Friday, January 20, 2023

Have A Meaningful Chinese New Year 2023 - LEARN HOW TO LEARN


Learning how to learn is a skill – a crucial one.
It is a much-needed ability not just for our fresh graduates and newbies but for anyone who wants to keep pace with the world and stay relevant. A skill that will help us learn new things, grow, develop and avoid becoming deadwoods.
Learning how to learn helps us find answers when ‘we do not know what we do not know’ thus avoiding our blind spots – the antidote of being ‘bodoh sombong’. Learning how to learn is an attitude. To learn how to learn we need to cultivate the curiosity of a child and the awareness that it is okay not to know everything and to look for answers. To ask questions, is actually, being smart.
Practising learning how to learn requires action and good habits. When given a task, especially a new one, do not rest just on our past laurels, experience and skills – just in case they are not adequate or worst still, obsolete. One must read, read, and read. Investigate and do some research. Be active in looking for mentors, coaches and teachers. Be quick to volunteer for tasks outside our job scope and what we are paid for. These habits ensure that we learn something we would have learned less well, more slowly, or not at all if left alone.
A person who practices learning how to learn is like a seed. A seed has potential. But it would not grow into a big, strong, beautiful fruitful tree without absorbing and making full use of resources from the outside like sunlight, water and nutrients. We can keep a seed in a bottle for years and it will remain a seed. Good seeds can go bad if they are kept too long.
Like a seed that grows into a strong tree, learning how to learn ensures that we make full use of all resources available and grow to our fullest potential.
Let us add value.
Peace, anas

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Have a Meaningful Christmas 2022


Have a Meaningful Christmas

Why the Razak Report of 1956 recognises the importance of English

In today’s globalised world, the lingua franca is English where the vast majority of English speakers are not 'native' speakers. As a lingua franca, English is the bridge language making communication possible between groups of people who do not share a native language or common dialect.

English as a lingua franca, not only facilitates interactions for trade but also political, diplomatic, cultural, religious, arts and administrative, exchanges. It creates opportunities for scholars, scientists, thinkers, innovators and artists from different nationalities to work together.

Malaysia recognises the importance of English well before Merdeka. The Razak Report of 1956 made both the Malay Language and English compulsory for primary and secondary education. The Malay language with the purpose of uniting the nation while English to give our citizens the added advantage - as a crucial means to “ensure that no pupil shall be at a disadvantage in the matter either of employment or of higher education in Malaya or overseas.”

Over the years, we may have forgotten this well-thought-out endeavour. Our people, especially rural youths, are losing out and is at a disadvantage. It is time we revisit The Razak Report. We need to reflect on its recommendations and rebreathe its spirit. Going forward, put in place a plan for success.

Let us add value,

Have a Meaningful Christmas

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Why Politicians Lie


Six Reasons Why Politicians Believe They Can Lie - by Jim Taylor Phd.

Do politicians really think they won't be caught when they lie?

Good to read - go here why politicians lie

Thursday, December 1, 2022


Hi guys, I have limited seats for this workshop that we normally organise for Senior Managers and Top Talents at MNCs and GLCs. The Public Program price per pax is RM 4770.00. So, this is a really unique chance.
This one is fully sponsored by HRDC for Senior Managers and above - ONLY FOR SMEs.
We have a few more seats left, its a first come first serve basis. Please do not call or contact me directly but click this link to register . This is to ensure fairness and we follow the first come first serve approach.
Thanks, anas

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

JUBAL - A Christian-Muslim Friendship



Dear Jubal, it was 20 years ago today that you left us. It has been 20 years!!! But I have never stopped missing you. You were always there when I draw lines for MAD workshop and at the end of the program when the group sings FANTASY - walking among the participants like you always do. And, when I listen to Ennio Morricone's The Mission - just to remember you.
Love you much, brother!!!
JUBAL - A Christian-Muslim Friendship
“And nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say, "We are Christians": because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant” - Quran 5:82
In school, I was never good at choosing the right time to start and prepare for exams, so by the time I actually got to it, it was usually the exam week. I also picked and chose when to pay attention and when not to pay attention in class, with the latter being the norm. I would be reading something else, dreaming or plain half-asleep most of the time. Well, there were bright moments, although limited, when I was a teacher’s dream come true in subjects I liked – History, or when awesome teachers were teaching like Mr Teh-Ewe Hooi, Ms Lim Hoang Hoang and Cik Shakila Manan.
But it was still a shocker to me when I got P7 for my Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, Bahasa Malaysia paper – by default I was a second grader. My Bahasa Malaysia was always good and I was always praised by my teachers. In fact, in Form 4 my marks were sandwiched between the top Malay and non-Malay student for highest marks. In those days, they awarded two prizes for Bahasa Malaysia – One each for Malays and Non-Malays. On hindsight I thought that was silly!
Getting P7 was a problem because my plan was to correct my mistake in choosing to be in the science class during Form 4 & 5 and switch to the arts stream for Form 6 – and you cannot do that without a credit in Bahasa Malaysia! I was one of the fashionably naïve teenager whom after Form 3, rushed to be in Pure Science class not knowing that Additional Math and I were like water and oil and I had no chemistry with Chemistry. But, instead of getting to go to Form 6 Arts in Penang Free School (PFS) (PFS = a place only for the brave and the true!), I received a letter from Jabatan Pelajaran1 to report to a Maktab Sains2 in Seremban. Alamak3!
I was told that for me to be reconsidered into PFS, I must first cancel my name in person from the Maktab Sains in Seremban. So off by bus I went to hang out with my sister in KL and took a day trip to Seremban by train. The recollection I remembered most about the Seremban trip was reading Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings while listening to Bob James’ jazz music using Kak Adek’s (my second sister) Panasonic walkman. Yes, it was a Panasonic not a Sony and during that time it was cassette tapes not CDs, DVDs or Digital Drive!
While waiting for the returning train to KL, I had a good many hours to read at the train station sharing my Coke and Bob James with a few down and out souls resting on the platform floor. I lazed with them, had some deep and meaningful conversations about how life was tough and the need to carry on. A few years later when I read George Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London, I recollected this very Seremban experience.
I had to travel and plead to the Jabatan Pelajaran quite a few more times, in person, through letters, recommendations, etc and finally, months later, I was accepted back to the school that was built for only those who were Brave and True. I was not alone; one of my best buddies Nicky Ng Cheng Loong was also accepted. We were the last batch – batch number seven. We both were already planning to register to a private school, Methodist High School Penang when we got the news. Phew!
The first time Jubal and I interacted
Jubal was the assistant class monitor at Upper Six Arts Three where both Nicky and I were placed. That pogeh fella (pogeh = smoke in Tamil, I will explain later) came to PFS only in Form 6. Earlier he schooled at TI – a Technical Institute. He did not understand and was a little annoyed with all the commotion caused by my presence. I was a popular kid in school and many of my old buddies like Bubba and Thiam Sin were celebrating ‘my return’. Furthermore, I was busy introducing the gang to Nicky, who was from MBS, Monkey Boy’s School, prior to Form 6. There were girls in the class and I wanted to get to know them too! PFS is co-ed at the 6th form level! There is a GOD and God is GREAT!
Jubal, stood from across the room holding my registration form and spoke his first sentence to me by asking, “Hey Anas! Why didn’t your father name you anus?”
“The same reason why your father did not name you jubok (anus in colloquial Penang),” I answered.
Jubal and the class burst out in thunderous laughter and he suggested, “Mari-mari duduk sebelah saya, kita mesti jadi kawan baik.”3
We sat together in Form 6. His words became like a prophecy. We became best of friends. It was a friendship built on trust, care, understanding, love and compassion. And we had fun, always sharing our own jokes that no one else would make sense off – we were teenagers!
We were an unlikely pair, he smells; I don’t. He was not an egoistic person; I was full of ego (and still am) enough for the two of us and three more lifetimes. He had a face full of hair; I could hardly grow a decent moustache. I could do the Moonwalk, he danced like a papan4. He wore slacks, I wore jeans. He was always giving in; I was always on the offensive. He treated his car like a queen; I treated mine like a slave. He was always well groomed; I hardly combed my hair. I swam like a fish; he was totally scared of water. He took 3 weeks to decide which room to rent, I took 30 minutes to buy a house but on the other hand he married the first girl he dated (bodoh5 fella), and I am still as single as the time he and I first met.
Our relationship was special. In class when we were seated, it was a norm that our hands were on each other’s shoulders so much so I would smell like he did by day’s end. Once a teacher, Cikgu Ismail, probably irritated by our constant whispering and smirking walked over towards the two of us and asked,” You dua orang kembar Siam ka?”6 I answered back with a question, “Cikgu datang dari Kedah kan?”7 and when he answered yes, I continued, “Patut Cikgu bau macam padi.”8
All three of us laughed. Cikgu Ismail was a cool Sir. Jubal and I belanja9 him a few nasi kandar10 lunch when we were in the early 30s; he was no longer teaching then and was transferred to Jabatan Pelajaran Pulau Pinang.
Jubal and I had a deep and meaningful friendship. Even our parents and family recognized it. Umi and Irene his wife understood that when I was back in Penang, time must be allocated for the two of us to hangout. Jubal started working in Penang after Form 6, while I continued studying at Universiti Malaya and later made Kuala Lumpur my work base. We made the best of whatever times we had together and never failed to make time for each other. We cared and think for each other always. We practiced empathy between friends, always trying hard to ensure the other party gets whatever is best.
After he got married, he moved to Balik Pulau – literally and geographically the other side of Penang Island. It does not matter even if my trip back was a short one, we would still find the time to catch up. If I was back for three days, I would drive to Balik Pulau on the first. He reciprocated by coming over to Fettes Park the next day. The third day we will meet halfway at Teluk Bahang for an early morning teh-tarik11 and roti canai12.
He would slip me into church; it was easy because I do look like a Mat Salleh celup13. It was fun as Christian girls know how to dress well and yet do it decently. Although Jubal will taruh14 me, “ Ceh Zubedy, in church also you tengok perempuan!”15. I took him to Friday prayers; it was easy too, as with a songkok16 he looks like a typical Mamak17 fella.
On a more serious note, we got to learn each other’s religions. I opened his mind and heart to Islam, and he did the same for me with Christianity. Not that we shared many books and debates, or discussions, but we shared a life together, a friendship and a living example; a good Christian in my midst and a good Muslim in his.
We saw the good in each other stemming from the very different religions that we professed. It made us realized without much funfair or the need for deep intellectual realization that at the deepest level we share the same Good God who is Caring, full of Grace, Merciful and Kind. That is why the relationship is deep and special; we are connected at the heart level. And, both our hearts are deeply connected to God. As Darrel, Jubal’s brother constantly reminds me, “I think God wanted us to be together, Jubal, you and I.”
While we worked hard at the friendship, life too chanced us to constantly meet. First it was the anus-jubok incident. When Nestle sent me for training in Kuantan, he was transferred by UAB (Use Another Bank?) to Kuantan too. He wanted to be a trainer-facilitator and strongly believed that teaching is one of the most meaningful professions. I started a training business. But it took almost 2 years for Irene and me to talk him into dropping his cushy salaried job and take the first step to be what he wanted to be.
It was during his first understudy that the term Pogeh took shape. It was during my Presentation Skills Workshop. To teach participants how to give a good speech, we first taught them how to sing. The song chosen for the activity was “Smoke gets in your eyes”. Jubal translated the song title into Tamil, “Pogeh Kanne Pat Te Re Chi”, and he would utter it in a manner that would make you laugh.
As he was tone deaf, it was hilarious to hear him singing it in Tamil. Later, he slowly changed the term pogeh and it became identified with bodoh or blur. So you can start a sentence with, “That pogeh fella forgot to pay the bill” or when someone created a big blunder, “Dashat pogeh fella lah”.
Jubal was a master in creating abbreviations and words with new meanings – his part-time job. So CAT is Chick Attracting Tool. The moment I bought the Mercedes E200 Compressor, he added a U in front of CAT, so it’s U-CAT – Ultimate Chick Attracting Tool. TIF is Top Indian Fella and so on. Anyone who had spent enough time with Jubal, ends up using all his funny terms and creation. Perhaps Jubal should have worked with Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka.
I received an email from him asking me to pick Irene and him up from the airport one day later than planned. They were having a holiday in Bali and he said he wants to Genggong (Make Love To, Have Sex With, or simply F_ _ _ depending on who you do it with) his wife for another day. Pogeh fella, now I had to go change my entire schedule.
That night just after midnight, someone rang my doorbell. I looked outside and saw a police car in front of my house and I recognized Mr Veerasingham our Resident Association Leader at Hartamas. I went outside and the police officer asked if I knew a Jubal Lawrence, as in case of emergency it was stated that I was the person to call.
I answered yes, ‘ Dia kawan karib saya”18. He continued gently, “Maaf saya ada berita buruk. Encik Jubal dan isterinya mati lemas di Bali. Encik kenal ahli keluarga dia?”19
That was more than 7 (today 20) years ago. We were an unlikely pair. I swim like a fish; Jubal was totally scared of water.
Love you and miss you brother.
“Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in God and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve”. - Quran 2:62
Peace, anas



I wrote this book back in 2012 before GE13. I dedicated the book to Clever Malaysians. Amazing how things hasn’t change. LOL!

The FOREWORD reads …,

‘If I had no sense of humour, I would long ago have committed suicide’ - Mahatma Gandhi -

In order to make sense of the world and … our politics, we must know how to laugh, especially at ourselves. If we lose our ability to laugh, we know that something is dead wrong.

Journalist Erma Bombeck said that when humour goes, there goes civilization.

#BodohPolitik: 101 easy guides on how (not) to choose a Malaysian leader is a light-hearted way to look at our politics. Humour is a way to unite us. People who laugh together, stay together. So let’s have a laugh at ourselves, knowing fully well that idiosyncrasies from any political divide at the end of the day represent all of us – Malaysians.

Download the E-Book here for free. Share it with friends and family as ‘Many a true word is spoken in jest’ - English proverb 😊

Peace, anas

Tuesday, November 29, 2022


Are you an educated or learned person?

Malaysia has a high rate of educated people but perhaps not those who are learned. A learned person is able to differentiate between right and wrong, what is wasteful and what is productive, is fair, balanced and are able to be honest on both sides.
Educated people only have information and use them to prop up what they see fit.
For example, an educated person may support their leaders even when they are dishonest and inconsistent, but a learned person on the other hand will support even an enemy when the enemy is right.
This is because learned people can make sense of right and wrong. They have ethics and believe in integrity. They care about values - good values.
So which one are you?
Peace, anas