Genuine love goes beyond sex and passion!

Totally True Love 2011

EVERY year on Feb 14, the world takes delight in celebrating Valentine’s Day – a special occasion in which people celebrate and express love, feelings for each other and develop a sense of belonging and friendship.

To love and be loved by someone is the most beautiful, moving, fulfilling and fantastic human emotion and experience!

Question is: Is the love we so talk and desire about real, genuine, permanent and unconditional?

Is it true to the very sense of the word – LOVE?

True love knows no bounds and consists of great sacrifice and care. It also embraces compassion, kindness, respect and thoughtfulness.

Genuine love has our interests at heart and it goes beyond sex, passion and sensual gratification. This love is the best and most mature in every way.

Real love comes with a lot of responsibility, commitment, understanding, tolerance, acceptance and humility.

It is true that in today’s world, it is easy to fall in love but to further develop, maintain and sustain the great feeling is another matter altogether.

The many divorces, marital breakdowns, broken families, suicides out of failed marriages and relationships, extra-marital affairs, one night stands and wild sex bring to mind just how people nowadays regard, treat and value the sanctity of love?

It is sad but true that people take love for granted and in the words of the great writer Robert Browing: “Take away love and with earth is a tomb”.

The world will indeed be a meaningless and cold place if it is devoid of love – the most powerful force in humans.

As we look around today, there is simply too much conflict, hostility, unrest, sorrow, fear, suffering and pain taking place the world over.

The time has come for us to turn hatred and ignorance into love and wisdom.

It is time everyone started to be more considerate and responsible and played a role in promoting the virtues of friendliness, kindness, compassion, forgiveness and giving.

Together, we can all make a difference and contribute towards making a better, merrier and meaningful world for all to live in.

Let us not hate but love each other instead and live by one spirit, one heart, and one aspiration as members of the human race!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all.



PAS Valentine’s Day equation!

One Man’s Meat By Philip Golingai

Why is PAS so against Valentine’s Day? It has equated the day to: roses + candlelight dinner + love = sex.

Malaysia,  Muslims,  Valentine's Day

PAS urged the government to place anti-Valentine Day’s advertisements on television to discourage Muslims from celebrating the event.

FROM what I’ve been reading, PAS has been equating Valentine’s Day to: roses + candlelight dinner + love = sex.

Curious to know how Feb 14 can lead to sex, I met PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan at-Tantawi at the party’s headquarters in Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur on Saturday. I thought the secret would be revealed.

“Why is PAS so against Valentine’s Day?” I asked Nasrudin.

“We don’t want to ban Valentine’s Day. What we want is to state that Muslims cannot celebrate it as it is not a day which is celebrated by Muslims,” he said in Malay.

“Non-Muslims are free to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Why can’t Muslims celebrate Valentine’s Day?” I asked.

“It is not a Muslim activity. It is from another religion. I am not clear about it.

“Some say it is from the Christians or other …” he said, stopping abruptly as he probably decided not to speculate on the origin of Valentine’s Day so as not to offend non-Muslims.

“But it is usual in Malaysia that it encourages couple to go for date at a suspicious, quiet and dark place like a hotel, a park or a beach. And that is wrong.”

“Religion aside,” I said, “what’s wrong with Valentine’s Day?”

“For example, I read in the newspaper a few years ago that a hotel in Terengganu had a promotion for its Valentine’s Day dinner where the first 10 couples to register would get a free night stay,” Nasrudin said.

“Doesn’t that show that Valentine’s Day leads to immoral activities?”

“Is it true that PAS thinks that Valentine’s Day will lead to … ermm…,” I said, and because I couldn’t find the right word for “sex” in Malay, I fluffed my question.

I decided on zina (illicit sex).

“We are taking pre-emptive measures,” explained Nasrudin.

“Usually when Valentine’s Day is celebrated a couple will go for a date and we don’t want that date to lead to zina and etc.”

“We have three conditions for a Muslim couple who wants to go on a date. First, they can’t be berdua-duaan (going out as a couple), they must be chaperoned by a mahram (a close relative).

“Second, the woman can’t wear clothes that show her aurat (parts of the body that should not be exposed according to Islamic belief) and that is menjolok mata (in Defence Ministry lingo: poke eye).

“Third, the couple cannot do activities prohibited by their religion. (i.e. khalwat and zina).

“But when I say that couple can date with these three conditions I don’t mean they can celebrate Valentine’s Day. They can’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.”

The PAS Youth chief explained that it was not only zina which was salah (wrong) but also berdua-duaan.

Berdua-duaan is the mukadimah (prelude) to zina,” he said. “That is why a couple can’t be berdua-duaan. They must be accompanied by a mahram.”

“What is the percentage of berdua-duan couple ending up having sex?” I asked.

“It is not impossible (that they would end up having sex). But I don’t have the statistics. But when a couple berdua-duaan in a room, there is a third party,” he said.

“Interesting,” I thought, “threesome with the mahram.”

“Who?” I asked.

Syaitan (devil),” he said. “We have to worry about syaitan.”

Syaitan, according to the Ustaz, will seduce the couple into doing the nasty.

“In most rape cases, the perpetrator is known to the victim. And this is because when the couple is in a place where they are alone, the perpetrator will succumb to his desire,” the politician known as Tantawi explained.

“That is the danger of berdua-duaan. It will lead to other social problems such as rape and baby dumping.”

But it is not only Valentine’s Day that PAS thinks encourages free sex.

“We know pergaulan bebas (free association) happens on public holidays even on Hari Merdeka,” Nasrudin said.

“How?” I asked, surprised to learn that celebrating Hari Merdeka can lead to sex. Must be something to do with the word “independence” I thought.

On the eve of Hari Merdeka, according to the ustaz, there were couples who waited for the clock to strike midnight in a dark and secluded place.

And they would be drinking alcohol and eventually (to use a visual metaphor in Malay movies) the champagne cork would pop.

I can’t wait for PAS to ban romantic celebrations of Hari Merdeka.

Happy Valentine, bring in all elements of love!

Teacher Talk  By NITHYA SIDHHU

Kindness, compassion and understanding are qualities that we should nurture in ourselves and those around us to make our lives more meaningful in the long run. Give a man the respect, recognition and reward he deserves and see how far he will go in life

A COUPLE of weeks ago, I dropped by at one of the schools I had taught in before. When a group of my ex-students spotted me, they came rushing up to say “Hello”.

A cheeky girl, now in Form Five, quickly covered her name tag and asked me, “Teacher, tell me my name. See if you still remember me.”

Much to her surprise, I remembered. The reason was simple. I had taught her when she was in Form Three and one day, I had given her class a set of open-ended questions to evaluate my teaching.

I must share with you that my favourite questions are based on Edward De Bono’s lateral thinking PMI (plus, minus interesting) set. I would ask my students to tell me, using whatever vocabulary they had, be it in sentences or in words, in Malay or in English, the PMI elements about my teaching.

Attentive: Teachers should not only teach but make it a point to nurture and interact with their students.

This student, wrote very simply that I was a “nice teacher” who had a “nice nose, nice face, nice lipstick, nice hair, nice personality and nice manners.” To round up, she wrote in every column – regardless whether it was ‘plus, minus or interesting’ that I was “nice, nice, nice”.

Reading out her evaluation to my daughters, I remember the older one going “aawww”.

That explains why when met I this student again, I could really remember her full name. With her simple appreciation, she had left an impression on me.

But while I chatted casually with them all, I noticed a Chinese boy hanging back, unsure whether to approach me or not. With my acute sense of “with-it-ness”, I could feel his hesitancy and trepidation.

Since I recognised him, I called out to him warmly to join us. I even remembered his name! The minute I did that, a transformation came over his face and he broke out into a big smile. Soon, he was among the cluster of students around me, laughing and joking.

Caring teachers: Sometimes all it takes is a hug and some counselling to bring about positive changes in a student. – File photo

The 3A’s

You may wonder what my point is. It is this.

Students cherish the human touch. They need the “3A’s” in their life as much as we teachers do – attention, acknowledgment and appreciation.

In our social interaction, it is a boost to our heart and spirits (brushing ego aside) when we are told, either in words or in actions, that we matter.

An older teacher is gratified when she is told that her contributions make a difference. A younger teacher goes home happy when she has been given a complimentary shot in the arm. A disgruntled employee feels better after his issues have been heard out. A dissatisfied man relaxes when his boss listens to his complaints and then acts on them.

Even the people of a country sleep better when they know they have a government that cares about their welfare.

Say what you will, but it is love that makes the world go round.

Kindness, compassion, understanding, good deeds, empathy – all these go hand in glove with achievement and true progress.

Give a man the respect, recognition and reward he deserves and see how far he will go in life. Deprive him of it, and you may get some results but one that is without much soul and passion.

“These days,” said an old teacher friend, “I do what I can and nothing more than that. Why should I work so hard all the time when others are taking it easy and yet make as much as I do? What more – I’m fed up with the boorish behaviour from people who think so highly of themselves! ”

She was talking about the disparity in attitude shown by her principal to her in comparison to how he behaved and favoured another colleague who did not work as hard as she did.

I told her what I tell all the teachers I give talks to — “Whatever you do, go ahead and be angry, sad, unhappy or miserable, but after that, you should let it go and let love triumph in your heart.

Be focused on the good that you can do, particularly with your students. Come to school with the mind to teach and teach well.

If you let negativity roll in, it will lodge in your mind and fester only pain and disillusionment.

When you teach, you have to give. The giving may seem lop-sided at first and not at all in your favour, however in the long run it always works out for the better.

I may sound like a Maharishi from the Himalayas but I speak from personal experience.

In my teaching years, I was proven right time and time again, that I was a happier and better teacher when I rolled out the good punches in my professional life and worked out the bad ones on punching bags outside school!

This, being the month of February, I think it’s time we ought to give love more room in our hearts.

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone.

Malaysian High-end property expected slower

Slower high-end property sector


PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) expects a slowdown in the high-end residential property sub-sector this year as potential buyers are likely to maintain a cautious approach in light of the economic uncertainties in Europe and the United States.

“There is a lot of caution now due to the uncertainty in Europe and the United States. With fear of a potential spillover effect, most buyers are adopting a wait-and-see’ approach,” said MIEA president Nixon Paul.

“We don’t expect to see any slowdown for property transactions within the RM300,000-to-RM600,000 range and believe there will still be a lot of activity within this segment.”

Paul said the various “checks and balances” by Bank Negara to control the increase in household debt would also affect residential property transactions.

Starting this year, banks have been using net income instead of gross income to calculate the debt service ratio for loans.

According to reports, this is a pre-emptive move by Bank Negara to contain the rise in consumer debts. The guidelines cover housing, personal and car loans, credit cards, receivables and loans for the purchase of securities.

The MIEA is the authorised body representing all registered estate agents in Malaysia.

Paul said there was an over-supply of condominium units in the country and that rental rates for such units could be affected.

Despite this, he said, it would be a good time now to invest in the high-rise market for long-term investors.

“We are one of the cheapest in the region and if you are looking to invest over the long term, say 10 years, now is a good time to get into the condominium market. Over the next decade, prices will appreciate.

“But if you’re dependent on rental income to service your loan, I wouldn’t advise it.”

Paul noted that rising property prices in Malaysia had forced many people to buy homes further away from the city.

“I do feel sorry for the average guy, but if you look anywhere else in the world, it’s a natural progression. Those who can’t afford it live further away from the city.

“It’s happening in cities all over the world. Out of necessity, you’ll see more people buying condominiums instead of landed property.”

Paul said one of the main issues facing residential property transactions today was the big disparity between the intended property price and valuation price.

“A buyer and seller might agree on a particular price but the valuation might not be the same. When that happens, the loan application procedure becomes a problem and the deal ends up getting aborted,” he said.

Separately, Paul said the commercial property sub-sector would be buoyant this year.

“It’s going to be a buzz! Most investors are shifting to commercial from residential because they feel this sub-sector is more resilient, especially in a downturn,” he said, adding that there was pent-up demand for commercial property in Malaysia.

“We believe that the industrial sub-sector will also be quite active. Property prices in Bukit Jelutong and Glenmarie are at an all-time high.”

Paul said the office sub-sector might face a slowdown due to oversupply in space.

“There is an oversupply of office space. Rentals in prime locations such as KLCC may not be affected but not those located in the outskirts of the city,” he said, adding that major shopping complexes, especially within Kuala Lumpur, would continue to experience good take-up this year.

Despite the global uncertainty, Paul said that property was still the “best place to invest in.”

“It’s still the safest place to put your money in. These days, a lot of people are shifting their investments into property. You can hedge yourself well against inflation when you invest in property,” he said.

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