Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication…                                                                                                                                          



5 years passed by

1796days completed.


0obligation to go.


The heavy weight on my shoulders have been lifted.



SPA interview, conveyancing and Nikon lens

I am taking a 1-day off to accompany Intan attending the SPA‘s interview (SPA = Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Awam) in Building 6-7, Block C, Putrajaya.

It was a 3-hour wait. Fortunately the interview went quite well. I knew my wife could handle the questions. It’s not like house-officers-to-be could fail the interview but at least we gave good impression, in case appeal is required to help with the placement. Ayu, Fikri, and Anayasmin were there too. Besides the occasional reading and chatting, I was mostly accompanying my wife awaiting her turn. She knew she has my full support.

After a quick lunch at Rasamas Putrajaya, we headed towards Bintang’s England Optical to survey for a new pair of glasses. Somehow my glasses broke prior to the offshore trip last week. In between completing the purchase, I attended the signing of land purchase at the district office, with the presence of district officer, the original land owner and the conveyancing lawyer. That went quite well too.

Once that’s cleared, we headed home before picking up important parcel at Pos Bangi (well known for laggardness) and returned to the optician for an eye test. I am going to get Nikon lens. Fuuuh! Nice!

They don’t have Nikon frames so I am only getting the lens, which is already good enough for me.

Documentation with Mara

Wife came along to office in the morning and headed towards Mara’s office shortly after – plenty of application, documentation, communication to do. In between, managed to squeeze a shopping or two with Affida. Hehe.

Dr. Sari Intan

Nevertheless, congratulation again to my wife… now Dr. Intan!

The University of Melbourne – MBBS, B Med Sc Class of 2009

Class of 2009

Everybody started off early. Ayah, Teh and Pak Teh had already gone to the Vic market. Wife and I followed suit shortly after. Coming back, we all had lunch together with Wahyu’s family. They left at 12.30 for the graduation hall and my wife had joined that trip for an earlier preparation with the robe and all.

After Zuhr prayer, we hurriedly took the tram to the main hall. I’m not quite sure how everybody else felt, but I thought that was the longest tram trip ever.

Ibu, Kngah, and Mimi.

Yours truly. Looking like a modern syeikh. Hehe.

My wife, Mun, and Aliya.

Happy day for the entire family.

Too much exposure… I couldn’t fix it! But I think the angle was interesting. From left: Aliya, Mun, Sue, Intan, Wahyu.

Mothers and daughters! Layth wanted to be in the picture too.

Mothers and daughters take 2. On the side – mother and son.

Fathers and daughters.

The atmosphere.

I was quite envious over the whole thing. I noticed the presence of many parents and relatives. Unlike my commencement – it was just with a friend or two – I could barely hear any claps or hurrah when my name was called. So this graduation ceremony should be relatively excellent compared to my own.

It was time to get in the hall.

Finally… she graduates, yey! I’m so proud of you, honey.

Congrats, Wahyu! – my wife’s housemate. Sort of bestest friend then?

Congrats, Aliya! – my wife’s best friend.

And to others that I didn’t manage to capture their photos – good work. MBBS & B Med Science is not an easy feat.

The ceremony began… faculty walked in and the chancellor gave his speech.

I began to look around the hall (as it started to sound dull, hehe). Let’s see… big fish. Naked man. The eye was the sun. Was that a fairy on the top right?

Tall windows. More light.

The people on my right…

And on my left…

It became interesting again as conferment began. This was the moment when the dean was struggling to pronounce my wife’s name. She lowered her head as the name was called out, “SARI INTAN… NORDINA… MD SALAHH!!”. Ouh… that is so SALAH (incorrect).

Judging from this lady’s reaction, she knew that the pronunciation deviated. She either went, “Omg, that was wrong” or was looking at the next person going, “Gee, I hope your name will be pronounced correctly.”

Doctor & engineer.

With Muth and Aliya.

Class of 2009.

Delighted Sari Intan sisters.

All in all, I think the event went well. But I did find a few things ridiculous:
1) Despite paying $65, the robe wearing time was ridiculously limited.
2) No mortar board!!!
3) Limited guests within the hall. What’s up with that… Australia is wide, isn’t it? When I was the US, everybody could go in.

Road trip 2.2 – Dandenong and Yarra prom

Following Ferntree Gully and Stud road, we headed towards Dandenong to visit Azhar, Affida & family. On the way to the actual place, we dropped by an Islamic community center nearby. The wind was blowing ferociously. The weather had calmed a bit as we reached Azhar & Affida’s.

Warm welcome. We had a great time.

Perhaps, we would bump into each other again during this Saturday’s graduation ceremony?

We took a short break and ventured out to the city again.

After cherry-picking and billy-puffing, everyone was still excited about going for trips.

The Yarra river bank was serene and beautiful.

As the sun set…

From a different angle.

We waited close to an hour for the fire show

Big boom.

KNgah in exhausted mode, I presume.

All in all, it was an exhausting day but very fulfilling. Don’t sweat the small stuff – and you can enjoy your day a little better.

Writing course completion

The final day was mostly on fine-tuning. We covered style, tone, parallel writing, paragraph strength, linking, editing, proofreading and so on. Towards the end, Steve the instructor gave us pointers on how to write incident and recommendation report. I wondered – why Writing for Professions took 3 months in college when Steve could do it in just 3 days. Can’t we simplify things a little bit?

Speed Reading
While convincing everyone that reading is the best way to expand vocabulary, Steve gave an overview to speed-reading. In average, an American college graduate reads one page a minute, which is approximately 300 to 400 words a minute. 6-times world champion Anne Jones however, read the Harry Porter and the Deathly Hallows in less than 2 hours and reviewed it live on Sky News. She practically absorbed 4,215 words a minute – that’s more than 70 words in a second! I have no idea how that speed-reading is like. I would surely go cross-eyed at the end of that exercise.

In the end, Steve handed out to each participant the 5-minute presentation mini-DVD with written feedback. I was very pleased to see the comment from Steve. All in all, I think the course was an excellent starter for English-speaking professionals. All fresh hires should attend it.

Here is a snippet from mine:

“Your introduction was good and you remembered to say most of the key points – eventually. Your Conclusion was good – you lead into it well – except for the words “I think…” Don’t use this – you KNOW it is the end.

Your voice quality was excellent – you have a very high level of English and used your wide vocabulary well. Pace and volume were very good, with clear pronunciation and good use of intonation. You appeared relaxed in front of the group; you used your hands well and your eye contact was also very good.

You looked very comfortable in front of the group and this meant you came across as a very confident and experienced speaker. With more time to prepare, I’m sure you would have used slides to help your topic still further. Successful presenting is all in the planning – give yourself plenty of time to do that, have clear aims and you will produce presentations of the highest calibre.

Life in college

Speaking of life, I reminisce the time when I was back in college, thinking how time was so abundant and yet I couldn’t recall how I filled up those time. Perhaps I surfed, chatted, and ran the track a lot, played soccer, went bowling, tinkered with some electronics with Peter, Chris, or Zach… and so on.

How things have changed when you offered time for money (variably productivity for salary).



I found these two pictures from college period taken at two different times but amazingly close in the angles and focus. I don’t remember marking the pavement or anything.

SMK Jalan Empat Graduation

We attended CB’s graduation. The school used the term “Majlis Graduasi”, the Bahasa equivalent of graduation ceremony.

Don’t be surprised, the class names are:
Kreatif, Inovatif, Inisiatif, Dinamik, and so on.

Bahasa experts have written off many things these days.

Nevertheless, it was quite ceremonious. Time’s-a-changing. In the older days, we just signed off “Sijil Tamat Persekolahan” which is roughly translated to School Completion Certificate in english. Today, there’s a graduation ceremony for high school.


Venue: GMI hall near the Alam Sari neighborhood. Nice setup. But the air-conditioning smelled and there wasn’t any Wi-Fi coverage.


Well done, brother. CB didn’t garner any leadership, co-curriculum, or academic medals but I am very, very pleased with this boy, well, now a man. I’d rather have 1 of CB than a few of those high school hall-of-fame because CB truly benefits others around him as much as he can offer. He really does.


Fivers of Jalan Empat. Getting ready for the grand entrance into the hall.


Lining up to the stage.


The shot reminded me of a certain commercial I’ve seen. Heh.


My flash failed on me when it was really needed. Hm. But SB-900 is like RM3K, ugh.


This is what I was talking about – real contribution to the overall setup of the ceremony.

CB reminded of myself in school. There was a time when I busted myself to do plenty of things when suddenly there was a political guy that came along, presented the setup, shoved me into a technical bureau representative of the club that I was supposed to lead, and became the president himself. Oh, well. Old story. What’s done is done.


We enjoyed the multimedia presentation. Some are better than others. But I couldn’t really concentrate because I was very hungry.


After lunch was photo ops.


Adik wanted to see the fire and the disco ball.

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