Jul 25, 2009

Missing Japan...

My husband brought back a Toyota Wish from Japan last year. It happened that my workplace is outside Nilai, so he let me drive his car everyday except Fridays. The car is so comfortable for the driver and the passengers, but the radio can only catch frequencies of 90MHz and below. Meaning, I can only listen to Muzik.fm, radio IKIM, and some minor stations while driving.

Whenever the programme is boring, I would switch on the CD. I don't have a lot of CD collections so I would turn to the self-made J-pop collection CD I have always listened to in this particular car when I was in Japan.

Every time the songs are heard, I felt as if I was driving the roads of Kitahara towards either Furukawa or Naruko. The winding roads and crystal clear rivers of Naruko, the paddy fields along the way, the bakery we have always visited during the weekends...everything comes out at each and everyone of the song I heard.

I can never forget the sereneness of country living in Japan. I am always thankful to my chemistry lecturer when I was in Japanese Matriculation Center (JMC), Mr. Fukunaga, who insisted my to choose Kyushu Univ.(Fukuoka) over Waseda Univ (Tokyo). His reason was that my personality fits 'kampung' life. And he was correct!

Tourists may aim big cities like Tokyo or Osaka but for me they mean less compared to the breathtaking sceneries of the countryside.

And I am really missing them, I do.

Jul 4, 2009

Maid or No Maid

The only free-and-easy life I had was the 6 months after graduating my MBA; that was when I moved to Kitahara to join my husband and the 6 months after returning from Japan. Now, I have a permanent job with 2 businesses and soon I will also be a student again.

No matter how busy I am/was, I have never hired a maid. And I will not, if Allah permits.

However, the risks are

1) We have to eat out when I do not have time to cook.
2) My house looks like a .... urgghhh..can never mention..
3) We have to rush home to fetch the kids and consequently bring work home.

BUT.. I can never tolerate our privacy with a convenience of having a stay-in helper at home.

I am extra tired - like today, getting up at 2am and still awake at 6am with a 4-rounds of laundry, cleaning up the kitchen and ironing the clothes - (but still have time to update the blog!)

Later today I will have to go to Melaka, to attend the students and appointments with clients. Visiting my in-law who is admitted to the hospital in Batu Pahat is also something I have in mind of doing (just wish there is more than 24hrs in a day!)

Having heard of so many uncomfortable stories about maids these days, I am already a maid-phobia even before hiring one. So much so that I am willing to sacrifice my 9-5 job if I cannot take this load anymore!

Business is Jihad

I always admire 2 figures in Malaysian business circle; Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhari and Tan Sri Muhammad Ali Hashim. I've read a lot about TSSMAB but have never seen him speaking in media. He has always keep himself low (which I really like about him).

Tan Sri Muhammad Ali Hashim, on the other hand, is now actively giving talks - his first I saw on TV attracted so much of my attention I realized he is a person with an exceptional aura. And his words - business is jihad - is something I can't agree more.

Owning a business now, I am feeling and tasting the "business is all about a jihad to the community and not all about money" statement. Many people might think jihad is when you are in a field of war, but fighting to survive a business is a battle itself. A good business practice is when you give back to the community and this will only take place when you have well-founded principles.

I was a practising engineer so, I felt the need to practice what I gained from my MBA. Everyday is exciting because every step I would make in maneuvering this business will connect me to the related bits I have learnt from the classroom and my work experience. It is like なるほど。。all the time. Oh needless to say, life in Japan had taught me a lot about managing an ideal business in the eyes of the customers.

I definitely do not know what will happen in the future but I hope as long as this thing is running, I will try to do everything in my power to contribute by providing the best service at an affordable rate. It is an open innovation; I always ask my clients what I can do to help them. And as this business takes off, I will execute the thing I have in mind to return to the community, insya-Allah. Business is jihad, anyway.

More on business jihad, go to