Friday, September 18, 2009

On Sadness and Happiness During Eid Mubarak

Today is the 28th Ramadan and insha'allah in two or three days, we will celebrate Eid Fitri of 1430H. At the office, many of my staff are already on leaves and perhaps few of them are already on thier ways to thier hometowns for the celebration. Those still working are practically just waiting to go home and essentially festive mood has overwhelmed the desire to do anything. We were told that for today we can go back one hour early and I am definitely sure this is a welcome news to everyone.

I did not quite fulfill my target to have a perfect Tarawih jemaah this year as I already missed three days. But overall, I am quite please and thankful to Allah as I did not really suffer prolong gout or headache that limit my ability to go to the mosque. This year also is quite a strange year for me as I did not get a single Buka Puasa invitation from any company except from my own. Perhaps, I am already out of the radar or could be people just become fed-up to invite me again because I always prefer breaking fast with my family and shunt the invitations. Whatever the reason is, I actually feel releived as I do not have to brace the evening traffic jam to go to some of this functions and more often than not, miss more tarawih prayer .

On one of the Ramadan Kuliah Subuh I attended, the Ustaz mentioned that for some reason we the Malays like to associate Eidfitr with the feeling of sadness and despair. This can be observed in many ways such as they way we melodize our Takbir Raya and also the way we sing the Raya songs ! Full of sadness, full of hopelessness :-(

Granted that some Raya songs are rhytmic in nature but majority of our Raya songs I would say, are very sentimental and touching. The true spirit of Eidfitri should be a joyous one and that is why Allah ban fasting on the first day of Eid so that all muslims can celebrate the joyous occasion.

As a muslim, , we have been guaranteed by Allah to be free from the feeling of fear and sadness as qouted in the following ayat:

What I understand is that if we do all the things asked by Allah and avoid all the things that are forbidden, we will be among those that will be at peace all the time ! Hence..why do we need to be sad especially during Eid ?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Great Team Effort...

This morning I received an email from the aide of my divisional VP. The email is basically a thank you email from the VP to all of us for the very good result that we acheived in the last Fiscal Year of 08/09 in terms of reducing the loss of load. In fact, the achievement is almost 600% better than last year and frankly speaking, I could not imagine last year anybody in the company would think that collectively as a division, we could achieve this . I was overjoyed when I read the para that mentions "He said that such great achievement could not be achieved without support and hard work put by Asset Maintenance and System Operation, of course with strong cooperation from other departments". The fact that my department was co-singled out for this achievement really means a lot to me and my staff especially after what we have gone through together for the last 1.5 years. Looking within the unit, I could only attribute the success to each of my staff for their perseverence, hard-work, dedication and unselfishness in getting things done the way they should. Of course there were many ups and downs along the way not only for them but also for me, but alhamdullilah, we managed as team.

The challenge for us now is whether we can sustain this achievement in the current FY. With so many uncertainties about the industry future and the impending change of guards in the company,I am only hopeful that all of us can maintain the momentum and move forward with full of zest. But as they always say, maintaining is more difficult than achieving and with this may Allah help us in our earnest effort to be the best !

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ramadan 1430H

Today is the fifth day of Ramadan of the year 1430H. Alhamdullilah, so far I have not been hit by painful headache or aching caused by joint pain unlike the previous fasting months. Perhaps, the zyloric that I am taking on daily basis now has reduced the Uric Acid level in my body. The craving for cigarette is also reduced tremendously and alhamdullilah, this year's Ramadan I did not suffer from Nicotine Withdrawal! Thanks to the Quitting Smoking initiative I am doing at the moment post my littho surgery last month.

The number of Jemaah going to the BJ mosque for tarawih has also increased significantly. This is normally the time of the year where one can meet up with many muslim brothers whom on any normal days or months will probably come to the mosque for Friday prayers only. Despite the extension to the back and left sides of the mosque, the capacity seem inadequate especially on the first night where some had to pray on the pavement. Although this is very encouraging, it will be a lot nicer to see such a large crowd on normal days after Ramadan :-) Good thing is, even Fajar prayer congregation also increased significantly. I counted up to 5-6 rows of jemaah (excluding the muslimah section) and if each row accomodates 35-40 people, we can get few hundred jemaah attending Fajar Prayers!

My doa and azam for this Ramadan is to complete full 30 days of tarawih. The last time I did this was probably when i was in secondary school more than 25 years ago! May Allah give me the strength and accept all the ibadah I have done thus far..amin..

Monday, July 13, 2009

A New Start

It started with some kind of mild stomach and back pain after the Friendly Futsal and Bowling game on Saturday afternoon. But the pain grew stronger and stronger until I could not longer endure it and told my other half to take me to the nearest clinic at home. At the clinic, the doctor quickly diagnosed the pain as stone related although at that time it was not conclusive. I was then referred to DEMC Hospital for a thorough diagnose but eventually ended up hospitalised at SMC due to some medical insurance administrative issue.

However, alhamdullilah, on Monday I underwent Lithotripsy procedure at SMC to remove the stone from my left kidney. The operation took more than 2 hours to complete and I was ordered to be hospitalised at the SMC for three nights.

I don't wish to elaborate on the details of the surgery nor do I want to elaborate on my stay at SMC. Suffice to say that the stay was relatively pleasant but I think the room at the DEMC which I was temporarily assigned initially is much better :-)

What I learnt from this experience of being hospitalised for the first time in my life is that Allah gives us a lot of rezeki and ujian in this world that sometimes we take for granted. Rezeki that comes from Allah is not only in terms of money or power but simple pleasure such as feeling sleepy at night, able to eat freely without side effect, able to walk without pain in the foot, able to breathe easily or even able to pass urine easily are all rezeki that we as normal human beings, simply overlook many times. We always want more money, more power more anything but seldom that we cherish what we already have. In other words, we always count what we cannot get but we do not count our blessings.

Sometimes ujian like this, being hospitalise like I did, also can teach us that we must always be prepared for the ultimate. Allah can always take us away from this world at anytime and no amount of money can stop us from this to happen. We shall not fear the death itself but the life after death instead. As a moslem, simply put, we must stay focus on the herefater and must always ask guidance from Allah to lead our lives in this temporary world.

I also made a resolution that I want to stop smoking. Today is the 10th day for me going smokeless and I pray that Allah will help and guide me to completely forgot the joy of smoking so that I can become a better moslem and can become a better role model to my family and the people that I lead.

For my memory during my stay at SMC as in the above pic, I can only qoute the lyrics from the late (or is it Allahyarham?) MJ...

..for you don't need my now, I will stay in your heart, and when things fall'll remember someday....One Day in Your Life..

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Challenges Ahead..

I would not want to categorise it as the best day of my life but suffice to say that it does make me happier than before. Yes, finally, on April 11th , I received the letter for my promotion to the management level albeit I still have about 3-4 months more of probabationary period to undergo. For me the first hurdle is now cleared but the next several months will be a challenging time as I still have to prove that I truly deserved it.

I also received few congratulatory messages from friends and bosses but I felt the cards and messages from my staff are the ones that really touched me. For me, this promotion is the acknowledgement of our success in convincing the management that together, we can deliver. The vacated post was never advertised and I feel that this is the signal from the management that everyone within the unit can take up the position qualifies as if we have the first right of refusal.I told everyone in my unit that this is a collective success and we should strive even harder now to achieve a greater height.

I know that I have not been blogging for quite a while. Partly this is due to time constraint but more pertinently, I tend to write on Moleskine journal more and more now. I feel that writing on a piece of paper is more personal and meaningful as compared to typing in the cyber space. I can also doodle and draw on the journal and that makes my entry more livid and easier to remember.

I was in Singapore yesterday attending the Joint Operation Meeting with our Singaporean counterparts. What I noticed was that there were not so many people patronizing the shopping complexes there. Perhaps, the global economic slowdown at the moment does have some effect on purchasing power of so many poeple. Or maybe, people are just a bit cautious in spending thier money in anticipation of further economic slowdown. Nonetheless, one good quality of the Singaporean business people is that most of them are very polite and helpful with thier customers. This is definely a plus point for them to ensure repeat customers in the future.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Reminiscene the Old Days...

I was in Bogor Indonesia during the Chinese New Year Holiday attending the HAPUA meeting. The host nation overlooked the fact that during that week many countries around the ASEAN region were having two day public holidays and as a result, many were not able to attend the meeting. Nonetheless, the meeting went really well and we achieved what need to be achieved for the initiative that all of us will embark on later.

Prior to my departure to Jakarta, I started a small home-based project of digitizing and restorating old photo collection from the family albums. Some of these photos were more than 25 years old and needed a bit of touch-up using photoshop software to bring back the colors. I asked my daughter (well I rewarded her with some extra pocket money later) Hidayah to help me in the scanning work while I focussed on editing and compiling them on the PC. Together, we managed to digitize more than 200 photos and this are probably only 20% of the total photo collection from my albums as well as from my other half's. I decided to upload a few in this blog to remind me later that this old photo restoration work will continue in the future insha'allah...

This is me...some 24 years ago somewhere between Ohio and West Virginia...just feel like yesterday...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Good Start of 2009

This is gonna be my first posting for the year 2009. Last year was a kind of an up-and-down year for me but alhamdullillah, I managed to accomplish what needed to be done and overcome what need to be forgotten. 2009 started with no major surprises unlike last year when I was suddenly asked to head the unit due to the departure of my boss cum one of my best friends at the office. This year though, the surprise came with the news that the former position that I was heading is going to be filled-up by a friend with a doctoral degree. I hope he can assimilate well into the divisional culture and contribute as much as possible to the betterment of the unit. I was also quite happy to note that BNM inshaallah is going to fill up yet another one of my previous post and I am pretty certain that he is the most suitable engineer for that. With the appointment of the two engineers, I feel more confident to get things in order and move at a faster pace to achieve our targets. I also hope that this year we are going to achieve more that what we had last year....

On Friday & Saturday, I was involved in the second installment of the Electric Power Student Competition 2009 held in UKM Bangi organised by UKM, MNC-CIGRE and IEEE-PES Malaysian Chapter. This year I was involved as one of the committee members and also as the quiz master and panel judge. EPSCOM 09 is a great success indeed and I personally believe that this is due to the hardwork of many people of the organizing committee. We even managed to get the Deputy Minister Higher Education to officiate the opening and the SVP(Operation & Technical) DW Sidek to officiate the closing.
This year we had 14 teams representing eight universities and the winner for this year is UKM 'B' with UM 'A' and UM 'B' the second and the third runner-up. Congrats to all winners especially to the UKN team as this is the second time the have become the champion!

I was also asked to write the closing speech supposedly to be used by DW SVP but as he himself is a great orator, I think he probably used only 1/10 of the prepared material. Nonetheless, I feel that I should post this short closing speech in my blog so that I can remember them later in the here it is

Yang berbahagia Dr. Ir. Abd Halim Abu Bakar the Chairman of EPSCOM 09, Prof. Dr Mohd Marzuki Musafa Dean of Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment UKM, Prof Dr. Sheikh Ghazali Shiekh Abod Deputy Vice-Chancelor UNITEN, committee members of EPSCOM 09, participants, students, guests, ladies and gentlemen assalamualaikum w.b.h and a very good afternoon.

On behalf of the Malaysian National Committee of CIGRE and also the President/CEO of TNB Dato’ Seri Che Khalib Mohd Nor, I would like to extend his sincere apology for not being able to be with us today due to an urgent matter that he has to attend to.

Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is indeed my great pleasure to be here today to officiate the closing of the Electric Power System Competition EPSOM 09 on behalf of the Chairman of the MNC-CIGRE. As all of us already know, this is the second competition co-organized by MNC-CIGRE and IEES-PES Malaysian Chapter and I was told this time the competition has become bigger and more successful with eight universities participated! In addition, this time around the competition format has been enhanced to also include Project Based Learning (PBL) on top of the Oral and Written quizzes sections. I was also made informed that the PBL section was such as success in a way it taught the participants how to design a reliable distribution system that meets the normal utility and regulatory requirement. It is indeed joyful to see students demonstrate their skill in analyzing power system problems and judging by the results they have produced, the future of power engineering in Malaysia is quite bright indeed!
In the era where Power Engineering has become less popular course chosen by university students worldwide in light of the more seemingly glamorous communication and electronics, the establishment of this type of competition is timely and inevitable to give young students the preview of what power engineering is all about and hopefully this type of event can instill further the desire to learn more about this subject. Power system engineering also has become so important and yet so complex a subject matter nowadays that even for a split second interruption is no longer acceptable to many. Power system engineers worldwide have been working very hard in ensuring a reliable and secured power supply to the point that many times these sacrifices were left unnoticed as the saying goes, electricity can only be appreciated in absentia.
I believe through event like this more and more students, academia and also the aspiring young ones yet to enter universities can get the glimpse of the power engineering world and hopefully this event will make power engineering subject a more glamorous topic to choose in the future.

Ladies and Gentlemen:
I believe the 2-day competition has also created a platform for many students and academicians coming from many different universities to network and build relationship to foster a better research collaboration for the benefit of the country. The more engineers and specialist in power system engineering that we can nurture now, the more secured and reliable our power system will be in the future.

Ladies and Gentlemen:
On behalf the MNC-CIGRE and also IEEE-PES, I would like to thank each individual who has contributed directly or indirectly towards the preparation of this prestigious event. Special thanks to University Kebangsaan Malaysia who has provided the magnificent venue and the necessary infra-structure to host this event. Without their commitments and invaluable support, the creation of this very event would have been impossible. We also thank all participants who dedicated particular effort in ensuring the best for their respective universities. I truly believe that due to all these efforts the outcome of the competition has become a of top-quality event.

We are also indebted to the many individuals and organizations that made this event possible: specifically I would name Tenaga Nasional Berhad, University Kebangssan Malaysia, Advance Power Soulution Sdn Bhd, Simpro Engineering and AAIBE Fund. In particular, I would like to thank the members of the members of the MNC-CIGRE and IEEE-PES Malaysian Chapter for their help in all aspects of the organization of this professional meeting.

Thank you very much and I hope to see you again in the next EPSCOM event in the future.