The first time I heard of this word before, most probably was a couple of years ago. It didnt make any sense at first as I never had a staycation.  Wikipedia says the meaning of staycation is “a vacation spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.”

I always feel that a staycation is more of having a holiday at a place near to your home. Which, actually was what we did during the new year.

Hotel rooms elsewhere were expensive, air fares were not doing any better and we hated the fact that the traffic will be so bad on the returning day that we might need another holiday.

And so…..G booked us in Marriot Putrajaya for the night. We decided to walk the mall, enjoy with a little bit of shopping and finally some dinner. I tell you, Malaysians generally enjoy their mall experience. IOI Mall which is located near to the hotel is no different from other huge malls in KL. It was packed to the brim. People at every turn.

Being non social animals that we are, we decided that for end of 2017, we will check in elsewhere where there are less people within 50 km radius…



Happy Holidays


Christmas Eve Dinner

G and I decided to host a simple dinner on the Christmas eve. Simple because it was a pot luck dinner instead of a full cooking session which we had done in the previous years. No turkey and fresh oysters this year as well. Prices have gone up and wallet is thinner. So, roast chicken it was, among other things.


Garlic roast chicken. Gone in minutes.


The neighbour, Shux, brought his delicious nasi lemak. I must tell you that for a single dude, he can really cook. The last he was at our home, he arrived with a couple of ramekins of creme caramel. Seen tucked in between the rice and the sambal was my garlic and herbs steamed fresh clams which another neighbour bought for me earlier at the Kuala Selangor fish jetty.


My funky rooster plates…hehehe…and the rest of the dishes. I cooked Korean noodles as a filler, lots of garden salad with Italian dressing and green apples salad as another side. Pandan syrup drinks to wash down all these food.

No leftovers unlike the year when we had the turkey. I tell you, we didn’t want anything to do with turkey anymore for a good few months afterwards.


I Don’t Want To Grow Old and Bitter

Two weeks before, I stood in front of 400 graduates while running a career workshop. Last week I did two career workshops at two local universities with more than 200 graduates coming out from their faculties in each session. Even had their DVC and lecturers dancing to the tune of Justin Timberlake. This week I will have another with potentially 400 graduates who crave to hear about the world of work.

Next year I will be a tad closer to hitting the Big Five Series. And seriously I don’t feel a day older than I was at 35. Many friends commented that I look youthful. I have no idea how the face just managed to look young. I even browsed through old pictures of classmates and other friends. And mine.

I surely look youthful. I FEEL youthful.

And frankly I think I absorb all these youth elixir from all these young people.

They are just so vibrant, so energetic, so young, and so ….young…


Don’t be a grumpy old fart

That’s what I keep on telling myself. More so after having some “exciting” exchanges in FB with my older cousin brother. He is waaaaaaayyyy older than me. He was lamenting the fact that the “young generation has no soul” and they have no interest about their roots. This came after I commented about the lack of young people in a recent family gathering. I told him that it is no true. It is just that “we” ie the older folks tend to forget to unlearn to relearn. We tend to say ohhh we have “makan garam” first meaning we have been here longer.

I, dont want to grow old being a grumpy old fart. Or old fartress. I dont want to grow old talking about old stuff.


The Fauad Initiative


The man who is sitting in the front row with the songkok and a name tag is my late father known as Cikgu Fuad in the community. He passed away at a young age of 56, just a year after his retirement. Every year, the month of November is dedicated to this great man who had contributed his life as an educator, a fantastic musician and a loving dad.

2017, would be his 71st birthday and I would be honouring this man by launching The Fauad Initiative – a program where retired educators will be up skilled and they can continue to contribute and feeling useful.

In Memory of Miss Rexton (1999-7 November, 2016)

Farewell my darling. You are no longer in pain. May we meet again in Jannah.

Miss Rexton (1999 – 7 November 2016).

She has given all of us much love, joy and happiness till the end of her long life. She was our oldest surviving cat from my previous life. She had gone through so much with us and I am happy to say that she finally had the best of her years towards the end. She was loved, cared for and pampered for especially with her love for air conditioned room. Rexton would always had the best seat of the house and the first choice of wet food. Her favourite landing by the staircase is now empty. The spot on the bed has no Rexton.

Her duty has come to end. My daughter has grown, and now she has her own little family to take care off. Rexton’s mom, Comel spent a good 10 years of her life with my daughter until she left for college. The task was diligently continued by Miss Rexton who stayed until the end.

Life is such. You take as it comes and make the best of it as if there is no tomorrow.

I cry till I fall asleep each time a furkid crosses the Rainbow Bridge. Every time. And to think that I have been keeping cats since eons ago and still have 24 more to go…the pain is deep. And terrible.

And, death…death humbles you…


It’s Not Me Who Is Standing With The Trolley!

You know, I have this loooooooooooong list of pet peeves that goes on for miles and miles. Surprisingly enough, the list consist of stuff that ordinary people call it “common sense”. However, I think common sense is not so common. And so, it got to my long list of pet peeves.

Just yesterday G and I went to Aeon Rawang to take a look at table top oven. The mall is close enough from where we stay and we figured that it would have ample selection for us to choose from.

True enough, they have good selection. Good enough that we had to take a break, go for our early dinner and go back to make that final decision.

Ok, the sales staff was very helpful. Even helped us with a trolley to carry this heavy oven. And so, we went to the cashier. I stood on the side and G inline waiting for his turn. When his turn arrived, the cashier kept on addressing to me when she was talking, as if G was invisible.

Like, woman! I am not the one with the trolley and neither am I the one who is holding the wallet to pay. Geez. Just because you see a white dude, makes your tongue turned to steel or something?

A real pet peeve. And this is not the first time it is happening. We have encountered this way too many times. I think outlets must train their staff that it is rude to do that.


Bi-annual Family Gathering-Keturunan Muhammad Jabar


The recent 29th & 30th October 2016 saw more than 200 relatives from the Muhammad Jabar clan gathered in Kampung Dong, Raub, Pahang. This gathering was our third. It was interesting to observe how the Gen X and Gen Y members took over the floor and had participated actively in the activities and the planning.

G and I went back to Raub on the 29th November. We started early enough to what we thought was a clever way of avoiding the weekend traffic jam. But then, we were wrong. The traffic was smooth and we found ourselves arriving in Raub around 11 am.

It was fun. Met many relatives. Ate kampung food. More eating during day time I tell you. I was stuffed to my nose with gulai asam rong. I was appointed as the Game Master. What is means that I was tasked to come up with some clever games for the adults and children alike. We had Scavenger Hunt where the participants had to “hunt” with their mobile phone cameras looking for some elderly uncles, aunties, cousins, type of cars etc…that was fun considering they had to work based on 10 questions. The second game was hilarious. It is called “Let’s Get Mummified!”. Young children were called in to register. One of the parents had to accompany them in this game. Toilet rolls were given.

And….the result? You get these….


I had a blond moment

Now, there was one BLOND story about this trip.

You see, I had called in the hotel several weeks earlier to make a reservation, just to ensure we have a place to stay. The plan was to come back on Friday and check out on Sunday. Two nights all together. However, we had such a long day on that Friday that we decided to check in the following day instead. So, having decided that, I called the hotel. Horror of horror, the Front Office said he could not find my booking!

Ohmaigoddddd…and to make things worse, he said, there is no more room for the next few days!

Now, Raub isnt exactly a very sexy town to begin with. Hotels are limited. GOOD hotels are scarce. How could you have lost my freakin’ reservation? For some reason, after a while, we managed to be on the same page (read: I demanded a room…) and got us a room.

On Saturday, upon arrival at the hotel, we checked in. To my surprise, they said oh! We thought you were checking in yesterday? I told them that I called in and said that I spoke to so and so about this. There were looks of confusion.

Apparently, I had called in the right hotel. But, wrong location. It was the hotel branch in Temerloh. Duhhhhhh……!!

A Motorbike, A Dad, A Mom and Two Babies

I drove through the city today to go to Port Dickson. My awesome client is running their yearly management retreat and has invited me to facilitate a profiling session prior to their meeting. The awesome bit is that, the venue is at this lovely colonial-style homestay facing the ocean, with a swimming pool and with 5 HUGE bedrooms, it is a rather big but homely place to reconnect, rejuvenate and plan.

Ok, so, I am here now writing not so much about the retreat. But more about what I saw as I drove through the city.


There was a family of four who was on a small motorbike, riding through the traffic. The mom was cradling a baby of most probably aged a few months old, and a little daughter about 3 or 4 years old sitting in the basket in front of the dad. She wore no helmet and looked obliviously happy with the wind in her hair…such innocence, I thought.

All these on the same road filled with Mercedes, Jaguar, Porche, Bentley and whatever else.

I was not sure how exactly I felt at that moment, but I know for sure one feeling was there – sadness.

The Power Of Three

The past couple of weeks have been really an interesting observation.

The olympic came and went. The paralympic game is coming to its tail end. Every single Malaysians took the chance to forget about the religious, political and race divide that have been haunting us for a while by coming together feeling proud of our athletes. The sound of Negara Ku played in Rio was exhilarating and makes me feel so patriotic.

Thursday night, G took me for a theater performance at KLPac. It was a full house. I saw so many people from every creed – blue, green, polka dot – and just being themselves, excited, happy and looking very artsy as people can get. We stood up for Negara Ku just before the show. People came in droves to watch “Shakespeare Goes Bollywood”. It was a funny performance, taking small jabs at current issues such as mixed marriages, religion and wealth divide. It was directed by a Chinese director Matthew Koh.

Then, yesterday, I represented our company, Dragonfire, as one of the panelists in a talk organized by Malaysia Collective Impact Initiative on education, employability and skill gaps. Despite the fact that there were us – blue, green, polka dot – we spoke and agreed on similar issues and moving forward.

And here I am reflecting, what could be the “thing” that could bind Malaysians again? I am now, truly convinced that there are only these things that could do it:

1) sports
2) education
3) arts

Nothing else can be as powerful as these Power of Three.



Equality In The Bedroom

Imagine that.

A woman demanding equality in the bedroom “can help them achieve equal footing in boardrooms and in politics”.

Largely unheard of in many Asian countries, sex remains a taboo subject; which I dont know why as everyone is having sex. I mean, what could you be doing when you are with your spouse, right? Surely we dont get busy counting armpit hair?

An article written by a spunky Indonesian lady, Firliana Purwanti, caught my eyes today and just had to write something about it. The article can be read here.