Thursday, July 31, 2008

Do you buy lottery ticket?

Walk or drive past any of those 4D-Magnum and Sport Toto outlets in the evenings and you will find it full of hopefuls, people who hope to strike the big one. And there are others like Da Ma Cai and Big Sweep, not forgetting the countless illlegal ones operating from every imaginable nook and corner in the country. All of them offer the same thing...the hope of striking it big.

In the evenings, you often see people waving pieces of paper by the roadside. When I was younger I often wondered why people would stop and buy a piece of seemingly worthless paper. It was only much later that I learned they contain the results of the day's draw. That's how pervasive lottery is. But I think with mobile services, this may be a thing of the past soon. Cos even the aunty and uncle can now ask their children to check the results via the mobile.

How much does one spend then on such hopes? Well, this is from a friend about a small-scale lottery hopeful. She makes a purchase of RM5 per ticket from 3 different lottery outlets thrice a week. So that brings the amount to RM45 per week. In a month, with special draws that would come up to RM200 or more. Add that up to a year and it will come to around RM2400. And on top of that some more there is this ever so often good feeling, dreams that people like this are prone to..... car get banged, buy number, some toddler mutter some number, buy also...so all in all it easily reaches 3K a year. Does she win that much back? You know the answer! Budget gets busted more often than never. That is why, gamblers often live a life of debts.

So how good are your chances of striking it big? If you think the odds are okay...then you are dead wrong! It's a loser's game. If you look at the people who buy lottery tickets, you'll find that majority of those people who buy the tickets are from the lower income groups. There was a study conducted in the States which found that poverty is a central reason as to why people buy lotteries.

Lotteries actually set off a vicious cycle that not only exploits low-income group's desires to escape poverty but also directly prevents them from improving their financial situations. I mean, how do you improve your financial situation if whatever extra cash that you may have goes towards the lottery tickets. Most people don't actually keep a tab on how much they spend on their lottery tickets purchase. But I am sure if they sit down and do, they'd be surprised how much goes to it. It's just like the ciggy! You burn without realizing how much you are burning...or the mobile...you keep reloading ...... but then again, probably they are just being the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand.

At the end of the day, it's still the rich exploiting the poor. Mathematically speaking, you can't win this game. But hope keeps them going. Truly a vicious cycle at work here!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Breakfast at KFC...

Lil Rainbow was all excited yesterday night when I suggested breakfast at KFC in the morning. Which kid wouldn't be? Kids and fast food....they're bosom buddies.Today is a public holiday, it being Israk and Mikraj. Tomorrow I will be off as well as we have extended our leave till the weekend. Yippee!!! Lil Rainbow and her bro will be going to school as usual. I have the whole morning to myself! Times like this are rare these days!The breakfast menu...when we got there the place was practically empty except for two other guys. Of course, who would want to be out on a morning where they can sleep in late? It was still early. The only people who seemed to be happily out were the senior folks who had gathered in groups to do their tai-chi in the vacant plots around KFC. It was 7.45 a.m. when we got there. We had to wait for our food despite this being a fast food joint. The drinks came first...as did the toy that came with the Junior Kid's Platter. These toys keep the kids coming back. I don't see the attraction there but obviously the kids do. In the background, Lil Rainbow was already having a go at the toy.

This is what the daughter and father had...senior and junior versions of the breakfast platter.What I had...the egg wrap. It's okay-lah! Moist enough to go down the morning throat... I thought it would come in a plate....The toy that came with the junior set....the gymnast chicken going round and round on its blue platform. LOL. Only in KFC, chickens can do all kinds of twists, turns.... and the children all lap them up!The bill came up to RM22.95 for the 3 of us... a bit pricey for your average breakfast, but once in a while, have a 'kelainan' for a change. Gives a little excitement to an otherwise bland week.... LOL! Anyway, by the time we left at around 8.15 a.m. patrons were starting to trickle in. And where is the bro, you might ask?? As usual snuggled up in his bed... I got him Hokkien Mee for breakfast, at RM2.30 and some fried bananas. Jimat! LOL!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Nature and Nurture...Double Whammy

Still on the subject of nature vs nurture. If Nature is not for you, then perhaps with good nurture you may still succeed. If Nurture is not for you, then maybe the good fortune of inheriting the good stuff from Nature may still see you succeed. But what if both Nature and Nurture fail you...what then will be the conclusion?It was another usual day at class. Lesson was going rather well until a knock on the door came. In sauntered Ri and he walked past right behind me. I always tell my students it's not proper to walk behind the teacher...so I made him go out again and greet first before entering. It went well, so I thought. I was glad he didn't kick up the usual fuss. He headed for his seat; I proceeded with my lesson. I did not even make it through the first 5 minutes. Soon a pint sized boy in front of him took up his hand and said Ri was disturbing him. I gave Ri a warning look. Then just to make sure he understood, I told him to pay attention to the lesson and leave his classmate alone.

Before the minute was over, he was at it again. This time he muttered aloud, supposedly to himself but it was meant for everyone to listen. This went on. A few warnings later, I sent him to the back of the class to sit on the floor. He began to amuse himself by sitting on a plastic bottle. One tends to get used to such repeated behaviour like this, so I told him in an even voice that I was going to report him to the discipline teacher! He had been given warning that if any more complaints came in, he would be expelled. He kept silent. Lesson went undisturbed for a while...then he was at it again. This time a boy retorted something about Ri being just like his father... who was behind bars. He stood up, clearly angry! And he started pointing his finger at another boy and said his sister was wanted by the police...as if just to say there were others like him. But if I read him right, his insolence probably has to do with him being incessantly teased by his friends about his father!

Then I remembered...here was a boy who has been growing up without his father. His mother is too busy working to support the family. He has been disruptive since primary school. The school has talked to his mother. She doesn't know what to do with him. We don't know what to do with him either cos he just doesn't seem to want to fit into the class. Is he a case of double whammy? I don't really know but I feel kinda sorry for him. I hope he finds his way. I had a 'slow' talk with him before I left the class. But I doubt it would make a difference. I have done it countless times with him...as had other teachers!

So, what if both nature and nurture fail? What of kids like this?

Related Posts:
Product(s) of the Environment
Teacher...Teacher

Monday, July 28, 2008

Of old trees and old houses...

Friday after lunch activity with Lil Rainbow....we went for a short drive. Stopped by the Wisma Negeri cos she wanted to see the 'fallen balloon'. The Golden Jubilee Celebration is still on, so there's supposed to be a festive mood around still.

When we got there, we took a walk around the field opposite of the Wisma. Noticed this nice looking tree with two kampung houses as the backdrop. The day wasn't too hot..in fact the clouds were gathering. Quite a nice afternoon out for a walk~This is one of the houses. It is over 100 years old. It's a really beautiful kampung house, with all the intricate carvings. They moved the whole house from its original site and planted it here as a tourist attraction. The doors were padlocked when we got there. So, we just walked around it.
This is the sign outside the house. Known as Rumah Tok Su, it was moved from Bandar Baharu, about 200km away from Alor Star. It's a house with a history. If only the walls and trees could talk, I bet they could teach us more than a thing or two .....The rickety bridge over a small longkang leading to the houses. The bridge is falling apart and I think the termites probably have something to do with it. But all in all it's quite a picturesque scenery! Twas a nice short outing with Lil Rainbow!
Anyway, if you are interested to see this for yourself...this is where you can find it.
Location. Click on the map

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Product(s) of the Environment

Nature vs nurture....issue has been there since the 13th century France. I read the synopsis of the Romance of Silence by Heldris of Cornwall. Interesting! Personally I've been always more inclined to think that nurture plays a more important role in shaping us into the person(s) we are.

A while back I realised that there was this group of girls whom I taught over a period of years....in different classes. For easy comparison, I shall take 4 of them who were in the same class in Form 3....it was the best class.

PMR came and went. Two opted for Arts and two for Science.

The Science Girls
They were actually not as good as the other girl who opted for Arts. In Form 4, they struggled with their Sciences, especially Add Math and Chem...Physic too. But they were very hardworking. And because their class had a very small number of students, everyone of them got our attention. Some of them had some other 'outside' problems but over time, they managed to overcome them. That was in Form 4. In the meantime, they were willing to be pushed too. By the time they came to Form 5, you could see the improvement in them. They are not your typical outstanding students but they were alright. They started to cope and were putting in a lot of effort on their own. And they helped each other by encouraging each other and actually staying back together to finish their school work.

The Arts Girls Both went to into Arts despite misgivings from the teachers. They ended up in the worst class because of the combination they wanted to take. There were more than 30 of them in that class. I taught them in Form 5, skipped Form 4 (thankfully). Every teacher who taught that class had a story to tell and they are all not nice ones. The class was made up of those who had no interest to study, Mat Rempit wannabes, dropouts who came back, etc... It's a class not conducive for learning. You can go in and try teach, and only a few would listen. If you try to teach too much, then they'll be noisy. The only thing they don't seem to mind is mindless copying... but I supposed in copying they learn something.

So, what of the girls? Came Form 5, when I compared these two girls from Arts with the Science....the latter had progressed so much. They were beginning to develop leadership qualities and their grades and skills were improving. The other 2 girls who went to Arts? Well, where my subject was concerned....both were scrapping by, barely. One even began to look dreamy in class but both were no where near their ex-classmates who had gone to Science. It's not that Science stream is a better stream to be in. Those girls became the products of their environment. Two went into an environment where excellence was expected of them...and they shone. The other two went into an environment which is just the opposite...and they are just plodding along. They are all still good girls...but both sets turned out so differently.

Girls from the same class...almost similar abilities...went into different environments....and a difference it has had on them.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Saturday Replacement Class

Today is Saturday but unfortunately it is a schooling day. It's been like this the last couple of years...masyarakat penyayang?? Each time we have a festive season, then there is this replacing the schooling days with Saturday classes. But personally, I find these replacement classes a waste of time. In many schools, students don't show up. It prolongs the week or lengthen the week depends on where you are...states with Sat/Sun weekend or Fri/Sat weekend, adding to the tiredness. Are we being too flexible, taking off at our whims and fancy? Shouldn't we learn to work around it...not bend it to suit us?

If the Ministry is bent on extending the festive season break, a better thing to do is probably to plan the break into the schooling calendar. But that is also not a really good solution as festive seasons like Hari Raya moves along the Gregorian calendar which we follow which will result in the holidays being moved forward all the time. There will be no sense of permanency or control then.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Getting em up...revisited

Friday morning....Lil Rainbow was up. Since it was already mid-morning, I thought I'd get her elder bro up as well and go for breakfast. It's been a while since we did that on Fridays. Impossible task! Why??? Cos he was so sleepy...probably on call to his mobile again into the wee hours of the morning.

Finally after all the shouting to get him up, I gave up...... left him to dream his dreams and 'do his work, washing dishes' earning RM5 while he sleeps on his bed. Apparently he earns dream money in his sleep every Friday morning while we were out! I was told that he said he works on Friday mornings washing dishes for his pocket money, by a friend. I wish I can earn money like that....go sleep - wake up - got money to spend! Cos worked in the dream already! Priceless kind of job to have-lah!

Man! His line between reality and dream is so not there! Of course by the time we got back, he would have finished 'working' and would be up and about! And all that time, he'd be comfortably snuggled up in his bed! I don't think he has ever known a day of hard life..... wash dishes at home also have to chase what more wash dishes in a restaurant!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Teacher...teacher...

I think nothing in my training prepared me for the classroom of today! Many of my colleagues will probably attest to that statement. You walk into a class of 30 odd students. You proceed to teach. You tell the class to take out the required books....that will probably take some time.
Then lesson begins....ooh I forgot to add. You can't teach verbally too much in many of the classes cos many of the students will start to talk at the same time. To keep the silence, the best way is to start writing something on the board and tell the class to copy. Peace and quiet....as you continue on the board or LCD. But even before the copying is done, the sounds of conversation begins. Then you start to explain. But as you talk, they talk.

There will be 3 apparent groups. The first group is the minority...usually 3-6 of them. They will try to pay attention.The second group will be those with the dreamy eyes...glazed and faraway look. The third group will be those who will disrupt the class and they will have their conversations as you teach, oblivious to the repeated calls for silence and displaying a nonchalant attitude. The third group usually starts out small but grow as the year progresses. And the joke is, you can try to appeal to their sensibility about the importance of school but you will most likely get no where.

And teaching them...it's best to keep to the minimum where such students are concerned. The more you try to make them understand, the more noise they will make. The less you try to impart, the quieter they will be. In fact, sometimes they are quieter if you don't teach. Very often we are tempted to do just that...not teach. But our conscience usually gets the better of us, our memory board shortcircuits (I supposed) and we'll try to get some work done again in the next lesson....and the vicious cycle begins again. It is very taxing and tiring!

So what is wrong here? Teachers? Students? School? Curriculum? I cannot remember my own school days being like this. Maybe because my own experience as a student was rather limited to just the compliant students. When I underwent training to be a teacher, they taught us all the pedagogy and psychology stuff. Many of us have tried the soft methods....we've not much choice here actually. But my own conclusion is this...the old proverb probably still holds true...spare the rod spoil the child. You can try to 'psycho' a child....it's not much use. At some point, discipline still must play its role...and it's a prominent one. My two sen this morn!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Clients' Charter In Schools (Piagam Pelanggan)

I think all government agencies have their Piagam Pelanggan. The one below is from JKR Terengganu. Usually they contain what the organisation hope to be able to deliver and achieve...the objective ...customer satisfaction.Schools are no different, having jumped on the same piagam bandwagon. Schools have their own Clients' Charters or known as the Piagam Pelanggan. The word pelanggan is a Bahasa Malaysia word which basically means customers. So basically, for the school, the pelanggan for a school would be the parents or waris, the students and the teachers are all the school's customers.

Anyway, if we go by the business model, then the customer is always right. Would that mean the students and their parents are always right? Won't this then affect the learning process as some autonomy and authority will be compromised where the educators are concerned because we will be required to seek to please and ensure customer satisfaction? I don't know but one must remember that the teaching and learning processes may sometimes contain unpleasant elements which when we act on them may not bring about satisfaction to the customers/clients.

I think we cannot liken the school to a business. Schools are learning institutions. If we adopt this client/customer concept, then what would happen to the learning culture? The principles behind consumerism and learning differ some what.

If students are viewed as learners then they should be treated as such. Consumers and learners are not exactly the same thing. So, while in essence some of the charters have good intention, the term pelanggan may not actually be suitable. Anyway, if we were to take a look at most of the schools' charters, they actually read more like a vision and mission of the schools. A school is a place of learning where students and teachers should be part of a learning community and not just providers and customers. We should not jump on the bandwagon just because it looks fashionable...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mowing grass..

Speech Day but these days they call it Hari Anugerah Cemerlang! So there has been a flurry of activities. Surroundings being spruced up, drains washed, walls painted, uniformed bodies practicing their marches, the kompang team perfecting their beats, sound system being tested, repeated rehearsals so that each prize winner gets it right, etc.
Was up in the class. I thought some of the students might be involved in the preparations, so I decided to give written work today....loads of them. They were complaining, of course. It was a good thing cos right after I finished giving the instructions, the sounds of the handheld mowers kicked in. You can never win against a machine. The sound will drown your voice and if you try to shout above it, you'll be in for a sore time later.

Anyway, since the students were busy writing, I took a few peeks at the mowing. I've always liked the smell of cut grass and the sight of a recently cut lawn. It's kinda neat. I was on the second floor, so I had a really good view of the grass cutters.

There were two of them. One was probably in his 30s or early 40s. The other guy was probably in his early or mid 50s. Anyway, as I watched I noticed that the younger guy was swinging his mower faster. Of course, there is nothing like the raw power of youth! His reach was wider too. In no time, he had cleared the area of a netball court. The older guy could not swing his cutter as fast and his reach was narrower. As I stood there and watched, I noticed that in the time that it took the younger guy to clear the area of a netball court, the older guy cleared slightly less than 3/4 of the younger guy did. And he did an area with grass which was not so dense!

My attention was diverted for a while as I got back to my students. When I next took a peek, about 40 minutes had passed. The younger guy was still going strong....I had to look around for the older guy...he was at the far end of the small field. He was still mowing but he was stopping after every few swings. And his swings were erratic and inconsistent. I could see that he was tired.

Both guys worked together to clear that small field this morning but the older guy was not able to keep up with the younger one.

Jobs which require manual labour is just that...it is labour intensive. You have to have the strength and fitness. But one thing, we cannot defy is age...all of us are worn down by time. As our strength fails with our age and the aches set in, it will definitely have an effect on us and our ability to make our living.

I used to know this air-con service man. He was good at what he did. But at around the age of 40+, one day, as he serviced my air-con, he told me that he was selling his business. I asked why and he said he was getting too old for that sort of job. He said he cannot be climbing roofs and carrying air-cons at his age. It was getting too stressful and dangerous for him. He had had a couple of close shaves and he felt he had enough of them. He said he was going into the insurance business. He said he was thankful that at least he had a choice because he had some education. Last I heard he was doing quite well. But the elderly grass mower I saw in this morning obviously did not have that choice. He will still continue mowing grass for a living.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Thumbs Down! Proton Perdana

Terengganu State Government purchased 14 of this:to replace this
They are spending RM3.43 mil for the Mercedes E200 Kompressor cars for the use of its state executive councillors and senior officials.

Reasons given? Apparently the Proton Perdana needed high costs of maintenance. The Merc(s) are supposed to be more cost efficient and cheaper to maintain in the long run. And the second hand value supposed to be higher. I thought usually the councillors/excos get to buy the cars at a really, really cheap price. Speaks volume about how our own BN politicians think about our own national car, yah?
You just have to read this to get what is implied about the quality of our Proton Perdana.
Opposition government in Penang cancelled the order for RM600000 worth of Proton Perdana too but at least they did not replace the order with other more quality cars.....

So, if the government does not support her own national car, how do you expect the rakyat to believe that our national car is of good quality????

Saturday, July 19, 2008

An evening at the paddy field

Lil Rainbow clamoured to go cycling today...so since church school ended earlier than usual, we agreed...harvesting time is near. Elder bro was his usual emo self...he seemed bored at home but when we asked him to join us, he said he wanted to sleep. But he had a greater calling....he is on call to his phone. It's a crazy existence...so we left him be.

Everywhere, signs of the harvesting season are apparent. The canals are now quite dry. You can actually walk into it if you are brave enough .... don't know what creatures may lurk in those holes. You can see a lot of small fishes jumping out of the water though. There are many kingfishers around too. There's one right in the middle of the semi dried up canal here.
I remember when we first moved here, harvesting season was usually dry and warm. But harvesting time seems to coincide with the rainy season now. Probably because the weather pattern has changed somewhat due to man's activities. This section of the field seems flattened by one of those 'mini twisters' that we sometimes get. This part of the paddy field will most probably be harvested in a few weeks.This is the other end of the paddy field. The farmers are already harvesting the field on the opposite side. See the twister effect here. And this particular plot is already dry, ready for harvesting.The harvester at work...it's actually quite fascinating to watch it churn in the paddy stalks and then spit out the stalks minus the paddy...rice. In days of old, all these had to be done by hand. The machines have made the farmers' lives easier.The evening sky as we were going home. Lil Rainbow pushed her bike though. I think she had enough of sitting on the hard bicycle seat. So, I pushed my bike with her. We enjoyed the walk though cos I showed her the pokok semalu or mimosa pudica. She was fascinated by the leaves curling up when touched!Later on we went out for dinner. This time, the emo bro followed us. This is the Bulatan Teluk Wanjah at dusk. They are fixing up the lights now. Should be quite nice once it is done.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Getting em up...

Other half brought this to my attention a couple of days ago...for those with teenagers, especially boys at home, I think you can identify with the comics below. From The Star...On weekdays it's a chore getting them up..during weekends, they sleep till lunch.... and dream all kinds of nonsense...My own boy is no exception....and he feels life is hard on him...sigh! Anyway, there's this whole collection from Zits here.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Websites of Interest..

Some sites I've been visiting...
  1. Walks With Red Dog by Jim Conrad. He's a naturalist with a penchant for writing. Made up of stories / thoughts of his relationship with his dog. You can download the whole book or just read it from the comp. I've printed out the whole book. Interesting reading; read in-between the lines and there are lessons of life.
  2. The Periodic Table of Videos by Nottingham University. This site is not fully operational yet but the few videos they have make learning the elements in the periodic table quite interesting as they show you the experiments, some of which are quite dangerous. The site is expected to be quite fully operational soon. I think Chem teachers and students might find this site useful.
  3. BookPALS Storyline Online. I have talked about this in one of my earlier posts. This one is good for kids but I think I had just as much fun as my lil gal reading, listening and watching it. The reading is fantastic...of course, since all the readers are acclaimed actors/actresses. This is one sight that appeals to the senses!
  4. Tournamentsofware.com is one site for sports fan. You can get instant scores for most of the popular sports. I often have a tab open for this site when there are tournaments which catch my interest. Right now...it's the Yonex-Sunrise BAC Youth U19 Championship 2008



DSAI and the balaclava

What is a balaclava? It is a form of headgear that covers the whole head, also known as the ski mask. Originally made to keep the soldiers warm from the bitter winter it is also used by athletes, especially in winter sports. Makes sense since it keeps out the cold. Racing drivers also use it.

It is also associated with special forces, terrorists and robbers. For the latter, it keeps their faces from being identified! I supposed wearing the balaclavas also make the special forces look meaner and fiercer. Anyway, what got me interested in this? The events that have been unfolding these last few days.

DSAI was arrested! And I was reading his daughter's blog when I came across the reference to balaclava. His first arrest also involved the special forces. This time it's no less spectacular! 15 police cars! And a number of special forces some more! That was the number of cars needed to arrest him. You would think that he must be a really dangerous man, armed to the teeth! But what was the reason given? All because they were worried that he will not show up by 2 p.m. at the police station.

Don't the police have real criminals to catch? Those who rob the ATM, snatch thieves who prey on the innocent people, the robbers who have been breaking into the rakyat's houses....the list goes on! And they saw it fit to send 15 cars...one wonders how many police personnel were involved in total! Was DSAI such a high flight risk? And then there is news of the warrant of arrest for RPK!

I am no fan of DSAI but it looks like people are going to sympathize with him more after this. After all, people are always very sympathetic with the little guy who is bullied by the big guy!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Golden Jubilee - Shots around Alor Star

It's always nice to have something big to celebrate. Though the Golden Jubilee celebration was not as grand as many of us had anticipated, it did a lot of good to the town. It's been a while since we saw these zebra stripes on the kerbs, especially after we got the city status. And the plants look alive and green. Even these right in the middle of the crossroad look 'alive'.I've always liked white buildings. They look so clean and pristine. Both are formerly high court buildings at different times of the last century. This one has been turned into Galeria Sultan Abdul Halim. It's still undergoing renovation. Been for quite some time!This one is the Balai Seni Negeri...as you can see, it is still undergoing renovation works. Masjid Zahir..this needs no introduction as it has received acclaims as one of the most beautiful mosques in the world. Built early in the 20th century and of Moorish influence, it really is a work of art. At night, sometimes when it is lighted up it does look quite regal and majestic.A blend of old and new. The white arch has just been built. It is supposed to lead to the small tower, the Balai Nobat which has been there for a long time. Originally built of wood, it was rebuilt with concrete and metal at the turn of the 20th century to house the royal musical instruments. In the background is the Alor Star Tower, a modern architecture and Alor Star's tallest landmark. Some people identify this with the KL Tower. Anyway, if you want a view of Alor Star, you can always have a meal at the revolving restaurant up there. Food isn't that great, though! There is also an observation deck serviced by high speed lifts.The fountain at the Teluk Wanjah roundabout. The fountain rarely works. Today is an exception. So, other half and I thought we'd better snap a photo to remind us of it. It was built to commemorate the present Sultan's Silver Jubilee 25 years ago! Prior to this there were talks to remove this historical monument to build an elevated road. But so far, nothing yet!
And as we wondered into the heart of the city, we came across this boxing ring in the middle of another crossroad. They are having a muaythai boxing competition. This is the Thai's own version of martial arts and it is another event to celebrate this Golden Jubilee.Our ride went as far as the Istana Anak Bukit with its new entrance and also the fencing. Used to have a mini zoo which was opened to the public. Not sure whether it is still there cos I've never been there before.
The imposing new pintu gerbang.
Related Posts:
Sultan Kedah's Golden Jubilee (2)
Videos From the Royal Golden Jubilee
Sultan Kedah's Golden Jubilee

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sultan Kedah's Golden Jubilee 2008 (2)

Lil Rainbow woke us up early cos she said it was 'gahmen's birthday today. That's how she refers to the Sultan Kedah's Golden Jubilee celebrations. So we got ready! Was difficult to get her bro ready though cos he was as usual grumpy. But despite the slight drizzle the crowd turnout was actually quite good at Wisma Negeri, the starting point of the procession.The first place we went was the field next to the Wisma where the elephants were. We had the opportunity to touch the elephants. The elephant keeper even gave Ling a piece of bread to feed one of the elephants! Met many people we knew! They were out with their families to witness this historic moment. After all, you don't really get an opportunity like this every year!While waiting for the procession to start, Lil Rainbow got tired and Siah's legs became the convenient chair.But some came prepared...with 'bangku' for the little one to sit. 8)These are the 3 bands taking part. Asma, Keat Hwa I and Kolej Sultan Abdul Hamid. They marched off 5 minutes apart. The cavalry and the bahtera....horses looked magnificent. The sultan and sultanah sit in the bahtera.The prefects from selected schools...I think they were from Kolej and Keat Hwa I...(but not 100% sure)The unsung heroes... these people follow the procession with a big bin and some spades. They scoop up whatever the animals in the procession leave behind... 8)The Sultan and Sultanah... must say the Sultan looks good for a man his age. He's 80+ this year.
The procession was a bit short, which is too bad. I feel it should be longer. After all, you don't find many sultans who reign this long. It is a historic moment!

After the procession, the crowd went to the concourse at the Wisma to check out the new fountains. I saw this concept in Singapore quite some time back. Kids can play here.... should be quite fun for them. But we didn't get a chance to stay long cos it started pouring soon after. The rain chased everyone away!
We tried making our way to the Balai Nobat, opposite Masjid Zahir but the traffic was too heavy. We had to turn back after making it to Sentosa side.

Anyway, at night there was a fireworks display in Kolej Sultan Abdul Hamid. Went there and there was a small crowd there.

The 'rakyat' turned out today.... all races! We need celebrations like this...it brings the people together. It gives rise to hope that the different races do come together...that the people, regardless of their race consider this Sultan theirs. It's time our country move towards a Malaysian Malaysia, where her citizens are not known first as Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans, Kelabits...but just Malaysians. Racial politics should be a thing of the past. It's time to move forward and face the challenges of the 21st century as one single entity!

Related Posts:
Videos From the Royal Golden Jubilee
Sultan Kedah's Golden Jubilee