Izyan’s admission to the Bar

My blogger sister, Nuraina A. Samad, once said to me, “you blog about the things closest to your heart.” I took heed of her advice until today. Therefore, please allow me to once again do that.

I remember three happy occasions in my life: the day I went to the mosque to marry Jefree, the day Luqman was born and the day I was called to the Malaysian Bar. For every lawyer, she/he earns a day in the High Court after nine months of pupilage in a law firm.

That day is a big day for every lawyer; all the headaches endured in law school and the impossible-to-pass bar examination or the hideous C.L.P’s examination would finally be paid off. He/she will be admitted as an advocate & solicitor of the High Court of Malaya and subsequently become a member of the Malaysian Bar.

You must be asking, “so, what’s a big deal about it?” My answer: it is a big deal where the High Court of Appellate and Special Powers Division will convene for the day in the presence of a residing High Court Judge, representatives from the Bar Council, Attonery General’s Chamber and KL Bar Committee to admit the pupil as a lawyer.

Masters of the pupils will be sitting in the bench of the court waiting to robe their pupils with proud parents looking out from the public gallery. Senior members of the Bar will be called to move the pupil’s petition before the Court and the environment will be festive; contrary to the normal subdued environment of the courtrooms.

Today, I was honoured to move the petition of Izyan Darlina Balia Yusof to be admitted as an advocate & solicitor of the High Court of Malaya before Her Lordship Justice Lau Bee Lan in Kuala Lumpur High Court. It’s not a norm for me to move pupil’s petition therefore today marks another milestone in my practice of law.

Nine months ago, Izyan commenced her tutelage in my husband’s law firm – Messrs Zairul Zain & Syed – in the chamber of her master, Zairul Hisham Datuk Zubir. I owed Zairul, or Jeal as he is fondly known as among friends, my life. Jeal introduced me to my husband and when the firm requested me to move Izyan’s call; it’s something that I could not possibly refused. It’s pay-back time you see.

So this morning I put my robe on and met Jeal who was donned in his immaculately-tailored dark suit and neck tie. The Court convened shortly after 9 a.m. and I found myself in the presence of “who’s who” in the legal fraternity; senior counsels Tuan Haji Sulaiman Abdullah, Puan Hendon Mahmood and old friend Puan Zarina Ismail Tom to name a few. 

Also present in Court today is Izyan’s father, His Lordship Dato’ Balia Yusof Haji Wahi and his wife Datin Faridah  Datuk Haji Amiruddin. Yang Arif Dato’ Balia Yusof is curently Penang’s High Court Judge. The only difference is that; he is not here today to listen to counsels arguing before him but to witness his daughter’s admission as a lawyer. It must have been quite a change for the senior Judge.

During my course of practice, I haven’t been privileged to appear before Yang Arif Dato’ Balia Yusof but I have, from time to time, read his judgments. Despite his serious look, I found him to be a fair and reasonable judge. I cannot dwell on this subject further as any communications between the bar and the bench would be seriously frowned upon.

After having waited patiently for her petition to be heard before the Court, Izyan was admitted as an adovate & solicitor of the High Court of Malaya at approximately 11 a.m.. Traditionally, her master will be called to robe her at the end of the hearing; as a mark that the pupil is now a lawyer. But for Izyan, her Honourable father took the duty from Jeal’s hand to robe his daughter to the pleasure of the Court. In the words of Her Lordship Justice Tan Bee Lan “this is not an everyday-thing.”

Izyan is now a lawyer and a member of the Bar.

I have known Izyan for nine months; we had dinner and attended the firm’s function from time to time. I believe Izyan has what it takes to be a sound lawyer. Izyan, I wish you luck in your career and may you endevour to be a good and ethical lawyer.

Of course, I take this opportunity to congratulate Yang Arif Justice Dato’ Balia Yusof and his wife Datin Faridah on their daughter’s call to the Bar. It is indeed an honour for me to move Izyan’s petition this morning.

My heartiest congratulation is also extended to my learned friends: Zairul Hisham Datuk Zubir, Ezhar Fahim Mohamed Fahim and my husband Jefree Zain Affendi. To the rest of the firm, have a good lunch today!


Sleepless in Setiawangsa – V

Tonight, the clouds above Bukit Setiawangsa hang low; a sure sign that rain will soon fall on this hill again. I could see from my balcony, sparks of fireworks flying off from the neighbouring Wangsa Maju. I thought to myself, what could they possibly be celerating in the middle of the week? As opposed to the people who are celebrating happy cause; I don’t have much to celebrate of late.

Luqman has been ill for the past month or so. He started off with the viral infection which led to febrile fits and the rest is just too painful to be recall. He was having fever again shortly after Hari Raya and we rushed him to Damansara Specialist on the fourth day of Raya. For the past one week his temperature reaches beyond 39 degree-celcius at night and I was a wreck for not having enough sleep. I don’t have enough space in my heart to worry anymore.

When we brought him to see Dr. Musa for the second time last month, the good old pediatrician didn’t hesitate for a second to send Luqman straight to the pediatric ward after his temperature soared to 40.7 degree Celcius. Luqman was, once again, subjected to various blood test and medications were forced down his throat. His little hand was bandaged to secure the IV. I rather die a thousand deaths than see him in such a terrible pain.

I never thought I would live to see the day the number of my child’s pediatrician would gain a spot on my hand phone’s speed-dial. The text messages went back and forth between me and the doctor. Not to mention the bizarre timing my messages hit his phone. But just like any other good doctors (you can be rest assured there are lousy doctors out there), Dr. Musa replies my messages without further ado.

Neither have the thoughts I’d be a “pseudo-doctor” knowledgeable in children’s illness and medication. Glancing around my collection of books on my messy bookshelves I was surprised that to my astonishment I have quite a lot of books on pregnancy and parenting. Before I became a mother, I would not even give a second glance at the parenting section in a bookshop. And now I bought a few? Amazing isn’t it?

Friends have labelled me a “kiasu” mother simply because I want the best for Luqman. I often wonder what I did with my friends before I got married. Now I don’t seem to be able to do the things I did when I was single and carefree. I used to spend hours with my friends at our favourite haunts. We talked a lot – about nothing – mostly to shamelessly “kutuk orang.”

A few of my friends are still single, some are trapped in their own everyday-routine of raising a family while some are juggling motherhood and demanding careers. As a result, we don’t get to hang around so much lately. I shudder at the thoughts of writing this next sentence but I will have to do it since it has being hanging around my head like an annoying pest: motherhood robbed me of my fun times.

One of my closest friends said this time and again: “friendship needs consistency.” I couldn’t agree more with her. I lack that consistency now. And now with the advent of Facebook, our friendship has been reduced to sending virtual gifts and playing scrabble online. Honestly, how sad can that be?

However, I do celebrate the presence of Luqman in my life, and always will be. He would be the only sparks in my life for years to come. InsyaAllah.


This is rather late but I have to say it: Happy Anniversary, Jefree. Despite our many differences; I could not imagine life without you. Lest we forget, here’s a sonnet that graced our wedding day three years ago:-

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments

Love is not love

Which alters when its alteration finds

Or bends with the remover to remove

Oh no! it is an ever-fixed mark

That looks upon tempest and is never shaken

It is the star to every wand’ring bark

Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken

Love is not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle compass come

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks

But bears it out even to the edge of doom

If this be error and upon me prov’d

I never writ, not man ever lov’d

[W. Shakespeare – Sonnet 116] 

GUiT – Book Review

Personally, this book is a walk down the memory lane for me. Kuala Terengganu always holds a special place in my heart. The people, the intriguing dialect, the mouth-watering delicacy and miles and miles of white sandy beaches in Terengganu calm the heart of many. Of course, the unforgettable MRSM Kuala Terenganu, Wakaf Tengah, Mengabang Telipot. That would need another posting in the future: only if I manage to jog my poor memory.

Where was I? Ah, the book review, of course. I read the flattering introduction right there at the bookstore (classic case of being an impatient person) and headed home with my head giddy in anticipation. The rest of the weekend was reduced to curling in bed in a vicious attempt to finish the book.

Awang Goneng (AG), whose real name is Wan A. Hulaimi kicked off his writing career after a brief stint in academic and jornalism. Originally trained in law, the man moved to a greener pasture as many law degree holders have done save for the dense ones who insist on practising the trade. The writer is currently residing in the cold and gloomy London with his adorable wife Kak Teh of Choc-a-Blog Blog.

Growing Up in Trengganu (GUiT) originates from AG’s postings in his blog; Kecek-Kecek. He started his blog in November 2004 and the rest, as they say, is history. From what I read, the publisher thought the postings are too good to just remain virtual in blogsphere and therefore they decided to publish it in an immortal form of a book.

When I first read GUiT the blogger-version, I couldn’t help but think that the postings, in some ways, reflect a research paper on Terengganu’s dialect; or as AG aptly calls it “Trengganuspeak”. But be warned, this is not some dull research papers, AG wittingly peppers his postings with cynical humor and satirical thought of his mind.

Reflective of its title, GUiT vividly narrates the childhood of its writer. AG weaves the story in astonishing details that feed your realm of imagination. He will hook you on the pages from his witty introduction right to the glossary at the back of the book. Whilst not being exactly a page-turner, this book is highly intriguing that you just need to know what else he has in store.

The writer captures the essential essence of satisfying the reader’s mind by describing the sense of smell, sound and taste of everything Terengganu. The setting and description of the characters in the book evoke the sense of belonging in you. You could almost touch the atmosphere in Terengganu from his unique writing style.

As you probably know by now, it is either you understand the “Trengganuspeak” or you just simply don’t. If you fall under the latter catagory – god bless you – kindly refer to the glossary I mentioned before.

If I have to choose, my personal favourite would be “Ice on the Gunny”. The story transports me back to my childhood when ice was covered with sawdust to prevent it from melting. Of course, this was before the advent of refrigerator in my kampong. AG also cruelly teases my taste bud by writing about the sinfully sweet nekbat, puteri mandi and lompat tikam. Ah, when is the next flight to Kota Bharu please?

Undoubtedly, GUiT is not an ordinary book. I am of the view that not many creative writers can narrate their childhood experience to be a charming read. Most of our growing up memories would be in an unfathomable patches and usually hard to recall.

This is not just a book, it is indeed a keepsake.

Growing Up in Trengganu (GUiT)

Awang Goneng’s much-awaited book is now in major bookstores around town. However, some of the MPH oulets run out of prints for this title. I found two in MPH Great Eastern Mall at self-help’s shelves! Talk about ignorant sales team! However, you may also find this book at Kinokuniya and Times (Pavillion). If you are still looking for the title; below are the details –

Title: Growing Up in Trengganu

Writer: Awang Goneng of Kecek-Kecek. (His real name is Wan A. Hulaimi)

Price: RM39.90

Publisher: Monsoonbook, Singapore

ISBN: 978-981-05-8692-8

Genre: ?

I find the introduction from AG to be both charming and witty. Be right back with a review.

Amirul Imran

My cousin, Amirul Imran, was born via c-section after my aunt went through a traumatic labor. The whole family sat in silence, consumed with prayers and hope, for my aunt to make it through the ordeal 12 years ago. He was indeed a big baby – a whopping 4 kg.

Before I flew off to the UK in mid nineties, I stayed at my aunt’s place in Taman Melati as I worked part time in the city; to earn whatever extra I could get. Therefore, I spent a lot of time with adorable Amirul. Since he was a baby, Amirul has always been fascinated with books. He would tear the pages of my book and eat them too. Until today,  I haven’t told his mother the latter part! I used to bring him to Alpha Angle with my friend, Basyirah, and played moms. It was fun.

The day I flew off to the UK, Amirul suffered a fit attack, and another one shortly thereafter. Throughout the next five years, Amirul went into countless of fit attacks. Staying in the hospital became a norm to both my aunt and uncle – Sharina and Amiruddin. They exhausted all of their savings; my aunt blindly abused her credit cards to pay for the medical treatment.

My grandparents took him to numerous traditional treatments but to no avail. The whole five years was a living nightmare to my aunt and uncle. Once, Amirul went into a fit right in front of our eyes on the eve of Raya. Needless to say, there was no Raya for us that year. Everybody was in the hospital.

The fit stopped after Amirul turned seven. He attends school like any other children his age but I know that my aunt always worry about his health. He has always been subjected to over-protective parents and family. That can be tiresome for him, I am sure.

Amirul’s mannerism and disposition would truly put yours and mine to shame. He would wake up at dawn every day for subuh prayer and read his books before going to school. He is never rude to anyone. He would be at his happiest just to be left alone. To my eyes, Amirul is just exemplary.

Once, his mother found him underneath the table reading a book. Perplexed by his behaviour, the mother questioned the reason to his conspicuous hiding. His answer? The cousins were noisy and he needed to read his book. Duh!

This morning, UPRS result was announced throughout the country. I am sure – as kids nowadays are brilliant – thousands would score a perfect 5As: Amirul Imran is one of them.

Amirul, Abg. Jefree and I are so proud of you. Just like what I told you before, no hard work would go unrewarded.

By the way, I am RM250 poorer today as I promised Amirul that I will give him RM50 for each A. What was I thinking? 🙂

(Picture above: Amirul and Luqman few months ago at my aunt’s place).

Demokrasi di Tanah Air Ku…

Semalam di tanah air ku, di tanah tempat tumpah darah ku,

Telah dicabar minda dan penglihatan ku

TV3 kata, tiada apa yang serius melainkan mereka berkumpul tanpa permit

Suratkabar pun diam saja, tapi di alam cyber aku dengar rakyat ingin berkumpul

Bukan harta yang mereka mahu, cuma pilihanraya yang bersih dan teratur

Khabarnya mereka ada memoranda untuk Yang di Pertuan Agong

Tapi, Perdana Menteri ku kata tiada permit yang diberikan untuk mereka

Alasan? Tidak berikan. Senyap dan sunyi sahaja. Polis sibuk agaknya, aku berkata dalam diam

Pak Lah kata beliau pantang dicabar! Di sambut jerit sorak ahli perhimpunan agong UMNO

Jadi aku fikir mungkin mereka tidak akan berarak Sabtu lepas

Berita Utama jam 8 mengatakan hanya 4000 orang sahaja yang degil dan terus berjalan

Suratkabar? Usah buang masa!

Tapi, Rocky kata berpuluh kali ganda dari jumlah Walk for Justice

Shanghai Stephen kata gambar tidak menipu

Sheih kata tiada apa yang terjadi kecuali lensa kameranya rosak


NTV 7 kata tiada apa-apa. Semua stesen TV di tanah air ku kata begitu.

Lain pula ceritanya di Al-Jazera. Malaysia ditertawakan demokrasinya.

Tanah Air ku diperkotak-katikkan polisinya dalam liputan terus menerus itu.


Dan mata kecil ku melihat…

Hamba rakyat disembur air, bertempiaran mereka lari menyelamatkan diri

Dilunyai penglihatan mereka dengan gas pemedih mata

Ditangkap dan disoal siasat oleh mereka yang berkuasa

Ku tanya diri sendiri dan aku mengeluh, kecewa sungguh hati ini

Kerana aku tahu: gambar dan lensa kamera tidak pernah menipu

Sahabat-sahabat ku, tepuk dada tanya selera

Beginikan demokrasi yang kita impikan untuk anak bangsa?

[pictures courtesy of Rocky, Sheih & Shanghai Stephen]