Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Development at Jalan Serambi U8/21

Several months ago I wrote about the impending development just few meters from my home. According to the large notice board placed at the junction to Jalan Serambi, the shop-houses are due for completion sometimes in August 2008. If everything is as per schedule, that is about a year from now.

Well, as the development has been progressing so well lately, I decided to take a peek on whats going on behind the blue zinc fence covering the construction site. Oddly enough, this blue 'curtain' has become yet another prominent landmark in BJ. Hopefully this is just temporary until the completion date one year from today.

I really have almost nothing to complaint about the on-going construction. In my opinion, the developer has done quite a good job in maintaining the surrounding area near the construction site and successful concealing the heavy-work being carry out inside. Even the noise level increase is almost negligible. If anything to complaint, my other half did tell me that the dust accumulation at our home has increase somewhat lately, maybe due to the construction work. I am not too sure whether this is pure coincidental, but last week I have to fork RM340 for the cost of servicing and repairing our bedroom air-conditioning unit. Well...maybe not

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Workshop and Perceived Gap...

I was involved in the system operators workshop organised by the colleagues from the SO department from 22-23 August. The workshop was held at the A'Famosa Resort in Melaka and was attended by about 50 people from the SO, OPP and RCC's departments. I have never been to this workshop before and when I was asked to nominate my engineers to go, I nominated myself instead ! Yeah, called me selfish but sincerely I really felt that this is one workshop that I should go to foster even better relationship with our counterparts in the SO office and also to understand their problems in operating the system daily. Nonetheless, there were 5 others from my office attended the workshop and I hope my presence would at least be a symbolic gesture that we are serious in closing the perceived 'gap' between the planners and the operators.

Although the forum coincided with the school 1-week holiday, I travelled alone because my other-half decided to preserve her official leaves for other important event later this year. Thus, on Monday at about 6.40pm after work, I drove to Melaka alone and arrived at the hotel at approximately 20 minutes past eight.

The workshop only started the next day on Tuesday and again our VP came down to officiate the opening, albeit his opening speech was deferred a bit after two presentations. Nonetheless, true to his form and energy, the VP did spend sometimes with us and I sometimes wonder how busy he is to do what he is doing.

The participants also include the technician level staff and several of them presented their papers. This workshop is more of of a forum of sharing information and knowledge and for a first-timer like me, the workshop is quite 'interesting' to say the least. A friend of mine did commented quietly to me on the quality of papers being presented having attended the Technical Forum a week earlier but I would say that it is good enough for non-exec to present papers and anything else would be a bonus.

For some reason, the organiser forgot to bring a camera for the photo session. Guess what, I was probably the only one who brought a decent one (apart from the mobile phone camera most people would have)and the organiser asked if I could take some group photos and also the event itself. Surely I would not object and thus I finally ended up taking close to 200 photos of the workshop and also the surrounding landscape of A'Famosa.

In summary, the workshop is totally new experience for me. At personal level, I feel kinda releive that I finally managed to participate in this forum and contribute during the discussion time. I also hope that my presence will be seen as sincere gesture of OPP to assimilate into or at least understand the 'culture' of real-time operators. Obviosuly we still have many differences in opinions and also the way we see things but as Maroon 5 says it, "It's not always rainbows or butterflies, but compromise that moves us along".

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Posting Via Email

I am writing this post via email. I am trying to test out the blog by email facility provided by Blogspot. Let’s see whether this facility can also allow for photo attachment…


Monday, August 20, 2007

A Forum to Remember...

Last week I was in Sofitel Resort in JB attending the division technical forum from 14-15 August 2007. I was also one of the organising committee members for this forum and my main responsibility was to call for paper writers as well as to help the committee chairman in ensuring the forum will run smoothly. Luckily the chairman himelf is a very committed man and he basically drove and motivated everybody to ensure the event will be a success. With fully committed committee members, alhamdullilah, we managed the event very well and we were also able to get 23 technical papers to be presented in the forum. The level of commitment showed by the committee members was really outstanding. We were willing to stayed late and sometimes until 10PM at night at the office just to ensure every minute detail on the preparation has been covered. Nonetheless, our hard work was basically paid off by the similar commitment shown by the VP of the division who was present through out the whole forum. I also think that he took the opportunity to learn more about the division and also related technical issues that may be new to him. Our SGM was also there and I could tell that she was very happy with the forum judging from her smile and beaming face at the end of the event.

I did not present any paper in this forum. However, I let two of my subordinates to present the papers so that they can learn how to speak in front of the public audience and also to learn the skill in answering questions diplomatically. To me this type of event is very good to publicise oneself and also to find opportunities to network with other paper presenters and participants.

As for me, I have written more than 20 papers since I started working with the company. While I was completing my PhD, I wrote at least 5 technical papers and presented them at many conferences from Paris, Chicago, Bangkok, and also locally. My supervisor really made me work for my PhD but only now that I realise that my journey towards completing the study was worth every mile.

Although in general the forum was a success, I regretted the fact that we have nine missing participants. For whatever the reason, the least they could do was to inform the organiser and we could replace them with others. So much said. This is still the dominant culture of Malaysia. I guess we just have to bear with it for time to come...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

My-Team 2 at Bukit Jelutong

I went to the My-Team 2 Football Carnival with Gondai Jr on Sunday morning. The event was held at the Bukit Jelutong football field about 200 meters away from my home. I was not really aware about this event initially until I heard the advertisement on the TV only on that morning. Early Sunday morning, the football field was already packed by many football enthusiasts and also hopeful applicants for the coveted spot in the My Team 2 coached by the now a celebrity, Cheby Singh.

Roads surrounding the footballs field were filled-up by many cars and almost created a traffic congestion like one will always see in KL during rush hour. There was a huge red makeshift tents and many smaller tents near the field. I was made to know that the event was to select potential candidates for the My Team2 (under 21 yrs) and also for My Kids (under 12 yrs). From the posted ads, the promoter for the My Kids team will take 6 lucky children to Manchester !

The single-line queue for registration ran almost 200 meters both for the 21 and 12 years old selection. The weather was amicable albeit it was a bit hot and sweaty. Everywhere near the field, the logo of Hotlink and Scomi can bee seen prominently. I guess there were the main sponsors for this event. There were also several clowns walking around entertaining the kids and adults alike. All of those who managed to register, were given a free T-Shirt which more or less printed with the word " I survive the My Team Test" or something like that.

After spending less than one hour on the field with searing heat, I decided to leave but not after I took several photos of a 'fire-lady', who spits fire from her mouth. I really did not know what was was the deal with her spitting fire while most people are busy testing out themselves for a spot in the team. Nonetheless, she did get a lot of attention and lucky for me as I managed to snap few good pics of her in action !

Gondai Jr Turns 9 !

On August 4th, Gondai Jr turned 9 years old. This time around my other half decided to organise a small family gathering celebrating this event on August 5th and also to invite the newly wed Abangah and his bride to our small home in BJ. We prepared some food and specially ordered nasi dagang from Trengganu Kite Nasi Dagang shop in TTDI Jaya. I also invited my sister from Kajang to attend and I also told her that we could have join birthday celebration since her daughter's birthday also falls on August 4th.

My small home in BJ was really packed with my family members and also their children. In fact, I am also a 'grandfather' now as my eldest brother's daughter, Kak Long, has a 1-year old daughter since late last year.

Everyone except my eldest brother was present. He has to attend a kenduri held by his neighbour thus missed the event at my home. Nonetheless, the joint celebration was so happening and I wish I could have this again from time to time.

With so many children and teenagers at my home at one time, I also took the oppurtunity to show my nephews and nieces some classical guitar skill that is still in me. I played them few Tarrega's pieces and also my favorite Blues tune in E-Major. I think they might have appreciated it judging from the full attention I received, short of standing ovation :-))

Event like this sometimes makes me missed my late parents. I know that my parents would be very happy to see how their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are still in close contact with each other. Despite our busy schedule, we still managed to meet each other in a very joyous occasion. I really hope in the future I could afford a better and spacious condition to have a big gathering like this, Insha'allah...

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A Tiring but Joyful Friendly Games...

My office organised friendly FUTSAL and Bowling matches with KLPP on August 4th 2007. The idea behind the friendly matches were actually mooted from a discussion during the JOC meeting that was held about few months back. The futsal matches were held in PJ while the bowling game at Cineleisure bowl. So unfortunately, there was also a warehouse sale nearby the futsal complex and as the result the road that leads to the Futsal centre were congested by traffic and there were no empty slots for parking even by the roadside. It was so bad that I finally told my other half to just drop me about few minutes walk to the center and asked her to go home instead joining me for the match.

There were altogether 5 mini matches and even the ladies from both side also played. I did not really remember the final overall score but I think my office did badly on most matches except the one that played by the ladies. After the futsal mathces, all of us adjourned to cineleisure for bowling ! I took the opportunity to go home first to clean up and also to fetch my other half and my son to the bowling center. Since I did not have the transport home, I got a free lift home thanks to Barodi and Naimah.

The bowling games were I would say quite balance for both side. My other half was also asked to play to make up the team for OPP. She used to be a very good bowler during her college time and I could still see the reminiscent of this judging from her score which was much better than mine. I think she got at least 4 strikes. No bad for a person who has not been bowling for very long time.

After 2 round of play, we decided to leave the center. Well, I was actually a bit tired from the futsal game. My other half also wanted to spend sometimes at the flee-market behind the curve shopping center. We went straight to this market and spent sometimes there browsing the items on sale. In short, the friendly games with KLPP was a success. To me, this kind of game should be encouraged so that personnel from both companies can get to know each other better and build-up better relationship for the benefits of everyone. Kudos to KLPP and also to OPP for such a magnificent events !

Thursday, August 2, 2007

An Anniversary to Remember...

On July 26th 2007, I was invited to attend a Charity Dinner hosted by MNC-CIGRE and MNC-CIRED at PJ Hilton. The dinner were organised by both of the non-profit engineering societies to honor thier members and at the same time to collect fund for Majlis Kanser Nasional (MAKNA) through sale of dinner tables for local companies associated with the power industry.

Coincidently, the dinner date also fell on our 18th anniversary and I took the oppurtunity to bring my other half to the dinner. The dinner was supposed to start at 8.00PM but we only arrived at the location about half an hour past due to bad traffic. In fact, on that day, I have to cut-short a meeting with the big-boss at about 6.50PM and have to asked her permission to leave as I need to go home first and pick-up my other half to the dinner. Well, from the office to BJ, it took me more than an hour to arrive and no thanks to the the congested traffic due to heavy evening rain and thus delayed our journey to the hotel.

As we arrived, the dinner was just about to start. I guessed, many people were also late due to the rain. Most VIPs were already arrived and as we stepped into the ballroom, and were asked to share the table purchased by APS and were greeted by Dr Sallehudin and also his wife. After short speeches by Vice-Chairman of MNC-CIGRE and the chairman of TNB, the dinner started. I could not really recall how many courses of chinese dinner we were served but enough said that I skipped most of them after the third course. There was a 2 piece live band entertaining the 400 plus guests and I would say that they were not bad in what they did !

Since the dinner was meant for charity, the organiser has decided to let key VIPs to sing using the karaoke machine on the stage. Well, for a VIP to sing, the guests were asked to bid on how much they would willing to pay for the singing. Chairman of TNB got the highest bid that night at RM3000 and the pledge was made by one of the IPP guests. I was also asked by the organiser to sing a song but I decided not to for many-many reasons.

here was also a mocked cheque presentation ceremony held where the organiser presented an amount of more than 30K to MAKNA chairman. This amount did not include the amount collected during the karaoke singing by the VVIPs. I think the organiser may have collected close to 40K alone that night !

To me the highlight of the dinner was when I received an honorary award as tribute to my service to the MNC-CIGRE until I 'retired' from the Secretary position early this year. I was given a new Canon G7 Digital Camera of which I was asked about this choice some two weeks before this. Chairman of MNC-CIGRE himself gave the 'award' to me and I am very honored to receive such recognition.

The dinner came to end at about 11.30PM. My other half was quite happy to accompany me as she also got to meet her friend whom she met when we were in Amsterdam 3-4 years ago. Well, so much about our annivesary celebration. I think this is one anniversary that will stick in our memory for long...Alhamdullilah. Oh yeah, the morning of the same day, MNC-CIGRE organised a free 1-Day Forum on Power Technologies open to the public. About 60 people from the power sector industry and also from the universities attended the forum. Several international speakers were invited to give talks on the future of power technology and I would say the forum was a resounding success judging on the full-capacity crowd filling up the ballroom..