Sunday, June 29, 2008

Cancellation of Alpha Utara Solo Show

The Alpha Utara Gallery owner Mr. Sui Hoe wrote me an email saying that due to the replacement of new staff at the Gallery there will be no shows at the gallery til later date and all those shows already slated for exhibition will be canceled. Whoopee! So much for a lucky break when you needed it. Now it leaves me with the Solo Show at the Penang State which will be opened on the 19th. The show will be Entitled Penang Heart and Soul and hopefully to be officiated by the Director of the National Art Gallery, Dr.Prof. Najib Dawa. Ihave been lloking forward to this show till the last few weeks wheren I could not find any help in setting up my works in terms of framing and mounting. I have asked Mr. Lee Khai of the Alpha Utara gallery to be the curator and he has agreed to do it however he also asked me to approach Joe Sidek as he might be the better person to do it. Talked to Joe this morning after dropping off my daughter at the Little Penang Street Market where she works at the information booth. Joe as usual was too busy setting up his stall for me to have any chance of communicating about my intention with him. Without some financial help in terms of framing and setting up of the works I am at a loss. The show might go on but the quality of putting up the works effectively will be compromised.
Lee and Joe are the two people at the moment that i am counting on in lending me a helping hand to set up this show and Lee is more or less committed to it but Joe has yet to give an answer. Is this part of the 'Test' for me as an artist? What more can happen before i am allowed a free passage to hold a perfect sho without too much stumbling block standing in my way? I have tried but I guesse i have not tried hard enough or perhaps I am looking for simpler solutions to my problems. I like both these gentlemen and appreciate very much for what they have tried to do for me in motivating myself towards not giving up being creative and even excell despite my shortcomings. I hate to think that they might take it that i am taking them for granted if I do not go on with the show on account of not being able to meet the simple demands of hanging the works without asking for their help when I need it.
I am on the verge of cancelling this show too for there are times when I have felt it too much for too little, as it cost me too much time and money and the returns is questionable. I cannot give up now that it is about to happen my chance to finally have a show at the State Art Gallery.
Today met an artist while I was doing a sketch at a coffee shop having my breakfast at Taman Saadon in Bukit Gelugor. His name is Hasnee A.Rahman and he is a 'Sports Artist' like the American Painter Neiman Marcus. Hasnee seems like a well established artis and has a gallery in Taman Melawati in KL. After taking him to the USM Gallery Tuanku Fauziah for a visit we learned that he had known my twin brother who had also bought a painting from him at one time. I enjoy talking to him about the state of Art and Artists in Malaysia today and was not surprised to learn that Malaysia is not a friendly environment for artists to make a living at especially Malay Artists who have no strong connections or are patronized by art collectors.

After our visit together I went back to the Gallery at USM and thought out what I make of this state of my day to day living. What am i not doing right, what can I do to further make things happen so that i can produce my works without too much hassle? I find that the only thing can do is to keep on doing what I am doing and do it alot better just because. The car is paid up and so is the rent and my children are at home or working at Little Penang and all I have is time on my hand to do what I am suppose to do. Finish the long sketch and get it to the State gallery and let the Staff there figure it out how to hand a one hundred feet long sketch. The rest is easy to handle, so be it.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Fare well to Brother Syed

Scorn me not,
judge me not,
but know me for who I am
A man on a journey towards his Maker just like any of his fellow man.
I had not dared to reveal the nature of this being who I am, its only because some truths are best buried for the dead.
Let me unveil myself from the layers of dellusions that is covering me with good understanding, Right Understanding.
How far or how near am i to my Maker?
This is the question that has haunted me for most of my life as i know i am a sinner and for even wanting to know the answer. However what else is there that really matters in one's life if not to seek the truth one's True Nature or as the Budhist calls it "The Original Buddha Mind?"
Who am I? Why am I a part of this humanity, this that is called Life? Do I have a choice to being here, being who I am, being born and raised in this form and emptiness, space and time?
The Buddha said that 'Life is Suffering', sickness and poverty, impermanence and death. He should know he was at one time the son of one of the most powerful Kings in India and he gave it all up, wine and women, mother and child to find the 'Truth' to the meaning of life.
I could become a serious Buddhist! Shave my head and live in a monastery somewhere in Southern Tailand, it too would be a fun change. Nah! I would rather not be accused of Murtad by my fellow Muslims who claims that their ways have brought them closest to Allah. Anyway two years in the Zen Buddhist practice was more than enough to turn my mind around for a little bit. When in doubt, Sit! ZAZEN!
I arrived early thiis morning from Kuala Terengganu where i attended my Brother in law's funeral, he passed on while being treated at the Cance care center in Kuala Lumpur and his body was driven to Kuala terengganu to be laid to rest. My cousin in Sungai Pinang Mohd Kalam woke my daughter up at 2.30 am to hand me the hand phone. I was told that Syed had passed away. At 3.00am I was driving on the penang Bridge headed for Kuala Terengganu alone. I filled up the Kancil with three quater tank full of gas and checked the air at a shell along the Jelutong speedway. The elderly Chinese gentleman asked me to fill up a form for qualifying to win a few thousand Ringgit on the upcoming lucky draw, I obligated.
While driving through the early morning over the mountain ranges of Gunung Barisan that devides the East from the West Coast I was crying my heart out in the Kancil while taking corners projected at the distance by the beams of her high lights. I owe this little car my life on this trip I drove without even thinking if she was going to make it but she proved a great car, great on mileage and keeps one from speeding. I felt such a surge of emosions from deep within exploded into words and I was talking to my Maker, ( I do this often), usually i would be the one doing 100 percent of the talking, He, I hope only listens. This happened after i was getting such a spritual high from my songlike Zikhr ul Allah. I felt th dam broke loose as i felt His prescence, His Mercy and Compassion, I was like a the Dervishes after they had spin long enough they had their touch with their Maker, the touch of the Devine.
It touches your souls whenever you are most receptive and vulnerable, it awakens your spirit to a glimpse of the Light of Truth, it snaps you out of your despair and gives you a hope and a fighting chance to make a good living while at the same time being rejuvenated physically and emotionally, the kind of food only man needs...Faith.
When it was all over and the little car still on the road I was driving and singing Bob Dylon's? Raindrops Keep Fallin on My Head out into the surrounding darknest like nothing ever happened. It was a peaceful cruise all the way downhill toward Jeli in Kelantan, it the kind of drive where man and machine sing the same tune and feels the same cold morning air. I have discovered 'Faith' in my little car. Me and the car had a man-car- bonding! After the last accident we had I was still not 100% myself when driving, not like the good old days when one rebounds quicker.
I enjoy night driving as it gives me a chance to enjoy the darkness around me while i mentally drive deeper within my heart to conjure more stuff to the surface. The dangers that One faces at night also helps one to stay awake with an extra focus in body and mind, falling asleep on the wheel is not an option especailly when crossing the Maint range of mountians the backbone of the Malay Peninsular that devided the East Coast from the West.The short of it is that long distance driving at night is a powerful form of meditation within and without but with the price of gas going the way it is it is not such a practical thing to do even if one is seeking God Himself. But I had a justifyable reason, I was on my way to Syed's funeral.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Science Carnival/ Solo Exhibition,Mohd.Noor Mahmud

The Deputy Minister of Science & Technology & Inovation, Y.B Haji Fadillah Yusof, officiated and launched the Science carnival and Solo Art Exhibition at the Muzeum Tuanku Fauziah, USM this morning. I had to get my two cents worth into the program by doing a fast charcoal sketch of the launching event and presented the sketch to the Minister. I hope it will find a space somewhere on his wall in his home or office in the future or at least it will find a space in his heart as a memory of the event. I am glad i did this as I was not at the top of myself when i left my home without a dollar in my pocket to say the least. But in order not to bring myself down and let the day become just another uneventful if not another dog day afternoon. By my performance there were students who gathered around raising questions and making remarks of what I was doing and this too was to me an accomplishment as it added to them yet another aspect of their education and being there.
The Minister's speach dealt mostly with the need for the development of extensive R&R into the IT and the need for innovative as wel as creative aspirations among budding scientist and artist. The trend that is set by globalization is affecting the country if not the world and as Malaysians it is our aim and aspiration to stay abreast with what is going on in the Global network of communication. This is the age of Information and those who have the knowhow stands to gain an edge over those who lack behind in every respect of community as well as global survival.

As an artist I am offcourse a little perturbed by the fact that with the every event of change in the Government the Fine Arts related activities gets the 'Transparency' act, which simply means the cut in budget sometimes for no ryhme or reason.The Fine Arts through history that i can recollect of has alwys become the forst to go whenever there is a financial crunch so much so that in most schools in Malaysia there is no Art classes, not even the basic drawing class! This is indeed a tragedy of error in the educational system of the nation. While science is being persued into outer space exploration Art is being grounded or 'Deep Six' for most of the financial consideration. Ther will most probably come a time when this nation will end up having alot of great scientists with barely any Artist worth mentionning in the Global field of education. No doubt we do have a handful of 'Masters' among our artists whose names has reached global recognition or at least made it to Christies's Auction,but these are mostly self made artists who despite the lack of p government financial support of collective sponsorship had perservered on their own to achieve the impossible. Most self subsisting Artist do not have any form of remunerations as far as getting a Social Security or Provident Funds set aside for them in their times of need nor do they have health or retirement benifits, most self employed Artist are out there on their own to do or die. Fortunate are those artists who have found a sponsor or benifactor who is willing to sacrifice their time ans money to support the artist who has made a commitment to be a fulltime artist devoting their time towards creative endeavors with the hope that it will help to promote a more creative thinking socitey or inspire the future generation who are not scientifically inclined to find a venue for their sense of worth being a part of the healthy society. Ironically one would find that most of our young who are trapped by drug abusses are artistically inclined but have no way of discovering their potential due to the lack of support and understanding for their talents. They become dropouts accepting the fact that being a musician or a painter in these dyas and age have no significant or financial value.
Creativity is the crux of every existing developing nation's striving to compete for survival whether in the Sciences or the Arts. To afford for creative thinking the student has to learn from day one the 'Art' of creative thinking and this is mostly achieved through the process of Artistic development of the mental faculty. Art and creativity is synonimous and for those who is able to create with an artistic ability and express with scientific accuracy there is no limit for success. When the left and the right brain is equally utilised there is perfect balance and the student if better equipped to handle the pressures that is inherent in mastering either of these faculties of the mind. This dual thinking mind the ancient have dubbed the Ying and Yang forces of Male and Female energies in today's day and age is fully being studied by various groups and entities to further understand the dynamics of the mind's capactiy to think scientifically as well as creatively. Einstien played the violin while DaVinci had designed submarines and helicopters in his days. Those who had failed to develop both their left and right brain functions have often found that their minds are limited. Their capability to express themselves when presenting their discoveries to the general public become dull or sterile thus robbing themselves of their accomplishments at the human level of understanding.
With the advent of collective thinking by the introduction of the computer and the internet most creative thinkers have been able to share their aspirations and accomplishments with the world at large. The collective mind is our next target into the future where everything that is projected into the syberspace is being monitored by the rest of world on line and in this capacity the sharing of these ideas are heightened and developed at greater speed with greater impact. Art and science must coexist hand in hand for those who seek to become global thinkers and contributors, gone are the days when Art is for the Aesthetically inclined or science is for the laboratories. Art and science has become a singular form manifest within a collective conciousness.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fuel Price hit the Ceilling

It is a matter of time before shit hits the fence when it comes to the issue of fuel shortages as there is a limit to how much man can keep sucking the ground dry of its oil contents. No doubt there is most probably some uncovered sources yet laying beneath the earth or the ocean surfaces but for the time being fuel prices are hitting the ceiling for one reason or another and the world population are feeling the pinch some more brutally than others. Gone are the days when man could live on firewood and bullock carts, bicycles and kerocene lamps for every other hom has to have at least one or two TVs, one or two cars one or two bad habits.

The care for our sustainable resources has taken a back sit among those who are out to rape and plunder the planet all in the name of development and progress. We neglect to address or at time totally deny the replete of our ozone layer causing climate changes making believe that the inevitable will not occur in our lifetime if not now perhaps in our children's lifetime and by them who cares we are dead and gone anyway. Nature is taking her toll and the climate in particular is changing slowly but surely towards less and less predictable occurances sometimes wrecking havoc unaticipated by humans whose homes and industries are ravaged and lives a re lost. It is a reality and it is here to stay and grow with us in time and in space. We can choose to ignore the signs and the warnings provided to us by higly qualified sources or we can stop and take account of our situation and find ways and means to rectify. Slow down, stop wasting, take bold steps to minimize and reduce what needs to be and can be reduced so that conservation spirit can take hold of our psyche. Look around us and decide to be involve in the care and and well being of the environment and stop being insensitive towards issues that may not involve us directly but matters in the long and collective term for the the planet as a whole.
We are not the only creatures that share this planet perhaps in thinking of others we can bring ourselves to slow down and stop the uncaring and wastage.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Do you feel it when its there?

Your feelings about how things are manifesting is of more value than just knowing whether it is about something great or something negative that is about to take place in the near future. It is like climbing a mountain and feeling like you are almost there but no quite yet and the going is often the hardest at this juncture and the urge to give up is a breath away. Then you feel the change, the ground at your feet seemed alot more friendlier and easier to thread and the qweight on pulling you down from your shoulders seems to lift off and you feel light. Your sense of defeat and loss slowly but surely seems to evaporate from your mind leaving behind a sense of ' lightness of Being' where nothing seems to matter anymore but the sense of arriving at your destination your hidden goal, that elusive dream, that peace of mind.
This morning after standing and cutting carrots and onions and potatoes for my cousin's catering business I felt like my back was about to finaly give in and collapse. I told a lady friend who was in charge of cleaning the chicken about it and she said that the angel of death is making curtersy calls at my door according to Mthe Malays' believe. That means i am about to kick the bucket i asked her, yep, she answered smiling. Great! I told hwer i am going home and make me a large welcome sign for the angel. I am more than ready to leave this scene as it is becoming too mundane and somewhat painfully boring. My body is getting tired of this wandering and my mind is saturated with justifications that does not convince anymore of my existance. She asked me if i am prepared to take that step beyond into the next phase, the after life. I told her more than so, I may not be a candidate for heaven without fist paying my dues for the faults I have had in this life but i am more than willing to give up whatever it is that is left for me to discover of who or what i am in the first place or what is my reason for being born.
I meant every word i said this morning and if by chance my wish were to come true so be it. My children are grown up now even if they are still under my care but they will survive and find their own ways in continuing on without me and my wife is beyond care as she is now in her own world of catatonic existance. Life for me is making less and lesser sense as the world around me is slowly crumbling through my own ignorance and dellusions, I hate going on making tha same old errors and learning little from it. Whats the meaning of life if one is no more relevant and everyday seems to drag one deeper into the quagmire of irrelevancies.
What a man needs in these times of self doubt and defeatism is a good wake up call, not a negative but a positive shot of the smallest hope of seeing some form of meaning to one's existance. I have lived life to the fullest of my ability often giving myself a sense of justification for everything that i encounter or attempt at. I have traveled and i have lived in many parts of the world and i have had some great moments in time where life had its elightenment, I am more than greatful for these moments when there was a crack in the darkness spilling light into my conciousness but i am far from contented as I strongly believe that a man's span of time on this planet is worth much more than merely experiencing momentary cracks of lightening in the dead of night. The Gopd given human mind is a far greater instrument than anything ever created or will ever be created and it is a bloody shame to not be able to utilize this gift to the fullest of its potential before the body's wear and tear give way. Even if i live to be a hundred, what good does it do me if I am merely existing, sucking in air and letting out air, consuming and ingesting whatever that is that would keep me alive just for the sake of staying alive.
The Prophet of Islam was said to abhor the consept of Should, Would, aught to, and so forth, and He was right for there is no looking back without making oneself hesitant or doubtfull and nothing is more destructive than self doubt. Now i am writing this while at the USM Gallery Muzeum and its lunch break and the staff has just had their lunch and some are now noisily bashing each other at the game of carom in the back room. On the other side of the wall voices of children floats all over the Museum halls and I am qwritng this piece of nonsense that is pouring out from my heart. My back is still aching and so is my heart whenever i think of my son the pilot's lack of response to my email or my second son's total lack of desire for his schooling. My heart aches when i think of how i am to solve my two children's citizenship status in this country that has been pending for the last eight years since i first applied for their change of citizenship. Who would take care of these things for them if I were to die soon? For me death is a welcome but for them it would mena unresolved issues that would haunt them for the rest of their lives. What am I to do about my wife? Will I ever see her again at all before I go or she goes?

As a believer I am no more afraid of death or dying more so than I am of life itself. It is easy to die and poof! gone, but hell, living takes one hell of an effort if life itself is ever going to be meaningful or worth livng. I will return to my Maker, the Lord of Creation in one form or another this i feel it is a matter of time and place but before my time is up rest assured i will continue on with this blog among other things, just one of my justifications among my other justifications.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Of Rashid the Potriat Artist.

I am at Rashid's studio which is also the Malay Artists' Gallery which is located on Chulia Street annexed to the Masjid Kapitan Kling. Rashid is doing a portrait of someone as he is a portrait artist and a damn good one. He had just completed two pieces of the Sultan of Kedah and his Consort and had received a good price for them from the University Sains Malaysia. I had known Rashid since I had my first solo exhibition at the ABN-AMRO USM Gallery entitled 'HUMIND". Rashid had a studio annexed to the Gallery and we got to know one another after a while. I learned that he was one of the first few Malays Artist who had ventured on to become a full time Artist earning his livlihood through his art works.
I was still struggling back then trying to get my act together and convincing myself that i need to get out of the salary making habit and join the market selling my works and having met Rashid it had helped me alot in making up my mind to become a full time artist myself. It was not an easy decision as I had no other sources of income to see me through at the time especially making sure my two children got their pocket money. Rashid help me to see through my hesitations and gave me all sorts of encouragments till I started selling my first fews pieces at the show.
Our friendship had grown eversince and I have come to have a good respect for my friend who is not only a great artist in his own right but also a warm hearted man who understands the deeper meaning of life and spiriutality without overzealousness. He is capable of mixing with any one from the highly educated and the lowly and is always humble about his talents as an artist.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Return from Terengganu

Drove all night long from Kuala Terengganu to Penang with my two children who were asleep most of the trip. I like driving at night for long distances as it is alot more cooler ans alot less traffic and not so hard on the vehicle good on gas mileage as you do not the air condition. By the grace of God all went smoothly not bad for a Kancil that has been battered front and back not a month ago. The only regret I ahve is that soemwhere along the line someone got into my wallet and removed two hudred Ringgit which left me with only one left to keep all three of us alive for the next few weeks until the next income werever that may come from Wallah wa'Allam.

Having had the opportunity to met up with my friends and relatives in Kuala Terengganu I feel like I have reconnected with my not too distant past having lived there for a number of years while my wife was teaching at KUSZA. This has been one of my ongoing plan in life as my lifestyle dictates that I am a Gypsy, a man without a home and my children may well end up without a country. I take life as i have mentioned earlier as an experiment and an experiment has to have method and a conclusion including datas collected and observations made over a period of time. Thus my effort to move around and continue on keeping and ongoing journal is very much part of the story of my life, not as adventurous as i might had hope for ans sometimes even simply mundane in nature, but it is still an effort at self discovery, getting to know who I am, how far or how near am i from my original intention when I realized i had. To live life to the fullest as an Artist. I accept it that in more than many ways I have failed to be a good father and a good husband, often ebough even a good friend, these are my weaknesses and I have to continue on living from experiences and learn to mend my ways as best i could.

I have almost completed this canvas of life adding and deleting things that matters and those that don't. I keep on making new friends ans learning from them the tricks of the trade in order to survive with my two teenagers. Of myself there is little left to be so excited or worry too much about but my two children's lives are of prime concern ans thus I will go on striving for their sake lest they find at the end of the day that their father was a looser. Me two older sisters have been very supportive of me and my struggles as though they see something in what i am or what my journey in this life is all about. I love them both and am hoping that before they exit this life they will be able to see some measure of success in the way I had chosen to live life. One of my observation having met and enjoyed my relatives and friends like in the good old days is that very little has changed about how people live. The same old problems, the same old routine, the same old joys with very little progress in changes. It seems that there is some comfort in this although when I look at it from my own perspective I know i will not feel the fullfillment of having lived a full life if I too live like this.

Allah is the Ultimate Tester, He disposes of what man proposes but it is man that carve himself out of the block of his destiny creating life, making it more interesting and exciting, challenging and even inspiring. Having acquired knowledge limited as it is, having experienced life no matter how insignificant it may seem, having tasted the fruits success and failures it is imperative that I learn to give back what has been blessed to me from my Lord. To share all my findings and insights with all those who care to read my blog or view my art journals, listen to what i can afford to share with them in person or simply be able to watch how i deal with my day to day living. I do not recommend that me way is any better than the next achiever but I am all I have got and what I have achieved may be something that might help someone else to see what is there for them in dealing with their lives. To not let financial situations dictate how you live is a safe way today for most people but most fall prey to becoming servants of their wealth rather than the master. To frown upon those who do not make the best of their life or opportunities that it has to offer is alot easier than to take their hands in yours and lead them out of their misery even just for a moment in time. To be able to perform one single costructive and creative effort towards the betterment of one self or in others in one say everyday is a goal worthy of a man of knowledge, even if it is this simple act of writing a blog and sharing with humanity an experience or an incident that might let them see something that was not in their conciousness before.

As the Buddha was said to have said, "Don't waste life", for life is more precious than we are let to believe, for only in this human form can man attain his salvation no matter what he is, a Muslim or a Hindu or a Chinese. Even if one does not have faith in any form of religion or spirituality, to practice what is good and diplore what is evil is common to us all and to waste our time in this life without giving it all that we've got and making the best out of what it has to offer is meaningless existance. Wealth an poverty are two sides of a coin and thus they are relative to one another, there is not one without the other. A man may have all the financial security in his life but his virutes may be questionable does not make a walthy man, nor a pauper who lacks the will to better his conditons by any means available to him makes him an elegant beggar. Self discovery means to measure oneself i terms of how far or how near one has arrived at being called 'Al-Insan Kamil' or the perfect man or the wholesome caracter. The journey is that of a seeker seeking ways and means at arriving at His door after being left to wander through this life with all its trials and travailations, removing one veil after another only to be blinded by the next from seeing his objective, this is my journey, this is what I carry in my mind ans in my heart wherever I am.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Terengganu Kite (Kee-te)

On Friday last my children decided that we had enough of watching movies on the DVD and the city of Georgetown and so decided to head for Kuala Terengganu driving my Kancil which was completely restored the day before. I was hesitant no having much confidence in the ability for the car to travel so far without giving trouble. We made it and had a good time getting here where I am right now at Fadli's computer shop at the wee hours of the morning like we used to do in the good old days when I was living at Tok Jembal close to the Telaga Batin Airport. We had just arrived from Tepoh a small town fifteen minutes north of here after hanging out and having a plate of fried Koay Teow and Nescafe tarik just like we used to do in the good old days. Azhar and Sazman were there the group was complete and the topic these is cameras and who or what can take better pictures. Sazman was all out defending Pentax while Fadzli was defending Cannon while Azhar was still contemplating on getting a camerra , after all these years.
My Brother in law was taken to the Kuala LUmpur Cancer care Unit yesterday and I had the good chance of silently communicating through our touch. I held his hand while meditating deeply and felt the tiny squeezes he applied to my fingers clasped in his bony fingers. I felt his presence although his eyes were closed like one in a coma. We had a long conversation in my mind. It felt as though we were carrying on a normal conversation after a while and I notice every time my mind looses its focus on our connection I would feel his squeeze of my fingers! It was quite an experience having sat there holding his bony fingers while my mind was empty of thoughts but just feeling what was going on, it made my journey worthwhile.
Tomorrow is the wedding day for my friend Hashim's daughter at his house in Pulau Duyong and I look forward to the event as Noor is like my own daughter from the days when I was giving the kids from around the area free tuition in English. Most of the kids from the Pulau Duyong area still calls me Sir. I am staying at the Yellow House a group of shalets built on water and run by Awi or Aboh as we all call him. There are not too many occupants at the Yellow House despite the SUKMA Games going on in Terengganu at the moment. The games are being help at the newly constructed stadium complex located near the airport right in front of the house that my family and I rented when we first moved back to Terengganu. I have only drove by but have not entered the facility, it looks quite an architecture from far,like a superdome from somewhere in the USA.
No doubt Terengganu is fast changing in appearance most for the better except for unfinished road constructions which is not in sync with the big SUKMA event going on where Malaysians from all over the country have converged here to enjoy the school vacation away from home and at the same time be a part of a National event. Terengganu had rarely suffered from traffic jams but the past few days and nights the roads have been a nightmare to drive. However despite the dusty roads and traffic jams the vehicles came from all over judging from their number plates. It is a great event for the Terengganu folks who have never really enjoyed such a major event in sports held in a most updated state of the art stadium and various other sports facility. It is something to be proud of. It is just hoped that after this event the facility will continue to be fully utilized by the locals.
Unlike the Crystal Mosque and Islamic complex built on the bank of the Terengganu River, the Stadium complex is more popular among the local community it is not seen as a waste of their tax money. The Crystal Mosque and the Islamic heritage complex, the brainchild of the former Menteri Besar, Dato Idris Jusoh is being boycotted by most of those i have spoken to here. Most have not been to see the mosque as yet unless forced to take their visiting relatives from other of the country, those who have read about it or saw it on TV. I have taken a trip to the mosque when I came here a last month and my first impression as to its architectural design was that it gave me a sterile feeling. It does not blend well with the landscape of the area like a magic kingdom of Disneyland built out in the wild. As you drive along the Sultan Mahmud Bridge heading north out of town you can get a good view of its splendor from the distance and from this view the mosque and its adjacent complex appears out of the ordinary especially at sunset.
I have no idea when my kids and I would head on back to Penang but so far I must say I am glad we made the trip as my children got to be with their old friends and I get to be with mine. A lot of memories is triggered everywhere we go here and most of these and been good memories especially it reminded us of Nancy my wife who lived here for at least six years of her life until she fell ill. Today sadly enough she is vegitating away in a nursing home in Illinois, USA. Karim my son is staying at his adopted parents' home at teh Army barracks in Telaga Batin and marissa is at MOhd. Rafi's and they are both happy to be where they are at.