Sunday, December 28, 2008

Kampung Dong

Kampung Dong is a village where I was born. Situated in the district of Raub, Pahang, nearly 1.7 hours from Kuala Lumpur. I had my primary education at Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Muhammad Jabar, Dong, from Standard 4 to 6 (when I was 10 to 12 years old). I had a very interesting life here as a child, in which I may not be able to describe in words. Here I portray some pictures of my Dong village.

Signboard to Lata Jarum Waterfall and Pulau Chekas Recreational Park
Dong Mini Town
Dong Islamic School - Sekolah Menengah Agama Al-Ulum Addiniah
Masjid Dong
My grandma's house is on the left and my Uncle Aziz & Auntie Fariza's house is on the right
View from Dong Secondary School (Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Dong)
Road to Kuala Lumpur (to the left) || Road to Kelantan (to the right)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Kuala Lumpur at Night

This photo was taken in 2007 from Tariq's apartment in Kerinchi near University Malaya.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Morning trip to KLIA

Now is 4.30 in the morning. At around 5 AM I'll join my Uncle Sabri, Uncle Basri, Auntie Hamima and Along Hazrul to fetch my mom, Uncle Abdul Kadir and Auntie Yun at KLIA, who are expected to arrive at 7.05 AM from Saudi Arabia. We are now at our village Dong Shire, Pahang.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wan Seagar is now married...

When Wan Seagar called and asked me to attend his wedding in Alor Star, immediately I told him I will. Kulim to Alor Star is about 1.25 hours. So I won't blow the chance to see the great moment. Wan Seagar is a very good friend of mine, although we seldom see each other. When he asked me to become one of the guys to carry his tray of gifts, I said okay although I wasn't sure I like to be one. He said I'll be given a traditional garment such as Baju Melayu and samping. Whereas the songkok, I'll buy on my own, since I'm the only one knows about the size of my head.

His wedding was to be held on 19th December (Friday), so I took leave on 18-19th December. I stayed at my friend's apartment in Sultanah Bahiyyah Hospital. My friend, Widad is a medical doctor there. He helped me to search for the address.

During the big day, I wear black Malay garment, which I haven't wear for almost 10 years. Hmm.. seems I look like a groom.. hehe. We went to a mosque where the 'akad was to be held. Finally he got wed.

My hearty congratulations and best wishes for your marriage, Wan Seagar! May Allah bless you and your wife, and may you live happily ever after!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Malaysian University Ranking 2008

This is the world ranking involving Malaysian Universities issued by THES-QS for the year 2008:

University of Malaya (230) [up][2007: 246]
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (250) [up][2007: 309]
Universiti Sains Malaysia (313) [down][2007: 307]
Universiti Putra Malaysia (320) [up][2007: 364]
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (356) [up][2007: 416]

Ranking of foreign universities that have branch campuses in Malaysia:

Monash University (HQ: Australia) (47) [down][2007: 43]
University of Nottingham (HQ: UK) (86) [down][2007: 70]
Curtin University of Technology (HQ: Australia) (232) [up][2007: 235]
Swinburne University of Technology (HQ: Australia) (401-500) [NA][2007: >500]
Al-Azhar University (HQ: Egypt) (NA) [NA][2007: >500]

Highest Rank South East Asian University: National University of Singapore (30) [up][2007: 33]
Highest Rank Asian University: University of Tokyo (19) [down][2007: 17]

Friday, September 26, 2008

Iftar at Nurhas

This is one of the best iftars (breaking of fast) I've ever had with my local friends. Having it at Nurhas Restaurant, Kulim Town, would save a lot of time searching for food at Pasar Ramadan (Ramadan Bazaar). Million thanks to Zubri for proposing the idea since the beginning of Ramadan and also to Khairuldin for making it click.

Truly we were so happy with the food. It was delicious and we really enjoyed it, alhamdulellah. Not forgeting we had our Maghrib followed by Isha' and Tarawih prayers at Kilang Lama Mosque.

From left to right: Azmir, Shams, Zubri, Khairuldin and Yushamdan

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Moon Sighting in Malaysia

For those who doesn't know anything about moon sighting, maybe its time for you to get some knowledge about it. Do homework please. According to the perspective of most Arab students in Malaysia, our country doesn't do moon sighting but fixed the date (pre-decided). This could probably due to the fact that some local calendars portrayed the date of Eid as fixed, just like other big days. I do heard some Arab students got wrong information from locals too. I don't know what to say about these locals but I do believe they are not qualified to talk about the moon sighting or any other religious issues. For those Arab students, I don't totally blame you for your misunderstanding. There are a lot of things you still need to learn about our country.

Does Malaysia really do moon sighting? Based on my knowledge, yes. First of all, let's take a look at the calendar below. Most established calendars in Malaysia will have "SUBJECT TO CHANGE" quoted at the bottom side, indicating the date is not fix. Go check your calendar.

Below are some pictures of moon sighting activities in Malaysia:

Moon sighting at Putrajaya
Moon sighting at Bukit Malawati, Selangor

Pulau Angsa. Moon sighting was lead by Selangor's Deputy Mufti, Abdul Majid

Bukit Malawati. Moon sighting was lead by Selangor's Mufti, Dato' Tamyes Abdul Wahid

Port Dickson. Moon sighting was lead by Negri's Mufti, Dato' Murtadza Ahmad

Brunei. Last but not least, moon sighting was also conducted in Brunei

Monday, September 22, 2008

Malaysian University Ranking - Are we good enough?

This is the world ranking involving Malaysian Universities issued by THES-QS for the year 2007:

University of Malaya (246)
Universiti Sains Malaysia (307)
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (309)
Universiti Putra Malaysia (364)
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (416)

Ranking of foreign universities that have branch campuses in Malaysia:

Monash University (HQ: Australia) (43)
University of Nottingham (HQ: UK) (70)
Curtin University of Technology (HQ: Australia) (235)
Swinburne University of Technology (HQ: Australia) (>500)
Al-Azhar University (HQ: Egypt) (>500)

Highest Rank South East Asian University: National University of Singapore (33)
Highest Rank Asian University: University of Tokyo (17)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

When they think I'm a Vietnamese, Filipino or Thai...

Everywhere I go in Vietnam, no one guessed me right. They might rather think I'm a Vietnamese too. Whenever I started speaking English, then only they realized that I'm not. These sentences are very common when I'm in Vietnam:
"Oh I thought you are Vietnamese"
"Are you from Thailand?"
"Are you Filipino?"

Dr Alfonso from Upsalla University, Sweden and some European participants also think that I'm a Vietnamese. Well, this is the look of Asian...

I'm a Malaysian. The slogan "MALAYSIA TRULY ASIA" to some extent I feel it's so right...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Photos From Vietnam

.Coastal view of Nha Trang

With my SIRIM's college, Zakuan

Hai Yen Hotel, the hotel I stay at Nha Trang

I and my Vietnamese friend Vuong from Hanoi University of Technology

At Tri Nguyen Aquarium at an island near Nha Trang

Fisherman's village

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'm for the second time a millionaire...

Tomorrow I'll fly to Vietnam. I'm going to attend a seven days workshop on Advanced Materials Science and Nanotechnology, which is to be held at Nha Trang. What is in my mind now is how to get halal food there, since Vietnam is definitely NOT a food heaven for a Muslim. Besides, now is the month of Ramadan, which means we're fasting. Alhamdulellah, I'm not alone. I'll be accompanied by my colleage, Zakuan. Later we'll see how well we handle the situation.

Yesterday I changed my Ringgit to Vietnam Dong at Tesco, Taiping. I round the number to 1 million Dong. It costs me RM230. Although I'm not happy with the exchange rate but being a Dong millionaire is enough to offset the feeling. Yes, I'm a millionaire now!

Actually, this is not my first time being a millionaire, I used to be one in 2001 when I went to Medan, Indonesia with my mom and auntie for a week vacation.

I wonder why a lot of people are so eager of becoming millionaires, in fact these two countries have the most millionaires in the world, in fact billionaires. Dong or Rupiah millionaire... What say you?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Penagih dedah di kalangan wanita Melayu...

Ke mana-mana aku pergi sekarang ini, pasti aku dapat tengok 'daging murah'. Daging murah yang aku maksudkan bukan daging lembu yang dijual dekat pasar itu tapi daging manusia yang terdedah sana-sini. Senang-senang saja aku dapat dosa free. Fesyen baju makin lama makin sendat, makin singkat. Lagi.. nampak pusat, menonjol buah dada, nampak seluar dalam, alur punggung. Mak ooi, fesyen apa ni?!

Aku tak faham pasal apa depa bangga sangat untuk mendedahkan bahagian-bahagian yang tak sepatutnya didedahkan. Masa dulu-dulu, ramai dok mengumpat bangsa Cina pakai seksi, dedah sana dedah sini. Sekarang ni, bangsa Melayu tak kalah. Kalau tengok bahagian pinggang, aku dah tak dapat pastikan sama ada yang menampakkan alur punggung itu Cina atau Melayu. Tup tup tengok Melayu, sebab pakai tudung. Aik? Pakai tudung pun tayang punggung dan seluar dalam jugak? Tak faham aku.

Tudung itu suatu pakaian bagi wanita Islam bagi menutupi aurat kepala, leher dan rambut mereka. Kenapa atas tutup tapi bahagian lain buka? Paling ketara sekarang ini aku tengok orang pakai tudung tapi bahagian lengan/tangannya terdedah, suatu bahagian aurat yang perlu ditutup apabila mengadap Allah (yakni solat). Hari itu, di sebuah masjid dekat Kampung Kedah, Perak, aku nampak dua gadis akhir belasan tahun keluar dari tempat mengambil wudhu'. Sudahlah pakai baju lengan pendek singkat, disinsingkan pula seluar jeans ke paras lutut. Lepas tu dengan selamba berjalan depan jemaah lelaki. Astaghfirullah. Takkan jahil tara itu?

Persoalannya adalah mereka ini betul-betul tak tahu atau saja-saja buat tak faham? Patutlah bangsa lain tak hormat dekat agama Islam dan bangsa aku sekarang. Aku rasa bangsa aku dah tak berapa kisah bab aurat sekarang. Janji pakai tudung. Sebab apa? Sebab mak pakai, kakak pakai, nenek pakai, jiran semua pakai. Kalau tak pakai, nanti mereka cakap apa pula nanti. Habis tu kenapa pakai tudung tapi dedah bahagian lengan/tangan? Alaa.. biasalah, mak, kakak dan jiran pun pakai macam ni. Lagipun ayah tak kata apa pun. Oh I see. Macam mana pulak dengan orang yang pakai tudung tapi tayang seluar dalam dan alur punggung?

Nampaknya bangsa aku makin tak kisah...

Penagihan Dadah - Lambang Penguasaan Lelaki Melayu

Fakta Penagihan Dadah 2007 di Malaysia:
  • 97.60% lelaki
  • 72.62% Melayu
  • 70.00% terdiri daripada golongan belia dan majoriti adalah berumur antara 19-24 tahun
  • 79.17% berpendidikan hingga sekolah menengah (sekurang-kurangnya tamat tingkatan 3)
  • 92.03% mempunyai pekerjaan (majoritinya buruh am)
  • 62.56% merupakan penagih heroin/morfin, manakala penagih ATS (10.28%)
  • 55.65% mengakui mula terjebak dengan dadah disebabkan oleh pengaruh kawan
Sumber: Agensi Dadah Kebangsaan

Dari segi peratusan penduduk, Bumiputra di Malaysia adalah sekitar 66% dan Melayu itu sendiri adalah sekitar 55%. Jadi peratusan Melayu itu tidaklah sebesar mana (walaupun majoriti) jika dibandingkan dengan jumlah penduduk. Tetapi, bila masuk bab penagihan dadah, peratusan Melayu adalah terbesar iaitu sekitar 73%. Tambahan hampir 20%. Maka kesimpulannya, bidang penagihan dadah adalah di bawah penguasaan Melayu. Tahniah aku diucapkan! (Bukan senang nak menguasai sesuatu bidang itu).

Sebenarnya aku sedih dan kesian dekat bangsa aku ini. Benda-benda yang buruk senang sangat diserap. Bohsia, bohjan, mat rempit, mat metal, punk... semuanya penguasaan orang Melayu. Yang aku pasti gejala-gejala ini disebabkan oleh pengabaian agama oleh masyarakat aku sendiri. Nama saja Islam tapi rata-rata tiada pengetahuan tentang ajaran agama anutan mereka itu. Lagi satu aku tengok, masyarakat bangsa aku ini semakin tidak berani menegur yang salah.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Ramadan


Hari ini 1 Ramadan 1429 bersamaan 1 September 2008 adalah permulaan Ramadan di Malaysia dan beberapa negara lain di dunia. Saya ingin mengambil kesempatan ini untuk mengucapkan Selamat Menyambut Ramadan.

Today is the first Ramadan in Malaysia and some other countries across the globe. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you Happy Ramadan.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Stay away from Reader's Digest Contest

Today I received email from Reader's Digest (RD). As usual, I was announced as the 'potential winner' for their 'Super Contest'. It looks so promising until so many people (including me) couldn't resist. Who can if we are the only two in our locality chosen by RD for the so-called potential Grand Prize Winner. I used to participate in their contest in 2004. I sent out each and every contest letters I received without fail and most of the time immediate posting to Reader's Digest!

After passing one level I proceeded to the next. But nothing was free. We were required to purchase those 'discounted items'. I remember passing three contest levels and was wondering how many levels more to go to the Grand Prize. Until I was sent an unsolicited
4 in 1 book entitled "Selected Edition", which contains four stories - The Vanished Man, Street Boys, The Christmas Train and The Summer That Never Was, in which I had not ordered. That's it RD, you can't fool me this time. They demanded payment by sending me invoice of subscription but I wasn't stupid. I just ignored. Without returning the book, I waited for their legal action. I know my right and ready to challenge in court. Until now, there are no such actions taken against me.
Actually in Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), they had reported RD's misleading conduct. So those who feel cheated by RD, you are encourage to take legal action against them. Know your right well. There are winners, yes I agree. But how much money they spent before becoming a winner? How about those losers? Remember, if you have to purchase those unsolicited items without your consent, definitely it's a scam!

So say NO to Reader's Digest!

Reader's Digest, although considered as one of the most popular monthly magazines in the world but their method of selling products via contests to some extent is so unethical. Effective from today, all RD emails will be considered spams! WHAT SAY YOU?

Monday, August 25, 2008


My Kaspersky AV detected Trojan-Clicker.JS.Agent.h activities in on 15 August 2008. What the heck is going on with Badminton World Federation (BWF)? It seems nobody is taking care of the website maintenance since BWF moved from Cheltenham, England to Kuala Lumpur. KAV did ask me whether to allow or to deny. So I denied the access to this website. So no more world ranking as I used to monitor weekly.

To confirm whether it is a false alarm by Kaspersky or not, I googled using GOOGLE search engine. Then I got this - "This site may harm your computer". So you know what this means..

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A good story from Frederick (a new revert from Finland)

Salam/Good day

There are hundreds of people converting to Islam everyday, making Islam the fastest growing religion in the Western world. How could this happened? Haven't you ever wonder why?

A new revert, Frederick@Fadi from Finland shares his story in youtube:

Thanks Frederick@Fadi, your story inspires me a lot. Alhamdulellah, I'm a Muslim. I hope to improve my practice of Islam, InshaAllah.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Children's fantasy..

6hildhoodWhen I was a child I always dream of becoming a superhero. I want to save the world. Fight evil and bring justice. Fairy tales look so real to me. I believe there is some kind of door connecting to the other side of the world. What a fantasy! Perhaps, Narnia is the closest manifestation of my child's fantasy.

When I was 12

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Kaspersky Antivirus - it's time to be a legal user


Who wants to buy an antivirus if it is expensive and valid for only a year? Free antivirus software maybe the only option for those on a limited budget. But we still don't know how well these free antivirus protect our computers. What scares me is that new viruses might be the financial interest of some commercial antivirus vendors. So which antivirus should we trust? Perhaps, none!

There are many free antivirus software available online such as AVG Free Edition, Avast 4 Home Edition, AntiVir Personal Edition Classic and many more. I had tried AVG Free at my office. No so good (compared to Symantec). The other two Avast and AntiVir, I have no idea about their performance. Just put it this way - you may ask your neighbour to look after your house when you are not around, they might care. But they will care more if you pay them. Simple mathematics. It's still our choice. We need to define what we actually want from an antivirus software. To me, I prefer the purchased over the free one.

I used to be an illegal user of commercial antivirus software when I was a student. Used cracks for obtaining the license code. As a Muslim, where honesty is important, I pity myself for that. For that reason, I bought Kaspersky Antivirus (Version 7.0) and be part of the legal antivirus community.

Why I chose Kaspersky?

Kaspersky Lab has set up a regional office in Malaysia:
Since Kaspersky Lab opened its regional office in Petaling Jaya, Selangor in April 2008, Kaspersky Antivirus can be purchased directly from many computer shops in Malaysia (many users including me hesitate to purchase online). Through Kaspersky (Malaysia), Kaspersky will recruit more partners to target business segment such as retail, mobile phone, internet services and a few more, for supporting its South East Asian market.

Secondly, since the year 2006, Kaspersky still on top of the ranking.
Thirdly, the price in Malaysia is reasonable.

The retail price of Kaspersky Antivirus 7.0 (1 year license for 1 PC) in Malaysia is RM69 (USD21) and I bought it for RM60 (USD18). This is much cheaper compared to the retail price in US, UK, Australia or India, where its price is tagged at USD59 (RM192), GBP16 (RM104), AUD55 (RM173) and Rp1678 (RM127) respectively. While in China, Kaspersky offers KAV 7.0 free of charge to Chinese users (free license key for 1 year) as a social campaign to relieve people affected by snow disaster.

The most important for a Muslim - BE A LEGAL USER.

Another important message:
To Kaspersky Lab and other antivirus vendors, price reduction is greatly welcome if you want to see more people joining legal antivirus community.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Nakbah Palestin in Kulim

I would have not known about this program if they didn't put the poster on our notice board. This program, NAKBAH PALESTIN (Nakba Palestine) was organized by the State of Kedah (currently ruled by The Pan-Islamic Party of Malaysia a.k.a. Pas) and Islamic NGOs Malaysia on 20 June 2008 (Friday night) started from 9.15 PM at Kulim Mini Stadium. Among the invited speakers were:

[1] Dr Hadfizi Mohd Nor (Assoc. Prof.) / Head of Board, Palestinian Centre of Excellence, Malaysia
[2] Muhammad Sabu / Pas Vice President
[3] Naji Zuher / Palestinian Representative
[4] Muhammad Azmi Abdul Hamid / President of The Core Ability of Malay (Teras Keupayaan Melayu a.k.a. TERAS)

NAKBA, perhaps best translated as CATASTROPHE in English, is referring to the remembering of the 1948 Palestinian Exodus involving brutal aggression of Israel against Palestinian people, expulsion from their lands, massacres and ethnic cleansing which continues to this day.

All mosques in Kedah were instructed to deliver khutbah (sermon) commemorating 60 years of Palestinian dispossession, thanks to the state government. The khutbah text (in Malay) can be obtained from this link: Khutbah Jumaat - Memperingati 60 tahun Penindasan

What is our role as a Muslim? As a Malaysian, the most practical thing we can do is to contribute a little sum of money from our pocket, in which many of us do on either periodically or non-periodically basis. This shall be continuous, inshaAllah.

In 2006, Government of Malaysia announced to aid Palestine USD16 million (, while Pas collected more than RM3 million from the people.

On May 16, 2008 in Kelantan under the program "Save Palestine", Pas collected more than RM1 million in just one night. The contribution mainly came from:

Perbadanan Kemajuan Iktisad Negeri Kelantan (PKINK) / RM300,000
Kompleks Perkayuan Kelantan (KPK) / RM200,000
Syarikat Ladang Sungai Terah / RM150,000
Bina Raya Sdn. Bhd. / RM100,000
Yayasan Islam Kelantan (YIK) / RM67,000
Majlis Perbandaran Kota Bharu (MPKB) / RM30,000
Jabatan Hal Ehwal Agama Islam Kelantan (Kelantan Islamic Department) / RM10,000
Persatuan Pengilang Papan / RM10,000

and the rest came from the ordinary people. Million thanks to you people.

Here in Kulim, I saw most Malaysians poured a few of their Ringgit in the donation bags. I'm more proud when I saw non-wealthy people do the same without bordering the petrol price hike. Alhamdulellah, may Allah bless you people. Other than donation, what we can do is doa (prayer). We pray for our brothers and sisters in Palestine, may Allah protect them from Israel brutal aggression, free their land and let them stay united. NEVER EVER GIVE UP!

I will not forgive you ISRAEL-BRITAIN-AMERICA for the conspiracy and destruction you did to my brothers in sisters in Palestine. As a Malaysian that care for Palestine, I know the truth and I will not stop telling the truth!


I was so glad that my Palestinian brother Bashir agreed to join me to the program, so I picked him up at USM Engineering Campus and took him for tour to Kulim Hi-Tech and Kulim Town. The next day, he cooked magluba (Gaza style). It was delicious and I never thought that he is such a good cook.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

When Meshary makes me cry...

Today I received a link from Jafour (my youtube friend) that directs me to his uploaded video. So far, everything from Jafour are Islamic. I started to know Jafour when I made search on Islamic nasheeds a few years back. Alhamdulellah, he seems to have a lot of collections on this one.

During the time I watched his youtube video, my eyes eyed on a related video featuring a blind boy with his mother. It was a nasheed from Sheikh Meshary Rashid Al-Afaasy. Meshary is my favourite, of course. I'm a big fan of him since I know him in 2003. Meshary doesn't associate music in all of his nasheeds, that's what I like. The last nasheed I downloaded was "Ana al-Abd (أنا العبد )". One of the best in this millennium.

This nasheed entitles "Oh Mother, what is the shape of the sky? (يا امي ما شكل السماء)". MashaAllah it's so beautiful. Really touch my heart. I didn't realize tears fall from my eyes. I love blind people, I really do especially when they obey Allah more than those who were born normal.

DO WATCH please...

This is the translation of the nasheed:

Oh Mother, what is the shape of the sky?
What is light?
What is moon?
with its beauty you talk
and I see no trace of it
Is this world full of continuous darkness?
Oh mother
give me your hand
may my loneliness goes away
when I walk I fear tripping
in light or darkness?
I don't walk well
where the road was short or long
I fear of facing danger when I walk
and I tell no difference between hole and smooth roads
my lees is my sight
Is there sight in objects?

young ones run.. play and have fun all at ease...
and I'm blind.. disabled... staying home...
Allah is Kind to me and eases my pain...

(Translation provided by Parvin Hasan... thanks bro)

If we want to count the blessing from Allah, we will never be able to. So we should express our thank to Allah, our mighty God for everything.

Now I'm looking for Madrasah for the Blind in Malaysia. I know there is in South Africa and Yemen. Anybody who has any idea about any Islamic School for the Blind in Malaysia, please let me know....

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Farewell to Ms Syajaratunnur...

It has been almost two weeks since she left us and I believe she is missed by many of us at Advanced Material Research Centre (AMREC), SIRIM Berhad. Miss Syajaratunnur Yaakub, more popular as Shaja at AMREC, tendered her resignation on the fourth week of May, last month. She joined Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) last week as a lecturer in engineering related field in Lumut Campus, Perak. I heard she got a good offer from UniKL. This is a rizq from Allah. Alhamdulellah. We were so happy for her.

Farewell Night

It was my housemate, Khairuldin who planned for the farewell dinner, which was to be attended by selected people. Assisted by our program treasurer, Shuhada, so we collected money among seven of us (the amount we keep it secret.. hehe). Well then, there we have it, at Teluk Tempoyak, Bayan Lepas, Penang Island on 25 May 2008. The selection of food by Khairuldin were excellent. Ikan masak tiga rasa (three-taste fish), ikan masak pedas (hot-chili fish), sotong goreng tepung (fried squid), kerang bakar (grilled cockles), kailan ikan masin (salted fish kailan vege) and a few more. So delicious, really enjoyed it. Although the farewell may not be grand for Shaja, we did honour her for the night.

To Khairuldin, Shuhada, Azmir, Azuan, Shams and Fatiha, thanks for making the farewell night a memorable one.

To Shaja I wish you all the best....

Friday, May 9, 2008

Congratulations Mahmoud Haddad !

I should have written this earlier. After months of waiting, my dearest friend, Mahmoud finally had his viva on 24 April 2008. Unfortunately I was not able to attend his viva voce because I was working. As expected, Mahmoud survived. Congratulations Mahmoud for your success in defending your PhD thesis! Mabroook! I'm so happy for you. Alhamdulellah.

Note: Mahmoud will go back to Palestine this week, get married and stay there for a couple of months. After that he will come back to Malaysia as a faculty member of USM.

Btw, thanks Mahmoud for driving my Perodua Kancil from my brother's house at Sungai Petani, Kedah to USM Penang. If not because of your upcoming viva, I know you could have driven my Kancil back to Taiping. You will do it for me instead of Tariq. Again, I thank you so much. May Allah bless you...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Tariq - My first Mandarin-proficient Arab friend...

Tariq As-Sabbah (طارق الصباح) is my close friend and brother of Palestinian origin. He finished his Master's Degree in IT from USM in 2005. I met his parents in September last year when they came to Malaysia for a week vacation.

Tariq, who is now proficient in spoken and written Chinese (Mandarin), will be leaving Malaysia today to pursue his business dream in China.

Tariq picked up his Chinese language skills when he came back to Malaysia somewhere middle last year. I never thought he's that serious, but he was. What impressed me was he's a native Arab speaker, and I couldn't find any connection between Arabic and Mandarin, as far as these two languages are concern. I myself am not able to speak Mandarin or other Chinese dialects, even though I have Chinese blood in me and live in surrounding Chinese community.

Tariq, thanks for driving my Kancil back to Taiping. Driving in heavy rain with dysfunctional aircond probably one of your worse experiences, but you passed the test. So i do believe you will sail through the upcoming challenges. InshaAllah.

You know Tariq, I'm really proud of you. What I can see is that you have a clear vision and optimistic. I pray for your success. Do keep in touch...

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Get rid of Kavo Virus...

I’ve read many forums with regards to Kavo virus, which had infected my office PC last two months. Alhamdulellah I managed to get rid of it last week.

What is Kavo Virus? According to Symantec, they discovered Kavo Virus on August 27, 2007 and classified it as worm. This worm has been categorized by many as Trojan Drop. It steals security information, scripts, commands, etc. without the user’s knowledge or consent. Although the damage caused by Kavo Virus is claimed to be low by Symantec but very irritating to me to my opinion.

These are some signs that your computer is infected by Kavo:
  • Notice – kavo.exe application error (appears during entering Windows).
  • “The instruction at “0x10013e2d” referenced memory at “0x00ff873a”. The memory could not be “read”. (Note: the referenced memory number might vary)
  • Your Folder Options and/or Search Option may be disappeared.
  • If your Folder Options did not disappear, you may not be able to show hidden files and folders.
  • For Symantec Antivirus users, if you run the Virus Scan, such movement of cursor on the scan box during scanning will cause sudden stop and end up with “Program (Not Responding)” upon closing.
  • In some cases you are not be able to update virus definition.

How your computer could possibly get infected?

Based on my homework, the infection mainly came from email attachment from unknown senders. It can also be delivered through Messenger’s Instant Message. Some Trojans came from free codec. So be careful of the things to be downloaded. It can infect another computer via portable memory storage devices such as flash drives, diskettes, etc.

For my case my computer is used by many. I allow others to use mine since computers are not many at my office. However not everybody is responsible. So I believe viruses were transferred to my computer via flash drives.

How to get rid of Kavo Virus?

At my work place, we use Symantec. I discovered that Symantec does not kill Kavo, or even traced it (unable to trace even using 31 December 2007 virus definition). Note: I’m not saying Symantec is not good. It is still better compared to AVG Free. Many antivirus software cannot detect Kavo & some other trojan drops because they use compression and encryption of its files. Whether we like or not, a search of a software that specializing in malware removal is definitely a must. There are many software available such as AGV, Norton and Microsoft Anti-Spyware, however they are not free. So I suggest you to search for any trial version anti-spyware (a trusted one please). In my case, I used UnHackMe (Trial Version) – suitable to team up with Symantec Antivirus without conflicts. Now follow these steps:
  • First of all of course you need to update your virus definition.
  • Disable your system restore.
  • Install and run anti-spyware.
  • Delete all malicious files/applications recommended by your anti-spyware.
  • Reboot system.
  • Run a full system virus scan.
  • You have the option whether to enable your system restore or keep it disable (I do recommend you to enable it and make a restore point)
No need to go to regedit to edit your registry because you will find that your registry is already repaired by this anti-spyware (you can double check if you want). To me this is easier. If your folder option and/or search option are still missing, then go to these websites for solution:

Kavo Virus will evolve! Trust me

As we learn to solve computer virus problems, virus creators will always find ways to enhance the capability of their 'creations' (viruses) until they become more and more difficult to be neutralized. I may be able to solve this problem, perhaps just for now. Things will be more sophisticated next month, or maybe next week. Today Kavo might effect your folder/search option & hidden files, in the future they might be designed to effect your Excel, Words, Messengers, etc. I'm worry that new viruses might be the financial interest of some commercial antivirus vendors. The question is DO YOU TRUST YOUR ANTIVIRUS vendors?