Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Never Ending Potholes Stories In JB, Jalan Berlubang

Potholes In The Heart Of The City Causing Havoc For Motorist

JOHOR BARU: Scores of motorists using a ramp connecting Jalan Tun Razak to the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex are driving through potholes despite remedial works by the Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) .
To make matters worse, traffic in front of the Danga City Mall during peak hours is almost at a standstill.
When met by StarMetro, motorist S. Kumar, 32, said he was disappointed with the poor maintenance of the road.
A big hassle: Traffic is brought to a standstill for at least 1km during peak hours at the ramp from Jalan Tun Razak heading to the CIQ complex due to the road which is damaged and in bad condition.
“It is right in the middle of the city and the stretch should be strengthened with better quality bitumen as heavy vehicles plied the route to the CIQ,” he said.
Kumar, an angineer, said the Iskandar Malaysia project had resulted in heavier traffic along roads in the city.
Another motoris businessman Syed Abdul Rashid, 47, said the traffic snarls were getting very bad.
“I have complained in vain about it,’’ he said, adding that the Public Works Department and council should focus on repair works on Jalan Tun Razak, the Middle Ring Road and Jalan Tebrau.
Commenting on the issue, Mayor Mohd Jaafar Awang said shoddy patch-up work was only temporary measure.
“Maintainance of roads comes under the PWD’s jurisdiction and the council was only patching up the potholes as a short-term measure as it takes longer for the PWD to conduct repairs,” he said.
Mohd Jaafar said the council had three mobile Fast Action Units which went around looking for potholes and other maintenance problems.

Source: The Star - Thursday, March 31, 2010


Iskandar project or not, potholes are permanent features on Johor road.

Raring for the massive Iskandar project and potholes lying low on all around JB roads not visible?
Many a time, potholes award trophy to road users, especially on their knees.
Minor injury to those walking, and major ones running on the road.
So, beware joggers!

A great wonder Johor Bahru, JB, is nicknamed Jalan Berlubang (Hole Road).
The city where potholes is a must!

I had blogged about it sometime ago.
It seems there is a pothole at every other kilometer that can cause a dent to your pocket, changing badly damaged rim and tires.

Matters are made worse during rain as potholes are covered with water.

Nobody can believe there is a housing estate, Taman Impian Emas (Golden Hope Garden. Marvellous name!) in Senai.
The road that leads to it, Jalan Kempas Lama, seems leading to nowhere, full of potholes and uneven surfaces.
Accident is prone when heavy rain, as cars and motorcyles weighing to avoid the muddled and muddy surface.


This is a newspaper report, appeal from public to relevant authority.
It is about have been there for a long time pothole, not along Jalan Kempas Lama, but not far from the Larkin Market.

City Council Urged To Repair Pothole
The pothole in Jalan Langkasuka is causing distress to road users. — Picture by   Bharuddin Sulong
The pothole in Jalan Langkasuka is causing distress to road users. — Picture by Bharuddin Sulong
MOTORISTS plying Jalan Langkasuka in Larkin, Johor Baru, are appealing to the Johor Baru City Council to repair a half-metre deep pothole in the middle of the road. The pothole, which appeared during the recent rainy season, has been slowing traffic down for the past two weeks.

The hole is a danger to unsuspecting motorists at night and to those who seldom use the stretch of road.

Motorist Mahusin Idris, 35, from Taman Abad, here, said those who had driven into the the hole had damaged their vehicles.
"Some of my friends had to fork out about RM300 to replace their bumpers which they said were damaged from the impact of crashing into the pothole."

Mahusin said motorists are fearful that the pothole may cause a fatal accident.

Mohd Darwis Hashim, 42, blamed the City Council's Quick Action Unit (UTF) for lack of alertness.

"I have urged the council to take immediate action before tragedy strikes," he said.

He said the pothole gives a bad image to the city as it is opposite Hotel Seri Malaysia.

Source: New Straits Times - February 13, 2011


I wonder if indeed, the state ministers never encounter potholes?

I had seen many accidents, due to potholes factor.
Some motorists were caught offguard, especially when they are in congested areas. 
The road, choking with cars and bikes all over, especially peak period along Jalan Tebrau when workers are going to and from working in Singapore.

Suddenly new pothole, not the one familiar and permanent, appears from right beneath the car infront. Motorists cannot evade the pothole, as usually there are many on motorbikes behind them. 
Riding through the pothole - be safe, involve with an accident or ending up dead is their luck.
They have to be brave, bracing and preparing themselves for the impending jolt. 
Just pray hard that they will not be thrown off bike. 

"Q: Johor Baru is nicknamed Jalan Berlubang (JB) as it is riddled with potholes due to poor maintenance. What do you plan to do to overcome this?
A: MBJB has a special task force set up to deal with potholes and fallen trees. We cannot afford to go all out to curb the problem but the team can be mobilised when notified. It also does rounds at night to check on street lights. I promise to take immediate action when we get information from the public. I have told my staff to report any problems that they notice. They live in Johor Baru and are the best eyes and ears for the council. I have given my mobile number to my staff so that they can contact me when they find a problem. This is working as I am informed daily through SMS about potholes and traffic and street light not functioning..."

These are answers by Johor Bahru mayor Mohd Jaafar Awang when asked by The Star on February last year about potholes in JB. He had set his priorities to rid JB of its unsavoury image.
More of the questions and answers can be read here.


I had even seen deaths, due to the irresponsibility of those responsible.  

Hairdresser Killed In Pothole Mishap

JOHOR BARU: A 36-year-old hairdresser was killed when she fell off a motorcycle which hit a pothole.
Lee Nyam Kan was riding pillion on a motorcycle ridden by her husband when the rear tyre punctured as it went over the pothole, causing both of them to lose balance and fall.
Lee: Flung from the bike she was on after it hit a pothole.
Lee, who was wearing a helmet, died of head injuries on the spot.
Lai Nyok Lim, a 48-year-old bus driver who works in Singapore, said he was sending his wife to work in Larkin when the accident occurred at Jalan Kempas Lama at 10.10am on Friday.
Lai sustained minor injuries on his left arm and leg. Lee was cremated on Sunday.
Lai, who has a six-year-old daughter, sought the assistance of Skudai assemblyman Dr Boo Cheng Hau on the matter.
Dr Boo urged the Johor Baru City Council and the Public Works Department ato seriously look into the matter, as this was not the first time a death had been caused by a pothole.
Johor Baru (North) deputy OCPD Supt Mohd Akhir Ishak said Lee died of head injuries and police are investigating the case under Section 41(1) Road Transport Act 1987 for reckless driving.
He said Lee’s helmet could have become loose and fallen off when she hit the ground.
He added that the pothole was less than a foot deep.
Two years ago, Tan Cheng Ming, 20, fell from his motorcycle and died later from head injuries after running over a pothole in Jalan Daya, Taman Daya on Aug 17.
On Feb 27 last year, Koh Siang Lee, 63, was badly injured when she fell through an uncovered manhole into a metre-deep drain during a Chingay parade. She died of her injuries nine days later.

Source: The Star - Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Pothole That Cost A Life

Cheng Ming: Sustained head injuries upon landing
JOHOR: It cost a life to get a pothole patched up. Tan Cheng Ming, 20, was riding pillion on a motorcycle last Friday at 4am when the machine hit a pothole that was about as wide as a manhole and 5cm deep.
The impact caused Cheng Ming to be thrown off the motorcycle, and he sustained head injuries upon landing. He was rushed to the Sultan Ismail Hospital but died there.
His friend, Tam Tok Wei, 20, who was driving, escaped with minor injuries while the motorcycle was barely damaged except for some scratches and a bent front wheel.
Cheng Ming’s father, Robin Tan, said the Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) patched up the pothole in Jalan Daya, Taman Daya, about two days after the accident.
“When there is a loss of life, only then will they act. We have to bring this up to the authorities, because we don’t want others to lose their loved ones, too.
“The street lights along that road are also not so bright as they are shaded by trees, so the rider might not have seen the pothole at night,” Tan told The Star.
The 53-year-old taxi driver said that with the exception of highways, many roads in Johor Baru are riddled with potholes.
Tan said they had started planning for Cheng Ming’s 21st birthday celebration next month when the accident occurred.
“Twenty years of love, and just like that, because of other people’s mistake, my son paid with his life,” he said.

Danger to road users: A photo of the pothole in Jalan Daya, Taman Daya in Johor Baru which the motorcycle Tam and Cheng Ming were riding hit last Friday.
Source: The Star - Friday, August 24, 2007

to be continued...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Those Outstanding School Names

Weirdest School Names


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Of Non-Stop Crying Or Not Crying At All

Folk Remedies For Colic Do Not Work, Review Says
CHICAGO – That nonstop crying of a baby with colic has some parents turning to popular folk remedies. Unfortunately, there's no good evidence they work, according to a review of 15 studies.
The results don't surprise New York City mom Leni Calas, 32. She tried many treatments studied, including fennel extract, sugar drops and massage, and says nothing worked for baby Roxy, who cried almost nonstop for six months.
"Our daughter would wake up and cry literally morning to night without napping," Calas said. "She would just literally scream herself purple, and then throw up because she had been screaming so much."
Calas said she and her husband couldn't accept what doctors told them — that there was nothing wrong with their baby and that she'd outgrow the crying spells. But that's exactly what happened.
And that's what most doctors believe about colic, which affects up to roughly 20 percent of U.S. babies, usually in the first few months of life.
If a physical problem can be found, the condition is usually not considered colic. Gastric reflux and protein allergies are among conditions that can cause digestive upsets and crying spells in babies, and are often mistakenly called colic.
That may explain why some remedies thought to ease digestive problems may not work in babies with true colic, including alternative treatments containing fennel, herbal teas and probiotics, which all were included in the medical review.
Alternative remedies are not tested and approved by the federal government, and the purity and amounts of their ingredients are not always verified. Parents should always check with their pediatricians if they plan to give their children an alternative treatment, said Dr. Jatinder Bhatia, head of the American Academy of Pediatrics nutrition committee.
The study by researchers at the University of Exeter in England was published online Monday in Pediatrics. The researchers analyzed results from 15 studies on various alternative remedies, massage and chiropractic methods advertised as effective against colic. Overall, almost 1,000 infants were involved.
Few of the studies were rigorously conducted and all had "major limitations," the researchers said.
"Thus, the notion that any form of complementary and alternative medicine is effective for infantile colic is currently not supported from the evidence" studied, they said.
None of the studies reported side effects, but one involving an herbal remedy listed vomiting, constipation and other symptoms possibly related to the treatment.
Although there were promising signs with a few treatments, including fennel extract, herbal teas and sugar solutions, better research is needed to provide conclusive evidence, said researcher Rachel Perry, the review's lead author.
Her own two children had colic, but it disappeared around the time she tried giving them an over-the-counter herbal liquid promoted as effective against colic.
Because colic does go away on its own, it's hard to determine whether specific treatments might work, she said.
"As a desperate mother, I can understand the sort of desire to try anything," Perry said.
She urged parents not to give up, since it's possible better designed studies on alternative remedies will show more definitive results.
Bhatia, a professor at Georgia Health Sciences University, said the study results don't mean that none of the treatments will work for any baby. Some parents do report success with alternative remedies. Sometimes that might be because parents think it will work and they feel calmer, which can in turn calm the baby — a placebo effect. But even if there's only a placebo effect, there's no reason not to continue, as long as doctors have been consulted and the treatment is safe, Bhatia said.
Parents should always check with their pediatricians if they plan to give their children an alternative treatment, said Bhatia, For Leni Calas' baby Roxy, now almost 2, the incessant crying spells tapered down and by 9 months disappeared.
Calas said she's convinced of one thing "that no one wants to hear — that the only thing that really does cure it is time."
American Academy of Pediatrics:

Source :News Yahoo - March 28, 2011


Toddler Tianna May Die If She Cries

Little Tianna Lewis McHugh Is The Girl Who Cannot Cry.

She has a rare condition which means her tears could trigger a fatal fit.
Tianna McHugh suffers Reflex Anoxic Seizures, which can be fatal Tianna McHugh suffers Reflex Anoxic Seizures, which can be fatal
Her parents Ceri Lewis and Andy McHugh face a tense daily battle to make sure she doesn't cry.
The two-year-old looks as if she has died when she has a terrifying Reflex Anoxic Seizure.
Her skin turns white, her body stiffens, her heart stops beating and she stops breathing.
Other children with the condition react to pain, fear or fright, but Tianna has a form so extreme that simply crying can trigger a fit.
Tianna, of Wrexham, was diagnosed with the condition aged 18 months and has survived ten seizures since. The most serious one lasted two hours.
Describing the first fit, mother Ceri, 23, said: 'She looked like she had died. She went a deathly grey, her lips and around her eyes were blue and her eyes rolled back in her head. I was hysterical.'
Father Andy, 30, said he had to resuscitate his daughter.
'After five or six blows she took a massive breath and came around crying her eyes out,' said the car sales executive.
Tianna suffered her last seizure in July and her parents are hoping she will grow out of the condition.

Source: - November 3, 2009

Monday, March 28, 2011

Kemayan City, The Other Twin Of Pacific Mall

Kemayan City haunted?
I did not believe My relative who visited Me in the middle of last year.
She stays in Australia and had heard about it, many years before 2010.
I'm in JB and had just hear about it... from her.

But when her ex-neighbour, a JB resident too, agreed to her story, it seems that I am the last resident to hear about it.
The ex-neighbour laughed at me as she said, the story had even been published in Metro daily.


One of the story, not in Metro, but New Straits Times is here 

Why Ghost Stories Excite 
Jassmine Shadiqe 

EVERYONE has a ghost story to tell. In fact looking for haunted places and ghosts can actually generate a modest income for some.

Today, there are reality shows, TV programmes and dedicated websites just on ghosts and haunted houses, and some associations calling themselves ghost hunters, seekers or finders are sharing their experiences.

I stumbled upon a website that charges a fee to teach people how to take pictures of ghosts and haunted houses.

What is this crazy attraction we have for the unexplained? Well, I can't explain either.
Recently, my colleagues and I, who had often heard numerous alleged ghost appearances at an abandoned shopping complex in Jalan Skudai, Johor Baru, decided to visit the place.

We met up about 11pm, armed with torch-lights, we drove to the abandoned shopping complex that is known as Kemayan City Shopping Mall.

First, we explored the complex compound on foot.

The mall was planned to be Johor Baru's single biggest integrated shopping and commercial development which was due to be open in June 1998.

The RM400 million complex, with 64,800 sq m of retail space, is spread over a 4.8ha site in Tampoi.

The property is a project by Capital Dynasty Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of public-listed Parit Perak Holdings Bhd, and is managed by Kemayan Management Services Sdn Bhd, a member of the Kemayan Group.

Though the actual reason on why the project was not completed is not available, it is learnt that the developers wanted to add additional floors to the building but it was not approved.

As the management waited to reapply for the necessary approvals, then came the recession.

About four years later, it was still uncompleted. The building became a den for addicts and there were numerous reports of vandalism. They stripped off metal trimmings, pipes, and anything that could be sold to scrap metal operators.

At one time, it is believed to have been a haunt for lovers.

Then, there were reports of illegal immigrants, beggars and the homeless making the complex their home.

Fights broke out among the "residents" of the building and they accused one another of stealing.

Some people said some of them did not survive the fights and died, some of old age, sickness and also drug overdose.

Since they did not have family members, their bodies were just buried in the complex or left to rot on the upper floors of the complex.

I also heard a story of a pregnant woman (an illegal immigrant) living on one of the floors of the multi-storey shopping complex.

It is said that she was in labour and while making her way to the ground floor, she fell and landed on the jutting metal steel cemented to the floor.

She did not die on the spot and was said to have screamed in pain for about an hour and pleaded with them to help her, before she went quiet. The occupants did not think much of it and buried her at the site.

However, they started seeing a toddler running around, followed by scary screams and that spooked them, prompting them to leave.

There are other stories too, and some say people who practiced black magic, used the complex as their training ground.

Some say that people who were possessed by evil spirits, got exorcised and had "locked" the spirits in the complex.

There are also several people, who claimed they got involved in accidents in the area, as they spotted huge black shadowy figures and lost control of their vehicles.

I do not know if any of the stories told are true, but what I know is when we were walking around, we felt as though someone was watching us, or maybe we were just being paranoid.

Maybe, we would not have felt the same way if we had not heard of these stories prior to our visit or if we had decided to visit Kemayan City during the day.

I cannot say for sure if the place is haunted, but it could be a tourist attraction.

There are several ghost towns and haunted buildings in the world that are tourist attractions. Among them are Tombstone, Arizona; Jerome, Arizona; Oatman, Arizona; Bannack, Montana; Kolmanskop; and Elizabeth Bay.

These places attract tourists by the millions. There are books written, movies-made and photographs taken of these places.

Kemayan City would be a perfect site for an Alfred Hitchcock's movie or even for the directors of Jangan Pandang Belakang, Congkak, Santau and Jangan Tegur.

Source: New Straits Times - Wednesday, February 16, 2010


Kemayan City, property of  Capital Dynasty Sdn Bhd is now famous not for its best shopping experience, but for its mysterious ghostly accounts.
Especially to residents in the area of Tampoi, Skudai and Johor Bahru.
And in countries like Australia too.

Various accounts of ghostly sightings and mysterious cases had occurred.
A number of passersby who pass by Kemayan City, or stopping at the nearby traffic light saw the place abuzz with activities.
Others saw it adorned with nice flower decorations.
The sight of a burnt man with dangling burnt skin staggering, had also been seen.

Several residence of nearby Taman Bukit Mewah had seen the sudden brightly lit abandoned Kemayan City in the middle of the night.
Some realised the pattern of eerie sound of dogs howling after midnight rain.

But the most famous is the experience of a Singaporean family, who saw the complex which supposedly abandoned earlier was decorated glamorously with colourful lights.
Crowd was entering the shopping mall.
It seems something grand was going on.
They stopped by the mall.

True enough, the complex was finally open for business.
A grand opening ceremony was in place with entertainment and sales.
After shopping, they stopped by at their relative's house in Kampung Pasir, a few minute's drive from Kemayan.
The family then told their relatives about the grand opening, ongoing sales and showed them their purchases.

A surprising moment indeed, to see that their purchases disappeared. 
But dried leaves were aplenty.
Their relatives assured them that the mall had been left empty for many years.
And it was never open for business till now.
How true the claim is?
Anybody's guess.
The abandoned building of Kemayan City Mall is still a mystery.


Various haunting experiences had been told and shared by locals and from other cities too.
Many were 'tricked' by mysterious events.
I do not know how true the stories are, told by My relative in Australia, her ex-neighbour and My other friends.
The once beautiful mammoth structure of Kemayan City is a reminder of the 90s recession.
The seemed completed building from far fell into despair and abandonment just within the span of a few months.

Without hesitance, vandals quickly moved in to break all the windows and lay and they didn't stop until all the glass were broken.
Window frames, and drain covers went missing.
Those who stay nearby or use the small road at the side of the building can see men getting away with cables on their head. 
In short, everything and anything seem valuable, which they could lay their hands, fingers and legs on were not spared.
It soon became haven for drug addicts.


We used to pass by Kemayan City, My Husband and I.

He did not talk about ghost story.
But He never fails to relate depressive stories of one after another investor, whenever the massive gloomy building appeared in front of Our eyes, when We pass by that massive building.

******       ******      ******

Buyers In A Quandary Over Stalled Project

JOHOR BARU: A businessman who purchased two shop units as an investment for his children never thought his decision could burden them.
Loh Ah Wah, who bought the RM1mil property in the abandoned Kemayan City Mall off Jalan Skudai here, said he had been repaying the loan since 1998.
“I took a 10-year loan but am still repaying it as I could not afford the RM4,000 monthly repayments,” he said.
“My children who have started working are helping me with the loan,” said the father of five.
Loh, who represents the Kemayan City Owners and Vendors Association as chairman, said that many investors had proposed to buy the building but the bank which owned it rejected the offers as too low.
“The latest investor offered 22% of the amount we paid per unit, the highest so far, but most of us were not satisfied.
“The sum is not even enough to cover the interest on our loans,” he said, adding that the amount was RM1.2bil for the whole building.
He said that only 40% of the units were sold, adding that 200 of the 600 buyers recently attended a briefing by the project’s liquidator.
Loh said the majority of the owners were against selling their units at the proposed price.
He added that 428 of the 551 retail units and 201 of the 1,026 office units were sold.
Loh pointed out that, according to the liquidator, the approval of 75% of the owners was needed for the transaction.
Another meeting between the liquidator and the buyers was expected to be fixed in a month.
“Construction of Kemayan City commenced at the end of 1994 and the project was completed in 2000 after three years of delay.
“Since then, the building was abandoned and vandalised. It is now a shelter for drug addicts,” he said.
Johor probably has the highest number of abandoned buildings in the country with no fewer than 15 projects shelved since the mid-90s.

Source: The Star - Wednesday, October 8, 2010


That is just one of the almost similar stories told by My Husband.
And there were many more of other investors' woes that I could hardly digest in the same and other abandoned buildings.

As if to add salt to the wound, go through this.
A real attack to the already feeble hearts and pockets.

Not In The Best Interest Of All Parties

I REFER to your report "Council waiting to be paid RM15m" (NST, June 16) and the statement by the Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Halimah Sadique that the Johor government is placing a caveat on 52 abandoned buildings. It is most disappointing that the state government considers taxing the 52 buildings that are abandoned.
Firstly, it is shocking to know that there are so many abandoned buildings in Johor Baru.
Secondly, the state government should facilitate the rehabilitation of these buildings by waiving the assessment on buildings that can't be used.
Thirdly, there was no attempt by politicians to look into this problem. There is also no legal protection for buyers of commercial space unlike residential properties.
At a time when the government is promoting the Iskandar Development Region (Iskandar), it should make it its priority that abandoned buildings such as Kemayan City, Pacific Mall, Lot 1, Castle Inn, etc, be completed and occupied.
What would potential investors think of Iskandar if they see so many abandoned buildings stripped of all the cables and metal parts?
About RM10 million was needed to build Pacific Mall and in 1999, it was abandoned. Today, the entire 25 storey-building's copper and steel fittings have been stripped, including the escalators.
It would take RM55 million to restore the building.
Its location near the traffic police station did not deter thieves and this has been going on for nine years.
The government should consider compensating the owners for their losses.
Chairman Pacific Mall Buyers Committee Johor Baru. 

Source: New Straits Times - Jun 22, 2007


Rid The Country Of Dirty Image

I could not agree more with Jim McNeil’s views as expressed in his letter “Beauty of country marred by litter problem” (The Star, April 22).
While I applaud Malaysia’s bold ambition to attain developed nation status by 2020, the sad reality is that Malaysia has a serious littering problem which should be solved immediately.
Take my beloved hometown Johor Baru as an example. Most parts of the city are not only riddled with litter, but are also smothered by unsightly advertisements of loan sharks everywhere – on traffic lights, telephone booths and even road signs and very often blocking the all-important road names!
Dilapidated buildings of defunct shopping malls such as Pacific Mall, Waterfront City and the infamous Kemayan City (whose construction was aborted halfway) have provided eyesores for city dwellers and visitors for many years now.
Whenever I drive by these monstrosities, I cannot help but shake my head in utter disbelief and frustration as I ponder how much longer the authority will allow these unsightliness to prevail.
And imagine the inevitable contrast between dirty Johor Baru and squeaky-clean Singapore!
While driving on the roads, it is fairly common to see people unscrupulously disposing of garbage from their vehicles. I sincerely hope that the relevant authority would seriously look into enforcing anti-littering regulation just as rigorously as they have been enforcing the compulsory backseat safety belt rule.
Johor Baru, just like many cities in Malaysia, needs to seriously look at the litter problem on top of the escalating crime rate and security issues so that this city does not deteriorate. Otherwise, it is meaningless to boast world-class developments such as Iskandar Malaysia with the tagline “The World In One City”.
Johor Baru.

Source: The Star - Friday, April 23, 2010


Kemayan City, sits on a 12.4acre site along Jalan Skudai, is the largest abandoned project in JB.

It is with great hope that the abandoned building will be refurbished and redeveloped.

It was reported here, management of Kemayan City had changed hand.
It had since being taken over by Blackstone Eight Sdn. Bhd., and work on it had since started since September last year...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Maid - Unholy Acts In The Holiest Place (8)

Maid Abuser Alleges Indonesian Embassy Wanted SR1 million

MADINA: Umm Muhammad, the Saudi woman convicted and imprisoned for physically abusing her Indonesian housemaid in Madina, has claimed that the maid was suffering psychological problems when she arrived for work in the country. “Residents of the neighborhood where she lived in Indonesia called her crazy,” Umm Muhammad claimed.
“When she arrived I noticed her acting strangely.” Umm Muhammad claims the maid urinated involuntarily and that she had asked the recruitment office to take her back. However, the recruitment official said that he could not do so because the maid was still working. “We (the family) decided to have her treated. My daughters took her to several hospitals but they all refused to examine her because she was on a trial period and still had no residency permit.” Umm Muhammad claimed that the maid used to hurt herself, including making cuts to her legs and scalp, “without showing any sign of pain”.
“My daughter’s housemaid happened to be from the same town, and she told me that she was known there for her weird behavior, hurting herself and others, and that they called her crazy,” said Umm Muhammad.
Umm Muhammad alleged further that some woman called her on the phone and said she intended to accuse her (Umm Muhammad) on the Internet of torturing the housemaid. “I didn’t take the call seriously.”
She said she was shocked at the maid’s accusation that resulted in her being imprisoned. She also claimed that the Indonesian embassy wanted one million riyal in exchange for dropping the case.
“The lawyer and everybody at one court session saw her pulling out her nail without showing any pain, and I think that’s evidence that she tortured herself,” said Umm Muhammad.
Umm Muhammad’s daughter, a laboratory specialist, claimed that she used to clean the cuts the maid allegedly inflicted on herself. The maid “used to remove the bandages and deepened the wounds”, claimed the daughter. 
– Okaz/Saudi Gazette

Source: Saudi Gazette - March 18, 2011


Umm Muhammad claimed her maid had urinated involuntarily.

It reminded me of a maid whom I had blogged here, who was caught mixing her urine with the food she was cooking for her employers.
She believed this would make them love her.

The Saudi employer saw the maid adding urine to the food she cooked for the family and made an official report of the incidence.


Split Family Blamed On Maid’s Sorcery 
Maid Jailed For Five Years But May Be Free Under Royal Pardon

A Saudi family who suffered from a series of problems has accused its Indonesian housemaid of causing them by using witchcraft to punish them for bad treatment of her, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The maid had confessed to the police that she did cast a malicious spell on the family but later retracted her confession after colleagues warned her she could be executed for sorcery in the conservative Gulf Kingdom. Yet the court sentenced her to five years in prison.
Just a few weeks after she was jailed, police told her she would be released under a pardon of thousands of prisoners announced by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia following his return from a treatment trip abroad.
“Police told her employers to finish procedures because they want to deport her but they refused, saying she must first break the magic spell she cast on the family,” the Arabic language daily Sabq said in a report from Riyadh.
“The mother believes the housemaid is responsible for all problems that have befallen the family, including her divorce from her husband, the divorce of her daughter from her husband and her elder son’s decision to leave the house on the grounds he no longer stands the family…she gave police some pieces of papers she had found at home written in Arabic and Indonesian showing the housemaid was behind those problems.”
The paper said the mother offered to finish procedures to deport her employee provided the maid dismantles the spell. But the maid told the police “breaking the magic spell requires that she should be in Indonesia not abroad.”
“The mother is still refusing to sign the maid’s papers so she can be deported while the maid insists she can not break the spell in Saudi Arabia.”

Source: Emirates 247 - March 15, 2011

Two days later, a Saudi man from the central town of Afeef was tidying up his house when he found talismans and other pieces of papers carrying strange writings concealed under a bed, Okaz newspaper reported.

He took the pieces of papers to the local office of the Islamic law enforcement authority in the Gulf Kingdom.
They told him that those are part of sorcery work.

The man told them he suspects that his housemaid left them to put his family under magic spell.
His son had fallen ill and his family had been in crisis since the maid left to her country.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Yusuf Estes: His Encounter With This Pumpkin

"Miracles" or Misguidance?
by Sheik Yusuf Estes
Read the true story of
"Lies On a Pumpkin?

Bismillah Rahman Raheem
This was written by Sheik Yusuf Estes while he was in Cairo, Egypt in July of 2001.
Al Hamdulilah Rabbil Alameen Was salat was salam ala Rasool al Kareem Maa ba'd:
Salam Alaykum Wa Rahmatulah:
Something just happened to cause me to sit down and tell a story that I have kept to myself for a long time. This is really a BIG TEST (ibtala') for me to write about this subject. What I'm about to tell you is strange and I know some of you are going to think "Ol Sheik Yusuf finally went off to 'Goofee Land'."
There is something that I am going to share with you and mention in reference to this subject that I have kept quiet about since leaving being a preacher to come to Islam. I don't blame you if you laugh. At at least read this, but please, dear reader pay attention to the warning coming up...
How could Sheik Yusuf ever endorse 'miracles' or 'karamat'?
After all, who is the one that has been attacking the brothers and sisters (hopefully in a kind a respectful manner) regarding putting the fake pictures on the Internet and the stories of weird occurrences in nature which people claim bring them to believe in Allah?
I am the very same person who only two years ago went on record as debunking the "Shahadah in the Forest" picture and the "Tree in Ruku'ah Facing Qiblah" picture, and the "Fish with Allahu Akbar on His Side" picture, as well as many others.
This goes back to my days of debunking the old fairy tales and lies in the Christian church which we heard from infancy onward. We were told in that if you look down from above on the back of a burro (small donkey) you will see a brown stripe running from his neck to his tail and across his front shoulder is another brown line which forms a 'cross'. Well sure enough some burros do have this type of marking. If you get up high over the donkey and look down and use your imagination a little you will see a brown line intersecting another brown line to form a 'x' or a 'cross' right across his shoulders.
So what?
Well we were told that before Jesus was born, no donkeys ever had this. (What is the evidence for such a statement?). 
Then the story begins:
A donkey carried Mary to Bethlehem while she was pregnant with Jesus and was present in the manager when Jesus was born. (Again, any proof?).
A donkey carried Jesus into the city on Palm Sunday (this is in all the gospels in the Bible). So, for all his carrying of Jesus, the donkey gets to carry the 'cross' on his back as an honor for his service.
So we should all wear a cross with honor and pride. And now today, how many would be happy to wear a cross hanging from their ears, nose, eyebrows, tummy, and tattoo a cross in places which I won't mention?
My reason for being against these types of so called 'miracles' is that it has no basis in true belief. I lived all over Texas and Mexico for over 50 years and watched so much superstition over these same types of things that it made me sick of it all. People would claim that they had a tree which would "cry" at Easter time or a statue of the Virgin Mary would "weep" tears.
One case a few years back in San Antonio, I recall a window in the front of a home which would show some kind of "crucifixion" or something at a certain time of the night. People would come from all over filling the street and jamming the front yard and falling on their knees praying and crying. People were claiming to be 'healed' of sicknesses and cancer, etc. It was in the newspapers and made quite a sensation -- for a while. But then, after a while the light thing stopped, things went back to usual and people went back to their routine lives of lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, drugs, violence.
Then there is the story that Jimmy Swaggart related in the debate between he and Ahmad Deedat back over 10 years ago in Louisiana. (By the way, I personally hate these debates and I only do dialogs with the Christian preachers to offer better understandings of Islam -- and by the way, we do give a number of Shahadahs at these events. Sometimes even to the leaders of the church). Anyway, at the end of the debate Jimmy Swaggart did a real sneaky trick used by preachers all the time to try to 'prove their point.'
He told a story without any proof or reference what ever.
He said:
"You know, Mr. Deedat, I had a dream the other night. And in that dream, I believe that I heard the voice of God. I think that was God talking to me. And if it was God talking to me, he was telling me; 'You go tell Mr. Deedat and all his Mozlems (I hate the way Jimmy Swaggart says 'Mozlems') You go tell Mr. Deedat and all his Mozlems friends that Jesus loves him and Jesus loves them too. And if they'll just come to him in the precious name of Jesus, why, he'll accept them and love them and he'll forgive them." (This is as close as I remember the actual video tape)
Then Swaggart went on to tell a another story:
He said that he had heard about someone in Europe or England that was thinking about becoming a Muslim. But he goes on to tell us that: 
"This person was had a friend who was very ill and dying in the hospital. So he though he would test if Islam was right. And so he prayed in the 'name of Mohammed' for them to get well, but the person didn't get well. So he prayed in the 'Precious Name of Jesus' and the person got well and was cured of the sickness.
And on this statement he based his conclusion for the debate: "Is the Bible the Word of God?"
And by the way, when I was a prison chaplain in Texas, I found that the ministries in the prisons there are using the same video tape of Ahmad Deedat and Jimmy Swaggart to call people to 'Jesus.' They all conclude as Mr. Swaggart did, that the only thing that matters is if you get what you want from your prayers.
To believe that someone or something has power with Allah or in place of Allah or a connection with Allah is 'shirk' (making partners with Allah, may Allah save us from this). Allah says that He does not forgive that anyone set up partners with Him in worship, but anything less than that He can forgive.
This is perhaps the biggest test of all. It is not so much that a person believe that there is Allah. After all, every religion out there claims to believe in God of some kind. Every religion teaches to pray to their gods. Some teach that there is only one god, and that they have pray to god through some other god or some 'icon' which represents or reminds them of god, or it acts as an intercessor between them and god.
And some of these prayers to their 'gods' are answered. After all, if they didn't get what they wanted at least once in a while they would not continue to believe in their false gods would they?
But who is really the One the ultimately answers their prayers? Who really gives them what they ask for? Who gives them life? Who heals them? Who provides for them? Who is the Only One do all Praise? -- Of course, it is only Almighty Allah.
The point of the matter is to see how they treat and respect Allah. The real test is:
Will we worship Allah, alone, on His terms, conditions and follow His commandments?
That process is called:
(Surrender, Submission, Obedience, Purity of Intention, Peace)
My point is that these kinds of things seem to me to be more of a test of character than a proof of God's existence. Only those who already believe would come out and get excited. The non-believers just stand back and watch "those crazy fools making idiots of themselves."
I have seen people claim miracles in the "Name of the Father"; and in the "Precious Name of Jesus"; and in the "Name of the Holy Spirit." So, now what I am about to say... well, just read it for yourself and judge.
[Written in Cairo, Egypt in July 2001]
NOTE and a word of CAUTION: The story you are about to read it 100% true and I am one of several of the witnesses. Today, inshallah, I plan to film and photograph the specimen about to be described, and begin serious investigation into the background and history of how this has come about.
[Since then we have filmed and photographed the specimen. Pictures are available on request at:
CAUTION: However, there are two things that I want to stress to you:
* This could be some kind of artificially induced growth on the surface or a reaction to a chemical which was artificially induced (in other words someone may have designed this with a process we have not discovered - yet).
* Even if it is absolutely, positively without manufactured stimulation, it is not to be used to call people to Islam. It would only be considered a source of increased belief for those who are already believers in Islam.
Presently I am in Cairo Egypt, preparing for a visit to a rural area where a strange event just took place. 
 About two days ago, the brother of Ahmad Mousa, my host here in Cairo, was visiting a farm about an hour's drive out of Cairo and he found something very weird. He says that twenty days prior a farmer pulled a gourd shaped pumpkin out of the ground that was facing a different direction than the others, in a strange way. It appeared to have a strange formation of Arabic style letters written across its length. So he obtained it and brought for his brother (my friend Ahmad) to investigate. Subsequently, Ahmad brought it to me a few nights ago. We were with Dr. Fatih Algayreb standing at the trunk of Ahamd's car wondering we would see. As we stood there at the back of his car staring down under the street lamp at the huge vegetation on top of his trunk of his car, I froze. If I had not seen it with my own eyes and held it in my own hands, I would not have believed it. An elongated pumpkin about the size of a very large football had wart like bumps standing out in relief "raised letters" in Arabic, very clearly spelling:
'Bismillah Ar Rahman'
(In the Name of Allah, The Most Merciful). It appeared to be in the old Kuftic script (original Arabic style no longer popular). Then over the center of it were the words:

'Ar Raheem'

I was so shocked that I almost dropped it when I realized what it said. What can I say? I held it. I touched it. I felt it over and over. It was real.
At least it was a 'real pumpkin.' - But was the writing really a 'miracle?" Maybe not...

[This is a REAL Pumpkin - But is the Arabic writing FAKE?]
To the right of the words 'Ar Raheem' was a black formation which appeared that if it had been left to grow, the word 'Mohammed' verily likely would have been displayed right along with it.
So, now the question is: "What if it had been proven to be a natural phenomenon? What if it was real?" Then what would that mean?
Thanks only to Allah that He guided all of us to think and consider the most important points of Tawheed of Islam (monotheism).
Dr. Fatih Al Ghareeb and our beloved brother Ahmad Mousa were not fooled by this trick on a pumpkin. Not at all. They immediately were suspicious and together we all began investigating this subject. Sheik Mahdi from Al Azhar University was called in and he made a television program with us on Today Islam in which he confirmed that although these types of things appear from time to time, they are not the signs that prove to the believers the existance of Allah. 
Upon closer examination the truth began to come to light. If you could look at all the other miracles from Allah which He has clearly explained in His Book the Holy Quran, and still need a pumpkin with warts to decide if it is all real, then your faith wasn't much to start with.
Don't we see bigger miracles than this everyday? Who created all of the things which we take for granted everyday? Where did we come from? How is the universe in such a splendid order? Where did the heavens and earth come from? Who sends down the rain? Who grows up a pumpkin from a mere seed?
Al Rahman -- (The Merciful)
These are the ture "miracles" and "signs" of Allah. 
Let us ask a few logical questions here about so-called 'miracles':
How would it be if you found a giant watermelon tomorrow and it had seeds in it spelling out "Jesus is King of the Jews" in Latin?
Would you want to be a Christian? And would you stop eating the 'sacred melon'?
Or what if you discover a rock with "Michael Jackson" spelled in Hindi language?
Would you become a Michael Jackson fan or a Hindu? (or both?)
Or how about a pizza that the cheese toppings spell out "" ??
(I like this one...)
This would all certainly be most strange and bizarre, but would it cause anyone to change their belief?
No. It would only increase the faith of the believers and increase the disbelief of the disbelievers. 
Now, let us take a closer look at this so called "Miracle."

Notice the exact drawing on the pumpkin.
This was the path the artist had intended the growth to follow.
[click picture to return back]

Source: Islam Tomorrow   

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Food - Why Pumpkin?

I watched Iron Chef, a Japanese cooking show two nights ago, over Asian Food Channel, with 'Pumpkin' as its theme ingredient.

The very versatile fruit, popularly used in Halloween and Thanksgiving, can be boiled, baked, steamed, or roasted, whichever way we want to go about it.

I often have it boiled in coconut milk.
Mix together with prior stir fry ground, pound or slice fresh turmeric (if there is any), shallots (or onion), garlic and any kind of chilli.
Anchovies, prawns, dried or fresh, or the paste, is optional.
Throw in fresh turmeric leave, the aroma will be heaven.
Have it with rice.

Try frying thin slice pumpkin using tempura flour ( or mixture of wheat and corn flour, dash of dried turmeric and salt).
Then eat it hot.
Usually it substitutes My meal.

Another meal substitution is to boil pumpkin in thin coconut milk, brown sugar (preferably palm sugar or 'gula melaka') and screwpine (pandan) leave, if there is.
Then lower heat, add thick coconut, stir so as not to coagulate the thick milk.

I've never fail to order pumpkin soup whenever I eat out at Secret Recipes.
Pumpkin to Me, is comfort dish.
Soup, puree or pie, it is GOD gift.

My Mother used to slice sideway, opening the top, put in coconut milk, eggs, brown sugar (preferably palm sugar or 'gula melaka'), screwpine (pandan) leave (if its around the kitchen), then bake it.
Pumpkin Custard is ready!

Or it can be served sweet as 'halawa' a Middle Eastern dish.


Pumpkin is enjoyed by the Prophet Muhammad sollallaahu 'alaihi wasallam.

Anas b Malik radhiallahu anhu reported:
"A tailor invite the Messenger s.a.w. to a meal which he had prepared.
Anas bib Malik said:
I went along with the Messenger of ALLAH SUBHAANAHU WA TA'AALA to the feast.
He presented to the Messenger s.a.w. barley bread and soup containing pumpkin, and slices of meat.
Anas said:
I saw the Messenger of ALLAH S.W.T. going round the dish,
ate that pumpkin with relish.
So I always liked the pumpkin since that day."
- Narrated by Muslim, Book 23, Hadith 5068.

Anas r.a. reported:
“GOD’s Messenger s.a.w. used to like pumpkin.
If a dish of bread, meat and broth was put before him,
and it contained pumpkin,
he would pick up the pumpkin.
I do like to eat pumpkin because the Prophet loved it.”
- Ibn Majah and Al-Darimi radhiallaahu 'anha.

Jabir r.a. narrated from his son Hakem r.a :
“I entered the Prophet s.a.w.’s home and I saw pumpkin being cut into pieces.
I asked what that was for.
He s.a.w. said:
‘Something we put in our food to increase it.’”
- Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah r.a.

"The Holy Prophet s.a.w., amongst all other foods, liked pumpkin.
- Tirmidhi r.a.

Abu’l-Hasan bin Dahhaq r.a. narrated from Aisha radhiallaahu 'anhu that Rasulullah s.a.w. said:
“Ya Aisha, when you cook,
add pumpkins abundantly.
Because it strengthens the heart."


The pumpkin's color is a clue to its nutritional value as a great source of antioxidant carotenoids. 
 It is low in calories, and provides fiber, vitamin C, potassium and phosphorus.

Research in China reveals that pumpkin extract promotes regeneration of damaged pancreatic cells.
Compounds found in pumpkin could potentially replace or at least drastically reduce the daily insulin injections.
Pumpkin may be a source of medication, hoping to be able to boost insulin levels in order to lower blood sugar levels. 

According to Wikipedia, "research on type-1 diabetic rats, published in July 2007, suggests that chemical compounds found in pumpkin promote regeneration of damaged pancreatic cells, resulting in increased bloodstream insulin levels. According to the research team leader, pumpkin extract may be "a very good product for pre-diabetic people, as well as those who already have diabetes," possibly reducing or eliminating the need for insulin injections for some type-1 diabetics". 


Some people blend pumpkin and a yolk as face packs to refresh and rejuvenate the skin.

Honestly, I've never tried, as I'm faithful to using Eumora.


Roasted pumpkin seeds (kuaci putih) can be a great snack, some topped the seeds on ice cream.
Roasted seeds sold then, used to be saltish.
But just recently, I've found flavoured with garlic (at Sun Plaza, if I'm not mistaken).

Again, according to Wikipedia, "Pumpkin seeds have many health benefits, some of which include a good source of protein, zinc, and other vitamins, and are even said to lower cholesterol.
One gram of pumpkin seed protein contains as much tryptophan as a full glass of milk.
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and phytosterols."

Pumpkin seed oil is believed to be a folk remedy for prostate problems, as it contains essential fatty acids that help to maintain healthy blood vessels, nerves and tissues.


The Chinese is known to stir fry pumpkin leaves or put into soup, but I've never eaten it before.
Anyway, My late Mother-In-Law used to prepare sweet potato leaves the same way.


The warm weather crop is grown round the world, maybe the exception of Arctic and Antartic.

I used to grow orange pumpkin along the side of My house..
Just throw the seeds on a bed of soil, and let nature takes its course.

I've never able to pluck the pumpkin fruit that I planted, but that is fine with Me.
The flowers are always plucked by My neighbours, turning them to 'kerabu' to Malaysian (?) or 'urap' (Is it Singaporean or Javanese?), mixed with grated coconut fresh chilli, and dried anchovies or prawns.


Loofah plant, related to the pumpkin, used to self-creep into My backyard.
I always had guilty feeling seeing the fruits hanging on cherry tree, and always offered them to (who else) neighbours.
I've never cooked it before.
The timing of the fruit ripening and my free time is always 'clash of the titan', wrong timing.

The fruit, by the time I was free, had already hardened.
Many of them dried up, the pod soon turned to natural sponge, in its long, natural shape.
Again, felt guilty seeing dried loofah sponge scattered behind My house.
Not appreciating GOD Gift, nature and My late Mother-In-Law.


In the 90s, I did not care much about recycling.
When My late Mother-In-Law brought Me those things, from Her Elder Sister who went back to their home village in China, I let those things staring at me at the kitchen sink for many years.
Maybe it was pleading Me to make full use of its presence.
I was more ignorant in the 90s about recycling then now, although I hate wastage.

My late Mother-In-Law used that to wash disheswhenever She was at My house, although there was sponge for Her.
She is a recycle freak, till the last of Her breath.

When My Son was six-years old, My Husband had the shock of His life.
His Mother had My Son wearing The Father's white primary school uniform.
My late Mother-In-Law then passed me a plastic bag full of white shitrs, all still gleaming white.
She had boiled them with clorox, and hand-washed them.
Yes, she hand-washed Her clothing, and My bachelor Elder Brother-In-Law's too, till She passed away.
We did buy for Her a washing machine, but it stayed covered ...

She had treasured those white shirts for more than 20 years, eagerly waiting for the day when those shirts fitted nicely on My Son.
20 years on, if She is alive today, asking for those shirts and the memory, I'll be lost...


The usage of loofah sponge reminded Me of commonly use of coconut husk before dish-sponge was widely available.

When I was in China sometime ago, I realised the traditional loofah sponge usage and its Chinese link.
No wonder My Husband bought them for sentimental reason and kept them for so long.

I was in Body Shop at Causeway Point when I realised it can be used during shower.
It is believe that the natural sponge cleans and exfoliates more deeply to hard-to-reach areas.
But watch out!
Loofah sponge can become a haven for mold if not properly maintained.
If it is properly dried up, it can last for hundreds of showers or baths.


It was during an Eidul Fitri visit at a house in Tampines when a bowl of extraordinary potpurri attracts My attention.
Upon closer look, it's a mixture of discarded coconut husk, its twiglets and small cuts of loofah sponge.

That bowl of potpurri led Me to appreciate the loofah plant that crept into My backyard, in memory of My late Mother-In-Law.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Al-Azhar Imam Resigns

Protestors Prevent Tayeb Entrance To Office
Azhar Imam Resigns, Military Council Rejects
Demonstrators prevented Azhar Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb from entering his office.
Demonstrators prevented Azhar Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb from entering his office.
The crisis in Egypt’s top religious body and the world’s leading institution of Sunni Islam reached new heights with al-Azhar Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb submitting his resignation after protestors prevented him from entering his office.

Employees at the Azhar Sheikdom prevented al-Azhar Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb from entering his office and demanded that he quits his position, the London-based Asharq al-Awsat reported Wednesday.
After standing in front of the building’s closed gate for a while, Tayeb headed to the headquarters of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, which took over after the fall of Hosni Mubarak’s regime, where he met with council chairman Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi and submitted his resignation, according to an al-Azhar source.

According to the same source, Tantawi rejected Tayeb’s resignation and told him that Egypt is going through very difficult times and that he needs to be patient. Tayeb then went home in “very low spirits,” the source added.

Azhar protests

After the January 25 revolution ousted the regime of former president Mubarak, protesters from inside al-Azhar have called for the independence of the institution and demanded that the grand imam be elected by all al-Azhar members across Egypt and that elections be supervised by the judiciary.

A delegation of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces went to al-Azhar and met with the protestors in order to listen to their demands and communicate them to the grand imam.

The protestors demanded that all al-Azhar restructures its organization in order to dismiss all those above pension age and start allowing youths to take part in the leadership of the institution.

They also called for the dismissal of all figures related to Egypt’s notorious State Security Intelligence and said they wanted the army to leave.

The protestors demanded the al-Azhar administration get rid of all appointed advisors, who reportedly get very high salaries and are accused of stealing alms money.

When their demands were not met, hundreds of employees demonstrated Tuesday in front of the Sheikhdom. They closed all the building’s gates, stopped the elevators, and prevented the grand imam and all al-Azhar’s senior officials from entering.
(Translated from the Arabic by Sonia Farid)

Source: Al-Arabiya - Wednesday, March 23, 2011