In Memoriam - Fatullah Farid Abdullah

We knew it was coming. We knew you didn't have much time. Yet it still hurts us to know that you finally left us. So young, so soon. I thought we were gonna ball forever. But it was not meant to be.

One memory that stood out was how you were the only guy the wasps didn't sting, hence the short-lived nickname 'Beastmaster'. Seriously, all of us got stung more than once but not a scratch on yours. But that wasn't the only one memory that defined who you were.

You brought happiness to those who were close to you with your humor and presence. We were especially in awe about how you still go about with the happy-go-lucky attitude in life even though you were stricken with the disease. That was the news that rocked our little world of JC. How can it not be? Here we are chilling, balling and eating nasi katok and the news dropped on us like a bombshell. But you soldiered on, and that's what made us forget how much in pain you were though you masked it pretty well.

On my part, I wish I had more time to spend with you. I don't even have a picture of us together during the countless outings that we had. I wish I visited you more often when you were hospitalised, but three years of education in UK and my new-found working life took the brunt of my time. It sounded like an excuse, but I assure you it's not.

That's why I write this with a heavy heart. It tinges with regret from time to time, word by word as I'm typing up my tribute to you. I'm especially devastated to find out how you missed us JC crew and wanted to spend one last time with us, as if you knew your time had come. Unfortunately, we all came together... and you had already gone to a better place.

I guess God needs you in heaven. But that doesn't mean it won't prevent us JC from being sad over the loss of one of our boys. Rest in peace bro, it was a long time coming.

Fatullah Farid Abdullah
22 May 1988 - 28 January 2010

"At power forward, standing at 5'6..."

New Year's celebrations in Jerudong Park circa 2007


Big man with a bigger heart

Forever Elite featuring Flash, Akron Hammer, Superman and the Black Mamba

MaxaMillion711's first HD 24fps mix he made over the past 2 months of NBA 09-10 season. The video is mixed to a Travis Barker remix of "Drake - Forever. Shout out to Michelle Beadle of ESPN's "SportsNation" for coining LBJ's nickname "Akron Hammer".

Tersurat & Tersirat

I got this in an email attachment from a friend. I thought it was hilarious! Remember, the top is the "Tersurat" while the bottom is the "Tersirat". For the non-Malay speakers, it's like 'What she said' and 'What she meant' kinda thing:

Kepada laki-laki, mun bini-bini cakap cemani, paham-paham tah saja tu apa maksud bisia yg bananya. Bini-bini ani slalu ‘BUNGA-BUNGA’ :D. Namanya bini-bini nyanta, eksen sja control…

•Kalau bini-bini tanya: Lawa tah bini-bini ah?
•Makna tersembunyi: Sapa yang paling lawa? Kediaku kah bini-bini atu?

•Kalau bini-bini tanya: Makan ko udah kah?
•Makna tersembunyi: Lakas tah makan, lapar kali ku ah!

•Kalau bini-bini cakap: Bisai-bisai jua baju-bajunya di sini ani ah..
•Makna tersembunyi: Mudahan tah kana balikan eh..

•Kalau bini-bini cakap: Paning ku eh..
•Makna tersembunyi: Bah, urut lah ah..

•Kalau bini-bini cakap: Ngaleh bana ku ari ani eh, kan masak lagi, kan menyasah lagi…
•Makna tersembunyi: Makan di kadai sja tani eh..Balik rumah karang tulung tah menyasah..

•Kalau bini-bini cakap: Tani jadi kawan sja ah..
•Makna tersembunyi: Inda ku beguna kan kau bah! Mun paham bisai!

•Kalau bini-bini kata: Kediaku suka plang kawan sma ko..Ko ni baik, caring bla bla bla…
•Makna tersembunyi: Ehem ehem… Aku minat arah mu bah! Mudahan tah ko propose aku haha, paham biskal!

•Kalau bini-bini tanya: Ko maseh ingat arah x-girlfren mu kah?
•Makna tersembunyi: Cuba tah kalau ko brani nyabut namanya dapanku, mati ko ulehku!

•Kalau perempuan cakap: Kediaku sanggup bekurban apa saja asal kan ko bahagia..
•Makna tersembunyi: Bagus tu eh! Aku bekurban ko sanang-sanang lakak-lakak ketawa, ke mall apa sama iya! Tayi la ko aku kan bekurban!

•Kalau bini-bini cakap: Aku inda plang kisah mun ko kan kawin lagi tapi asalkan ko terus terang, jujur & adil sja arahku..
•Makna tersembunyi: Oi! Baie! Siapa beucap aku inda kisah ah.. Adil kah inda kah, alum!!! Ada ku tatak ‘ANU’ mu atu! Luan gatal bana!

NBA All Star Game 2010 Starting 5s

From left to right: Kobe Bryant (LA Lakers), Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets), Amare Stoudemire (Phoenix Suns), Tim Duncan (SA Spurs) and Steve Nash (Phoenix Suns).

From left to right: Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat), Kevin Garnett (Boston Celtics), Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic), Allen Iverson (Philadelphia 76ers) and LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers).

The Reason Why There No Live Telecast of Brunei Barracudas' Home Games

Arnold G. Ticoalu , the head of TV for Asean Basketball League. Photo courtesy of JAMES KON.

Technical issues and high price tag are two of the main reasons for the absence of live telecasts of Brunei's Barracudas matches at home.
Arnold G Ticoalu , Head of TV of Asean Basketball League and in charge of live telecast of league matches in an exclusive interview yesterday said.
"It is more of technical issues. We can only use some of the equipment from Radio Television Brunei. If we telecast live, we have to hire crew and bring in equipment from outside, so its will be very costly.
"We were not prepared with that kind of budget but should Brunei's Barracudas get into the playoff in the early February, by that time, we can bring in the crew for the live telecast.
However, Brunei is not the only country that is without live telecast. Indonesia and Singapore too are having the same issues. Shazana Production house is working with the ABL in recording Brunei's home games.
"We need to work with the government and we need the government's support in bringing in the equipment. ESPN is ready and the Philippines is ready to take the game live."
On the development of Barracudas in Asean Basketball League, he recalled. " in the beginning , we were very lucky and at the same time surprised there is a Brunei Barracudas basketball team since basketball is not the no 1 sport in the country.
"At the start, many people were thinking the Barracudas will be in the last position of the league but surprisingly and (we are) happy to see the Barracudas at the moment almost reaching the playoff. This is thanks to the coach's and players' hard works. And the Barracudas has beaten all the teams in the league expect Singapore Slingers, which is a feat."
With the immense support of the fans and the ideal facility in Brunei, he highlighted, " I am confident that we, ABL and Barracudas can promote more."
"Next season we are targeting to increase to two more teams in the ABL, one of them is maybe Vietnam and the other one is still not to be disclosed.
"And if there were more sponsors next season, ideally we would want to have three live games each week."

The Dummies Guide to Understanding the Malays

You might have read a lot of things about the Malay culture and tradition and their religion Islam. However, how do the Malays actually led their daily lives? I seek to find out the answer for you by asking our reliable sources... Plus my own knowledge since I am one anyway. Hopefully that after this section, you'll understand the Malays even better and therefore will not be afraid to deal with them in your daily social lives. This is meant to educate xenophobic Westerners with a Dummies guide styling =) No offense meant! Oh and as for the simple English, I'm just feeling a lil bit under the weather so I can't be bothered to crank out heavy words at the moment.

How should one greet a Malay/Muslim friend?
Muslims greet each other with the salam (an Islamic form of greeting) which consists of the words 'Assalamu'alaikum' (Peace be upon you). A Muslim acknowledges the greeting with 'Wa'alaikumsalam' (Upon you be peace too). When the Malays offer the salam, they will touch each other's right hand. The touch is a light clasp not amounting to a handshake. This is immediately followed by the movement of the hand towards the heart to signify the greeting is heartfelt. However, opposite sex of Muslim cannot shake hand with each other. A non-Muslim should not greet a Malay this way but they can just greet their Muslim friend 'Selamat pagi' (Good morning), 'Selamat tengahari' (Good afternoon) and 'Selamat malam' (Good night) etc.

Should one remove his/her shoe before entering a Muslim/Malay home?

Yes. This is because any part of a Muslim home may be used for prayer.

What are the basic guiding principles which govern Muslim behaviour?
The five guiding principles of Muslim behaviour are:
  • a. Halal--( which is clearly permissible)
  • b. Haram--( that which is clearly not permissible)
  • c. Makruh--( that which is all right to do but preferably should not be done)
  • d. Sunnat--( that which is not obligatory to do but praiseworthy to do so)
  • e. Harus--( that which is all right to do or not to do)
Why do Muslim pray everyday?
Muslims pray everyday to fulfill the command of God, to nurture spiritual consciousness and seek emotional calm and peace, to express gratitude and thanksgiving to God and to beg forgiveness for all sins committed. Muslims pray five times a day. Each of the five prayers is performed during certain periods of time.
Do you know that Muslims cannot eat pork?
Only Halal food such as vegetables, fish, meat, etc. is allowed. All animals must be slaughtered by a Muslim according to Islamic rites. And thus the food can be called Halal. Pork in any form is not allowed. Amphibious animals such as snakes, frogs, crocodiles and birds of prey are also prohibited food.
Besides pork, what else does a Muslim not able to consume?
Prohibition on liquor is more severe than that on food. Intoxicating drinks in any form are not allowed. At social gatherings where food is served in buffet style and beer is offered, it is better in deference to the Muslim guests to have two serving points for drinks.
What are the dressing codes of Malay?
Decency in attire is the norm practiced by Muslim men and women. Muslim women who adhere strictly tot he principles of Islam dress to cover themselves except for their faces and hands. However, this is not practiced fully, as working Muslim also wore modern clothing to office. The main idea is not to be too revealing. At home, men usually wear sarong as it is cooler and more comfortable.
What is the difference between Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji?
The main difference is that Hari Raya Puasa is celebrated among Muslims after the end of the fasting month whereas Hari Raya Haji is observed in relation to the performance of the pilgrimage in Mecca. Hari Raya Puasa falls on the first day of the month of Syawal (the tenth month in the Islamic calendar). There are two methods to determine the fall of Hari Raya Puasa: following the sign of the new moon (Rukyah) or based on the astronomical calculation (Falak). In Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, Muslims adopted the second method. Hari Raya Haji falls on the tenth day of the month Zulhijjah (the twelfth month in the Islamic calendar). Muslims celebrate the Hari Raya Puasa with prayers and thanksgivings to God for giving them energy and the endurance to fast for 30 days. The Hari Raya Haji celebrates coincides with the day when Muslim pilgrims assemble at Arafah, an open field outside Mecca as part of their pilgrimage rites.
Do Muslim celebrate other festivals beside Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji?
No. Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji are the only festivals celebrated by Muslims in accordance with religious injunctions. Other than these, Muslims hold remembrances to commemorate occasions or events such as the following:
a. Maulud (the Prophet Muhammad's birthday)
b. Israk and Mikraj.
Israk means the night journey made by the Prophet Muhammad from the Al-Haram mosque in Mecca to the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. Mikraj means the Prophet's accession to heaven. It is during the Mikraj that God gave the command making it obligatory for all Muslims to observe the five daily prayers. The Israk and Mikraj were two events which the Prophet experienced in a state of wakefulness. Remembrance of the above-mention events are held in the form of religious talk and gatherings at places such as mosques and open fields.
What are some of the etiquette in Islam that has to be observed when eating or drinking?
It is recommended that a Muslim uses his hand when eating. A Muslim should always use his right hand when handling food or drinking. Food is preferably be taken sitting on the floor as this is a sign of humility. Normally, using silver of gold tableware for eating or drinking is also forbidden as this will show signs of arrogance. It is rude for a Muslim to pick and choose from a dish; it is even ruder to choose the best portion or piece for one's self. He should simply take what is nearest to him. When helping one's self to food, do so from the side of the dish, and not from the middle.
What are some of the rules to observe when visiting others?
A Muslim dose not enter another's property without getting permission from the occupant, even if the occupant is very close to him, as the occupant might be in the state of dress in which he/she does not want to be seen. Men should not visit women whose husbands are away from home, unless they are "mahrams", (who under the Islamic law cannot be married to her). A woman may not visit others if her husband objects. When the time comes to leave, a visitor should thank the host for his entertainment and ask Allah to bless him.
What are the concepts of men-women relationship in Islam?
When a man meets a woman who is categorised by Islam as not his 'mahram" (who cannot be married to him by the Islamic law), he has to lower his gaze out of respect for modesty and through proper covering of the body. When a woman speaks to a man her speech should not be inviting but should remain objective and crisp. They are meant to promote purity of the heart and chastity.

And there you go. I had to modified the article a bit to suit the Brunei Malays' way of life, which is almost similar to the Singaporeans. The thing is it sounded as if this article was written back in the 1950s or 1960s. But the gist is there, humility and respect is favoured above others. Once you get that through your head, you pretty much nailed the daily life of a Malay.

Source: Daily Life of a Malay, Thinkquest

Easy vs Difficult - Both Sides of the Coin

Easy is to get a place in someone's address book
Difficult is to get a place in someone's heart

Easy is to judge the mistakes of someone
Difficult is to recognize our own mistakes

Easy is to talk without thinking
Difficult is to refrain the tongue

Easy is to hurt someone who loves us
Difficult is to heal the wound

Easy is to forgive others
Difficult is to ask for forgiveness

Easy is to set rules
Difficult is to follow them

Easy is to dream every night
Difficult is to fight for a dream

Easy is to show victory
Difficult is to assume defeat with dignity

Easy is to admire a full moon
Difficult to see the other side

Easy is to stumble with a stone
Difficult is to get up

Easy is to enjoy life every day
Difficult is to give its real value

Easy is to promise something to someone
Dfficult is to fulfill that promise

Easy is to say we love
Difficult is to show it every day

Easy is to criticize others
Difficult is to improve oneself

Easy is to make mistakes
Difficult is to learn from them

Easy is to weep for a lost love
Difficult is to take care of it so you wont lose it

Easy is to think about improving
Difficult is to stop thinking it and put it into action

Easy is to think bad of someone
Difficult is to give them the benefit of the doubt

Easy is to receive
Difficult is to give

Easy is to keep friendship with words
Difficult is to keep it with meanings

The NBA in Retrospect ('99 - '09)

We are almost two weeks into 2010, and like many others, I have been reflecting on the NBA throughout the last decade (starting in the 99-00 season and ending in the the 08-09 season). In retrospect, it’s been nothing short of bad-ass. We were blessed with:
  • -the primes of several will-be all-time greats (to be heavily discussed later).
  • -the historically awesome draft class of 2003.
  • -the unpopular-but-should-be-super-effin’-popular dominance of the small market San Antonio Spurs. Why is it that people complain about “a league full of tatted-up thugs”, big-market/NBA/referee corruption, lack of basketball fundamentals, excessive dunking and contested three-point shots, and selfish basketball and isolation plays when the Spurs–who refute all of the the aforementioned complaints–have dominated the decade of basketball? Oh wait, I forgot. We live in a world of racism, stupidity, AND xenophobia. Sorry on behalf of the You Ess of Frickin’ Ay! to the French Tony Parker, the Argentinean Manu Ginobili, and the Virgin Tim Duncan (that joke was too easy I know, but also fitting for the not-so-attractive and relatively quiet Duncan, born in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Maybe his blogosphere nick name should be “The Big Virgin”?).
  • -the reemergence of tiny, dominant, point guards (this is paramount seeing as I, myself, am the 5′11″ white guy dishin’ and dodgin’), which goes hand in hand with a more aesthetically pleasing NBA product as a result of increased pace, defensive 3-seconds, and stricter hand-checking rules.
  • -the development of the extensive NBA blogosphere and the use of advanced statistics (APBRmetrics, in case you haven’t heard Vathsup! *Bruno Voice*) within and outside of NBA organizations. PER, Win Shares, WARP, Wins Produced, Adjusted +/-, SPM. It’s taking over the world faster than Adam Morrison!
  • -in speaking of which, the breathtaking transition of a mid-major towel-man/reserve to breathtaking superstar on the NBA champion Lakers. Congrats, Adam Morrison.
  • -Having a porn-star coach lead a team to the NBA finals (keep lookin’ sexy Stan).
  • -the awesomeness, excitement, and sheer popularity that the new-look NBDL has brought to the basketball world.
  • -the sustained, unrivaled dominance of USA basketball in international play.
  • -the long awaited dominance of the Washington Wizards franchise. Who can argue with four championships in ten years? Take that Spurs/Lakers!
Okay, so maybe the last five bullet points were blatant falsehoods, and maybe I didn’t have to take two shots at Adam Morrison, but the other, more true points severely outweigh the negatives (Donaghy scandal, Brawl at Auburn Hills, and uh, uh [insert casual sports fan] the Spurs’ boring ways and the thuggery of the NBA!)

You get the point, the 2000’s as a decade was an phenomenal decade for basketball. At the end of this post, we will link you to some of the best articles reviewing the past decade of the NBA that have been circulating the NBA blogosphere. For now we will keep it simple: This post will determine All-Decade teams (1st, 2nd, and 3rd teams) with some not-so-brief commentary. In the next post, we will argue the merits of four candidates in the debate for “Player of the Decade.”

This is just an exercise–nothing here is fact–however after my own personal reflection and after having reviewed trillions of other arguments (side note: I’ve heard a lot of arguments…after collecting opinions on facebook like the guy who asks the world “Should I choose Harvard or Yale?”, relentlessly stalking the NBA blogosphere, and having an abundance of NBA conversations in college (double side note: this is what we are forced to talk about at the Tufts University parties that lack attractive girls…well, maybe that was a cheapshot, I guess it’s that I just love to talk about this stuff))