Thursday, October 27, 2011

Football at Red Sea Mall


Akhirnya hati ini teruja untuk ke padang bola berhadapan Red Sea Mall yang sejak kebelakangan ini di adakan pada setiap hari Rabu malam setelah setahun menetap di Jeddah. Mungkin di sebabkan ada jualan makanan Malaysia bagi mereka2 yg rindukan masakaan tanah air termasuklah diri saya.

Setakat ini masih belum jumpa lagi resotran Malaysia di Jeddah tapi kalau di Mekkah tu memang ada iaitu di D'saji yg menjadi tumpuan rakyat Malaysia yg mengunjungi Masjidil HAram. Walaupun rakyat Malaysia yang berada di Jeddah tidaklah seramai rakyat Indonesia dan Filipina, namun perkumpulan riadah sambil berniaga sebegini juga memainkan peranan bagi mengeratkan lagi silatul rahim di antara rakyat Malaysia yg berada di Jeddah.

Kami pun dah jadi macam org arab. Bentang tikar dan makan secara santai atas tikar di tepi jalan. Moga usaha murni ini dapat berterusan dan menjadi tempat kujungan rakyat Malaysia setiap minggu untuk beriadah dan menikmata citarasa Malaysia.

Bagi yg belum pernah ke sini ianya di adakan setiap hari rabu dalam pukul 9 malam, padang bola berdepan Red Sea Mall.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Deepavali

Had lunch with our office colleague who are celebrating Deepavali at Raj Restaurant in Tahlia Street, The food was good. Yummy Yummy..

This is life....

Me & Abdullah Al Maliki in the office

More than a year back when I received a call from Jeddah for a position of a Project Director, I was so excited. It was timely since my current project at that time was leading to a dead end. The Client has not been paying the contractor for more than 6 months despite the contractor kept moving at the slower speed. In my mind, it would be just a matter of time that the project will stop by itself for not having enough fund to proceed. My VP once said, when he assigned me to that project, if this project don't move.. you have to go.. he said jokingly. But with the trend I saw in the company, that was a hint from him. As long as there is a project that he can charge, he will keep me or else it is time to leave and they will give me one month's notice.

The position and offer in Jeddah was so promising... but I still have a choice at that time... When I asked about bonus, the interviewer said "normally it will be 10 months bonus for investment banking company". Wow that was awesome!. I never dream of having that. Although the offer is considered lower than what I get in Doha, the family package seemed to excite me apart from being close to Makkah which is always a bonus. Furthermore I have my ex colleague working in the same company. After much of investigation I accepted the offer to work in Jeddah and tendered my resignation. My HR also try to appeal if I would like to stay with the company for an assignment in Vietnam or Manila. But I sort of made up my mind wanting to bring my family along in Jeddah. I told my family even I would be getting less than what I earned in Doha, I hoped and expecting the year end bonus to cover the difference.

As I was packing up to move, I read the offer letter again and somehow I was mislead. The yearly bonus and family school has all been included in my salary and paid evenly throughout the year. Meaning, I was getting less than what I had before. But at that time it was too late.. I have cancelled my visa, shipped my things back home and it was just a matter of days that I will be moving. I accepted it as a fate and try to start a new better life with my family as status quo.

The day I arrived in Jeddah was the beginning of a lot of compromises, if before I was put in the hotel for a month till I settled down, now I was put into a serviced apartment for a week. The mobilization fee was hardly enough for me to settle down or even pay the rent. I had to get some advances from the company to pay for my yearly rental. The savings I had before, I had to use to furnish the new apartment right from scratch. Right from buying the ACs, furnitures and all the basic electrical goods. That was the start of a new beginning.

At work, it wasn't what I would have expected. The company is a newly established company which is still struggling in getting the registration and formulating it's policies. We are just a support department to the main core business and right from there I began to think of job security. In normal circumstances, our role supposed to be outsourced but it was the CEO's preference to have it in-house as there are limited reliable companies that could provide such services. Having known of the job instability, I decided to hold my plans to bring my family along as the mobilization and demobilization cost would be costly.

Being a new company, there are a lots of things which are not in place. The policies kept changing at their conveniences and one will have to swallow all the stringent requirement if one wants to stay longer. Staffs come in and go, either they were getting better offers or could not meet the company works expectations. As for me, I always ask myself till when they will keep me?

So, I was back to square one as I was in Doha... living alone. To make things worst, there are too much restrictions and constraints living here as compared to Doha but I managed it. It is always pleasing and blessing to be able to visit Masjidil Haram and to see Kaabah frequently after reaching the stage of depression with the surrounding environment. As if it relinquishes all the worry and misery that one had. Alhamdulillah it has been more than a year now and I survived!

To much things had happened within a year. The recent major event is the resignation of the CEO and the replacement. It was the previous CEO who was adamant to have a project management department and now that he is gone. My fate is uncertain. I once raise this question to my new CEO but from his response, I can sense that our presence may not be needed as he is focusing more into main core business. As we are currently having only one project to manage, the cash becomes very tight. It is just a matter of time this will come out and the management have to make an ultimatum.

As I am in the midst of arranging for my family Iqama for my family to be here during December for the first time eversince I am here. I had a bombshell yesterday. I have been told by the management, of considering to second me to the developer in order to cut cost. I was just speechless. All my hopes gone to vain....

I remembered a friend of mine asked me, "how long you want to stay oversea... come back .. there are a lots of opportunities for you here. Malaysia needs you and your expertise..." But then at the back of my mind, I still have my dues to pay and I was thinking as least if I settled my dues, have some savings and I could start some business then I would come back but not now...

But this is the facts of life one have to face whether we like it or not. To the uncertain future. We can only plan the best we could, constant prayer and hope thing will go as plan... I guess I have to update my CV and start fishing and don't know where I would landed on next as the journey still continues...

My prayers and hopes, I would get sometime better out of this in all aspects... As the Malay proverb says " Kita hanya merancang Allah yang menentukan..."

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cerita Cinta 2 Hati

Rating 7/10 & **** (4 bintang)

Asam Hidup Perantau.... perjuangan belum selesai... Episod 1

Pasti ramai orang akan mencemburi bila saya katakan yang saya bertugas di Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Kata-kata seperti beruntungnya dapat berkerja di sana dekat dengan tanah suci yang menjadi impian setiap umat islam untuk berada di sini. Bagi saya ucapan alhamdulillah yg teramat saya panjatkan pada illahi kerana memakbulkan hasrat untuk berkerja di sini. Tapi hidup sebagai perantau ni juga ada pahit manisnya juga. Jiwa kena kental menghadapinya kerana kita berada di luar kawasan biasa (comfort zone) kita. Kesemuanya adalah berlainan dari segi budaya, bahasa dan sebagainya. Terkadang ianya boleh menguji kesabaran sesaorang tu...

Tapi apa pilihan yang saya ada? Teringat lagi sebelum saya mengambil keputusan untuk mencuba nasib berkerja di luar negara. Saya di himpit dengan situasi kewangan yang meruncing. Setiap bulan bila dapat gaji, duit keluar macam air, bayar bil hutang sana sini dan hanya yang tinggal beberapa ratus untuk sampai hujung bulan. Kadang bila duit short, kena la guna credit card untuk melangsaikan segala yang kurang. Memandangkan keadaan itu, isteri saya suri rumah sepenuh masa telah cuba buat bisnes kecil-kecilan menjual frozen food. Boleh la tampung duit belanja makan kami anak beranak. Tapi bila tiba crisis tenaga dan harga minyak melambung naik. Saya tiada pilihan lagi selain mencari jalan keluar.

Ada yang bertanya; dengan jawatan yang saya ada dan syarikat majikan yg kukuh masih tak cukup ke... Jawapan jujur saya tidak. Pada masa itu jawatan saya telah sampai ke tahap gaji mati. Bukan saya saja tapi kebanyakkan rakan2 sepejabat juga. Mungkin policy syarikat begitu. Telah beberapa kali saya utarakan pandangan jujur saya kepada pihak pengurusan tapi sebagai satu organisasi congromolate besar bukan mudah bagi pihak pengurusan membuat keputusan mengatasi masaalah sedia ada. Bila mengadu masaalah saya pada pihak atasan saya, kata-kata pengubatnya, bersabarla akan tiba masanya nanti kalau kau bersabar katanya. Tapi dalam hati kecil ini berkata "Nak bersabar sampai bila? Saya perlu cari jalan keluar.

Teringat lagi saya bila terpilih menjadi Pengurus Projek mencakar langit dia ibukota Kuala Lumpur. Saya terpaksa menjalani process temuduga di mana 7 orang telah terpilih dalam organasi saya untuk di pilih menjawat jawatan tersebut. Salah satu jawatan yg menjadi rebutan setiap professsional tapi dari gaya mereka kebanyakkan mereka tidak berminat kerana projek itu amat mencabar. Dan kebanyakan response mereka semasa temuduga itu tidak menampakkan minat mereka tapi sebaliknya bagi saya inilah satu cabaran buat saya untuk memajukan diri saya kerana ilmu dan pengalaman yg saya akan perolehi daripadanya; tiada siapa yg boleh mengambilnya dari saya. Semasa saya di pilih; Pengurus Executif saya berkata; you are the right person for this job and I have given my assurance to the Presiden on your potential and credibility. Dalam hati berkata alhamdulillah... tapi tak macam cerita The Apperentice Donald Trump setelah perseta berjaya dalam process penapisan dan interview akhirnya mereka di beri imbuan gaji yang lumayan dan kereta yang mewah. Bagi saya tatkala di pilih menjawat jawatan itu.. masih status quo. Dalam fikiran teringat kata2 ketua saya "sabar Mad... insyallah ada la nanti utk you kalau you bersabar... ".

Memang tugas ni amat mencabar. Segala masalah dalam pengurusan projek ada pada project ini. Daripada design, planning, construction you name it, it is all there. As a project person it is like my baby and I want to bring it to success.

At the same time saya mencuba untuk mendapat yang lebih baik dari segi kewangan. Ada sahabat saya berkata; after you complete the job, you will be marketable... but do I have to wait that long and by that time who want to hire me. Saya tiada pilihan lagi melainkan cari jalan keluar. Saya cuba apply di dalam dan luar negara.

Akhirnya umpan yang saya pasang mengena.... Saya di talipon oleh potential employer dari Qatar dan di adakan interview melalui talipon oleh Joseph dan Osama. They sounded very professional and saya di soal bertubi2 selama sejam. Dan kerana project management telah menjadi darah daging saya; saya menjawabnya dengan tepat dan straight to the point. Dan setelah sessi interview itu selesai, I for the first time felt very satisfied dan seterusnya saya serahkan pada allah. Kalau di takdirkan itu rezeki saya alhamdulillah...

Dan selang seminggu saya menerima email mengatakan saya berjaya dan di kehendaki menanda tangani letter of offer. Setelah berbincang dengan isteri saya, akhirnya dia merestuinya dan bermulanya perjalanan saya sebagi perantau, pengembara or what ever you may want to call it.

Mungkin darah yang ada dalam badan saya ialah darah pahlawan yang suka mengembara. Kalau di lihat dari salah silah keturuan, saya berasal dari negara China yang menjadi utusan China di zaman Hang Li Po agaknya dan orang pertama yang datang ke tanah melayu bernama Abdul Rahman dan tinggal di Melaka. Dari situ zuriatnya berkembang biak dan ada yg juga pergi ke Mentok sekarang di Indonesia. Semangat juang inilah yang ada dalam diri saya untuk bukan saya menyara keluarga tapi juga menyumbang kepakaran yang ada pada diri pada masyarakat luar negara yang memerlukan agar negara mereka juga boleh maju dan berjaya. To me it is a win win situation.

Kalau Mat Salleh boleh datang ke Malaysia sebagai expatraite dan di bayar gaji pulohan ribu ringgit kenapa tidak aku anak Malaysia yang mempunyai kebolehan yg sama mengapakan tidak layak menerima imbuhan yang sama di negara sendiri dan terpaksa keluar negara utk mengecapi imbuhan yg sama? Itu la percepsi orang kita yang harus di ubah?

Pengalaman di Qatar selama setahun setengah cukup mengajar saya asam garam hidup sebagai perantau.

Kini perjuangan masih belum selesai, objektif saya masih belum terlaksana.. walaupun baru-baru ini saya di kejutkan dengan beberapa perletakan jawatan org rakan2 utk pulang ke tanah air; tapi perjuangan saya masih belum selesai. Hanya harapan dan berkat doa pada illahi yang dapat memampatkan hati, jiwa dan raga ini agar berjaya mengecapi matlamatnya. Agar kembali saya nanti dengan berita gembira dengan mengharumkan nama negara dan keluarga demi pergorbanan saya yang sedikit ini...

Mak saya yang berusia 87 tahun pernah berkata tiap kali saya menalipon dia, "kenapa kau kerja jauh2, kesian kat anak2 yang masih kecil yang perlukan kasih sayang seorang bapa.. Kenapa dia orang pilih anak aku tak pilih anak orang lain..." Kadang terkedu juga mendengar soalan dari ibu yg tercinta yang sayang kan anaknya... Saya hanya boleh berkata "Mak ... dulu Arwah Bah terpaksa merantau ke seluruh Malaysia untuk mencari rezeki untuk membesarkan kami semua dan Mak selalu berada bersama kami memberi kasih sayang dan membesarkan kami.. Kita tiba masanya utk saya mencari rezeki untuk menyara hidup keluarga saya walau di mana ianya berada.... Hanya yang saya pohon dari Emak doakan la saya agar saya selamat dan berjaya insyallah..."

Begini lah asam garam hidup seorang perantau....

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Farewell to Azhar and Rosemadi


Bid Farewell to Azhar and Rosemadi ex colleague in KLCC both resigning from local Developer to a more greener pasture in Malaysia. Had makan2 .. mandi to be exact at As Sadr in Palestine Street, al Hamraa district. All the best to Azhar and Rosemadi. As for us perjuang masih belum selesai...

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