Showing posts from 2020

What It's Like To Be Tested For COVID-19

Yesterday, I got tested for COVID-19. Despite being asymptomatic, I was ordered to undergo the swab test as I'm part of a high-risk cluster in Kuching, which has been designated as a red zone for the disease. It is likely that we were being tested to prevent asymptomatic carriers from unknowingly spreading the disease. If you haven't been called or ordered to undergo testing, STAY AT HOME. This is what you should do if you suspect you have COVID-19:

Tip SPM Dari Pelajar-Pelajar Cemerlang Straight A+

After feeding my baby & tucking him in for his late morning nap, I finally had time to look at my messages. Lo' & behold, a friend sent me a poster about a webinar by straight-A+ students. Interesting! I sheepishly looked at the date, what? TODAY! Heart racing, I quickly glanced at the time, 11 PG. Oh, petang. Wait a minute, MANA ADA 11 PETANG? PAGI LA BODO!

My eyes darted to the upper right corner of the screen. 10.45AM! I quickly forwarded the poster + some ulasan to ALL my students' groups as well as to my school staff's chatgroup on WhatsApp. Feeling bad that I gave them so little notice, I knew I had to attend, take notes & share those notes with my students. Since I'm doing that, I might as well share it with everyone. The notes are written in my broken BM to include my lowest-performing students.

"How much you achieve is how much you prepare"
- Luqman Nawar, 9A+

Understanding The New SPM (2021) English 1119 Paper Format

I'm sure you've seen the above being circulated on the internet. But, what does it mean? How does this paper compare to the current SPM paper for English? Do we have to change our testing practices in Form 4?

At this moment, information is sparse despite great public interest. As the head of the English panel at my school, my Form 4 colleagues will come to me for what to do & parents will ask me what this is about. Until we have very specific instructions from the ministry, this is what I will be telling my colleagues & parents based on the limited amount of information available to me from my intimate experience with the current SPM paper & second-hand information about the PT3 English paper.

Let me know if I got anything wrong or if you have more detailed information.

Assignments During the COVID-19 MCO

*The following has been distributed to most of my students via existing WhatsApp group channels. I really really really hope that my students would actually have a go at the tasks. It would be pretty epic.

If you're not my student & you'll like to try any of the following out, send me your work & I'd love to take a look at it with you & (with your permission) share them with the world.*

Dear students,

How are things at home? I hope that you & family are well. I know that you must not miss me so much. I miss you too & I am also very worried about your English. Have you been practicing your English like we talked about before the holidays? I understand that you have duties at home & other teachers have also assigned you homework. Therefore, I will keep mine simple & you can choose your level of difficulty. Remember, anang jaku parai sebedau nuan try.

Let me know if you have more questions. You may share updates/thoughts from the assignment in the g…

What To Do If You Think You Have COVID-19

This morning I got an alarming message on WhatsApp; a concerned family member shared a press conference by JK Pengurusan Bencana Sarawak naming my church as a cluster for COVID-19 & urging "those who have attended gatherings or are in close contact with those who have attended them to go to the nearest hospital for the necessary health screening". Stating, "it is very important to you & everyone else". See

We were asymptomatic but the announcement was alarming enough that my wife & I packed up with our 1 year old baby to head out to Sarawak General Hospital immediately. Fortunately, friends in the medical profession told us to stay home. An asymptomatic church member also called to share her experience at the hospital. They just took her temperature & told her to stay home. She wasted hours & risked being exposed to the virus.
No fever, no cough, no flu, no difficulty breathing? STAY HOME! DON'T go to the…

Apparently, I'm A White-worshipper! LOL!

Here we go again. People accuse me of all sorts of things on social media & often it occurs in closed Facebook groups I'm not part of, so I am unable to defend myself or clarify. Usually, I ignore them, but I have to respond to this one because the ridiculous accusation has also directly involved my students, who have generously agreed to be part of the banner picture on my blog.

So You Want To Leave Malaysia?

I've been hearing a lot of educated Malaysians talk about leaving the country after yesterday's political debacle. I do admit, I have similar thoughts, especially since I have a kid & naturally want a better future for him.

But, what happens when the educated people leave? Who will be left behind? Who will clean up the mess? Who will check & balance the government? Who will develop the nation & carry it into the 21st century?

When Chinese Eateries Are Closed, Try Malaysian. Not Western.

During the last CNY celebration, I encountered numerous situations where friends or family expressed the following frustration, "Nothing is open." Then, to my absolute horror, 100% of the time, they'd follow with, "Let's eat at <insert Western fast food restaurant>."

Wait a minute. Chinese eateries are closed, but isn't this a perfect opportunity to expand one's palette and try other Malaysian cuisines? Overseas, we take pride in how multi-racial Malaysia is, but what's the point when we don't include other Malaysian cuisines into our lives? Why are Western fast food restaurants the default? Why not Dayak, Indian, or Malay?

Probably offending people with my outward expression of disgust, I'd insist on one of my favorite Malaysian eateries in town. While introducing one of our local cuisines, I've heard confessions that people have never tried or rarely tried Malay/Indian/Dayak cuisine. Every single time, I'd see eyes light…

Challenge: #includeMalaysia this 2020

In 2018, I had the privilege of representing the Global Malaysian Network (GMN) in a Malaysia Day celebration with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yang Bhg Dato Saifuddin Abdullah. I presented the 2018 Project Hari Malaysia video & shared about how GMN came to be. During the event, I was suddenly pulled aside for an impromptu video. After 3 horrible takes with an extremely patient press officer, thankfully the fourth one was acceptable. It's at the very end of the video, so wait for it... It'll be worth it. Trust me.

In the video, I called for inclusion. In our lives. For Malaysians to include people from different backgrounds. Sabah, Sarawak, Malaya, & around the world. This call is still necessary come 2020, when our nation still seems so divided along racial & religious lines, with perennial threats of another May 13 incident.

Therefore, as we enter the year of Wawasan 2020, let's do our part in making Malaysia Malaysia. Fulfilling the inspiring Wawasan pr…