Friday, August 13, 2010


Other than the start of Ramadhan, the Malaysian Independence month (yes, the flags have already been hung at home, probably the first house in the neighbourhood who has the flags up), there is another memorable celebration for us in the upstream EP (exploration and production) business in the red-yellow pecten oil & gas company. For us lot in KL, the celebration is not as grand as in Miri, where the history all began..

I myself started my career in this business in Miri before transferring to KL to venture in the high profile deepwater project, which is the first for Malaysia for this company. So I understand the truth when people say that “in Miri, almost everyone living there is either working for Shell or related to someone working in Shell”.. Some of my friends from Miri are 3rd generation Shell staff whereby their parents and their grandparents used to work for this company. This is not a norm anywhere else in the country, so it is quite unique. Coincidentally even in my immediate family we have 3 members working for this multinational company, there’s colleagues who joke that perhaps one day my son will also be working for this business.

If anyone out there is wondering how Malaysia started to venture into oil and gas, well here’s a little history (that I have extracted from the PC Sign-On screen…)
It was exactly a century ago, on August 10, 1910, that a group of curious local inhabitants of Miri in Sarawak gathered on top of the hill overlooking the small fishing village. Back then, Miri consisted of 20 scattered houses and a few shops.

The villagers were watching a small party of Shell employees and thirty local labourers undertake the slow and laborious task of drilling by the old cable tool method, first used in AD 421 by the Chinese to extract salt. While the occasion was cause for great interest, none of the onlookers could have realised what tremendous consequences the event would have for Sarawak.

Four months later oil was struck at a depth of 136 metres and brought into production. The wooden derrick, erected at 79m above sea level, began to produce an initial 83 barrels a day. The well was Miri Well No. 1 – which came to be called the “Grand Old Lady” - on top of Canada Hill. The company was the Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Company, forerunner of Sarawak Shell Berhad and part of the Shell Group of Companies formed in 1907.

As the birthplace of the nation’s petroleum industry, Miri would be transformed by the landmark event into one of Sarawak’s most developed towns post-independence. In the course of the last 100 years of upstream business, Shell has recorded remarkable achievements in the development of oil and gas resources in Malaysia. Contributing capital, advanced technology and skilled human resource to the country, these achievements are milestones that the company continues to be proud of today.

Today, Shell operates as upstream contractors to Petronas after the national oil company was established to look after the nation's hydrocarbon resources in 1974. Since the signing of the first production sharing contracts in 1976, Shell has continued to achieve firsts in Sarawak, among them the development of E11, the country’s first gas field in 1982. The company also started Shell MDS, the world’s first commercial gas-to-liquids plant of its kind in Bintulu in 1993.

The 100-year journey would not have been possible without the support of the community it operates in. In giving back to society, Shell has implemented a diverse range of events, projects and programmes - commencing with the construction of the Miri-Lutong road and the Miri hospital in the early part of the 20th century - which evolved into today’s corporate social responsibility initiatives in human capital development, educational excellence, sustainable development and road safety awareness. Flagship programmes include the Shell Scholarship Awards, Project Link (a coded welder training programme), the Shell Traffic Games, Nature Education Camps and the Shell Kenyalang Press Awards. Through its signature “We Care We Share” programme, the company funds staff volunteerism for community projects in areas of large operations such as Miri and Bintulu.

As Shell celebrates the centenary of the “Grand Old Lady” and its first hundred years of upstream operations in Malaysia, it looks forward to the next 100 years of powering progress together with its partners and the community, confident that its second century will be just as memorable, exciting and successful.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Getting into the spirit of things

Look at this cheeky little face.. can’t decide whether I want to cut his hair or leave it long and curly…

naufal's toys are always scattered all over the house, in the car and also at his grannies'.. when I was looking in my handbag today I found his Thomas train in there too. So I put it on my desk, and even my boss was interested with the toy. I guess boys will always be boys!!

Anyway, as of hearing the announcement on TV yesterday, it is official that today we will begin the fasting month. Time has changed many things, and now Naufal is big enough to play by himself. So Norman and I decided to pray solat sunat Tarawih together at home. Last year my sisters would look after him if I go to the mosque to pray but now that we are living in different house we need to manage the changes.

When it comes to food, I have to prepare the cooking myself again. So I cooked a little bit more for dinner last night and when it is time for sahur I just heated up what was earlier prepared. Tonight I am planning to make bubur kacang hijau for dessert, but I still can’t decide what will be the main dish.. will have to look at recipes online to see what is interesting.

Was planning to get to work earlier so that I can get a full 8 hours and still leave early, but I still ended up leaving the doors at 7am. Have to try getting ready faster tomorrow and beat that traffic. Another change that I plan to make is to wear baju kurung everyday throughout this month… haha.. the pants and slacks will get a rest in the wardrobe for a while. I still remember when the world cup started and me and Norman both went to work wearing our football jerseys, then when we arrive at work we realised that we were the only ones in each of our offices who was wearing a jersey. Talk about getting into the spirit of things.. good thing it was casual Friday..

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Selamat Beribadat di bulan Ramadhan

“Barangsiapa Yang Berpuasa Ramadhan Kerana Keimanan Dan Mengarapkan Rahmat Allah, Maka Diampunkan Dosa-dosanya Yang Terdahulu” – Hadith Riwayat Bukhari

Rasulullah SAW bersabda bermaksud:
"Sesungguhnya di dalam Syurga terdapat satu pintu yang dinamakan pintu 'al-Rayyan' yang hanya dimasuki oleh orang-orang yang berpuasa. Ditanyakan (oleh pintu tersebut): 'Di manakah orang-orang yang berpuasa?' Maka mereka pun masuk dari pintu tersebut. Setelah semua orang yang berpuasa memasukinya, pintu itu pun ditutup dan tak akan ada lagi yang masuk melaluinya." (HR. Muslim, dari Sahl Ibn Sa'd).

Antara persiapan yang perlu dilakukan menjelang Ramadan ialah :

1. Bertaubat dengan taubat yang bersungguh-sungguh.

2. Berazam meninggalkan segala maksiat.

3. Sentiasa berdoa “Allahumma Ballighna Ramadhan”.

4. Perbanyakkan puasa di bulan Syaaban.

5. Membaca Al-Qur’an (meletakkan matlamat satu juz sehari misalnya).

6. Mujahadah untuk bangun malam (beberapa kali seminggu).

7. Berzikir setiap masa.

8. Membaca Al-Ma’thurat pagi dan petang.

1. Mempelajari hukum-hukum dan perkara-perkara yang bersangkutan dengan ibadah puasa, agar ibadah puasa itu dapat dijalankan dengan betul dan diterima oleh Allah SWT.

2. Membaca buku-buku penyucian jiwa.

3. Mendengar ceramah-ceramah tentang Ramadhan.

4. Mengulangkaji surah-surah yang telah dihafal, sebagai persediaan solat samada sebagai imam atau makmum di bulan Ramadhan.

1. Bersedia untuk memberi tazkirah/ ceramah tentang kelebihan bulan Ramadhan.

2. Meluangkan masa menghadiri majlis ilmu di masjid-masjid samada sebagai penceramah atau pendengar.

3. Mengingatkan orang lain tentang kepentingan membuat persediaan untuk Ramadhan.

4. Menyediakan risalah/ majalah kecil untuk orang ramai tentang persediaan menyambut Ramadhan.

1. Membuka amalan baru yang jauh lebih baik.

2. Menjadikan hari-hari dalam bulan ini, lebih baik dari hari-hari biasa.

3. Sentiasa memakmurkan rumah Allah, pada setiap solat fardhu dan iktikaf.

4. Membersihkan puasa dari perkara yang merosakkannya.

5. Sentiasa berlapang dada.

6. Menghadirkan niat untuk amal soleh di bulan puasa.

1. Merealisasikan matlamat “bersungguh-sungguh melawan nafsu”.

2. Menahan diri dari berlebihan dalam perkara harus (pakaian, tidur).

3. Menjaga lidah dari berkata keji, mengumpat, dan mencaci.

4. Menahan syahwat dari perkara yang haram.

5. Membuat semakan amalan di bulan Ramadhan tentang segala yang dibincangkan di atas.

“Allahumma Ballighna Ramadhan” merupakan doa dan harapan, menunjukkan betapa hamba-hamba yang soleh mengidam dan tamakkan limpahan Allah (Rahmat, Keampunan, Pelepasan dari Neraka) dalam bulan ini. Para ulamak dan solihin terdahulu bersiap menunggu kedatangan Ramadhan bagi tujuan mengharapkan keampunan Allah pada sepanjang Ramadhan. Oleh itu, kita hendaklah menghargai bulan Ramadhan yang bakal tiba beberapa hari lagi ini dan tidak mensia-siakannya dengan membiarkannya berlalu tanpa dimanfaatkan. Semoga Ramadhan tahun ini lebih bermakna dari Ramadhan yang sebelumnya...

Oleh itu, dengan persediaan ini kita sematkan azam masing-masing untuk mencantikkan dan sempurnakan amalan fardu yang wajib dan membanyakkan amalan sunat pada Ramadan. Ramadhan Mubarak!

Monday, August 9, 2010

For the love of it…

Through my recent chats on FB and tea breaks with my buddies, a lot of people have been asking when will I update my blog… there is so many things roaming in my mind but just haven’t had the time to actually put it down on paper.. This is just a warm up entry..

In particular I want to write about my preparations for this Ramadhan (the first one for me and Norman in our own house, before I have been pampered by my mother’s cookings but this one will be slightly different), our recent holidays (both are early birthday celebrations for Naufal’s 3rd birthday to Universal Studio Singapore, and my dad’s big 60th in Kuantan, in lieu of the fasting month), my virtual encounter with a delusional housewife (you won’t believe this one when you read it).

Work itself has been rather busy, there are many packages that I am dealing with that will be starting production/fabrication soon, and we are also busy loading out pipes and components from one yard into another. Being focal point for interfaces between different parties, it takes a lot of my attention to coordinate things. But in the grand scheme of things, these are the things that I do enjoy about my work. It is having to deal with different types of people and giving technical input in order to make sure that compliance to standards and safety regulations are always adhered to.. Other than that we are also reviewing and approving a lot of documents for start of production of some of the components. With all that, I have managed to excuse myself from going on another offshore trip.. hehe.. Naufal will be happy.

Family-wise, everything is very much normal.. I can’t believe the speed of Naufal’s developments, he learns so fast… and soon he will be turning 3!! I am beginning to understand what people say about “troublesome three”.. he always wants things done his way, he want to eat only his favourite food, he wants to wear only his favourite shirts and shorts, he wants to watch only his shows.. he also seems to be taking over mine and his aunt’s iPhone, playing games and looking at Thomas videos on youtube.. haha.. the funny thing is that he always asks to go to GIANT because he thinks that we can buy Thomas toys in the supermarket (he probably thinks that giant is ToysRUs)… Naufal is constantly asking for a sibling, Norman and I are again excited at the thought.. we’ve started talking about baby names again.. hehe.. wish us luck :)