Archive for September 2018

1. Ghost story makes millions of ringgit. Rich movie producers suck millions from viewers without them realising the amount of money they had lost. It’d just shown that people did believe in ghost, often more that they fear God.
2. Malaysians are Malaysians. Supernatural power is part of their belief system that make up their worldview. For Malaysians, even ghosts have religion: Jin Islam and Jin Kafir. They also have names too: pontianak, jembalang, puaka, pelesit etc.

A tree with dense branches: Where is ghost?

3. Could it be that the ghosts are literally formed from our cognitive bias i.e. our consistent misinterpretation of the world? Even the designs of our mind are made such that it has two levels of processing i.e. the rational and the intuitive systems.
4. Generally, the rational system is slow, deliberate, abstract and logical whereas the intuitive system is quick, automatic, associative and emotional.
5. If you are getting scared because you believe there is a ghost, in your opinion which processing system is at work? Most likely when goosebumps start, the feeling and intimation has switched on the autonomic engines of your central nervous system. Once started, the chain of reactions occur.
6. The experience can be replicated in cinema. Oh, Yes, of course .. and it scoops million of dollars.

  1. It is impossible to imagine the world without cities. Similarly, it is impossible too to imagine a city without people. That is how I feel when I stay in Putrajaya at night. Putrajaya offers architectural dynamism without much benefit to its function as a dynamic commercial center. Maybe it is not designed for commercial use but remembers, the city can bring people together with ideas, and experience in a new dynamic of human interaction.
  2. I imagine if many people are working until the middle of the night like Tokyo city center in Putrajaya-Cyberjaya, then there will be a tremendous interaction in the state of the art building architecture with human beings, and hence put it to be a great investment worthwhile for the administrative city.
  3. A city without people is very much similar to a university campus without students. Check it out during the end of semester holiday. Are we building a campus or a city?
  4. I may have made a mistake here nevertheless don’t get me wrong. Sincerity is a strength; insincerity is always a weakness.
  5. My suggestion for the future growth of Putrajaya is for the new government to capitalize on the new politic of Malaysia Baharu by making Putrajaya a center for political education, activism, and awakening. I am delighted at how the 61st National day was celebrated in Putrajaya.
  6. Secondly, the myth of the lazy city, especially at night, has to be rebuked. Paying thousand to million of electricity bill just to brighten the city without embarking on substantial activities by the rakyat is a waste of money and resources.
  7. Thirdly, perhaps the most controversial idea is to allow people to elect members of the city council.  I have seen in Tokyo the election campaign to select the Mayor of Tokyo. Lorries were used to load campaigners in simple uniforms speaking from a loudspeaker.
japan-election-campaign-truck(Image from the internet: Campaign using a modified van)

Posted on: 16/09/2018


  1. The reality of a new political landscape in Malaysia Baharu is the existence of a two-party system and two divided political territories.
  2. Since the last 14th General election, the battle keeps going in the form of by-elections. In Sg Kandis, Seri Setia and Balakong, Pakatan Harapan (PH) won handsomely despite its inability to keep the 100-day promise. It is pretty obvious that the two forces are still at war especially when UMNO and PAS have formed close cooperation together.
  3. Like it or not, UMNO and PAS have opened up to meet a new challenge. For PAS, the Islam-centric line it takes thus far has accommodated pretty well with the Malay-centric UMNO, even with some resistance shown by some quarters. In the process, MCA and MIC have lost their significance due to the failure to garner enough support from their respective communities and the split-up votes into various opposition parties as clearly demonstrated in the previous three by-elections.
  4. There is no basis to worry that the two-party system would accelerate into major battles when “the winner turns into ashes and the loser turns into charcoal (“Yang menang jadi abu dan Yang kalah jadi arang“).
  5. The rakyat has made the decision and for sure the winner has to carry out the responsibility in order to be re-elected in the 15th General election.
  6. No way the government can stop the dissatisfied lots. Matters pertinent to their life like accelerating cost of living, protection to the right of the Malays, alleged selective persecution, to mention a few have to be answered to the satisfaction of the rakyat.
  7. All in all, I believe PH as a party has won the battle and generally, the rakyat has won the war.

  1. A 65-year-old lady, Mak Cik, comes to see me. She is perplexed, not sure how to start. I ask her about her family. Her husband, Pak Cik, is retired, in his 70s, still actively doing a property broker job.
  2. Mak Cik is a housewife but not so active now. She keeps herself occupied doing house chores. For most of her time, she learns religion at madrassah and spends most of her time praying and fasting.
  3. She is annoyed with the Pak Cik for not behaving like an elderly man. To her imagination, an elderly man should spend most of his time preparing for his afterlife. To her, the property broker has its own risk of bankruptcy and is seen as a risky business.
  4. She is offended toward her eldest daughter who is marrying a Swiss and not obeying strict religious obligations and fails to educate her Muslim’s reverted husband on the proper conduct of a Muslim.
  5. She is also preoccupied with another son who is a transgender and suffered from Bipolar Mood disorder.
  6. Managing different perspectives in life is a difficult task. It seems that Pak Cik and Mak Cik do not share the same values and assumptions. For Mak Cik elderly period is a time to ponder, reflect and prepare for the afterlife (akhirat). To Mak Cik, work has its own limit but to Pak Cik works has no time limit.
  7. Mak Cik is depressed and that makes her mind wander timelessly. Multiple family stressors added up to precipitate her depressive illness. The differential life perspective contributes relatively to a poor understanding of the illness. This eventually resulted in poor social support from the spouse that tend to perpetuate the depression.  In the end, she may develop isolation and loneliness.
  8. Life has to continue despite adversities. When time is perceived as limited, the social network provides a meaningful interaction and assistance.
  9. To manage the problem, this couple has to adopt three successful separate processes, namely:
  • Selection: which refers to the patient focusing attention on fewer, more important goals e.g. rescaling/reconstructing goals. In fact, the couple has to focus their attention on narrowing the gap in life perspective.
  • Optimization. This involves engaging in goal-directed actions and means; such as investing time and energy into the acquisition, refinement, and application of goal-relevant means, seizing the right moment, persistence, acquisition of new skills/resources, and practice of skills. The couples have to invest their time in doing common tasks and hobbies.
  • Compensation. The last process maintains a given level of functioning in the face of loss and decline in goal-relevant means by the patient investing in compensatory means. In some cases, when the couple arrives at some mutual understanding, life continues, business as usual.


  1. She is a 14-year-old adopted daughter. She came to me because she demanded to move in, to a new school in KL. But her demand was unpredicted. She demanded the whole family to move in and get her a new school.
  2. What’s wrong with that? The problem is: the place she suggested is totally new to the family, where and when, the adopted parents have to start a new life.
  3. More often than not, the unrealistic demand originated from grudges and animosities dated back from the childhood days. These feelings displaced the fact that the parents have done a tremendous amount of works to raise her up.
  4. The parents’ willingness to sacrifice was amazing but they were indecisive about it. That was the reason why they wanted to seek my opinion.
  5. How could this happen? I believe as an adopted child, at some point in his development, the disagreements with the adopted parents have made her feel deprived of the primitive relationship with her own biological parents. This ‘trauma’ and the ‘severing of the ties’ have in a way affect the ego; that made her exploring to all the unrealistic demands made upon the adopted parents, in order to compensate for the wound left by the loss of the biological parents.
  6. These early relational traumas may lead to a disorder of attachment that may affect the quality of emotional relationship with the caregiver. The disturbed behaviors place great demands on the parenting capacities of the adoptive parents.
  7. There is no easy solution. First and foremost, there is a need for a wider degree of adoption openness. Studies have shown that openness is significantly related to satisfaction with adoption process among adoptive parents and birth mothers. Similarly, openness was associated with their greater satisfaction with the adoption process and better post-adoption adjustment (1). In short, it affects the mental wellness of the adoptive parents and later adjustment in raising the child.
  8. Parents have to create conditions of security and trustworthiness for the child. They have to foster attachment by nurturing the trust,  securing place safe for the child. It has to to be a home-based.
  9. Since there is no way parents can avoid disagreement, they must know how to set limits in order to initiates repair as soon as the child indicates a desire for reconnection. This has to be done without trying to jeopardize the effort to strengthens the child’s feeling of safety within the relationship. If the child is angry or pouting, the caretaker must show that they understand their feelings, but remains firm. Relatively soon the child will give up because they need to reconnect. Attuned foster parents will then respond positively and immediately.
  10. Dr. Daniel Siegel in his book Mindsight explained that in order to repair our attachment ability and develop more inner security as adults, parents must be willing to create a “coherent narrative” of our experience. It is to discover how we made sense of our past i.e. how our minds have shaped our memories of the past to explain who we are in the present. He believes if we can face our history and make sense of our narrative, we can actually change the course of our lives, our relationships, and the attachment patterns we pass on to our kids (2).
  11. It is also important to have a partner with a secure attachment style. Latest in line is a development of psychotherapy called The Adult Attachment Repair Model (AARM) which simulates reparative childhood attachment experience, desensitizes distinct-event trauma and creates deeply embedded feelings of security (3).



  1. It has been almost an hour since we had left our daughter with her colleagues. We went around the stadium. So many cars parked haphazardly along the road. Not a single policeman was seen till we reached the junction near the police headquarters.
  2. My eyes were fixed at the new KFC on my right. At this junction, we saw policemen on duty. I saw people walking a mile or two from the white canopies. There were many of them. Families made up the most.
  3. The unseasonable rain had been falling for several days. Today, the weather turned out to be fine and dry.
  4. My daughter and her mother made a point that they didn’t like being in the large crowd. They’d just preferred watching smiley moon rather than pushing people back to back in public. To them watching the crested moon and winked stars is much more pleasant than Sure Heboh.
  5. It is not that they are adhering to Seneca‘s advise that mass crowd is something to which you cannot entrust yourself yet without risk. Neither, it is not a form of social nor agoraphobia.
  6. The risk of overspending is unavoidable if you spend too much time in Sure Heboh. The crowd itself trumped-up pressure for you to buy. It’s a kind of social pressure in the company of famous artists and tv anchors.
  7. Throughout the years of my working trip expedition around the country, I prefer spending time seeking pleasure with my family more than spending with the crowd.
(Note: Seneca is a Roman philosopher, statesman, and advisor to Emperor Nero). 

1. About 4 km from the nearest town is a hill. Next to it, is the larger hill. The kampong resembled an abbey and picturesque village drawn by schoolchildren on their canvases in the art class.

2. Pak Njang used to plant padi huma many years back on top of the smaller hill. I would go and follow my mom and dad, tapping rubber at the bottom of the hill. Of course, it had just been running and roaming rather than doing the actual tapping.

3. 30 years ago, my dad had just retired from business. He came back and embarked on some small-scale kampung works. Rubber tapping was part of his regular exercises in the early hour of the day, immediately after Subuh prayer.

4. For a few years. almost every week, I make a trip back to my kampong. There is a hazard to journey undertaken in August-September – the heat. The heat is painfully hot and dry. Unlike some other places, the place here is essentially flat surrounded by a padi field that makes the climate hot and dry.

5. The people are relaxed and I could easily guess what they are thinking. The masjid (mosque) is filled with two lines of jamaah (congregates). On Friday morning, the congregate organizes a religious class followed by a breakfast that comprises of pulut lemak (creamy gelatinous rice) eaten with sambal or cempedak.

7. The government, past and present, have kept their promises well as far as this place is concerned. Previously, this constituency is represented by Tun M. Now, Ir Amiruddin has taken over the reign, which he won under PH’s banner during the last general election.  Not surprisingly, the road is wide and well-plastered.

8. During the 14th General election, people in my kampung, had shifted side too. Staunch BN supporters changed side to Amanah and Bersatu and the crossover has contributed to the downfall of BN.