I just got back from a 6 days trip to Colombo, Sri Lanka for LAWASIA conference. I’ve never been to that part of the world, so naturally I was pretty excited when I got the… More
Just got back from a 4 days 3 nights holiday trip in Aceh. Most of the stories there were about the 2004 tsunami. Plenty of times I felt a lump in my throat whenever we hear stories of lost lives and survival, and see reminders of the catastrophic event.
Our first stop was a mass graves where thousands of tsunami victims were buried there. These were bodies which could not be identified and therefore nobody came to collect them. Our tour guide says in the aftermath of the event, hundreds of lifeless bodies could be seen strewn along the street or drifting away on the river. We heard accounts of some survivors who lost their loved ones while trying to escape and till today do not know where their bodies are. Good God…
There is a dome that got separated from the rest of the mosque building, drifted and smacked right in the middle of another village.
I guess it is only natural that in moments of such colossal disaster, people turn to God for solace, protection and to move on. Everywhere in Aceh you will see mosques.
(Below) This is a ship that weighed a mighty 2.6K tonne, got drifted inland by the giant waves and landed in the middle of a residential area.
(Below) Taking a selfie in front of the entrance to Kampung Jackie Chan (the village was actually sponsored by the China government, and Jackie Chan only sponsored the kenduri haha!)
(Below) This is a boat which landed right on top of someone’s house, saving 59 lives in the process. It was heartbreaking hearing the account of the survivor first hand, especially how she lost her mother and one child trying to escape, and how they held on to a coconut tree for hours until her smallest child turned blue T_T
(Above) Behind us used to be dry land, before it was wiped out by the tsunami.
(Above) Mom, Amin and I in the Tsunami Museum. Pretty impressive museum I’d say. If we look up the short bridge, there are flags of countries who had offered their assistance to Aceh, including Malaysia.
Another thing we note, and the tour guide says this too, is that the tsunami also brought positive changes to Aceh. Because of the international attention and aid pouring in, Aceh recovered quite well and in some aspect the development today in terms of economy and infrastructure is even better than it was before the tsunami. It was also largely due to the peace agreement reached by the factions fighting within Aceh, and it is believed the tsunami was the turning point for parties to agree to end conflicts in the area which had been going on for so many years. Alhamdulillah for this.
It truly was a humbling experience for me to hear about the power and wisdom of Allah. It was also inspiring to hear their stories of resilience, renewed faith and hope for peace and progress for Aceh.
I pray Aceh will continue to prosper. Amin…
(Below) Dad took this blurred photo just before our plane home took off. It was my 3rd day replacing my fasting T_T
Note: Woke up late for sahur this morning just in time for some dates and mineral water. Haihh… Ramadhan kareem everyone! May our prayer and our efforts to be a better Muslim be well rewarded. Amin…
Someone on my FB feed is posting updates about his trip to the US of A under the IVLP program. The same exchange program I went a month or 2 back but with a different focus. Makes me green with envy, because I think I missed the US! I missed the people (I think the Americans are friendlier than the Brits, but that’s just me), I missed the weather, I missed the scenery, and their love of history. Not so much the food though. I missed walking about in the different towns and cities. I should really write about what I learned before I started to forget. Soon, soon…
For now I’ll post some of the shots I took in Washington DC. I’ll share photos of other cities in other posts. I remember feeling confused when I was planning for the trip and looking at the US map thinking, why is Washington DC in 2 places? East and West. Then, ohhhh… *slaps head*
The White House. The fine looking Canadian President J.T. a.k.a Justin Trudell was in the house. Hence Canadian flags were everywhere too.
The US Supreme Court (so majestic eh).
Washington Monument (breathtaking view at dusk!)
World War II Memorial (they are big on war memorials here).
Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool at night (makes me think of that end scene in Forest Gump).
We were in DC for a week but packed schedule didn’t allow us to do much exploring. If I had few extra free days, I would have definitely explored ALL the Smithsonian museums there, and checked out other memorials too.
It was only sometime after I got back that I remembered that I have a friend working in DC, and I had completely forgotten to check in to see if we could catch up. Haihhh!
Thanks for the memories, DC.
Today as per usual I was running late to get to work. It has become my daily struggle really, to get to office as early as I can. If I wake up too early, I will go back to sleep and then get to office late, again T_T
In my bid to
be early not be late (there’s a difference haha), I will decide what to wear and iron my clothes the night before. And half the time it still doesn’t work sigh…
And I wonder why do guys take much much shorter time to get ready than the girls??
Well, obvious answers really. Just this morning it took me forever to apply my eyeliner. And if it’s not eyeliner, it can be my shawl, or my foundation that needs reworked WTH…..
That’s all the rant for today. Have a great Friday everyone!
I have to give a warning before I start this post – It is quite a depressing subject. Don’t say I didn’t warn.
Last week was the National Consultation on Promoting Greater Police Accountability in Malaysia. It was organised by the Bar Council Task Force on Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), which I am a member of.
I was tasked to present the data and statistics on death in custody, police shootings and cases of police torture. Depressing numbers. For a start, from the year 2001 until 2015 there are over 200 deaths in custody. And although the law makes it mandatory to conduct inquest into these deaths, from 2000 to 2004, there were only 6 inquests out of 80 deaths in custody. It’s sad really. Imagine, if a family member or someone you knew makes up the number, and you are not afforded a closure to the entire traumatic experience.
I gotta admit that I did not have a chance to look at the powerpoint slides I would be presenting. So that morning I was pretty nervous and even asked Malathi (our fantastically able BC Officer who did an excellent job with the slides) for a private room where I could practice. Didn’t have the chance to do that either. I did a quick run through of the slides on my laptop and decided not to rush the presentation. I think it went pretty okay. Leena said I did okay too, and that I set out all relevant facts alright. So, phew…
The Roundtable discussion was, I’d say, quite well attended. We had representatives from EAIC and the courts in attendance as well. Malathi did a wonderful job with the administrative tasks of sending out invites, securing venue, date, etc.
My hope is that this issue and calls for police to take accountability for their misconduct, some of which caused death and untold misery to civilians, will be given more serious thoughts by our authorities and policy makers.
Now for the coming term, we’ll need to think how to advocate the issue to the masses, the people on the ground. It’s not just thinking up ideas really. We need people to be able to carry out the ideas. I hope we could recruit more people passionate about the issue for this coming term.
So last weekend was our firm trip to Krabi. The 2nd one in 5 years hehe. The Organising Team really did one heck of a job from the flights, hotel (we stayed in Holiday Inn – much recommended!), activities, etc. We enjoyed ourselves so much. I know I did. And I made it a point to make the most of the 3 days and 2 nights trip.
Some of us got on the early 7am flight. Had to gather by 5am (yawnnn…). So a few of us decided to use the extra hours we had to do island hopping once we reach Krabi. Loved it! The view of the ocean, little islands in between and the lush greenery is simply breathtaking. We did snorkeling too. Such a shame I couldn’t swim so I had to hold onto Ariel the entire time. Bit scary when the water got into your googles or when the boat seems to sway towards you, but I wouldn’t want to pass a chance to check out the underwater world =)
Us. With sunblock lathered all over our body every 5 seconds haha!
We got back in the afternoon in time to greet the 2nd group arriving and to get our rooms. I was by this time sooo sweaty, sticky, and exhausted. So when they asked to gather I was just lazy to move… and so, they decided to move me instead =___=
The 2 nights we were there, some of us went to Longhorn Saloon for some live music, which was superb by the way. The song selection was awesome, and we sang along and danced to almost every song (even those I don’t know I simply pretended I do haha!)
I took advantage of the comparatively cheap massage parlors and had 2 full body massage on Saturday and Sunday just before we checked out. Had fun at the pool too (which was 1.3 metre high thankfully =P)
The Saturday morning activities were also fun, kudos to the organising team. We definitely leave behind some wonderful memories. I can vouch for that because up until this point we are still relieving and laughing over the trip =D (and the songs they had at Longhorn is my current playlist hehe)
I am definitely considering to come to Krabi again in the future.
Some more photos I took:-
And here’s one with ma team yo –
April is also a crazy month because it’s my birthday month! Hehe.
But that particular birthday week was also quite crazy. I’m glad I made full use of all the birthday freebies I got. I got meself a free scalp treatment at Number76 (they managed to talk me into doing a paid hair treatment =__=).
Then I got to see movies for freeeee! courtesy of GSC and also MalayMail. The latter I got not because of birthday, but that I retweeted one of their tweets at an opportune time. So I went to watch Zootopia and Eye in the Sky. Both are awesomeee!
I had an afternoon meeting on 20th April. Boss was being kind of coy asking me this and that about the meeting, suggesting we go together and all, and so I just played along lah. Of course they had arranged for a supposed birthday surprise for me back at the office.
After work, I went to have a quiet birthday dinner with Yen Hui and Elaine at Tony Roma’s. Wanted to try Coliseum but it was closed due to some gas leak problem. But Tony Roma’s turned out to be quite good, with very friendly stuff getting us birthday dessert with candle on top, some freebies and a birthday song of course.
It took me about a week to properly reply to all birthday wishes. It was definitely a good birthday =)
April in short is a crazy month. It is! But I kinda love it =)
I am even struggling to find time to write here. For starters, the next weekend after I got back from US, I flew to Sabah with MyConsti team among others for a workshop with persons with disabilities, organised by Human RIghts Committee of the Bar Council. It was quite a good fruitful 2 day workshop I’d say. And I’m very grateful for everyone who volunteered their time to help facilitate the workshop. It wasn’t easy to conduct a workshop for about 70 participants with different disabilities, so we need all the help we can get. We had time to do some shopping, immersed a bit on local culture and watch the sunsets too hehe.
I think we did quite well, because I got to know later that Sarawak lawyers are interested to have us come to Sarawak to conduct similar workshop.
Here are some pictures from the Sabah trip:
And the sunset, ooh I love the sunset! Whoever says sunset anywhere is the same everywhere can go fly kite hmmph!