Community work

Life-Work Balance

I want a balance between life and work. I had experience with this life-work imbalance, when my indirect boss was a workaholic. He loves to have his subordinate with multi-tasking talent, work with accuracy and fast. This quality was with me when I was a young officer (my position was three more steps to a Director General), but not now. I want to be a normal person.

When I worked for a Ministry in Indonesia, I worked almost 24-7 on call, means I must be ready every time when my boss (a Director) needed me to do something for the country. Thus, my life was predominated by work, from dawn till dusk. I was protested by my family for not having family time. This was happening for years. For your information, I was usually left home at 7:00am and reached home at 10:00pm everyday (Mon-Sat, and sometimes Sundays).

Here are some examples: Sleeping in no time

Many times in a year, perhaps 10-12 times in a year I must sleep in the office. When the Minister called on plenary meeting: Secretary General, Director Generals, Directors, Deputy Directors must attend, in the following day. The Minister just informed my boss at 5pm (the time to actually go home), and immediately my boss called me to keep staying in the office. After arrival of my boss, he called for a brief meeting with his direct sub-ordinate (Deputy Director) and me, but usually they have gone home. The Director called his Deputies to comeback to office. He instructed the Deputies to help me supplied the data and information I needed to prepare for tomorrow plenary meeting with the Minister. You know what? Along with my colleagues, I prepared the materials needed for the meeting without even a brief sleeping. Thus, on that day, I had no sleep for 24 hours, at all. What I could do just called home to inform them that I was in the office. My primary weakness was that I could not say ‘I cannot do’ since nothing actually impossible, at that time, to me the impossible means I’MPOSSIBLE. This happened many times.

Another example: Minister waited

On one fine Sunday, I drove a car with my family from Jakarta to Puncak Bogor (about 70 km away). But, in the middle of the way, around Sentul, my mobile was ringing and I saw a very scary number in my life, my boss’ mobile number!. I picked it up, and he asked me where were you, and he asked me to go back to Jakarta, went directly to the office. Minister waited for me, and I arrived, the Minister asked me to prepare an online system for flood monitoring. What a joke! I was no body. There were Director of Data Center, Director of Water Management, and other VVIPs, why should my boss ask me to do this thing? But finally we did with a little bit of tricky thing, since establishing a real-time online system was expensive and took time to prepare. What we did were we developed a PHP web with manual updates, while the information on flood were sent from the field office through email. The monitor was placed on the Minister’s desk.

One more example: Nation-wide Assets in three days

The Director General asked his Director to prepare the nation-wide assets under his Department. When the Head of Assets Management Office could not respond to the DirGen’s wish, the Director (my boss) asked me to do it immediately. He asked me to prepare it within a week. I did not know what to do, since it involved huge data with long story. Within three days without sleep, I managed to complete the task, and my boss satisfied with the information.

Offsetting the Carbon Footprint

Today, I do not want that kind of job any longer, as I am almost at the end of my career. Life-Work balance is a must-exist option. Family, community and work must go hand-in-hand. For this purpose, I tried to entertain my family and get together as much as we can, although it does not come with what we plan and wish. My wife and I, and sometimes involved my son, advocate to offset the carbon footprint we make during our stay in Malaysia. If I correctly remember, there were more than 50 plants of Jackfruit (Nangka, Artocarpus heterophyllus), Mango fruit (Mangifera indica), and Soursop (Nangka Belanda, Anona muricata) were planted in UTM Campus. Some of them are growing healthily, and some of them were uprooted by either monkeys or irresponsible people.

Here are some example of living plants we planted about 6 months ago.

A rich and healthy Mango plant

The healthiest Jackfruit plant so far, planted in parking lot B11

A somewhat healthy Jackfruit (same age different growing stage), planted in parking lot of B11

And more to come. I will put the picture when I do not lazy enough to take the picture.


Advocating environmentally friendly living

We tried to involve in community’s activities at home, by being community security guard (Skim Rondaan Sukarela, SRS) or gotongroyong to eliminate dengue. We happily joined these activities.

Abang Ahmad Unisham and His Wife, my best neighbor


Cleaning our backlane

My wife took the picture

Part of the Garbage were transported by SWM Company in the following day


Picking up garbage (almost) every Saturday

Three of us (my son, my wife and I) collected garbage in around UTM football field. It has been 3 times collected garbage in this area. Here are some examples.

Week 1 (2 of 50-liter plastic bags):

Garbage collected from UTM Football Field

We did not collect biodegradable and organic wastes, since they will be degraded easily by the nature. We collected plastic bottles, papers and other non-biodegradable waste, as shown in the above picture. In the first week we collected 2 bags of 50-liter in volume, but still many garbage left uncollected in the drainage canal, since we did not prepare with a suitable equipment like a scoop.

The users of Football Field are supposed to be well educated people, but … this is the fact.

The second week, we collected 5 plastic bags with the same size with the first one. What amazing! It must be reduced but increase instead. My wife told me not to broadcast this finding, but I told her back that this is needed to put in a social media for the awareness. We have never done this before, we did it silently. However, it is necessary for the sake of awareness campaign.


The third and fourth weeks, I think no need to put here, as the volume of garbage does not reduce significantly. We paused in the fifth week, since we had a visitor from Indonesia, and coincidentally, long week end because of holiday replacement. Thus, we entertained the visitor on Friday-Sunday.


Dengue Outbreak Area

Our residential complex has been declared as one of the dengue fever outbreak, as at least 5-6 of the residents have been hospitalized. This is so sad. The DF is caused by Aedes aegypti. What can we say if the community itself is too lazy to fight the causes. My visual observation conclude that environment is the primary cause of the DF. WHO identifies that in proximity to human settlements, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes breed primarily in artificial water containers, and the mosquito’s life-cycle is closely associated with human activities. Larval habitats are increasing rapidly in urban areas. Since there is no curative treatment for dengue, targeted environmental and ecosystem management is increasingly relevant. In many settings, however, generalized community clean-up campaigns or space-spray application of insecticides, have had only a transient and limited effect – or even no measurable effect at all – on disease incidence.

Community participation to synergistically work together to fight the DF and increasing the awareness on this matter by removing the breading grounds of the mosquito is a must!

Friday, 20 April 2018

We got a ‘personal’ exercise ground in Kolej Dato Onn Jaafar for just to keep healthy with an inexpensive way by stretching the body, playing badminton and having fun. As usual, after exercise has done, community works time! We collected two big black plastic bags of trash around the volleyball ground of KDOJ. However, they were still lots of trashes left uncollected since we prepared only two plastic bags.

Here are our collection …

We will continue this community works until we were unable to do this.


Thanks to somebody (don’t know who)

I would like to thank somebody (I do not know who) who paid our breakfast on 21 April 2018. When we dropped by at Pasar Peladang Skudai (just below the Overpass bridge of Taman Ungku Tun Aminah, we ordered Nasi Ambang (usually I do not eat rice for breakfast), my wife got mie rebus, and my son had nasi with ayam goreng, with two cups of tea tarik, 1 cup of tea-o-ice and ais kosong. The total expenditure was about RM36. But … when we finished our breakfast and went to cashier to pay for it, the business owner said that somebody had paid for us, thus no need to pay. When we asked who paid for us? the business owner refused to uncover the ‘mysterious kind man’. We thank God and thank that man. May God bless this man for his kind act. This ‘act of kindness’ will encourage other people to do the same for others.


Will be continued if we have time and will (I mean not lazy enough).