Classy Conrad…

This entry is kinda overdue. I had wanted to post this earlier but the one I posted on Wednesday took an even more important precedence. Anyway here I am sharing with you my experience staying, albeit for half a day (or should I say just 3 hours to be more precise…), at a distinguished and prestigious 6-star hotel in Singapore, the Conrad Centennial Singapore last Saturday. My mum had won the grand prize of staying 3 days and 2 nights at the hotel’s grand suite, during our company’s Family Day last year. My parents and younger sister stayed there throughout since Friday. Aida and I joined in on Saturday morning. I had wanted to sample working out at the plush gym.

Aida and I were late since we had a long day planned ahead. So we did the next best thing and that was to catch a cab down to the hotel. We reached there about 9:20am. I was surprised to see the doorman who greeted us at the entrance was none other than ex-Singapore footballer, Nasiruddin Sawardi. I believe he’s no longer playing in the S-League and that’s his full-time job now. Which made me wonder, is it really worth it to make football a career in this part of the world??? Cos where do we go after we’ve hung up our boots??? Fortunate is the person who has a diploma or degree but most of them do not have one. I don’t mean to look down on the doorman job but if there’s a better job opportunity out there, or a chance to further your studies, go ahead and make it happen. I really hope that future footballers would use players like Lionel Lewis, Goh Tat Chuan, Lim Tong Hai, Erza Aripin amongst others as role models to succeed both academically and on the field. Even my uncle, the famous Dollah Kassim told me he cannot go by in life just by using his name and past popularity.

My parents and younger sister were waiting for us at the lobby when we arrived to hand over the room keys. They were on their way out for breakfast. As the hotel does not provide Halal food, they had to go out and get some. Luckily we have Suntec City and Marina Square just across the road. Everywhere we went and stepped into, we were greeted by friendly and amiable staff asking if we needed their assistance or just asking if they can make our stay an even more enjoyable experience. Now that’s what I call “Service With A Smile“!!!


The lift lobby at our floor…


Finally we reached our room…


This sight greeted us when we opened the door…


The living room looks so cosy… That’s Suntec City in the background…


Another view of the living room… Messy I know…


The bedroom… That’s my younger sister’s teddy bear…


A reverse shot of the bedroom…


When I undrew the curtains, I was met by this beautiful sight of the world’s largest fountain…


Just look at the huge toilet…


I had kinky imaginations when I looked at the cubicle and bath-tub…


That’s the small room where we did our “transactions“…

Before I went down to the gym, which is situated at the 4th level of the hotel, I sampled the toilet and left my mark there. One cannot work out with a full stomach. Aida did not join me at the gym. Instead, she took her leave and headed for the National Library nearby to do some research for her office work. The gym was about the size of 2 squash courts. Cosy, homely and one I wished could be transformed into a room at my house. It had everything!!! It even has a spa!!! The cardio zone where the threadmills, static bicycles, static rowing machines and cross-trainers were situated, were each armed with a LCD television and you have a choice to see your favourite cable television channels. The only snag was, there was no MTV. Nonetheless I had a great time working out and wished it could have been longer…

Once over, I headed off to the swimming pool, just outside the gym to cool off. It was heavenly, since I was heating up after a good sweat. I spent the next 20 minutes swimming from lap to lap for a total body workout. From there, I sat down on one of the deckchairs to get a little tan and at the same time to snap a few photographs…


That’s the poolside restaurant on the opposite side…

That’s the poolside lounge. Imagine Ibiza…

The gym is situated behind the gazebos…

As I looked up, I caught this majestic shot of the hotel. That’s the Pan Pacific Hotel on the glass reflections…

A last shot before I left. The Pan Pacific Hotel and the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Hotel are in the background…

My thoughts??? Well it truly is a 6-star hotel. From the architecture, interior design, facilities, decor, service and ambience, it is no wonder rated as such. We were treated like royalty so to speak and I wished I could have stayed longer to savour the other things in store at the hotel. But I was just thankful to have sampled the facilities even if it was just a few hours. If I were to die now, I’ll die contented cos not many of us would be willing to fork out a bomb just to stay there. We got it for free so we savoured every moment we had…

Answering A Query…

I received an sms message from an apparent “fan” of this blog who went by the name of “Rizal” earlier today at where else??? In it he asked me a burning question that’s been bugging his tortured soul to no end. It went like this:

“RIZAL.AKU NK TNYALAH PM,KNPA SETIAP KALI PAKMALAU & LADYSEMUT ANTAR SMS,KAU MESTI NK LANGGR.AKU SELALU BACA BULETIN & AKU PUN BACA UR BLOG.KAU ANTI MERBUK?”

Well to tell you honestly, I’m kinda inclined to say a hefty, unanimous “Yes”!!! However, it’s not fair to some of the others in the group who I’ve not had any such negative dealings, tete-a-tete or verbal joustings. You asked why is it everytime they sent something, I’ll always shoot back??? Why don’t you ask them the same thing too with some of their thinly-veiled messages??? Please do not play the victims card and claim innocence. My sms was not meant for them but to everyone listening. Why is it everytime I say something, they should get all worked up??? If they are so angelic like how they portray themselves to be, then all the more they shouldn’t feel angered by my words.

Just like today, I advised all listeners not to record their phone conversations without the other party’s knowledge as it constitutes to a criminal offence. Is that wrong to share knowledge with everyone??? It so happens that almost everytime I criticise on something, the one who ignited my criticisms belong to one of their group members. Don’t tell me, they’ve not done the same everytime I comment on something via sms or something I’ve said in this blog??? You want me to provide proofs??? Sorry, but I don’t print out the sms bulletin board nor print out my blog and file them in big stacks to support myself at the police station. Whatever criticisms I get, no matter how shamed I got, I don’t go as far as reporting them to the authorities. Cos I regard them as nothing more than words from people who do not know me well enough. At the most I’ll just rant in this blog…

To answer the final question, I’m only anti against those who have been constantly on my back. You know who you are without having me to name names. In life, you should know that there are people who like you and those who dislike you. I don’t go round criticising using other fictitious nicks like some of you. Neither do I go round questioning why people hate me cos it shows I’m only having an inferiority complex. If people dislike me for who I am and what I stand for, then I respect that. I don’t force people to like nor love me. If you can comment about me and others, then you should expect others to do likewise, not go round crying wolf, feigning innocence and acting like big babies…

What Could Have Been…

Last Friday night, I watched the inaugural “Pesta Pesta Pesta” programme on Suria. It had been hyped about one month prior to its telecast so I was kinda attracted to watch something of a different nature. I’m a sucker for award shows anyway so watching it came naturally to me. I was generally pleased that the event threw formality out of the window and replaced it with something hip and with lots of spunk. Trust the person who created it, none other than Mr Najip Ali, to come up with something of that nature.

I wasn’t the least bit surprised when I saw Aaron Aziz, Khairul Anwar, Khairil Yusof and Taufik Batisah winning in their respective categories under the SMS Voting Category. Why should I be when they have their own set of loyal, or should I say legion of fans, who can be trusted to sms till the cows come home??? The remaining categories, that fell under the Web Voting Category, were anybody’s guess. The only thing I wasn’t pleased about was Najip (being the person who was responsible for the programme to materialise) being nominated and eventually won the “Most Happening Hairstyle” award when I thought Azmi Sempoi was more deserving. The only thing I can derive was that our community is still not open to people with colourful or extravagant hairstyles.

The show was also done to reward the fans for their constant support and what better way to include them in than to let some of them perform with their favourite artistes??? However, some of the segment with the fans made the people they wanna show their gratitude to, looked stupid. Especially the ones who performed with Nurul Aini, that particular segment looked kinda jaded to me. The fans certainly did not blend in with the performers and they were everything rolled into one, from being dancers to props. Even the artistes sitting on stage looked bored. Speaking of artistes sitting on stage, I think it was an innovative idea to come up with that cos the audience would definitely like to see their favourite artistes on stage rather than sit amongst the audience.

The Anugerah finalists segment was kinda tainted by Syed Azmir‘s apparent lack of preparation or possibly overawed by the occasion. He tripped on his lines and forgot lyrics to “Mentera Semerah Padi“, the song he sang with Khairul Anuar. That particular segment was also supposed to feature Khairul‘s “manliness“. Honestly, they failed to project that “manliness” about him as he was all feminine, from his voice, body language to facial expressions. But give this boy credit where it’s due. He is an excellent singer… He reminds me of a young Anuar Zain… It was also unfair that Fauzie Laily was not given a chance to sing as compared to the other three finalists. I was impressed by Suzairhe Sumari and Sharon Ismail‘s attempt at speaking in Tamil and Mandarin. Not to mention the segment where the two Melatis, Rima & Rilla, came out. Their acting was oh-so-natural, instantaneously spontaneous and nothing fake or over about them.

One last gripe I had was the fact that almost everyone was treating Taufik Batisah like a second class citizen on the show. They are either jealous or they cannot accept the fact that the guy is extremely popular. I’m no fan of his but I sympathise with the fella when throughout the night people kept on saying, “Balik-balik Taufik…“. Most notable was Nurul Aini and the husband and wife pair of Shaikh Haikal and Annabelle Francis. Speaking of the husband and wife team, their segment made the people on stage winced and fidgeted uncomfortably looking at their actions. I think the audience too felt uneasy as there were no reactions whatsoever. In short, TASTELESS!!!

You know in life, we always have that few moments when we thought we could make a difference to something. And when we can’t do a thing about it, we can’t help but ponder what could have been if we tried harder or Luck smiles upon us. Ever since Sunday morning, I’ve been feeling kinda guilty and helpless that I could not be of civic help to contribute more to the neighbourhood. You must be wondering what the hell am I blabbering about. Well it goes like this:

I was spending the weekend at my in-laws. Like my weekly routine, I’ll be up on Saturday night watching football, especially if my team, Manchester United, plays. This past weekend, their match was played on Sunday morning at 1:15am. I was having flu and sore eyes as I watched the proceedings. As the game went on, the itch in my eyes intensified and I could not help but rubbed my eyes. Midway through the second half, when I could not stand it any longer, I went to the toilet to wash my eyes. As I was washing my eyes, I heard loud laughter and shoutings from the neighbourhood. Dismissing it as just some youths who were still awake and chatting at the void deck, I walked out from the toilet to continue watching the game.

Just as I was about to sit on the sofa, I heard a loud bang. Thinking that someone had jumped down from a higher floor or someone had thrown something, I ran to the window to see what it was all about. I was shocked to see the void deck of the opposite block in flames. I quickly ran to my room, grabbed my handphone and rushed down. I was hoping to catch the perpertrators but saw no one fleeing. On my way down, I thought that a rubbish bin was being burnt but the flames couldn’t be so big if it was just a mere rubbish bin.

I was shocked when I saw a motorcycle being burnt. The flames had already engulfed a large section of the void deck, which is relatively small in space. Thick black smoke was already making its way up to the 2nd floor and I could see that two of the units were already filled with smoke. Abandoning my thoughts of wanting to be a hero, I dashed up to the second floor to help evacuate the tenants, just in time to hear another loud explosion. I cannot envisage what might had happened had I remained on the ground floor, mesmerised by what I saw. I managed to evacuate those living on the second and third floors. By the time we reached the ground floor, practically the whole neighbourhood had woken up, either watching the scene from where we were or from their respective windows.

The fire brigade and police were soon at the scene and the firemen put out the fire in less than 5 minutes. People all around were discussing about what they saw and all came to a conclusion that pranksters were behind it. The motorcycle, which I found out later belonged to an old Chinese man, the wirings and lightings at the void deck were burnt beyond recognition. Thinking that everything was fine and seeing that people were slowly returning to their homes, I did the same with my parents-in-law who had also gone down to see the drama. Yes it was a real-life drama, one that I had only seen first hand from television and movies. The funny thing was I did not realise that I had gone down wearing just my shorts and with the wife presenting me with a hickey on the neck for the whole world to see…

I thought the drama ended there but no!!! That morning when I woke up and went to the shops to buy the newspapers, a foreign worker who was helping to clean up the mess at the opposite block told me that a multi-storey carpark across the road was also hit. I immediately felt a sense of regret, that I had gone home straight after the firemen had put out the fire, instead of going round the neighbourhood to look for the perpertrators. Who knows, I could have caught them in the act a second time, since the Monday newspaper report on the events that transpired, stated that the pranksters hit the multi-storey carpark 2 hours after they had hit the void deck opposite my in-laws??? Till now, this sense of what could have been had I been more alert and vigilant is bugging me to no end. I felt guilty I did not contribute more to the cause of finding these idiots. Cos I was really in the mood to bash them up if I were to catch them.

I’m sure most of us refrained from celebrating “Valentine’s Day” yesterday for what it means from our religious perspective. But there were a few others who still went out to celebrate the day with their loved ones with the intention of celebrating it out of love for them and nothing else. I was basically fine with that kind of reasoning. However, I received a particular email that put paid to what I know and somehow correcting my perspectives. With regards to the Islamic stance on this festival, Dr Su’ad Ibrahim Salih, Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh) at Al-Azhar University, stated the following:

“Islam does recognise happy occasions that bring people closer to one another, and add spice to their lives. However, Islam goes against blindly imitating the West and other religions regarding a special occasion such as “Valentine’s Day”. Hence, commemorating that special day known as “Valentine’s Day” is an innovation or bid’ah that has no religious backing. Every innovation of that kind is rejected, as far as Islam is concerned. Islam requires all Muslims to love one another all over the whole year, and reducing the whole year to a single day is totally rejected.” Makes a hell lot of sense doesn’t it???

Earlier today, I passed a remark on air about certain listeners who took the trouble to print out RIA 89.7FM‘s SMS Bulletin Board and filing them for future reference (though God knows for what!!!???). It wasn’t long before one of my “ardent fans” retorted that cutting and pasting “exemplary” sms-es from the bulletin board to one’s blog is an even worse thing to do. I was grinning away when the wife alerted me to this particular sms.

Maybe it got lost on the person who sent that sms that when I cut and pasted the sms-es, I was actually highlighting how “intelligent” and “classy” the person was when hitting me and especially the wife, on a personal level, even if no names were mentioned. And since he was the only one who got all worked up and retorted, I must say that my remarks touched a raw nerve somewhat. Cos really, if you think about it, the leaves on trees would not be able to move without the wind blowing. *smile*

My remarks were as usual general and off-the-cuff, meant to tease rather than hit out at anyone. As usual with 160 characters to type, how much can I type??? I was actually referring to some people who print out the sms bulletin board with regards to some of the motivational words being shared amongst listeners and not to bring about the downfall of others. But some people jumped to conclusions too quickly and felt overly sensitive, went all defensive and as a result proved that perhaps he was the one I was referring to, doing all those negative things I mentioned, when I dunno if he did it or not. No names were mentioned on my part so for all you know it could be any Tomok, Din or Ali printing out and filing them for reference.

Some might argue I was being overly sensitive when the sms-es I highlighted in previous entries also did not mention my name outright. Fair enough, but I know the dirty mind games some of these listeners are playing and capable of, and I know damn well they were meant for me. Especially when my wife was hit, I had to clear her name. Which was why I said I did not mind being hit on as I’m used to it, but not my wife who’s got nothing to do with the shenanigans with some of these numbskulls.

Nonetheless I’m really honoured, humbled and blessed that some people spend their free time coming into this humble abode of mine, basically waiting and hoping that I would mention them in here. This is an open site afterall so anyone is welcome to read. I really appreciate them coming in here to help increase my hit counter as well as hear my ramblings and musings about some of them from time to time. I know that they are closet fans of this blog, secretly loving it and picking up possible flaws in the things I said to highlight in future sms remarks, so yeah, I welcome them with open arms… NOT!!!

CNY Weekend Part 2…

My Chinese New Year weekend did not just end the previous week but continued till the last weekend. One of my colleagues held an open house for friends and colleagues on Saturday and we were invited to soak in the atmosphere. This was my first time celebrating Chinese New Year with my Chinese friends so it was an experience to savour. For starters, my colleague took the trouble to buy Nasi Briyani for the Muslim guests and no pork and alcohol were served for the rest. Who says racial integration is not working??? My colleague took the trouble to make sure we did not feel out of place and I must award him a perfect 10 for the effort.

It was also an interesting affair to watch the “Luo Hei” being done right before my eyes. The food was made up of raw seafood and what looked like noodles to me. I did not take part as I was feeling nauseous from the smell of the raw seafood. So what I did was stand from a distance and captured this shot of the action…

We were also fortunate to receive two tickets from another colleague of mine, to watch the Chingay procession at Orchard Road. Aida and I arrived about 10 minutes to 7pm. We were seated at Sector 5, just outside Orchard Point. We were surprised not many people were seated at our sector. The moment we sat, the heavens opened up and showered us with nothing more than two minutes of slight drizzling. The tickets stated that the event was to start at 7pm. But we were restless by 7.20pm. I told Aida, if we were to perform Maghrib first, it would be a whole lot better. We then asked one of the ushers if we could return if we were to leave our seats and she said it’ll be no problem. So we negotiated our way to Al-Falah Mosque and were done by 8pm.


A view from our seats…

When we came back to our seating sector, there were too many people standing near the entrance so we decided against going back to our seats since we had a show to catch at 9:10pm at Plaza Singapura (Fun With Dick & Jane). As I looked around from where we stood, I noticed a few adventurous viewers who managed to climb up the trees to get a clear view of the proceedings. Whilst waiting for the parade proper to begin, we were treated to various street performances by dance groups from various institutions. There was also a performance by local singer Azyza who sang an evergreen Indonesian song “Kasih“. She spoke English impeccably when addressing to the crowd and there was no hint of any Malay accent whatsoever. I was very proud of her for that. It showed she came prepared, not like some artistes I heard who did not prepare themselves when chosen to perform at a prestigious place like The Esplanade a few weeks ago. As we were at the end of Orchard Road, the parade only arrived at 8:38pm!!! And these were the few shots we managed to take before we had to leave for Plaza Singapura. Saw my friend Helmi being a part of the Singapore Police Band contingent that paved the way for the parade proper to start…

Mediacorp Radio is celebrating 70 years of radio existence in Singapore this year. With that, they are currently in the midst of organising the “70 Hour Radio Gag” on the DJs of 7 stations under its wings. I don’t think I have to explain further how the game goes as most of us tune in to either Perfect 10 98.7FM, Class 95FM or RIA 89.7FM. Went over to Ngee Ann City or Takashimaya as we all know it during lunchtime yesterday and today to see what the fuss was all about. I must say, there were more people today as compared to yesterday, the majority of people coming to support RIA‘s Azmi Sempoi.


Perfect 10‘s Shan Wee busy at it. But the guy stopped to ogle whichever beauties that walked past his perspex glass…


Mr Skinny AnklesRod Monteiro busy writing something on his white board to communicate with his supporters…


Someone must have farted. Just look at the wince on Fiza Osman‘s face and the lady at the back covering her nose. Even Azmi looked kinda stunned. Hahahah…


Resting on his OTO Bodycare chair… Looks comfy, I think I’ll get one when I move into my new home…

CNY Weekend…

2006 has so far been a tragic year for me and my family. It’s only 32 days into the new year and we have so far gone through the loss of two very dear grand-aunts, the latest being yesterday. And my wife couldn’t helped but noticed that when we visited the dearly departed grand-aunts when they were on their deathbeds, they passed on a few hours after we left. I know it’s just coincidental but it’s kinda scary to think we might be jinxed!!! I just hope that there’ll be no more tragic losses this year. Two is already enough to make the heart bleed with sadness and love for the ones who’ve left us forever. Only the sweet memories of what we went through with them in their lifetime would remain and be firmly etched in our memories… With that I hope that you guys would say a little prayer for my dear departed grand-aunts Hajah Bibi Binte Nadar Shah and Hajah Sarah Binte Saat…

I’m sure all of you had had a great long weekend. The 4 days of rest should have been spent together with family and loved ones, I presume??? Likewise, my family and I spent the long holiday camping at the beach. It is an annual affair for my paternal family side. My dad and his family of 17 siblings, are great suckers for camping affairs at the beach, over the Chinese New Year period every year. This year was no different and took an even more important precedent when it was organised to thank our family members who had helped a lot at my wedding.

We set off to the campsite at Pasir Ris Park, near Carpark A and Costa Sands Resort, on Saturday morning. Two of my uncles were already there, having pitched their tents the night before. We wasted no time in setting up two more, one belonging to my family and the other acting as a dining area for guests. My paternal family is very much into these camping events and they take great pains to make it an enjoyable affair everytime. Even the tents were bought from as far away as Australia. You can see the difference in size and shape as compared to most tents that were pitched along the beach.


The slew of people at the beach. Our Malay community make up the majority…

Our territory…

My uncles busy playing “Scrabble“, not the usual uncles who sit around playing cards and checkers…

As you can see from the photographs I took with my Nokia N70, the six and four-sided gazebos were erected to form our kitchen and dining areas. We brought along a generator so we had electricity all day long. My paternal family always go complete with the generator, television, freezer and stove. It’s like creating another home. It’s fun as this is the time for us to catch up with one another and meet up rather than wait for Hari Raya, a wedding function, a housewarming affair, a funeral etc. That side of the family is too big anyway so meeting everyone on that kind of occasion is always one to look forward to.

But I gotta admit, my mum, my sisters and I hate this camping thingy for the sole reason we tire ourselves at the start when we have to carry the things and set them up and at the end, when we have to pack up and carry them home. Cos the aim of this is to rest and relax. Tiring ourselves at the start and the end defeats the purpose. Anyway, I did something I’ve not done since I was in secondary school – Flying a kite!!! Just look at the kite. It goes well with “Da’ KRUsader” isn’t it??? Hahahah… I just had to buy it from the nearby kiosk, it was the last piece anyway and what better way to buy, especially if it’s something close to the heart???


My aunties preparing for the feasting at night…


Roti kirai“… Something me and the wife love…


Pails of water to wash the dishes and our hands…


The feasting begins…

Aida couldn’t wait to feast on the “Roti Kirai“…

Food… Glorious food…

Da KRUsader” flies high…

Aida and I also managed to answer the invitation of bro “Maun Twister” in celebration of the birthday of his wife, sis Era, on Saturday night. Ok for the uninitiated, bro “Twister” is one of the RIA listeners, hence the nick. I should say he and his group, they call themselves “Happy Family“, were the smarter and logical ones to leave THAT group. I leave it as that for you guys to wonder who I’m referring to. The guests literally tore the house down, especially the kids. And the birthday girl herself got “sabotaged” twice by having flour and eggs thrown at her. Aida and I were merely spectators to the spectacle before us.


The birthday girl opening her presents…


Getting “sabotaged” by the rest…


Too shy to pose…

Ok that’s all for now… I really have no mood to type further after this latest bereavement to the family. Just dropped in to update the latest happenings in my life. Have a great week ahead…