Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Chosen One (Part 1)

It was almost lunch time. As usual, I would print a food order list, stapled it with a small plastic bag to put cash in it and started taking orders from my colleagues. Oh, my… A bachelor degree holder and my job is a food delivery boy? Sigh… But as I looked at a brighter sight, I felt relieved to see the happy faces and listened to the words of appreciation came out from their mouth each time the food were duly delivered to them. I felt that it was my personal happiest time in a lengthy not so happy time.
That story aside, as we were enjoying our lunch, one of my colleagues expressed his desire to eat something.
“Eh, cannot lah…” said another colleague.
“It’s not halal.”
“Is it? Then how about this…” And the conversation went on and on about this and that food whether halal or not.
As I was listening, I found out that most Muslims here in Singapore really care about what they eat and drink. It gives them serenity to eat something when they know it is halal to consume.
It is therefore, some food retailers here in Singapore found that it is important to get a halal certificate from the local Muslims governing body. With this certificate, they can cater the needs of their Muslim customers. Without it, their customers might be limited to only non-Muslim customers and Muslims who do not care what is halal and what is haram.
In my previous article entitled ‘We are so deceived’, I had mentioned that despite that we were so deceived; there is still hope for us to get out of such deception. It is a matter of choice; Halal or haram? What say you? (To be continued…)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Andai Filipina, Malaysia dan Singapura Berperang..

Tajuk: Kudeta Intro
Penulis: Khairul Nizam Khairani
Penerbit: PTS Publications Sdn. Bhd
Tahun: 2009
M/surat: 313
Bahasa: Melayu



Apabila saya membaca sinopsis novel ini, saya menjadi tertarik. Tema novel ini cukup mudah: Konspirasi perang yang melibatkan tiga buah negara, Filipina, Malaysia dan Singapura. Wow, dekatnya!

Jalan Cerita

Jalan cerita buku ini agak perlahan dengan penulis cuba membina karakter dan latarbelakang watak-watak utama di dalam cerita.

Watak Utama

Saya percaya, penulis cuba menonjolkan Arman sebagai watak utama di dalam cerita ini berdasarkan blurp yang tercatat pada kulit buku itu. Bagaimanapun, kemunculan Arman terlalu terbatas dan karakternya belum benar-benar menunjukkan kesan yang agak signifikan di dalam cerita. Sebagai protagonist utama, sepatutnya ada sesuatu yang ‘luarbiasa’ yang boleh ditonjolkan di dalam watak Arman. Apa yang saya lihat pada Amran adalah seorang usahawan yang biasa-biasa sahaja yang terperangkap di dalam konflik tersebut. Dia kelihatan lebih seperti mangsa daripada seorang hero. Mungkin keperwiraan Arman hanya akan tertonjol di dalam konklusi cerita ini di dalam buku kedua nanti. Strategi yang baik oleh penerbit!


Bagaimanapun, sebagai pembaca yang hauskan novel genre thriller Melayu, saya tidak rasakan karya ini sebagai sesuatu yang mengecewakan. Perlahan…mungkin, tapi tetap tidak mengecewakan. Konspirasi politik dan penggunaan perang sebagai alat untuk mencapai memenuhi kemahuan untuk berkuasa merupakan suatu tema yang cukup berani digunapakai oleh penulis. Saya kagumi keberanian penulis ini di dalam menonjolkan idea yang sedemikian.

Secara keseluruhannya...

Sebagai naskhah individu, 3 daripada 5 bintang. Bagaimanapun, memandangkan ceritanya belum lengkap, saya menangguhkan penillaian mutlak saya sehingga saya habis membaca sambungan yang juga penamat cerita iaitu Kudeta Klimaks.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A lonely V-Day…

14 Feb… Yay! I’m still alive. Still a Muslim. Still a guy. A lonely one by the way. Oh, I’ve forgotten something! It’s V-Day!
No offence to you love birds out there, V-day actually means nothing for me except for its historical facts which I believed remain unknown to most people who celebrate it. It is not my intention to lay down the story behind V-day.
Other than a reminiscent of history for me, this year’s V-day had been a really lonely day for me. Actually, I don’t mind be alone. Less people to love. Less people to hurt.
Speaking about love, I wonder what is the real purpose of love? Do love really need a purpose? I’ve fallen in love many times with many girls. It is to be noted that falling in love does not necessarily mean being loved. Except for one, others are one sided.
Fall in love, know your acquaintance and get married. I used to have this perception of love once. I believed that when we fall in love with someone, eventually it will end up by tying the knot of an everlasting relationship as husband and wife. But then, why are there an increasing number of divorces every year? What’s the purpose of love? Where is the love?
I walked on the brink of Singapore River, pondering the mystical questions about love. I saw the Statue of Stamford Raffles and his love to the country he found. I saw the memorial of war and the martyrs’ love towards the country they defended so dearly. I looked upon the sky. I felt the sea breeze embracing my skin. I breathed and I felt so alive. Then I realized, I was not lonely after all.

We are so deceived!

When I first came to know about English football, I did not know much about the teams and the players. Thanks to my father, who is a Liverpool fan, I get to know bit by bit about the game and eventually became a die hard fan of the Red Devils. However, initially, Man Utd was not even in my mind. It was Liverpool. Yes, it was but the love story was cut short because of one reason… Carlsberg.
Before I go far, let me remind you that this is not an article intended to defame Carlsberg. It is just when I like something, I would like to express such feeling. In this case, I would love to wear a Liverpool jersey as a sign of support to the team I love. Unfortunately, since the main sponsor for the team at that time was an alcoholic drink brand, it is inappropriate for a Muslim to wear the jersey as it bore the brand name in the middle of it. It is in fact prohibited in Islam as it considers promoting alcohol. There is a clear and direct prohibition regarding this in one of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad which I do not intend to mention here. I believe such prohibition is common sense. Doing drugs is wrong but promoting it is right? Duh…
Anyway, as my love story went on, I had to forget about Liverpool because I couldn’t show my love to the team. So, the next team that came to my mind was another team in red. So, go Liverpool, come United. I bought the jersey. No liquor, check! Finally, a halal jersey!
The love blossomed between United and me until one day I just realized something odd on the jersey. I looked at the team’s crest. What the hell? Is that Satan? Sadly, it was too late to realize. I’m already married to the Red Devils. Oh, shoot! I’ve been literally deceived by the devil.
Well, Satan is good at deceiving people. People were so scared about hantu, black magic, santau, jangan pandang belakang, congkak, ju on and other things which are related to Satan but they forget about the one which always whispers inside our heart to do bad things. To make human inhumane. To make men satanic. We were so consumed with the scary portrayal of Satan; with horns and tail and sharp teeth and ugly face and so forth. Sadly, we don’t hear that he whisper something into our heart, the most vulnerable part of a creation called human. And you know when he whispers, he deceives.
Deception is his part and parcel. He cannot overthrow God from His throne. But he can do one thing; to deceive as much human as he can as his successors in Hell. Oh, how deceived we are! The proof is everywhere if we open our eyes, open our mind and take a moment to think.
To think about it, next season, Liverpool will change its main sponsor. I question myself, “Would there be any chance for me, for us, to get out of this deception?”
As I was sitting on my prayer mat after
tahajjud in the darkness of night, I believe I can see a ray of light at the end of the tunnel.

(Disclaimer: Forgive my bad English. This is my first time trying to post something in language other that my mother tongue)