Universiti Sarawak Malaysia, 1992

IN 1992, THE nation got its eighth university. Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) was incorporated in December 1992 and had its first intake in 1993. Unimas is located in Kota Samarahan, Kuching.

The Star article, 29 October 1992, page 2… I was there the day Universiti Sarawak Malaysia got its name, announced by the Education Minister on 28 October 1992.

The Star article, 29 October 1992, page 2… I was there the day Universiti Sarawak Malaysia got its name, announced by the Education Minister on 28 October 1992.

Today there are 20 public universities with at least one in each of the 13 states and Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. The country’s premier university is Universiti Malaya, founded in 1905.

UM celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2005. Recently (25 May 2013) we took the girls to the spot their parents stood last century!

UM celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2005. Recently (25 May 2013) we took the girls to the spot their parents stood last century!

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Autumn in Novodevichy Park, Moscow, 2007

BESIDES NESKUCHNY PARK (link), we also have fond memories of our time at Novodevichy Park, which was a short drive from our Moscow home.

Autumn in Novodevichy Park, 28 October 2007.

Autumn in Novodevichy Park, 28 October 2007.

This family of bronze ducks became permanent residents at the park on 30 July 1991 and have been a major attraction since. A plate gave the following description… “This sculpture is given in love and friendship to the children of the Soviet Union on behalf of the children of the untied States. It is based on the beloved American children’s story “Make Way For Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey. The sculptress is Nancy Schon. 1991. Presented by Mrs. Barbara Bush.” (It was a gift by the former US First Lady to her counterpart Mrs. Raisa Gorbachev as part of the START Treaty.)

Waddling with the mother-duck. Mrs. Mallard and her eight ducklings, which are replicas of the original duck family in Boston Park, USA. We love them in any season – autumn (28 October 2007) and winter (29 December 2007).

Standing on the same spot seasons apart… in autumn where the stunning leaves were clearly reflected in the lake (28 Oct 2007) and in winter when the lake was frozen (25 Feb 2007).

Standing on the same spot seasons apart… in autumn where the stunning leaves were clearly reflected in the lake (28 Oct 2007) and in winter when the lake was frozen (25 Feb 2007).

(Top) Our visit on 25 Feb 2007, we were fascinated to see the whole lake frozen and more fascinated that people were enjoying themselves on it without the fear of the surface giving way!; (Bottom, L) M and Papa on the lake against Novodevichy Convent on a clear day.

(Top) Our visit on 25 Feb 2007, we were fascinated to see the whole lake frozen and more fascinated that people were enjoying themselves on it without the fear of the surface giving way!; (Bottom, L) M and Papa on the lake against Novodevichy Convent on a clear day.

Winter in Novodevichy Park and Convent (29 Dec 2007). Founded in 1524, the convent was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.

Winter in Novodevichy Park and Convent (29 Dec 2007). Founded in 1524, the convent was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.

A Diplomat’s Deepavali Do, 1992

THE INDIAN High Commissioner to Malaysia, His Excellency Mr. RS Rathore, hosted a Deepavali open house on this date in 1992. That was my first encounter with members of the diplomatic corps… nope, I wasn’t an invited guest, my office sent me there to cover the event 🙂

The Rathores hosted the open house on Tuesday, 27 October 1992; My article in The Star published on Thursday, 29 October 1992, page 10.

I was eventually granted an interview with HE Mr. Rathore just before he completed his tour of duty here; this article was published in Sunday Star on 27 December 1992, page 10.

I was eventually granted an interview with HE Mr. Rathore just before he completed his tour of duty here; this article was published in Sunday Star on 27 December 1992, page 10.

Years later, I did get invited to such events…

In US, at the Commonwealth Women’s Association meeting and lunch hosted by Mrs. Lekha Sreenivasan (wife of Indian DCM) at her home in Bethesda, Maryland, 26 September 2000. Seated L-R: Datin Kamilah Abdullah (wife of Brunei Amb), Mrs. Joan Bolger (wife of NZ Amb and former first lady of NZ) and Mrs. Khaleeda Shehabuddin (wife of Bangladesh Amb); Standing L-R: Mrs. Lekha Sreenivasan, Mrs. Meheera Yakub (Bangladesh), Pn. Jameah Kholil (Malaysia), Mrs. Zakia Mansoor Hussain (Bangladesh) and Mrs. Yvonne Salina (wife of Malta Amb).

In HK at the HK Indian Women's Club Diwali Afternoon held on 30 September 2009.

In HK at the HK Indian Women’s Club Diwali Afternoon held on 30 September 2009.

(L) In HK, the “four musketeers” got together for a farewell meal (18 Jun 2010); (R) Farewell for CG of India, Mr. Ralte and Ziki, hosted by the Chief of Protocol, Mr. Tony Nguyen. (22 Jun 2010)

Langkawi, 1990

AK211 WAS ONE of the courses offered in the Writing Department during my varsity days. It was a course on Filmaking. The group of 12 led by lecturer Kak Anis, made a trip to the island of Langkawi from 23rd to 31st October 1990 for a filming project. I was not part of the course, but became the unofficial 13th member of the group that earned me the nickname “AK211 and a half” member 🙂

A brief stop along the train journey at Tapah, Perak (23 Oct); at the Langkawi International Airport (27 Oct).

A brief stop along the train journey at Tapah, Perak (23 Oct); at the Langkawi International Airport (27 Oct).

After a night’s rest at the cab driver’s home, we were ready to shoot… oooo, check out those legs! (24 Oct)

After a night’s rest at the cab driver’s home, we were ready to shoot… oooo, check out those legs! (24 Oct)

After filming at Bomoh Haji Hussain’s shop, he dispensed some farewell gifts to us; a group photo with Haji Hussain at his shop. (25 Oct)

After filming at Bomoh Haji Hussain’s shop, he dispensed some farewell gifts to us; a group photo with Haji Hussain at his shop. (25 Oct)

At Langkawi Island Resort (26 Oct); Jetty Kuah (27 Oct).

At Langkawi Island Resort (26 Oct); Jetty Kuah (27 Oct).

The “students” went to sea sea sea, to see what they could see see see... (27 Oct)

The “students” went to sea sea sea, to see what they could see see see… (27 Oct)

At Makam Mahsuri (L) and Telaga Mahsuri (R)… legend has it that Mahsuri cursed Langkawi for 7 generations for her wrongful execution. The number “7” works just fine for us, we got married seven years after this photo was taken :-) Perhaps he threw a coin into the well and made a wish that came true! (27 Oct)

At Makam Mahsuri (L) and Telaga Mahsuri (R)… legend has it that Mahsuri cursed Langkawi for 7 generations for her wrongful execution. The number “7” works just fine for us, we got married seven years after this photo was taken 🙂 Perhaps he threw a coin into the well and made a wish that came true! (27 Oct)

(L-R) Digging for “beras terbakar” (burnt rice) at “Beras Terbakar”; at Telaga Air Panas. (27 Oct)

(L-R) Digging for “beras terbakar” (burnt rice) at “Beras Terbakar”; at Telaga Air Panas. (27 Oct)

(Top, L-R) A visit to Kedah Marble Factory (28 Oct); and the next day, took a boat to the quarry at Pulau Dayang Bunting (29 Oct); (Bottom) Getting all geared up before going to the quarry.

(Top, L-R) A visit to Kedah Marble Factory (28 Oct); and the next day, took a boat to the quarry at Pulau Dayang Bunting (29 Oct); (Bottom) All geared up before going to the quarry.

That night we spent time at Pelangi Beach Resort and enjoyed Pantai Cenang the next day before ending our trip.

International Day in October

WHERE M WENT to school before in Moscow, International Day was always held in October.

It was a day where children dressed up in their national costumes, learn more about each other and their countries, and celebrate the rich cultural diversity of the school community. Children of different nationalities brought their food to share and enjoyed some local entertainments.

In our first year there, M went in a Chinese blouse and a Russian headgear, in celebration of being in the Russian capital. The following year, she wore a baju kurung and in her third year, a dance costume sewn by a friend.

(Top) Year 1, class teacher Ms Holly and assistant teacher Ms Natasha; (Bottom, L-R) With classmates Jung-woo (Korea), Amit (Israel) and Hyun-soo (Korea); and bus mates Ameerul, Razif and Najihah.

(Top) Year 1, class teacher Ms Holly and assistant teacher Ms Natasha; (Bottom, L-R) With classmates Jung-woo (Korea), Amit (Israel) and Hyun-soo (Korea); and bus mates Ameerul, Razif and Najihah.

(Top) Year 2, class teacher Ms Chalkley and assistant teacher Ms Olga; (Bottom, L-R) With Korean classmates Hyun-soo and Yoon-young and Kristian (Czech) ; and bus mates Najihah, Anis and Irdina.

(Top) Year 2, class teacher Ms Chalkley and assistant teacher Ms Olga; (Bottom, L-R) With Korean classmates Hyun-soo and Yoon-young and Kristian (Czech) ; and bus mates Najihah, Anis and Irdina.

A taste of the world… an international fare from various countries shared in school. (20 October 2006)

A taste of the world… an international fare from various countries shared in school. (20 October 2006)

(Top) Year 3, class teacher Ms Swindle and assistant teacher Ms Natasha again; (Bottom, L-R) With Korean classmates Grace Park and Yoon-young; Tom, Irdina and her sister Izzah.

(Top) Year 3, class teacher Ms Swindle and assistant teacher Ms Natasha again; (Bottom, L-R) With Korean classmates Grace Park and Yoon-young; Tom, Irdina and her sister Izzah.

The children keenly watching local performances of bubble-blowing and a Russian dance. (19 October 2007)

The children keenly watching local performances of bubble-blowing and a Russian dance. (19 October 2007)