Saturday, 28 September 2013

36 strategies

As per my construction working life, I believe this 36 strategies is something most Chinese in this industry know and learn of.
Either they learn it in their families from father/uncle's stories, or maybe it was taught in SKJC (Chinese school). Whatever way, this is embedded in Chinese culture, and you will see it in the way they handled business, work or anything competitive.
This is different from Sun Tzu Art Of War. These are actually idioms, 4 word idioms that are easy to memorise in Chinese language.

And if you read HK's comics, you will find these idioms all over, for example the word "Selagi ada nyawa selagi itu ada rezeki" uttered by the defeated kung-fu guy in the HK comic illustrate the last point in 36 Strategies = "If all else fails, retreat".

The Malay idiom seldom have this kind of "competitive" spirit type of idiom, simply because Malay people were not as war-mongering as the Chinese in Mainland China during the Chinese history, mainly the Warring period and the Three Kingdom Period.

Malays are very peaceful people, living in a blessed country where there shouldn't be any famine because the land is fertile (except one recorded in history is not-so-quite recent Baling famine, but then it involve too much politics) and because of this, it strips off the competitve spirit.
The Chinese who migrated to Malaysia, sees the Malay people as not having the same competitive spirit as theirs.

Nevertheless, nowadays, where city life is not so much different from the "survival of the fittest", the idioms may provide wisdom for those who read upon it.

Source from Wikipedia.

Thirty-Six Stratagems
The Thirty-Six Stratagems are divided into a preface, six chapters containing six stratagems each, and an afterword that was incomplete with missing text. The first three chapters generally describe tactics for use in advantageous situations, whereas the last three chapters contain stratagems that are more suitable for disadvantageous situations. They are in the form of four-character idioms. Each proverb is accompanied by a short comment, no longer than a sentence or two, that explains how said proverb is applicable to military tactics. These 36 Chinese proverbs are related to 36 battle scenarios in Chinese history and folklore, predominantly of the Warring States Period and the Three Kingdoms Period.

Chapter 1: Winning Stratagems
1. Deceive the heavens to cross the ocean
Prepare too much and you lose sight of the big picture; what you see often you do not doubt. Yin (the art of deception) is in Yang (acting in open). Too much Yang (transparency) hides Yin (true ruses).
This stratagem references an episode in 643 AD, when Emperor Taizong of Tang, balked from crossing the sea to a campaign against Koguryo. His general Xue Rengui thought of a stratagem to get the emperor across and allay his fear of seasickness: on a clear day, the emperor was invited to meet a wise man. They entered through a dark tunnel into a hall where they feasted. After feasting several days, the Emperor heard the sound of waves and realised that he had been lured onto a ship! General Xue drew aside the curtains to reveal the ocean and confessed that they had already crossed the sea: Upon discovering this, the emperor decided to carry on and later completed the successful campaign.
This stratagem means that you can mask your real goals, by using the ruse of a fake goal that everyone takes for granted, until the real goal is achieved. Tactically, this is known as an 'open feint'; in front of everyone, you point west, when your goal is actually in the east. By the time everyone realised it, you have already achieved your goal. Harro von Senger notes in the German-Language "Die List" that to grasp the full meaning, it would be something like "to deceive the holy virgin Mary" in the West.
This stratagem makes use of the human failing to become unaware of common everyday activities, or events that appear normal. The best secrets are carried out in broad daylight. The best hoax is to repeat it so often that people are convinced that the next move is also a hoax. When this happens, it is the best moment to carry out one's previously hidden true objective.
2. Besiege Wèi to rescue Zhào
When the enemy is too strong to be attacked directly, then attack something he holds dear. Know that he cannot be superior in all things. Somewhere there is a gap in the armour, a weakness that can be attacked instead.
The origin of this proverb is from the Warring States Period. The state of Wèi attacked Zhao and laid siege to its capital Handan. Zhào turned to Qí for help, but the Qí general Sun Bin determined it would be unwise to meet the army of Wèi head on, so he instead attacked their capital at Daliang. The army of Wèi retreated in haste, and the tired troops were ambushed and defeated at the Battle of Guiling, with the Wèi general Pang Juan fled on the field. Note that this campaign is also described explicitly in the Art of War of Master Sun Bin the younger.
The idea here is to avoid a head on battle with a strong enemy, and instead strike at his weakness elsewhere. This will force the strong enemy to retreat in order to support his weakness. Battling against the now tired and low-morale enemy will give a much higher chance of success.

3. Kill with a borrowed knife
Attack using the strength of another (in a situation where using one's own strength is not favourable). Trick an ally into attacking him, bribe an official to turn traitor, or use the enemy's own strength against him.
The idea here is to cause damage to the enemy by getting a 3rd party to do the deed.

4. Wait at leisure while the enemy labors
It is an advantage to choose the time and place for battle. In this way you know when and where the battle will take place, while your enemy does not. Encourage your enemy to expend his energy in futile quests while you conserve your strength. When he is exhausted and confused, you attack with energy and purpose.
The idea is to have your troops well-prepared for battle, in the same time that the enemy is rushing to fight against you. This will give your troops a huge advantage in the upcoming battle, of which you will get to select the time and place.
5. Loot a burning house
When a country is beset by internal conflicts, when disease and famine ravage the population, when corruption and crime are rampant, then it will be unable to deal with an outside threat. This is the time to attack.
Keep gathering internal information about an enemy. When he is weakest, attack without mercy and destroy him totally to prevent future troubles.

6. Make a sound in the east, then strike in the west
In any battle the element of surprise can provide an overwhelming advantage. Even when face to face with an enemy, surprise can still be employed by attacking where he least expects it. You must use a feint to create an expectation in the enemy's mind.
The idea here is to get the enemy to focus his forces on one location, and then attack a weakly defended spot.

Chapter 2: Enemy Dealing Stratagems
7. Create something from nothing 
A plain lie. Make somebody believe there was something when there is in fact nothing.
One method of using this stratagem is to create an illusion of something's existence, while it does not exist. Another method is to create an illusion that something does not exist, while it does.
8. Openly repair the gallery roads, but sneak through the passage of Chencang 
Deceive the enemy with an obvious approach that will take a very long time, while surprising him by taking a shortcut and sneak up to him. As the enemy concentrates on the decoy, he will miss you sneaking up to him.
The phrase originated from the Chu-Han contention, where Liu Bang retreated to the lands of Sichuanto prepare for a confrontation with Xiang Yu. Once he was fully prepared, Liu Bang sent men to openly repair the gallery roads he had destroyed earlier, while secretly moving his troops towards Guanzhongthrough the small town of Chencang instead. When Xiang Yu received news of Liu Bang repairing the gallery roads, he dismissed the threat since he knew the repairs would take years to complete. This allowed Liu Bang to retake Guanzhong by surprise, and eventually led to his victory over Xiang Yu and the birth of the Han Dynasty.
This tactic is an extension of the "Make a sound in the east, then strike in the west" tactic. But instead of simply spreading misinformation to draw the enemy's attention, physical baits are used to increase the enemy's certainty on the misinformation. These baits must be easily seen by the enemy, to ensure that they draw the enemy's attention. At the same time, the baits must act as if what they meant to do what they were falsely doing, to avoid drawing the enemy's suspicion.
9. Watch the fires burning across the river 
Delay entering the field of battle until all the other players have become exhausted fighting amongst themselves. Then go in at full strength and pick up the pieces.
10. Hide a knife behind a smile 
Charm and ingratiate yourself to your enemy. When you have gained his trust, move against him in secret.
11. Sacrifice the plum tree to preserve the peach tree
There are circumstances in which you must sacrifice short-term objectives in order to gain the long-term goal. This is the scapegoat stratagem whereby someone else suffers the consequences so that the rest do not.
12. Take the opportunity to pilfer a goat 
While carrying out your plans be flexible enough to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself, however small, and avail yourself of any profit, however slight.

Chapter 3: Attacking Stratagems
13. Stomp the grass to scare the snake 
Do something unaimed, but spectacular ("hitting the grass") to provoke a response of the enemy ("startle the snake"), thereby giving away his plans or position, or just taunt him. Do something unusual, strange, and unexpected as this will arouse the enemy's suspicion and disrupt his thinking. More widely used as "[Do not] startle the snake by hitting the grass". An imprudent act will give your position or intentions away to the enemy.
14. Borrow a corpse to resurrect the soul 
Take an institution, a technology, a method, or even an ideology that has been forgotten or discarded and appropriate it for your own purpose. Revive something from the past by giving it a new purpose or bring to life old ideas, customs, or traditions and reinterpret them to fit your purposes.
15. Entice the tiger to leave its mountain lair 
Never directly attack an opponent whose advantage is derived from its position. Instead lure him away from his position thus separating him from his source of strength.

16. In order to capture, one must let loose
Cornered prey will often mount a final desperate attack. To prevent this you let the enemy believe he still has a chance for freedom. His will to fight is thus dampened by his desire to escape. When in the end the freedom is proven a falsehood the enemy's morale will be defeated and he will surrender without a fight.
17. Tossing out a brick to get a jade gem 
Bait someone by making him believe he gains something or just make him react to it ("toss out a brick") and obtain something valuable from him in return ("get a jade gem").
This proverb is based on a story involving two famous poets of the Tang Dynasty. There was a great poet named Zhao Gu and another lesser poet by the name of Chang Jian. While Chang Jian was travelling in Suzhou, he heard news that Zhao Gu would be visiting a temple in the area. Chang Jian wished to learn from the master poet, so he devised a plan and went to the temple in advance, then wrote a poem on the temple walls with only two of the four lines completed, hoping Zhao Gu would see it and finish the poem. Zhao Gu acted as Chang Jian foresaw, and from this story came the proverb.
18. Defeat the enemy by capturing their chief 
If the enemy's army is strong but is allied to the commander only by money, superstition or threats, then take aim at the leader. If the commander falls the rest of the army will disperse or come over to your side. If, however, they are allied to the leader through loyalty then beware, the army can continue to fight on after his death out of vengeance.

Chapter 4: Chaos Stratagems
19. Remove the firewood from under the pot 
If something must be destroyed, destroy the source.
20. Disturb the water and catch a fish 
Create confusion and use this confusion to further your own goals.
21. Slough off the cicada's golden shell 
It's a stratagem mainly used to escape from an enemy of superior force. Mask yourself. Either leave flamboyant traits behind, thus going incognito, or just masquerade yourself and create an illusion to fit your goals and distract others.
22. Shut the door to catch the thief 
To deliver capture the enemy, you must plan prudently if you want to succeed. Do not rush into action. Before you "move in for the kill", first cut off your enemy's escape routes, and cut off any routes through which outside help can reach them.
23. Befriend a distant state while attacking a neighbour 
It is known that nations that border each other become enemies while nations separated by distance and obstacles make better allies. When you are the strongest in one field, your greatest threat is from the second strongest in your field, not the strongest from another field. This policy is associated with Fan Sui of Qin, circa 269 BC.
24. Obtain safe passage to conquer the State of Guo 
Borrow the resources of an ally to attack a common enemy. Once the enemy is defeated, use those resources to turn on the ally that lent you them in the first place. See Duke Xian of Jin.

Chapter 5: Proximate Stratagems
25. Replace the beams with rotten timbers 
Disrupt the enemy's formations, interfere with their methods of operations, change the rules in which they are used to following, go contrary to their standard training. In this way you remove the supporting pillar, the common link that makes a group of men an effective fighting force.
26. Point at the mulberry tree while cursing the locust tree 
To discipline, control, or warn others whose status or position excludes them from direct confrontation; use analogy and innuendo. When names are not used directly, those accused cannot retaliate without revealing their complicity.
27. Feign madness but keep your balance 
Hide behind the mask of a fool, a drunk, or a madman to create confusion about your intentions and motivations. Lure your opponent into underestimating your ability until, overconfident, he drops his guard. Then you may attack.
28. Remove the ladder when the enemy has ascended to the roof 
With baits and deceptions, lure your enemy into treacherous terrain. Then cut off his lines of communication and avenue of escape. To save himself, he must fight both your own forces and the elements of nature.
29. Deck the tree with false blossoms 
Tying silk blossoms on a dead tree gives the illusion that the tree is healthy. Through the use of artifice and disguise, make something of no value appear valuable; of no threat appear dangerous; of no use appear useful. This stratagem is identical to that of the Potemkin village.
30. Make the host and the guest exchange roles 
Usurp leadership in a situation where you are normally subordinate. Infiltrate your target. Initially, pretend to be a guest to be accepted, but develop from inside and become the owner later.


Chapter 6: Desperate Stratagems
31. The beauty trap (honey trap)
Send your enemy beautiful women to cause discord within his camp. This stratagem can work on three levels. First, the ruler becomes so enamoured with the beauty that he neglects his duties and allows his vigilance to wane. Second, other males at court will begin to display aggressive behaviour that inflames minor differences hindering co-operation and destroying morale. Third, other females at court, motivated by jealousy and envy, begin to plot intrigues further exacerbating the situation.
32. The empty fort strategy 
When the enemy is superior in numbers and your situation is such that you expect to be overrun at any moment, then drop all pretense of military preparedness and act calmly so that the enemy will think you are setting an ambush. This stratagem has to be used sparingly and only after one has first developed a reputation for military prowess. This also depends on having a clever opponent who, in perceiving a trap, may over-think his reaction.
33. Let the enemy's own spy sow discord in the enemy camp 
Undermine your enemy's ability to fight by secretly causing discord between him and his friends, allies, advisors, family, commanders, soldiers, and population. While he is preoccupied settling internal disputes, his ability to attack or defend, is compromised.
34. Inflict injury on oneself to win the enemy's trust 
Pretending to be injured has two possible applications. In the first, the enemy is lulled into relaxing his guard since he no longer considers you to be an immediate threat. The second is a way of ingratiating yourself to your enemy by pretending the injury was caused by a mutual enemy.
35. Chain stratagems 
In important matters, one should use several stratagems applied simultaneously after another as in a chain of stratagems. Keep different plans operating in an overall scheme; however, in this manner if any one stratagem fails, then the chain breaks and the whole scheme fails.
36. If all else fails, retreat
If it becomes obvious that your current course of action will lead to defeat, then retreat and regroup. When your side is losing, there are only three choices remaining: surrender, compromise, or escape. Surrender is complete defeat, compromise is half defeat, but escape is not defeat. As long as you are not defeated, you still have a chance.

Sunday, 22 September 2013



Ilmu ni aku ambil dari buku Consumer Association of Penang.

Conventional banks, bila bagi loan, akan charge interest "accumutively", contoh bukan 8% of the total loan, tapi kena refer table yang disediakan pihak bank.

Nevertheless, bank loan rates on property are regulated by Bank Negara. Bank Negara ada jurisdiction untuk pastikan loan rate berada pada tahap as minimum as possible, untuk membolehkan bank to run its practice, dan ensure people untuk boleh bayar balik loan tu.

Soalan = kenapa kadang2 Islamic loan pun "lebih mahal" dari nilai loan kita ambil dari conventional banks?

Islamic banking bukan bererti pinjam 100k bayar 100k ye.

Cara Islamic bank beroperasi begini.

Contoh, kau nak beli rumah 100k. What Islamic bank does, is to buy itself the house dengan value 100k from the developer, tapi jual balik kat kau dengan certain "profit". Kalau bank tak ada profit-taking, dia tak dapat berfungsi sebagai institusi kewangan.

Nilai profit-taking tu kau kena agree betul2 dengan bank (baca agreement loan betul2).

There are practices, contohnya loan utk 20 tahun, maka nilai loan diberi tu akan consider nilai 20 tahun akan datang. That's why kenapa kadangkala rumah 100k tapi kau bayar balik bank dengan harga yg mahal sebab consider nilai rumah 20 tahun akan datang.

Bank pasti akan profit-taking kalau beri loan. Cuma as a pengguna, kau perlu bijak untuk determine berapa kau kena bayar based on your study and comparison of loan-rates and loan practices.

Sebab itu, ada satu tesis Wan Marhaini Wan Ahmad tahun 2011 bertajuk ZAKAT INVESTMENT IN MALAYSIA: A STUDY OF CONTEMPORARY POLICY AND PRACTICE IN RELATION TO SHARIA (try carik dlm net, boleh download), yang mana propose zakat to be invested on giving loans untuk perumahan, yang mana zakat bagi loan atas nama "zakat investment"

In economic practice, zakat boleh digunakan untuk bantu orang "bawah 3k" to buy houses di mana duit zakat tu beli rumah dan jual balik kepada orang "bawah 3k" tadi dengan "harga berpatutan"

Is it a need? Sure, sebab harga rumah melambung naik dan ramai Muslims yang tak berapa boleh nak afford buying houses.



Within 6 years of working in construction, there are a number of times when I'm screwed by my bosses sebab salah faham certain things dalam engineering.

Even though aku read the books, guidelines, standards, etc, tapi pemahaman itu tak semestinya betul. And so, senior people or bosses akan bagi tahu the correct understanding of the clause, and from there kau pun akan develop ilmu dan skill kau.

Itu sebab dalam kehidupan beragama ni, aku sentiasa try to improve "the correct understanding" of it,
either cari buku2 mcm riyadhus shalihin, tanbihul ghafilin, ihya ulumiddin, buku2 academic Islam yg bagus dan cari la ustaz2 atau download ceramah.

sebab, sedangkan aku kerja pun perlu kepada study2 standard2, catalogue, guideline, etc. masakan benda beragama tak buat sama macam kerja.

Agama kalau based on hearsay, takut satu hari dia goyah. Even when you study yourself, ada kalanya you might gain in-correct understanding of it.

Sebab ilmu, whether agama, science, engineering atau sebagainya, dia ada discipline ilmu.

Dan kadangkala, bila berborak dgn atheist2 Melayu, aku rasa, mereka hanya berasaskan ilmu logic mantic purely on logic reasoning, tapi tak di sokong satu foundation atau discipline ilmu yg kuat.

Seperti berbual dengan adik darjah 3 tentang fizik mekanik Form 6, perbincangan rasa takjub dan hebat, reason nampak logic tapi mathematically stupid.

Sebab fizik mekanik Form 6 perlu belajar dari mathematical point of view, baru dapat correct understanding of it.Perbincangan fizik mekanik Form 6 berasaskan philosophical semata-mata, tidak menghasilkan fruitful discussion walaupun nampak hebat. It's the mathematics of it yang enable Russians to launch the Sputnik satellite during the 1950's.

Dulu Ibnu Rushd pernah aju soalan logic mantik "Bolehkah Tuhan mencipta satu batu yang Dia sendiri tak boleh angkat?"

Actually, Ibnu Rushd bukan heretic/kafir, Beliau nak tunjukkan ilmu logic mantik ni sometimes boleh menghasilkan sesuatu yang di-panggil paradox.

Paradox = dua statement yg true tapi bila combine, dia akan contradict each other.

Thomas Aquinas, Augustine of Hippo dalam buke The City of God cuba rungkai Omnipotence paradox ini, but in the end, logic mantik, kalau tak ada certain limit dan foundation, dia akan mislead.

Science learns from this, and so, science selalu discipline-kan ilmunya dengan research-based mentality,buat experiment, kaji contoh2 dalam kehidupan, dan develop mathematics and so on, bukan hanya sangkaan2 kosong dalam minda.

satu lagi paradox, yg mana, reason kenapa science titik beratkan ilmu statistic kalau buat certain kajian.

It's found that mothers who smoke, produce underweight babies yang  kadar kematian kurang berbanding mothers who don't smoke.

Sekali lalu, boleh di-induce bahawa smoking have no effect on mortality rates.

But, that's where ilmu statistic comes in, untuk kaji data tu balik. Is there any correlation purely by statistic to show this?

Bila discipline ilmu statistic di-apply, maka scientist found out, smoking will induce underweight babies, tapi kematian underweight babies ni lebih dipengaruhi faktor lain berbanding smoking. Nevertheless, having underweight babies increase the chance of mortality of the baby.

Itu lah discipline ilmu yang perlu kita apply utk cari the truth, especially religion.

Always check what you know because even though it might seem logical, yet it is false.

Even as I work longer dalam construction, aku lebih suka cakap "wo pu che tau" dan tengok penjelasan from other engineers. In the same time, aku try baca itu dan ini, sebab correct understanding of things perlukan effort dan discipline.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

never again

Discharge - Never Again

A blinding light, winds and firestorms agonising cries
Never never never again

Unanswered cries of help, panic and desperation
Never never never again

Dazed and stricken survivors search for lost families
Never never never again

Choking lust, crazy with thirst, drinking from poisoned pools and streams
Never never never again

Photo : Japanese soldier walking through a barren section of Hiroshima, Japan, Sept. 1945

Monday, 16 September 2013

Wo pu che tau

Wo pu che tau = I don't know.

One of the running jokes that I heard in while working in construction is this stupid racist story.

One day, a foreigner was wandering aimlessly at Bukit Bintang, wanting to go to KLCC.

Not knowing how to get there, he asked a Malay fella nearby.

The Malay fella told him "follow me" and then walk around to a bus stop, took a taxi together with the guy and tadaaaa...they were in the KLCC vicinity.

Somehow the foreigner still couldn't figure out how to walk from Bukit Bintang to KLCC, and so he went back that night to his hotel at Jalan Bukit Bintang by taxi.

The next day, he went and asked an Indian about how to go to KLCC.
The Indian guy told him to walk straight to Jalan Imbi, then walk straight until reaching Jalan Tun Razak.
From Jalan Tun Razak, walk straight until Ampang Park is sighted, go to the road in front of Ampang Park, then walk straight until you see KLCC.

While he was walking, it rained heavily. He took a taxi then found out the route is much more longer than the previous trip.

The foreigner thought he had wisen up a little bit, and so the next day, he asked the local Chinese guy working in the nearby Chinese restaurant. Before asking about the route, he asked about the guy's experience. The Chinese told him that he worked in that restaurant for almost 10 years.

The foreigner then proceed to ask "Could you show me the way from here to KLCC?"

The Chinese guy said "Wo pu che tau".


Previously, my ex-boss had one criticism of me, which is "why the hell you want to be nice to that engineer? I paid him to figure it out, ok? This is not school where you teach others, instead I paid you for your duty to complete my work, you think this office do charity-job?" (He didn't actually said those words, but it carried the same meaning anyway)

At first I didn't heed that advice, but I soon learned the juniors whom I shared my "views" do not really appreciate free things. Don't expect thankfulness if you give free lunches.

I once asked the company to give engineering training on Saturdays, only to find out nobody really wanted to attend it. I was screwed for giving the advice by my boss and even from the juniors. Shit.

Worst, I was labelled as a smart ass.


Engineering is a professional job. To become an engineer, you have to take tertiary education. To register to Board of Engineers Malaysia, you need an engineering degree from certified universities.

And so, when you start working, nobody expected you to fully know engineering because industry knowledge differs so much from what is taught in universities. But everybody expect you to be smart enough to "pick up" the necessary knowledge to carry out your job.

You can ask sometimes, but you are not to depend on questions. Everyone else are engineers, not full time teachers. You learn by yourself from books, guidelines, standards, or you can take courses offered by Institute of Engineers Malaysia or whatever way you can think of.

To me, the most favourite word in construction line in Malaysia is "Wo pu che tau".

It is because everybody's "cari makan" or earning a pay. Sometimes if it's not so difficult, someone will tell you, but be reminded, that guy is also doing his job as well.

It is easier to replace a screwup than to take years teaching that screwup because that screwup might jump to another company with better offers.


I kept a certain collection of guidelines, books, standards, drawings and even brochures of engineering equipment, because I have to do this to stay competitive in this line.

Even though I'm a Mechanical guy, I worked before as a Electrical QC, did Quantity Surveyor jobs on civil and steel structures, and other jobs related to construction but not at all related to Mechanical.

However, I found those experience to be helpful, because it relates to construction practice.

And so, religion-wise, I also bought books on Islamic as well. Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim books, Riyadhus Shalihin, Tanbihul Ghafilin, Ihya' Ulumiddin and up to this day, I still purchase those books related to Islam, not the usual 10 buck books, but  those "serious" books which I think are the academic type.

I did not attend any Islamic classes, but I downloaded a whole bunch of ceramah. I took whatever the best that I felt and deleted those whom I couldn't understand.

It is because for me, the way to learn Islam is the same way you learn engineering. It's a research thing, where you really find the genuine and the most academically renown books, the same way I did in engineering by buying the latest Standards and Guidelines for engineering. Then, you double check. That's the only way to ensure knowledge integrity.

Sometimes, I make a photostat copy of Islamic books that I found and borrowed from Masjid Jamek Kajang.


Recently, I chatted with an ex-Muslim who became an atheist, and also with another Muslim who does not believe in Hadiths, only refer to the Quran books.

And so, they asked me few questions that I couldn't answer.

Regarding that ex-Muslim, I borrowed and read Tahafut Al Filasafah, written by Imam Ghazali, which try to reason with Atheist by using pure semantic logics. Imam Ghazali felt it is needless to argue with them using Al Quran because they never believe it, and so I believe maybe I could share some views there with this fella.

But, what happened in the end, I kept quiet about it. I never told him anything. In fact, we never email each other again. I didn't even start sending him any single email after reading Tahafut Al Filasafah.

I realised, people have an absolute conviction about what they know. Who am I to argue? What benefit can I have by arguing? I felt pointless if I argued about it, it's better if we become friends or whatever.

To the fella who asked me about the Hadith, I also felt the same way. It's much more better to become friends than to argue.

Moreover, it's good to have friends who differ with you, because you can make comparisons. It is much more beneficial, I think.

I brought books of Sahih Bukhari's to my tabledesk beside my notebook, but then when I started to open the pages, I ask myself, "Am I doing this to disprove this fella, or is it truly because of knowledge?"

If it's for knowledge, better keep it to myself what I know and absorb good things from what the other fella said.

In the end, I said, "wo pu che tau".


I learned that, sometimes people say "I don't know", not because that he/she doesn't know.

First, you may end up confusing people if that explaination is incomplete.things might get wrong and you will be blamed.

Second, better listen for others to do it because you might learn more.

Thirdly, there's a duty of care if you say you know, because you have to be responsible for what you say. And the people asking you might ask more and more question than what you can understand.

In corporate life, that job/responsibility might even be transferred to you instead of the person inquiring about it. That's why we have the term "smart ass" in corporate life, ass are mentioned because ass (donkey) is used during the old times, for carrying loads.

Man have round shoulders to carry heavy loads. Then they use their brain to invent wheels and use cart instead.  Afterwards, they used animals to pull the carts. Some engineer figured out it's better to put engines and mechanise the whole thing. No matter what, the heavy loads are no longer carried by the smart humans.

Therefore, smart ass are those who wanting so much to become an ass to carry other people's loads, and they did it by convincing the world that they are smart. It is more efficient to transfer the load using better ass. Nevertheless, an ass is still an ass no matter how smart it is.

Lastly, sometimes, for all the effort put forth, what do you get at the end? Ok you can preach to me about "pahala'/good deeds or being benevolence, but remember, all words spoken/typed will be heavy on your shoulders one day.

The best way to do this then, I think,  is to just say what you know, and of what you don't know, just say"wo pu che tau".

The Chinese guy who said "wo pu che tau" figured that if he explained it wrongly, he might not get a tip. If he discussed with the foreigner about the way, he might be screwed by his boss because he had other jobs to do. And worst, if the foreigner misunderstood him, the foreigner might be lost somewhere at Jalan Tun Razak while hating Malaysians. And so, he better kept quiet and told the best answer. Furthermore, there are maps around, and if the foreigner can get across half the world to come to Malaysia, surely he could get to KLCC without his help.


This is a long bloody post. nevertheless I remembered one story.

At Dubai, I worked in a Mainland Chinese (chung-kuo-ren) construction company. The company is from Mainland China, and most of the staff were from there too.

I have one Malaysian Chinese friend working there as well.

There are 7 Chinese dialects, the official one is Mandarin.

But this Malaysian Chinese friend, spoke none of it, and never spoke Chinese to any of the guys there, even with our Malaysian team.

After we got back, and few years after we last met, I saw him one day with his family.

He spoke perfect Cantonese with his family.

One of the wisdom is in listening and not much talking about it. Practically he listens to all the Chinese conversation while making poker-face, pretending not to understand what they say.

He could figure out what they think in Chinese, what they say to others in Chinese and what they explained to him in English, and from those information, he maintained an advantage.

Whenever they spoke to him in Chinese, he just say, "Pardon me, I don't know Chinese".

Sunday, 15 September 2013


Cromok - Memories
from Forever in Time (1993)

(slow spoken)
I'm not angry with life
I'm just bewildered
Chains of uncertainty
Are holding me down

(cookie monster vocal starts from here)

Where am I to go?

Who am I to blame?

What am I to do?

God, am I insane?

I never thought that my smile will put me deep into debt

I never thought that my innocence would stray me away from reality

I never thought that my live would resolved to emptiness

I never thought that in order to live, I have to bear so much pain

Where am I to go?
Who am I to blame?
What am I to do?
God, am I insane?


The sorrow of life has taught me
To accept many new beginnings

To smile even though it hurts

To reach out even if there's no one there

To aim high and never say die

Cause there's always sun at the end of the night

(break then continue with upbeat)

Memories...tortured by my own
Memories...Trapped in my own

(beautiful leads)

(fast thrash beat)
If your eyes are full to the brim
The teardrops are sure to fall down

For whom the eyes may starve tomorrow, who knows?
Where it get lost,

the tears, that I had kept hidden in my memories

...tortured by my own


Memories...Trapped in my own


Friday, 13 September 2013

Barcelona Vs Real Madrid

What people should know behind the rivalry of Barcelona vs. Real Madrid.

Yup, it's about the Catalan Independence.

Sept 11, 2013, about 1.6 million people went out to the streets, hold hand by hand and form human chain as long as 400 kilometer to show support for Catalan Independence.

 Full story in English:-

Full story in Malay (actual posting):-

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Any Colour You Like

Pink Floyd - Any Colour You Like
From the album The Dark Side of The Moon

In Henry Ford’s autobiography, someone asked why the successful T-model was produced only in black colours, and Mr. Ford answered :-

“You can have it any colour you like, as long as it’s black.” (rephrased)

The actual technical reasoning behind it was actually because black was more faster drying, and so since Model T was the first car to be produced by moving conveyor belts, black was chosen for all the T-Models produced by this process, to speed up manufacturing.

This trippy soundtrack was probably titled this way to convey the lack of choices in our life.

The reason behind this posting?

In Malaysia recently, some party criticised about the new Education Plan that was proposed by the Malaysia Ministry of Education.

The Education Minister instead replied “If you’re not so happy with education in Malaysia, the Government have no objection if you wish to send your kids to school overseas.”


Monday, 9 September 2013

Poster Boy

1. Before you start criticising, let it be known that the brand name Fathul Bari is a title of a famous book by Ibnu Hajar As-Qalani, which discusses all the Hadith Sahih stated in Sahih Bukhari book.

2. Then, as usual, famous brand names will result in names being applied to children, and I believe the father of the Ustaz as per link above knew about Ibnu Hajar and that famous book of his.

3. Go and find that Fathul Bari book, it's a good book. You can request the book personally from me through my email.

4. I don't care about that Ustaz. However, let's look at that issue academically.
If you ever read Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, you will understand the concept of "invisible hand".

5. However, after the collapse of Wall Street in 1930's resulting in Great Depression, it resulting in this:-

6. That Ustaz's view, if viewed from the Non-Islamic view, is pro-capitalist.

7.  The study of mechanistic in pricing, is there being studied by economist around the world. If Newton was still alive, he too would say that pricing is like gravity, it's a mechanism designed by God, but it is there to be studied.

8. The problem with that Ustaz thinking is that, asking the masses for a total acceptance of economic pricing without study and understanding, and saying it's part of that taqdir. (pre-determination from God).

9. That Ustaz alone will bear the weight of his statements, either here in this world or in the Thereafter (for those Muslims).

10. Economist around the world study price mechanism, from the point of economics and psychology.

11. I'm not an Islamic academic. But there is a common practice by Malaysian Muslims, when they buy things at the pasar malam, they will always say "Beli ye kak" (I buy this) and that Kakak (Sister) will say "Ye kakak jual". (Ok I sell it). Why do you think they say that?

12. Because they are practicing akad. In modern terms, contract. Because on each side, saying that is by practice, mentioning an acceptance by each and everyone during the handover of goods.

13. That's why in modern days, we have delivery order, receipt. A documentation of transaction.

14. But, if a government decide to increase the price without notice, or the people only knew it in just a short time (short notice), what is the value of acceptance of the transaction? Is it legal in Islam?

15. Go and ask that genius Ustaz this question.

16. Nevertheless, I think, most issues in Malaysia are deviated by this way. One poster clown will come out with a statement, then everybody instead labelled him and attack him directly, resulting in everyone forgetting of the whole issue, and focusing on that poster boy instead.

Sunday, 8 September 2013


During my studying days at UM, i worked as lab tutor as well, during my final years.

My view on lab tutoring is like this.

You see, the students already had copies of lab result from peers and seniors which they will "re-produce" and resubmit.

They also already had the lab test papers before they entered the lab. Well at least that's why I asked from the students before they enter the lab.

And so, during the lab tutorials, what I did, is giving my "point of view" of it.

Once, I told them the story of brakes used in lifts, which is not mentioned anywhere on the notes, but basically I told them because it is not mentioned by anyone.

I told them, you people are smart enough to understand the concept of it, i do not need to lecture on the theories anymore. Let's get practical, shall we?

And so, I handled the lab tutorial for Fluid Mechanics, Mechanic Vibration and one lab about energy efficiency on airconditioning.

Reason I knew so much about those, is because I failed those subject once, and had to retake it, nevertheless, I found that those subjects which I had to retake are those who I remembered perfectly even today.

I could practically write the Bernoulli equation, and give a talk about it, because I still use it to calculate pump head during my construction years, and because I knew, I took the Fluid Mechanics class twice.


Tuition. Ok, I do not like to do private tuitioning even though the profit's more.

I rather worked at tuition centers, so I don't have to worry about travelling, whether student pays the tuition center or not, etc.

And what I did is, I will give my "point of view" of the subjects.

I told the students, and so, there is "my point of view" which you can follow, or you can make and follow your own way, either way I don't care. Whatever understanding you have, as long it works, then it works.

Like in maths, sometimes students told me math tricks or 'abacus tricks" on how to calculate the numbers. I told them, if it can be faster than your calculator, then use it. If not, it is just hollow talks.

I focus too much on this because I want to convey one thing. It's you who's going to use it in your exams. Find a way that works. That's all.

It's not about me as a teacher. It's about you finding a way to deal with the problem.


I never like to feel attached to any student at all. I told them, I don't care about your personal life and problems. I'm here to show you my "way". If you think it's good then follow and innovate or whatsoever.

Sometimes, kids, they look upon at the ones who teach. That's ok. But I'm not their parents, their taiko, their brother or whatsoever.

And so, there are problematic students. But basically, they do not want to be there. I told them, go and tell your parents to pay money where you want to be.

I shared my views with the bosses of the tuition center. Citing Robert Kiyosaki's book "Rich Dad's Before You Quit Your Job : 10 Real-Life Lessons Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Building a Multimillion-Dollar Business".

In business, there are good customers and there are bad ones as well. If you want to be happy, then always exclude the bad ones because it'll influence other good customers as well. Usually 85% good - 15% bad.

If you applied it in teaching, there are good students and bad students. Bad ones are those who doesn't want to be in your class, that's it.

They can talk about their problems from A-Z, but the most important thing for me, do you want to be here to listen to my "point of view" or not?

If your problem is bigger than your need to stay here, then please go.

We do not have time.

I got to "teach" those who want to learn.

And so to me, I rather focus my effort for those 85% who want to be there.

Be strict to those 15%, and you'll get the respect from the parents of the good 85%. In the long term, everybody will know we are not here to be "jokers" or "kids-entertainers".


I also do not like to join "events" for students. I do not want to be attached to them. They are with me to know my "point of view". Nothing more than that.

To students, 
Treat learning like work. Like a job.
And you will find it easy when you grow up and work like other people.

In working, there is no such thing as a "mama" or "papa". You do your job and you get paid. You do your things wrongly, you get screwed.

Treat your personal problems by yourself, and don't mix it with your job. Corporate lifestyle is not so forgiving, oh dear students.


To those who knew me personally, or those who chatted with me, they all know about one of my relatives who is a school refusal.

To me, he becomes like that, because he didn't like doing things that he dislike.

That's the idea.  He didn't knew, until quite late, that everybody had to do things that they dislike. Everybody's got their dues in life to pay.

You think everybody wants to work? No. But we do it because we had to.

Like that story at Wadi Kurede blog, the problematic students are those who are allowed to do things as they like or dislike.

If they cannot learn that, they cannot even adhere to laws, religion or those things that made mankind "functional".

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Anugerah Sasterawan Negara Malaysia

If the Anugerah Sasterawan Negara Malaysia can be revoked, then what is so priceless about that Anugerah in the first place?

A minister said it.

Somemore, that minister holds the Malaysian Ministry of Communication and Multimedia.

If it really happens, then I shouldn't bother writing good things in Malay. Because every writing in Malay seems to be "lower" than the power of politics in Malaysia. 

You know what? 

Go read about Tan Twan Eng, a Malaysian, and his novel The Garden of Evening Mists. 

His books sold like hot-cakes in UK, prompting him to be shortlisted for Man Booker Prize 2012.

Because of his English book, he won Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction 2013, and Man Asian Literary Prize 2012.

Malay literature do not succeed the same heights as The Garden of Evening Mists, purely because it has to stoop so low to Malay politics, which in turn generates Malay weak-minds.

And then you guys keep wondering why Malaysian language is not being revered so much even in its own country. Go and figure it out now.

We shall never surrender

this week, so many things happened, screwed up, failings, incidents, 20-cents increase in fuel price, etc.

yet, there was one mp3 of a concert of Iron Maiden that "shouted" to my mind this phrase, "we shall never surrender".

I went back and "made" this vid. It ain't original. Nevertheless, i felt something about it.

One may retreat to gain advantage and strength, no doubt about it.

But we all shall go on to the end, and we shall never surrender.

Sunday, 1 September 2013


Amongst Too's innovations was the usage of inconspicuously coloured instead of brightly coloured paper for leaflets, so that the communist rank-and-file would not be noticed by their superiors when they picked up the leaflets. Too avoided a "preachy" approach in drafting the leaflets; his style was described as: "Don't preach. Don't theorize. Never say 'I told you so.' No propaganda based on hatred." Too also focused on a factual approach in his propaganda leaflets, which often comprised information such as the names of recently surrendered communist soldiers, lists of mistresses of party leaders (a privilege resented by many rank and file), and photos of communist casualties.

Personally, during 31'st August-1 Sept, I found myself under cyber-mocking at one blog, because I was too preachy at that blog by my comments.

Somehow, I find the comfort of reading about CC Too at, and now I'm googling about this guy, especially his famous book, The Story of a Psy-Warrior: Tan Sri Dr. C. C. Too.

Silly thing about my fascination of him though, stems from the fact he was born on 31'st March, and because this guy choose to be bald. (I shared this same habit of shaving my head every 2 weeks or so).

Even though I'm not a Chinese, due to my upbringing in Kajang, and my experience in Kajang High School, I found myself understanding some of the Chinese psyche. (I dare not say I understand all)

You see, from Form 1 to Form 5, my class had less than 10 Malays, compared to other 20-30 Non-malays guys.

After I graduated from UM, I joined the construction industry, which is predominantly Malaysian Chinese. Furthermore, I was a lucky bastard who was chosen to work overseas, and during one stint, I worked under a Mainland Chinese company (chung-kuo-ren company).

I favoured the Chinese mentality in life because I think it's progressive.

You see, they had a thousands years old of history based on War. And so they favoured "competitiveness".

My late father is an Ultra-Malay, had the "old-type" Malay pride and thinking.

However, his mentality is very much different from Malays nowadays. Malays nowadays are quite "empty". They talked about Malay pride, but they don't really delve much to their own culture. They talked about maintaining Malay power, yet they favoured Western "fun-troll" mentality.

Real Malays don't troll, because it made them look like idiots. Especially since Malays live in closed-knitted community as reflected in Malay culture of "bagai aur dengan tebing", "berat mata memandang berat lagi bahu memikul", "bagai isi dengan kuku", which emphasise much on local unity spirit within the community.

When I type the word "Melayu" into Google at this moment, 11:40 pm, Sept 1 2013, the first post that pops out is "melayu main kat pejabat kantoi dengan bos".

Some Malay talked of Islam religion and bashing others that differs.But in real life, they could not offer much "alternative practicallity", they also use Riba which is just re-named under Islamic banking with "future risk".

It's because you can never be certain of the value of future risk, that uncertainty of value is not much favoured in Islam way of life, and yet you will find those under Islamic loans.

My late father, keeps Malay poetry books, and I liked to read it, nevertheless, he told me something which I will never forget for my whole life.

Late Father : Do you know what is the slogan for UMNO before Mahathir took and rip it apart?

Me : What do you mean?

Late Father : Do you know what the Malays were fighting for in the old times? That's the slogan of UMNO Lama.

Me : What is it?

Late Father :  Ayam di kepuk mati kelaparan (Chickens raised inside the coop, died in hunger)

He then told me that, the bumiputeras, are living in a rich land, yet they are still lacking behind so much from the foreigners who came later on.

I remember reading Dr. M's Malay Dilemma, later on, which talks about the same thing.

Later in life, I found out the expression ayam di kepuk mati kelaparan orginates from Aminuddin Baki.

My late father, together with my Malay friends in construction, have a similar thinking,which is, we are surrounded by these "competitive" people.

If you are not good, then you just become like those chicken who died hungry in a fertile land. Don't cry and pity yourself. This is real life. Improve yourself, the title of "bumiputera" is just an empty title if you are not "strong", mentally and economically.

There's no use of labelling others as "cinabengs" or "cinakui's" as you pride yourself that you are a prince of the land, while in real life, you are just "empty".

All this racism you found in Perkasa, and the Tanda Putera movie, is devoid of this "ayam di kepuk mati kelaparan". All the talk is about "others". Never about themselves.

While all this is happening....

You still depend on your salary while Chinese prefer making business. You screw your friends over petty things while Chinese build "connections". You make Malay movies showing Malay successful businessman having love and marriage problem, while Chinese, Korean movies depict successful business people as shrewd and truly believe in their absolute self-conviction to be successful.

My point in all this is, why should we must bother so much thinking about others as "enemy" when we ourselves are devoid?

Nevertheless, Malay people will not bother this. Instead, they will screw me for "this guy talk cock only, writing in bad grammar English, Bahasa Melayu pun tak mahu guna"

Somemore, my biological buildup featured by my skin color, shows that I'm not a "pure Malay".

Knowing all this, I don't bother about the critics much. They and their opinion are just "empty".

As I remembered all these, I felt humbled by the recent cyber-mocking. I shouldn't have waste time over-doing "silly" commenting. You shouldn't over-throw good ideas at other people's turf.

And I pitied the Malays who mock under the name firdaus a-z (of course they were Malays, they wrote Malay with such rempit-ness). And I pitied those Malays who argued about Malay rights, Malay politics, Malay sense of pride and posted those comments online inside cybercafes owned by Chinese.