Monday, August 31, 2009

The Joy of Giving

I first wrote on the jamban wound to reflect how kiasi (afraid to die) I am since young. I never actually realized it until my mom reminded me. That was during Chinese New Year this year. I was done with parting 60% of my liver to save a child's life to my mom's wondering what has made me out of mind to do it since she knew I was all the while very kiasi.

Until today, I could not explain why I did it. In fact, when my editor (I am writing a book on my journey in the recent liver donation) asked why I did it - I could not answer. The thought at that time was not the WHY I did it... it was supposed to be the other way round - WHY NOT? It is a life that is concerned and WHY NOT? Yes, I may die but the risks was only 1.0% - 1.5%, so WHY NOT? Organ donation is a cause close to my heart and being still alive, I have a chance to perform yet another service to mankind, so WHY NOT?

I recently held on to the book "The Meaning of The Holy Quran" by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, since my friend launched the Let's Read the Quran II campaign. And many also asked of my recent behaviour with escalated interests to Islam of which I also answered the same, WHY NOT?

I am very much impressed with the Quran emphasis on practising regular charity. In Surah Al-Baqarah alone, in several parts of the Surah, it mentions and repeatedly mentions:

And be steadfast in prayer; practise regular charity; and bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship). (2 - 043)

.... Worship none but Allah; treat with kindness your parents and kindred, and orphans and those in need; speak fair to the people; be steadfast in prayer; and practise regular charity..... (2 - 083)

And be steadfast in prayer and regular in charity: And whatever good ye send forth for your souls before you, ye shall find it with Allah: for Allah sees Well all that ye do. (2 - 110)

It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces Towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing. (2 - 177)

They ask thee what they should spend (In charity). Say: Whatever ye spend that is good, is for parents and kindred and orphans and those in want and for wayfarers. And whatever ye do that is good, -Allah knoweth it well. (2 - 215)

And whatever ye spend in charity or devotion, be sure Allah knows it all. But the wrong-doers have no helpers. (2 - 270)

If ye disclose (acts of) charity, even so it is well, but if ye conceal them, and make them reach those (really) in need, that is best for you: It will remove from you some of your (stains of) evil. And Allah is well acquainted with what ye do. (2 - 271)

Those who (in charity) spend of their goods by night and by day, in secret and in public, have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. (2 - 274)

Allah will deprive usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity: For He loveth not creatures ungrateful and wicked. (2 - 276)

Those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, and establish regular prayers and regular charity, will have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. (2 - 277)

If the debtor is in a difficulty, grant him time Till it is easy for him to repay. But if ye remit it by way of charity, that is best for you if ye only knew. (2 - 280)
I wrote about the joy of giving and how indescribable it is. When someone asked me how does it feel like after saving a life, I merely answer, "Why not trying it yourself?"

The jamban "wound"

I still remember when I was very small. My parents divorced and I was brought to my hometown, Teluk Intan, purportedly for a "holiday". That holiday lasted about 15 years.

When I was small, I was the naughtiest girl in the village, Pasir Berdamar (a place where you mention it, everyone in Teluk Intan knew how naughty the children were brought up) and growing up with cousin brothers can't help much, too. When bitten on the right palm by a neighbour's dog due to my mischievous, my paternal grandmother quickly summoned that I will be treated with an injection. Fearing injection, being so kiasi (afraid to die), I cried so loud and refuse to go to the clinic until my aunt was asked to follow along. Along with a human being, there also came the accompaniment of a thin, long stick, something call "cane"! Somehow, the sight of a cane was enough to shut my mouth and I readily allowed the doctor to treat and injected on me the necessary treatments. The kiasi me. The small scar still remains till today.

I still remember that a few years before staying in Teluk Intan, I was all about with my aunts, my maternal grandmother and everywhere in Sungai Petani, sometimes Kuala Lumpur and Teluk Intan. Partly due to both parents working and could not take care of me much, I had to follow whoever who could help.

Remembering the times in Sungai Petani where the village shared a common toilet right in the middle of the kampung. Those which you call the jamban, wooden-made cubic, where you go right in, lock yourself and all you can see is a large hole in between your legs. If you look closely, there is nothing more than a bucket at the bottom of the hole. I thought someone will collect the bucket each time it was full.

Since I was so young, I think I was only 3 years old, my aunt reminded me that I should not lock myself. "Just go in and shit/urine." But being so afraid of exposing myself, again the kiasi, I locked myself one day. And lol and behold, my leg just step right into the hole due to darkness and immediately, I slipped and fell into the jamban hole! Shouting "HELP!" was all I can do. The whole village came to rescue by forcefully opening the jamban door.

I was carried to my home and looking at the "wound", although not even bleeding, I cried so loud. The ankle was with a small little piece of skin tangling. My aunt wanted to peel it off which I shouted and cried louder. Even with much reassurance that there will be no pain, I still hesitated. The kiasi me... Auntie has to convince me by saying if the skin was to accidentally peeled off, then could be much more in pain. Insisting that it should be removed but the kiasi me still could not believe her.

She then covered that piece of skin with a piece of tissue paper and I cried, too. Auntie said, "I am just covering it... don't worry!" and as she removed the tissue paper from my ankle, the piece of skin was GONE!!! Although I did not feel anything at all, but the dismiss of the piece of skin made me cried even louder... kiasi. My grandma always use the trick - tucking a spoon to the "Milo" tin and then tucked it right to my mouth to pacify me. Somehow, Milo powder was my favourite since young and that was the best thing to stop me from crying. And grandma knows best!

And did I went in the jamban to do big or small business? I have forgotten...

This morning, I went to Teluk Intan McDonald's to sahur. When I stepped across the step, I accidentally stepped into a hole, making the same injury I had at the jamban - a small piece of skin at the very same ankle! So, I covered it with a tissue paper and removed it. No, there was no pain at all, although the whole day I felt some tingling pain on that jamban "wound".

Today, I have a much much larger wound on my abdomen which I will never forget. A wound that will remind me of the dying and how I have saved someone's life. Being such a kiasi and still dared myself to cut a 14-inch "mercedes" logo on my abdomen. Just how things can change when we grow up.

This made me cry and cry and cry....

The last time I cried was when An Qi's (recipient of part of my liver) parents said thank you. It was so touching and I could not hold the tears. Not that I can hold tears very well anyway and crying is always easy for me - tears can be free-flow, non-stop and generously pouring! Well, don't see me as such a strong lady but I really can cry easily! One thing many people do not know - I can be very pampered (manja), too (hehe).

Please read this (click the link). It is well worth the tears and swollen eyes.

I am super blessed to have known this guy. Yes, it has been non-stop describing him, talking about him, referring to him in my recent blogs but I just can't count how much respect and admiration I have for him.

I will write my reflections on "money issues" later in my blog. A recent conversation with my friends also reveal that while I am progressing far better than most, I am still behind time. I will share when my emotions get more stable after tears and swollen eyes.

PS: But why he shops at Guardian? I need to ask him later, hmm...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Music of the Hearts

I actually didn't know how to participate in the Let's Read the Quran campaign as I was not the best reader plus I did not finish reading the Quran. Well I don't read the Dhammapada either. However, the recent march of these 50 barbarians to protest the relocation of a Hindu temple in Shah Alam was one of the greatest disgrace to Islam. It spurs me to understand further about Islam and what the Quran has to say about it.

I still remember when we were in school. We were segregated during the Agama (religion) class where Muslims will study differently with the non-Muslims. I still lingered to the thought of "why can't we study religions together?" For one, I would like to understand more about Islam and the Muslims may want to understand us better. Secondly, Buddhism wasn't taught in school so I also want to know more about my religion.

I later found out that somehow, when your hearts are open, it will open your mind. And when all senses are opened you will find music to your hearts. We always hear the azan on television and normal reactions for the non-Muslim was to just change channel or off the TV. When I was at my Malay neighbour home, I did that, too! Then I was "educated" by them that the azan is noble music to the ears.

It was then that I learnt to respect another religion. Studying Buddhism later, it also encourages me to learn, respect and understand other religions better. For me, each time I hear the azan now, I feel peace. The drums at the Hindu temple was the happiest tune I've ever heard (and I just love the head shaking), reciting the sutras in Buddhist temple was very pleasing and listening to the marvelous voice of church choir has never been better.

Somehow I find it rather difficult to understand why human race cannot come as one. Why must someone always think they are more superior than the other where we were all born the same?

PS: I am lost in finding the correct phrases in Quran to represent what I want to say so let Anas does this. Click here for his comments.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Let's Learn Together

Napoleon Hill Habitizing Program, the Magic Ladder to Success!
3rd-6th September 2009 (Thursday - Sunday)
9.00am - 6.00pm daily

Come for 4 exciting day on habitizing yourselves. A program that will truly help you towards being successful. Based on the very first philosophy of success written by Napoleon Hill in year 1928, this Habitizing Program includes in-depth explanations, detailed guidance, step-by-step HOW TO and even real games to understand each of the 17 principles of success spelled by Napoleon Hill.

Call Napoleon Hill Associates (M) Sdn. Bhd. at 03-2144 1818 or download the pdf copy here. (259KB) This course - because is so intensive, powerful and mind-blowing, is cost at RM3,000. Ask for a discount from me, too. Classes will be small - easy to form groups and specialized attention by the trainer. Therefore, only limited seats available - so book your seat now! (As per time of writing, only 5 seats left) CALL NOW!

For the pdf file, click here. (447KB)

For the pdf file, click here. (518KB)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Let's read the Quran

I have "announced" of my fasting this Ramadhan through facebook. Lots of feedbacks and it was intriguing to see the comments of many friends. No, I am not a Muslim but I am a bangsa Malaysia, when asked am I a Muslim (therefore fasting).

Fasting during Ramadhan isn't new to me. I did this as soon as I have the liberty to cook and sahur at 5am. Puasa for 4 years during Ramadhan and then stopped for 6 years due to gastric. This year, I am back on track. My colleague suddenly asked me today, the reason I fast.

The answer was simple. I was a church-goer for 6 years, apparently to learn and improve English and then only discovered Buddhism when I was 13 years old. Buddhism (yes, I am a Buddhist) encourages Buddhists to go search and find out about other religions before deciding one that is right for him/her. With this "freedom" of choice and Malaysia being one of the easiest place on earth to learn diversified cultures and religions, so why not? I went on to learn about Islam and eventually practise them in daily live.

I still remember quoting live on a talk show (Bicara Siswa) the Surah Al-Kafirun (1-6), to the amazement of everyone on air (and at home, too!).

  1. قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا الْكَافِرُونَ Katakanlah: "Hai orang-orang kafir,
  2. لا أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ Aku tidak akan menyembah apa yang kamu sembah,
  3. وَلا أَنْتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ Dan kamu bukan penyembah Tuhan yang aku sembah.
  4. وَلا أَنَا عَابِدٌ مَا عَبَدْتُمْ Dan aku tidak pernah menjadi penyembah apa yang kamu sembah,
  5. وَلا أَنْتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ dan kamu tidak pernah (pula) menjadi penyembah Tuhan yang aku sembah.
  6. لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ Untukmu agamamu, dan untukkulah agamaku
See? The Quran encourages freedom of choice in religion for non-Muslims. So, why the hoo-hah when Malaysia was then pronounced Islamic state and the "fear" of losing our religious rights when we don't understand the Quran. So, let's read the Quran.

Let's read the Quran is a campaign launched by my idol, my friend, my guru and now my publisher, Anas Zubedy. As a bangsa Malaysia himself, he has always emphasized on "Many Colours, One Race" and he could quote verses from the Bible, Dhammapada and the Hinduism scriptures. This is the second round of campaign he is doing.

What is the Campaign all about?
Read the Quran in the language that you are familiar with.

When will the campaign start and end?
August 22nd to September 21st (Hari Raya Aidil Fitri)

Participating blogs in the blogosphere.

So more people know what the Quran says and what the Quran does not say and to match its relevance to our daily lives.

Anyone who wants to – the more the merrier! If you have a Blog, Facebook, etc carry the logo/icon.

- To join the campaign, place the accompanying logo/icon at your blog.
- Write or share short articles based on the Quranic text.
- Share what you find in the Quran with family and friends.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My LaunchPad - Emceeing

Becoming an emcee was never my dream nor has it became something of obsession. I was TV Presenter for Selamat Pagi Malaysia some time ago and naturally, friends asked that I emcee for events which requires someone who speaks fluent Malay.

I find I have this talent in me naturally - to speak with confidence, to emcee an event as well as to know what to say when things go wrong. Way back when in school, being actively involved in St. John Ambulance, I was often asked to be the emcee. I even emceed during an annual parade where the DYAM Raja DiHilir Perak was gracing. It was the first time I emceed in a function with royal attendance and I enjoyed it. The main guy at the Information Ministry commended that I should take emceeing as a career because I've got the "VOICE" and "bass" was strong, and I could flow the words as it flows.

I did not take him seriously. I should have.....

Now, being an emcee for so many events, I have done emceeing only in Malay. However, I took the bold step and challenge when a friend asked that I emcee for an event the next morning. The time was 12.15am and I will need to emcee in English at 8.30am.

It was the FIRST time emceeing in English and first event after the liver donation. As much as I would like to take care of my health and sleep early, I also took the challenge to research and prepared script for the morning.

I did my best and surprisingly find myself a new-found ability. Hey, I can emcee in English! Why not? I did not try earlier and yet when the first opportunity came, I never hesitated my skills. It was partly due to my generosity in helping a friend who needed help at the very last minute. I did well so much so that I got enough praises that let my confidence flies.

And then I did another event with a mix of both Malay and English.

TODAY, I did it again! I made it a point to emcee fully in English and I successfully did an impressive job. How do I know it was impressive? By the number of cards that come naturally without asking for it! I cannot stand it if my audience is boring or sleepy. No one will ever sleeps when I emcee and I made this my objective every single time. This time, a business function so solemn - but I made them all warmed up and by the time they dash out the hall for refreshment, they'd have remembered my name because as they CHEW their food, they'll remember Chew, the emcee.

Next, let me pick up Chinese and one day, I will emcee in Chinese, too! And be warned - my script includes phrases of Tamil, too. You can't help it when you are bangsa Malaysia.

Tomorrow, I will be emceeing for the Women Entrepreneur Conference organized by the Gorgeous Geeks whom its president I met at the Great Women of Our Time award 2008 gala dinner.

Someone asked of my fees, expecting it to be very high and came to be surprise of the fees I charged. Ask me for a figure if you would like to know. :)