Monday, 27 August 2018

Salam Aidiladha


Harap saya masih belum terlambat untuk mengucapkan salam Aidiladha kepada semua pembaca blog Nafas Baru. Tahun ini kami tak buat korban. Ibu bapa dan abang saya sedang menunaikan ibadah haji di Mekah dan insya Allah akan pulang dalam tiga minggu lagi. Setakat ini, mereka baik-baik saja di sana. Rasanya, ini merupakan kali pertama saya beraya tanpa ibu bapa di sisi. Nasiblah raya haji. Kalau raya Aidilfitri tu rasa peliklah juga tak beraya dengan orang tua. 

Antara resipi raya haji kami tahun ni ialah rendang ayam, nasi impit kuah kacang, nasi ayam, apam hipster (rekaan adik), lemang dan ayam olek (resipi keluarga). Saya pun tahu ejaan sebenar ayam olek tu. Tapi setiap kali perayaan kami, memang akan wajib ada hidangan tersebut. 

Tahun ini, pak ngah saya membawa kami tiga beradik bercuti di Gunung Jerai, Kedah. Saya pernah beberapa kali ke sana, tapi lama juga dah tak jejakkan kaki di Gunung Jerai. Kami bertolak dari Kulim lebih kurang jam 10-11 pagi dan sampai di sana dah nak hampir pukul 1. Jarak Gunung Jerai dari Kulim sudah melebihi 90km jadi kami boleh solat jamak di sana. 

Macam biasa, perjalanan nak naik bukit tu berliku-liku, lebih kurang macam perjalanan ke Cameron Highland. Tapi yang ni lagi mencabar rasanya. Iya lah, gunung yang tertinggi di Kedah gitu. 

Semasa perjalanan naik, cuaca hujan. Tapi bila kami dah sampai atas bukit tu, hujan turun mencurah-curah macam nak mandikan kami. Saya yang berbaju kurung ayu pada hari itu, habis basah. Awalnya kami berteduh bawah chalet berdekatan. 

Memandangkan hujan sangat lebat dan macam tak nak berhenti, kami bergerak ke Restoran Puncak Kedah berhampiran kawasan tersebut. Kami memesan minuman sambil merenung masa depan yang mencurah seiring dengan air hujan. 

Memang betul tekaan kami, hujan hari itu berlarutan sampai malam. Bukan rezeki hari itu untuk bergambar di atas Gunung Jerai. Akhirnya kami check in di Nur Kasih Chalet. Kata pak ngah, homestay dan chalet lain semua sudah penuh. Nampaknya memang ramai yang datang untuk beraya di Gunung Jerai.

Dipendekkan cerita, keesokan hari tu kami check out dari homestay dan sempat singgah di Tanjong Dawai untuk membeli ikan bilis. Dah alang-alang ada di Tanjung Dawai, saya dan keluarga singgah di Pantai Merdeka naik bot. Sempatlah makan ais kacang dan bergambar di sana. 

Selepas selesai membeli ikan bilis, bergambar di Pantai Merdeka, maka kami pun pulang ke Kulim. Rasanya masih belum puas sebab tak dapat bergambar banyak di Gunung Jerai. Nak pergi ke sana lagi tak tahu bila. InsyaAllah, jika ada rezeki, bolehlah saya ke sana lagi.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

8 Perfect Changes I Wish for USM



If you’ve read my profile at the sidebar of this blog, you’ll know that I’m currently studying in Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Penang. I felt grateful for having the chance to study in USM. The university has its own good points and I can’t think of many negative points throughout my two years of studying there. I’m going to be a third year student starting next month and I’m looking forward to that.

However, there are some things that I secretly wish the university can change. Some of them might sounds a bit out of the question, but I think it’s only logic to have these things in the university. We are hoping to be a developing country, right?

The authority in USM should probably consider these changes in order to step up one level ahead from the other universities in Malaysia. Of course, these ideas are only what I want personally, but I guess it’s not a bad idea to share it here. Hence, I have come up with this list of 8 perfect changes I wish for USM.

1. Kitchens in Every Room @ A Shared Kitchen

As one of the hostel residents council president, I should not have come up with this idea at the first place. In USM, it is prohibited to cook in the hostel, especially in the room. However, I think the government or the authority should invest some money in order to make this a real thing. I think other countries have already implemented kitchens in the hostel rooms. If it’s too impossible to apply this in each room, then a shared kitchen is a good idea too.

I mean, even if it’s prohibited to cook in the room, students are still doing it. Cooking is necessary to save the students budget and also a way to train us to become independent. Although I’m not that good in cooking, I think that it is a necessity to have a place for students to cook in the hostel. I know it’s quite difficult to create a cooking place with the condition of our hostels. I just hope that someday, someone will eventually find a way to make proper kitchens for the students.

2. A Safety Box in Each Room

Safety has also become an issue lately in our hostel. People steal laptops and money without a trace. I don’t know how to actually solve this problem. I’ve reported the issue to the higher ups but I think the same thing tend to happen every year. In order to solve this problem, I hope the university can provide safety boxes in every room. I know it is expensive but it is also logic, right? It is impossible to open a safety box unless the thief knows the password. This solution may reduce the possibilities of laptops and money getting stolen when you’re not in your room. You also don’t have to be anxious most of the time if you have a safety box in your room.

3. An Air-Conditioned Room for Selected Student Representatives Council MPP @ MPD

This one is just a biased wish since I’m in MPD. But I don’t think it’s wrong to provide special rooms for selected students. These students do contribute to the university so a little privilege won’t do any harm. Of course when I mentioned selected means that only those that are actually doing their job instead of the ones that are lazing around. I’ve mentioned this thing before to the office staffs and of course they just laughed at this idea.

4. A Lost and Found Counter @ Centre

USM students lost many of their valuable things most of the time, especially stuffs like water bottles, matric cards, pencil cases and pendrives. Sometimes you can see people advertise the lost items on Facebook or WhatsApp. But most of the time, you won’t be able to retrieve the lost items. Hence, I think the university should create a lost and found counter where people can drop by the items they found on the street. People that lost their items can go to the counter to find their valuable items. It’s more convenient instead of advertising it publicly online. Why bother the hard way when you can do it with an easier way?

5. A Pool and Gym for Women

USM already has these facilities. However, I’ve never been to any of them even though I’m dying to. I’ve once went to a hotel that provides pool for Muslimah and it is very convenient to use. I think the university should also make an indoor pool or the one that is not a public view. Muslimah really needs this type of pool and I will give the university a big applause and respect if they ever make this true. A public gym is also not convenient for us to use. I don’t really know about the gym but I think they have an allocated time for women at the gym. However it’s usually packed in evening. I just think that having a separated gym is better.

6. Improve Uptown Mall USM into A Real Mall

If I’m not mistaken, there are universities that have large malls inside the campus area. One of them is the Varsity Mall in UUM. I’ve never been there though. A friend of mine used to brag to me about the mall in her college. I know that we already have Bukit Jambul Complex, Queensbay and other malls nearby. But still, having a mall inside the campus area is so much fun, convenient and time saving.

7. A Bus Route to USM Museum and Art Gallery

To be honest, the main reason why I do not visit the museum frequently is because there is no bus heading that way. It’s probably because not many students go to the higher part of the hill. There’s also the Bumbledee CafĂ© on top of the hill. Well I think maybe we can have a bus route somehow around the area. Maybe not every day but once in a week is good enough. The lecturers kept asking us students to go to the museum but I don’t really have the initiative and enthusiasm to walk there.

8. An Application @ Portal to Publicize All USM Club and Societies Events

I don’t think Facebook and WhatsApp is enough for this one. I think it’s quite unorganized to have posters of events in your phone gallery most of the time. I don’t know if we already have any apps or portal that combines the university clubs events. I prefer browsing a specific website to see the latest events. I’m not referring to the USM main programs. I’m referring to even the slightest club activities like a hiking trip, a garage sale, talks and things like that. I think this is a more organized way to promote the club events. I really hope someone can create this in future.

Well, that’s my list for the things I wish to see in my university. I really hope that the first five ideas can be accepted somehow in the future. I think it’s already time for us to take a step ahead.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Would You Rather...


Assalamualaikum. Hey guys.

Last time I wrote a post regarding the LGBT issues and some of my friends commented on it. It’s good to know that people are taking this issue seriously. I heard that the minister took back his statement regarding the toilet issue.

As I said before, I quite understand that in certain situation, I might end up doing the same thing as the minister if I am to confront with the any of the transgender. I think it’s quite harsh how people are condemning someone for his statements. I did criticize the statements too, but I don’t think it’s fair to judge and condemn someone’s personality as if you’ve known him personally. That’s just a personal opinion of mine.

Anyway I’m not going to write further on that. In this entry I’m just going to relax a bit. I was exploring Interesting Facts YouTube channel to watch interesting facts around the world. You can say that I have so much free time in my hands.

Then somehow I ended up clicking on this Would You Rather challenge. I found it’s quite entertaining and I’ve been mumbling to myself while answering the questions. I just thought that I’ll share my answers here. I don’t remember if I ever did this before but I recommend you guys to have a try before further reading on my answers, and let’s compare our answers. Let me know if you do.

First of all, you need to watch this and answer the questions. It's fun. Have a try!

So, how’s the challenge? How’s your score? Well then, here are my answers to the questions.

Would you rather…

1. Teleporting vs Reading Minds

I couldn’t answer this question fast enough but I chose reading minds. I hesitate between both of them. At first I thought that reading people’s mind would be awesome. After the time was up I somehow regret my choice. I can travel to anywhere including Rome (randomly pops my mind) if I chose teleport. And I was like… why didn’t I choose teleport? Haha. As if I can obtain any of those powers though.

2.  Find True Love vs Find a Suitcase with 5 Million Dollar

This is definitely a tough question. At first I thought I will go with the money. Sorry guys but we do need money to survive in this world nowadays. But then I thought that in reality, if you found a suitcase full of money, you must hand it to the police or things like that. Then I quickly change my decision to true love. Oh well, reality hurts.

3. Be Transported to Future or the Past

I can’t answer this question. Both are scary and risky. What crossed my mind about the past are the wars  and stuffs like that. It’s great to travel back into history but reality matters. I am so in a risk if I happen to live in the war country.  I don’t really want to go to the future too. At that time I imagined too many modern technology and the thought of that scared me. Thus I ended giving up on this question.

4. Stop War vs Stop World Hunger

Stop the war. I didn’t even hesitate here. I guess stopping the war is more important?

5. Richest Person vs Immortal.

I chose richest person. Immortal is out of question since it’s not logic.

6. Marry a Celebrity vs Crush

Crush. I also answered without hesitation here. I guess it’s because marrying a celebrity is far from my logic. Also I don’t really have a celebrity crush. I was thinking of Bruno Mars for a bit and nope, I don’t want to marry him concerning of his religion and stuff. Wow, quite a realist am I.

7. Dream Job Low Pay vs Hated Job High Pay

Of course a dream job although it’s a low pay. Even though I prefer having a lot of money, I don’t really like doing stuffs that I hate. Having to do something you hate is really tiring.

8. Breath Underwater vs See Through The Walls

I chose breath underwater. I think that being able to see through the walls is a creepy thing.

9. Spend One Night in a Haunted House vs A Week Alone in The Woods

This is a crazy question. I would never choose to spend a week, alone, in the woods. I chose the haunted house without a hesitation. I used to have this conversation with my younger sister before, if I would rather spend time alone in the woods. I told her that I would never go to the woods for nothing.  Surviving in the woods is a thing, but surviving alone is more suffering.

10. Spiderman vs Hulk

Of course Spiderman. I don’t think any girls would choose to have big muscles like Hulk. Or maybe there are girls that like that kind of body. I don’t know, but I definitely against the idea.

11. Werewolf vs Vampire

I can’t answer this one. I thought quite a lot, but couldn’t come up with a decision. Being a werewolf means that I have to suffer two identities for my whole life. Being a human in the morning but a wolf at night. It’s quite tiring to live like that. Meanwhile, being a vampire means that I need to suck blood in order to live. And to find prey for living is quite a troublesome. That’s why I can’t choose between the two. Both are troublesome.

12. Wise vs Rich

Wise. Without a doubt. I have always wanted to be a genius. I think geniuses are the best. Like how are you so genius? If you are a genius, there’s no doubt that you can find money later right? It’s like killing two birds with a stone.

13. Never Eat Pizza vs Never Eat Ice-Cream

I chose never eat pizza. I can’t live without eating ice-cream.

14. Live Without Electricity vs Water

Live without electricity. Of course water is essential for living. People that think realistically must have chosen water too.

15. Poor but can Help People vs Rich but Hurt Others

I chose being poor if it means that I can help people rather than being rich but all you do is just stepping on others. Who can live comfortably like that?

16. Never Be Sad Again vs Never Be Angry Again

I can’t answer this question. Both emotions are essential to me. If I cannot be sad, that will make me a totally heartless person. Never able to be angry again is also quite scary. I cannot eliminate either any of them because both feelings are important to me.

17. PS4 vs Xbox One

I can’t answer this question. Or rather, I skip this one. I don’t even know the difference between the two one them because I’m not a gamer.

18. Eat The Burger vs Feed It to Those in Need

I chose the later. I don’t even like the burger in the picture. It has cheese, salad and tomatoes. I can’t eat that burger.

19. Swim Quickly vs Run Quickly

I chose swim quickly. I’m not an athlete so I don’t need the ability to run fast. I’ll go with a fast swim.

20. Drop A Kitten vs IPhone X

Is that even a question? Of course I’d rather drop an IPhone X instead of dropping a kitten. Who in their right minds would prefer dropping a kitten rather than their phones?

Well, that’s the wrap up to the challenge. I think I have around four questions that I couldn’t answer. Somehow this challenge made me realize that I’m quite a realist person. Although I already realized that a long time ago. I think some people use their imagination to answer these questions and some people use logics. It’s not wrong though. People are different and everyone has their own style of thinking. It’s good to know what other people think too, am I right? That’s the reason I’m sharing this.

Anyway, thank you if you spend your time reading to the end. I hope you are having a splendid day!

Monday, 13 August 2018

My Thoughts on Accepting Transgender (LGBT)

Warning: LGBT activists are not advisable to read this entry.

I’m pretty much sure that most of you have already known about this latest issue regarding a minister that publicize his statement and opinion about transgender. First of all, yeah, we need to know the difference between transgender and LGBT before commenting on the issue. 

I agree with his statement that transgender is not the same as LGBT, but technically it is a part of LGBT. LGBT is the acronym for Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender. Therefore, transgender is one of the groups in LGBT, but I think what the minister wants to deliver was just problems of transgender instead of LGBT in general.

I might not be the right person to speak about the issue, neither do I am an academic person that suits the topic. I’m just writing this as a citizen of Malaysia and this is just my own opinion. Feel free to disagree. I hope this will not be considered as me criticizing the government, minister or things like that. I’m not really into politics. You can say that I’m the type that agree with the right thing, and disagree with things that I think is wrong. Anyway, I’m just going to comment on some statements he said.

1. “If the public continue to label them, that’s why you have 80% of transgender involved in the sex world.”

I never know by putting labels on people will actually lead them to be a sex worker? So does this mean that if we stop putting labels on LGBT, they will stop working in the sex world? I don’t think so. I think having sex is an individual desire, which is not quite related with how public labels you. 

There are also people that have the same concern as the LGBT community, such as drug dealers, drunkards, gangsters or any other types of groups. These groups are also not receiving a good treatment from the society. It is not always about the LGBTs. They also have the difficulties to apply for jobs and fit in the society, but some of them strive hard to get job offers and I believe that is the most essential key to succeed. Effort.

You might be thinking that transgender (trans) and the other groups are different, but I don’t think so. I know many trans that succeed in legal jobs such as make-up artist, fashion designer or artist manager. But I’m pretty much sure there are also many other jobs that accept trans. The question is whether they strive hard enough to get the job or they give up.

Well of course, this also depends on what job that they apply. If he is a guy wearing as a girl and apply at my mum’s salon (for women only) for sure we will not hesitate to reject him. But if you apply a job at a public salon (men and women) I don’t think there would be much problem with that since I used to see some trans working at a salon or barber shop before.

It is true that the public might discriminate them a lot, but my point is, the same goes for the other groups (drug dealers, drunkards). There are people who receive the same treatment in the world. But everything ends when trans gave up and work in the sex industry. 

It’s not really about being discriminated; it’s about how strong trans are to be able to survive in this world. Everyone has their own hardships. They should bare with it. If they are not strong enough to face the discrimination, then stop being a trans for God’s sake.

2. “People go to the toilet because the call of the Mother Nature. So does it bother you where they go?”

Are you being serious? Of course it bothers us. I’m talking from a woman perspective. If I ever see a trans in the toilet, it would be really awkward. He’s a guy and we women have this thing called aurat, personal space and ikhtilat that we need to take care of. I mean, washing your hands or adjusting your shawl beside a girl is not a problem. But besides a guy? It’s okay if he’s your father or your brother but it would be a different case if he’s a complete stranger with no relation to you. That is just not okay. And yes, to answer the question, I am quite bothered with that.

I don’t know if guys are okay seeing a woman in the toilet though. Even though their appearance might look like a guy, you can definitely tell she’s a woman somehow. Does that not a bother to the guys? I don’t know about that. I think my brother would definitely back off if he is in that kind of situation.

However I think this toilet case is most likely to happen in the ladies washroom instead of the men’s. We have more ‘mak nyah’ in this country I guess. It’s really frustrating to admit that statement. Dear men, I’m begging you please stop transforming into a woman. We don’t have many choices these days, so stop reducing our possibilities to find a man.

Anyway, I think even if the trans look like a woman (for example: Sajat), it is still not a good reason to allow them to go to the ladies washroom.  We live in a country that emphasizes Islam as its main religion. We may not really be a religious country that has strict rules, considering we’re living with other races as well. But at least we should defend things as long as we can. 

If we give the permission for trans to use the same facilities as our muslimah, I wouldn’t be shock that in future guys can be allowed to do so as well. “Those little things can add up to make a big difference,” quoted by Tim McAvoy. The same concept as ‘Wala takrabuzzina’, translated as “And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse.” Hence, even the smallest act of zina should be prevented from the early stage.

I can say this for sure. Trans may have the appearance of a woman, but do you even know the sexual interest they have? Are you sure that they are not interested in a woman? Well since the minister said they perform ibadah and homosexuals are accursed in Islam, so they might turn out straight? But then again, a man being a woman is also wrong. Wait, everything is definitely wrong here. Anyway, just think about it.

If I can answer N’s question regarding the toilet, I would answer it. “If the woman is not welcoming enough for us to use the washroom, then would the government or the agency provide a toilet for people like us?” This is my answer. GO TO THE MEN’S TOILET. JUST GO THERE. 

Why should the government provide another gender toilet? We can be accepting, just do not acknowledge LGBT. Accepting and acknowledging are two different words. I can accept that they are what they are; I just wouldn’t take any actions to level up this group to be special. I might sound discriminating, but trans isn’t a normal thing at the first place.

I’m really sorry and sympathized if their environments made them to accept that they are not men. I have always believed that they can actually change the way they are if they have a proper support from the family and the environment. I have always believed in that. Thus I’m not going to blame trans for being trans. 

I’m going to blame to environment where they are raised and the people around them. Just imagine if you have a little brother that is having an identity crisis. You can change that, but you don’t. That’s where he will eventually develop a girl identity in himself if you allow that to happen. Don’t just realize when everything is too late. Dear readers, if your son or brother has a male genital organ, he is a guy. Do not ever treat him like a girl. Please.

Then, should we accept transgender?

I think if you put it that way, it’s okay to accept transgender. I mean, they are people too and they also have feelings. It’s not a sin to be friends with trans. However, in my opinion, acknowledging them is a big no. We live in an Islamic country, and this kind of thing is definitely against our religion. It is haram for men to imitate women and women to imitate men. That is the most important guideline in Islam.

It is true that if you watch stories about LGBT, or you talk to these kind of people, somehow you might be agree with their point of view. They might be saying that they just want to be themselves, live freely and stuffs like that. I think that is probably what N said to our minister. 

I don’t even know how to respond myself if someone talked to me about being trans or lesbian. I might probably respond the same way as the minister, agreeing on their thoughts. We’ll never know if we’re not really in the position of confronting a trans. However, the main thing we have to understand is that what’s wrong in Islam is definitely wrong. Hold on to our religion, and eventually we’ll get the answer.

I think the bright side of the press conference is that we actually give a platform for trans to be democratic as they wish. Let them speak their minds, but do not simply agree with them. Maybe, we should allow more LGBTs to speak, so that the more we can confront them? The problem occurs if we’re too weak to even confront these people. I can see this is our main problem nowadays. Just look at Sajat for example. Freely expressing his trans without us taking any actions.

And why does this transgender thing become an issue anyway? If we can live for almost 61 years without emphasizing LGBT, I believe we can live another 61 years without making a fuss on this issue. Well, that’s what I believe.

Let’s fight for what’s right.