Crash and Burn

My external hard disk crashed last week. Every single thing in that 500GB worth of spinning platters are scratched beyond recovery even after I sent it to a professional hard disk recovery center.

What do I have in there? 3 videos I'm working on, a few others done, kept there in an archive. A week worth of music which I thankfully, have most of it stored in my iPod as backup. Last but not least, therein lies my a few odd years of photos. All 15,000 of them. Gone forever.

When I told about this incident to some of people, not all could fully grasp why the fuck I'm telling it to them in the first place. Most would just go, 'Oh, yeah?' or some missing the point with, 'Ada warranty tak?'. What's the use of Western Digital sending me a pristine, clean hard disk when the things that matter are no more to be found?

I guess moral support & sympathy are not that easy to find. As a result, I'm telling myself to say, 'Oh, fuck it' and laugh it off as if it's not much of a big deal. Hahaha.

Maybe God wants to punish me for not being honest, for shooting things without giving it my fullest attention, for taking photos not for the sake of it but instead to impress people, to show it off, to get praise and recognition. Of course, I've never gotten those sorta things but I sure do hope for it once in a while. Okay, always.

Perhaps I should just understand it when no one said a thing about any of the things I shoot. No matter how hard I try, no matter how far and wide I spread them. I thought it was the small size that people couldn't really see it so I changed the whole template so it could be bigger. Still, no words came and I get more and more restless. Maybe I'm too good for them I said. Maybe they're silent because they can't understand I said.

So yeah, I'm sorry. This is my lesson.

I suck. I get it now. It's not worthy enough to exist in this world so it was erased to make way for other things more worthwhile. No one should spend time and thought on such simple things.

It hurts bad inside, though I try not to show it much. Your mind kept on going down the negativity even when you try to look on the bright side. I do try taking my camera out to town meeting fellow shooters, buying new films I only dreamt of using before, to get things going you know? Start anew. Still, there is some sort of a sick feeling in me to even just carry a camera around. You know, like, giving up? Yeah.

I should learn to take photos that really mean something for me. I should really learn to perfect my craft instead of letting it prance on some stage like a retarded pony, being laughed at and humiliated. What is it that makes me think the phrase 'practice makes perfect' doesn't apply to me?

I want to give up, but giving up is such a hard thing to do.
Posted on Monday, August 31, 2009 | 4 comments

The Times, They are A-Changing

Times are A-Changing

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Lubitel 166B + Fuji Velvia 50 + E6 Process +I can't wait.
Posted on Friday, August 28, 2009 | 0 comments


I've always admire and been proud of my Tok Wan, whom I lived with for most of my early childhood. I admire the hardship he went through to get an education and I'm proud of the fact that he's a well respected politician though I'm not so sure if I still have enough respect for his party, albeit their recent win.

This is not Tok Wan.

This is the other side. This is Ayah Mat. My father's father. The policeman.

I've always had some identity crisis with my Kelantanese heritage, particularly because I don't really speak the language and unlike Kedah where I was born and bred, I've never lived in Kelantan. Some people don't even believe that my dad is a Kelantanese. Sometimes he himself won't say that he's from Kelantan.


I don't know much about Ayah since I've never met him. He passed away in 1987 after, I was told, drinking ayer nyior. I was born in 1988. Perhaps this is what my younger cousins felt about Tok Wan, being born after he went back. Knowing from stories and photos, reconstructing it in the mind like vivid memories that never was, imagining the man they were told about.

What I know about Ayah is that he is a traffic policeman in Kota Bharu. Back then polis trafik are only in Kota Bharu; the rest of the state haven't needed them yet at that time. This was the days when traffic lights were just a stick with a red, yellow and green sign attached to it that read, 'Stop, look, go'. Nik Munawwar told me about these signs so I believe Ayah might've seen them too.

There wasn't much traffic then so sometimes the traffic that he controlled was that of budak sekolah lintas jalan. If Lat's cartoon are historical recollection, then Ayah might've manned roadblocks to check bicycles for traffic violations.

Ma told me that some of these few photos of him on the job were taken by drivers who kena saman by him. They gave it to him as a present of some sorts. I guess back then it was something to kena saman since you can only get those in Kota Bharu. People in Gua Musang must've gazed in wonder when these folks go there and show the surat saman.

Fuyooo... pulis terapik.

When I was driving back to Kelantan for Chek's funeral with my Ayah Ngah along in the car, he told a story on how he himself wanted to be a policemen. The only problem is, Ayah wouldn't let him. So he didn't go for the recruitment interview in Kota Bharu because that's where Ayah is and instead went to another jajahan I can't remember where. There, when his turn arrived he was asked, 'Mu ni anak Korperal Muhammad, Kota Bharu?' Yes of course. 'Mu gi balik la Roslee, ayah mu dok beri mu jadi pulis'.

My Ayah Ngah is now a teacher.

This is one thing that kept me thinking, some sort of a mystic thing about him. Much like Hang Tuah or Hang Jebat's words. He didn't want his descendent to be a policeman.

As I'm thinking ahead on what I want to do after graduation, my mind sometimes come back to my two grandfathers, the civil servants. The parliamentarian and the policeman. The lawmaker and the enforcer. It makes me wonder, some 50 or 60 years from now. Would my descendent be wondering about me, being, say a video editor or a photographer?

This sort of questions makes me want to really want to work passionately in a field I passionately enjoy. It don't matter what your work is, so long as you give it all your best, you'll get the respect you deserve even when you don't want it.

I think that is one thing an always neat, always disciplined korperal in Kota Bharu whom I've never met taught me.

Onwards and steady, able and ready.
Korperal Muhammad bin Jaafar #4535. Standing, 4th from left.
Posted on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 | 3 comments

Pasang Telinga, 24/8


B: Lagi satu benda ustad. Kalau kita pergi restoran vegetarian la kan, takde daging, takde pork, tapi dia masak satu jenis cendawan dengan sayur ni, dia buat bagi rasa sama macam pork. Boleh makan tak?

U: Ish, kamu ni. Yang haram tu pork. Cendawan tak haram. Jangan la kamu dok terbayang kamu makan pork pulak. Tak ape, boleh.


C: Hey, how are you? How are you? Haven't seen you in a long time.

I: Hi, I'm fine. Sorry I got to go now, the furniture people are coming to my house.

C: Owh, okay. Bye.

I: Bye! (Walks away)

C: Hey, one thing, one thing..

I: (Stops) Yeah?

C: You look nice today. (Smiles)

I: Thanks! (Smiles)

Between the blue and yellow building, 2nd floor.
3.20 PM to 4.00 PM
Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 | 1 comments

Power & Responsibilty

From Malaysiakini, 25th August 2009:

Penguatkuasaan enakmen syariah di Selangor melalui dasar baru membenarkan pegawai masjid untuk menahan orang Islam yang minum arak dan tidak berpuasa "boleh dimulakan pada bila-bila masa" selepas menerima kad kuasa jabatan agama.


Dr Hasan dipetik berkata pegawai masjid yang mempunyai surat kuasa itu bagaimanapun tidak boleh menangkap pesalah tetapi hanya mengambil butiran diri dan jenis kesalahan serta barang kes untuk diserah kepada pegawai penguatkuasa agama untuk tindakan lanjut.

Pegawai masjid juga boleh menangkap orang Islam yang meminum arak tetapi perlu menyerahkan mereka kepada polis atau pegawai penguatkuasa agama.

Good, but power is a very powerful and delicate thing. I hope those entrusted with the authority are those with integrity.

As Uncle Ben said, 'Great power comes with great responsibility'.
Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 | 0 comments

Architecture Imitates Nature

Architecture Imitates Nature

August 2009.
Pasar Khadijah, Kota Bharu.
Minolta X700 + Minolta MD 50/1.7 + Kodak Colorplus 200 + Tired of the same old down shot.
Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 | 0 comments


I have a thing for cendol. Good cendols that is, especially great cendol puluts though I don't like cendol kacang.

It's probably the best thing to grab on a hot day's afternoon, provided of course, it was not during Ramadan for us Muslims.

Maybe I got this from 5 years in Kuala Kangsar. I know that the cendol pulut part was definitely because of Kuala Kangsar and like your mama's cooking, it'll always be the best you've ever had.

I've been having quite some problems with getting good cendol in the Valley. Most of the time when I order one in restaurants (my bad), it'll probably turn out to be something half way between a bad cendol and a not so good ais kacang. One time the cendol was red, so not appropriate. Some more they throw in all the jagungs and kacang and those things that looks like berudu in it. Very inappropriate.

One place I do like is the cendol in Tasek Titiwangsa where Jalan Kuantan crosses that other Pahang named road. Sadly they are no more there. I wonder why.

I've heard about Melawati but I haven't had the chance to try that one yet. I don't go around that area much.

This photo here was taken in Section 17, Petaling Jaya. The first left into Jalan University from Bulatan Rothmans, where there's terrace houses on the left, PKNS flats on the right. Now, this place makes good cendol. I'm so very glad Neet introduced me to this place around early this year if I'm not mistaken.

Like all good cendols, this fellas do business from their lorry. Next to them is another fella selling rojak. I don't eat rojak so I've never tried it but from what I see, business is good for both diesel guzzlers.

Still, if you just tell them that you want a cendol, you'll get one with kacang and jagung. If you're like me, ask for a cendol kosong. They come in two sizes; biasa and besar. Both are good sizes, none too big nor too small.

I don't know if they are open during Ramadan, but feel free to go there and have a look. It is seriously good. If you beg to differ, or have any other parked lorries you would want to share, drop a comment aite?

August 2009.
Section 17, Petaling Jaya.
Minolta X700 + Minolta MD 50/1.7 + Kodak Colorplus 200 + A sinful cup of cold, sweet and probably unhealthy goodness.
Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 | 0 comments

A Knot, A Nail & A Tree

A Tree & A Knot

A Tree, A Knot & A Nail

August 2009.
Pantai Melawi, Bachok/Tok Bali, Kelantan.
Minolta X700 + Minolta MD 50/1.7 + Kodak Colorplus 200 + A weekend away from the city.
Posted on Sunday, August 23, 2009 | 0 comments

Current Issues

Selamat berpuasa kepada semua umat Islam.


Kartika, are you trying to be a martyr? Some poster child perhaps?


I'll probably unfollow some of the musicians and artistes on my Twitter follow list. I'm starting to hate some of them for what they post and that'll hinder me from enjoying their talent.


Who is Daphne Iking and why is she on The Star's page three?


An Indonesian friend asked me why Malaysians are bombing Jakarta. I think she meant 1 Malaysian. Well dear, why are some of your fellow countrymen robbing my neighbours, snatching old lady's handbags, raping and murdering?

It's not because he is a Malaysians that he bombed your hotels. It's not because they're Indonesians that they did crime in my country.

It's who they are. Existentialism.


A bridge to Sumatra Mr. Ali Rustam?


If stating and spreading the truth is character assassination, we should just close down all the courts in the land.


Last week many Indonesians Twitters are baying for Malaysian blood over another cultural theft of their culture by Malaysia in one of its Visit Malaysia adverts.

I haven't seen the ad so I wouldn't want to comment on that. But the thing is, since both countries are so closely related historically and hence, culturally, why can't we just do a co-promotion of our region, the Malay Archipelago, or the Nusantara or East Indies whatever.

Borders are imaginary lines. Stealing is a shameful thing, of course. Being ignorant to other people's culture is stupid and being pompous about your culture is rather silly too especially when that particular cultural piece is also available elsewhere.

Say thanks to your forefathers and his boat. Transmigration.


I can't think of any Southeast Asian country where satay is not on the menu. Some help please?


You'll see me on the streets if Khir Toyo moves back into Shah Alam.


Politik wang itu rasuah.


Selamat berpuasa SPRM. Harap-harap kau dah asingkan duit yang halal daripada yang haram. Kesian anak kau.
Posted on Saturday, August 22, 2009 | 4 comments


The Annexe


July 2009.
The Annexe.
Minolta X700 + Lucky SHD100 + Something something.
Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 | 1 comments


This is life

Oktober 2008.
Kubur Ayah & Chek.
Nikon D40 + Tikar mengkuang di serambi lusuh.
Posted on Wednesday, August 19, 2009 | 0 comments


Here goes my final semester. By this year's end, hopefully I'll walk away with a degree. Aral, jangan melintang. Aku kapak-kapak kau.

So, what's after this? Work probably. Yeah sure, it's hard to get a job with a degree this days but I don't see the use of another piece of paper if I can't do a good work. No, good is not good enough, great job. Paraphrasing Mr. Dylan, I don't just want something that people will admire and say it's good; I want something that'll look on par next to a Rembrandt, as natural as an Edgar Allen Poe's.

Steve Jobs didn't set out to sell computers. He wanted to make a dent in the universe.

Lately I haven't been feeling quite well with myself. Disgusted sometimes. I feel disappointed when I squinted my eyes onto yet another roll of film and saw the things I captured. I feel ashamed to put it up where people can see them only to have it pushed aside, ignored. I feel that this all is not good enough. Nothing is ever good enough.

As sentimental as it sounds, I often stay up at night thinking where did I go wrong. Why can't I create something good while there are millions around me that are doing it well. Sure everyone have their own reality, everyone have their own art but it sure is not fun to live in a mediocre reality and make mediocre art. Is there even such a thing as mediocre art?

I'm scared. I don't want to be just another guy stuck in a traffic jam on Tun Razak, going back home after doing mediocre things to sustain a mediocre life. Live a mediocre man, die a mediocre man.

For quite a few times I've been thinking of giving it all up. Stash it all away in a box under the bed and forget it ever happened. Start a new in something new only to burn out and fade away all the same.

I've been asking questions to people and never getting a good enough answer. Maybe the question is not good enough to begin with.

This is probably the line where you'll lose interest in my whining. This is the line where I'll stop writing.
Posted on Tuesday, August 18, 2009 | 2 comments

To and Fro

The Drover

Khazanah Hj. Duaji

July 2009.
From Setiawangsa to Semarak.
Minolta X700 + Lucky Film SHD100 New + 6 wheels.
Posted on Saturday, August 15, 2009 | 1 comments

Uninformed Reporter

Taken from The Star Online, August 14 2009. Originally written by Yeng Ai Chun.

There was a sense of disbelief in court Friday morning when a reporter said she did not know the political party which Karpal Singh belonged to. RTM reporter E M, 26, who took the witness stand on the third day of Karpal’s sedition trial, was cross-examination by Jagdeep Singh Deo.

Jagdeep: Do you know which party is Karpal Singh from?

E : I am not sure.

Karpal who was also present, could not help smiling in amusement when she said that.


Earlier, Jagdeep asked E if she knew who Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was.

She replied that he was PKR president.

Jagdeep: Do you know PKR is part of a bigger party?

E: I am not sure.

Jagdeep: Have you heard of Pakatan Rakyat? There are other component parties in Pakatan Rakyat. Do you remember?

E: (silence)

Somebody at RTM's Human Resource got some explaining to do. Sigh.

More journalists, less reporters. Please.
Posted on Friday, August 14, 2009 | 0 comments

Hotel Malaya

Hotel Malaya

July 2009.
Jalan Petaling.
Minolta X700 + Lucky Film SHD100 New + The place where the Mongolian stayed.
Posted on Friday, August 14, 2009 | 0 comments


Tranquerah - Follow the light

Tranquerah - Devout

July 2009.
Tranquil Tranquerah.
Minolta X700 + Lucky Film SHD 100 New + Surah Yasin, ayat 60.
Posted on Wednesday, August 12, 2009 | 0 comments


Dear Nur Fatehah Hassan.

I'm proud of you.

Posted on Wednesday, August 12, 2009 | 2 comments



The busy street is ignoring all the calls he makes. It is often true of late. Nothing can be right when red lights are above your head. He do remember his father said. Remember son, smash all the blue ones instead.


In this valley where the poor dwell, the lurid, somewhat rancid feeling of uneasiness emanates. From the street corners like a swarm of gnats, spilling out onto the boulevards. To the dark and dim alley. The ship's galley. The broken masonry of the forgotten monastery. The sharply dressed old lady. Young Machiavelli, gaudy and unhappy. Oh bleak and dreary. There are things that are changing here tonight, they all agree. We must be wary.


His hands are chained to the sky, with feet bound to a tree. Old, but still tall and mighty. For years he lived his life with the lady. Pumpkin and Honey bunny. Blissful mornings, rose and daisy. Tulips and lilac. Magnolia and cherry. Cheery. Happy. Unconventional. Free. He let her go but she never left. Like a raven up above, overlooking the mess.


Bite the bullet and swallow it whole. The rabbit's hole is down below. Across Achilles' Styx and down the Acheron. The morning's dusk and the evening's dawn. Will you be ready when the clarions call? Leave Valhalla empty, that grim and greasy hall. For he died in his sleep or so they say. In the afternoon while the moon bathed in the bay.
Posted on Wednesday, August 12, 2009 | 0 comments

Ayam Percik

In The Kitchen

In The Kitchen

1 ekor ayam
1/2 kilo santan
2 batang serai
3 biji bawang putih
1 ibujari halia

4 Ogos 2009.
61A, Kampung Padang Bemban.
Minolta X700 + Fuji Superia 200 + Hajah Khazanah Mustapha.
Posted on Monday, August 10, 2009 | 1 comments


She was still not at home last night, he can tell. The way her pajamas were left folded on the bottom left corner of the bed, pristine and untouched.

It has been so for quite more times than a man would usually bear. When most pick up their bearings and move on, he stayed put as if the sole of his foot have mended with the old solid oaken floor. As he drags his worldly being across the room from his side of the bed, his eyes were ever so fixed on that one corner he came to love.

Oh what a beautiful sight, his heart tells him as he let out a heavy and tired sigh. A sigh of regrets perhaps. After so many years, he himself was no longer sure about anything. Anything except of course, her.

It is the flesh that he longs to touch, a longing no fabric, how soft, how smooth, could ever cure. The softness of her skin is beyond any of that. At this point, anything about her is way above else, from the tip of her well shaped toes up to her beautifully sculptured legs, higher, higher, higher above. Way above all else.

It is rumoured that Beauty herself envied her. But as much as she loves the sun, so does all else returns her love back to the bosom of her warm warm heart.

As his eyes gazes upon her pajamas, his mind wanders back years and years ago. Oh how he loves how her face glows as the soft soft morning light bathes her face and lingers upon her bright and beautiful eyes. Oh those eyes, that peers through the sheer curtain into the white lights of the welcoming day, watching the sunrise as if it was a long lost sibling coming home from Midway. Always eager, always sincere.

Often he hears people relinquishing miracles and magic to the naive and the fools. Let him be naive, let him live a fool. So long as he believes he'll be whatever tool.

She will never be home, he knows that. Still, knowing is not what he cares about.

She will be home tomorrow. Or the day after.

She will always be home.

August 3rd 2009.
Kampung Padang Bemban.
Minolta X700 + Fuji Superia 200 + a story.
Posted on Monday, August 10, 2009 | 2 comments

The Death of Mr. Crab

The Death of Captain Crab

3rd August 2009.
Pantai Irama, Bachok.
Minolta X700 + Fuji Superia 200 + Plankton's Evil Plan.
Posted on Sunday, August 09, 2009 | 0 comments


I can't remember the last time I downloaded any music off the web. My music interest kinda stagnated a bit lately and I've been spending time discovering songs that are already in my iTunes library. You know, all that 'What song is this?' moment when you lie on the bed as your iTunes shuffles along your thousand or so songs.


So last week I discovered this nice app called Spotify, which instead of playing songs that I store in my hard disk, streams music from Spotify's server, which is quite fully well stocked with music and albums from probably any artist you can think off.

International off course. Malaysian ones are still blaming cetak rompak.

Anyway, this app is great fun. The streaming goes down well, no hiccups whatsoever and the quality is nice. The app itself is very lightweight even on my aging PowerBook G4. Since it is account based, you could build your playlist and just log in into any computer that connects to the internet and has a copy of Spotify and tadaa, you have access to your playlist without the need to carry gigabytes of volatile hard disk.

There's a free account and a pay account. Both are not yet available in Malaysia which sucks because you need to register for your account. Thank god there's Dave to help. He can help you with other sites that Mr. Rais Yatim blocks too.

Yeah, you're welcome.

Oh, another thing. When registering, key in a UK or US postcode/zipcode instead of your Malaysian one.

Click here to go to Spotify's webpage. Copy the link into Dave's Proxy to register.
Posted on Friday, August 07, 2009 | 50 comments



Prawn Mee

The FM2 Shooter



Late July 2009.
Jalan Ampang.
Minolta X700 + Lucky Film SHD100 New + Waffles!
Posted on Friday, August 07, 2009 | 0 comments

Andy's Draft

Banana is way cooler I guess.

Late July 2009.
Dapur Puan Fairuzah.
Minolta X700 + Lucky SHD 100 New + The Velvet Underground and Nico.
Posted on Friday, August 07, 2009 | 0 comments

The Monocle

The Monocle Reader

Mid July 2009.
Where capitalists knocked down BBGS.
Minolta X700 + Mir-1V 37/2.8 + Ilford Pan 100 + Izham Ismail.
Posted on Saturday, August 01, 2009 | 0 comments

My Photo
Location: Klang Valley, Malaysia

Rebel, sweetheart.

Me Elsewhere

  • Flickr
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email