In 1994, nearly 22 years ago, I (Khairul Hisham Hassan) graduated from The University of Sheffield in the UK with a Bachelor of Laws degree or LLB. And one of my core subjects was International Law.
Hence, together with my 3 Jakarta friends who come from Indonesian legal background and who graduated 15 years ago from Fakultas Hukum of Universitas Trisakti in Jakarta, I have set-up an international consulting firm in Jakarta which provides 'Consultancy on Doing Business in Jakarta' comprehensive services. Currently, most of our clients are Malaysian companies and factories which set-up their PT PMA branch company or Representative Office in Jakarta. These companies were referred to us by Matrade in Jakarta which is part of the Embassy of Malaysia in Jakarta. Having said that, at the end of the day it is purely and entirely up to those Malaysian investors to select or appoint any consulting firm or legal advisor of their own choice for their "Doing Business in Jakarta" matters.


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Sahabat-sahabat saya sekalian, tolong benarkan saya berkongsi dengan anda semua sedikit rasa gembira dan sedikit rasa bangga saya (Khairul Hisham Hassan) atas kurniaan anugerah darjah bangsawan "Raden Tumenggung" oleh Sultan Pakubuwono XIII dari Keraton (Istana) Surakarta, Jawa Tengah seperti dalam photo di atas. Sebenarnya selepas Indonesia merdeka, Sultan Keraton (Istana) Jogkakarta dan Keraton Surakarta hanya berperanan sebagai "Gabenor" di Jawa Tengah sahaja. Tapi Perlembagaan Indonesia tidak menghalang pihak Istana ini memberi anugerah darjah kebesaran kepada sesiapa yang Baginda Sultan mahu. Penyanyi Rossa juga ada menerima Darjah Kebangsawanan dari Sultan yang sama i.e Sri Sultan Pakubowono XIII pada 26 Jun 2011. (http://www.cumicumi.com/news/read/20596/rossa-senang-bergelar-bangsawan). Syukur kepada Allah atas anugerah ini.


Tapi yang penting ialah saya tidak pernah meminta-minta, tidak pernah melobi dan tidak pernah membayar kepada pihak Istana Surakarta untuk mendapat gelaran bangsawan ini. Sri Sultan Pakubuwono XIII berkenan menganugerahkan, maka saya terima sajalah anugerah bangsawan ini dengan rasa sangat berterimakasih kepada Sri Sultan dan rasa syukur kepada Allah yang takdirkan semua ini. Anda mahu lihat Mohor Diraja Tulisan Jawa Lama? Sila klik dan besarkan photo di atas. Kemudian sila anda lihat disebelah atas kanan foto. Anda mahu tahu siapa itu "Sultan Pakubuwono XIII"? Sila anda lihat: http://id.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kasunanan_Surakarta dan juga http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/pakubuwana_XIII serta anda lihat http://www.karatonsurakarta.com/.



Saya beritahu isteri saya, di Malaysia kita ini biasa-biasa saja tapi Alhamdulillah di Pulau Jawa nama kita berdua secara rasmi ada di dalam "Senarai Bangsawan Istana Surakarta". Nenek-moyang saya yang ratusan tahun dulu datang dari Jawa Tengah pasti bangga dan gembira dengan gelaran bangsawan Keraton Jawa ini. Saya sering berkata kepada diri sendiri seandainya orang mengetahui siapa sebenarnya nenek-moyang atau leluhur saya, maka pasti mereka tidak merasa aneh kenapa saya bisa mendapat gelaran bangsawan Tanah Jawa ini. Hmmm... Namun semua ini tidak penting sehabuk pun bagi saya kerana akhirnya nanti saya akan berbaring di dalam liang lahad kubur seorang diri, tanpa gelaran "Raden Tumenggung" atau gelaran apa pun. Yang penting adalan amalan soleh saya. Period. Full stop.




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January 2015 photo of my 2nd DAUGHTER (Not my wife) i.e Intan Nur Qistina Khairul Hisham (Left) with my 4th kid, Mehmed Al Fateh Khairul Hisham (Right). Intan Nur Qistina is 19 years old. She is now studying at University of Malaya (UM) after completing her SPM at an Islamic boarding school in Kelantan while Mehmed Al Fateh is my 4 months old newborn son.





THIS IS MY LIFE PRINCIPLE
(KHAIRUL HISHAM HASSAN)
(A 45 YEARS OLD REAL MUSLIM FUNDAMENTALIST)
(i.e PROGRESSIVE, HONEST, HARDWORKING AND ROMANTIC MUSLIM)


As a Muslim I believe that the day will DEFINITELY come when my helpless dead body or jenazah finally will be carried away to the grave. As a Muslim I also believe that the day will DEFINITELY come when I will be in my Liang Lahad alone, dealing with Malaikat Munkar & Nakir. And that will be the day when anything else does not matter anymore except my good deeds, my amalan and my amal jariah that I have done when I am still alive. At the end of the day it does not matter anymore whether or not while we are living on this Planet Earth we have a big business empire or a beautiful wife or a big house or a big car or a high position in a big company etc. Does not matter anymore, my friend. Does not matter.




As a Muslim, I solemnly believe that: "The only true measure of my success in life is as to how far I have obeyed Allah's commandments, according to the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W". Ukuran kejayaan SEBENAR seseorang manusia itu ialah sejauh mana dia dapat taat perintah Allah, berpandukan kepada sunnah Nabi Muhammad S.A.W. Justeru itu,
kalau seseorang itu kaya-raya atau berpangkat besar atau berwajah cantik atau berumah besar atau berkereta mewah atau bergelar 'Datuk', 'Datuk Seri', 'Tan Sri' tapi dia lalai solat, tidak berakhlak Islam dan tidak amalkan apa yang Islam suruh, maka di mata saya orang seperti ini bukanlah orang yang berjaya. Saya langsung tidak hormat orang seperti ini. Orang seperti ini tidak ada nilai di sisi Allah dan juga tidak ada nilai sehabuk pun di mata saya. Apakah saya kagum dengan kekayaan dan kedudukan orang seperti ini? Jauh sekali. Am I scared of this type of rich and 'powerful' people? Never. Insya-Allah I am not scared of any human-being in this world. Not even for a nanosecond. In my eyes, he or she is nothing. Yes, nothing. Period. Tetapi saya sangat hormat, sangat kagum, sangat kasih dan agak gementar apabila berhadapan dengan orang yang sebenar-benarnya 'Orang Yang Berjaya' iaitu orang yang menjaga solatnya, membaca Al Quran setiap hari, berdisplin Solat Tahajud setiap malam, berakhlak Islam dan tidak pongoh, pemurah dan tidak kedekut-pahit serta cuba mengamalkan keseluruhan ajaran Islam dalam kehidupannya.




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On 28 January 2016 my age was 46 years old. By the way, my eldest daughter is now 21 years old. She is currently studying at International Islamic University (UIA) Malaysia. My second daughter is 19 years old and she is now studying at University of Malaya. And my third child is a 12 years old son. Alhamdulillah after a gap of 10 years, my wife who was 44 years old at that time delivered our fourth child on 24 September 2014 (Photo Above). Well...I do not call myself 'The Descendant of Majapahit Palace Warrior' for nothing, right...? :-) Syukur Alhamdulillah my wife has a smooth and safe delivery. Actually I have told my wife that if our newborn child is a baby girl I will name her 'Intan Nur Iriana'. The meaning of Iriana in Greek is 'peace'. Iriana is also the name of the wife of new Indonesian President Joko Widodo. However, it is our destiny to have another son, not daughter. Hence, I name my newborn son 'Mehmed Al Fateh Bin Khairul Hisham'. Sultan Mehmed Al Fateh is the Muslim Chalip whom at the age of 21 conquered Constantinople which is the modern-day Istanbul. He also brought Islam to Bosnia, Albania and Southern Europe. It is said that Sultan Mehmed Al Fateh has never failed to perform Solat Tahajjud every single night throughout his life from the age of puberty (akil baligh) until the day he died on 3rd of May 1481. It is my wish and also my wife's wish that our son, Mehmed Al Fateh Khairul Hisham will be a brave and pious Muslim like Sultan Mehmed Al Fateh and will never fail to perform Solat Tahajjud each and every night. Amin Ya Allah.



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These are my two beloved daughters: (Left) Intan Nur Farhana Khairul Hisham. She is my 21 years old eldest child. She is the one who is now studying at International Islamic University (UIA) Malaysia. (Right) Intan Nur Qistina Khairul Hisham. She is my 19 years old second daughter. She is now studying at University of Malaya (UM). Yes, both are my lovely princesses! Or shall I say my Javanese and Kelantanese princesses because I am a Javanese warrior and their mother is a Kelantanese lady! I have 3 kids. Apart from two daughters, I also have two sons. Their name are Mahathir Khatami Khairul Hisham who is now 12 years old and Mehmed Al Fateh Khairul Hisham who was born 15 months ago on 23 September 2014.




Kepada Teman-Teman Sekalian Di Mana Jua Pun Anda Berada: Saya Ucapkan Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri Dan Salam Lebaran Minal Aidin Wal Faizin. Saya (Khairul Hisham Bin Hassan) Adalah Seorang Manusia Yang Banyak Kelemahan. Maka Sempena Hari Raya Aidil Fitri Yang Mulia Ini Saya Memohon Agar Anda Bisa Memaafkan Saya Jika Selama Ini Ada Bicara Saya Yang Menyalakan Api Kemarahan Anda, Jika Ada Perbuatan Saya Yang Menimbulkan Kebencian Anda, Jika Ada Tulisan Saya Yang Menyinggung Perasaan Anda, Jika Ada Akhlak Saya Yang Berbau Keangkuhan Dan Jika Ada Jenaka Saya Yang Berlebihan. Sesungguhnya Suatu Hari Nanti Pasti Akan Tiba Jua Saatnya Saya Akan Bersendirian Di Dalam Liang Lahad. Dan Semoga Pada Hari Apabila Jenazah Saya Diturunkan Ke Liang Lahad Itu, Tiadalah Dosa Sesama Manusia Di Antara Saya Dan Anda. Amen..
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The above photo was taken by my wife near our rented house when both of us lived in Sheffield, north of England 22 years ago. I publish this photo here in my blog just to share my sweet memory with my dear blog readers only. Not to show-off whatsoever. That time I was doing my law degree at The University of Sheffield. It's Winter 1993. Being newly married I just wanted to impress my wife with some steps of my Pencak Silat during the snowfall. Maybe, just maybe, I was the first Malaysian man to perform Pencak Silat (an Indonesian and Malaysian martial art) during heavy snowfall in Sheffield. Well...I do not think Hang Jebat or Hang Tuah dares to perform Pencak Silat during -5 degree Celsius snowfall just by wearing their thin Baju Melayu. Yes, no doubt that Hang Jebat was a brave and hot-tempered man. Yes, he was also the only Malay who was not afraid to tell the cruel Sultan of Malacca more than 500 years ago: "Wahai Sultan Yang Zalim, don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry". But I am sure this -5 Celsius degree snowfall will melt whatever spirit left in this great 'Incredible Hulk of Ancient Malacca Kingdom' who loved to run amok here and run amok there.


And...what about Gusti Adipati Handaya Ningrat? (For your information,
Gusti Adipati Handaya Ningrat was a Majapahit Palace Warrior who failed to assassinate Hang Tuah. He was also a hot-tempered Majapahit Prince with a significant high blood pressure problem who could not accept any slightest criticism on his style of leadership. His sister by the name of 'Gusti Putri Retno Dumillah' eventually became the legendary 'Puteri Gunung Ledang'. Legend has it that even after 500 years, Gusti Putri Retno Dumillah is still residing at Gunung Ledang in Malaysia although the Malaysian Immigration Department has never granted her any Expatriate Visa, Permanent Residency or even Spouse Visa). I guess Gusti Adipati Handaya Ningrat would easily win 'Mr Bean Of The Year Award' if he did perform his Pencak Silat here in Sheffield just by wearing his traditional shirtless Majapahit warrior's costume. But one thing for sure..., no matter how sakti this Gusti Adipati Handaya Ningrat was, the -5 degree Celsius temperature would make him shivering non-stop to the extent that the English people would think this shirtless Majapahit Palace Warrior was high on drugs or narkoba while performing his Javanese Pencak Silat!










Who's that guy in the above photo snapped by my wife during Winter 1993 when we lived in Sheffield? Is he Dicky Zulkarnaen The Indonesian Famous Actor? Wrong. Is he Si Pitung Macan Betawi? Nope. He is just 'Si Khairul Kucing Malaysia'! A blast from the past. Look at the background of the photo. Oh! I love living in England. For me, the Victorian style houses in England make it so picturesque. It's a romantic place to live especially in the northern part of England like Sheffield which is near the lake districts. That Winter 1993 was the most memorable winter because I just married in that year. So that Winter 1993 was the first Winter that I had a halal companion sleeping next to me, as husband and wife during long cold night. My wife said I was her 'Natural Winter Heater' that kept her warm and comfortable throughout very cold -5 degree Celsius Winter night.


Sekadar menggamit secebis kenangan lalu saja nih. Hmmm...selagi dinamakan manusia, kita nggak akan bisa melupakan kenangan lalu.
Pasti nggak akan bisa. Nggak seperti komputer yang kapan-kapan saja bisa di delete memory dalam CPU. Maka, apabila kenangan lalu tiba-tiba datang menjelma dan mampir di Inbox pikiran kita, tanpa kita minta, tanpa kita undang, tanpa kemahuan kita, sama ada kenangan itu kenangan yang manis ataupun kenangan yang amat menyedihkan dan sadis, sebagai seorang Muslim mari kita redha dengan Qada dan Qadar yang Allah telah tentukan untuk kita.
Seperti kata teman saya dari Surabaya yang ganteng, Bapak Firman Hadi Sukma Pratama (Pakar Kuasa Pikiran Bawah Sadar dan Founder Wahana Sejati): "Iya, nikmati ajalah..."


JUST MY SPECIAL NOTE: Mari kita tenang-tenang aja karena sebagaimana Allah bisa menjadikan apa pun untuk hal-hal yang sudah pun berlaku, maka sesungguhnya Allah juga bisa mentakdirkan apa pun untuk hal-hal yang akan datang walaupun kelihatannya mustahil untuk berlaku jika menurut logika akal. Bukankah dalam Surah Al Maidah Ayat 40, Allah berfirman: "Dan Allah Maha Kuasa atas segala sesuatu".









PHOTO: THESE BAMBOO TREES FORM A MIND-SOOTHING PANORAMIC VIEW AT THE ENTRANCE OF THE PONDOK PESANTREN AT DESA KERTARAHAYU. I SPEND EVERY WEEKEND AT THIS PONDOK PESANTREN; LEARNING TAFSIR AL QURAN, CONDUCTING MY FREE ENGLISH CLASS TO 'SANTRI & SANTRIWATI' AND MAKING A CONTINUOUS EFFORT TO BE A HAFIZ AL QURAN BEFORE I DIE. AMEN YA ALLAH...


No doubt I love every single minute running my own consultancy business from Monday to Friday at my Jakarta office located not far from the Embassy of Malaysia. BUT for me, the most beautiful thing about living in Jakarta is being able to spend my time every weekend at a Pondok Pesantren Tahfiz Al Quran at Desa Kertarahayu in Kecamatan Setu. This Islamic traditional learning place is located at a panoramic remote village which is a two-hour drive from Jakarta. This is my Paradise. This is my 'Heaven on Earth'. The Pondok Pesantren is located in the middle of a green aromatic ginger and sesame farm, surrounded by paddy fields and green hills. During my weekend stay at this Pondok Pesantren, I diligently learn in-depth about Tajwid and Tafsir Al Quran directly from a charismatic ulama by the name of Pak Kiyai Sarno who is very religious and very well-versed in Ilmu Fiqih, Tafsir Al Quran and Ilmu Hadith. Every single of his explanation is substantiated by the relevant verses in Al Quran and Hadith Sahih.









PHOTO: THREE BEAUTIFUL MUSLIMAH AND HAFIZAH OF PONDOK PESANTREN AT DESA KERTARAHAYU WHO WON THE “MUSABAQAH TAHFIZ AL QURAN SE-JABODETABEK" RECENTLY. THEY ARE ISTIQOMAH IRSYADIAH (LEFT) AND AMATULLAH ASSAATIRAH (YOUNGEST DAUGHTER OF PAK KIYAI SARNO)


Pak Kiyai Sarno is a Hafiz who has memorized 30 Juz of Al Quran and could recite the Al Quran verses from memory. His wife (Ibu Rachmah Julaeha) is also a Hafizah. And the 3 sons of Pak Kiyai Sarno are Hafiz Al Quran too. They are Mas Salahuddin, Mas Muhammad Al Fateh and Mas Mujahid. By the way, Mas Salahuddin and Mas Muhammad Al Fateh are now studying at Al Azhar in Egypt while Mas Mujahid is assisting Pak Kiyai Sarno to run his Pondok Pesantren. But Pak Kiyai Sarno plans to send Mas Mujahid to further his study in Sudan in 3 years time. Pak Kiyai Sarno's 10 years old beautiful youngest daughter (Amatullah Assaatirah) so far has managed to memorize 10 Juz of Al Quran.


Actually this is not so much about how many verses, chapters or Juz of Al Quran that a Muslim has managed to memorize. Having said that, it is indeed a proven fact that in order to succesfully memorize all 6,666 verses or 30 Juz of Al Quran, a Hafiz needs to observe his behaviour, akhlak and ibadah strictly based on Islamic rules and regulations. They must also lower their gaze. It is extremely unlikely that a person can eventually be a Hafiz or Hafizah if he or she is not humble. And for a Hafiz or Hafizah, patience is definitely a virtue. They also need to ensure that they do not use their mouth to talk bad about others or insult other human-beings or cause hatred among human-beings. These underlying principles which actually have shaped a Hafiz or Hafizah's behaviour or akhlak to be a very well behaved human-being or 'manusia berakhlak mulia' that makes our Planet Earth a better place to live. Since they have to put in practice in their daily life all the life principles outlined in the Al Quran verses that they have memorized, they ultimately become 'Al Quran Bergerak' or 'The Moving Al Quran'
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PHOTO: THIS IS THE VILLAGE ROAD OUTSIDE THE PERIMETER WALL OF THE PONDOK PESANTREN. FOR ME, THIS IS THE ROAD TO MY 'HEAVEN ON EARTH'. FRIDAY EVENING IS MY BEST MOMENT OF THE WEEK BECAUSE EVERY FRIDAY EVENING I WILL TRAVEL TO DESA KERTARAHAYU TO SPEND MY WEEKEND AT THE PONDOK PESANTREN.
FROM MY OFFICE, IT TAKES ABOUT 2 OR 3 HOURS TO REACH THERE. I CAN'T DESCRIBE TO YOU THE NATURAL SENSE OF HAPPINESS IN MY HEART WHEN I SEE THE ENTRANCE GATE OF THE PONDOK PESANTREN, THE PADDY-FIELDS NEARBY AND ALSO THE VERY MOMENT I SEE HIJAB-CLAD MUSLIMAH STROLLING AROUND THE PONDOK PESANTREN AREA. AND USUALLY 10 TO 15 MINUTES AFTER I HAVE ARRIVED AT THE PONDOK, THE MUSLIMAH OR HAFIZAH WILL SERVE ME DELICIOUS INDONESIAN VILLAGE DISHES. OH DEAR! I LOVE THE 'SUASANA AL QURAN' AT THIS PONDOK. I LOVE THE HEAVENLY BEHAVIOUR OF THE PEOPLE AT THIS PONDOK. I LOVE THE VILLAGE FOOD SERVED TO ME AT THIS PONDOK. WHAT CAN I SAY...I SIMPLY FALL IN LOVE WITH THIS PONDOK PESANTREN!


The truth is I am already 46 years old. So, I asked Pak Kiyai Sarno whether it is too old for me to start memorizing all 30 Juz of Al Quran, slowly but surely, during my weekend stay at this Pondok Pesantren and Insya-Allah eventually become a Hafiz Al Quran. Pak Kiyai Sarno answered that no, it is not too old because he has seen a 50 years old man successfully memorizing the whole 30 Juz of Al Quran and became a Hafiz at that later stage of his life. This true story really inspires me. Yes, Monday to Friday I am an International Law Consultant who run my own consultancy business at the heart of Jakarta City Centre but that does not stop me to start learning to become a Hafiz Al Quran during my weekend rendezvous at this Pondok Pesantren. I told Pak Kiyai Sarno that no matter how challenging it will be and no matter how long it will take to become a Hafiz Al Quran, I will persevere and I will istiqomah because I want to die not just as a businessman. In fact I want to die as a Hafiz Al Quran. Yes, I do. This is despite the fact that I come from British law education background and not from Islamic studies background. Indeed this is my new personal ambition. Amen Ya Allah... By the way, to read the 12 benefits and prerogatives of being a Hafiz Al Quran please scroll your mouse to the bottom left of my blog. Each prerogative is supported by the relevant Hadith and verses from Al Quran.









PHOTO: THE MUSLIMAH AND HAFIZAH OF PONDOK PESANTREN ARE IN THE MIDST OF PERFORMING MURAJA’AH OF THE VERSES OF AL QURAN. THESE KIND-HEARTED MUSLIMAHS ARE BEAUTIFUL, SOFT-SPOKEN, POLITE, RELIGIOUS, OBEDIENT AND NO DOUBT THEY ARE SMART


Each time I am at this Pondok Pesantren, the Muslimahs ('Hafizah' or future 'Hafizah') who are learning Islam at this Pondok Pesantren would happily serve and cook for me very delicious Indonesian village dishes for my breakfast, lunch and dinner. These kind-hearted Muslimahs are beautiful, very soft-spoken, very polite, religious, obedient and no doubt they are very smart (what can I say, they memorize 30 chapters of Al Quran). These virgins have the discipline of performing Solat Tahajjud and Solat-Solat Malam every night. For me, it is an honour and a privilege to conduct my free English Class to them every Saturday and Sunday during my weekend rendezvous at this Pondok Pesantren, learning Tajwid and Tafsir Al Quran from their Guru (Pak Kiyai Sarno). And I must confess that by looking at their mind-soothing face alone is enough to make the work stress of my consultancy business in the heart of Jakarta City Centre from Monday to Friday simply gone with the wind. Oh dear...no kidding. And I am very sure this such a soft-spoken Pondok Pesantren lady can definitely make even an extremely violent man like Mike Tyson or Incredible Hulk purrs like a kitten. Yes, you hear me right, purrs like a kitten...


JUST MY SPECIAL NOTE: The purpose I disclose that I am now conducting free English class during my weekend stay at Pondok Pesantren is NOT to show-off or menunjuk-nunjuk. On the other hand, my ONLY purpose is I hope by sharing this story I can inspire all my other friends wherever they are, who have certain skills and specialization to infaq (donate) their skills for the benefit of others by giving their free services or free class during their weekend or free time. Pak Kiyai Sarno has taught me that infaq does not necessarily in the form of money or tangible assets only. Well...besides spending our weekend at Wet World, Taman Negara, Zoo Negara, Pantai Seri Tujuh, Genting Highland, shopping mall, restaurant or other entertainment centre, wouldn't it good if we can also do something and infaq our skills for the benefit of other human-beings during our weekend, right? Wrong? Of course 'right' lah, right...









PHOTO: IN FRONT OF THE 'KAMAR TAMU' ALLOCATED BY PAK KIYAI SARNO FOR ME AND MY KELANTANESE WIFE TO PUT UP DURING MY WEEKEND STAY AT THE PONDOK PESANTREN


Pak Kiyai Sarno has also allocated a comfortable Guest Room for me and my Kelantanese wife to put up during our weekend stay. What a romantic night at this Pondok Pesantren with extremely mind-soothing night breeze blowing from the nearby mountain and paddy fields. I always have a 'feel-good' feeling whenever I am at this Pondok Pesantren. It reminds me of the same feeling during the honeymoon time with my wife when we were newly married 20 years ago in 1993. At that time both of us were nothing but just a 23 and 22 years old young innocent couple who married at such a young age to get Keredhaan Allah. And what a feeling to have my bath here using very clean natural mountain ground water from the well. Oh Mammamia! Mammamia!


JUST KIDDING: But please do not have any slightest imagination of a gagah-perkasa man like me having a romantic private bath or bermandi-manda with a beautiful virgin Muslimah or Hafizah during my weekend rendezvous here. Sheesh...Tak elok tu.










PHOTO: THIS PONDOK PESANTREN IS LOCATED IN THE MIDDLE OF A GREEN SESAME FARM, SURROUNDED BY GREEN PADDY-FIELDS AND GREEN MOUNTAIN. INDEED IT’S MY GREEN PARADISE!



Furthermore, I can't find any word in any dictionary ever published on this Planet Earth to describe my happiness performing Solat Tahajjud and Solat-Solat Malam together with these 'santri-santri' each night when I am staying at this Pondok Pesantren. And what a satisfaction to conduct free English lesson class for them
every weekend at this Pondok Pesantren. The unique thing about this Pondok Pesantren is apart from Islamic studies, this Pondok Pesantren also teaches 'modern' subjects such as English Language, Mathematics and Computer Skills because for their school-age 'santri' they also sit for Indonesian Ujian Nasional which is similar to SPM Exams in Malaysia or O-Level Exams in the UK.









PHOTO: PADDY-FIELDS AROUND THE PONDOK PESANTREN MAKE THE VIEW HERE VERY PICTURESQUE ESPECIALLY DURING SUNRISE AND SUNSET. INDEED THIS IS MY ‘HEAVEN ON EARTH’



Perhaps it's worth mentioning that it's my dream and also my wife's dream to spend most of our post-retirement time later
in a Pondok Pesantren like this which is located in a beautiful Indonesian village surrounded by green hills. We also plan to contribute something to the Pondok Pesantren in term of our skills. I plan to continue teaching these 'anak-anak Pondok Pesantren' English Language and my wife can teach them Computer Skills. By spending our time at Pondok Pesantren, my wife and I plan to learn more about Tafsir Al Quran from the Pak Kiyai. It's also our dream to have the discipline to perform Solat-Solat Malam and Solat Tahajud each and every night together, as a husband and wife, at the Pondok Pesantren. And during day time we will enjoy doing some farming over here. No doubt, it is Heaven on Earth in whatever way both of us see it. Indeed it is.









PHOTO: THIS IS THE ACCOMMODATION BUILDING FOR THE MUSLIMAH AND HAFIZAH OF THIS PONDOK PESANTREN. THE SECOND AND THIRD FLOOR ARE STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION. PRAISE TO ALLAH, ALHAMDULLILAH I HAVE MANAGED TO GET MANY OF MY MALAYSAN FRIENDS TO TRANSFER MONEY TO THE PONDOK PESANTREN AS THEIR ‘INFAQ AMAL JARIYAH’. PAK KIYAI SARNO HAS TAUGHT ME THAT IN SURAH AL BAQARAH (VERSE 261) ALLAH HAS PROMISED THAT FOR EVERY 1 THING YOU INFAQ, ALLAH WILL MULTIPLY IT AND GIVE YOU BACK 700 TIMES. INDEED. ALLAH WILL NEVER BREACH HIS PROMISE. NEVER. NEVER. EVER.









PHOTO: THIS IS THE PONDOK PESANTREN MOSQUE WHICH IS USED AS THE CENTRE OF ACTIVITIES. I CONDUCT MY ENGLISH CLASS DURING MY WEEKEND HERE INSIDE THIS MOSQUE. AND EVERY SATURDAY NIGHT I HAPPILY WATCH ISLAMIC FILM INSIDE THIS MOSQUE BY USING PROJECTOR AND PORTABLE WHITE SCREEN TOGETHER WITH ALL THE HAFIZ AND HAFIZAH. WHO SAYS IN ISLAM WE CANNOT 'MENONTON WAYANG'? OF COURSE WE CAN. BUT WE MUST OBSERVE THE SYARIAH GUIDELINES. NO PROBLEM AT ALL. I CAN SEE THEY ENJOY 'NOBAR' AND THEIR WEEKLY MOVIE WATCHING SESSION...










PHOTO: I WISH M.NASIR, THE LEGENDARY MALAYSIAN SONG COMPOSER IS HERE WITH ME, SPENDING TIME UNDER A TREE NEAR THE PADDY-FIELDS AROUND THE PONDOK PESANTREN. THIS SCENIC VIEW MAY STIMULATE M.NASIR’S CREATIVE MIND TO COMPOSE MANY NEW ROMANTIC SONGS! OH I LOVE ROMANTIC SONGS COMPOSED BY M.NASIR SUCH AS 'KEPADAMU KEKASIH' AND 'SUATU MASA'. DO YOU REMEMBER THESE BEAUTIFUL LYRICS?: “BAGAIMANAKAN KU MULA, DAN APAKAH KATA-KATA, YANG INDAH UNTUK DIABADIKAN, TIAP WAJAH BERKISAH, TIAP MADAH BERERTI, MANAKAH ILHAMKU…, CAHAYA DI MATAMU, SENYUM DI BIBIRMU, MENGUKIR SERIBU TANDA PERTANYAAN, MUNGKINKAH KAU JUA DALAM KERINDUAN, DI SAAT BEGINI AKU MERINDUKAN…” (WELL...GEMUK-GEMUK SAYA PUN ADA PERASAAN JUGA..., SIAPA BILANG ORANG GEMUK NGGAK DIBENARKAN ADA PERASAAN 'JIWANG' YA...? NGGAK SALAH KOK..., APATAH LAGI PERASAAN 'JIWANG' ITU HANYA TERHADAP ISTERI SENDIRI. GITU...) BY THE WAY, SINCE M.NASIR ALREADY COMPOSED 'KERONCONG UNTUK ANA' SONG, PERHAPS IT’S A GOOD IDEA IF HERE AT PONDOK PESANTREN HE CAN COMPOSE 'KERONCONG UNTUK ANTA'. I CAN BE THE PENYANYI LATAR










PHOTO: THE PONDOK PESANTREN IS SURROUNDED BY PADDY-FIELDS ON ONE SIDE AND THIS JUNGLE GREENERY ON THE OTHER SIDE. BEING HERE IS LIKE SPENDING TIME IN OUR TAMAN NEGARA BACK IN MALAYSIA. DURING NIGHT TIME ALL SORTS OF MUSICAL VOICE OF INSECTS AND BIRDS CAN BE HEARD COMING FROM THIS JUNGLE. BUT I HAVE NEVER HEARD THE SOUND OF TIGER OR LION ROARING. THAT’S GOOD NEWS BECAUSE COMPARED TO 20 YEARS AGO; I CAN’T RUN THAT FAST ANYMORE. FURTHERMORE, I MUST CONFESS THAT I AM A MAN WITH 3 MONTHS 'PREGNANT' TUMMY. THANKS TO INDONESIAN DELICIOUS FOOD SUCH AS ES TELER, BEBEK KALEYO, PECAL LELE LELA, AYAM BAKAR MAS MONO, AYAM BAKAR WONG SOLO, CHICKEN STORY, SOTO GEBREK, PISANG BAKAR, AYAM KALASAN, MARTABAK BANGKA, KONRO DAENG TATA, AYAM GORENG MBOK BEREK, GADO-GADO BOPLO, SOTO BETAWI, SOTO MAKASAR, SATE SENAYAN, RAWON SETAN, TAHU PETIS KEDUNGDORO, BEBEK SONGKEM, SEMANGGI DEMPO, NASI KRAWU BU RIDA AND MANY MORE. IT SEEMS THAT UNLESS AND UNTIL I CONSUME 'ALPHA LIPID SLIM DIET 2', I WILL BE FOREVER PREGNANT....

















Mari Kita Tetap Rendah Diri Meskipun
Punya Wajah Cantik,
Karena Wajah Terakhir Kita Adalah Wajah Jenazah Pucat Pasi

Mari Kita Tetap Rendah Diri Meskipun Punya Rumah Besar,
Karena Rumah Terakhir Kita Adalah Liang Lahad


Mari Kita Tetap Rendah Diri Meskipun Punya Busana Mahal,
Karena Busana Terakhir Kita Adalah Kain Kafan


Mari Kita Tetap Rendah Diri Meskipun Punya Kulit Mulus Dan Kinclong,
Karena Kulit Terakhir Kita Adalah Tanah Kuburan


Mari Kita Tetap Rendah Diri Meskipun Punya Mobil Mewah,
Karena Kendaraan Terakhir Kita Adalah Keranda Mayat


Mari Kita Tetap Rendah Diri Meskipun Punya Minyak Wangi Bergengsi,
Karena Wangian Terakhir Kita Adalah Kapur Barus








"Ya Allah...Jika Dengan Terus Hidup, Saya Khairul Hisham Bin Hassan Akan Dapat Terus Beribadat Untuk Menambahkan Pahala Dan Akan Dapat Terus Berbuat Amalan Kebaikan Serta Akan Dapat Terus Memberi Manafaat Kepada Orang Lain, Maka Saya Mohon Tolonglah Panjangkan Umur Saya Ya Allah..."

"Tetapi Ya Allah...Jika Dengan Terus Hidup, Saya Khairul Hisham Bin Hassan Akan Hanya Menambah Berbuat Dosa Dan Akan Hanya Menyakiti Hati Orang Lain Serta Akan Hanya Memberi Mudarat Kepada Orang Lain, Maka Saya Mohon Tolonglah Matikan Saya Secepat Yang Mungkin Jika Mati Itu Lebih Baik Bagi Saya. Dan Matikanlah Saya Dalam Husnul Khotimah..."





Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sudanese Culture: My Perspective

(Photo: President Omar Al Bashir Wearing South Sudanese Traditional Costume)

This blog-posting is the only blog-posting that I do on Tuesday. By right it should be on Friday or Saturday. Recently my health is not so good. I have got high fever. Furthermore, my time is so occupied with many enquiries that I have to handle. I am also in the midst of preparing my Company Business Manual: "Re-engineering of Pro-Versatile Ventures Group Worldwide"

Praise to the Lord. Alhamdulillah

This coming Friday, 31st July 2009 it will be 2 months I am here in Sudan since my arrival on 31st May 2009.

I can see my Sudanese
staffs have learned a lot from me regarding 3 different services that my company provides to the Sudanese people, which are consultancy on "Doing Business in Malaysia", "Malaysia My Second Home" (MM2H) Programme and "Malaysian Higher Education Consultancy".

Due to our aggressive marketing efforts, Alhamdulillah Praise to the Lord until yesterday my Sudanese branch has received
a total of 258 enquiries in the form of phone calls or walk-in prospective clients. Some asked about "Doing Business in Malaysia", some interested to know more about "Malaysia My Second Home" Programme while the others were concerned parents who intended to send their children to study in Malaysia under our consultancy on "Malaysian Higher Education".


(Photo: Malaysia, High Standard of Living But Low Cost)

There are 258 Ways To Train The Staff

As an experienced marketing man who has spent the last 16 years of my life doing various forms of marketing, this 258
enquiries are in fact the best practical ways for me to train my Sudanese staffs about different kinds of questions or enquiries related to the 3 services that my company are offering to the Sudanese people.

This 258 enquiries touched on various subject matters, so just by listening to my answers my
staffs have learned many practical things related to those 3 different services. However, some of the enquiries touched on the same subject matter. Again by listening to my answers, my Sudanese staffs have managed to reinforce their understanding and memory on certain same subject matters.


(Photo: Donkey Cart, Plying The Road in Khartoum)

If Khartoum's Donkey Listening to My Answers 258 Times, This Donkey also Can Promote My 3 Services


For your information, donkey-carts plying on Khartoum roads is a normal daily sight here. Hence, I told my staffs that even if a donkey
comes to our office to be my protege, this donkey will also know how to promote those 3 services to the public after listening to my answers to those 258 enquiries for 258 times, apart from the standard classroom type product training .

However, I certainly do not want to hire a donkey
because a donkey suffers from a serious identity crisis and confidence crisis. No matter how good I try to project this donkey as a smart person by putting a neck-tie on him, donkey being donkey is not suitable to be my Sudanese staff.

(Photo: Manchester United Legendary Goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel)

No Goalkeeper in the World Has Got 100% Success Rate


Have you ever seen any great goalkeeper always managed to save the ball from going into their net? No. Naturally, sometimes they manage
to save the balls from going into their goal net and sometimes they fail to prevent the ball from going into their net. That's life.

Whether he is
Peter Schmeichel, Bruce Grobbellaar or R Arumugam, chances are it is normal for them to miss some and save some. Even if a 7 months pregnant woman kicks the ball just 1 meter from their goal post, the probability is the ball will go into the net, except if that pregnant woman instead of just kicking the ball, she daringly punches the ball like what Maradona did his famous "Hand of God" in the World Cup match 1986 between Argentina and England.

(Photo: Kebab. Either You Buy or You Don't. No Long Sales-Cycle to Decide)

The Nature of My Business is a Long Sales-Cycle Business. Not Like Roti Chanai and Doner Kebab Business

My point here is from that 258 enquiries some are not serious prospective clients and some are real prospective clients. Some may at the end of
the day only plan to be my client at a very much later time.

The sales-cycle process of my business is longer than any other business such as 'Roti Chanai' and
'Doner Kebab' business. When you are in a restaurant it is either you buy that 'Roti Chanai' or you do not. As simple as that. Nobody will take an hour to make a simple decision whether or not to buy 'Roti Chanai'.

I am pretty sure the cook who prepares the Roti Chanai and Doner Kebab will throw that hot
Roti Chanai to your face if you keep on standing in front of him for an hour just to think whether you want to buy or not that delicious Roti Chanai and Doner Kebab. Unlike these Roti Chanai and Kebab business, the services that we are promoting sometimes involve nearly 6 months sales-cycle.

Cultural Difference Between Sudanese and Malaysian

After 2 months here in Khartoum, meeting and talking to almost 258 Sudanese people I tend to know there are some cultural differences between Sudanese and Malaysian and also between Sudanese and British. Today I want to share with you some of my personal opinion with regard to the Sudanese culture but this is just a mere opinion or perception.

You may found out that my story regarding this Sudanese culture
that I myself experienced it may sound very naive but this is the reality. At least, this is my own perception as far as Sudanese culture is concerned. It is all about my personal perception which I am entirely entitled to, from a non-Sudanese point of view.


(Photo: Aishwarya Rai, The Bollywood Beauty Queen on Her Wedding Day)

I Am a Master of Perception

I am a guest in this friendly country, the Republic of Sudan and this is my perception about Sudan. Sudanese is one of the most friendly people in the world. That's for sure. Khartoum is the safest place in Africa, that I can confirm without any slightest doubt.

But there are certain
things related to Sudanese culture which I have got some reservations. Let's say for example I tell you just by looking at actress Renee Zellweger's or Aishwarya Rai's eye-contact and lips, I can tell that she is perceived by me to be so romantic but at the same time so wild on bed. This is just my perception on her and there is no way Renee Zellweger or Aishwarya Rai can say I am wrong because this is just my personal perception against her.

This is the same here when I am talking about my perception with regard to Sudanese culture. Just my
perception or the way I see it. Maybe in the eyes of other foreigners, it will be a completely different view.


(Photo: Friendly Sudanese)

The Sudanese Unique Greetings Way

At first when I saw the way Sudanese people shaking hands with their fellow Sudanese I felt very strange and to a certain degree, funny too.
Unlike the Malays who are perceived to be polite when they use both hands to shake hands, the Sudanese never shake hands with both of their hands. They shake hands like the British or American but the most distinguish part is before they grasp your hand and while facing you face-to-face they will tap your right shoulder first, then only they shake their hand with you.

When they tap the other person shoulder, some
times it is like they try to do a kind of dance. The other person also tap their shoulder. This 'tapping each other' is done when they and the other person are facing each other.


(Photo: Kaifa Haluka? How Are You?)

Tapping Each Other Like Dancing

But they only tap it one time after the other person tapping their shoulder, as a matter of 'revenge' I guess. If they continuously tapping each other shoulder that will be funny and never been done before. For the Malays if you tap each other continuously most probably people will think that you are 'melatah' (hyper-startling).

Oh Ya! One more thing, generally in Sudan woman does not hesitate to shake hands with man. Indeed, I was
surprised during my appointments with my Sudanese prospective clients, many women hold out their hands to shake hands with me. By right a Muslim man should not shake hands with the 'non-Muhrim' woman which is not their mother, wife, sisters or aunties. Over here this rule is not strictly observed by the Sudanese.


To All Men...Never Ever Try To Tap the Shoulder When You Shake Hand With a Lady

By the way, please take note that this tapping each other shoulder applies only between man-to-man or woman-to-woman. You should never ever tap the right shoulder of the woman that offering to shake your hand. Remember...this 'tapping each other' culture is done when the two persons are facing each other before the actual shaking hands takes place.

So there is an obvious danger here. Can you imagine if you honestly,
innocently and mistakenly tap that Sudanese woman's breast instead of the shoulder, even for a few nano-seconds you may end up in jail for molestation charges!

You know, sometimes our hands are stubborn, extra creative and have got its own 'driver' when come to woman and
man things. I am serious. I repeat....do not ever ever ever in your life time tapping the other person's shoulder who shake you hand if the other person is a lady.


(Photo: Dummies Guide...)

Dummies Guide On Sudanese Way of Greetings Each Other

Yes, I must say Sudanese is a group of people who loves to greet others when they meet. The way they greet others as if they have not met for
a long long time even though maybe they just met each other in the same restaurant yesterday.

However, the way they greet people are normally
the same according to the pre-determined sets or flows like the following:

They will start with the normal Muslim greeting "Assalamualaikum" (Peace be upon you).
Then they will ask "Kaifahaluka? (for man) or Kaifahaluki? (for woman)" or maybe just a simple "Kef" which also means "How are you?".

Then they will immediately ask "Tamam?" which means "Good?" but this "Tamam" word can be used both ways, it can be a question or an
answer by the other person that been greeted.

So people in Malaysia who has got Tamam as their name like Tamam Idris, the Malay actor
should be proud that their name (Tamam) is mentioned million times per day in Sudan because Sudan itself has got 49 million population and everyday people meet and greet in every part of Sudan.

Next, the answer will be "Alhamdulillah!' (Praise to Allah') "InsyaAllah Kwais" (You are well, God willing).
The shaking hands will continue until all those above steps are finished.

I need to give you a warning. If your hand is as soft as the hand of a
'pondan' (transvestite) you will feel as if your arm might drop-off due to the length of time taken to shake hand. They will continue holding your hands but the shake gets less aggressive and less emotional as the greeting goes. At the end, I can say both of you are basically just holding hands.

The facts that both persons greet each other simultaneously sometimes as if they do not pay any attention to the other person's reply.
The repetition shows that they are not listening, just talking!

They will repeat over and over again for several minutes the same:
"Kef? Tamam? Alhamdulillah! Kef? InsyaAllah Kwais? Alhamdulillah! Tamam? Kef? Alhamdulillah!". And this will normally will go on for several minutes and on and on.

After several minutes asking and answering the same question, then come to the next steps where both person tend to really listen to the others but the question and answers will still be the same: "Kef?" and the answer will be "Tamam, Alhamdulillah".

I Never Heard People Replied: "Not Tamam...Not Tamam." or "Bad...Bad..Bad"

Everybody knows "Tamam' means "Good" but my question is are they really in "Good" condition all the time, Are they?

For nearly 2 months
staying here in Khartoum, I never heard anybody replied, not even once: " Not Tamam" or "Bad...Bad...Bad" or "Terrible...Terrible...Terrible". Everything is "Tamam...Tamam...Tamam". Never mind if they just quarrel with their wife at home. Never mind if their donkey that everyday pulling the donkey-cart around has become smarter and abscond from their farm. Never mind if they just broke both their legs in a football match.

Every time the answer is what?

Yes..."Tamam...Tamam...Tamam". Forever "Tamam!" It seems that "Tamam ku, Tamam mu jua" (My Tamam,
Your Tamam too). I guess if the word "Tamam' is taken out from the Arabic dictionary, the Sudanese will cry like a small baby. Surely.

(Photo: The Best Toilet Wall Decoration)

Are You Rushing to Toilet? Then, Better Avoid Shaking and Greeting Your Sudanese Friend Who is Approaching You!

Then after going through all the formality of greetings as above, only then they will ask about the health and well-being of the other person's family. And mind you, this will be asked and answered several more times, the very same questions and answers sometimes like a broken record.

So my advice is if that time you are rushing to go to toilet because you are suffering from an upset stomach or diarrhoea, its better for you
run to the toilet without greeting the friend that you see is coming towards you.

You don't want just because you are stuck in a long Sudanese
greeting style you will end up answering the call of nature in front of your friend. Do you?

The other plus points is during that greetings conversation, please try to say as many as possible the words Alhamdullilah (Praise to Allah) and
InsyaAllah (God Willing). You will sound like somebody who is respectful and professional by doing so!


(Photo: Preparing Lunch?)

What? Lunch at 5pm?

In Sudan, breakfast generally starts at 10am or 11am, lunch at 4pm or 5pm and dinner will be around 9pm or 10pm. Initially this adjustment of time is a huge challenge for a 'big-eater' like me because in Malaysia or in the UK, breakfast is at 7am or 8am, lunch is at 12pm or 1pm and dinner is at 7pm or 8pm.

You maybe remember in my 3rd of June blog-posting I commented: "Can you believe it? Lunch at 4pm or 5pm?
Forget about it!"

I also wrote that I silently whispered to my big tummy: "Don't worry tummy, I will make sure you will be filled at 1pm for lunch
everyday we are in Khartoum. I will not torture you until 5pm. Don't you worry baby. Anyhow we are not Sudanese. Let them have their lunch at 4pm or 5pm or whatever time they wish to have their lunch. We are Malaysians!, We will have it at 1pm, as usual"

That comment came out
from my mouth on my first day here in Sudan. The good news is now I already adapted to this Sudanese time for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yes, nowadays I take my lunch at 5pm, yet I do not die because my tummy has already adapted to the new routine. "When in Rome, Live Like the Romans Do"


(Photo: 'Fuul', Sudanese Delicious Dish)

Only a Fool Does Not Want to Try Eating Sudanese 'Fuul'

Everything here they eat with bread. Breads are the staple food but the Sudanese also make Kisra, an omelette-like pancake which is part of the Sudanese dinner. Rice is very rare to be found in restaurants in Sudan.

Fuul (not 'fool' as in English which means 'silly' or 'stupid') can be
considered as the Sudanese national dish. Any Sudanese that claim they never in their life time eat any Fuul must be joking and that Sudanese should be thrown into the Nile River.

However I must confess the first time I saw Fuul, I do not have any appetite to eat it. It looks horrible as if I am seeing the face of Zambry Kadir,
the fake Perak MB or the face of Nazri Aziz, the Malaysian Minister who always know how to 'bodek' or praise any current or sitting Prime Minister (PM).

During Pak Lah era, this Nazri would say Pak Lah is the superhero. During Mahathir time he would go to the extend of kissing Mahathir's
hand like Clemenza kissing Don Corleone's hands in 'The Godfather' movie. However, when Mahathir retired, this same Nazri Aziz even accused Dr Mahathir as a lame old man.

I honestly think if Hamid Gurkha, the veteran Malay comedian or Karam Singh Walia, the TV3
broadcast journalist ever becomes the Malaysian PM this same Nazri Aziz surely will not hesitate to say Hamid Gurkha is more handsome than Tom Cruise. What a character!

Nazri is really a 'fool' but again when comes to 'Fuul', the Sudanese national dish, I must say it certainly tastes better
than it looks! I know. I have tried eating it. Fuul which is mashed or stewed beans is a national dish that is sold everywhere, either in a big restaurant or small eatery house. Fuul is also eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Like in the case of our 'Satay', everywhere in Malaysia the Satay is made generally by using more or less
the same ingredients but why at certain places the Satay is more delicious than other places. The answer is it depends on whether it is cooked right or not. It is the same with Fuul. When it is cooked right Fuul is certainly very delicious and healthy dish.

(Photo: KFC Coleslaw Can't Beat Sudanese Fuul)

Fuul Tastes Better Than KFC Coleslaw

Like other foreigners who were eating Fuul for the first time, I initially ate it plain and understandably I did not like it. I thought is is the same way we eat our Malaysian 'Bubur Kacang' (green bean porridge).

Actually the best way and the right way to eat Fuul is by nipping up this Fuul with an
assortment of salad, tomatoes, onions, 'jibna' cheese, salt, and 'shotta' (fiery chilli powder). They will also give you oil so that you can drown all this ingredients in the oil. Don't forget to eat it with bread. Wow! I can tell you its delicious. Even KFC coleslaw cannot compete with this Fuul.

How much is the price? Only SDG3 or SDG2 for one bowl depending on what other ingredients you have put inside your Fuul. So far Fuul is the only thing that is cheaper in Sudan. The rest of consumer goods and food in Sudan are certainly more expensive than in Malaysia. Fuul is not only cheap, but also delicious.


(Photo: Pizza Hut Franchise Restaurant. Soon...'Fuul Hut')

There is "Pizza Hut" Franchise Restaurant Everywhere In The World. What about "Fuul Hut" Franchise?

You would be a fool not to try Fuul in Sudan. When I become millionaire later I also want to make Fuul franchise business worldwide as one
of my many business ventures like the famous Pizza Hut. If pizza, a basically Italian food can be accepted worldwide as a common dish or food eaten by the citizens of many countries, why not Fuul?

I will name my franchise "Fuul Hut". My tagline is "The Intelligent People Eats Fuul!"



(Photo: Giant Nile Perch, The King of Fish in Nile River)

The Only Pyramid That You Can Eat. Fish Pyramid With Green Sauce


However if you go to the area in Khartoum near to the Nile River, fish is also very popular dish. The Nile River is the longest river in the world.
Thus, is is home to many different types of fresh water fish including the lungfish, the tiger fish, mudfish, catfish and eel. Not to mention the Nile Perch which can weigh up to 175 pounds!

How they are served here? This freshly caught fish is usually served fried, with bread and flavoured
with salt and lemon.. The most famous fish dish is called "Fish Pyramid With Green Sauce". No joke. This is the only pyramid that you can eat. You can't eat the real pyramid no matter how strong your teeth are or how damn angry you are!


(Photo: Have a Tamiya And a Smile)

Delicious Tamiya

'Tamiya' is a vegetarian Sudanese dish. In the Middle East it is also called 'Falafel'. Basically Tamiya is made from a mixture of chickpeas, a little bread and baking powder and others.

The chickpeas which are soaked in water for at least 3 hours, then minced with garlic, onion,
pepper and fresh coriander. This mixture then cooked until tender. The bread also soaked in water and then minced and then added with flour to mixture. It is then stirred and added salt, pepper, and coriander seeds.

By adding the baking powder, all the combination then shaped with
hands into small saucer shape. Finally it will be sprinkled with sesame seeds and fried deeply. Tamiya can be served on its own, with Fuul or as a Tamiya Sandwich, So have a Tamiya and a smile!


(Photo: Chicken Shawarma)

Shawarma

Shawarma Kebabs are also found everywhere here in Sudan but I was told it is not part of original Sudanese dishes. It was brought from
Middle East country or Eritrea.

Shawarma is basically a bread filled with usually chicken and beef and served with chilli sauce called 'shotta'.
The obvious difference between Sudanese Shawarma and Middle East Shaworma is it comes without the salad and extras that you might get in the Middle East.

Besides Fuul, Tamiya and Shawarma that I mentioned in the previous paragraph, the are many other common food in Sudan such as Creme Caramella (Sudanese Custard), Kibda (Liver), Salata Majibna (Salad with Oriental Cheese), Burgers, Shorba (Puree of Lamb Khartoum), Maschi (Tomatoes Stuffed with Chopped Beef), Sijuk (Mini Beef Sausages), Salatet Zabady Bil Ajur (Cucumber/Yogurt Salad), Shorbet Ads (Lentil Soup), Mullaah Bamiyah (Okra/ Ladies Fingers Stew), Molokhiya (Green Leaf Vegetable), Koftah (Ground Meat Balls), Shata (Hot Spice) and Creme Caramella (Sudanese Custard)


(Photo: 'Tea Lady' in Khartoum)

There is Superman, Spiderman, Batman But There Will Be No 'Teaman' Ever Exists!

As I told you in my 6th of June blog posting, I saw many ladies sitting on the roadside in Khartoum on a small stool to sell hot tea and coffee.
They bring along kettles and cups. They are called "Tea Lady".

I guess this is the simplest way to start a small business. You do not need to have
a diploma in culinary and you certainly do not need to attend Chef Wan or Chef Li's Cooking Class to be a Tea Lady. As long as you can prepare tea, coffee and helba, you can be a Tea Lady.

However until today I never saw a man sitting on the roadside making tea. Only ladies. I think no matter how desperate a Sudanese man is to
get a job to earn a living, none of them want to sit down near the roadside in Khartoum, making tea, coffee or helba for others and be known as "Tea Man". So we can have Superman, Spiderman, Batman but there is no way we can have 'Teaman'!

The Tea Lady boils the water near the roadside on a makeshift small kitchen on the ground. This is an open-air stall. They do not have anything
that we can call a 'roof' to cover their head from the extremely hot sunlight. I salute them. They sit there for more than 8 hours manning their small business under the heat of between 46 to 50 degree Celsius just to earn a living.


(Photo: Malaysian Teh Tarik, Sweet Milk Tea, In The Making)

'Teh Tarik' Made by Tea lady? Get Out From Here!

The most popular drink among the Sudanese is tea. The type of tea that is popular in Sudan is not Lipton Tea or Boh Tea like in Malaysia. The Sudanese loves the Cinnamon Tea. Even though there are many businessmen from China in Sudan, this Cinnamon Tea is not 'China man tea'. It has got nothing to do with China.

Sudanese makes Cinnamon
Tea like the famous English Tea. The difference is the Cinnamon Tea is infused until it gets a bright orange color and then stick pieces of cinnamon are put in it. They also put a lot of sugar.

There is no 'Teh Tarik' in Sudan. They do not put milk in their tea because the Sudanese people
enjoy drinking a very sweet black tea. There is another type of tea called Karkadeyh which literally means "red". This is actually the hibiscus tea.

Sudanese also love fruits. They will transform these fruits in all kind of juices.

(Photo: Coffee inside a 'Fingan'-a Handleless Cup)

In Sudan You Drink Coffee Inside a "Fingan'' (Sudanese Word for Handleless Cup, Not "Pinggan" a Malay Word For Plate)

What about coffee? Basically all coffee in Sudan is 'Coffee-O'. No coffee with milk in Sudan. The Sudanese coffee can be said as similar to the Turkish coffee in the sense that it is thick and strong. This strong Sudanese coffee is served from a special tin ‘jug’ with a long spout which the Sudanese called "jebena".

The way Sudanese makes coffee is unique. The coffee beans are first roasted in a pan over charcoal until the colour
becomes dark brown or black. Then these roasted beans are pounded in a pestle and mortar until fine. This fine coffee is put into the water with whole pieces of cardomom, ginger and cinnamon.

The Tea Lady then pour this dark aromatic coffee into a small handleless cup called a
'fingan' by the sudanese people. It is 'fingan' not 'pinggan' which is a Malay word for plate. Nobody will be crazy enough to drink coffee inside a 'pinggan' (plate)!

Another traditional delicious Sudanese drink called 'Helba' which is the Arabic word for 'fenugreek' or 'Greek hay'. In Sudan and Egypt fenugreek seeds are prepared as tea, by being boiled then sweetened. Please take note that in Sudan all coffee, tea and helba will never been served with ice. So do not try to ask for Tea-O-Ice or Iced-Lemon Tea. It simply does not exist in Sudan.


(Photo: Sweet Sudanese Lady as Sweet as Their Drinks)

In Sudan Same like in Kelantan Every Drink Is Sweet!

Sudanese also use a lot of sugar inside their coffee, tea and helba. When you see that most of Sudanese
putting several teaspoons of sugar into their cups of tea or coffee you are wondering that they seem to have a very sweet tooth. When talking about sweet drink, I remember my wife (a sweet Kelantanese lady whom in my eyes is the most beautiful woman created by Allah specially for me).

In Kelantan, the drinks and desserts are also very sweet, same like in Sudan. Many times when I asked why? My wife and her relatives would quickly answer: "Memey iyo
doh...sebak tu oghey Kelate manih manih belako..." (That's why Kelantanese looks very sweet).

But over here I am not sure what will the
reply from a Sudanese lady if I ever ask her as to why their drinks and desserts are all very sweet and sugary. But I will faint if this Sudanese lady ever answers my question in a perfectly Kelantanese dialect: "Ha...la...sebak tu oghe Sudan ITEY MANIH belako..., bukey ITEY LEGEY" (That's why Sudanese looks stunningly sweet black beauty)


(Photo: Let's Clicking Fingers!)

Clicking Fingers To Your Teacher In Your Classroom? You Must Be Joking, Mate

To live in Sudan, it seems that you need to know how to click your fingers with the thumb and forefingers twisted together. In Malaysia if you call somebody or try to get attention from somebody by clicking your fingers, you are seen as a 'Taiko' or big brother. It is a general perception that the people who you are calling by clicking your fingers is somebody that has got lower social status than you.

If you try to call or get attention from your teacher in the classroom by clicking your fingers, I am sure your teacher in Malaysia will stare for 6 long minutes at you as if you have made derogatory remarks about your teacher because in Malaysia a student should not call a teacher or try to get attention from a teacher by clicking fingers.

But in Sudan it is perfectly alright to do so.
Having experienced living in Britain, needless to say that clicking your fingers to get someone's attention is a sure fire way to get a negative response and considered as an extremely rude action.

On the other hand, in Sudan clicking your fingers at someone is considered as a polite
gesture and acceptable way to get yourself noticed. Be it clicking your fingers to signal you want to get off the bus or anything else it is the way in Sudan to get notice.

So when you walk down the
street here in Khartoum and the shopkeepers clicking at you, do not be surprised, do not be angry, do not start any 'Gulf War' or 'World War 3' because that's the way to get notice here in Sudan.

You must know how to click your fingers. Even a pondan (transvestite) at Jalan Haji Taib, Kuala Lumpur knows how to click her fingers by twisting the thumb and forefingers.

If you do not know how to twist your finger, chances are you will get difficulty to get off the bus in
Sudan. And the worst part is unlike in the UK where the bus will stop at each and every designated bus stops along the roadside throughout your bus journey, there is no bus stop or bus shelter in Sudan.

It is very important for you to know how to click your fingers. And of course by
clicking your fingers, it must produce the desired sound effect. If you twist your thumb and forefinger but it does not produce any sound it is the same if you open your mouth and moving your jaw but no voice come out from your throat, it will be useless. Even Mr Bean does not do that. Practice if you need, no matter how long you have to master the art of 'finger clicking' in order to survive in Sudan.


(Photo: Religious Sudanese Performing Their 5 Times a Day Prayer on the Street)

InsyaAllah...InsyaAllah...InsyaAllah, But It never Happens

One thing that I hate most in this world is to deal with people who use the name of Allah or Islam to convince others. This kind of people have no shame to use Allah's name to cover their disgusting weakness.

For example for the past 2 months I myself have experienced in so many
occasions and not just one or two times some Sudanese people say "InsyaAllah...InsyaAllah..." but they never do it.

For me, it is so simple. If they did not want to do it, just
say "No", and no need to say "InsyaAllah...InsyaAllah". Sometimes it is really frustrated.

Yes, the Sudanese are friendly...Yes the Sudanese
really take care their 5 times daily prayers to the extent they will pray anywhere even in front of the shops especially during Maghrib.

However
in my personal opinion some of them are good in their relationship with Allah only but to a certain degree very bad in term of their relationship with the other human-beings. A lot of Sudanese do not really care to respect other people's time. There is simply lack of punctuality among the majority of Sudanese.

For example, they will say InsyaAllah they will come at 5pm but then they will come at 6pm. It becomes worst when they did not turn up at all even though they themselves who have made the promise. Many times I innocently prepare to see them but they did not turn up.

I was not so
hard-up to see them. In fact they are the one who called us and told us they will come at certain time to our office and need us to prepare certain information that they will ask during the purported meeting. I will always treat this request in good faith and innocently prepare all the materials for them.

Make no mistake. I am already in marketing line for nearly 16 years. I am certainly very experienced marketing man. I have seen many types of prospective clients and I have undergone endless times of rejections from the prospective clients but never before in my sales career a rampant disregard or disrespect towards other people time like what has happened to me in Sudan for the past 2 months.

And they are actually very good Muslims in term of
performing ritual obligatory things like praying 5 times a day, reading and listening Al Quran on daily basis but when come to time discipline they simply fail miserably.

This is my own perspective and experience. The Sudanese people who read this blog cannot blame me for having
this kind of negative perception against the Sudanese when comes to time management and breach of promise that they themselves have made voluntarily without any kind of force.

Don't they read in Al Quran (which is in Arabic, their mother-tongue language) that people who never
fulfill their promise without valid reason is a munafiq (imposter)?

(Photo: Sudanese Girl Riding a Donkey)

The Date & Time Comes From Their Own Throat. Not The Donkey's Throat.

Anyhow it is not me who wanted to see them. They were the one who voluntarily wanted to come and see me. The magic thing was all the details like the time and the date all came from their own throat, not from the donkey's throat that a lot of Sudanese villagers use as a means of transportation.

(Photo: Kaifa Haluka, Osama?.. How are you, Osama?.. Bush, is it really you, darling?

They Never Pick Up their Phone As If We Are George Bush And They Are Osama Bin Ladin!

The best part is nobody put a gun on their head to say what time they should come to my office. Nobody force them like in 'The Godfather' film by saying "I give you an offer that you can't refuse". Worse still is they will not call or sms-text message us to inform us that they were not going to turn up.

Normally after one hour waiting, I would ask my staff to call the Sudanese who promised us that they will come to our office
and requested us to prepare all the information documents. The purpose is just to ask whether the meeting would proceed or not.

Yes! your
guess is as good as mine. They will never pick up the phone, as if they are Osama Bin Ladin and I am George Bush trying to phone call them.

Can you imagine Osama's feeling if out of sudden there appears a number on his mobile phone screen that the incoming call number is "Bloody Bush Calling". Surely Osama will not pick-up, will he?


(Photo: 'Shawarma King' Chain of Restaurant, But Not in Sudan Yet)

My Promise is "Janji Jawa" and Not "Janji Melayu"


Coming from corporate marketing background for the past 16 years I take pride on my punctuality. If I say 7:30pm, the truth is 99% of the time it will be 7:30pm sharp. If I cannot make it to be on time for whatever reasons I would call or at least sms-text message.

On many
occasions my Chinese clients in Malaysia praised me for my superb punctuality when making appointment with their company. And my standard reply was: "My promise is "Janji Jawa" and not "Janji Melayu" !

In conclusion, I must say it's completely normal in Sudan for people to turn up several hours late for their meeting, either for social meeting or even for official meetings. Worst still sometimes they will not turn up at all. For me if they unable to come, they should say so.

InsyaAllah I would not be a poor man overnight just because one Sudanese prospective client decided not to turn up after they themselves making a promise to see me. If just one or two person, then I will see this as an isolated case which may happen anywhere in the world.

But when so many Sudanese did that to me, I think this is a very bad culture that Sudanese should not be proud of and need to get rid if
their country want to develop further. On the other aspects they are okay but in term of time management they are just plain bad.

(Photo: Khartoum International Airport)

What If 200 Sudanese Come To My Room Tonight To Throw Me Out From Sudan?

Apparently I take a big risk in criticizing this Sudanese bad culture while I am still staying in Sudan. Who knows tonight 200 Sudanese will come to my apartment room and together they throw this "Dr Mahathir-laser-type-of-mouth" Khairul to Khartoum International Airport. By right I should write this comment when I have safely landed back in Malaysia.

However I am of the opinion that I would only bring shame to my great-great-great-grandfather, the high ranking warrior in Majapahit's Palace if just to say this
kind of things I also have got no balls. No...No...I am not a coward. Neither am I a hypocrite.

I am not sure whether I will loose or win if 200 people come and attack me at the same time. Loose and win is a separate issue. Nevertheless, one thing that I am very sure is if there are 200 people come to my room to attack me, it is my moral duty as the descendant of Majapahit Palace warrior to ensure each of them brings back home the effect of the ever powerful Majapahit 'Jurus Puaka' (powerful punch) or at least 'Jurus Sapu Jagat'. That's for sure.


(Photo: Hip Hip Hooray!)

What Is Happening Now?


So after two months staying here, nowadays whenever a Sudanese calls me (Note: They call me, not I call them) and promise me that he will reach my office at a certain time to see me for a discussion or meeting I will laugh like 'Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam' (a female Malay ghost) or at the very least I will say in my heart: "Yeah...Yeah...Yeah...I am not listening...I am not listening...If you come, then you come. I am not listening...Yeah...Yeah...Yeah...Hip...Hip...Hooray,
Hip...Hip...Hooray!"

Of course I utter this statement only in my heart, because if I expressly say like this to them they may think I am not a mentally stable person.


(Photo: My Sudanese Partner Mr Abdul Jalil, With His Excellency Ambassador)

Exemplary Sudanese Men That I Know Of


Having said that, of course there are a few Sudanese that I know of who respect other people's time.

My staff, Badreldin who is a Sudanese is a classic example that not all Sudanese are not punctual. Normally he will be on time no matter what would happen. I believe if there is Haboob (sandstorm) he will most probably still be very punctual.

Whenever he unable to arrive on time, he always called me (not even sms but he bravely called) to explain to me as to why he was late. Looking at his many positive characters, no wonder his academic achievement was excellent and he graduated from the University of Khartoum, an elite university and the oldest university in Sudan.

The other person is my Sudanese partner, Mr Abdul Jalil Abujjoud who is indeed a Sudanese man with high integrity. This Denzel Washington Sudan is a disciplinarian at the highest degree. If he said he would come to collect my passport on Saturday to extend my visa, he would definitely come. Not only he came on Saturday and not Monday or Thursday, he even came before the office is opened. This is the quality of my Sudanese partner, Mr Abdul Jalil Abujjoud who always delivers what he has promised.

The Top-Gun Sudanese Executive Client of Mine

Another exemplary Sudanese that I admire most is a top executive in a telecommunication company in Sudan that I managed to close the deal and made him my valued client (to protect his privacy and identity I unable to state his name here). In fact he is now in Malaysia enjoying himself with his wonderful wife and kids for a vacation that he rightly deserved.

This top-gun in Sudan corporate world is among the most quality Sudanese that I have ever met. Everything he did, he did it with such a degree of perfection. His documents arrangement and his way of filling the forms clearly shows that he is a very highly organized man. Everything seems very perfect and very organized with this man. No wonder he can achieve such a high position in that giant company.

Obviously I have learned something from this client of mine in term of his quest for perfection in everything he did, or does or will be doing. If he ever read this blog-posting, I want to say that it is indeed my complete privilege to be of service to you and to be given an opportunity to have you as my valued client, sir.

The Story of a Successful Sudanese Businessman Who Always Keeps His Words

Another very exemplary Sudanese that I ever met is a Sudanese businessman who is also a professional engineer (to protect his privacy and identity I unable to state his name too).

He is now officially my client. In fact we are now in the process of getting all the right documents and the English translation to be submitted to all the relevant government departments in Malaysia concerning his 'Doing Business in Malaysia' and MM2H Programme.

This businessman is another quality Sudanese who always keeps his words. If he said he would come on a certain day, he would come. If he could not come, he would call. In fact he is really a successful businessman.

Days after my first meeting with him in my office, he bombarded me with nearly 15 different e-mails containing 15 different questions regarding investing in Malaysia. Every time I received his email I would diligently feed him with the information that he requested in order to assist him to arrive to his decision.

In my last meeting with him, he came with a very nice plastic file where all my e-mails nicely printed and arranged inside it. This shows how well organized this businessman is.

Every time I tried to inform him that the World Bank Report of "Doing Business 2009" clearly shows Malaysia ranks number one, beating the other countries in the world in term of the ease of giving credit to business sectors, he would say: "I do not need any loan or credit. Everything I will pay or buy in cash, even for property purchase in Malaysia, I will pay cash."

Oh Yes! Yahoo! If buying a house in Malaysia he will also pay in cash, this means my company consultancy charges to him is not a problem at all for him to pay.

(Photo: No Gulf War Although Two Wives in a House)

Two Wives in a House. No Civil War. No Gulf War

This particular Sudanese businessman is a special Sudanese not only because he is a man who keeps his words but also because he told me he is now having two wives and his two wives are living together in one house here in Sudan. We are now searching for him a reasonably big house in Malaysia so that later they will also live in one house in Malaysia.

I know
this is Sudan. Not Malaysia. So I don't think he is a son of a Malaysian Bomoh (traditional medicine man or Malay magician) that can use "Ilmu Pengasih' (charming spells) that can make two women who are sharing one husband to live together peacefully and harmoniously in one house without having any 'Civil War' or "Gulf War'.

In fact in my first meeting with him in my Sudan office, I remember clearly this Sudanese businessman gave me his advice:

"If you want to be successful in doing business in Sudan, you must not follow the way majority of Sudanese people doing things here. If you promise me to deliver, you must deliver. If you cannot, you have to make it clear to me. Don't be like Sudanese people who love to say InsyaAllah...InsyaAllah but never really deliver what they have promised to deliver"

Look! It was not me who made the above statement. The above statement was uttered by one of the successful Sudanese businessman who is now my client. I got nothing further to say. My Lord, I rest my case.


(Photo: 'Poor Man Refrigerator'-Free Drinking Water All Day Long)

Water Jar or "Poor Man Refrigerator"

Throughout the year most of the time the temperatures in Sudan are very high. Thus, it is important to drink lots of water in Sudan. Most of the foreigners or tourists depend on bottled water to drink, which is widely available in every grocery shops in Sudan.

However, everywhere in
Sudan you can find and see earthenware pots of water outside houses, shops or at the roadside or outside most of the dwellings in Sudan. Like I wrote in my 18th of June blog-posting, these 'poor man refrigerators' are actually water containers made from clay and as the water inside evaporates, all the heat goes with it.

But this clay is not an ordinary clay because it is normally made from soil found near the riverbank.
It resembles our very own 'Labu Sayong' which is famous in Kuala Langsar but it is bigger in size. So if you look at the photo I attached, this 'poor man refrigerators' consist of many clay water-containers arranged nicely that can be found in any part of Khartoum.

Any thirsty driver, or traveler can just stop-by and drink it using a small pot. According to Mr Jalil the water is normally
been constantly supplied or filled by anybody who wants to do 'amal jariah' (good deeds). On daily basis this unknown volunteers use their car or donkey to bring the clean water and filled into the 'poor man refrigerator'. They asked me to try and drink it. So I drank it. It was indeed very cold and refreshing.

I also wrote in that 18th June blog-posting that after the water flowed nicely through my throat, I initially wanted to ask this silly question: "Is there any bacteria inside the water?"

You know, this 'poor man refrigerator' are left alone unguarded. So my mind kept on asking what if there was a 'katak puru' (frog) sleeping inside that 'poor man refrigerator'? Probably that frog also wanted to cool down his body and I innocently drank the water from that particular clay water container. Sheesh...



(Photo: Dangerous Sudanese Snuff)

Sudanese Oral Snuff Called Toombak

Sudanese men love this stuff, a kind of chewing tobacco also called "Snuff". They put this snuff in their mouths and stick it to the teeth. They claim snuff supposed to give them 'power'.

Initially I thought this Sudanese men were chewing the mixture of areca nut, betel leaf and betel nut like many Malay or Indian old women do in Malaysia ("Menyongel Sirih")


Chewing tobacco and snuff are by far the most widely distributed type of smokeless tobacco. In Sudan oral snuff called Toombak has been implicated as a risk to cancer.

A lot of medical researcher have come to a scientific conclusion that this "Toombak" which is a type of snuff contains inordinately high levels of the tobacco-specific dangerous content that are considered to be major contributors to the induction of cancers.



(Photo: Busy Khartoum Traffic. Horn Forever)

Sudanese Drivers Are Horn-Lovers

I already wrote in my 6th of June blog-posting that Sudanese are horn lovers because it seems that all the drivers here (whether bus, car, taxi and Tuk-Tuk drivers) really love to press their automobile horn. Sometimes it is non stop. I can bet my money that every three minutes at least somebody will press their horn.

Horn here, horn there. It sounds like the Bukit Nenas Convent School Brass Band team is performing on the street of Khartoum. Maybe they press their horn to warn people not to cross the road, maybe to warn other drivers to give they way. Whatever. Oh Dear...I really found it very annoying.

I also wrote in my another blog-posting on 12th of June that for the Sudanese there is no big deal about pressing car horn. As far as they are concerned, pressing horn is still okay because it is not sinful to press horn, but being 'horny' (lustful) which is not okay.

If you ask Osama, or
Nik Aziz, or Ayatollah Khamenei or even Pope Benedict, they are all against you being 'horny'. Nothing in the scriptures say against pressing car horn. I guess that's why Sudanese drivers happily pressing their horns even if they see just an innocent ant or 'semut' struggling to cross the road.

The only vehicle on the road which does not make a lot of noise is donkey-cart. Well...it seems that in my eyes the donkey is my hero as far as the issue of pressing horn is concerned.

However every single time I voiced out my opinion about this annoying endless car horn on the road in Khartoum, all the Sudanese people that I talked to will give the same answer. It really amazed me that their respond is exactly the same: "If you go to Egypt, it is 100 times worst than Sudan. The drivers in Egypt love to press their car horn like pressing the accelerator pedal of the car!"

Ghost Crossing The Road At 2am?

My apartment is located very near to the roadside in Balabil area. For your information by 2am almost every night I already wake up and doing my paperwork. Many times at this wee hours I can still hear the sound of car horns on the road. I was so puzzled. This is not 2pm in the afternoon. For goodness sake it is 2am early morning. Why on earth these lonely drivers need to press their car horns?

But sometimes it is scary
too because perhaps they saw ghost crossing the road near my apartment! And out of surprise they press their car horns. Maybe. Just Maybe.

(Photo: Medicine Dispensed at Pharmacy Only)

There are Many Pharmacies in Sudan

Recently I was not feeling well. So my Sudanese partner sent me to a small private hospital here in Khartoum to see the doctor. What amazed me
was the speed to get the medical treatment. There is no hassle of formality like filling up the registration form prior to the medical check up by the doctor on duty.

That day my partner accompanied me and upon entering the hospital building he brought me straight to the doctor's room without having to register at the counter. Less than 3 minutes entering the hospital, I was already in front of a Sudanese doctor in his room.

Only after the medical consultation and check-up was done we have to go to the counter to pay the medical consultation fee. The doctor then
gave me the prescription slip which I can bring to any pharmacy of my choice to buy the medicine by myself.

Unlike Malaysia whereby the same clinic will also dispense the medicine, Sudan follows the same system with the UK. In Sudan, the duty of a doctor is to provide medical consultancy and diagnose the illness and prescribe the appropriate medicine.

On the other hand, the pharmacist will dispense the medicine. That's
why there are a lot of pharmacies in Sudan because the doctors or clinics cannot dispense or sell the medicine. They can only prescribe. Thus, clinics and doctors can only charge medical consultation fee.

The good thing about this separation of role between doctors and pharmacists is patients have got more choice as to which place or
pharmacy for them to buy the medicine. This separation also more or less contribute to a speedy treatment for the patients.

But the
negative side is the total overall cost will be higher because there are two distinct charges. One is medical consultancy and diagnostic charge. The other charge is made by the pharmacist when we buy the medicine. I have calculated and compared my medical cost between Sudan and Malaysia. It is obvious in Malaysia the medical treatment cost is much cheaper.


(Photo: This Lady Loves Laxatives To Make Her Body Thinner. Do You?)

Laxatives Can Cure Cough? Why Not?

Even though there are a lot of pharmacies in Sudan as compared to Malaysia, I was told the Sudanese government will not tolerate on the quality of the pharmaceutical services. By right only qualified and registered pharmacist can dispense the medicine. This reminds me of one funny story related to what has happened in a pharmacy in the UK.

This is the story:


A pharmacist walks into his pharmacy to find a man leaning against the wall. He asks: "What's wrong with him?"


His junior assistant, a fresh graduate replies: " He came in for cough syrup but I couldn't find any so I gave him an entire bottle of laxatives"

"Idiot", the pharmacist says. "Laxatives for constipation. You can't treat a cough with laxatives"

"Of course you can", the junior assistant replies. "Look at him. He is too afraid to cough now!"

Below are a list of my writing that were published under the 'Comments' column in "Malaysia Today" or "Malaysian Insider" portals that I have decided not to publish as the main writing in my own blog because it is very political in nature.

I believe some of my blog readers are avid supporters of UMNO and BN party. Thus, as my way to show my personal respect to them I would like to highlight and caution them upfront that a lot my writing reproduced below is very much against many policies subscribed by the existing Malaysia federal government.

I am not a PAS member (yet). Neither am I a PKR or DAP member. But I have my own opinion on every issue happening in Malaysia now.

However, my opinion may offend the feeling of some of my blog
readers who are now supporting the federal government of Malaysia. For that, I apologize to you on the manner my opinion is expressed.

However, I will never apologize to anybody, not even to the Supreme King of
Malaysia for having my own personal opinion on the matter or issue that I discussed below. Happy Reading!

(Photo: Sweet Memory. The Late Teoh Beng Hock With His Fiancee and Wife To Be)

MY COMMENT ON NRD PUBLIC RELATION OFFICER (MADAM JAINISAH) STATEMENT ON THE REGISTRATION STATUS OF NOT YET BORN TEOH BENG HOCK'S BABY
(Posted as a comment in Malaysia Today 21st July 2009)

Oh Dear God...I don't know whether these government servants are trained to handle crisis or not, in term of what to say and what not to say in certain scenario.

Let me explain like this. Let's say one bad day this Jainisah, our National Registration Department Public Relations Officer, (or whoever her name is. I couldn't care less if her name is 'Basah' or 'Resah" or 'Tak Sah', instead of Jainisah) involved in a tragedy such as her son was killed and knocked down by a timber lorry whose driver drove recklessly thinking he was the Michael Schumacher of lorry drivers in Malaysia.

Then while this Jainisah crying loudly grieving the death of her son, out of sudden the police traffic keep on making the announcement that Jainisah's Honda Cups road tax has already expired, instead of focusing on the recklessness of the lorry driver that caused the death of her son.

How do you feel then, Jainisah? How do you (yes, I mean you) feel?


At this moment of time can you please do me a small favour. Think first before you try to impress the world with "this one can do" or "that one cannot do" pertaining to the registration of Teoh's not yet born child.

Better still if you please shut your uninsured and untrained big mouth. A public relation officer should know how to ensure the relationship between the government and their real boss (the people or taxpayers) is always cordial by making a very well-scripted public announcement.

Although you was only answering a question from a NST reporter, you should use your common sense and creativity to answer
diplomatically that kind of question.

This is a classic case of 'missing the wood for the trees'. Your public comment on Teoh's not yet born child certainly does not help the government to get back the trust of a lot of people who are very angry because of the mysterious way of Teoh's death.

If you still not aware, a human being needs 9 months pregnancy before a new human being is born. So, can you just be patient, can you? Can you wait maybe another 8 more months if you really really hard-up to make this SUPER IMPORTANT announcement regarding the registration of Teoh's not yet born child. Can you?

Why now? Why at the this particular time when I myself still fail to find an appropriate word to describe the sorrow and sadness suffered by this Ms Soh Cher Wei, the wife to be of the late Mr Teoh. Understand the background information that makes the sorrow of Ms Soh is so unbearable.

The late Teoh left Ms Soh forever just one day before wedding registration. Understand the feeling of Ms Soh who
has to live forever with the memory that the famous photo of her fiancee dead body sprawling in a pool of blood now can be seen all over the world through the internet. Understand the fact that the late Teoh was continuously interrogated for nearly 12 hours before his death.

It is common for the mainstream newspapers to divert the attention of the Malaysian public by highlighting certain perceived bad things made by the opposition parties or whoever their opponents are just to divert from the real issue.

Last time I laughed like hell for 8 consecutive minutes reading Malaysian mainstream newspapers reporting that the petrol price in Malaysia is among the cheapest in the world because
after they have converted using the currency exchange rate obviously the petrol price in the UK looks very expensive (because they converted the price of petrol by multiplying it with 5.8 currency exchange rate).

However a smart person will know that at the same time, you should also tell the public what is the general salary of the people that should be multiplied by 5.8 too, which at the end of the day the people
in UK perhaps in certain way is better off. than in Malaysia when we compared income versus expenses.

Whether or not Teoh's not yet born child is a child out of the wedlock is totally a separate issue that should not be discussed now. If according to the religion of the late Teoh and his fiancee, this is a child out out of wedlock, so be it. Every religion has its own definition of whether a child is a child out of wedlock even though when comes to registration matters, our country's law prevails.

My problem with you Jainisah is
because of your extremely inappropriate choice of time to make this announcement.

And to NST newspaper, I must say "THANK YOU'. Thank you for what? Thank you for making the majority of rakyat hate this government of the day even more with your insensitive news! Thank you and Thank you.

(Photo: Yang Berhormat Mulia Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah)

MY COMMENT ON TENGKU RAZALEIGH STATEMENT DECLINING ZAID IBRAHIM'S OFFER TO JOIN OPPOSITION
(Posted as a comment in Malaysia Today 26th July 2009)

Compared to Najib, in many ways I always of the opinion that Ku Li (Tengku Razaleugh) is by far the most capable person in UMNO to lead or reform the party. His idea, his experience and his approach has certainly made Ku Li the right candidate from within UMNO that can reform the party if the party can ever be reformed.

During this year UMNO's election, I can say only Tengku Razaleigh was indeed have all the ingredients among all the other present UMNO leaders to change the bad old habits of UMNO starting from the UMNO electoral quota system until the very basic of UMNO political approach.

The fact that Ku Li used to work together with the other opposition leaders like Lim Kit Siang and Nik Aziz under the banner
of "Gagasan Rakyat" in 1990 election actually has made Ku Li very well-versed with the aspiration and voice of the grassroots and average Malaysian people on the street.

Yet everybody knows that Ku Li was humiliated to the extend he only managed to get only ONE nomination from his own UMNO Division, the famous 'Fox Cave Division' or in our language Gua Musang Division. Ku Li is indeed a lonely fox in his quest to reform this stubborn group of foxes. I was not surprised at all with the treatment that Ku Li has received as far as nomination for UMNO presidential election is concerned.

The fact remains that Ku Li is much better in every aspects compared to Najib, objectively and factually. We need at least 3 hours discussion to put in details as to why I say "Ku Li, objectively
is much better than Najib in every aspects".

If Najib's supporters still so hard-up to find just one aspect that can be said their boss is 'better' than Ku Li, perhaps it is only in term of his red-coloured playboy lips,
which Najib obviously has got sexier lips than Ku Li who has got a thick African-style lips.

The rest, Najib failed miserably compared to Ku Li, in term of charisma, ideas, corruption-index, perception,
managing economy, experience, leadership and many more.

But why Ku Li still lost. I believe it was more because the ever powerful UMNO political warlords a.ka "The Ketua Bahagian" (Division Head) prefer to maintain the status quo. Everybody wanted to be seen as loyalist to the incoming PM that time. Everybody was very reluctant to risk their rice bowl by being seen as went against the incoming PM.

I always challenged my friends in UMNO to show just one
UMNO Ketua Bahagian who is very rich through his own retail-business and not because of government tenders or projects that they got through their relatives or proxies (like the story of Mydin Hyper Market founder who is rich through his own effort and not by using whatever types of political cables).

Normally, no UMNO Divison leader who is stupid enough to put their name in Form 24 and Form 49 of the company that got multi-million Ringgit worth of tenders funded by taxpayers money. So if we really
analyze the business ventures background of UMNO political leaders either through their own relatives or proxy, we will not be surprised that even a small position as a Youth Chief at branch level also rely on political connection or his small positions to get just a mere Class F tenders.

In the same breath, I can list down who are the PAS Division Heads who are earning their living WIHOUT reying at all to the so-
called government projects or tenders, unlike their counterparts in UMNO. To list down these PAS Division Heads names I need more than 20 pages of A4 size papers because almost all PAS Division Heads names. I sound too naive or 'bendul' but chances are, I am most probably right

I was fortunate enough to voice out one of my opinion in a meeting with one cabinet minister in London last year. In that meeting I expressly and clearly but politely told him that in UMNO if there is an educated young man try to be smart or creative at even the UMNO branch level, the incumbent and uneducated Branch Head will do whatever it takes to instantaneously kill the political career of this educated and smart young man in the village. But in PAS, the incumbent Brach Head will do whatever it takes to persuade this educated young man to join PAS and lead the branch.

Why so much different in
term of this level of political acceptance? It is because even for UMNO Branch Head, there are so may business opportunity at risk should he loose to this young man, whereas for PAS Branch Head because their original intention to join and lead PAS is to seek the blessing of Allah or to get "pahala" or Allah's Bonus Points, they couldn't care less whether they loose or win in any PAS branch election. Again I may sound too naive but in majority of UMNO leader's heart I believe they agree with my view concerning this matter.

This what has happened to Ku Li when all the UMNO Division Head except his own branch 'dumped' him and leave him alone during the UMNO presidential election.

I urge Ku Li to set aside whatever
reasons that he has written in his blog not to leave UMNO when Zaid Ibrahim made an invitation to him to join the opposition. I must say Ku Li's reasons not to accept Zaid's invitation sounds very intellectual but it's all good in theory only.

As long as this UMNO Ketua Bahagian thinks they deserve to get 'something' in return of their support, Ku Li's dream to reform UMNO will be just a dream. Nothing more, nothing less. Anyhow, this Ketua Bahagian will always demand their BAHAGIAN (portion), because they are Ketua BAHAGIAN!.

(Photo: Datuk Murugiah And His Lieutenants)

MY COMMENT ON DATUK MURUGIAH'S STATEMENT THAT HE IS THE REAL PRESIDENT OF PPP PARTY, NOT DATUK KAYVEAS

(Posted as a comment in Malaysia Today 26th July 2009)

Whether PPP 's President is Murugiah or Kayveas, I as one of Ali, Ah Chong and Muthu on the street do not really care much about the matter.

Only in 1960s when PPP was under the leadership of the
Seenivasagam brothers it was a very popular among the small man or average Malaysian man on the street mainly because of the popularity of this Seenivasagam brothers.

And the fact that they were popular also because they spoke up for justice, equality and the common man. This is the undisputed facts. From my point of view or perspective, PPP is no longer serving this purpose.

Whatever 'spinning doctors' among PP leaders trying to claim the otherwise, the facts all point to a conclusion that I only see PPP as the political vehicle for any ambitious leader in Malaysia
particularly political leaders from Indian ethnic to have a practical chance to be appointed as the Deputy Minister in the BN administration. On critical reflection this sounds way too simplistic but I will call a spade a spade. Of course the PPP President, whoever he is will talk with all the rhetorics that PPP is a multi racial party that fight justice for all races.

Besides having a practical chance to be at least a Deputy Minister, I can 'smell' that PPP leaders see a high-ranking leadership position in their party as a viable way to get a Datukship (at least for now when BN is still in power at the Federal level). I may sound very naive with my statement here but this is the reality or at least my own perception when talking about a BN component party like PPP. It is all about my personal perception which I am entirely entitled to, at least from an average Malaysian on the street point of view.

I am a voter and this is my perception. As a voter I am actually a potential 'customer' to this political party. Politics is all about perception. Perception is very important to determine whether a political party is still viable to the voters. Like I always said let's say for example I tell you that by looking at actress Maya Karin's eye-contact and lips, she is perceived by me to be so romantic but at the same time so wild on bed. This is just my perception on her and there is no way Maya Karin herself can change my perception towards her. This is the same here when I am talking about my perception with regards to PPP.

Last but not least, I as a voter also perceive PPP as a platform for certain leaders who are no longer have got positions in their original party to have a 'big title' of position in PPP. Take for example in 1988 Dato' Mak Hon Kam an ex-MCA man who was already 'dumped' by his own MCA party, out of sudden came from nowhere became the President of PPP. It was indeed funny because the Prsedent of PPP was like a football professional player who came to the party to be the President. It was not strange if PPP was that time a purely new set up party. But no! PPP was set up long time ago in 1953 or 35 years ago from the time when out of the blue Mak Hon Kam became the PPP President.

Another classic example was Dato' Nik Safiea who became Kelantan PPP Chairman and national level PPP Vice President 2 years ago. Nik Sapiea as the vice President of UMNO? Not a chance. So by joining PPP he has a 'big' position in his new party.

As a voter I am a "customer" to any political parties. You cannot blame your "customers" if they perceive your product is like that, or like this. So PPP cannot blame me to have this kind of perspective. The moment you blame your "customer" for any kind of perception towards your "product" (party) it is actually something wrong with you. A great seller will improve his "product' to fulfill customer needs rather than blaming his customers for whatever their negative perspective are.

To put it in a simple and plain language, I perceive PPP as a party which has got no real ideology. In the current political scenario, if their members or leaders are really really serious about a multi racial party that really fight for justice, equality and the common man, the choice is very cristally clear that they should join either Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) or DAP.

But having said that, I also dare PPP as a party to
cross over to Pakatan Rakyat and do a serious soul searching on the original purpose as to why the party was was formed in 1953 by the Seenivasagam brothers with Dr Kanagaratnam Pillai as your first president. Yes! To fight for justice, equality and the common man. Not for Deputy Ministership, Datukship and sound-grand title of position, more grandeur than the Grand Continental Hotels chain name.

Indeed I must say you have indeed failed to realize this reality. The voters actually has made it clear in 2008 General Election that they rejected PPP by saying to PPP: "Pi..Pi..Pi" (Go Go Go in Penang Dialect)!

Jumpa Lagi, Ma'as salaama, Salam, Permisi, Khoda Hafez, Pamitan, Bye For Now..

57 comments:

  1. Just ONE word:

    BRILLIANT!

    Take Care my friend

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  2. Thank you for your wonderdul writing. I learn a lot about Sudan just by reading your blog.

    Keep on blogging!

    Your Fan

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree with you Khairul.

    A lot of Muslim take for granted the good business ethics like punctuality, honesty, dedication and taking prompt action.

    They only focus on rituals like prayer, fasting etc only

    That's why many Muslim country still poor and in deplorable condotion!

    Bravo! You are the man!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Carol,

    Aku proud to know you!!!!

    You got brain and you are smart. I agree 100% what you wrote here

    Budak MRSM

    ReplyDelete
  5. Abang Khairul,

    Memang terhibur baca blog abang ni,

    seronok...dan indah cara tulisan,

    jangan berhenti menulis...

    ReplyDelete
  6. I got no comment la on the subject matter of your writing because I agree with you on all your points about how rude people not bother to respect other people time

    Beautiful!

    Your writing is beautiful

    your idea is beautiful

    photo of Peter Schmeichel flying to save the ball is beautiful

    Aishwarya Rai sexy photo also beautiful

    Sudanese sweet lady photo also beautiful

    Even the photo of the cannon in the Gulf War also looks strong and beautiful

    and my mind also beautiful after reading your blog!

    Thank you Khairul! tk care

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Khairuuul...we are glad you are back....Hope you take care about your health...We are not doctor but i think you need to drink a lot of water.....high fever is surely annoying and disturbing....but you are special coz you still can put your idea in writing a long posting although you were not well....everything you wrote here makes a lot of sense and i wholeheartedly agree with you...take care then.. stay healthy!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Khairul, habag kat depa tu, yang mai appointment jam 5 tapi sampai pukul 6, " you miss the boat sir", adakalanya mix culture, dan pengalaman berjalan di kebanyakan benua, kecuali benua afrika yang tak terjejak lagi, mengajar erti kepentingan masa dalam kehidupan, mengingatkan "Masa itu kehidupan", buku yang ditulis oleh Syeikh Dr Yusuf Al Qaradawi. Masa yang tidak boleh ditukar ganti dengan apajua benda dalam dunia, tiada apa nak diertikan dengan buang masa berlalu begitu sahaja.

    Bila balik ke London, UK, InsyaALlah kita jumpa disana, atau balik Malaysia dulu? Oktober 1st Week will be at Perth, Australia. Tambang RM 50 pergi balik RM 100.00, Airport Tax RM 900.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Salam Br. Khairul. Saya student baru di Sudan. Saya sampai sudan baru sebulan lebih. Maybe saya satu-satunya student yg dpt scholarship MOHE untuk PhD di Sudan ni.

    Rasa seronok baca blog ni, meluahkan segala apa yang saya rasa tapi tak mampu nak luah. 7 ogos ni genap 2 bulan saya sampai ke Sudan. Selamat berkenalan.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Dear "albazrah", I am glad that you enjoy reading my blog. It is indeed a complete privilege for me to have a MOHE scholarship PhD student reading and enjoying my blog.

    I can also be contacted via my e-mail khairul@pro-versatile.com and other contact numbers as per my website http://www.pro-versatile.com

    Take care. Bye for now. Wassalam...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dear En."Hishamudin", if I say to them " you miss the boat sir", Certain 'loyar buruk' Sudanese may reply: ":Oh your company now already started the 4th service which is providing Nile River Cruise service using a boat, right?"

    It seems that the cost of driving, toll, food, petrol and Rumah Tumpangan to and back from Changloon to Kulai is more expensive than your flight to Perth, sir. Thank you for your comment.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Dear "Lina", thank you for your kind heart. Yes, you are right. In Sudan we have to drink a lot of drinking water.

    My big-tank tummy at least must be filled with 3 bottle of drinking water (I bottle=1 litre). So my tummy is the same with my father's Honda Cup motor bike 70CC in the village that needs 3 litres liquid. The difference is my tummy needs 3 litres drinking water but my father's small motorbike needs 3 litres of petrol. If I fill my tummy with petrol, I'll die. Take care. Thank you for your comment

    ReplyDelete
  13. Dear "Chong USJ", Thank you for appreciating my effort. You have motivated me to do better. In fact everything in life is beautiful if we COMPARE with the other worse thing in its own category.

    A man should stop grumbling about the brand of his shoes after seeing another man without legs. Furthermore "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"... Thank you for your comment

    ReplyDelete
  14. Dear "Gadis Melayu", thank you for reading my blog. I am happy and very glad that you were enjoying it. No, I will not stop writing until my last breath, InsyaAllah. Thank you for your comment.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dear Anonymous ("Budak MRSM"), I am proud also my former colleagues in MRSM not only read my blog but also appreciate my thinking. Had it not due to MRSM quality education, maybe I would have still living in my small remote village, helping my father as a rubber-tapper only. Thank you for your comment.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Dear "Orang Kampung", what more can I say, the writing is already on the wall and yet they simply ignore the message. This stubborn Muslims will forever think Islam is only about the ritual Ibadah.

    They stubbornly will stick to their silly non-progressive mentality without realizing that breaching promise, laziness, no time punctuality is as bad as not observing "aurat' obligation and other sinful acts like not lowering their gaze or staring to ladies like a sex-maniac.

    Poor them. Forever in the darkness. May Allah save them and us.

    Our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW (Peace Be Upon Him) has NEVER breached any promise in his life time. In fact he was very punctual, very hardworking and very ethical in business. Thank you for your comment

    ReplyDelete
  17. Dear Anonymous ("Your Fan"), smashing! I am happy knowing that by reading my blog you have got some information about Sudan. Sudanese is indeed very friendly people and KHARTOUM is DEFINITELY the safest city in Africa. Thank you for your comment.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Dear "Michael USJ", thank you and thank you. Your comment has always made me very determined to do better. Thank you for your comment.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Dear Khairul,
    Thank you very much for your blog of this week, and I would like to explain the history of tapping each other shoulders in the Sudanese way of greetings. According to some stories it comes from the fact that most of the Sudanese previously (and till now in certain parts of Sudan) used to wear in their left arms, near to shoulders, a hand-made arm dagger (knife). The hilt is made of circular ivory disks and a wood handle, painted black. The hand forged steel plan is 7 inches and very sharp with an engraving of symbols on both blade faces. The overall length is 11 inches. The sheath is leather with crocodile skin straps. There is a loop to attach to the owner’s arm with the blade tip towards the elbow. Worn under sleeves or a robe, the dagger could be drawn very quickly.
    Therefore, when a man touch the shoulder of the other in his greeting, he is either want to make sure if this person is wearing an arm-knife or not and to be carful in his dealings with him, or he is sending a message to him that there is no needs to remove his knife from his arm because he is not willing to fight him

    ReplyDelete
  20. Dear Mr "Abdul Jalil", thank you SO much for a very INFORMATIVE explanation regarding the reason on why the Sudanese people tapping each other shoulder before shaking their hands. I really hope my other non-Sudanese blog readers will read it.

    Anyhow in my NEXT blog posting I will put THIS EXPLANATION in my MAIN CONTENT as the FIRST SUB-HEADING too because this is a very interesting explanation on the "History of Sudanese Shoulder Tapping". Thank you for your comment

    ReplyDelete
  21. It's fun to read your blog, Khairul, My Man! When are you coming back to Malaysia? Any time soon? Take good care of yourself, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Dear Mr "Al Pacino of JB", I'm honestly happy that you enjoy reading my blog. If my guess is correct you are Mr Michael, right? Just now I double-clicked your link "Al Pacino of JB" to see your profile and blog, unfortunately there was no photo of yours that I can verify my guess but my gut feeling is this is you.

    Not only your first name is similar to "Michael Corleone", but also your actual face-design 83% resembles the real life Al Pacino, Hollywood actor. So we are from one "Godfather Family", the Corleone family!

    By right, after 3 months training my Sudanese staff branch here in Khartoum, I will go back to be based in my UK (Manchester)office, but most probably I will spend some time in Karachi to train the staff of my Pakistani partner in our newly set-up branch in Karachi. Also the same, to promote our three services: Consultancy on "Doing Business in Malaysia", Consultancy on "Malaysia My Second Home" Programme and Consultancy on "Malaysian University". Only in the UK we promote two services, instead of three because we do not promote "Malaysian University" in the UK.

    Please keep in touch. I can also be contacted via my e-mail khairul@pro-versatile.com . Take Care, Brother. Thank you for your comment.

    ReplyDelete
  23. salam kenal...

    wahhh.. this is the most long n3 I ever read.. :))
    belum habis baca lagi.. but I'll link ur blog to mine....
    byk info di blog ni...
    all this while kakyong layan blog mommies jer.. light issue.. n3 pendek2.. tp bila jumpa blog ni... wooowwww.. ternganga jap...

    well happy blogging.. nanti ade masa, I'll come back... I love blogwalking...

    ReplyDelete
  24. Dear "Kak Yong", I am glad that you will 'datang lagi' (come back) to my blog. Jangan serik (Don't regret) to read my writing in my blog again.

    It's long. No doubt about that. That's why I separate all the contents to different RED-COLOURED TOPICAL HEADINGS, so that my blog readers can pick and choose which topic that they want to read first.

    Another reason for this RED-COLOURED TOPICAL HEADINGS is to enable my blog readers to read my blog BY INSTALLMENT, same like you pay your housing loan by installment. This is the best I can do as my solution to my brain-"handicap". I was born with a rather bigger brain which means I have a lot of idea and unable to say anything short and sweet.

    Even if I want to say "No" I can't just say "No", I would prefer to say like this:
    "Look Mr X, I wish I have all the resources in this world to fulfil whatever you want from a nobody like me. I wish I can just ignore whatever objections in my heart not to allow me to lend you my pencil. But I am too weak a human-being to do even that. With deep regret I sincerely feel very guilty to say I unable to lend you my pencil which my cute daughter has given to me the green light to use. In the name of justice, I would appeal to you to share my deepest sorrow and regret for my 'kedekut' (stingy) decision pertaining to this "Issue of the Day", my cute pencil!"

    Thank you so much also for linking my blog to yours. How very kind of you. Thank you for your comment "Kak Yong"

    ReplyDelete
  25. Abdalla Awad
    You have alot of brillent ideas that made me proid about how others talk about sudanese culure thnnks alot Khairul

    ReplyDelete
  26. Dear "abdo" (Brother Abdalla Awad), I must say no amount of multi-million dollars allocation for tourism campaign that can generate the same degree of pure friendliness similar to one demonstrated by the Sudanese people.

    The Sudanese people friendliness is second to none. Eveywhere I go I can feel the warmth and hospitality of this "Aiwa, Aiwa, Aiwa" people. The restaurant owner, the grocery shops owner, the sweet ladies, newspaper seller, in fact everybody that I meet day-in-day-out is friendly to me!

    Khartoum is indeed the safest city in Africa. I can feel it and I am experiencing the magic of it.

    Thank you for finding time to read my blog. Thank you for your comment.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Tuan,

    My wife (who is an ordinary MO in a district hospital in Kelantan) always complaint to me that they (MOs) need to write an explanation report to the Pengarah Hospital within 24 hours after receiving complaints from the public. Isu yang selalu timbul adalah layanan yang tidak memuaskan, Dr lewat merawat mereka. Just imagine, kalau masa oncall (after office hour and public holiday), hanya 2 org MO sahaja yang bertugas, 1 kat casualty, 1 lagi nak jaga kesemua ward. Bila U cakap, cost perubatan kat Sudan lagi mahal berbanding dgn M'sia, I terbayangkan, orang-orang yang selalu komplen ni patut pegi kat negara lain, alami sendiri pengalaman dan nilaikan dengan duit yang dibayar dengan perkhidmatan diterima.

    Anyway, nanti bila my wife bukak klinik sendiri, u dtg sini, I bagi special price for your medical treatment. Tp tak tahu bila lagi, kontrak dgn gomen ada lagi 4 tahun.....

    Bila u nak terbitkan buku berdasarkan pengalaman u? I'll pay the price of the book....:) Pls let me know...

    ReplyDelete
  28. Dear En."Zamzuri", Yes sir. You are right. After seeing more horrible and deplorable condition, surely any objective human-being will always 'bersyukur' (thankful) for the existing condition they are experiencing although at the same time they will try their best to do better to improve the situation.

    Furthermore it will also makes us highly value any help or assistance given by others, whether that assistance rendered by any normal people-on-the-street, more so by the high ranking life-saving professional such as a doctor like your wife. I wish I am now living in Kota Bharu, the best city in term of "Low headache of living, High standard of inner peace", near to the future private medical centre owned by your wife.

    Regarding my book, all the skeletons and points are there but I just need the time to put the "flesh and soul". After this attachment, by right I will go to Karachi to do exactly the same 'attachment' with my newly set-up associate branch office in Karachi and train our Karachi's branch office staff. Then I will go back to be based in the UK (Manchester).

    At this moment my Marketing Plan for my incoming 'virgin' book is to market it through all the co-operatives in MRSM, UiTM and universities, if possible apart from selling directly by advertising aggressively in local newspapers. I also plan to appoint all the taxi drivers in Batu Pahat to put my Bahasa Malaysia Version books on their taxi dashboard so that their passengers can buy. The book will contain many photos and cheap in price because I'll go for volume, so it will generate interest of any "anak dara kampung" or "orang kampung' (village folk) to buy.

    Take care sir, Bye for now. Thank you for your comment.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Dear Mr Khairul,

    You're a good blogger.. sharing experiences in Sudan where it back 40 years from Malaysia. Actually it is hard to find a place backward from what we had in Malaysia. If I was not in Sudan (worked there for a year) I never knew hows the life there.... It is simple to say, but like you, really having good & bad experiences. I hope you are tamam there, drinks a lot of juices, dont be outside during maghrib & subuh time(malaria), take care on the road with tuk-tuk (dont involve in accident - badly treat in their hospital), dont you ever cheat sudanese with cheque (90% was jailed due to cheating, rather than 10% of stealing) and last but not least.... always keep contact with our Embassy in Khartoum. Have good time in Afra... the only one like a Mall & nice place to see - gals....

    See you in your next chapter..
    Arham MRSM Muar Yr89.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Dear Brother Arham,

      Thank you very much for your comment.

      My big apology for overlooking to reply your comment.

      Take care brother...

      Delete
  30. Mendengar lagu yang mendayu sambil melayari blog saudara dapat dirasai terlalu "touching dan feeling" yang mendalam. Namun apakan daya' "pungguk rindukan bulan" dan apabila bulan muncul, "pungguk mendayu dayu pada bulan, agar jangan pergi darinya.", namun apakan daya demi sesuap nasi dan timbunan bebanan yang lalu, badai dan ombak lautan biru diharungi tanpa tahu mana penghujungnya pantai.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Dear En.Hishamudin, the 'touching' feeling that I'm suffering now all because from a distance I unable to 'touch' my beloved wife and my kids also not able to get the fatherhood touch of a loving father.

    The truth is I miss my beloved wife and kids dearly,sir.

    Thank you for your comment. And I miss you too, I remember last time we had lunch together, eating very delicious Perlis village dishes at a small restaurant near a paddy-field. Then after lunch I comfortably had a nap inside your brand new Cefiro car, while you had to drive like a Pak Supir for me, hehehe. Just kidding.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Dah hampir sepurnama tidak dengan khabar cerita panjang dari saudara, masih di Sudan atau di dunia mana? apa pun salam sejahtera dan eidul mubarak. Moga jumpa lagi. 1st October depart to Perth and back on 6th October.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Dear En.Hishamuddin,
    I am now in Malaysia. Berhari Raya. But Insyaallah by 15th October 2009 I will be in Karachi for 2 months to train my Partner (or his staff)in the newly set-up branch in Karachi. Currently, he is an accountant. So the following 3 services: Consultancy on "Doing Business In Malaysia", "Malaysia My Second Home" and "Malaysian Higher Education" is a new set-up altogether. The reason as to why I have not resumed my long usual writing because I am extremely busy running here & there (not literally "running" because I am too fat to run here and there)but on DAILY basis I update the VERTICAL Column on the right hand side of this blog with 8 DAILY JOKES and 10 DAILY QUOTES with the comments by myself. Later I want to reschedule back my hectic life and start writing again. Thank you for your comment and glad to hear from you. By the way, Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir,Batin-Batin tak main because I am not anak To Batin, dan I never use any Ilmu Batin against you and I never hurt your feeling that make your jeritan batin kedengaran seluruh Perlis:-)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Abang khairul,

    As Saidina Abu Bakar (R.A) said roughly means do not complain too much about the worldly life as it would make us ungrateful of blessing given by the Almighthy Allah.

    Takes care.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Dear "Duyam1968",

    In one way, what you have said above is very correct ("complain too much about the worldly life as it would make us ungrateful of blessing given by the Almighthy Allah").

    Having said that, in my humble opinion we must also not forget our role as the Khalifah in this world to right whatever wrongdoings that are happening around us through whatever means necessary as long as the means are not against Allah's hukum.

    Our "complain" or disagreement towards these wrongdoings can be in the form of pro-active actions, words or the very least by not agreeing in our heart with all this "mungkar" things. Hence, there is a thin grey line between complaining due to ungratefulness and complaining because of performing our duty as the Allah's Khalifah in this world. However, we may have to do continuous soul-searching to ensure our niat is always correct. Wallahualam (Allah Know Best).

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write something in this comment column. Rest assured, I will deduce that you wrote your comment ("complain") due to the kindness of your heart to remind your fellow Muslim brother, not because of you try to be ungrateful of the blessing given by Allah a chance to read something interesting in this blog. Take care, and bye for now.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Dear Abang Khairul,

    Since your next trip will be to Karachi, I am really pray to Al Mighty Allah that He would protect you from all undesirable and unfortunate things. Hopefully, you bring back some goodies (if I am not mistaken Javanese called it "jajan") for us. I have been to Pakistan, and it is really amazing country. Even though the government is poor but the people is rich. Much much richer than we axpect. Hopefully you enjoy staying there. I believe it is not much different as compared to Sudan.

    Warm regards,

    ReplyDelete
  37. Dear "Duyam 1968",
    Thank you so much for your well wishing words. Thank you also for kindly sharing your experience in Pakistan with me. By the way, the word "Jajan" reminds me of my late Embah (Nenek) who last time without fail would buy Jajan for me each time she went out to the Pasar Minggu in Parit Yaani. Well...Regarding Karachi, let me summarize it this way: I am a great believer in the maxim "Every Obstacle Can Be Turned Into An Opportunity". Thank you again for your comment. Take Care. Stay in touch. Khoda Hafez. Bye for now...

    ReplyDelete
  38. Khabar dari Parit Jawa, Parit Sulong, Parit Maimun, dok Pakistan ke sekarang ni?

    ReplyDelete
  39. Dear En.Hishamuddin, by right if based on my original Business Plan, yes I should be in Karachi now, training our Karachi associates branch staff there. Unfortunately our Karachi partner advised us that the situation in Karachi is too dangerous for me to be a hero like in the "Inspector Sahab Hindustani movie". In fact last month the suicide bombing occured inside the university compound and not only in the normal public area like market or roadside.

    By the way, I am now preparing for my 3 months attachment programme in Tehran. The same mission: To train our Tehran branch staffs to "penetrate" (this is a sensitive and crucial word in the ongoing Anwar Ibrahim alleged sodomy case) Iran market for my company 3 services. This Tehran trip is already 99% confirmed because my new additional partner in Malaysia (Mr Hussein Soudmand) who joined our company in September 2009 is a British citizen who married a Malay lady and coincidentally many of Mr Hussein relatives are still in Tehran. So his brother in law is the one who will set up the branch in Tehran. As usual my mission is to train and help him and his staff the same way the Israeli advisors helped the Singaporean army to set up their defence system last time. I really look forward to go to Tehran because Persian ladies whom "angel-look alike-face" and extremely beautiful faces will certainly make my life more colourful and full of joy. Remember...."Mut'ah berjaya, Ummah Ceria", (Just kidding)

    After Tehran, I will go back to UK, as my original plan. Thank you for your comment. Take care, sir.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hi Khairul,

    Long time no speak. Sorry to hear that you have been unwell - hope you are now fully recovered.

    Don't know if I should be using this site to contact you re MM2H, but you are a very difficult man to get hold of.

    As you know, we met up some 18-months ago to discuss the above, and things are now moving at a dramatic pace. We have sold our house and are looking to receive up-to-date information regarding what is happening in Malaysia. Our dream of living in Malaysia is fast becoming a reality!

    I know that you have a lot happening at the moment, but it would be fantastic to catch up with you in any case. Have sent an e-mail to your work e-mail address - don't know whether you will get it in time, but, just in case, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    Looking forward to catching up with you soon.

    David and Fiona Owen

    p.s your blog is fantastic - keep it coming. Especially liked the jokes. They really made me chuckle, which is no mean feat considering the terrible year we have had. Best regards. F.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Dear Mr David and Mrs Fiona Owen,

    Receiving your email is the BEST NEWS that I received today. Indeed.

    After lost contact with you for nearly 18 months, I am truly happy to get your email again.

    However I am now on travelling and only manage to check my email quickly.

    Soon when I reach my room tomorrow, I will give priority to reply properly your email. My apology for this delay of giving my comprehensive reply email.

    And I am honoured that you read my blog too. Thank you.

    Take care. Will write to you very soon, (tomorrow).

    Best Regards,
    Khairul Hisham

    ReplyDelete
  42. Ada di Tehran? Cerita cerita sikit .

    ReplyDelete
  43. Dear En.Hishamudin,

    Thank you for requesting me to resume writing my blog by writing something about my coming Tehran trip. For your information, I am now in the midst of preparing my 3 months Agency Attachment Programme to train our new branch partner and staff in Tehran. In fact last Thursday I went to Iranian Embassy pertaining to my 3 months visa staying in Tehran.

    By the way, since I was reminded my Tehran partner not to talk about Iranian politics, I told them not to worry because even if I touch a little bit of Iranian politics I will praise Ahmadinejad and not criticize him. I will write that President Ahmadinejad is more handsome than Hulk Hogan and definitely sexier than Brad Pitt.

    My blog posting later will also touch on my personal experience dealing with the Iranian people, their good and bad habit, their culture, food and of course their beautiful Persian ladies.

    Oh Yes, I will also try to know more about the famous Mut'ah Marriage because for me "Mut'ah Berjaya, Ummah Ceria", hehehe :-)

    Take Care sir. Keep in touch and Thank you for your comment.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Dear "Cheap Flights to Accra",

    Thank you so much for reading my blog.

    By the way, you are welcome to email me at khairul@pro-versatile.com if you or anybody in Ghana is interested to work together with my company, by virtue of having myself stationed in Ghana for 3 months to train and do marketing together with your staff to promote our 3 services: Consultancy on "Doing Business in Malaysia", "Malaysia My Second Home Programme" and "Malaysian Higher Education".

    However, at this moment my schedule is so tight with the coming soon "3 Months Agency Attachment" to be held in Teheran, Jakarta and Kathmandu.

    Thank you again for your comment.

    ReplyDelete
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  46. Dear Chandra, thank you for reading my blog. Good to know that you appreciate my small efforts here. May you enjoy reading it. God bless you. Bye for now..

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  47. Slm alkm Hisham,

    this is a German guy sitting in Indonesia enjoying your blog. If there are less inquiries, take it on and write a book. Keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Waalaikumussalam my German friend,

    Thank you for reading my blog.

    Thank you very much also for your generous words of encouragement. Yes, I'm in the process of writing my book.

    Take care. Have a beautiful weekend!

    Best Regards,
    Khairul Hisham Hassan
    khairul@pro-versatile.com

    ReplyDelete
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  50. Dear "Buy Medicine",

    Thanks for reading my blog. Thank you so much also for your compliments. It's my pleasure to have you as my blog reader.

    Have a pleasant evening! Bye for now...

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  52. Dear Suzan,

    Thank you for reading my blog.

    Have a pleasant and productive week!

    Take care. Bye for now..

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