The Next Decade – 30 to 40


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At the turn of my 30th birthday, I reflected on my life and told myself that I had to do or achieve a list of 30 things before I turned 31. This list was of course, a list of goals for me to work towards, rather than something that I really needed to achieve.

At the start of 2015, I had my list. I knew exactly what I wanted and perhaps needed to achieve. These were the things that would keep me motivated, focused as well as kept me in good momentum for the next decade or rest of my life.

I lost my list along the way because I had hand-written them but I never lost the spirit of trying to achieve the list.

Now, because the list was finalised only in January and my birthday is in December, that gives me an additional month to finish whatever else that I’ve set myself out to do.

Though I can’t quite remember all the 30 things on my list and also because things took several changes along the way, here’s the list of things that I’ve managed to achieve or done thus far this 2015:

  1. Got myself a 400cc motorcycle, a Super 4 Spec 3 – awesome deal
  2. Invited as judge for NUS PBMUKS ‘Pesta Pantun’ competition
  3. Climbed ‘Danau Tujuh’ – an alternative to Mt Kerinchi as it was closed
  4. Launched By Definition Pte Ltd‘s first book, ‘Lagu-Lagu Rakyat – Belajar Bernyanyi Bersama’, the first fully illustrated phonic friendly Malay sing-a-long book in collaboration with my very good buddy, Reyza Hamizan.
  5. Conducted an overseas youth motivational programme
  6. Grew By Definition Pte Ltd’s clientele and number of projects
  7. Performed in ‘Semoga Bahagia’ production 🙂
  8. Emcee-ed several functions
  9. Watched Maroon 5 concert ‘LIVE’ in Singapore
  10. Joined a political party, Singapore People’s Party (SPP)
  11. Stood as a political candidate for General Elections 2015 as an SPP candidate in the SPP-DPP team at Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC
  12. Passed my IPPT
  13. Ran my first injury free 10km run (the first 10km in a long time)
  14. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle (balance of exercise and healthy diet)
  15. Met a gorgeous lady who became my partner
  16. Booked and God Willing, my mini pilgrimage to the holy land

I’m far short from my intended list of 30 things but I’m happy with what I’ve managed to do in a year.

To put everything into perspective, there’s only so much I can do in a year. 30 things may have looked too much to achieve given time and situational constraints.

Looking back on the past 3 decades of my life, I can’t say that I’ve had any regrets. I’ve done pretty much most of the things I really wanted to since I was young and while I’m far from the multi-millionaire appearing on FORBES and TIME magazine cover page by 26 years old that I had set my sights on since I was 12, I’m still on path towards that dream now that I know what needs to be done.

Moving forward, to start the next phase of my life on the right track, I’m really looking forward to my upcoming pilgrimage and because I’ve received several requests from dear non-Muslim friends who are interested to know more about this, I’ll be blogging my experience from time to time throughout my entire journey.

While my experience may differ from others, I hope that the information and journey that I will share with my dear non-Muslim friends (whom I hope will read la hor) will be helpful to them as since we may have shared experiences, it will be an emotional journey for us as well.

For now, I need to think about my 10 year plan before I break it down into my yearly goals.

MAJULAH SINGAPURA – GOLDEN JUBILEE


5 years ago, around the same time, I blogged about my hopes and dreams for Singapore as part of the National Day Celebrations (‘Live Our Dreams, Fly Our Flag’).

In case you missed it, here’s what I wanted:

“As a Singaporean, one of my dreams is for us to be able to experience a state which encourages the following:

  1. FREE DOM OF SPEECH & EXPRESSION BEFORE AND AFTER SPEECH & EXPRESSION HAS TAKEN PLACE
  2. A MORE ACCURATE AND MENTALLY PROVOCATIVE REPORTING OF NEWS BY MEDIA THAT IS IMPARTIAL and
  3. FOR THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE GOVERNMENT AND IT’S AGENCIES TO BE MORE ACCEPTING AND OPEN TO CRITICISM FROM THE OUTSIDE WORLD AND TO ACKNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTAND THAT CRITICISM, WHEN CONSTRUCTIVE SHOULD BE SEEN AS A MEANS TOWARDS IMPROVEMENT

I also have a dream for all Singaporeans:

  • TO STAKE A CLAIM IN THE AFFAIRS OF THE STATE AND NOT JUST LEAVE IT TO THE POLITICIANS WHOM WE HAVE VOTED FOR”

How different have my views been over the past 5 years?

Not much really. I still believe in each and every single one of those hopes and dreams that I spoke of. More than just that, I actually have one more to add.

I would really like to see Singaporeans learn more about one another, our cultures, our ethnicities, our faiths, so that we can better engage foreigners who come to live, work and play in Singapore and make this country a better place for not just Singaporeans, but also for them as well.

Government policies aside, we can exercise our vote this coming General Elections, but as a community, a nation, we need to show the rest of the world that we are loving, caring and have the ability to accept people of all backgrounds.

Why am I so focused on this?

Because over the past few years, Singapore has had to deal with many issues related to conflicts arising out of Interfaith-Intercultural misunderstanding or miscommunication (Amy Cheong, Anton Casey, Cook A Pot of Curry). But these issues are not just exclusive to Singapore.

This issue affects each and every single country, globally, all around the world.

In the US, you have had a non-white Miss America winner which caused a huge ruckus. To quite a significant number of ignorant Americans, the typical American had to be blonde and white, which in my personal experience, is far from it. And even for those who have been living in America for a long time or are even Americans, they still face issues that recur time and again (Blackface).

These are issues related to ethnicity, culture and to some extend, faith.

Since 2014, I have been actively trying to engage the community through my own personal endeavour to spread the importance of interfaith-intercultural understanding, a personal commitment arising out of my fellowship in the US. Nonetheless, an issue I strongly believe in and champion for.

Achieving Interfaith-Intercultural Understanding Through Games

“Achieving Interfaith-Intercultural Understanding Through Games”, National Day Celebrations 2015, Hwa Chong Institution

I am thankful for the opportunity that I have been given to give lectures and talks on this issue. More than that, I hope that the audience I have engaged in, have a better understanding of the dangers of what social media can do to them. Going forward, we all need to learn how to “RESPOND, NO REACT” to situations that invoke our emotions. We need to rationalise the situation and provide the best response that will create positive outcomes not just for us, but for everyone.

In the words of Zubir Said,

“Mari Kita Rakyat Singapura, Sama-sama Menuju Bahagia”

(Let us all, the citizens of Singapore, move towards happiness)

“Cita-cita Kita Yang Mulia, Berjaya Singapura”

(Together with our noble dreams, hopes, ambitions, success Singapore)

“Marilah Kita Bersatu, Dengan Semangat Yang Baru”

(Let us all unite, with renewed hope/energy)

“Semua Kita Berseru, Majulah Singapura”

(Let us all proclaim, Onward Singapore)

We all need to internalize the lyrics of our National Anthem and work towards it. The lyrics resonate with us even today as we struggle with issues and as we seek to find renewed hope/energy. But we can only achieve success and happiness, if our ambitions, dreams and hopes are noble.

So, my dear Singaporeans, this National Day, let us focus on these lyrics. Let’s remember this lyric as we enter the General Elections and vote for the candidate/party that will be able to bring everyone together to achieve our noble dreams, ambitions and hopes for our success and happiness, and most importantly, to bring Singapore forward.

Sermons – Keeping it Lighthearted


As a Muslim living in Singapore, I grew up attending secular school on the weekdays and madrasahs on my weekends or in the afternoons after secular school ends. And every Friday, like every other Muslim globally, I go to the masjid for my Friday prayers.

Friday prayers for me, have always been some sort of a holiday. When I was younger, Friday prayers meant leaving school earlier and coming back to school slightly later. When I began working, Friday prayers meant shorter working hours on Fridays, which transitioned perfectly into the weekend.

Friday prayers, is also significant for the poor because it is considered as their day of celebration. A day where the congregation will donate to those who beg outside the masjid. In this day and age, even in Singapore, we still have people who beg and while I question the legitimacy of some of those who beg because I have seen them use a mobile phone, speak impeccable English and travel in a car to beg, I’ll save that for another day.

Friday prayers is also not considered to be complete if one does not arrive early or in time to listen to the sermon. The sermon, is considered to be part of Friday prayers and no one is allowed to talk during this period of time. You are expected to listen to the stories and advise given by the Imam.

In Singapore, our sermons are written and prepared by Office of Mufti. All sermons across all masjids in Singapore will speak to you of the same story and same message, except for one masjid which is owned by the Johor Sultanate.

In the years that I’ve travelled and attended Friday prayers in the different masjids across different countries, I discovered that between the different countries, sermons or Friday prayers were conducted differently. In Brunei, before the commencement of Friday prayers or even the call for prayers, a tahfiz would be reciting verses of the Quran welcoming the congregation. In Malaysia, when the names of Prophet Muhammad’s sahabahs are called, the congregation do not echo praises for them. In Indonesia, it’s a bit different as well.

And across these Southeast Asian nations, the sermons were always delivered the same way, one where the tone was always serious and I thought that this was the standard way of how sermons were delivered globally until I went to the US. I was living in Irvine and there were only two places I go for my prayers, one was at the Islamic Center of Irvine and another was at the University of California, Irvine itself, where prayers were held in a space shared by all the other religious groups.

In both locations, the sermons were delivered differently.

The Islamic Center of Irvine delivered its sermon much like how it is in Singapore but with personal stories. Given the fact they are not subjected to the same standards of Singapore masjids, minus the personal stories, the atmosphere was pretty much the same although the people in attendance were attired differently and had a different take on sermons.

People were more comfortably dressed in whatever and however they want to worship God – in bermudas which covered below their knees and even in basketball jerseys (sleeveless).

But the sermons at the University of California, Irvine, were the ones that I enjoyed the most because they were lighthearted and were filled with personal stories of the Imams, who were mostly students. The student-led or alumni-led congregation resonated deeply with me on Islamic issues without forgetting the lessons of Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace Be Upon Him) life. Congregation were tickled at times by the stories that were shared and it made Islam as a religion seem friendlier compared to how it was always perceived as.

Most recently, I attended a Thanksgiving Mass at a Catholic Church here in Singapore. I thought that it was similar to my experience at the University of California, Irvine. The Bishop was sharing the stories from the Gospel and also included his own personal stories at the same time. This made the sermon extremely lighthearted and connected deeply with the congregation, myself included.

The messages delivered were by all coincidence, my personal reflections through my “Before I go to bed tonight”, but most importantly, the messages and the way the sermon was delivered was in-touch with personal and recent events that everyone could relate to.

I couldn’t help but feel that this was the missing piece in the way our sermons were being delivered in our masjids. The way our sermons are delivered gives the impression that much should be focused on death and life after death when instead, we should perhaps try to give better focus on how a Muslim should live our lives, without losing focus on what comes in death and life after death.

Or maybe our sermons already do so but as how I was once told, “It’s the messenger, not the message”.

Surely, it would be awesome if we could experience how Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) delivered his sermons and how he gave advise to people. Though we read and we know how he did it, never having experienced it, we wouldn’t know how it feels.

How does Islam fit into a secular Singapore?


The controversy over the tudung issue in Singapore is one that surrounds around the central issue of, ‘How does Islam fit in a secular society like Singapore?’

Many have argued on several key points:

1 – Politics
2 – Islamaphobia
3 – Religious obligation

This issue, sparked by a Muslimah’s question on the permissibility on the use of the hijab in the nursing profession, resulted in a petition. Clearly, a movement that she herself didn’t expect to have grown into a national movement among the now, divided Muslim community.

Regardless of the narratives that people have shared and not disregarding the merits that have been brought up, I think that Muslims in Singapore need to take several steps back to reflect on this issue as an outsider watching.

Being thousands of miles away from Singapore, I can honestly say that if I wasn’t a Muslim, I would be turned off at how Muslims in Singapore have decided to protest against the government for their unifying policies.

There is a clear lack of tact, wisdom and grace by the Muslims in managing this issue. When the Muslims decide to ‘attack’ former MUFTI statement, it shows a lack of respect for those who are scholars in the religion, and if the congregation opposes the views of the scholars themselves, who then do we turn to?

Given that Singapore is a policed state, without it, I am sure that unhappy Muslims may decide or would have already taken to the streets to protest against it, causing disruption to public services and if not carefully managed, could stoke another riot.

This would then look no different from the violent protests around the world, be it, in the Middle East or in Bangkok or Indonesia. And since this is a religious issue, it gives the impression that Islam is indeed a violent religion, one which does not hesitate to resort to violent measures should demands for it to observe its religious obligations not be met.

Many would argue against this and insist on their stand and that is perfectly fine with me. I am not saying that women should not wear the hijab, but I am saying that Islam is a beautiful religion that when it decides to manage an issue, it does so without hurting anyone.

I plead with Singaporean Muslims that to resolve this issue, we should turn back to the Quran, Hadith and Sunnah to guide us, instead of letting our emotions cloud our judgement. Let us all be reminded that there are many aspects to Islam that we have learnt, Tauhid and Akhlak, being central as part of the learning process of being a Muslim.

Perhaps, we also need to consider the opinions of the sisters themselves, the ones who are at the core of this issue, because so far, men have been the more vocal ones to air their strong opinions on this matter.

Islam in Conflict


“Assalamualaikum” or “Peace Be Upon You” – That’s the greeting that Muslims all around the world would be extremely familiar with. It is used when greeting anyone you meet and wishing them peace or mentioning to a person that you are coming in peace when you meet them.

Travel anywhere into a Muslim community anywhere around the world and opening a conversation with “Assalamualaikum” would instantly open up lines of conversation with any Muslim.

That’s how I’ve done it travelling abroad and it has never for once failed me from Asia to America.

And since Muslims come greeting someone with peace, it brings a lot of discomfort for me to say that I find it ironic with whatever that is happening around the world, especially so, when people who claim they are Muslims are committing acts of violence.

Think Syria and think of Al-Qaeda (if it even exists) and Taliban, who by itself, are Muslims but are committing acts of violence.

With what is happening in Syria, regardless whichever Islamic sect you belong to, if you are truly Muslim, it just doesn’t make sense for you to meet your fellow Muslim brothers and to greet them in peace with “Assalamualaikum”, and then only to proceed elsewhere with committing acts of violence in mind, killing another Muslim or any other innocent for that matter.

Have Muslims forgotten the story of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) of how he chose to act when he had a neighbour who would place faecal matter in front of his house every single day?

Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) had chosen to only clean the faecal matter and had only reacted when he discovered that there was NO FAECAL MATTER placed in front of his house one fine day.

And what did he do?

He went to his neighbour’s house to find out what had happened because the routine had been changed.

Have Muslims who are committing acts of violence forgotten this?

The violence committed by Muslims anywhere around the world is not a representation of Islam and for whatever reason anyone for that matter chooses to act violently, is simply, reprehensible.

Which brings about the question, “Are these Muslims ignorant of their own religion? Ignorant of what Islam means and ignorant of the lessons taught by Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W)?”

Perhaps, there is a lack of religious education amongst these Muslims because of the lack of opportunity to do so. Perhaps, those in power, do not wish to educate those who do not have the means to do so because ‘Knowledge is Power’.

Knowledge is so powerful that the Taliban had to resort to shooting a 14year old Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafvai, in her left head because she was advocating education for girls.

Alhamdullilah (All Praises to God), she has since recovered and now, at 16 years old, she has recently given a speech at United Nations to promote her cause.

Even in Islam, seeking knowledge is something that is recommended. Remember that when Angel Gabriel came down to send the first revelation to Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W),

“The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, “I do not know how to read. The Prophet added, “The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, ‘I do not know how to read.’ Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read but again I replied, ‘I do not know how to read (or what shall I read)?’ Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me, and then released me and said, ‘Read in the name of your Lord, who has created (all that exists) has created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.”

Isn’t it obvious that Knowledge is something that is held in high regard in Islam and in living an Islamic life, a Muslim should be peaceful. At peace not just with humans but even to plants.

Recall that during one of the war, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) had asked the Muslims going to war to not injure the plants.

So, I pray to God as a Muslim, as a human, to open the hearts of all those Muslims who are involving such acts of violence to stop and to reflect on who they are and what their religion means because violence will not resolve any issues anywhere in the world.

The Straight Road of Islam


It’s 6:00am here in Irvine, California and I have just completed my Subuh prayers this morning. As I was making my way back to the bed for another short nap before breakfast and replying to messages on my cellphone, I was reminded of something.

I was reminded of Quranic verses and words of the Hadith ringing in my head when I was sleeping. These verses and words kept replaying in my head over and over again just before I woke up for Subuh.

Those verses and words weren’t having a discussion, they were an instruction and it was very clear on what it was and I would like to share with everyone on what those things were in a much simpler illustration.

Imagine Islam as a very straight road, very clear on the rules and regulations with a very clear destination. There may be diversions created along the road when you meet a roadblock, but even so, the road diversions are clear and you may only take and remain on that road of Islam. To begin, you recite the ‘Shahadah’ and that’s probably your ignition key as well to start your body as the vehicle.

So, now, imagine if one decides NOT TO WALK on that road but instead, walk parallel to that road, heading in the same direction. For whatever reason that individual does so, that individual is still not on the Islam road because when you walk parallel to that road, you are following your own set of rules and that doesn’t make you Islam.

And if you began on the Islam road and decide to go off-road, you have in no other better terms, ‘strayed off the straight path’ and would be better for you to go back on the paved road because it is better for you, in Islam. And when you do go back to the Islam road, because you have gone off-road, your tyres and vehicle are dirty and thus needs a bit of cleaning aka ‘Repentance’.

Islam as the Road

Islam as the Road

And what if you meet the roadblock and decide to create a new diversion because the diversion  created for you didn’t appeal to you because there were too many people waiting in line to pass or there were too many checkpoints to go through? Then you would have innovated and thus, ‘Bid’ah’ and to get back onto the Islam road, you need to perform, ‘Repentance’.

I don’t want to take on too long or too much of your time reading this but this was definitely what I believe I was asked to do when those Quranic verses and words of the Hadith were ringing in my head.

Just before I part, here are some Hadiths and Quranic verses to reflect on:

Abu Hurairah (R.A) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Do not ask me unnecessarily about the details of the things which I do not mention to you. Verily, the people before you were doomed because they were used to putting many questions to their Prophets and had differences abou their Prophets. Refrain from what I forbid you and do what I command you to the best of your ability and capacity”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

“And let those who oppose the Messenger’s (Muhammad (PBUH)) commandment (ie: his Sunnah – legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements) (among the sects), beware, lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing, overpowered by a tyrant) should befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them”. (24:63)

“(And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger (PBUH)”. (4:59)

Irbad bin Sariyah (R.A) reported: One day Messenger of Allah (PBUH) delivered us a very eloquent Khutbah on account of which eyes shed tears and hearts were of tears. A man said, “O Prophet of Allah, this is as if it were a parting advice. So advise us”. He (PBUH) said, “I admonish you to fear Allah, to listen and obey even if an Abyssinian slave is appointed as your leader because whosoever among you shall live after me, will see much discord. So hold fast to my Sunnah and the examples of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs who will come after me. Adhere to them and hold to it fast. Beware of new things (in Deen) because every Bid’ah is a misguidance”. [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi]

Our Common Enemy


When I was younger, I was taught that in life, there will always be two opposing ends; The Rich vs The Poor, The Educated vs The Uneducated, etc.

The purpose for the creation of all these is to create a purpose for each of us, the purpose to provide balance in this world and to complement one another.

The rich may have all the money in the world but the poor always seem to be happier with less. It is then a life purpose for the rich to help the poor by providing assistance to ensure they can find a way out of poverty and in exchange, the poor heals the soul of the rich by showing them how they can lead happier lives.

It is also then the purpose of the educated to provide an education and guidance to the uneducated. The able-bodied to help the less able. The young to help the old.

We live in a world where we need balance and cooperation to co-exist.

Warring countries can stop when they cooperate.

Businesses can thrive together when they cooperate.

But there are obstacles and one major obstacle towards achieving this state of cooperation is EGO.

We all know what ego is and what ego can do to someone or a group of people. Ego only does one thing, HURT. It hurts another person emotionally and in some cases, it causes death. Ego also has immense power to do a 360 degree turn to cause hurt to the one who inflicted the ego in the first place.

In businesses, ego can result in mismanagement and clouds your good judgement.

In politics, ego causes one to lose votes.

In religion, ego leads the entire congregation to hell.

In relationships, ego creates unhappiness.

There are so many negatives that the ego can do, and if you know of any good thing that the ego can do and has done for the betterment of everyone, please share by commenting. I would really like to know.

If God Gave Grades….


I was in the showers when this just came to me…

If you’re a Muslim, imagine this…

If your life on earth is an examination and God had to give grades for it to determine where you’d go in the afterlife, this is probably how it’d be graded

Semestral Examinations – Daily Prayers

Term Tests/Exams – Muslim Lifestyle

CCA Grading – Sunnahs

To be admitted to Heaven, your Daily Prayers are first evaluated:

  • 100% score – 5 Times a Day Prayers Completed (Superb Quality Heaven)
  • 80% score – 4 Times a Day Prayers Completed (Good Quality Heaven)
  • 60% score – 3 Times a Day Prayers Completed (Average Quality Heaven)
  • 40% score – 2 Times a Day Prayers Completed (Not Bad Quality Heaven)
  • 20% score – 1 Time a Day Prayers Completed (Still Heaven Anyway)
  • 0% score – 0 Times a Day Prayers Completed (Thinking of Heaven? Go to Hell la you!)

I’d imagine God would still be kind to allow you to try to go to Heaven if you managed to clock even at least one prayer a day, he’d put you in the lowest rank of Heaven for effort at the very least. But if you don’t bother to even clock one prayer and want to get into Heaven, I figured he’d tell you, “Go to Hell la you! No shame is it?”

Okay, perhaps based on Semestral Examinations alone aren’t sufficient to judge alone, so God also evaluates you based on your Term Tests/Exams which is something more periodic, like in school..

  • Consumption of Halal Food & Beverages
  • Ensures that Aurat is closed to non-muhrims
  • Reads the Quran regularly
  • Performs the remaining 3 pillars of Islam since the first is recitation of Syahadah and next is Prayers.
  • Basically, you avoid what’s Haram as stated in the Quran.

So, based on your Semestral Examination grades which perhaps constitutes 60%, God then looks at your 40% of the grades which is your Term Tests/Exams and puts that into consideration. Probably he has a checkbox table list as well for every single Haram/Halal/Makhruh and gets his angels to record on it every time you Think and Do something.

We all know that you don’t get No Ticks for Bad Thoughts but you get Good Ticks for Good Thoughts!

Last but not least, just like your GCE ‘O’ Level exams, because Heaven is so competitive to enter, especially when you want to try to vie for a space in the Heaven where the Prophets and his friends are at, the best way to distinguish the ones’ who really deserve to go there would be to look at how much of the Prophet’s Sunnah (Practices) does one perform!

The more you perform Prophet’s Sunnahs, the better your chances to get that A1 grade to help you gain better chance for admission to Heaven of the Prophets.

So, looking at your Semestral, Term and CCA grades, where do you think you will end up in Heaven?

Looking Back On 2012


Looking back on 2012….

It was definitely better than 2011! An improvement in a few areas whilst I cut loose on what weighed me down.

By Definition Pte Ltd

By Definition

If you don’t already know, I run this company with two other friends of mine. This was a year better than 2011 in more ways than one. (If you haven’t gone to our FB, go and ‘Like’ it!)

For a start, we had more business rolling in. That’s always good for business. I mean, why would you run a business if it didn’t make money right?

We also moved into an office cum warehouse to share a space with our trusted alliance company to ensure that we can have better collaboration and maximization of resources.

Not just that, we also had our first business trip to establish working relationship with partners overseas and also began sourcing out for materials and artefacts to help us deliver our programmes better!

Lastly, we’ve been receiving great *feedback from our Clients about our Products and Services, and most importantly, the people who help to make it happen – OUR FRIENDS, OUR TRAINERS!

THANK YOU EVERYONE!

*Between Feb 2011 – Aug 2012:

Primary School Programmes Statistics
(Based on criteria of ‘Tidak Setuju’ (Don’t Agree), ‘Tidak Pasti’ (Not Sure) and ‘Setuju’ (Agree))
 
‘Suka Dengan Program’ (Like The Programme)
73.2% Setuju
 
‘Belajar Ilmu Baru’ (Learnt New Skill/Knowledge)
78.8% Setuju
 
‘Tertarik Dengan Kandungan’ (Attracted To Content)
62.4% Setuju
 
Secondary School Programme Statistics
(Based on criteria of ‘Tidak Memuaskan’ (Not Satisfying), ‘Kurang Memuaskan’ (Less Satisfying), ‘Sederhana’ (Satisfied), ‘Cukup Memuaskan’ (Quite Satisfied), ‘Sungguh Memuaskan’ (Very Satisfied))
 
Programme Objectives:
86.9% feedbacked ‘Cukup Memuaskan’ and ‘Sungguh Memuaskan’  
Participants Expectations:
77.5% feedbacked ‘Cukup Memuaskan’ and ‘Sungguh Memuaskan’
Interesting/Unique Programmes:
89.2% feedbacked ‘Cukup Memuaskan’ and ‘Sungguh Memuaskan’
  • Community Work/Volunteering – YEC

Seems like some of my friends aren’t aware that I have been volunteering with People’s Association. Well, can’t blame them since I don’t talk about it cause I don’t really know who’s interested to know about what I do and I also don’t like to end up talking about myself. It’s enough that I have to bore people about what I do for a living (business), don’t think I want to bore people more with what I do without getting paid for it.

So, I’ll make this one as short as possible.

My Youth Executive Committee (YEC) organised the first ever run at the Gardens By The Bay at Marina Bay. Called the ‘Singapore Garden Run’, it was also a GRC event whereby we synergised with a few other YECs within our GRC to carry out this event. My YEC was in-charge of the run and the concert.

Singapore Garden Run

Singapore Garden Run

We know there were feedbacks about how it was conducted but nonetheless, for an event that big to have been organised by a group of youths made up of working professionals and students, I think we can afford to give ourselves a pat on our back for that. Nevertheless, we will work to address the issues raised and hope to be able to deliver a better run in the future!

  • Community Work/ Volunteering – SSEAYP

Yes, another type of volunteering.

I was really happy to have been able to contribute for this one not just in Singapore but again, in Indonesia!

Ship for South East Asia Youth Programme

Ship for South East Asia Youth Programme

Emcee for the Home Stay Matching Ceremony held at Orchid Country Club! I was initially asked to help take photos but I had to say no to that cause I really have no skill and I don’t want to screw photos up. I wouldn’t have enjoyed it too. I’m not quite the camwhore. I’m more of the motormouth and yes, I definitely enjoyed myself emceeing the event. To those who were there, I hope you enjoyed it as well.

Liaison Officer (LO) for Country Program Indonesia (CPI). My second year as LO in Indonesia for the CPI and I cannot be happier to have been able to contribute especially since my SSEAYP batchmate is also now the President of SSEAYP International Indonesia.

Not only did I get to contribute as LO, I was also the Emcee for the Welcoming Dinner hosted by the Governor of Daerah Kabupaten Indonesia Jakarta (Jakarta Province). It would have been awesome if I would have been able to meet and take a photo with the new Jakarta Governor, Joko Widodo, but alas, he didn’t attend.

Nonetheless, what made it more sweet was that some members of the Ministry of Youth and Sports who were in attendance later commented that they enjoyed my emceeing and loved my voice and would love to have me emcee their events in the future! Woohoo!

  • LOVE

I think this deserves a section of its own.

Yes, I am in love.

I don’t think I have ever loved God this much in my life. I’ve been reading the Quran more often albeit translation, to have a better understanding of God’s revelations to Muslims beloved Prophet, Prophet Muhammad.

If you’re wondering about love in the other segment.

Well, to answer that, it’s really connected to God. As my name suggests, Abdillah – Servant of God. I really need to serve him more diligently in 2013.

My dad has already told me to get married in 2013. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I’m not financially nor emotionally nor spiritually prepared for it. Anyway, my dad is very specific about who he wants me to marry – an Indonesian from his hometown. I think that will take time.

  • MEDIA APPEARANCES/ INVITES

I don’t think the year can be complete without media appearances/invites.

I happened to appear on the news when BERITAonSURIA decided to cover my company’s programme during Bulan Bahasa (Language Month).

I was also interviewed in a discussion with then, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Law, Sim Ann on TODAY on the topic, ‘Of Dreams, Realities and Opportunities’.

That aside, I’m still covering stories/events and giving reviews on my blog. Currently, I’m writing the reviews for MediaCorp Suria’s latest reality TV competition, RATU. So, if you have an event related to Arts and Education, feel free to drop me an email! If I have time, I will definitely cover the event and provide my most unbiased comments on it.

And lastly, my friends and relatives can officially call me, “Poster Boy”. The next time you visit or walk past a Community Centre, look closely. You might spot a familiar face.

Traditional vs Modern Society – Islam


There’s a good reason as to why I love my religion, Islam.

Not only does it require its followers to submit (Islam means submission), it also comes with a handbook(Quran) and guidebook(Hadith), instructing and guiding one on the Best Practices EVER by the one who spread the message, Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

One of the interesting things that we seem to discuss in modern day is about the issue of what’s traditional and what’s modern.

Lets take for instance the issue of a man marrying a woman who earns more than him. There’s always the idea that the man must earn more than a woman or he is seen to be less capable. Or perhaps a woman asking a man for his hand in marriage. We often hear women speak about them being traditional and wouldn’t ask a guy out but DID YOU KNOW that:

– Prophet Muhammad’s first wife was actually his EMPLOYER. This meant that she was earning more than him at the time of marriage.
– Prophet Muhammad’s wife was the one who ASKED FOR HIS HAND IN MARRIAGE

Or how about an older woman marrying a younger man?

Prophet Muhammad’s first wife was 15 years older than him! He was 25 and she, 40.

I don’t think this issue is quite modern nor traditional itself because if it is, then Islam has to be considered the most advanced and modern society because this all happened some 1400years ago!

Now of course, everyone has their right to their own opinion but for those who have reservations or issues in dealing with friends or family members who haggle with these issues, then I do suppose you could bring up this story.

After all, I’m confident that we all know that the life of Prophet Muhammad is one that is exemplary and certainly, an example to be made for all Muslims.