Friday, December 31, 2010

Rumi's gift



You've no idea how hard I've looked for a gift to bring You.
Nothing seemed right.
What's the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the Ocean.

Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient.

It's no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these.

So- I've brought you a mirror.

Look at yourself and remember me.


Jalaluddin Rumi said it all.  
That's her in the mirror.
The face is the mirror of the soul. 
She sees joy, despair, hope, doubt.

This is the end of another year in her life.
A time to reflect and express her emotions.
Love, forgiveness, healing and trust dominate all kinds of thoughts.
She did many things right but she wavered too.

Listen to your inner voice.
Pressure? Deal with it!
Quiet successes inspire her with confidence.
Failures provide just the spur she needs.
As she looks back on the past year, she is grateful that she got through it.
Rumi, thank you for your gift!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It isn't child labour when ...

A young worker helping with sales at his father's accessories stand at the Jelatek night market, which is close to the city centre in Kuala Lumpur.



There is a clear line between engaging young workers to do light duties and exploiting them.

Youngsters who help their parents to manage makeshift stalls at the side of roads or night markets are learning about the real world and in the process acquire skills which might come in handy.

The abuse begins when they become the sole breadwinners or carry out “difficult, dangerous and dirty” (3D) jobs to supplement their family incomes.

That is the message from union leaders and the head of an employers’ organisation in Peninsular Malaysia.

The issue of working youngsters came under the spotlight when Parliament recently passed the Bill of the Children and Young Persons (Employment) (Amendment) Act 2010 which seeks to change the current legislation, 13 years after Malaysia ratified the Minimum Age Convention (C138).

Click here for the full report.


Monday, December 20, 2010

First among equals

Professor Datuk Shamsul Amri Baharuddin, Professor Dr Lai-Meng Looi and Professor Tan Sri Mohd Kamal Hassan.



These three scholars have earned their places in the history books when they were named Malaysia's first Distinguished Professors recently.

Read about them here:

Distinguished Professor Datuk Shamsul Amri Baharuddin

Distinguished Professor Dr Lai-Meng Looi

Distinguished Professor Tan Sri Mohd Kamal Hassan

Background

Criteria

 

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

X'mas is where Koh Soo Ling is

There are 19 days until Christmas and New Sunday Times contributor Dr Koh Soo Ling is feeling Christmassy!

She knows that successful gatherings need good planning and preparation for her first Christmas in Ireland started early.

In addition to the traditional decorations and tree, she will be introducing Malaysian cuisine on the Christmas table.

I asked her to describe her Irish Christmas "fever" and this is her reply via email.

See below for a new poem from the pen of Soo Ling: Wintry Charm. 

If you are meeting Soo Ling for the first time, read about her here.

"My freezer (Mat Sallehs have this very serious business about having an extra freezer in the shed) is stocked up with Christmas game and frozen food, my windows and two fireplaces are decorated and I'm
expecting two Malaysians to come over and stay during the Christmas season. 

"So I will dish out turkey, cranberry sauce as well as ketupat (bought earlier from Malaysia, so just throw into boiling water), satay sauce (Brahim's) and satay (now this is authentic) except that it has
to be grilled in an oven. 

"I have three in one teh tarik too.

"We will print out carol sheets, Audrey will play the keyboard and we will sit by the fire crooning. Chocolates like Quality Street sweets are very cheap and I've stocked up a few tins to fill up the stockings.

"I like the Christmas celebration here, it is very very warm and even the streets are lighted up.

"As for church, we have quite a number of activities too. One of them is packing toys into shoe boxes for children in Africa and poor countries. 

"Then we also have Christmas hampers (we contribute the goodies) that we leave at the door steps of the needy during Christmas day but we remain anonymous. Just ring the doorbell, leave the hamper
and run."


What an attractive Christmas window display!

A fireplace with X'mas decorations.

The snow on the trees is really pretty.
Meet Michael Howard, Soo Ling's other half.

Soo Ling is looking forward to her first Irish Christmas.

Soo Ling has created a warm and festive atmosphere in her Irish home.

Wintry Charm


When the snow falls
On the icy ground
And the wind calls
A curious sound
It’s a mystery
That every snowflake is unique
And everything flies in a flurry
As we shuffle our feet.

When the snow falls
And the robin goes and hides
Behind the walls
That are frozen and white.
The branches are bare
The leaves brittle and light
In the cold thin air
Through the long dark night.

When the snow falls
Wrapped in warm coats and mittens
We hurriedly open the doors
With our wooden tobaggans
We scoop up some snow
Partially hidden we lie
No weapons, no arrows or bows
Ready to pelt snow balls at passers-by.