Tag Archives: fat bidin

How to make roads safer? Make them less safe!


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How to make roads safer? Make them less safe!
By Zan Azlee

I’ve been to Amsterdam several times and I love the city because it has traditional European charm with cobblestone roads and also modern infrastructure (and they have good coffee shops too!). Walking around the city in the central area near the central station is exciting and fun with many small shops, fresco cafes, public squares and markets everywhere. Another thing that struck me is the excitement isn’t just because of being in a new place or because there are so many things to see. Just walking itself is exciting.

Most of the streets in Amsterdam have no signs, curbs, lines, or anything at all. And with it all being cobblestone, you can’t even distinguish where the street ends and the sidewalk begins. So when you’re walking, you wouldn’t actually know where to walk. Cars would be driving by and bicycles cruising along. The only vehicle that has dedicated space are the barges on the canals.

The feeling that you get when walking in a situation like that is really a feeling of fear. You walk as if there is constant danger of getting hit by a car or a bicycle. You do not feel safe at all. [Click to read the full article at KopitiamEkonomi.Com]

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Did I really enjoy going to sekolah kebangsaan?


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Did I really enjoy going to sekolah kebangsaan?
By Zan Azlee

I was twelve years old and attending a public junior high school in New York City. It was a social studies class and the teacher was one Mr Nelson.

My classmates and I entered the classroom and Mr Nelson had a copy of the day’s New York Times for each and everyone of us.

It was the year when President George Bush Sr and the United States declared the first Gulf War against Iraq after Saddam Hussein invaded neighbouring Kuwait.

Mr Nelson gave us twenty minutes to read the story about the war on the front page of the newspaper. He even taught us how to handle and fold a broadsheet!

Once we were done, we were told that we could ask any question we wanted about the story we had just read and about the war. Anything at all.

We started with basic questions like why the US had declared war with Iraq and why Saddam Hussein had sent his troops into Kuwait.

Then we went on to have a lengthy discussion on whether any of us were actually in agreement or disagreement with the decision of the US to declare war with Iraq. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

To convert or not to convert – that is the question


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To convert or not to convert – that is the question
By Zan Azlee

During my extensive travels in the heartland of Islam (the Middle-East lah!), I would listen to all kinds of stories and incidents told to me by the locals I met.

Once, I was at a church (which used to be a mosque which used to be a church!) by the River Jordan where John (Yahya) baptised Jesus (Isa), when it’s caretaker struck a conversation with me.

We were talking about marriage (I was single then) and I mentioned that in Malaysia, it was a law for non-Muslims to convert to Islam if they were to marry a Muslim.

The caretaker looked at me in surprise and said that that wasn’t the case in Jordan. Anyone who believed in any of the Abrahamic faiths (People of the Book) could marry without converting.

This incident was reminded to me by yesterday’s fiasco regarding the issue of conversion during marriage causing problems for the nation.

(The issue of the Attorney-General being misquoted is beside the point, the issue is still a relevant one)

With numerous cases here of non-Muslim parents try to take custody of their Muslim children becoming controversies and unsolvable, it is a valid issue to be discussed. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]

The Fat Bidin Podcast (Ep 25) – Doping ain’t dope!


The Fat Bidin Podcast (Ep 25) – Doping ain’t dope!

Neither jocks nor docs, Zan and Aizyl try to figure out what’s going on with the Lee Chong Wei doping scandal. Find out what non-experts about the issue know about the issue.

Listen to more Fat Bidin Podcasts here.

Sikit Punya Gila: A 1982 film relevant for the times


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Sikit Punya Gila: A 1982 film relevant for the times
By Zan Azlee

Last night, a couple of friends, my wife and I had a movie night at our place and we re-watched one of the best Malaysian films ever made – Sikit Punya Gila.

The comedy film, directed by Raja Ismail and starring Dharma Harun, Hamid Gurkha, Yusni Jaafar and Ibrahim Pendek, was experimental and rife with social commentary.

Produced in the early 1980s, it told the common story of the rural Malay folk migrating to the city in order to better their lives, just like it was during the production of the movie.

Dharma and Hamid try to make it big in Kuala Lumpur doing any kind of job they can, from selling corn to gambling on horse races (kuda longkang!) and buying 4D.

Of course, they had to have their romantic interests as well in the form of Norlia Ghani and Nora Shamsuddin (who eventually were snapped up by Yusof Haslam and Kuswadinata!).

True to the malaise of that time, they were a pair of lazy, care-free young men who wanted to get rich but didn’t have the commitment nor the discipline to do anything about it.

All they wanted to do was to hang out, chat up girls, have fun and not work. Then, they just hoped and dreamed really hard that they could make a fast buck.

More than 30 years on, I’m not sure if there are many people still like Dharma and Hamid. I’m sure many now realise that to succeed, hard work and a little bit of intelligence play a big role.

Or maybe there are, seeing that many still clamour for all kinds of hand-outs, subsidies and kick-backs in order to make that fast buck. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]