were many things that could be improved that night.

On Thursday, Japanese Cultural Club welcomed its additional 40 something new members consisting of juniors and seniors. Cool. It's really great to have enthusiastic members joining the club. What's not so great, however, is to see them walking away after some time. The next challenge which lies ahead is to organise the most talked about event of the semester - the Japanese Cultural Night. We'll see how it goes.

I'm glad that the shooting of Garnet's video presentation for the upcoming Malam Citra Budaya has finished this evening. Tedious it was. Hope it'll turn out good. We have come up with a different concept this time around, but we're not ready to reveal it yet. Come this Monday, and you'll see the end product. Anyways, next week will be one busy week for me. I haven't really been studying lately. Maybe I should be worried now.

I've been picking up badminton since Tuesday, many thanks to Fatin for inviting. I couldn't remember the last time I actually played the game. Owh, next week the badminton tournament will take place. I have yet to find some representatives for Garnet House.

Afif is staying with me for the weekend. I guess you probably know by now what it means. Another visit to Akademi Nasyid la.
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A Week Working With A Politician
The detailed account of my experiences. Just like I promised.

I was never interested in politics. I had always thought that politics is only a game that adults play to show others what they are made of - a proving ground - or something like that. When I read the newspaper every morning and sit down on the couch with my father in front of the television for Buletin Utama every evening, I receive stories about politicians being accused of a crime in which he denied; a government official got caught for accepting bribes while at the same time but on a different note, ministers were delivering speeches, convincing people to believe in the government and making promises which they never managed to fulfil. In a way, I was led to believe that politics is ugly and sometimes, it can even cause you your life.
That was how I valued politics back then, until the opportunity to actually get an insight of a real politician’s life came knocking on my door. Before the end of the second week of the holidays, Aainaa invited me to join her to work at the politician’s office during the last remaining days of the three week break. I was rather reluctant at first, considering the fact that I am actually going to spend the rest of my treasured holidays working, instead of just hanging out at home (my favourite past time during the holidays). Not wanting to disappoint Aainaa (and convinced by my optimistic side who suggested that this would be a great experience after all), I accepted the offer.

DAY ONE Monday, 7th July 2008

We started working on Monday, where we were supposed to meet the politician at the Parliament during the proceeding of the Dewan Rakyat. Honestly, up to this point, I had no idea who this politician really was. Then a black Perdana was driven through the porch in front of the main entrance of the building where Aainaa and I waited. As it stopped, the politician stepped out of the car and that was my first time meeting him – Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah, the Deputy Minister of Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Cooperation Development as well as Temerloh Member of Parliament. He looked lively that morning, greeting us in a friendly manner. It made us feel rather...welcomed.
We were seated at a table in a place they call the MP’s lounge for breakfast. There we had a small chat regarding our background and the parliament system itself. I was rather surprised and excited by the sights of ministers and members of the Parliament crowding the area, who were also having their coffee and discussing things with each other. Well, in case you’re wondering, I have never had a breakfast with a minister before, so please pardon my enthusiasm. Anyways, I believe they were getting ready for the heated debate in the Dewan Rakyat which would begin in a few moments that morning. However, what strikes me most was how pleasant and down to earth Dato’ Saifuddin was. He was rather easy to approach and talk to. I found it comfortable talking to him and I believe Aainaa felt the same way too. At that moment, my impression that ‘all politicians are hard to approach and talk to’ proved to be invalid (at least in our case).
Then we went to watch the first session of the Dewan Rakyat for that day. This was my second time actually; my first experience of the Parliament was in 2006 when the Form Five students of Kolej Yayasan Saad, my previous school, went to see the proceeding. However, this time around, I watched the whole session from the VIP seating downstairs. It’s a slightly different experience altogether. The hall was not as lively as I hoped it to be. Perhaps that morning session was only for questions and answers.
Then during the lunch break, our conversation continued, touching on even more topics. That Monday afternoon, we were very lucky to be introduced to several ministers as well as members of the Parliament such as Dato’ Mukhriz Mahathir, Dato’ Nazri as well as Dato’ Mustapha Muhammad. They were also having their lunch at the lounge. I must say they looked even sharper in person than on national television. We were then taken for a mini tour to visit the documentation department where some stenographers were typing every single word of the speeches by the members of the Parliament to be documented on paper. The copy of the documented proceeding of the Dewan Rakyat will then be distributed to all MPs for revision purposes. So just imagine the amount of paper that they have to use every day.
Before our first day was officially over, we took some time to visit the building of Dato’ Saifuddin’s ministry in Precinct 2, Putrajaya. We were greeted by Mr Imouzegar Ismail, Dato’s senior secretary as we reached his office located at level 13 of the building. He was a lad full of smiles. He basically showed us around the office and told us briefly about the ministry. We were even provided with our own workstation.

DAY TWO Tuesday, 8th July 2008

We arrived at the ministry’s office at about 8.45 am. We had a brief meeting with Mr Imouzegar regarding the task that we had to finish for the day. We were told that Dato’ Saifuddin would be officiating an event at UniKL Malaysian Institute of Aviation Technology (MIAT) in Sepang on Wednesday; hence we had to prepare a speech for him for that matter. However, before we began writing the content of the speech, first we had to call the person in charge of the event so that we would have a rough idea of what it was about. Aainaa contacted the number given in the fax that the office had received earlier. Puan Mahyana was on the line. We enquired about quite a number of things ranging from the venue, attire, the number of students involved, the expected time of arrival as well as the programmes in the induction week which took place a few days before the closing ceremony. Then, after we managed to acquire all the information that we needed, Aainaa and I began working on the speech. We thought it was not a difficult task to complete, but when we were actually constructing the speech sentence by sentence, realization hit us hard. We wanted it to sound natural, but not too casual. We wanted it to be informative, but not too narrative. We wanted to write a speech that the students can relate to and remember, not the one which is ignored and forgotten. Perhaps we were too attached to our work that we did not realise it was already lunch time. So we went to the cafeteria for lunch. At about 2.30pm, we continued with our work and finished at about two hours later. Then it was time to go home.

DAY THREE Wednesday, 9th July 2008
We were supposed to accompany Dato’ Saifuddin at the closing ceremony of “Minggu Silaturrahim UniKL MIAT” in Sepang that afternoon. However, before we went there, we had to report at the office. That morning, we were officially introduced to Mr Shamsul Qamar, the private secretary to the Deputy Minister. He was a soft spoken young man, which might be a little contradictory to his reputation as the President of the Debate Club of his university. He used to work in Zaid & Co, a well known law firm in Malaysia, but now he had put his career on hold to concentrate more on assisting Dato’ Saifuddin in fulfilling his responsibilities as a public figure. We then asked him a question,”Why did you let go of your position in the law firm and chooses to work with a politician whose future is rather uncertain instead?” He answered, “...because I believe in Dato’. In fact, people should support politicians like him who is not a typical leader who only does things for publicity and acknowledgment. Realising how much confidence he has for Dato’, it kind of struck me that maybe he was right. It was too soon for me to judge, but I have always been an optimistic individual.
Anyways, we were informed that Mr Shamsul would be taking us along to Sepang in his car. Since we were supposed to make a move only two and a half hours later, a little task was given to us. We were given the honour to update Dato’ Saifuddin’s Facebook page! It was not that difficult for me, considering the experiences I had under my belt. Also, we had to translate one of Dato’s featured articles in Berita Harian regarding “Politik Baru” or new governance. So we began our work. Updating the Facebook page was not that much of a hassle. Basically we had to upload photos and videos of Dato’ as well as adding some applications which might be of his interests. The translating of the article, however, was rather tedious. We only managed to finish a paragraph because it was now time for us to make a move.
The journey to Sepang in Mr Shamsul’s blue Savvy took about an hour. We got lost somewhere along the way; therefore we had to ask around for direction. We were rushing to be at the place on time because we had to hand him the speech that we had prepared for Dato’ Saifuddin before it was his turn to give his speech. It was fun getting to know the locals though. In the end, we managed to reach UniKL MIAT although we were a little bit late. Dato’ Saifuddin was already on the stage, presenting his speech. We were quite disappointed at first, knowing that our speech was not used at all, but Mr Shamsul later told us that he had emailed it to Dato’s Blackberry beforehand. So we sat at the back row together with the celebrated students and listened intently to his speech. That was when I realised another interesting fact about Dato’. He was a person with a gift of oratory skills. He sounded rather natural on stage as if he was really talking to us. He did not refer to the text that often. I bet the students were enjoying his speech as he occasionally interacted with them by making jokes. However, he did emphasize on important issues which he hoped the students would take note of. He stressed about the importance of education as well as the roles that youths today have to play as leaders of tomorrow, which I found very inspiring indeed.
After the ceremony ended, we were invited to join Dato’ Saifuddin along with the President and the Dean of UniKL MIAT for lunch. A photography session with the students took place shortly before that. After our task is finished, we then returned to Putrajaya to get a few things before proceeding to the Parliament. Mr Shamsul informed us that a meeting would take place that afternoon when Dato’ finished his session in the Dewan Rakyat and that we had to be there to become part of the meeting as well. So we stayed at the lounge, but not long after that, boredom (or should I say, curiosity) got the better of us. Hence, we took a mini tour round the Parliament from one area to another. It was already 7.30pm, but the session still had no sign of a conclusion. Therefore, Mr Imouzegar advised us to go back as it would be unlikely that the meeting would take place that day. We had no idea that the wrapping up session would take that long. Hence, to Shah Alam we headed back, all tired but excited.


We started our day at the Parliament with Dato’ Saifuddin department’s meeting at the cafeteria. At first, I thought that the meeting would be done formally in a meeting room, but I was wrong. It was not really a meeting, but rather a discussion of issues that needed to be addressed. Indeed, it took place over coffee, sandwiches and a bowl of porridge – a simple breakfast to start the day. Mr Imouzegar was confirming a few items in Dato’s schedule for the month while Mr Shamsul was pretty engaged in a conversation with a fellow UIA Debate Club President who is also the webmaster of Dato’s website. Aainaa and I basically were witnesses to the hectic schedule of a politician. It’s amazing to actually learn how an important figure like Dato’ manages his time even though he had a busy schedule. We had an interesting conversation that morning about the plans for the following day. The meeting lasted until 12.00pm. We then had to go back to Putrajaya to finish off our translation of Dato’s article on new governance, which we managed to complete before we called it a day. However, before we went back, we spent some time at Mr Imouzegar’s office as it was the last day for us working in the Department. Kak Aida was there as well. She is Dato’s personal assistant in the office. We never really got the chance to actually talk to both of them as colleagues before, so that afternoon was quite a pleasure. Up to this point, we had the impression that Mr Imouzegar was a strict, straightforward kind of person. However, that afternoon, his youthful half finally came out of the shade. He could be very funny at times. Perhaps Aainaa would know how to describe him best. Kak Aida said the atmosphere of Level 13 (Dato’ Saifuddin’s department) had always been dull and quiet...until we came. We noticed that. (Note to self: When I start my own career, I will make my office as vibrant as possible.) I really hoped that we were not a burden to them. Anyways, we tried persuading Mr Imouzegar into following us to Temerloh with Dato’ Saifuddin the following day. He said he could not promise as the bountiful load of work had made its presence on the table very clear.


It was not a good start that morning as Aainaa had to wait for me while I searched for my wallet literally everywhere. I found it in the end though, right where I left it yesterday. Sorry Aainaa. So we began our so-called road trip to Temerloh. Neither of us had great geographical knowledge of the place, hence we had to meet Dato’ Saifuddin at a petrol station after Gombak Toll. After we had our breakfast, Dato’ decided to join our car. I thought he was joking, but apparently he was not. Aainaa was a little concerned about the mess at the back of car, so she tidied it up. Dato’ was not complaining, of course. That Friday morning, I started my new career as the Deputy Minister’s driver. The journey to Temerloh was not a boring experience at all as we had an engaging conversation about politics and the government, among other things as well. As I had to concentrate on the road, Aainaa, my reliable co-driver, did most of the talking with Dato’.
We arrived at UMNO’s headquarters in Mentakab where the weekly clinic session took place. We were introduced to Tuan Haji Abu, Dato’ Saifuddin’s representative in Gombak. A clinic session basically is where people who wished to see Dato’ regarding many issues, ranging from seeking help because of a sickness to the building of a hall at the temple, would be given some time to meet him in his office privately. Both of us were given the opportunity to be there as well. Mr Imouzegar managed to join us in Temerloh as well, much to Aainaa’s relief. Not wanting to disturb Dato’ while he was busy meeting his people, Aainaa and I decided to go for a walk around the town. Mentakab is not a big township area, but I couldn’t help but notice the numbers of clinics and pharmacies that they have. There is at least one clinic in every two or three shop houses.
Then it was time for Friday prayers and lunch which came shortly after that. We were taken to a restaurant which specialises in ikan patin. I have never really been a big fan of fish before, but ikan patin is an exception. It was delicious. Other meals that we managed to get a taste of include ikan kerai and daun maman. Soon we learnt that ikan patin is the pride of Temerloh people. That afternoon, Dato’ Saifuddin had to attend a meeting which we could not join. So we followed Tuan Haji Abu to Majlis Perasmian Mesyuarat Koperasi Felda Lakum instead. Lakum is about one hour drive from Mentakab. We did not manage to take a tour around the area, but from our observation, it had been developing quite well. After the event ended, we were treated by the organiser with some local delicacies which I did not quite remember the names. They tasted great. I don’t know if Aainaa remembered though.
Felda Lakum was our last stop. After we bid farewell to Tuan Haji Abu as well as the locals there, we started our journey home. Again, due to the lack of experience and navigation skills, we got lost a few times before we finally reached Shah Alam at around 10.00pm. Actually, we did stop at One Utama, but that was another story.


It never really crossed my mind that someday I would ever get an opportunity to work with a politician. The closest I had been before was to watch the Dewan Rakyat session from the visitor’s bay which was quite far as well as meeting Tun Dr Mahathir at Jabatan Perdana Menteri to hand him our National Day’s card when I was in Form 3. But they could never compare to the experience I gained throughout my one week of employment at the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Cooperation Development with Aainaa. Not only was I able to understand the real deal that a politician has to face on a daily basis, I was also able to get an insight of the functions of MECD which I did not really know of before. Spending a week with a colleague like Aainaa had been a precious experience which I can never forget. She had been a wonderful friend throughout the whole thing. And she still is, I guess.
Here, I would like to thank Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah, the Deputy Minister of Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Cooperation Development, for giving us an opportunity to be your assistants for the week even though we lacked the skills and experience. Also, thank you Mr Imouzegar for being patient with us. I know that deep inside you’re missing our company. Don’t worry; we are too, Aainaa especially. Mr Shamsul, many thanks to you too for the ride to Sepang and for sharing many things with us. We totally appreciate it. Kak Aida, don’t miss us too much. We are really looking forward to meeting all of you again if we have the chance. Thank you, thank you all.
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An Emotional Landslide

I don't know what has gotten into me, but I haven't quite been myself lately. This is pathetic.
So ring the bell. Push the button. Hoist the flag. Activate the alarm. Switch on the siren. Call the cops. Send the message. Decipher the code. Unlock the doors. Open the exits. Sigh. I'm bored.

I'll just hold on while help arrives. I think I'll manage.
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Hello there.
Two days have passed since college reopened. Nothing changed as much as I would have thought, but a few things are worth mentioning here. First, Ms Yeomans is no longer our History teacher. We all know that for a fact, but we were told that she will not leave at least until the end of July. However, she sent an email to some of us, telling a story which I find rather shocking. I did not get to read it exactly, but Haqqa sent us her message. If what she said is indeed true, then I must say the college administration has given KYUEM a bad name. I hope there is a logical reason to justify the action. Anyways, she has been replaced by Mr Huw Brookes, A Welsh teacher. A few other teachers will also be reporting soon. We'll see how it goes.

I am also put in charge of the junior batch induction programme as a group facilitator. It's already Day Two and I'm not enjoying it as much as I would have imagined. Don't ask me why because I don't have the answer....although I must say being paired with Aainaa does ease the boredom a bit. She's such a jovial person. Hmm...maybe it's just me feeling a little out of place. That's kind of normal, I guess, because it happens at times.
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So here I am in my bedroom in the chalet.
It's already 10.50pm. The history notes are waiting to be read in the common room.
People are crowding over Afif's room. They are cheering him on as they watch him on TV (Akademi Nasyid obviously).

It's just one of those days.

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Yes yes, I'll be heading back to Lembah Beringin in just a few hours time. I haven't read or done anything educational for the past three weeks. Quite an accomplishment this is. That's why at times like these a part of me longs to go back ASAP so that at least when I'm there I will start something quickly. This is indeed valid as an ideal. I have always been someone rather different when I am at college, I don't know why, it just happens. The other half can only wish that the holidays will be extended.

Either way, I believe I should continue packing now.
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In Retrospect

Last Friday marked the end of our temporary contract with Dato' Saifuddin Abdullah, our employer for the whole of last week. It ended with a visit to Temerloh for his regular meetings with the community in Mentakab. And also a mini feast of ikan patin and mamam. Yum yum (haha).

Yesterday, I attended the Bon Odori Festival, my first time ever since its 32 years of existence in Malaysia. I was flabbergasted by the attendees which made up a crowd consisting thousands of people. There were many girls wearing kimono and the guys donning their yukatas, although I found it rather difficult to differentiate the real Japanese people and the rest of the population. Some were quite obvious, don't get me wrong. It was a great exeperience on the whole.

Today is the last day that I will be spending at home. So let's go back in restrospect to see the accomplishments I have achieved and the misses. Hmm. This has alwasy been a sad question to me. The answer has never been glorious, or something that I can be proud of. But whatever. In a few moments later, I will be visiting Afia in Raub, together with the whole family, plus K. Long. She's staying over for the weekends, said she's bored to death at UiTM.

I will try to, you know, keep a detailed account of everything that happened throughout the holidays, but let's see if we have the time.

Okay. Ciao.
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I'll be heading to the Parliament in half an hour. Hope Aainaa is awake by now. Well, she should be. The car can't drive on its own, can it? I must say I'm excited about this. The first day of my career. It should give the right first impression -to me, as well as to the rest of the staff. Haha. Sounds rather glorious, but...biar la:P

I think I should take my breakfast now.
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An Incessant Rambling

Again, I had my share of the limelight tonight. My presence at Sri Pentas 2 where Akademi Nasyid is showcased every Saturday was merely to fulfill Afif's invitation. He has been quite pushy these few days, so I don't want to let him down. Plus, he had prepared free t shirts for Aiman's supporters to wear during the concert. So I guess you should get idea by now how enthusiastic he's become. Haha. Good news for fans, Aiman survives the elimination!

Next Monday, Aainaa and I will be visiting the Parliament , which also means the start of our one week career at the Minister's Office in Putrajaya:) I have to tell you, this feels rather like a high profile job. Getting to mingle around with people of certain positions and importance. Playing around in minister's office. Haha. But that's not quite the picture I have in mind. I'm only there for the exprerience, or perhaps building a rapport with individuals for future benefits. Sheesh. It sounds so wrong though:P
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My younger sister Afia received a letter yesterday. It was a letter she has been waiting for seven months now. A letter informing her that she was accepted to study in a boarding school. She has always wanted to study in a boarding school. In fact, it has been my mum's wish as well. "Pegi boarding school, blaja rajin2 etc." So you can imagine how happy she was upon reading the letter. She was indeed very excited thinking about the new environment she will be living in from now on, but her friends, on the other hand, were not.

She told me how one of her friends did not even come to school on her last day at school because she was so sad that she is going to lose another best friend. Owh, actually, they have this group of seven people, sort of like the sisterhood or something and they are very close. So since January, one by one left the group because they got accepted by boarding schools. And now that Afia is leaving as well, only two remains in the group. It's melodramatic, I know, but that's what happens. And yes, I do care about my sister's minipolitics as well. Guess I didn't really live up to my reputation as an ignorant brother.

From my point of view, the pursuit of education often outweighs the sacrifices that have to be made along the way. I may sound rather 'kiasu' here but seriously, there is nothing more important rather than education. This is because once education is acquired, the rest will come our way as well. Good friends, good life, better perspectives of things.

After all, we only part to meet again.
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I was planning on talking about the things I've done for the past few days (since the past few days have been the busiest period of my time during the holidays), but the plan has to be shortlived, due to the fact that I have been struggling to find some time to write everything in detail. Hence, when the time comes, I'll summarize everything in a new post.

The whole family went out for dinner at a restaurant in Bandar Utama just now. And, like every other time when we went out for dinner, normal family conversations will take place. Mum and Dad will normally talk about things, with both my sisters occasionally menyampuk. Me? I am just an observer. Dead silent when it comes to topics that don't concern me. Oh, one thing that I notice from my few observations so far is how pessimist my mum is at times. Don't get me wrong, my mum is a great person, but often she would look on the darker side of things. It really upsets me sometimes. All I'm saying is that it's okay to have a little doubt, but don't let the pessimism take over your judgement. It will only distort the view.
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