Monday, February 28, 2011

Qutb

Rindu kamera! Rindu pada badannya yang hitam berkulat, pada lensanya yang pendek kemetot dan juga pada bunyi shutter-nya yang begitu mengasyikkan. Apakan daya, seperti juga manusia, kamera datang dan pergi. Rosak. Duit pun tak mari-mari untuk aku cari ganti. Tapi, rasanya, kalau ada yang baru pun, aku tak boleh namakannya pengganti.

Kamera Nikon D40x tentunya bukan antara wish-list fotografer-fotografer sekarang, tapi what-the-heck, kamera itu telah banyak berjasa padaku. Ke gunung sudah, ke laut sudah, ke hutan sudah, ke kenduri kahwin sudah, ke Australia, Indonesia, Jepun, Thailand sudah, apa lagi yang aku nak? Badannya yang ringan dan fungsi yang tidak begitu kompleks membuatkan dia adalah sahabat kembara yang sejati.

Oh, aku belum beri nama padanya. Baiklah, namanya adalah Qutb.

Rest in peace, buddy. Lest I forget.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

kita sibuk

Terima kasih sahabat, kerana sungguhpun secara tidak lansung, engkau telah menggesa aku untuk menulis, walaupun sepatah dua.

Kasihan pada penulis novel Interlok yang kini jadi sensasi, Datuk Abdullah Hussain. Kasihan kerana dia adalah mangsa keadaan.

Pelik juga, kerana jarang, di Malaysia, sasterawan diberi publisiti hangat sampai sedemikian rupa.

Pelik juga, kerana jarang, di Malaysia, sebuah buku diberi kritikan padu sampai sebegitu rupa.

Sebab, secara purata, rakyat kita yang berjumlah 28 juta ini sebenarnya tak gemar membaca pun.

*Satu muka surat pada 1997, dua muka surat pada 2002, dan dua naskah buku pada 2005.

Memalukan! Entah apa yang kita sibukkan agaknya.



*kajian profil membaca di Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia (PNM) Sumber: Arkib Utusan Malaysia

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Merci, Mercy!

Johor made a highlight in 2007 when the state was hit by a sudden, mysterious, statewide flood. It is interesting to note that, if we take monsoon season in this country into account (because it is when the amount of rainfall is greatest) Johor is not among one of those 'typical' places which are likely to be affected by flood.

But it did happen. Why?

Well, I don't know. I don't know how to speculate. What I know is that it could happen again.

Up to this writing, some parts of Johor were already under-water, perhaps due to the unceasing and massive rainfall for the past 3 or 4 days. Areas around Johor Bahru like Kulai and Ulu Tiram were all affected, though not as bad as some areas in Segamat.

Even though the magnitude of the flood is not that menacing as compared to 2007, issues like hygiene and food are still very much reverberate with the same intensity. Why? Probably because the number of families that needs to be relocated is pretty much the same, hence the same amount of victims involved.

I went to Ulu Tiram last night under the banner of MERCY Malaysia, an international humanitarian aid organization, to distribute some health goods and stuff related to personal and basic hygiene. In some areas, in addition, we need to set up mobile clinics. We were organized under several teams and were given specific flood centre to attend to.

In my opinion, food is not really a problem, but hygiene is. The condition of the flood centres are really bad. Taking into account that most of its temporary inhabitants were children, senior citizens and expectant mothers, the gravity of the problem could easily multiplied into a dangerous level. Clean water is a scarcity and waterborne diseases are rampant. And these problems will continue to create nuisance even long after the flood has subsided.

Fortunately, the help is prompt this time. An army of volunteers as well as government sector 'flood' in those areas almost immediately, with various kind of aids and goods. It is good and also heart-warming to see that these people stayed up the night just to make sure that the victims are properly taken care of.

Seeing this thing reminds me that maybe there are still some amount of altruism left, albeit a small one, in this so-called modernizing society. That's right, love and compassion towards others are what we really need these days, even though it is harder to get by, day by day.

On a different note, the team is still organizing a mission tomorrow to an indigenous - Orang Asli - settlement in Kahang. I was told that the place is not accessible now by road. They had to arrange for a boat or two to get there with the Jabatan Hal-Ehwal Orang Asli (JHEOA). They need two teams at least for this particular mission; one team comprised of a medical team and another for huminatarian aid. I was told to be on stand-by tomorrow, and if I join them, that means I won't be home for Chinese New Year holidays. Sorry mom! (as if she reads this)

I need to get back to sleep. May Allah S.W.T forgive us for what we have done and bless us with good life.


"Nothing is stronger than the heart of a volunteer." Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, April 18, 1942.