Sunday, April 29, 2007

Management Development Programme: Phase 4 - Day 2 & Day 3

On Second dan Third Day of the 4th MDP, Mr. Chan covered the remaining topics of his module which are topics on Decision Making, Managing Conflict and Gaining Power/Influence.

Just to recap from day one, Mr Chan asked again on what are the things that a boss should give his subordinate to get the job done. The answer is we have to give our subordinates KASH, K=knowledge, A=Aptitude, S= Skill and H= Habit to motivate and inspire them to deliver thier jobs. Many people including me sometimes, demand a lot from our subordinates but at the same time being unfair to them. The thing is, to expect people to deliver, we must deliver first and this is in terms of giving appropriate training and resources to them.

Decision making is a set of eight steps that includes identifying a problem, selecting a solution, and evaluating the effectiveness of the solution. In the class, Mr Chan uses an example of making a decision to buy a car . We were also asked to play management game on decision making process, individual decision and group decision. The role-playing game for the decision making modules were the desert survival games. Styles of making decision can be best categorised as directive style, analytic style, conceptual style and behavioral style and in the class Mr Chan discussed in length about these using his own experiences and wisdoms.

On managing conflict, John D. Rockefeller used to say "I will pay more for the ability to deal with people than any other quality in a manager", stressing the point that conflict has to be managed properly. Of all challenges managers are least equipped with, interpersonal, intra-office conflicts top the list. Managers often lack the objectivity when conflicts arise because they lack the skills to transcend the tension. If not managed properly, conflict can lead to hostility, lack of cooperation, violence, destroyed relationships and company failure. If managed properly, conflict can stimulate creativity, innovation and change. Conflicts are often due to communication problems, structural design and personal differences. Most important things to do when addressing conflicts are to treat the other person with respect, to listen and restate to the other's satisfaction and briefly state our views, needs and feelings. They are five styles in handling conflict which consist of avoidance, accomodation, competing, compromise and collaboration. In class, we were given case studies and asked to explain the type of conflict handling method to use in different situations.

On gaining power and influence, Mr. Chan elaborated on the concept of power. Power is the ability of a person or group to change the attitudes or behaviour of others. They are two faces of power, personal and institutional. Personal Power is related to personal gain and is derived and characterised from expertise, attraction, effort and legitimacy. Institutional power is used to create motivation and to accomplish group goals. To illustrate the concept of power in the class, another role playing game was introduced to us by Mr Chan and this time it is a management role playing game called Dr. Rose Vs. Dr. Buckley.

The last day of Mr Chan modules covers the topic of motivating others, creating high performance teams and developing self awareness. Essentially, we need to ask ourselves on what do people actually want from thier Job?.

We must know how to motivate people to join and stay in the organization. We must also know how to provide incentives that motivate people to perform, to diagnose sources of performance problems and to apply appropriate methods to motivate employees to perform better.

Speaking on motivating people to stay in the company, one of our participants has already tendered out his resignation letter to the company. I spoke with him in length about his decision to resign and my conclusion is that he is just frustrated with the company and also the prospect that the company can give him in the future. Maybe, the money promised on the other side is better but whatever it is, I feel the company is losing a very good engineer that can contribute a lot to the company if given the chance. Sincerely speaking, I also don't quite agree with the company policy of renewing or extending contracts to the people who are supposed to retire. To me, if the company really wants to extend anybody, it should only be on the advisory or consultative capacity rather than occupying the same position. Nobody is indispensible and if we are 'forced' to retain people that are supposed to retire, that only shows our failure to trust the existing personel and also shows our failure to implement a successful succession planning program.

I leave it to Allah on the future of my career in the company knowing that I will give my best on whatever trials and tribulations that I will face along the way. People can come and go and those who wins is not necessarily the one in power but those with power who uses them with dignity and respect of others.

There is a lot of wastage in a low morale and demotivated workforce and it's our responsibility to avoid such things to happen. The key is perseverence and the road to success is always a hard one...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Management Development Programme: Phase 4 - Day 1

From April 23rd to April 27th, will be attending Phase 4 of the Management Development Program held at Residence Hotel in Kajang. This time, two modules were scheduled to be held during the the 5-day programme. First module from 23-25th April will cover the topic on "Essential Management Towards Result" and the second module scheduled for 26th-27th April will cover the topic on "Process Improvement".

The first module on "Essential Management Towards" result was presented by Mr Chan Leck, a 66 year old MIM Certified Professional Trainer. Mr. Chan has more than 33 years of experience in the corporate world. He retired as ASEAN Director of Operations and Board Member of Johnson & Johnson Malaysia. His area of management training include Leadership, Strategic planning, Developing Management Skill, Supply Chain Management, Purchasing Management and Logistic Management. He has vast experience in management skill training and has conducted extensive training programme, both locally and overseas. Mr. Chan holds an MBA degree in General Management from University of Hull (UK)and various other qualifications.

Mr. Chan divided his 3-day modules into 9 sub-modules which include the following.

1. Management Skills and Managerial Effectiveness
2. Building Trust
3. Communicating Effectively
4. Decision Making
5. Managing Conflict
6. Gaining Power and Influence
7. Motivating Others
8. Creating High Performance Teams
9. Developing Self Awareness

The nine items listed above are the key attributes towards successful management. Management is about getting the most output with the least input. Modern management thinking listed the required skill for managerial competence as planning, organising, leading and controlling skills. These skills are essential for effective management.

On the first day of his module, Mr. Chan also described in length the sub-module about trust. Trust is essential as it contributes to individual and organizational effectiveness. Trust is a willingness to ascribe good intentions to and have confidence in the words and actions of other people, Cook&Wall. Trust is essential as it can increase the speed and efficiency of decision making. It can also reduce conflict and costs of negotiation besides improving team performance. Trust also promotes organizational change and helps organizations survive crisis.

Trust is based on our perceptions of a person's trustworthiness. We are more likely to believe someone is trustworthy when they belong to the same identity and organizational groups that we belong to. In addition, we are more likely to rely on stereotypes when we are under time pressure. Our perceptions about trustworthiness of a person may turn into self-fulfilling prophecies.

The problems with trusting too few people is that we may become over-dependent on thier advice and interpretations. In addition, we may also fail to reach out to others who can provide a more complex view of situations. Trust in any organization must be managed properly. Some signs of mistrust is festering in any organization are lack of communication among co-workers, employer avoiding giving bad news, avoidance of meetings, deteriorating morale, increase absenteeism and blaming culture.

One way to build up trust among employees are through effective communication. Common communication problems include, words mean different things to different people, the initiation of a message provides no assurance it has been received and communication often become distorted as they are transmitted. Most important skill in communication is listening and in particular, active listening. In Malaysia, emphasis placed upon the basis of communication skills leaning more towards speaking well. There is insufficient emphasis placed on listening skill in school. Information overload results not only in the ability to block out irrelevant things but also relevant things. Mr. Chan also discussed the six steps to improve listening skills, which he called CARESS.

Mr Chan also made us involved in a management game called Winter Survival. The game was basically design to see the impact of individual and team efforts to survive a harsh winter condition after a plan crash. It is a tricky game, but it taught us a lot about good team effort and the need to trust others during death and alive situation. Day 1 was a good session and I attributed the lively and animated style of Mr Chan in class for such an invigorating experience....

Sunday, April 22, 2007

My Lucky Day...

We were at the MidValley Saturday morning for a quick weekend outing. At the same time, I was also looking for an oppurtunity to browse through any Laptop PCs on good deals with a desire to get one if the price is right.

Currently at home, we are still using a very old PC (Pentium 3 733MHz) purchased when I was finalising my thesis way back in 1999. Along the way, this PC has gone through several times of upgrade e.g., hard disk, RAM, CD-Writer and many more albeit the only thing haven't changed are the motherboard and the processor itself. With only the children using it to access the Net and sometimes to finish thier school assignments, I don't really see the need for a new faster PC as I also have a notebook from the company for my official use. However, increasing work on my photoshop has prompted me to look for a laptop as I don't feel quite 'at home' to use the official laptop for other use and the home PC is just too slow for graphic processings.

As usual, we prefer to be there early to avoid parking problem and also, to grab early bird discount if needs be. There was a Canon Camera 20th year celebration promotion being held at the concourse level of the mall.

Loads of Canon items such as DSLRs, lenses, printers were on display and some on promotional sale too. I approached a kiosk with Canon EF lenses on display and asked the rep to get the 70-200mm f4L for me to test out with my 350D which I fortunately brought it along. I fired few shots using this lens and needless to say that I was impressed with it's performance particularly on the IS (image Stabiliser) usefulness. I enquired about the price and it is priced at whopping RM4350.0 with two free gifts. One of the free gifts was a miniature Canon DSLR with telefoto zoom lens attached and the other one is Canon EFS Work III, a hardcover book of all Canon lenses which I think worth at least RM150 for the kind of quality it has.

Actually, I really want to have this book but the book is not for sale unless one buys any Canon DSLR or lenses on display. I persuaded the rep and told him to sell the book to me without me having to buy any new DSLR or lenses. After all I said, the 70-200mm is out of stock and I would not be able to buy it still :-)) He then asked me what kind of Canon DSLR I am using at the moment and after I listed down my gears and all the Canon accessories I have bought before, he relented. He quitely said to me that he will give the book for FREE provided and I fill-up a form (survey form). Without hesitation I said yes and got myself the book for free !!! For a second I was feeling like a pro-photographer being treated like that :-}

I was overjoyed to have this book since now I can have the time and more info on future Canon Lens I wish to acquire. After getting the book I proceeded to level 3 of the mall which housed the IT Centre. I straight away went to one of the shop selling Laptop computers and quickly enquired about the Twinhead 12' Notebook with Intel Core Dou Processor, 80GB Disk, 1GHz RAM, CD/DVD Burner and other standard items.

After some research on 12' Laptop, the Twinhead is so far the cheapest in the market and I already made up my mind to get this one for my personal use after getting some advise from my other half who is an IT Consultant by profession. After a bit of negotiating, I bought the laptop and I can only say how satisfied I am with its performance particularly with the graphics. In addition, the notebook is priced as per "PC-FAIR" price and I think it is very reasonable considering the next alternative, Fujitsu 12', is more than 5K in price.

Well, this blog entry is from my new laptop. Now, my conscience is very clear about doing personal things on my PC. Yes, I have to sacrifice my personal saving for this but nothing beats the feeling of knowing that we are not abusing what is entrusted to us. I thank Allah for the rezeki that HE gives us to allow for this to happen..Amin..

Pictures from a Reader : Night and Water

I have been talking to my good friend and also 'personal' consultant on photographic subject Mr CD, on many occassions, and during one of those chit-chat I have asked him to allow me to publish some of his work in my blog. Being a very busy man and most of the time he shoots photos on RAW format, he did not have much time to convert his photos into JPEG format suitable for web publication. Nonetheless, last week he emailed me two photos which according to him were taken during his recent trip to Tanjung Sedili, Johor. Since the photos originally were about 500K in size, I did a bit of adjustment, in terms of cropping and lighting so that the final images were below 40K each and suitable for web viewing.

The photos were taken using his Full-Frame Canon 5D and I can only wish that I have that excellent camera, which at the moment, is beyond my meager salary coupled with other priorities in life which need attention first:-) In his email CD wrote "2 samples for you, it’s not great but for a sample should be fine…yg best tu kita simpan la…cari makan in the future", Thus, judging from his email I can conclude that he has many more excellent photos in his collections and probably require a bit of persuasion from my part to get his email coming in the future..Thanks CD for those shared images and please keep 'em coming for us to cherish !

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Antara Dosa & Pahala

I was listening to the lecture by Uztaz Kariman on At-Taubah and the following are some key points which I felt worth to share with to everybody. Consider the following circumstances.

1. Let's say a particular person DOES NOT know that what he is doing is actually haram, e.g. drinking alcohol, zina or riba and keeps doing it like nobody business. Is he considered 'berdosa' or not ?

2. Let's say a particular person knows very well that something is haram to do but for some reason he inadvertently doing it (tak sengaja) ? For instance, eating unintentionally during fasting month or drinking 'beer' which he thought tea. Is he considered 'berdosa' or not ?

3. Let's say a particular person knows very well that something is haram to do and he wanted to do it but for some reason his intention did not materialise. For instance, he ordered a beer intentionally and when the order came and he took a sip, he realised that it was actually tea. Is he considered 'berdosa' or not ?

According to Ustaz Kariman and using several verses in the Quran, only person # 2 is not considered 'berdosa' while person #1 and #3 have done wrong and berdosa. A quoted example of why person #2 is not 'berdosa' is based on one Hadith Sahih from Rasullullah S.A.W about unintentional eating or drinking during fasting month. During Ramadhan, if we forgot that we are fasting (in the day) and drink or eat, we can actually just continue with our fasting until Maghreb time and insha'allah, will be counted as a normal fasting.Rasullullah mentioned this as a 'treat' from Allah to his servant and it will not take away any benefit of fasting from that person.

Person #1 is considered 'berdosa' although he does not know that what he is doing is sinful. He must repent (bertaubat)to clear this sin. In Islam, we are asked to learn and find knowledge as much as possible. Islam does not allow his follower just to sit back and remain ignorant and use this excuse to commit 'dosa'. In Islam ignorance is not a bliss and one must make all the effort to learn and to practice what he learns. Many Muslims know about big sins such as drinking alcohol, not performing the solat,not fasting and others but very few realise that the sin of being lazy is also very big. Islam also forbids his followers from getting 'frustrated' orputus-asa. Allah's rahmat is limitless and once we got frustrated,we are actually insinuating that Allah's is not merciful to us and this is actually a very big sin indeed. Always believe that Allah's help to his servant is always there but if we do not get what we want after trying very hard, we must also believe that this is could be better for us, Al-Baqarah 216.

"...dan boleh jadi kamu benci kepada sesuatu padahal ia baik bagi kamu, dan boleh jadi kamu suka kepada sesuatu padahal ia buruk bagi kamu. Dan (ingatlah), Allah jualah Yang Mengetahui (semuanya itu) sedang kamu tidak mengetahuinya."

Person #3 is also 'berdosa'. He knows that it is wrong to drink alcohol and he blatantly ordered the beer to fulfil his passion. However, he did not get to drink the beer as his beer was actually switched to tea. In Islam, this person is already considered 'berdosa' and he must repent (bertaubat).

Ustaz Kariman also mentioned that some 'dosa' does not require a person to repent as Allah will give forgiveness if certain conditions have been met. However, 'dosa syirik' is not forgivable just like that unless one repents wholeheartedly. The concept of repentance is repeatedly mentioned in the Quran. Even Firaun who claimed that he is God, was also given chance to repent by Allah and of course, the door of Taubah is always open to everyone no matter how much 'dosa' he has accumulated in his life...Wallahua'lam

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The World According to Ants

The other day while I was talking to my friend, the subject about perfection came about. I asked him what is his view of 'perfect life'. His answer was somewhat expected as he told me that to him, perfect life is having what you want on top of what you need.

I told my friend that there is no perfect life in this world because everything in this world will come to an end, some sooner than the other. In fact as humans, we don't actually know the true meaning of 'perfect life' as everything in this world is 'nisbi' in nature. Yes, we have the definition of 'perfect' in the dictionary but those definition is also created by an 'imperfect' being thus lacks the true meaning as understood by us, the mortal humans. In fact when we try to define 'perfect life' in our own words, we are actually defining it in based on our own perspective and what we believe as 'perfect', might not even be 'mediocre' to others. In the Quran, Allah describes the perception of humans about the worldy living lucidly on Surah Yunus Verse-24 as following.

Sesungguhnya bandingan kehidupan dunia hanyalah seperti air hujan yang Kami turunkan dari langit, lalu (tumbuhlah dengan suburnya) tanam-tanaman di bumi dari jenis-jenis yang dimakan oleh manusia dan binatang - bercampur-baur dan berpaut-pautan (pokok-pokok dan pohonnya) dengan sebab air itu; hingga apabila bumi itu lengkap sempurna dengan keindahannya dan berhias (dengan bunga-bungaan yang berwarna-warni), dan penduduknya pun menyangka bahawa mereka dapat berbagai-bagai tanaman serta menguasainya (mengambil hasilnya), datanglah perintah Kami menimpakannya dengan bencana pada waktu malam atau pada siang hari, lalu Kami jadikan dia hancur-lebur, seolah-olah ia tidak ada sebelum itu. Demikianlah Kami menjelaskan ayat-ayat keterangan Kami satu persatu bagi kaum yang mahu berfikir (dan mengambil iktibar daripadanya). Yunus-24

Human will always feel inadequate and unhappy in this world and that's why, Allah gives us Iman and Islam to guide our imperfection. There are so many verses in the Al-Quran describing the perfect life in akhirat and the following two qouted verses are some examples.

(Allah melakukan yang demikian) supaya Ia memasukkan orang yang beriman - lelaki dan perempuan - ke dalam syurga yang mengalir di bawahnya beberapa sungai; dengan keadaan kekal mereka di dalamnya, serta menghapuskan dosa-dosa mereka; dan adalah yang demikian itu pada sisi Allah - merupakan kejayaan yang besar (untuk mereka); Al-Fath 5

Diedarkan kepada mereka pinggan-pinggan besar dan piala-piala dari emas; dan di dalam Syurga itu pula disediakan segala yang diingini oleh nafsu serta di pandang indah oleh mata; dan (dikatakan kepada mereka): "Kamu adalah tetap kekal di dalamnya." - Al-Zukhruf 71

To me, perfecf life does not exist in this world. No matter how hard we try to have a perfect life, having all we want and what we need, we will never achieve that or be satisfied with it. However, knowing our limitations, we must not stop from learning new things in life and at least try to be perfect in whatever we are trying to achieve. The are so many things in this world that Allah has created for us to learn and to use as a guide for us to become a better person.

The photos of ants above are one of so many examples of how Allah created a small creature that seems very irrelevant to us but true to its form, this creature called ant is very important for ecological balancing of the world. I took these photos on Saturday morning and fully utilised my 60mm Macro lens for this purpose. After looking at them, I could not help but feel amazed of how 'perfect' Allah creation is no matter how small they are and I also realised that there are so many things that I do not know about life let alone to have a perfect living...

Friday, April 13, 2007

5th MBJ Annual Golf Classic...

Yesterday I participated in the MBJ 5th Annual Golf Classic held at the Bunga Raya Course Saujana Golf and Country Club. This is an annual affair organised by the so-called Masjid 'back-benchers' group (BBC) and fully endorsed and supported by the Mosque AJK. As of this year and last year, proceed from this charity golf tournament will be handed over to the Mosque Development fund with the intention to expand the current capacity level of the mosque which is getting smaller now as the population of Bukit Jelutong increases.

Although the golf tournamnet was held in Saujana, the prize giving ceremony and handing over of the donation money collected for the mosque was held at Masjid Bukit Jelutong after Isya prayer.

Golfers who played well in the morning were rewarded with prizes donated by many sponsors of the golf event. Even Mamak Karim Chendol also donated free vouchers for thier rojak and chendol much to the excitement of everyone present. Lucky draw prizes were also given away to almost everyone participated in the golf tournament. Even the imams and bilal of MBJ received some tokens of appreciation from the organising committee. The highlight of the prize giving ceremony is on the amount collected for the mosque this year which amounted to RM50K, doubling last year's figure of RM25K. I am not so sure whether the collected fund from this tournament will make it enough for the masjid expansion plan but it will sure help a lot. One thing for sure, the MBJ backbenchers group has contributed tremendously and I would say, cleverly, in getting corporate sponsorship for the mosque vis-a-vis, getting the qariah to get together in a nice game of golf. Kudos to them for making the event(s) so successful !

Back to the golf tournament, there were 124 golfers participated this time. In fact, the registration for the tournament closed two week ago and there were several people in the waiting list just in case someone cancel. I was informed that Glenmarie GCC tried to persuade the BBC group to organise the tournament at thier venue but was turned down.

Course wise, Saujana is one hell of a golf course. It's not particularly a long course but the greens are small and treacherous. Most people played badly including me and not many people played up to their handicap level. Well, that's normal especially when you are playing a course for the very first time like I did. I did not want to elaborate more on how frustrated I was with my score but, on personal level, I cherished the moment of having to meet many new people of the BJ community whom I did not know before this. I also took few photos of the golf event and hopefully this will linger in my memory for a very long time....

Sunday, April 8, 2007 the price of Serenity?

Recently a new shopping cum business center was open in Bukit Jelutong. This business center is called De'Pangkin and located nearby the Birai area of BJ, about 1KM away from my home. Having stayed in BJ for about three years now, I found that this new business area a welcome development. You see, BJ is IMHO, is very quite and secluded from mainstream activities like shopping, even for simple grocery items. Yes, we do have a small convenient store near the Guthrie Community hall but its very small and a bit overpriced, to say the least. Most of our grocery shopping is done either at a Fresh Market store at TTDI Jaya or at Giant Hypermarket, and both of them are within 5KM from home, not quite as close as we want it to be especially when you have emergency visit from far-away relatives and your fridge is empty!

At the moment, there are only a few shop lots already being occupied. I saw at least 2 hardware stores already open, two 24-hour clinic, one student tuition center, one mini-market called Speedmart99 and soon to be open Indian Restaurant. So far, we have been to this mini-market several times to get some essential items and my observation is that the merchandise items are reasonably priced and worth the trips. In fact my other half told me that this mini-market is actually a franchise store as it other nearby branch is in the Taipan USJ.

I was also told that there is a plan to develop a bigger business center called 1st Jelutong sometimes in the future. Kinda remind me of One Utama. The location for this development was said to be near the BJ golf Driving range and will have Jaya Jusco as the anchor tenant. I think the pitch&putt golf course will be sacrifised to allow for this development, and frankly speaking I am not very happy as BJ will be deprived of so many hecters of luscious greens and serenity that have make BJ so peaceful and superb as a residential area.

On other development, part of the vacant plot adjacent to the large BJ soccer field is already under early construction stage for developing 'who knows what'. Again I was informed that Guthrie is planning to build a 'community' service area where fast food restaurant like McDonalds or others will be operating soon. This again is not a very encouraging news to me as this new so-called community store is only 50m from my house and is only blocked by a row of houses in front of our home. Nonetheless, this is the price of development and the only compensation for us from all of these, is hopefully that the value of our property will rise!

The following pics show the vacant field as it used to be and the construction workers site-office trailers already occupying it..

I am not so sure whether the serenity and peaceful atmosphere of BJ will still exist in the next 3-4 years with all this on-going development. I am very hopeful however that Guthrie in its quest to develop BJ as a prestiguous reseidential area to also be concerned on the most influential factor of why people like to live here...PEACE..and if this is no longer in existence..BJ will be another PJ sooner than we thought...

Cloud...A Sign of Tragedy ?

Sometime last week I was driving with my other half from BJ towards TTDI Jaya and suddenly notice thick cloud formation overhanging this residential area. Quickly, my mind rekindled with the images of flash-flood which has become a perennial problem for this residential area, much to the anger and sadness of many residence on how the local authority has managed this flood prone area over the last several years.

I have many friends staying in TTDi Jaya and I can understand how they feel whenever the wheather suddenly becomes unfriendlier wet for fear that the they have to be prepared for another round of flood. I myself have personaly experienced flood since my childhood and also when I was staying in Section U1 Shah Alam. But in my opinion, the recurring flash flood haunting the residence of TTDi Jaya can easily beat any of those experiences on flood I have ever experienced in my life for the problem that they are suffering is always repeating and to some extend has become an unsolved problem, at least at this point in time. Definitely the recurring flood in TTDI Jaya will cause drop in its property market and also interruption of business activity whenever it happens.

At the moment, there is a project of raising the enbankment wall along the river passing through TTDI. I really hope that this project will eventually solve the flooding problem of TTDI Jaya as this is one community which I beleive can really flourish to be another excellent residential area in the Shah Alam city.

Nature and Human Creation

On Saturday morning, I was invited to play a round of golf with several friends at Sg. Long Golf and Country Club near Cheras-Kajang Highway. Although the pain on my left foot was still lingering due to my gout , I found it hard to let go this invitation as Sg Long GCC is a prestigious club and full of picturesque views. Thus early Saturday morning, I swallowed two Mobic tablets and proceeded with the journey to Cheras. We were supposed to tee-off at 8.00 AM but we were later infomed that SPB Agong and his entourage were playing in a private tournament at the same venue thus we could not start our again until the last flight of his majesty tournament teed-off at about 8.45AM.

I knew that I am not going to play well due to my limping left foot and decided that I would take the oppurtunity to snap as many photos as possible in the golf course. I brought along my DSLR and my 24-85mm lens hoping to get some awesome pictures and ended taking 174 photos with mixed results.

Sg Long GCC is well-maintained club. Its bermuda fairway and medium-speed green are meticulously manicured and so much fun to play. My friends Zamri who is a 14-handicapper, scored a gross of 79 with 3 birdies. I did not play well at all and only managed 4 pars. Luckily, I had my camera with me and snapping photos of my friends kinda relieved me from the pressure to catch-up with the awesome play by Zamri. After completing the Par 5 6th, we took a quick break for drink at the halfway hut and while watching for suitable spot to snap photos, I managed to capture a rare event in my entire golf history as you can see from the following photos.

Beleive me, those photos are genuine and not cut-pasted from other photos using Photoshop CS2 . This 'biawak' was actually making it way to the nearby pond when I tried to catch it near. I only managed a distance of about 40feet before it got agitated and ran away. With maximum focal length or 85mm, the 'biawak' look small in photo#1 and I have to crop it to get a clearer picture as in Photo#2. At that point, I was wishing that I had the 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM lens. Should I had this lens with me, I could have taken a more dramatic photos worth sending to Digital Camera Magazine for competition :-)) So Sifu CD if you are reading this, when do you think this lens can be cheaper to get in Malaysia ? In Amazon, this lens is slightly above US$1000.0 but for some reason, Canon Malaysia is ripping us off by almost 40% more expensive price-tag.

Well, because of the SPB Tournamnet ahead of us, we only managed all 18-hole by almost 2.00PM. It was a long golf outing per se especially with me limping all the way but nonethless I enjoyed it very much for the photo-taking oppurtunity.

Next week on 12th April, insha'allah I will be participating in the Masjid Bukit Jelutong 5th Charity Golf Tournament to be held in Saujana Golf and Country Club. I have never played in this course and really looking forward to playing while donating to the fund of expanding our community mosque. I hope by that time I have recovered from gout and play some awesome golf like Zamri in Sg Long, insha'allah....