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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Seven Steps to Get Out of Debt

I know it's a not very good time to talk about getting out of our debt. What with the inflation rising high, unsure of tomorrow economy stability and lots of other things.

However, I'd still like to share this information which I found at These steps were suggested by financial expert Dave Ramsey.

1-Save $1,000 Cash as a Starter Emergency Fund
Money magazine says that 78 percent of us will have a major negative event in a given 10-year period of time. Life happens, so be ready. Stop everything and focus. Twist and wring out the budget, work extra hours, sell something, or have a garage sale, but quickly get your $1,000.

2- Pay Off All Your Debt Using the Debt Snowball
List all your debts (except the house) in order of smallest payoff balance to largest. Then pay the minimum payment to stay current on all the debts except the smallest. Every dollar you can find from anywhere in your budget goes toward the smallest debt until it is paid. Once the smallest is paid, the payment from that debt is added to the next smallest debt. When debt number two is paid off, you attack three, and so on.

3-Finish the Emergency Fund
A fully funded emergency fund covers three to six months of expenses. When the big stuff happens, like the job layoff or the blown car engine, you can't depend on credit cards. If you use debt to cover emergencies, you have backtracked. A strong foundation in your financial house includes the big savings account, which will be used just for emergencies.

4- Invest 15 Percent of Your Income in Retirement
The rule is simple: Invest 15 percent of before-tax gross income annually toward retirement. Make the most of your 401K at work especially if your company matches. Invest in a diverse portfolio of mutual funds with a good track record. And put the rest of the 15 percent into a Roth IRA.
Note:In our case as Malaysians, this is the same as investing in our KWSP. However, the recent news about RM5 billion taken out of our KWSP as a loan to an unknown company called Valuecap is indeed very disturbing. Refer to

5- Save for College
When you save for your child's college tuition, you must make at least seven percent per year on your investment to keep up with inflation increases. I suggest funding college with an Educational Savings Account funded in a growth stock mutual fund. The ESA grows tax free when used for higher education.
Note: Again, the ESA is for Americans. My suggestion is we just need to do some research about the most profitable education fund available in Malaysia. Err.. definitely not the PTPTN.

6- Pay Off Your Home Mortgage

Put all of the intensity and financial power you put toward your debt snowball to pay your house off as quickly as possible. Imagine how good the grass will feel under your feet when it's paid for. Without a house payment you have control of your greatest wealth-building tool—your income.

7- Build Wealth

Here's the payoff. After all your hard work you have finally gained control of your most powerful wealth-building tool and it is yours to do with as you will. You have all this financial muscle, so now you should do something intentional with it. Have fun, invest and give.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Undergrad FAQ

Found this on .

Teaching undergrads courses put a lot of us in some of the positions illustrated in the comics. Can't deny that.

In fact, while I was driving yesterday, I was thinking about the same issues. Some of our undergrads students (read: just a minority of them) do have millions of excuses and questions which actually do not need any answers from us. They actually want the answers that they want to hear not our answers.

I remember when Ani called me to verify a certain situation where the student insisted on having things his way, which obviously the not allowed procedure. I guess many students now think that they can outsmart us. For example, by relaying to us stories that their seniors are allowed to do so why can't them. Some are just plain rude and act like they are the geniuses of the world.Errr.. if you're the genius what the heck are you doing in this university? You should go to MIT or Harvard don't you?

I have think of few (sarcastic) replies which I can use in the following situation.

1- When the student insist on having things his way and reject my explanation no matter how I try to explain the right procedure to them.
"Do you have an understanding problem?"

2- When they give excuses for not missing the due date.
Since I deal with administration, so I can't say that you'll get zero if you submit any particular form after due date right? So usually my response is:
"Where have you been? Outer space?"

If they put on a blank look, I'd add"
"If you are around here, you wouldn't have missed the due date."

3- When they made an appointment to see me on a certain day or time and they failed to turn up. Later when they come and try to explain that they've been so busy blaa..blaa..blaa..
"I'm busy right now, please come tomorrow"
*I haven't really use this remarks yet, but probably I will in the near future.

From where I stand, I see that I'm quite friendly to my students. I do not put any barrier between us that will make it hard for them to reach out to me. However, if they try to take unwelcome advantage of the relationship, I will of course start to back out from our friendship. By unwelcome advantage I mean something like asking for what will be asked for final exam questions, asking special treatment, etc.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

UPM 32nd Convo

I'm at the UPM Serdang today. Attending a convocation briefing. The actual convo will take place on Saturday, Oct 18th 2008. Honestly I don't really care about this convocation ceremony. I don't know whether its because I feel unsatisfied with the amount of knowledge I gained during my master.. Or its because I don't really like U..huk.. Or its because I resent all this hoovey doovey convocation etiquette. Really, takat nak berkonvokesyen pun beria2 ada briefing bagai. *sigh*
I remember my first degree commencement in the US, we do have certain etiquette that we have to follow but it wasn't as much of a hassle as what we have in Malaysia. Anyway, I'll attend my convo. As my dear friend Ani(ummi Iman tu) said, "Dilla,you should attend your convo after all your hard work&the misery you've been through." And also my uncle who said that I should go to my convo so that I can have the memory later.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My current beads project

My interest in beads sewing started when I have to pay RM40 for a not so nice beads sewn on one of my baju kurungs. I had planned to wear that baju kurung for my engagement ceremony. Sadly, I couldn't.
So for my akad nikah ceremony, I decided to do the beads sewing myself. The result is amazing(puji diri sendiri ni). I'll share the pic with you later. So there it goes. I'm sewing beads ever since. Above is my current bead sewing project.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ada nak bagi apa-apa tak?

Belakang: Saya& Amran
Depan: Farisya, Aiman & Raihana(Baby)

Ahad lepas, makcik saya datang beraya ke rumah. Diaorang on the way balik dari Johor ke Raub.

Si kecik baju purple tu, kita orang panggil baby.

Waktu saya sibuk menyiapkan hidangan kat dapur, tiba-tiba dia datang menghampiri.

B: Along ada apa-apa ke nak bagi baby?
S: Hah?! (saya kurang paham maksud pertanyaan dia sebenarnya)
B: Along la.. Along ada apa-apa ke nak bagi baby?
S: Bagi? Along ada janji nak bagi apa-apa ke kat Baby?
B: Geleng
S: Baby nak apa sebenarnya?
Dia berlari ke bilik tetamu. Datang kembali ke dapur membawa satu kit kecil berisi pengetip kuku, cermin& pengorek telinga yang boleh bertukar warna. Lupa nak snap gambar.
B: Ini sapa punya?
S: Oooo.. Baby nak ke benda ni? (Rupa-rupanya dok senyap dalam bilik tu dia menggeledah..hemm..macam-macamlah budak-budak ni).
B: Baby naaaakkk..
S: Tak bolehlah Baby. Ini Abang Amran punya. (Sebenarnya saya memang tak nak pun kit tu. Tapi sebab kit tu ada satu je. Nanti mesti jadi barang rebutan dengan Abangnya si Aiman tu.)

Lepas tu, tak habis-habis si Baby ni merengek mahukan kit tu. Cari punya cari akhirnya saya jumpa jugak satu kit lain untuk diberikan pada Aiman. Kit yang ada spanar-spanar kecik berserta pita ukur.

Mula-mula gembiralah si Aiman tu dapat kit tu. Tapi sebelum balik tu, sempat lagi dia kata "Aiman nak yang itu, sambil menunjukkan kit yang ada pada tangan adiknya. Aduhai Aiman.. takkan dah Darjah 3 masih belum grow up. Masih nak dengkikan adik tu.

Teringat saya ketika kedatangan mereka sebelum ini. Saya berikan kakaknya si Farisya tu pengering rambut. Boleh merajuk panjang sampai ke hari ini si Aiman dengan saya sebab dia pun mahukan satu set pengering rambut.

Kalau ikutkan , eeiii.. mahu cubit-cubit saja Aiman ni. Tapi kadang-kadang tu kesian jugak. Yelah, dia seorang je lelaki. Tentunya dia tak boleh nak geng melaram dengan mak dia. Mestilah dia cemburu, dari mak sampai ke 2 kakak dan adiknya itu boleh melaram dengan beg tangan dan baju bertabur manik. Cerita maknya, Aiman minta beg tangan bulu-bulu dari abahnya. Kata adik saya, Aiman ni aku pukul kalau jadik mat lembut nanti.

Pada hemat saya, Aiman ni bukanlah lembut pun. Tapi saja je cemburukan kakak-kakak dan adiknya tu. Aiman..Aiman.. cepat sikit grow up ye. Tak larat Along nak layan cemburu& rajuk Aiman tu.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Tadi pagi meeting dengan fakulti board members.
Aku takde mood sebenarnya nak pergi meeting.
Sebab aku masih dalam mood nak menyelesaikan 'office-keeping' ni.

Tapi sebab ala-ala wajib, aku pergi jugak.
Lagipun aku ada 1 perkara nak usulkan dan 1 perkara lagi nak bentangkan.

Alhamdulillah, usul aku diterima.
Tak sangka sebenarnya.
Sebab orang yang memberi penyelesaian & sekaligus mengiakan usul aku ni lah dulu yang menghempuk-hempuk usul ni waktu kali pertama aku usulkan pada Januari 2008.
Syukur sangat :)
Kurang-kurangnya aku taklah makan gaji buta kat sini.

Akhirnya, dapatlah tambah 'loading hours' untuk koordinator-koordinator seangkatan denganku.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Menanti Salmon Tiba II

Ada sikit lagi sambungan pesanan ringkas saya dengan Ash.

A: Ala kak, kalau dah terpilih ikan sardin, tak sempat pun nak jumpa ikan salmon.

Saya tak sempat nak balas mesej Ash sebab perjalanan kami dah tiba ke kawasan yang takde liputan rangkaian ( network coverage ler..). Sampai di Raub, terus berbunyi telefon bimbi saya. Pesanan ringkas dari Ash lagi.

A: Kak, tak sabarnya saya nak tunggu jumpa salmon ni. Huhuhu..

Adoi la adik saya yg seorang ini. Perkara jodoh ni bukan perkara kecil. Mencari jodoh ni bukanlah semudah membeli kasut di SOGO, atau pun memilih tudung di JALAN TAR, atau juga seperti membeli apam balik di pasar malam. Eh! Beli apam balik pun kita kena berhati-hati tau. Tersilap pilih maunya keracunan makanan 10 hari 10 malam. Kalau golongan artis & orang-orang tertentu tu ialah kan, berkahwin untuk GLAMOR dapat mengadakan majlis sebesar-besar alam gitu.

Pada saya yang berkahwin agak lewat ini, iaitu dalam usia saya hampir mencecah 31 tahun, mencari jodoh (baca: mencari jodoh yang sesuai) ini adalah satu proses yang bukan sekadar memenatkan tapi sangat-sangat mencabar kestabilan emosi. Namun penghujungnya insya-ALLAh proses itu banyak membantu mematangkan cara berfikir dan bertindak kita.

Mencari jodoh yang sesuai bukanlah mudah. Kalau kita ini jenis yang boleh terima siapa saja yang datang bertandang di dalam hati dan hidup kita, YA, mungkin mencari jodoh itu MUDAH. Tapi berapa ramai antara kita yang boleh menerima sesiapa saja? Jujurnya, saya bukan orang yang sebegitu.

Bila kita mengenali seseorang, tentunya banyak faktor yang kita fikirkan untuk menentukan sama ada adakah dia adalah pasangan yang terbaik untuk kita. Perlu kita ingat, terbaik untuk kita tidak semestinya terbaik untuk orang lain. Contohlahkan, pada CT Nurhaliza yang terbaik untuk dirinya ialah Datuk K. Tapi pada saya tentunya bukan Datuk K yang terbaik. Mestilah tu ada yang akan kata, mestilah Datuk K pun tak pandang engkau pun. huhuhu.. Itu contoh saja.

Sebelum kita menemui pasangan yang terbaik untuk kita, selalunya kita akan ditemukan dengan beberapa orang yang 'TIDAK SESUAI' terlebih dahulu.Sebab apa?
Satu - mungkin itu adalah sebahagian ujian ALLAH untuk ita hamba-NYA.
Dua - mungkin supaya kita lebih menghargai pasangan kita
Tiga - mungkin untuk mematangkan kita dan lantas kematangan itu mampu memberi
kelangsungan untuk kita membantu orang lain.

*Sesiapa yang cinta pertamanya ialah pasangan yang sesuai tu kira kes terpencil OK.

Saya sendiri pun sebelum bertemu dengan suami, telah penat diperkenalkan dan berkenalan dengan calon-calon pilihan kawan-kawan. Penat sampaikan pada satu tahap saya sudah bosan dan muak lantas saya nekad untuk memberhentikan semua aktiviti berkenalan dan saya benar-benar redha sekiranya sudah tertulis takdir saya akan tidak berkahwin sehingga ajal menjemput. Dan ketika itu saya telah pun menyimpan angan-angan untuk bertemu lelaki yang baik di syurga ALLAH. Dan saya juga telah menyimpan niat untuk mengambil anak angkat. Dah terbayang keseronokan saya membawa anak angkat saya keluar membeli belah, balik ke kampung untuk beraya. Wah! Bukan main angan-angan saya ketika itu. Tapi tidak sempat setahun saya 'meredhai' takdir itu, ALLAH Maha Besar telah menemukan saya dengan suami. Kurang 2 bulan dari setahun kami selamat diijabkabulkan.

Hati saya sentiasa berbisik syukur yang teramat sangat ke hadrat Ilahi kerana suami adalah jodoh saya dan tidak orang lain. Terutamanya di bulan pertama perkahwinan kami bila saya jatuh sakit dan terpaksa berulang-alik ke hospital setiap minggu untuk lebih 8 bulan.

Teringat saya ketika bila suami cuba menyembunyikan sebak sewaktu menghantar saya ke hospital untuk menjalani pembedahan. Sedangkan saya boleh ketawa dan menyanyi mengikut rentak lagu apa entah waktu itu.

Teringat saya ketika dia begitu sabar dan sanggup menemani saya mendapatkan 2nd dan 3rd opinion dari doktor lain ketika seorang doktor yang kejam itu memberitahu saya bahawa jalan terbaik untuk saya kekal sihat ialah dengan membuang rahim saya.

Teringat juga saya jawapannya menjawab persoalan saya:
+:Abang tak menyesal ke kahwin dengan saya? Dapat isteri yang sakit?
-:Untuk apa menyesal. Kalau kahwin dengan orang lain pun belum tentu keadaan
sentiasa sihat dan tenang tanpa masalah.

Ketika- ketika itu hati saya sentiasa berkata-kata Ya ALLAH, aku bersyukur dia yang Kau jodohkan untuk aku, bukannya orang-orang lain.

Jadi kesimpulannya, dalam kita mencari salmon, banyak sardin-sardin yang akan berkunjung ke daerah kita. Jangan hiraukan sardin-sardin picisan itu. Tunggulah salmonmu...

*untuk adik saya yang menunggu Dolphin tu, oklah. Dolphin pon dikira sekelas dengan Salmon ;P

Menanti Salmon Tiba

Petang puasa terakhir, sedang saya dan suami dalam perjalanan pulang ke kampung, saya teringat untuk menghantar pesanan ringkas buat seorang 'adik' saya (ex-student sebetulnya). Niat sebenar menghantar pesanan tu bukanlah nak mengucap selamat hari raya sangat pun, tapi nak mengusik dia yang menafikan dirinya sedang angau.

S(Saya): Ash, dah sampai kampung ke? Selamat Hari Raya dari saya & Abang Amran.
A(Ash): Baru je sampai kak. Penatlah naik bas tadi. Akak & Abang Am raya kat mana?
S: Aik!! Naik bas ke? Ehem tak hantar? Kita orang raya kat Raub. Maybe raya ke-2 baru balik kelantan.
A: Ceh! Ehem hari Jumaat dah balik kampung. Akak, sekarang saya dah rasa biasa je bila dia tak mesej saya. Dulu kalau dia tak mesej saya rasa tak senang duduk. Saya rasa macam saya dah start suka kat dia la..
S: Eh!!(buat-buat terkejut) dulu kata takde apa-apa? Hehehe.. Korang tak pegi beli baju raya sedondon ke?
A: Ala akak ni. Mana ada.. tak sempat nak shopping pun. Akak, hubungan kita orang hubungan terhalang la.
S: Apa Ash ni? Kejap kata takde apa-apa, kejap hubungan terhalang. Pening la..
A: Memanglah takde apa-apa lagi. Kalau ada apa-apa,itu yang jadi hubungan terhalang. Akak ni, susahnya nak paham.
S: Sabarlah Ash. Mula-mula ni memang Allah temukan kita dengan ikan sardin sebelum kita jumpa ikan salmon. Hehehe..

Oppss.. kena stop.. nanti saya sambung k.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Human Trafficking - what a sad reality

Did you manage to catch the movie HUMAN TRAFFICKING on Hallmark Channel-702 Saturday night? I understand that it's RAYA time and mostly all the prime Malay channels are buzzing with Raya celebration programs.

Throughout this month, Hallmark will repeatedly air that movie. You shouldn't miss it. Really, it brings out a very important issue. You'll see through the movie that human trafficking business is actually a larger network than we ever imagine. Even though Malaysia was not pictured as one of the networks in the movie I am very sure that there are certain mobs group here who are involved in the international human trafficking business.

We read in the newspapers news about missing children and missing women. Have we ever wonder what happen to them? Being dead versus missing forever, which would you wish for them?

People might think I'm such a heartless person to wish those missing children and women would rather be dead than missing forever from their families. However if you did watch the movie I mentioned above you'll understand my reasons. The fear and suffering they have to face everyday of their 'battered life' is unbearable. They were treated like a slave. Not simply a slave, but a SEX SLAVE. Can you imagine a 14 year-old girl or boy working as a sex slave just because their families had to sell them in order to survive?

I always believe that every one of us can make a difference in this world. How can we make a difference in this kind of situation where we are not the authority or involve in law enforcement policy?

Well, one thing that we can do is to take good care of our children. Not just by watching over them during the busy and head spinning raya shopping time but also to educate them . There have been cases where some of these abducted teenagers were scammed into a so called international model searching competition. I guess they were blinded by the glam and celebrity status which a modeling career can offer.

Such a sad reality huh?!


Hari Sabtu, 4 Oktober aku dah balik ke KL. Aku malas nak bersesak-sesak balik hari Ahad tu. Dengar kat berita semalam, Lebuhraya Karak tu sesak. Nasib baik la aku, suami & adik aku balik hari Sabtu tu. Dalam sejam lebih sikit dah sampai ke KL dari Raub. Oklah tu kan..

Sampai kat rumah, aku berperang dengan semutlah pulak. Aku jujurnya dah tak larat nak berperang dengan semut-semut ni. Dah letak racun semut, adalah dua tiga geng yang kojol. Pastu datang pulak geng semut lain. Tegar betul semut-semut ni. Macam Geng Mamak pulak. Rupanya masa aku takde kat rumah untuk membunuh mereka, semut-semut ni boleh pulak buat denai dari lubang mana entah ke bilik tidur aku. Huh!!! Sungguh menjengkelkan.

Jenguk ke dapur, adalah pulak becak air kat bawah sinki. Ni mesti kes air hujan meresap dari luar rumah. Yelah, rumah kos rendah kan, what do you expect? *kena lap la pulak*

Lepas Asar, aku ingat nak baring-baring kejap sebelum basuh baju. Yelah, dah 5 hari duduk kat kampung, aku tak mendobi pun. Alih-alih, suami aku beritahu dia dah masukkan baju-baju ke dalam mesin basuh dan mesin basuh tu dah memulakan operasi dobinya. Aduh! Terharunya aku. Aku betul-betul bersyukur dikurniakan Allah suami yang banyak membantu aku buat kerja-kerja rumah. Terima kasih Abang *I love U*

Cuma aku ni la kengkadang bila merajuk tu, teruslah mengalami memory lapse tentang kebaikan-kebaikan suami aku tu.