Thursday, August 8, 2013

Eid Mubarak 2013

Friends and Supporters of YKMAM,

Today is the first day of Shawal 1434h and also 8 August 2013
Today is also the fifth anniversary of the foundation
Thank you for supporting us all these years
Thank you for making us your charity of choice

Ramadan has left us for now
Yet there's always time to do good
To increase prayers and deeds
To increase charity and help those in need

Shawal has come knocking on our doors
Bringing more opportunities to do good
While we rejoice and feast after a month of fasting
It is good to remind ourselves of those who are still hungry and thirsty

The Board of Trustees and staff of
Yayasan Kemanusiaan Muslim Aid Malaysia 

wishing you,

Eid Mubarak 
Please forgive us for any shortcoming

Friday, May 10, 2013

Malaysiana: A Fruit with Many Names

Roadside stalls are aplenty wherever you travel in Malaysia. Many of them are interesting if you care to stop and snoop.

Stuck in a traffic jam going up the hills of Cameron Highlands, we decided to cool off the car's engine and our parched throat with some exotic looking fruits. It's a kind of coconut that's said to have medicinal properties. Read about these fruits here. (OK, use Google translate if you must). Popularly know as African sea coconut, this fruit is also called tal, lontar and many others. Anyway, whatever its name is, we looooove it.

Just suck on the straw to draw out the sweet juice, then use a spoon to take the flesh out. yummmm.... 
Tal galore! Prices start from RM5 to RM15, depending on size. Or you can buy the ready made drink at just RM2 per cup. Oooh...we're talking about the darker coloured fruits at the bottom.
Another view of the fruits on display. We were told that these fruits come from the northern part of Perak.
The affable seller has amazing knife skill. 
Who's the crowd puller? Many people also stopped at this stall.
Angelina's note: An exotic fruit a day keeps the doctor away. purrrr....meow!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Feline Paradise on Earth

Yes, it does exist. Its existence makes you realise that there is hope yet in this crazy world we live in....

This is my Mama's account:
A chance visit to the northern island of Langkawi gave us an opportunity to visit this wonderful place called LASSie (Langkawi Animal Shelter and Sanctuary Foundation) currently occupying the grounds of Bon Ton Resort. The organisation was set up to receive, rehabilitate and care for neglected, abused and needy animals. I saw some woofies lounging in the enclosures but what made me sing is that the cats are allowed to roam free. Lovely photos will make you drool, peeps.
Look out for this marker along the road from the airport to Pantai Cenang, drop by for coffee or tea, lunch dinner or breakfast at this lovely resort. There's a lovely shop selling all sorts of creative crafts where proceeds will go to the shelter.
Hmmm...reception committee awaits...complete with head butts and leg wraps.
Yusuf...beautiful, regal and friendly...ok...maybe a bit gender confused. A she with a he name...
Mama says Yusuf will be Brad's new bride. Lulu is free for others now...teeheehee....
Mama says this little lady reminds her of me when I was a little girl...
.....and...action! They really know how to pose for the camera.
And who says cats hate water?
When cat ladies meet....they talked toys...environment friendly cat toys to be precise.
The Bon Ton Resort offers a unique experience of staying in Malay village houses...complete with resident cats, of course.
Beautiful landscape at the resort...purrrfect setting for Brad and Yusuf's wedding I must say.
Mama says next time we'll stay here.
Visited the shelter proper, those staying in the enclosure are either sick or new arrivals, not fit to roam the grounds yet.
Guess this kitty's name? Hint: moustache.
aaahhh....what a life...
Oh...the kitties need forever homes too...They can't stay in the shelter forever...
Yusuf saying goodbye at the end of the visit.
Angelina's note: Check out and for further information. A quick glance tells me you can contact them to make a donation, make a booking to stay at the resort, or even if you want to volunteer at the clinic and shelter. purrr.....meow!!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Discovering Kunak

I am sad with the turn of events in Sabah right now. Many hoomans from both sides have lost their lives and I don't know how many more will lose theirs. I wonder if the evacuated locals remember to bring their pets with them....

Anyway, a few districts have been mentioned in the news, where the militants are supposed to be still at large - Lahad Datu, Semporna and Kunak. My Mama is a frequent traveller to Semporna, en route to her projects on the islands, and....has also visited the least known Kunak. Serious! Now, how many of you know where this place is? Hmmmm....? (raised one eyebrow!)

Kunak first came into our radar when we saw an agriculture TV programme that highlighted Kunak's salak madu. Salak is a kind of fruit from the palm family that has a snake-like brown skin and white flesh that tastes kinda sweet, sour and tart. The one from Kunak is said to be extra sweet (hence madu or honey) and crunchy.

Hmmm...people say the proof of the pudding is in the eating. In this case, we'd have to find the fruit and eat it first. Or so my Mama said. And so we made a more than 20km detour off the Tawau-Semporna road into Kunak, in our quest for a fruit.

First roundabout we came to in Kunak has these humongous prawns basking in the sun.
Then we stopped at this row of stalls selling tidbits and fruits, and ask around for the whereabouts of the fruits.
We found some! They were selling for about RM4 per kilogramme. The stall owner was kind enough to give directions to the fruit farm.
Just go along the road from the fruit stalls until you find this sign by the roadside.
Not too far off the main road, you'll see this signboard. The name of the fruit farm owner is Sudirman or better known as Pak Sudir among the locals.
The salak trees resemble oil palm trees, only smaller.
Bunches of unripe salak fruits upclose. The young ones are very thorny. Oooh...beware of snakes!
I assume that these are the seedlings. Hmm...maybe should have bought one or two and try to plant at home.
Is this woofie the guardian of the farm? He was friendly though. I hope he's fed for his services.

Brad's notes: Our verdict? The salak fruit from Kunak is sweet as honey and crunchy, as publicised. Nowadays, whenever we come across anyone selling this fruit, the first question we'll ask: is this from Kunak? har har har *evil laughs*

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sunday Blues: Life is Not a Bed of Roses

....when you are a roll of paper towels living under the same roof as Sebastian the Destroyer.

He said: It wasn't me's that smiling cat on the bag! Yeah...right!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday with Tabby: I Love Tuna

Fresh from the sea....I just love watching the fish being prepared for cooking....this tuna is rather small compared to the usual 25kg ones I've seen.
What are those crabs doin there? Hmmm....let's concentrate on the tuna....I must say this particular fish is shall I put it....bloody?
Fillets and cutlets...hmmm...delightful morsels of tuna they are....
This is tuna umai, umai is a kind of raw fish salad Sarawak style...very refreshing and yummy......the fish must be very very fresh to make this.
Tuna soup Mabul style....I looooove this too...
Brad's note: We've also tasted tuna barbequed, curried and fried. I looooove them all. Even the canned variety. Please bring some home the next time you go there, Mama! har har har *evil laughs*

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Blues: Blogging Tutorial

Sleeping on the job, Brad?
Brad's note: It's not easy being the big brofur. My mentee, Seb the Pesky was a no-show at the scheduled blog tutorial class. What do I do? har har har *evil laughs*

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I Long For My Homeland.....

Howdy, mates! It's Captain Brad "Hook" Pitt here. Well, if we didn't move country, we'd be having the barbie in the backyard, playing cricket or footie, watching Australian Open live from Melbourne....

Hey Brad! We can still watch Australian Open live on the tablet!
Of course, in the heat of the moment, Angelina can still nap! By the way, Victoria Azarenka defeated Li Na in the women's single final. I think Victoria is hot!
Anyway, before we were rudely interrupted by Angelina, I wanted to say that Australia Day is usually celebrated in a homely fashion where Aussies would spend time with their families at home or public places. We've been to some picnics organised by Mama's friends too.

Okay...enough patriotic talk. Let's sing the Australian National Anthem. Here's the lyrics, the original version. Some of the verses are not sung anymore.

Lyrics: Advanced Australia Fair
Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are young and free;
We've golden soil and wealth for toil,
Our home is girt by sea;
Our land abounds in Nature's gifts
Of beauty rich and rare;
In history's page, let every stage
Advance Australia fair!
In joyful strains then let us sing,
"Advance Australia fair!"

When gallant Cook from Albion sail'd,
To trace wide oceans o'er,
True British courage bore him on,
Till he landed on our shore.
Then here he raised Old England's flag,
The standard of the brave;
With all her faults we love her still,
"Brittannia rules the wave!"
In joyful strains then let us sing
"Advance Australia fair!"

Beneath our radiant southern Cross,
We'll toil with hearts and hands;
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands;
For those who've come across the seas
We've boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing
"Advance Australia fair!"

While other nations of the globe
Behold us from afar,
We'll rise to high renown and shine
Like our glorious southern star;
From England, Scotia, Erin's Isle,
Who come our lot to share,
Let all combine with heart and hand
To advance Australia fair!
In joyful strains then let us sing
"Advance Australia fair!"

Shou'd foreign foe e'er sight our coast,
Or dare a foot to land,
We'll rouse to arms like sires of yore
To guard our native strand;
Brittannia then shall surely know,
Beyond wide ocean's roll,
Her sons in fair Australia's land
Still keep a British soul.
In joyful strains the let us sing
"Advance Australia fair!"

In case y'all are wondering, Sebastian is injured because I smacked him indisposed and can't blog yet. He hasn't completed his training, anyway. har har har *evil laughs*

Friday, January 25, 2013

New Playground

Angelina's note: Find us at http://www.facebook/mamatom.aj. It's a place for Mama's and my rantings and raves. Just us girls. Sebastian can hog this blog if he wants. Of course, I'll monitor his progress from time to know like making sure he doesn't use foul language and all that. However, I am still the ultimate owner of this blog so....don't talk behind my back you young punk. I'll be watching..... purrr...meow!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mama@Work: Shop for Underprivileged Kids

It has been more than seven months since Mama's organisation opened their charity shop. The funny thing is, the licensing authorities have categorised the shop as a boutique. So, technically it's a charity boutique. However, my Mama, always the big dreamer, has called it a mall. At the official launch of the shop, Mama has outlined the objectives of the shop. I have pasted her speech here.

Greetings - thank you Mr MC.
1. Our esteemed guests, let me continue the afternoon by telling you of a dream. A dream that will take so many years to realise, we know. That dream is to reach out to every underprivileged child in the world and tell them, "Now, you can go to school." Not just to any school but a school built by Muslim Aid. As I have said, it is going to be a long  journey to reach that goal. First of all, we need money, tons of them. As most of you who have school going children will attest, education is not cheap. There's the premises, the teachers, support staff, equipment, books, and library, science lab, sports facilities etc etc etc. all of those costs heaps.
2. Thus, we decided to embark on commercial ventures that will fill our coffer fast. One of these ventures is what you're seeing today - the Wellbeing MA(A)LL. You must be wondering at the name. Such a small shop but these people at Muslim Aid are calling it a mall. And they don't even know how to spell! We'd like to say that we think BIG! Nothing is impossible.
3. This name was coined around 2006 -five years ago - when we introduced a catalogue of goods called Gifts for Life. The products in the catalogue are what you can purchase and then donate to recipients in selected countries, notably where Muslim Aid has a presence, as opposed to buying products from a catalogue for your own use. That's the wellbeing part of it. As for the special spelling of MA(A)LL, it stands for Muslim Aid Asia Life Line - in a broader sense, the products you purchase will provide a lifeline to the livelihood of many.
4. So we adopt the same principle for this shop we are launching today. All purchases from this shop will go towards giving a lifeline to the underprivileged, especially children. It is also to fulfill our dream of one day, establishing a proper school for children who are now deprived of this basic right. It is towards the Muslim Aid Education Fund that all proceeds will be channeled to. With this fund, we hope to assist more beneficiaries than what we have now.
5. What do we do with the funds we collect under MAEF? Truthfully, when it comes to education, the scope is very big. In Malaysia, we cater from pre-school kids to adults. We have provided equipment for pre-school learning of Somalian refugee kids, for the Myanmar refugee kids, we help pay their school's utility bills and take the children out on excursions. We also provided school uniforms, spectacles and even build toilets for Malaysian kids. As for adults, most of our projects deal with providing skills that can be used to improve their economic status, ranging from sewing, culinary and computer skills.
6. As you browse through the shop later, you'll see some beautiful products from Indonesia, bear in mind that these come from beneficiaries of Muslim Aid's Empowerment Programmes in Acheh and Jogjakarta. We are happy to note that two officers from Muslim Aid Indonesia are with us today, we welcome Pak Nazar and Sister Intan Maulida. At the same time, we also have some books, not the pre-loved ones, but new books on display. Most notable is Remember Allah for the Gift of Love in Our Hearts, written by Prof Dr Safiah Osman. Prof is also here today, you all can approach her for autographs. This book was published by Muslim Aid, where proceeds from its sale will go towards the education fund as well. The publishing of this book marks our foray into publishing, another commercial venture that will help enhance our income streams.
7. I am not going to talk too long now. I'll let you all visit the shop and make your own judgement. Forgive us for any shortcomings today, we'll improve the shop as days come by....God willing, God bless.