Wednesday, August 25, 2010

That's Not A Firecracker....It's An IED!

The Hari Raya ( Ramadhan really) has already claimed its first fatality...not from the oh-so-frequent road accidents but from firecracker 'mishap'. That was the recent incident at Terengganu where an explosion killed a boy and badly wounding two others. According to the police (I knew this when reading my brother's blog) the idiots (really, I'm not going to pull punches here) stuffed the explosives from firecrackers into a refrigerant container in order to get the biggest bang. Unfortunately (for them) they forgot basic safety precautions when dealing with explosives. The result? They do get that Big Bang at the cost of one life and their own bodies.

Such incidents are not isolated cases - it has happened for years. These idiots over the years forgot that when you stuff explosives (that's what the firecrackers really are) into metal tubes or containers, you did not create a better firecracker, you're creating an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) or to put in a more lay term, a home-made BOMB! The only difference is the intensity of the blast - stuffed aerial bits can take out fingers while that refrigerant container may probably destroy a Humvee! This incident also reminds of another incident several years ago when an explosive-filled badminton net pole went off, killing an (idiotic) teenager. What causes the recent incident to be more violent is that the explosives are placed inside a pressure vessel with thick sides. When it went off, it causes a catastrophic explosion - collapsing an abandoned house and throwing the body of the boy 15 meters into the air.

Knowing 'our people' such incidents could happen again in the future, they never learn anything...perhaps the next time they will use the industrial gas tank - creating an IED that can flip an Abrams tank! In the meantime, the idiots could be nominated for this year, or maybe the next's Darwin Award. If you do not know what the Darwin Award is, go Google!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Then...and Now

Ok this is a rare treat... a politics-related entry from me!

1982 : An ustazah at my religious school told us, in order for us to tell our parents, that we Muslims cannot vote for a non-Muslim (General Election) candidate because Muslims cannot have a non-Muslim as leader...

2010 : Some mosques (admittedly only a few) in a certain state recites doa for the current chief minister who is a non-Muslim, instead of the actual Head of Islamic Affairs (that is the King).

Politics DO make strange bedfellows and politics DO make people throw away their principles!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Astaghfirullah Al Azim......

Apa yang aku nak catat (sebenarnya copy-paste aje..haha) di sini dia mbil dari Facebook seorang hamba Allah ni. Dari gaya penulisannya dia orang tempatan (Melayu le) dan biasanya orang Melayu ni Islam la kan? Tapi kan sudah disebut, iman itu tidak boleh diwarisi dan masing-masing ada buku amalan masing-masing. Mungkin dia ni masih tercari-cari halatuju hidup (takpun dah sesat barat). Jadi ambillah catatan ini sebagai ingatan.....

"Kepada yang berpuasa...f**k you off!" [nak mencarut pun salah!]

"Yeah. I am sick of people yang keep on text-ing me dan cakap
selamat berpuasa and all those bullshits
Dorang tau yang aku tak berpuasa. Dan, aku tak suka bila dipaksa berpuasa...."

"I mean what's the pointof fasting kalau kita buat benda tu sebab kena paksa?
Are we praying to the right god? Atau mungkin, orang-orang yang memaksa itu sendiri adalah tuhan
Hell! A month of suffering. Gua tak sanggup!"

" Selamat tak berpuasa semua! In Ignorance we trust"

Aku baca, macam nak menangis ada, macam nak ambik parang panjang nak cantas kepala dia pun ada...I mean, kalau tak suka pun, perlukah menghina?

Kalau aku baik hati aku kata "semoga Allah membuka semula hati dia"....kalau aku busuk hati..."may your soul burn in Hell!" Tak sanggup tak makan separuh hari selama sebulan? How about a banquet of thorny fruit, liquid copper or pus and blood filled drink, FOREVER?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Iftar Specialities

Sometimes I find it ironic that during Ramadhan when Muslims all over the world are required to fast (hence less food consumption) there are actually more food sold than during the rest of the year! Anyway, since we are living in a basically 9-to-5 world, these sellers are a Godsend allowing us to buy food for iftar (or even sahur), so that we do not have to prepare it ourselves.

Even though my wife prepares the food for iftar everyday, I am sometimes on the look out for some dishes sold at the bazaar Ramadan. Although I dare say that there is actually not much variety, there are always something to tempt my tastebuds. Some of my favourite food during Ramadhan (even for the rest of the year actually) were:

Murtabak - basically roti canai with beef/chicken filling and egg batter. Most of the sellers bulk up their product with cabbage, onion or potato/sweet potato...and not much beef or chicken! My wife usually loathes this kind of murtabak. However I came to know Pak Zubir who sold murtabak at Batu pahat's Bazar Ramadhan Pesta. His is the best I have tasted so far - although quite thincompared to some others', you know there is ground beef/chicken in there rather than beef/chicken flavoured potato!

Roti John - a batter of meat, onion and eggs is fried in a flat pan onto which a halved baguette is placed on it. It was then garnshed with chili sauce and mayonaisse. As with murtabak above, some sellers have less meat. Another version, which I liked very much is by stuffing curried meat/onion/potato into the baguette, coat it in batter and fried. This version, as far as I know can only be found at Pesta. Better yet, that particular kakak stuffed the beguette real good with meat and charged only RM2.50!

Nasi Ambang/Ambeng - this Javanese dish is white rice with lauk consisting of salted fish, chicken in soy sauce, fried kacang panjang and serunding. Since this is Javanese dish, I can only find them in Batu Pahat, not Kedah!

As you can see, I constantly refer to the Ramadhan Bazaar in Pesta - to me the best bazaar I have been and I made it a point to visit them during the last few days of Ramadan when I balik kampung for the Aidil Fitri.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

'Burger Kampung'

Burgers. Who has not tasted them yet? Apparently this most 'basic' of Western food is now part and parcel of food available to Malaysians...from high-end fares in expensive steakhouses to the humble roadside stall versions. Personally, I came to know about burgers when I browsed through my mother's cookbooks and adverts of the comparatively few quick-serving restaurants then operational in Malaysia. At that time, Western food was considered to be 'exclusive' and can only be afforded by well-to-do Malaysians.

In the 80s burgers started to be sold in roadside stalls. Not only burgers are now more available to the masses, they are can also be consumed with better confidence of its Halal status, thanks to the effort of one Mr. (I think he is now a Datuk) Ramly Moknin, whose name is synonymous with the local version of the burger. Not everything went smoothly in those years as I recall the (tall) tales of bad quality control (i.e mouldy, wormy patties). In addition the public have a bad perception of the young men selling burgers on the roadside stalls mainly that they are drug addicts, if not pushers themselves. While probably true in a few cases, the sellers themselves did not project a positive image as many were mat rocks whom people despised...long hair and all! Anyway, not very long afterwards these burger stalls spring like mushrooms all around the country.

Preparation methods and ingredients usually vary even between neighbouring stalls. However the basic ingredients of this 'burger kampung' as I sometimes call them, are beef or chicken patty, margarine, onions, cabbage or lettuce and chili or tomato sauce...and of course sesame seed bun. The usual preparation method are like these:
1. Heat a little bit of margarine in a griddle and place the patty
2. excess fat and water (from the melted margarine and patty) should be constantly removed
3. Flip the patty so that it is evenly cooked
4. Make holes in the patty so that it can be cooked faster / halve it horizontally
5. Place halved and buttered (margarined?) bun
6. Remove bun and place condiments (shredded cabbage or lettuce leaf, sauce) on the bottom half.
7. Remove patty from griddle and place on the bun, put more sauce(or to customers' preference).
8. Place the top half of the bun and wrap it.

That's basically the way 'burger kampung' was made. With the passage of time more condiments were added such as mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, Maggi seasoning sauce and/or pepper powder. And who can forget 'burger special' which wraps the patty in fried egg? Nowadays there is even the black pepper sauce option (a la McDonald's Prosperity Burger). A friend of mine once have the onion sauteed so that it tastes better. I loved the taste but in general the onion is left raw.

Price-wise the burgers are affordable to almost everybody even though there is an upward trend over the years. If I recall correctly when first introduced they cost RM1.50 for a 'regular' beef burger and nowadays they may cost around RM2.00 even though at some time during the early 90s some stalls sell them for only RM1.00. In pasar malams in Kedah, I have seen 'burger ayam/daging + telur' for RM1.00. I thought wow, what bargain, burger special for only RM1! Alas, it was actually 'economy burger' with only half a patty and verrryy thin piece of fried egg 'skin'!

Roadside burger / burger kampung has been around for more than three decades and they definitely are here to stay despite the presence of more McDonald's and KFCs. The sellers are also getting more creative in their menu....and my mother actually prefer the kampung burgers to their more upmarket cousins. Besides, they are cheaper! Oh, apparently they are also a favourite of Singaporeans who know them as Ramly Burger. Strangely the Singaporean Government banned (cooked) Ramly Burger - even though the patty is readily available...really weird huh?

Sunday, August 08, 2010

No Famous Amos = Undeveloped State?

“Ya Allah hinanya Johor Bahru nama je dekat dengan Singapura belum maju rupanya... baik aku duduk Kulim macam ni.”

Those are the words written in her Facebook entry by a lady who apparently couldn't find a Famous Amos outlet in Johor. While many may consider her moaning harmless, certain others find her remarks 'hinanya' as degrading, offensive and irreverent to the state and residents of Johor in general.

Apparently she is pregnant and possibly has a craving for the cookies but was unable to find them, hence her moans. But that probably does not justify the usage of the word 'hina'! Anyway I find it funny that someone equates development with whether outlets of certain foreign brands is available or not. Is Alor Setar a backwards town since I have a craving for Whopper and that there are no Burger King around? By the way, There are TWO Famous Amos outlets in Johor - both at the Sultan Ismail Airport, Senai, not very far from JB!

And another thing, there is actually no Famous Amos outlet in Kedah (unless one spends RM7 to cross over to Penang Island that is). And finally this uh, incident was merely a storm in a teacup.