Sunday, April 29, 2007

IKMAL AGM - faces II

The best, most aggressive salesman you can find...

Thank you Capt. Aziz for moving those jackets and errr you should have done better on the caps....

Need an opinion on maritime issues, oil spills, energy transport, no ? What about education, manpower ? Here's your guy.

Ahhh, my sifu for all thing electronics, communications, computer...

These are random pictures to highlight some (minuscule percentage) of the people we have in IKMAL. Who knows, they may be useful to you someday.

Blogging in Vista is still crap. Lost connections come and go...

IKMAL AGM - faces.

Need to know maritime history, development, progress ? This da' man.

Need corporate advice or information ? This is the Dato' to consult.

Ports, maritime security, enforcement, pilotage etc ? These are the guys.

Legal matters, law issues, arbitration for your grouses ? Get Tuan Haji.

IKMAL COUNCIL MEMBERS 2007 elected and continuing from the 23rd AGM held on 28th April 2007

President : Capt. Hj. Tasripin Masotee (elected)

Vice President: Capt. Hassan Hj. Ali (elected)

Hon. Secretary: En Abdul Rahman Azubir (continuing)

Hon. Treasurer: Capt. Noor Apandi Osnin (elected)

Council Members:Michael P. W. Lee (continuing)

Capt. Andrew Cheah (continuing)

Dato' Capt. Abdul Rahim (elected)

Capt. Sukhbir Singh (elected)

Capt. Ahmad Jaafar Bahrom (elected)

Capt. Ahmad Kamal Kamarudin (appointed by President)

Capt. Khairul Anam (appointed by President)

Hon. Auditors: Capt. K. S. Tan and Capt. Manivannan (elected)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

IKMAL AGM - I saw...

Had the 23rd IKMAL AGM this afternoon. It was great getting the fraternity under one roof at the same time, with common objectives. I do believe that everyone had a good time as I certainly do. To those that could not make it this time, god willing, please join us at the next one, for that matter, please join any IKMAL event as and when they are organised.

These are pictures of objects - people may come later.

Laksa ?

Birds eye chili.

Curry leaves.

Tamarind, still hanging from the tree. Not yet processed to make the brackish substance you see at the mamak shops.

These are some recent pictures taken around my mothers house. If she's up to it she will collect the tamarind and prepare them to be used in her cooking, most of it will be given away as she can only use so much. Typical of her, she will prepare a lot...

So, chili, curry leaves and tamarind. Basic ingredients for laksa ?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

On leave but doing harder work !!!

My mother in law went to Umrah last Saturday. The maid ran away some time ago. My father in law is alone with the kids ranging from 2 - 12 years old. There are seven of them, three of which are mine. Imagine the havoc.

We have to take turns to take leave to make sure that those schooling are ready, fed and delivered. Today and tomorrow is my turn. I thought I can have some time to write stories for my blog - no way - too busy chasing these kids around. Tried to sit down and turn on the laptop, before it even booted, someone wants to pee pee, then someone wants milk, someone wants a toy that someone else hijacked.... Arrggghhh, just shut down the laptop. Put the thing away and no one wants any attention.
Have just done bathing and clothing them and am getting a bit of break as my wife came back from office.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Tagged !!!

Mat Salo put a comment on my page saying that I have been awarded with the Thinking Blogger Award. Thinking ? Hmmmmm. Frankly, in my case, more instinct and gut feeling I suppose, but if some of the posts and pictures sets you visitors thinking, that's fine by me. The award came with the following:

This award was started here:

And now my dear recipients, your award comes with a price. You have to award five others whose blog you think deserve this award.Should you choose to participate, please make sure you pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging. The participation rules are simple:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.

Please, remember to tag blogs with real merits, i.e. relative content, and above all - blogs that really get you thinking!

And now, without further ado, I would like to award the following for their achievements blah blah blah. Seriously,there are more than five that I would like to mention but I am certain all of them, even some here has been awarded in one form or another. The ones that I mention here have a direct influence on me in their own particular way.

1. The Ancient Mariner at He has been an influence from the beginning, straight forward, down to earth kind of guy. I only wish that he would quit smoking for good so that I can do the same too... he he he

2. Tukang Taip at This one I admire for his courage, the choices he made and his ability to bare it all in cyberspace.

3.Pi's Twist at This one restores my hope in mankind. She does good, tells all about it but somehow never made it seems like bragging or me do good better than you sort of thing. Way to go Pi.

4.Siti at The relative newcomer to blogging, this one I have known before blogs and it has been educating looking at her transform from a nervous kampung girl on her first day at work to becoming a wife and mother. Under that soft exterior is a shell hardened by what life had dished out to her, and she knows how to use it.

5.Zubaidah Arshad at This one is a bit risque but is a real hoot. I am trying to understand a friend who is of the same persuasion and this site became sort of a gateway to their world.

Go on, give them a visit....

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Practical Love: A Consequence.

Al and May

Al and May is a typical middle class couple with typical house mortgage, car loans, personal loans and five children to care for. Lucky for them, credit cards were not yet the norm back then. So, that’s one less temptation and burden to face. Al is a government servant who moves around a lot and in most cases lived in government quarters where one of the favourite sport is playing the Joneses, you know, which team had the newest sofa sets, biggest TV (colour gets bonus points), latest curtains right down to who got the most and biggest Sarawak vases. In Al’s household, May is the stronger character and hence will make decisions. She is also a very competitive person, thus will do her best to win the Joneses games. Luckily, she does this with some sense intact, it was her struggle to keep up. She never made the family suffer, she never uses the marketing allowance, well not all the time, in emergencies perhaps. Like the time when her regular fabric supplier showed her the latest lace-like curtains. Al just follows along. Not because he is agreeable to all this but he is the type who would rather avoid a conflict than be right. However, her struggle to win the material race is not lost on the children. That is what this post is about.

Liz is their first born. She is pretty but not outstandingly so. What she does have however transcended that. From May, she learned how to be stylish, how to use make up and clothes to good effect and thus became a very attractive girl. On completing secondary school, she pursued a secretarial course – fitting choice – in her scheme of things. It was during the final year that she starts dropping hints to family members of her intention. When asked on why she did not yet has a boyfriend her response was that she has not yet met a suitable person. Once May tried to fix her up with her best friends cousin much to the consternation of everyone as the ensuing battle between the two hard headed women impacted everyone. Liz won by saying that she is not ready to go out with someone who does not come with financial security. Her argument was that, why should she get hooked up to someone with whom she might have to help pay off the mortgage and car ? According to her, if she were to get married, it was to be happy. Definitely not to underwrite half of her future husband’s liabilities. Everyone thought she is looking for or at least waiting for a rich man’s son to woo her.

At a subsequent family event, she designed it such that one of the younger family members saw her come out of a long, black, tinted Mercedes. She came dripping with Prada, Ferragamo and Gucci. No one dared ask. Everyone speculated. It was after this event that she came to her parents informing them that her boyfriend will come to ask for her hands. Enjoyment turned to horror especially for May, when Liz also informs them that her prospective husband is slightly older than May, had a wife with five children, the eldest of which is the same age as her. Then Liz tells them, with or without their consent, she will be married to this man. May went nuts, Liz is her first born, and she had already planned for a grand wedding for her. She had planned the colour schemes, gifts, guests to invite and everything else to make it a wedding to be remembered, now all that planning and scheming is going to waste. She’s still in the Joneses games you see. She tore her hair out trying to figure why Liz turns this way. She still does not see it, to this day.

She tried everything from talking, begging, shouting right down to engaging a witch doctor to get Liz to change her mind. No dice. Liz is much stronger and more stubborn even than May. Al, in the meantime just let the drama unfolds around him. May finally relented, so does Al. In the end, they agreed that the wedding will be done in the city with only some close family members invited. A reception was held at a later date in their town. It has to be done as May was concerned that if Liz were to become pregnant and no wedding in sight, what will the people think ? It’s always about what people would think...

Years later, it appears that Liz had made a good choice and a good life for herself. She now has a daughter. A house, a car, a maid, a fixed monthly allowance (which is more than a fresh Master's holder would earn) and never once did her wants and needs was not fulfilled. There is a price of course, like not having her husband around during the first day of hari raya but she was prepared and accepted all this. She is now close to one of her step child who goes to school in the vicinity of her domicile. It is such that, that particular step child became her ally as she is also preparing herself to finally come out to her other stepchildren and ultimately her “Madu”, the lady she is sharing her husband with. Apart from this, she recently went back to school to further her studies as her daughter starts going to school.

Liz certainly has made a practical choice based on the happenings around her as she was growing up. As for May, she still does not see where she went wrong that Liz made such a choice. Even though both of them have rebuilt their mother daughter relationship with May wrapped around the little finger of her granddaughter, she still does not understand why she has to be burdened with this shame that was brought upon by Liz.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

MTB Shots.

Mine is bigger than yours...

mozzie bites laaaa....

Mat Salo, hacking it up to the tower.

Half way through before nasi lemak cikgu.

Den, ran out of fuel.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Vista Woes 3.

Am testing this post after clearing cache and cookies if FireFox. Spellchecking is fine. It still has not lost connection. Is this really going to work ?

Edit and post pictures OK ?

2257hrs. 20/04/07
Editing. Posting pictures.

Seems OK. Connection remains ?

What made it work:
  1. Use FireFox;
  2. Clear cache and cookies;
  3. Reboot and continue blogging;
  4. Antivirus and firewalls on.
Hopefully the woes is over.

1751hrs. 21/04/07
NOPE. Still not working. Yesterday was a fluke...

1759hrs. 21/04/07
Manage to edit post. Now I am almost certain that either Vista or blogger is possessed. Nothing is consistent. Lucky if I can publish otherwise Blogger says unable to return request or something. Am trying this in IE7 now. Strangely, FireFox can't display ?

Thursday, April 19, 2007


To all the ladies out there for providing comfort, solace and contrast to the male existence.
Especially to my wife as Outlook just reminded me of our coming anniversary on the 1st of May, the preferred date for communist to get married or so I was told.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sacrificial Love.


Rose is the youngest of almost a dozen siblings and is blessed with good looks and demure mannerism. Born in a small village on the west coast of the Peninsular. She was a child of post independence, the nation was in the process of building herself into what she is today. Rose’s parents cultivated paddy fields for consumption and to sell. Supplementing this they planted bananas, tapioca and other vegetables. Her father fish for fresh water prawns and hunt jungle fowl when it is in season. He had some buffaloes and a couple of cows of which the bulls are used to pull his ox cart. The cart afforded extra income as it was used to haul sugar cane harvested by Chinese farmers inland to the coast for processing. That was their life.

Being the youngest, Rose became the most educated of all her sibling. Even better than her brothers. Her sisters don’t count as her father is of the mindset that girls are supposed to stay home and do womanly things and that’s what they did. As a consequence most of her sisters are illiterate. In this respect Rose was lucky as it was during her time that it became mandatory for all children to undergo formal education. She manages to complete her education with acceptable results. Perhaps mellow with age and also at the insistence and encouragement of village folks, her father allowed her to go to the city to pursue a course in nursing. To pacify his concerns and foreboding thoughts, it was arranged for Rose to stay with a relative in the city.

All goes well till the end of the first year of Rose doing her nursing course. The beginning of the second year marks the turning point for her as it was during this time that she met Ray. He is an armed forces personnel who hails from the East Coast. They became involved and love blooms to such an extent that they had to get married. Rose sacrificed her nursing career much to the disappointment of her sisters who never got the chance but accepted with a sigh of relief by her father. His relief comes from the fact that once a daughter is married off, the responsibility is transferred from the father to the husband. For he is one who holds fast to the notion that caring for a herd of buffaloes is easier than caring for a daughter. Therefore, no one and nothing could stand in the way of their union. Her other family members just gave in and wished her well.

She did turn out well and became an excellent homemaker. The house is always spic and span. Not a book out of place. The children are always clean, well dressed and fed. It was an ideal existence until three child later when her husband opted for early retirement from the forces. On retirement he started doing odd jobs to supplement his pension. The scent of disorder began to surface once he started work as a truck driver. His work sees him away from home for days at a time. Woman's intuition made her query and investigate where upon the truth was discovered. He had another wife and toddler on the other side of town. She was devastated but her kids gave her strength. With no qualifications to gain financial independence, she accepted her fate and continues raising her kids as best she can. All she demanded was that Ray provided for her and the kids rightful subsistence which Ray provided. At his convenience...

What her family fails to understand to this day is why Ray chose to marry a woman who is less pretty and a much lesser home maker than Rose. This question arose after a few of her sisters went to confront Rose’s rival and had a glimpse of how she lived. Instead of a full frontal assault they pitied her existence. They would understand if it was a younger girl with better quality than Rose – so they say. A few years later Ray came back to Rose. He never left his second wife but made a more regular presence in Rose’s house. Rose never question him, she just accepted his presence back into her life but not the children. To this day they look at him with disdain and will never speak to him in the same tone as they would speak to Rose.

Love or the notion of love turns people into idiots. Would Rose have a better life if she were to wait until she finished her nursing course to get married ? Love is important yes, but it doesn’t feed you or shelter you does it ? Love is fleeting but feeding must be done at least three times a day, except during Ramadan of course. Think about that.

Masak Lomak Cili Api.

Some basic ingredient for my favourite and also comfort food. Coconut milk (not the husk, tsk tsk), green lime and birds eye chili. You will also need some turmeric, lemongrass and of course the main ingredient itself. My favourite would be young tapioca leaves with smoked fish (ikan salai), smoked beef with belimbing besi, crab with young pineapple slices or the ultimate shrimp with bamboo shoots.
Eaten with steamed rice accompanied with salted fish, ulam (fresh greens) and the previously mentioned prawn paste salsa. Sweat will be produced and my being will be consumed in its taste, aroma and sensation as the hot gravy prods and jabs at my taste buds. Of course, the best will be made by dearly departed grandmother who first introduced this me.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Queen - losing - Control.


I was acquainted with Ron in secondary school. We were school mates from different classes but joined common clubs and societies. One of these was the Bahasa Malaysia club where plays were among the most popular activities. Ron with his good looks always get to play the leading part, goes with his personality which made him popular among the opposite sex. Me, being pimply and skinny took the role of spear bearer (pak pacak) and such. One the most memorable to me was being one of a pack of Jinns. Of course our characters were killed off by the hero, Ron. It was fun, especially the shows that we put up at the orphanages and shelters. It felt good seeing the kids and old folks smile and escape a little into our charade.

Ron and I remained friends until the end of primary school which saw us parting ways. He joined a bank while I went to sea. But this story is not about Ron, it is about his elder brother Roy who became a much closer friend.

Roy is a soft spoken guy. We met while doing mandatory modular courses. We did not immediately click because he is not comfortable with my character. This I know because one day I overheard him talking to another friend behind the flimsy door of our dorms. The friend asked why I was not invited to some do or something and Roy responded that he is not used to someone who is as direct and often vulgar as me. He doesn’t fit the common seafarers mould as he is the prim and proper type which is a real contrast if compared to me. Knowing this, I tend to steer away from him and activities involving him. Somehow, perhaps once he managed to see through and accepted my wild and vulgar ways, we became closer friends. We were both from Kuala Lumpur, so it is practical and made sense for us to travel to and fro together. We knew each other’s family and are accepted as one whenever we are at either’s home. We even swapped shirts. Thinking back, there is this one particular shirt that he never allowed me to have, no matter how I begged and negotiated. Anyway, that is not the focus of this story either.

Roy is the flirty type. Always looking for the girls to hook up with. Until he met Bee. With Bee, it became different. He tamed himself and their relationship developed to marriage. Bee, aware of his flirty days always tried to keep things in check so much so that his every movement and behaviour is controlled and questioned. I remember once, we came back from ALAM and Bee was waiting for us in Puduraya, the infamous bus terminal which in these days I am trying to avoid like the plague. On that particular trip home, Roy was so excited because he had just permed his hair. It was de rigour back then to sport fine curly hair. Jeez, how stupid and awful youth could be.

Roy was sporting his new hair and his big crocodile smile, which I suspect is in the hope of impressing Bee. Sadly, instead of a squeal of delight Bee responded with disgust. A barrage of question came forth. She was embarrassed that her fiancee has hair like a male prostitute and demanded that he rectify that there and then. And he did. He just hung his head low and followed Bee into the nearest hair dresser, in Puduraya itself. I just laughed and left them to it. From that day onwards, the control became tighter. Everything has to go through her for approval. Until they had four child and a house of their own.

Recently, I met him at a dinner where he introduced his wife to me. It is definitely not Bee. Turns out he got married to a pretty lady much younger than him. I did not yet manage to get the story on how that came to be but more surprisingly is that rumour has it that a third wife is now in the pipeline.

So, to those who likes to think that they are in control, just because someone follows your every whim and fancies, whom you think is besotted with you and under your spell, may just do something as drastic as looking for comfort and freedom elsewhere. What I learned is that the more you try to control something the harder will be its struggle to be set free. Another observation is that it is people who are insecure that tend to be the control freak. These are people to whom the word "TRUST" will have to come with justification and explanation.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Vista TEST2 & WOeS.

Create new post and new photo. This one seems to work. For now it is really dodgy to post on Vista. Will see if the issue can be resolved to meet same level of reliability as XP.

Spellchecking is fine.

Add photo is fine. Now whenever I log in to blogger, it insist on opening in another window instead of the original window or another tab. Lets see if I can add another picture to this post and delete the original picture. Seems to work fine.

2048hrs. 14-04-07.
Blogging is quite reliable now. Another issue crop up. Am unable to update windows as illustrated in the picture above. Request for assistance has been sent and am now waiting for Microsoft's response. Other programs updated themselves fine except windows, ironic.

0100hrs. 16-04-07
NOPE. Tried to post and a message appears saying that blogger lost connection...test connection failed - other sites are OK. These happen after photos has been uploaded and pasting text from MS Word 2007. Resetting IE7, changing security and privacy settings does not help. The most frustrating thing is that I lost all my entry but the photos stayed on in Picasa (where Blogger stored posted photos) which has to be manually deleted in order not to waste my storage quota. Recovering post also does not work. I don't think I can recommend upgrading - strike that - moving to Vista to anyone. Why ? Because, new things are supposed to work better, in this case, I can't even work !!!

Tragic Love.

Jay and Fay.

It was the mid-eighties. We were in Maritime Academy Malaysia or ALAM as it is popularly known. A training school for merchant seafarers. We were back in the Academy pursuing a certificate of competency after completing the prerequisite 2 years sea time as cadets on board merchant ships.

Jay came ashore with a broken heart, his fiancee returned his engagement ring whilst he was on board. Fay was a close friend to both Jay and his ex-fiancee. She came with consolation and offer of support in his time of grieve. One thing led to another and they became closer than friends. They were so in love that everything else fade into the background. As his roommate and a rather close friend, I was offered an intimate look at Jay as he floated on the wings of love. While others chided him, I just stood by and observed. Well, sometimes I joined in the fun too.
Jay was so in love that he sometimes does things that will seem stupid to me or I suppose any other normal person at the time. He willingly cycles to Masjid Tanah, a town about 10km away, at night, on an old borrowed bicycle just to make a phone call to his sweetheart. Why does he do that ? Because there is this one particular phone in Masjid Tanah where you put in 10 cents and can talk forever. We were poor you see, surviving on a RM120 JPA allowance, so all the cents counts. One night, after one of these lengthy calls, he came back, rummaged through his stack of letters and photos and start ripping it up while at the same time crying and banging his head on the wall. Knowing him, I just left him to it as I know that at the most he will bleed and that he will do no further damage than that. The next morning, at dawn actually, full of regrets at what he has done, I saw him struggling to paste the photos back together. It was both a tragic yet funny moment. And I asked him...

Apparently, last night Fay gave him the ultimate let down for any lover in the world - she just wants to be friends. What else can I say except just try to offer some supporting words. Such is a lovers tiff because, lo and behold, that very same day later in the evening he was beaming like the sun. Apparently, Fay had agreed to get back together. Hallelujah.

To cut the story short, they subsequently got married. During this time, Jay was so in love that he became afraid of her, even receiving a call will change his mood. I just love those moments especially if we were in the car and I spoke loudly of going to a club or other while he was on the phone with Fay. His face turns white, and I am not exaggerating. He bears with my antics because I am one of those that he turned to for financial assistance. We were sailors you see, once landed on leave, no more pay is coming in. Therein lies another observation, Jay will never talk, I mean really talk to Fay. To Fay, Jay is always well and money is never a problem when it is actually quite the opposite. Another sad fact is that after so many years of union they were yet to be blessed with a child.
After a long ten year wait, they finally got a child. It was also during this time that the marriage starts crumbling. Perhaps after letting himself endure the predicament that he created, Jay began looking elsewhere for comfort. Since he did not get through his foreign going certificate, he went the local trade route where he became acquainted with the Dangdut scene. Clubs based on the erotic thumping sounds of Indonesian music and girls with gyrating hips. So taken in was he that he ended up marrying one of the bar girls. Fay did not take it lightly, she went into a fit so far as to slash her wrist and hands when the issue was confronted with Jay. The break up was not pretty. It was also by this time that I no longer remain in their close circle.

It was sad seeing what began as such a bond built on love succumb to the human mistakes of not being able to talk and say what they truly mean. All on the pretext of protecting the other from the bad or sad situation that existed as the background. It was more so when the break up happens after a lengthy wait for a child. Poor child, she existed into this world only to be the victim of circumstances.

I think, no, hope that they have moved on from this episode and leads better lives. I learned to speak and listen and I hope they do too.

Vista TEST.

Have been trying last night....

Finally got it to work. It appears that Vista's Internet protector mode have to be turned off in order to post blog. I spent hours tweaking the firewall, security and privacy settings and it just happen to be the simplest three words that stares at me every time I use explorer - Protected Mode: On.

NOPE, that does not solve the problem. It only enabled me to post if I typed it in blogger itself. I was trying to cut and paste from MS Word 2007. So at the moment, it looks like MS Word 2007 is the culprit which made blogger lose its connection.

NOPE, actually it appears that after some research, the automatic cookies handling should be disabled and to allow accepting third party cookies.

Test cut & paste from MS Word 2007 - It was the mid-eighties. We were in Maritime Academy Malaysia or ALAM as it is popularly known. A training school for merchant seafarers. We were back in the Academy pursuing a certificate of competency after completing the prerequisite 2 years sea time as cadets on board merchant ships.
Seems to work.
NOPE, now am unable to post photos.

OK, seems to be working fine now. Don't get confused, this is a follow up to the Vista TEST2. Blog works fine, but I am still unable to download Vista updates.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Virus, Crash, Crap.

It started yesterday when the PC became sluggish in opening and closing programs. Got worse this morning when I can't even turn it on. A notice keep coming saying that some program or other has taken the memory allocation or some other crap. Told admin to get it sorted out ASAP as all my work files are in there. Though I have chided the Ancient Mariner for not backing up when his new PC crashed recently, I am now in the same predicament. I did not have a recent back up. Work will be tough to continue. Then again, that provides a good excuse..... heh heh heh....

BTW, the picture was meant for some other stories that I am planning to tell but its the only picture that somehow remain on this laptop. Seems perfect for illustrating this blog, uphill struggle made bearable with some help.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Singapore Life.

Street cleaners (most likely a foreigner) going about his job with the morning rush hour as his background.
This trip, I noticed that there appears to be more elderly people roaming around the squares, flats, shopping malls and parks. They were there in the morning and still there when I came back in the evening. They don't look homeless, most likely just bidding their time. Another observation is that, whenever I look up at the flats, there will inadvertently be a face oblivious to the surrounding, looking far into the distance.

Taking a breather to fill his lungs with nicotine.

Had a meal at this place. It was opened in February 2007, as claimed by a large banner. Decent food but the service leaves a lot to be desired. There were not many customers yet my order took ages to arrive. To make matter worse, I saw it being delivered to another table instead of mine. Luckily, the food taste OK and the owner/cashier is courteous but I did tell him to buck up on services. Another thing that I find quite difficult to get used to is the fact that everything from fried noodles to fried rice to oxtail soups has to be bright red. Its not hot, just that the food is red in colour.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Singapore Facets.

Some of the things that I "see" in Singapore. The new, modern, abstract, old and unlikely on a super modern island state.

Friday, April 06, 2007

MTB - support needed.

The following is a recent post from nigelb99, a KLMBH member, a group that does mountain bike hashes. The way I see it, these guys aren't just doing this for MTBikers but also for the general public. The aim is to preserve and maintain whatever natural area that we have left in KL and Selangor, starting with Bukit Kiara. Please support this effort. For details go to MSN groups and look for KLMBH.

"This is a short note to update everyone on the formation of an Association to protect our trails in Bukit Kiara and elsewhere. The temporary committee has made a fair amount of progress over the last month or soThe Association will be called the Trails Association of KL and Selangor (TRAKS for short). Adil has made good start on the formalities of registering the association, and meanwhile we have been able to use the as-yet-unregistered Association as a means of representing our interests to DBKL and other official bodies.Jazlan has been working on membership plans. Ordinary membership will be open to everyone, for a nominal membership fee, and other clubs (eg Hashes, KLMBH, etc) will also be able to affiliate. We will be aiming to get 1000 ordinary members. Representatives of two of the KL Hashes were present at the last meeting and others Hashes have been invited to get involved and to affiliate with TRAKS. We will be approaching other trail-using organizations.Ying How and his trail committee have had a third meeting with DBKL, and these meetings continue to be constructive, although DBKL was not willing to place a temporary “stop order” on the clearing of further horse trails while our discussions continue. We will continue to meet with them and present our proposals for planning the trails and sharing them amongst all users (by segregation where necessary). Rob has also given some thought to safety and signage on the trails, based on experience elsewhere in the world, and this will be used as the basis of some recommendations to DBKL.As an initial event, we plan to organize another “clean up Kiara” day soon (removing the rubber tappers’ plastic bags, etc.) - hopefully this time with the support of DBKL. Details will follow, and volunteers will be welcome. Last year we removed almost a full dumpster load of bags, and the trails looked a lot better for it (for a while).Looking beyond Kiara, the recent announcement of a massive Selangor State Park is great news, and we have already had some very encouraging meetings with the management of the new park. They have made a clear distinction between “open forest” (such as FRIM) and “closed forest”, which would not normally be accessible to the public. However, the park management indicated that they would be willing to work with us to allow access to some of these areas, under certain conditions, and would even consider supporting events within the Park. Discussions are at an early stage, but we will obviously be following up on this.We will keep you informed as things develop.Nigel"

BTW, the picture is not of Kiara and it is not nigel either. Its of Dennis on a beautiful morning at RRI contemplating the days ride.