Friday, July 31, 2009

It happened again

This afternoon as I was doing some marking of students' work in class, my jaw bones dislocated again. It happened for the first time when I was teaching in Jerantut many years ago. You can read about it in my post under the label 'Reminiscence of Life in Jerantut'

I tried to pull my jaws in place but failed. The clerk then took me the a clinic nearby for help. The inexperienced young lady doctor was very diffident but she attempted a few times to pull down my jaws but he did have enough strength to do it. She wrote a referral letter to a dentist in the hospital near my place. The kind-hearted clerk volunteered to drive me there because I lost the ability to talk with my jaws locked and she served as my ‘mouth’ because I had told her what happened in writing earlier.

The dentist in that hospital could not relieve me of the pain too because he tried for nearly ten times but my stubborn jaws simply refused to go into alignment. Finally he recommended me to a surgeon. This time I was in luck because he had done the job before. Finally, with the help of his deft hands, I was able to talk again. He advised me not to yawn and not to open my mouth too wide to prevent a recurrence.

So much for this misfortune that gave me much inconvenience and anxiety.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I had wanted to be a doctor

When I was small I had wanted to be a doctor. That dream remained with me until I entered Form 6. However, I could not stand viewing microorganisms under the microscope as it was very straining to my short-sighted eyes- my power then was about 800 for both eyes. Then I shifted my course to Physics and Mathematics. I did badly in Sixth Form and had to contend with entering a teacher's college. That buried my dream forever.

Then one year, I was attracted to the Chinese Medicine course and enrolled to study oriental medicine. I had only a year's stint and family burden did not allow me to have time for this pursuit and I gave up after a year, learning quite a lot about Chinese medicine and herbs.

Hence you see, we cannot have what we want and life is not a bed of roses.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How I make full use of my mobile phone

Although I own a very old model of mobile phone,that is Nokia 6020 which has a memory of only 2MB, I make full use of it to keep some data which I can access.

In the message function, I key in important numbers, my tuition time-table, the number of students in my class which can be updated easily. In the memo section, I set the phone to ring to remind me of dates on which I need to carry out some tasks.

When I go shopping, the calculator helps me to calculate the price per kg of certain goods for comparison. I even converted four of my favourite songs into amr format so that they can be played on my tiny-brain mobile phone.

When I set my mobile phone' language to Chinese, the calendar enables me to know which days the first day and 15th day of the lunar calendar fall on because I take vegetarian breakfast on these two days.

The wallet with password is the place where I keep bank account numbers in case I need them.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It needs time to form a new habit

A friend told me that according to research, a habit can only be formed after certain habit or way of doing things is repeatedly done for 60 days. Hence, we find it difficult to change to a new habit. If what my friend said is true, I suppose we have to repeat doing the new habit every day until we get used to doing it and stick to it then.

It reminds me of how I often forget a new word I have learnt after some time for lack of use of it or have no chance to come across it again in reading. Reinforcement helps to retain words and other data in our memory. It is like driving. Because we drive every day, we don't have to think of how to engage our gear and when to change it. All these just come naturally or spontaneously.

Hence it needs time to form a new habit.

So much for discussion about habit-forming.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The day of savouring 'rendang' and 'ketupat'

Looking back at my days in school as a government teacher in Pahang really brings back fond memories.

When I was posted to Jerantut Secondary School, I really enjoyed teaching. Firstly, the students were well-behaved and I had no disciplinary problems with them. Secondly, I had the chance to mix with them during sports practice. I liked to run with them and show them how to throw the discuss or shot put, all of which I had learnt when I was at a teacher’s college.

Teacher’s Day was another day I looked forward to. Besides the class party where special food was offered to teachers, I got to watch their performance on stage, only to realize that they really had latent talent which was tapped on such a day.

My Principal, Cikgu Yaakub Isa always invited us to his house for Hari Raya Aidilfitri feast. I really enjoyed savouring the ‘rendang’ and ‘ketupat’. According to him, one year he slaughtered a goose for the ‘rendang’ but I still liked it as it was very sumptuous.

So much for some recollection of the old days in Jerantut.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What constitutes a good blog

I have been blogging since November 2007. From visiting blogs almost every day, I find that a good blog should be interesting and original. A post should not be too long unless you have a lot of photos to show like the 40 photos I put up in my post entitled 'Down Ipoh Lane in Penang' This post is very popular as can be seen from the feedit that I used to trace visitors.

Preferably a good blog should be written in good and grammatical correct English if it is in English. The ideas written should be original so that it differs from the posts of other bloggers.

A blogger should pen his posts regularly. It can be weekly or daily. The frequency of posts will attract readers to your blog because they will have something to read should they come anytime.

Your posts should have style of your own. For example, I usually end my post with 'So much for (something I have penned for the perusal of readers).

So much for criteria of a good blog.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Have cane will teach

When I was sent to Sek Men Abdullah Munshi for my first teaching practice, the Principal gave me a cane and said, 'If the boys misbehave, wag them with this cane.'

Armed with the cane, I went into the class ready to teach them Integrated Science. The boys were so well-behaved that the cane lying on the teacher's table became a white elephant. They seemed so interested in carrying the experiments that the problem did not arise at all. I thought it was plain sailing teaching in the school but I was wrong.

Came Physical Education period, the boys began to disobey my instructions. I was supposed to teach my students basic skills in football. Initially they listened meekly. However, when they were to do the hands-on, they started to play a football game. I had a hard time wielding my cane and threatening to cane them to get them to do what they were supposed to do.

I learned quite a lot in dealing with disobedient boys in the school. They were not scared of being caned. In fact, they accepted the punishment like gentlemen. Anyway, the cane did instill some discipline in class so that teaching could be carried out without disturbance. Nowadays if a teacher were to cane a boy in school, the parents will beat him up or sue him in court.

When it was my last day of teaching practice there, I received quite a number of gifts from my students some of whom really made life terrible for me as disciplining students would be assessed by my lecturers too.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Malay words with different pronunciation 1

Some Malay words are spelt alike but pronounced differently. In this post, I shall talk about two of these words.

1 bena
When pronounced as 'bird na', it means 'ombak' or waves. However, when you articulate it as 'bay na', then it carries the meaning of 'peduli' or 'take heed of'

Let us see how 'bena' is used in sentences.
1 Perahu itu tenggelam kerana dipukul bena yang besar.
[The boat sank because it was hit by big waves.]

2 Budak itu tidak bena akan nasihat ibu bapanya.
[The boy did not take heed of his parents' advice.]

2 sepak
This word can be pronounced as 'sir pak' which means 'tampar' or 'slap'. It can also be articulated as 'say pak' which has the meaning of 'tendang' or kick.

Let us observe how 'sepak' is used in sentences.
1 Muka adik kena sepak oleh ayah kerana berkelakuan tidak sopan.
[My brother's face was slapped by father for behaving rudely.]

2 Bola itu saya sepak ke arah pintu gol.
[I kicked the ball towards the goal post.]

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Being mindful helps to avoid hurting our limbs

How often do you accidentally kick something and how many times do your fingers poke at something unintended?

Well, I often kick things on my way to a certain place like the bathroom or out to the balcony. My head knocks into something every now and then when I get up.

All the above happenings can be traced to my being not mindful. If we are not mindful, our limbs will get at things not meant to be touched. Hence we should be mindful at all times so that what I have mentioned earlier will not take place.

How to be mindful then, you may ask. Well, we must be aware of where we place our legs and where our hands go and so on. If we are mindful every moment of the day, our limbs will not sustain uncalled for pain.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Watching eclipse of the sun

Total eclipse of the sun

Today people in some parts of India, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan and China were able to watch the total eclipse of the sun which lasted 6 minutes and 39 seconds at its peak.

This phenomenon occurs because the moon moves into the path between the earth and the sun.

We can view the solar eclipse without hurting our eyes by using an exposed film strip or a glass covered with soot made by holding a piece of glass strip above a candle.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Malay words which must be preceded by the affix 'meN'

There are four intransitive verbs in Malay that must be preceded by the prefix meN (which stands for me, mem, men, meng, meny and menge). These are lompat, tari, tangis, bazir. Look at how they are used incorrectly and the corrections.

1 Jangan lompat di sini. (incorrect)
Jangan melompat di sini. (correct)
[Don't jump here.]

2 Kakak Ali suka tari. [wrong]
Kakak Ali suka menari. [correct]
[Ali's sister likes to dance.]

3 Mengapakah kau masih tangis? [incorrect]
Mengapakah kau masih menangis? [correct]
[Why are you still crying?]

4 Jangan bazir semasa menggunakan air dan elektrik. [wrong]
Jangan membazir semasa menggunakan air dan elektrik. [correct]
[Don't waste when you are using water and electricity.]

So much for the correct usage of four Malay words which need to be preceded by the affix meN.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Job to be Shunned

For today's post, I am going to talk about my experience as a examiner. For most teachers, this is a job to be shunned.

I had been an 1119 English examiner for six years before I retired as a government teacher. Come to think of it, I don't how I sustained this long. Marking candidates' answer scripts is not an easy chore. You need to constantly keep the standard set out for you to follow. You must gauge all scripts as fairly as possible.

Before marking my share of answer scripts, we have to sit with our Chief Examiner for three days to do centralised marking. We will be marking dummy scripts and discuss marks given to see how close or how far we are from the marks determined by the overall chief. When our chief is satisfied with our marking, we will then be given our share of loads to be brought back and marked at home. However, we will have to submit thirty scripts to the chief so that he can do sample remarking to ascertain our standard of marking. If we are too lenient, we have to be stricter and if we are too stricter we have to be more lenient.

Marking 200 sets of answer scripts at home is both time-consuming and mind-taxing. On top of that, we have to give comments for the essays. Hence, it is a tough job to do. It is really a great relief when I managed to finish the last answer script allocated to me.

Despite the tedious job, I do find joy in marking well-written essays. I even gave perfect score to one student whose essay was very interesting and written with a wide vocabulary besides the apt use of words needed to make the essay shine among the others.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Using inverted sentences

As I said in my earlier post, we could use different words bearing the same meaning in our essays for variety. In this post I will talk about using inverted sentences as a way to show variety in our writing.

Look at some inverted sentences which you can use in your literary works as shown below:
1 Little did I realise that a pickpocket was behind me. [cf I did not realise that a pickpocket was behind me.]

2 So happy was I that I hugged my mum tightly. [cf I was so happy that I hugged my mum tightly.]

3 Only then did I wake up to find myself in a hospital. [cf I woke up then and found myself in a hospital.]

4 Into the shop we went. [cf I went into the shop.]

5 Come Sunday and I will be at Pak Ismail's stall buying Malay newspapers for my students. [cf When Sunday comes, I will be Pak Ismail's stall buying Malay newspapers for my students.]

Using sentences like the ones above helps to add variety to your essays but don't overdo it.
I am sure you can construct other inverted sentences for your use.

Here will I end my post today.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lending a hand when someone needs it

I was inside my car, ready to drive off when a passer-by kept pointing at my front tyre. When I got off my Proton Iswara, I realised that my front tyre was flat. My wife suggested that I change the deflated tyre with the spare one in my boot. I agreed and started to take out the tools - a jack and a wrench to unscrew the nuts to remove the flat tyre.

I thought it was an easy job but it was otherwise. As the levering iron was missing from my boot, it was very difficult to elevate the jack so that the flat tyre was off the ground with my screwdriver doing the job. Finally I gave up and decided to contact a tyre shop.

At that time, a woman nearby was cleaning the drain outside her house. I approached her to find out where I could find a tyre shop. Out of my expectation, she volunteered to ask the tyre man to come. Without much ado, she rode her motorcycle to the shop and brought a man to help me change the tyre. When he left, I thanked the woman profusely. She said that we should lend a hand when someone needs help.

This incident shows that human beings are by nature kind and there will always be someone who will help us when we are in difficulty.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Three types of offspring

According to the play of karma, there are three types of children a father can have. The first category comes to repay kindness accorded to them in their past lives. As for the second group they come to repay debts while the last type is born to take back what is owed to them in their previous lives.

Children who come to pay back kindness to their parents are well-behaved from day one when they are born. They will take care of their parents until they pass away.

Those who come to repay debts will bring wealth to their families. There are cases where parents' wealth suddenly increases when such a baby is born because their baby belongs to this group.

The worst type of children to have are the ones who join your family to cause suffering and rid you of your wealth. One example is an infant who is always sick from young and parents have to spend a lot of money on medical expenses for it. Besides he or she will be very troublesome to be brought up too as they will cry and cry until parents cannot sleep at night.

What is mentioned above is always true and you can bear this up by asking your parents how they brought you up.

To counter the effect of type 3 children, parents have to chant the sutra of Earth Store Bodhisattva to repent and transfer the merit to enemies in the past lives. Besides, they have to do a lot of dana or donations.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Those were the days, my buddy

I still remembered how Yong Cheng Suan, my buddy and I went to most places with our Honda C70. We rode the same type of bike from Penang to Pahang, a distance of well over 400 miles. At that time, the traffic was not so heavy. However when a fast-moving bus passed by us, our bikes would be sucked towards it, making us nervous.

Yong Cheng Suan was posted to teach in Raub and I was sent to Jerantut which is 60 miles from his place. I used to travel to Raub all alone with my Honda C70 to visit him at weekends. As I have mentioned in my earlier post, I had to negotiate a total of 200 turnings before reaching Raub. It was a cool journey as the road flanked by leafy trees was cut off from the scorching sunlight.

I like to taste the 'ngaunam min' (noodle with cow's stomach wall slices) and bitter gourd fried in fried bean curd. I also enjoyed putting up at the house where Cheng Suan squatted with a pastor as it was as cool as an air-conditioned house.

I even joined the trip with Cheng Suan's students to Cameron Highlands. Those were the days.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How to use ‘used’

The word ‘used’ can be the past tense of ‘use’ which is a verb in the past tense. It is also an adjective and takes the meaning ‘second-hand’. When used with the preposition ‘to’ it means ‘accustomed to’ or ‘in the past one usually did something’. Readers may get confused just by reading the above explanations. Why not look at the following sentences to see how they appear in sentences.

1 I used all my savings to buy a new computer yesterday. [past tense of ‘use’]
2 A used car cost less than a new one. [second-hand]
3 I am used to being shouted at by the boss here. [accustomed to]
4 I used to play barefooted when I was a boy. [In the past, I usually played]

So much for the use of 'used' for your perusal.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Doing a good turn a day

I like to listen to dharma talks by monks and those well-versed in Buddhism. They really enlighten me on many important things in our lives such as the reasons for our living, what to do to be of service to others and how to prepare for Buddhahood. Doing dana is something we should practise as often as possible. According to one monk, if we want to donate RM100, we can split the money so that we can do it daily. If we donate RM5 a day, the above sum will enable us to do dana for 20 days. It is not the amount that counts, it is the heart, the willingness to help the needy with whatever meagre sum of money we may have. Doing dana daily reminds us that things that are with us are not permanent. The money that we have may be robbed, destroyed in fire and flood and other natural disasters. Hence, we ought to part with our money to assist others who need our help.

For those who have no money, they can still do dana by giving advice to someone to kick his bad habit, console the depressed, accompany a timid person to his destination so that he is not afraid of going there all alone, giving dharma talks and so on.

You need not be a Buddhist to do a good turn a day.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ways to add variety to our essays

Writing has been my hobby since I got into contact with languages in school. Frankly speaking, I write more English than Malay and Chinese. I seem to be fascinated by English because there is enough vocabulary for any situation.

In this post, I like to share with readers how you can break the monotony of your essay. To achieve this end, you have to know a lot of words which carry the same meaning in case you want to use them for variety. Besides, you must delve into phrasal verbs and know most of them so that they come in handy for you when you want to express the same idea after having used a verb for it. Let us look at one paragraph which I will compose offhand as an example.

1 For the time being, the computer is still indispensable to most of us. 2 We need to use this gadget to get our work done. As it can speed up our chore, it serves as a time-saver. 3 Besides, we can store data in the hard disk to be retrieved later. 4 Computers have found their way into factories, offices and schools because they are a great help at these places. 5 They help to expedite work in factories keep customers’ information and act as good teaching aids for students. 6 Most school-going children like to lay their hands on this modern invention for they are able to look for information need for their school projects through the Internet, play video games and communicate with their cyber friends. 7 In short, this sophisticated device has become part and parcel of our lives.

In the above paragraph, I use ‘the computer’ for the first time, ‘this gadget’ for the second and ‘this modern invention’ for the third and ‘this sophisticated device’ when I want to refer to it again. Similarly, ‘speed up’ is my first choice while I use ‘expedite’ subsequently to mean the same thing. ‘As’ appear in my third sentence to mean ‘because’ and ‘for’ is used to bear the same meaning in the sixth sentence. The use of ‘store’ and ‘keep’ is intended to bear the same appear in the third and fifth sentence respectively. The word ‘indispensable’ and ‘part and parcel of our lives’ are meant to carry the meaning of ‘cannot do without’.

So much for ways to add variety to our essays.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Passive voice in Malay

In English, the passive voice does not take into account the persons in personal pronouns but in Malay it does.
For personal pronouns in the first and second person, there is one structure for it. The structure differs when personal pronouns in the third person are involved. To see what I mean, look at the examples given below.

1 Passive voice in the first and second person [Ayat pasif yang melibatkan kata ganti nama diri pertama dan kedua]
a) Saya akan membaca buku ini.(Active Voice – Ayat Aktif) [I will read this book.]
Buku ini akan saya baca. (Passive Voice – Ayat Pasif) [This book will be read by me.]
[Object + auxiliary word + first person + verb in the passive form]

b) Awak harus menghormati gurumu. .(Active Voice – Ayat Aktif) [You should respect your teacher.]
Gurumu harus awak hormati. (Passive Voice – Ayat Pasif) [Your teacher should be respected by you.]
[Object + auxiliary word + second person + verb in the passive form]

2 Passive voice in the third person [Ayat pasif yang melibatkan kata ganti nama diri ketiga
c) Mereka sudah membuat kerja itu. .(Active Voice – Ayat Aktif) [They have done the work.]
Kerja itu sudah dibuat oleh mereka. (Passive Voice – Ayat Pasif) [The work has been done by them.]
[Object + auxiliary word + verb in the passive form + oleh + third person]

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Treating my own wounds

When I was in my second year studying in a teachers’ college, I bought a Honda C70 by installment, paying RM50.00 per month as my montly allowance as a trainee teacher was RM150 only. This motorcycle became my means of transport whenever I wanted to go anywhere.

One day, I wanted to go to Carnavon Street to buy a book. I was negotiating a turn leading to the street when I fell off my bike which went over a patch of lubricant dropped by a ill-serviced bus. My vehicle skidded and fell to the side and my leg brushed against the rough tarred road. Blood began to ooze out from the wounds.

At once, I checked my bike and found that it still could function. Hence I got on my Honda C70 and headed to the nearest medicinal shop. I bought a bottle of Dettol, some cotton wool, acroflavine, gauze and bandage. Being a first aider before I knew what to use to do the job of treating wounds.

Using the cotton wool damped with Dettol, I began to clean my wound from the centre and then outwards. Then I applied acrofavine to the wounds, put a piece of gauze over and bandaged it. The wounds only completely healed after a lapse of six weeks.

Friday, July 10, 2009

How to widen your vocabulary in English

When we study English, we will find it easy to read novels if we have a wide vocabulary. Hence, one way of knowing more new words is to start reading a novel. Put a dictionary by your side but don't use it the moment you come across a new word.

Whenever your eyes fall on a new word, highlight it with a highlighter or underline it with a pencil. Meanwhile, guess its meaning by looking at the words in front of it and after it.

Only when the same new word appears three times do you look up your dictionary to find its meaning so that you will not break the continuity of the story you are reading.

Reading the leader page and editorial of a newspaper is another way of widening your vocabulary. Usually, you will find new words here because different events require specific words for their description.

The third method is my favourite, that is reading the dictionary. When you read a dictionary, you will not miss out any of the meanings a word has.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Panting for breath after reading

When I was studying in Form 1, my English teacher was Mr Ang Chek Ming. Through him, I learnt the intonation of English words. He was very forceful when he spoke. He encouraged us to listen to English news broadcast over the radio. I could not catch what the newsreader was reading at first. Later, I was able to follow the news. According to Mr Ang, if we really pronounce every word correctly, we will be panting for breath at the end of reading a long passage.

I tried what he had said and I was panting for breath after reading quite a long passage.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

See what I have here

For today's post, I am going to talk about 'see' and other words bearing almost the same meaning but used in different ways.

We need our eyes to perceive things around us. You can make a sentence with the word 'see' as follows:
When I opened my eyes I could see my worried mother beside my bed.

You look at something when you focus your attention on it. Hence you can say "I look at the distant hill which is covered with thick forests.'

The word 'watch' as a verb is used in sentences such as the following:
a) I watch television after dinner after day.
b) We watched an exciting football match just now.

To gaze at someone is to look at him for a long time. If you are away for a long and you come home, you mother will gaze at you because she wants to know whether you are all right.

To peep through the keyhole is to look at someone or watch some activities without the knowledge of others. For example, you can construct a sentence such as the one below:
The thief peeped through the keyhole to see whether there was anyone in the house before he acted.

To glance at something is to take a quick look at it. You can glance at your watch to know the time.

To scrutinize some document is to look at it carefully, including the details. A sentence such as the following can be made:
The auditor scrutinized all the accounts and statements slowly to see whether the income and expenditure were in order.

To stare at someone is to look at him without winking your eyes. So, you can say "I stared at the dog to make it go away."

To view is to see something you have done for checking. After setting up a web page, you can view it through a browser.

So much for words having almost the same meaning as 'see'.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Going through flood water

Tonight as I went back from my tuition class, it was still raining. There was one stretch of low-lying road where flood water used to accumulate. I saw many motorists stopping by the roadside, not brave enough to go through the flood water. As for me, I did not want to wait. With my experience, I knew I had to engage second gear and press the petrol pedal all the way while going through the stretch of flood water. I gingerly did that and finally I went through without any hitch.

As I reached Green Lane, there was a long queue and I knew it was flooded again. So I took an alternative route by turning left into Lim Lean Teik Road and took the Batu Lancang Lane. I turned left again to head for Jelutong Road. Then it was plain sailing for me all the way home.

Monday, July 6, 2009

How not to get angry

I heard of a Buddhist story about a young sami who had broken the chief monk's favourite flower vase in his absence. He was so scared that he did not know what to do. Then he told another sami of his predicament. This sami is very clever and knowledgeable in the teachings of the Buddha. He promised to help the younger sami.

When the chief monk came back to the temple, the clever sami told the chief monk that he had been contemplating on many things. He asked the chief monk whether human beings could avoid dying. Upon hearing this, the chief monk explained that all things are impermanent, including human beings and hence death is unavoidable for them. The clever sami then asked again whether things are permanent and the reply from the chief monk was all things are not permanent as they can get spoilt as time goes on. Now came the chance for the clever monk to put forward his case. He asked the chief monk whether one should feel angry or sad because one has broken one's favourite porcelain piece. Without hesitation, the chief monk said that we should not be sad or angry should this happen because impermanence is the nature of things and all beings on this earth. At this moment, the clever monk said that he had broken the chief monk's favourite vase. Of course, the chief monk just said that it was all right because such things tend to happen. He did not get angry!

The moral of this story is that when we can see the true nature of things, anger will not arise in ourselves.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

On learning English

I read with interest a letter written by a Malay lady about how she managed to master English even though she came from the kampung (village). The letter was published in one of the local English dailies. Her teacher stressed pronunciation, spelling, dictation, poem recital and acting. Although she spoke no English at home, her teacher spoke to her in English. So did her friends.

You need a lot of practice in English to be able to master the language. Her case just shows that learning a language involves knowing how to pronounce each word correctly, spell it correctly and speak the language as often as possible.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The usage of prefix 'se' with nouns and adjectives

In Malay, the use of the prefix 'se' in combination with 'kata nama' (nouns) and 'kata adjektif' (adjectives) is governed by certain rules. These are explained in the following paragraphs.

When 'se' is combined with a 'kata nama', it must be followed by the preposition 'dengan'. Look at the following examples:
1 Saya belajar sekelas dengan Ali. [I study in the same class as Ali.]
(The preposition 'dengan' must be there to be grammatically correct.)

2 Johan tinggal sekampung dengan Muthu. [Johan lives in the same village as Muthu.]
(The prepostion 'dengan' must be present to render the sentence correct.)

On the other hand, when 'se' is combined with a 'kata adjektif' (adjective), it must not be followed by the preposition 'dengan'. The examples below will make this clear to readers.
1 Adikku tidak sepandai adikmu. [My brother is not as clever as your brother.]
(You should not put the preposition 'dengan' after 'sepandai' or the sentence will be grammatically wrong.)

2 Baju ini tidak semahal baju itu. [This shirt is not as expensive as that shirt.]
(The preposition 'dengan' must not be present after 'semahal' or the sentence will be considered incorrect.)

Friday, July 3, 2009

What to take to prevent heart diseases

A heart surgeon revealed an alarming fact that is so unbelievable. According to him, the accumulation of cholesterol on the arteries is due to inflammation which is triggered by the low fat food prepared in omega-6 oil for longer shelf life. If there is no inflammation on the walls of the arteries, cholesterol will just pass through normally without coating the walls of the arteries.

He suggests that we take olive oil, butter and a lot of multicoloured fruits and vegetables instead of processed food which will do more harm to the arteries, causing heart diseases.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

When cooling tea is in demand

With the influenza A(H1N1) gathering momentum in spreading to more and more countries, including Malaysia, all of us are concerned about how not to get infected. One of the ways suggested by the Chinese sinseh (physician) is taking cooling tea. As a result, chrysanthemum tea is in demand with another herb called jin yin hua following suit. Both are said to be able to cool the body down to prevent diseases. The price of both has gone up quite tremendously.

We try to make our bodies 'cool' so as to get better resistance to ward off the attack of viruses. If our bodies are 'hot' so to speak, we are more vulnerable to viral attack. Hence, we take cooling tea every alternate day as defence against the flu.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The correct usage of 'mengikut' and 'mengikuti'

In today's post I would like to talk about the correct usage of 'mengikut' and 'mengikuti' in the Malay language. My students (by the way, I am teaching both English and Malay as a tutor), often get confused with the usage of these two words. Let us look at how they should be used.

For 'mengikut' which has three meanings, it can be used as in the following sentences:
1 Adik mengikut kakak ke pasar raya. (My younger brother goes with my sister to the supermarket.] (The meaning of 'mengikut' here is 'go with')

2 Semua pengguna perpustakaan mestilah mengikut peraturan perpustakaan. [All library users must observe the rules of the library.] ('mengikut' here carries the meaning of 'observe, abide by')

3 Mengikut ramalan kaji cuaca, hujan lebat akan turun hari ini. [According to the weather forecast, there will be heavy rain today.] ('According to' is the meaning of 'mengikut' here.)

There are four meanings of the word 'mengikuti' and they are used as shown in the sentences below:
1 Kami akan mengikuti latihan itu. [We will be undergoing the training.] ('mengikuti' here means 'undergo')

2 Saya suka mengikuti pelajaran yang disampaikan oleh Encik Lim. [I like to follow the lessons presented by Mr Lim.] ('mengikuti' in this sentence means 'follow a lesson)

3 Mereka mengikuti rancangan televisyen itu setiap hari. [They watch the television programme daily.] (The meaning of 'mengikuti' here means 'continue to watch a show, a live broadcast, etc)

4 Sebagai pelajar, kita harus mengikuti perkembangan semasa. [As students, we should keep abreast of the current affairs.] ['mengikuti' here means 'keep abreast of current affairs, political development,etc.)

I hope the above examples will clear the doubts of Malay users as to the correct usage of 'mengikut' and 'mengikuti'.