Sunday, May 24, 2009

Batch 8 Intern Farewell

Razif, Shida, Ikram and Azie had been with DANAU since December 2008. Their internship period ended formally on the day of the opening of Nordin Group, 15 May 2009. As usual, we would have a simple outing to mark the successful completion of their internship. Pictures of our outing can be found here. Appreciation of their contribution can be found at our DANAU Blog, here.

I still owe similar posting for Batch 7 Interns. Their internship ended in December 2008. To Wani, Wana, Suraya, Nadia, Nad and Fieza, I will do that in the next few days on our DANAU Blog.

The Red Maze Opening Pictures

I made a posting on the Opening of Nordin Group by the Chief Minister of Melaka on our DANAU Blog last week. You can read the posting here. Pictures of Datuk Seri Mohd Ali touring The Red Maze can be found here.

Other opening day pictures will be posted later on our Flickr-based photo directory called Images from the World of DANAU ( ).

Monday, May 18, 2009

New DANAU Blog

DANAU has a new blog at From today you will find DANAU-related postings at this new site. We are still in the process of improving our new blog but it is readable. Below is the first posting which I made on our new blog yesterday.


April 2009 marks a new beginning for DANAU. We moved office from K-Economy Incubator to our new office at the Nordin Group building.

Our new office is special in many ways. First, it is located in a single building that is shared with four other main companies and firms, namely, Adillah A Nordin (Advocates and Solicitors), Emilda Architect, DAMA Design + Build and NeuroMaju. Secondly, the building has a very distinctive red-bar design on its facade (designed by Emilda Architect). For that, I call the building The Red Maze. And for that too, our new address becomes:

DANAU@TheRedMaze, 82 Jalan TU2, MSC Cybercenter @ MITC, 75450 Melaka

The Red Maze

Do visit us at The Red Maze.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Danau Wall Climb Challenge #4

We had a new climber in Adillah last Friday. Not bad for a first timer, she managed to get past tile #5, the average height of our climb on the first week. Perhaps she would try again this week. For the rest, there were some improvements but no major breakthrough. Too bad, we may try something else this week or back to the wall again.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Danau Wall Climb Challenge #3

It is no surprise to find us at the wall again this week and today is the third consecutive week of our visit. No major achievements for all of us today and as expected Ikram (the climber on the right in the picture above) is still at tile #5!

Next week will probably be our last visit before we try something else there. It is definitely not boating!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Danau Wall Climb Challenge #2

We were at the wall again last week seeking to improve our last achievements. Individually we made some progress. Azim managed to hang on to the horizontal tile, which is the hardest point to pass before getting on to the two final vertical tiles at the top. The other top climbers, Azmin and Thony were slightly behind Azim.

Azim, at the most difficult point.

And yes we will be back again this week in another attempt to reach the top of the wall. This challenge seems to have rejuvenated our interest in our after-work outdoor activity after badminton became a bit too routine and progressively less challenging.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Danau Wall Climb Challenge #1

Our challenge, the static wall climb at
Ayer Keroh Lake Recreational Park

After months of regular weekly visits to the Badminton court, it was time for us to try new things, something more challenging, and with a different kind of excitement - the static wall climb. The venue was the climb wall at Ayer Keroh Lake Recreational Park.

After a short safety briefing by the instructor, Azim was the first to ascend the 30 feet or so vertical wall. He only managed to get to the top on second attempt, and subsequently on the third attempt. Nevertheless, Azim, with only about 45kg of personal baggage to carry up with him, was the first to get to the top.

Azmin and Thony on the way to the top and down on
the second attempt. They did not have much personal
baggage to carry with them too!

Not so successful climbers were Ikram, Razif, Hasanah, Shida, Azie, and yours truly. It looked like these people had any of the following reasons for their failures - too much weight to carry up the wall, legs not strong enough to push the body upwards, or fingers not strong enough to grip the wall insert and pull the body upwards, or all of it.

Ikram (red shirt) almost at the limit of his climb.
failing to clear the hardest part of the climb.

Hasanah and Ikram attempting another climb.

The more successful climbers had a go at the more challenging section of the wall. Only Thony managed to climb the furthest. But, all of will be back again next week to conquer the wall. I guess there will be a few dumbbells and hand grippers in the office next week to strengthen the arms and legs, and the grip! We will also have another challenge next week - to get Hajar to climb the wall.

If you are looking for a relaxation of a different kind try I would certainly recommend you to try the wall climb. It is not as physical as it may look but you will certainly discover your level of fitness very quickly. It should be quite fun when you come in a group like us. It only costs about RM5 per person (we had many tries).

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

2008 Company Trip - Bangkok

2008 has been a truly defining year for all of us at Danau but more so for me personally as a person heading the company. Not only did we manage to deliver all of our 2008 projects successfully but most importantly I was able to see the direction in which the Company is heading more clearly now. As the saying goes "The future belongs to those who can see the future". When the road ahead is always under construction it makes you feel a bit better knowing that you have a clearer view of the future! So this trip to Bangkok was a reward for all of us for what we have achieved in 2008.

Grand Palace, Bangkok

DAY 1. Our first stop is the Grand Palace, one of the most recognizable tourist destination in Bangkok. Although not as big as the Forbidden City in Beijing, the experience is certainly more intense, well for me at least. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the buildings are huge and very close to one another. Plus, the color is also a very striking color.

Azim, Hasanah and Hajar at the Palace entrance

Ramayana as depicted on the walls of one of the building in the Grand Palace

The next stop is the boat ride on the Chao Praya River. This is probably the most exciting and adventurous experience we had during the trip considering that we did not make it to the 'Thai Girls Show' this time! The one hour trip has many facets to it. When you consider that the boat operator does not provide you with any life jacket, traveling along the Chao Praya River with your eye sight almost at water level will certainly make your heart beats faster. Things get a bit more relaxing when the boat enters the canals connected to the Chao Praya River. That is when you will get to see the 'staged floating market', fish feeding, etc.

Boat ride participants not paying attention to the floating market lady,
rather, anxiously looking at a dog which is about to jump into our boat!

The boat is powered by a car engine!

The Jim Thomson House Museum

DAY 2 begins with a visit to the Jim Thompson House Museum. The museum consists of many small Thai houses, all of which are different. There is no single camera shot that can capture the ambiance of the place. You simply have to be here to appreciate the museum. This place is a must for me.

Azim and Thony finding it difficult to concentrate
on what our guide says!

After lunch at Makyah Muslim Restaurant, next stop is the MBK Shopping Center. The laddies just have to do what they do best, shop!

Thony, Azmin and Azim at Siam Square

Day 3. Chatuchak Market and the Children Discovery Center is the order of the day. I did not go to the market so I can't really comment on it. However, the discovery center falls short of my expectation. Lonely Planet should revise it's recommendation in my opinion.

Azim and Azmin inside a soap bubble at the discovery center.

The rest of the day is spent on shopping, again, and doing other things

Adillah, Anas and Adlina taking the Tut-Tut to avoid traffic jam.

The kids looking different in Bangkok.

Day 4. All smiles and it's time to go home.

Before check-in at the airport

Thony preparing to view partial solar eclipse from the plane
in case our flight is delayed. Azmin with our GPS needing to
find out when the plane travels over his hometown Taiping.

Final note:

Adillah at The Gift Shop @ Jim Thompson House

Last but not least, we say thank you to Adillah for taking time to understand Bangkok before we even had the time to think about Bangkok. Where to go, eat and stay, hotel booking, flight booking, how much money to bring, where to shop, ... you name it. You are the most efficient travel agent we ever had. Will definitely engage you again next year!


Thursday, January 1, 2009

1 Jan 2009

Adlina, 1 Jan 2004 @ Equatorial Hotel, Melaka

The coming of the new year is special to me not only because it is a new year but more so because 1 Jan is our wedding anniversary. 1 Jan 2009 marks the beginning of another year of extremely blissful partnership with Adillah, insyallah. 2008 had been a very challenging year for me and Danau. We would not have been where we are now without Adillah's help. Thank you darling. More of you will be needed in 2009!

On a completely different note, I strongly urge couples who are planning to get married to find a 'good' date to tie the knot. Of course the date of your wedding anniversary will always be special no matter what date it is. However, to have it on a public holiday makes it easier for you to celebrate because nobody else will be in your way. Preferably you wouldn't want to have your wedding anniversary fall on a Monday when you have to present weekly sales report, or on a day when you have to fight for a very nasty and messy case in the court of law.

When Adillah and I were considering wedding dates towards the end of 1993 we immediately saw the benefits of choosing 1 Jan 1994, which happened to be a Saturday. We are grateful to our parents that they agreed to our proposed date. What a difference it has made to us and the kids!

2007 New Year's dinner under the tree @ Danau Kaseh

The final two weeks of December has always been a very special time of the year for me and Adillah especially since our kids have become a bit more matured now. Work wise, the last few days leading to Christmas and the days between Christmas and the New Year have always been 'slow' days. Most people are on holidays and clients don't usually demand our attentions. That allows us (and the kids) to self reflect on things and events which have gone past us during the year, to take stock of what we have and have not achieved, and most importantly to set our targets for the following year. Usually, by our wedding anniversary day, 1 Jan, most things would have been planned and waiting to be executed.

Hakim and Adlina doing the easiest part of
Finding Nemo jigsaw puzzle, the borders, in 2003

Perhaps the only thing we have missed doing as part of our year end tradition since 2003 is a jigsaw puzzle. None of the jigsaw puzzles which we have framed has gone on the wall so I guess there is no harm taking a break from doing one this year!

Happy New Year to all and may Allah grant you peace and fine health in 2009 (1430H).

Monday, October 6, 2008

Azmin's Birthday

Today is Azmin's birthday. It is also our first day at work after the long Hari Raya holiday.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Selamat Hari Raya

Salam Aidil Fitri, Maaf Zahir & Batin

Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Birthday - Nur Nadilah

I would like to wish "Happy Birthday" to intern Nur Nadilah Mansor (aka Nad) who is celebrating her birthday on 29 September.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy Birthday to My Dearest Ila

Dearest Ila,

Wishing you a very happy happy birthday!

You have been the source of strength and inspiration to me,
to the kids and to a lot of other people.

We are truly blessed by your presence.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Day of Disorientation and Unwanted Incident

I normally have "non work-related" things to do on Saturday, either playing golf or doing things together with Adillah. But yesterday I did not have any "non work-related" things to do so I felt a bit disorientated. The night before I stumbled across something interesting and exciting which I have been planning to do in the future. That got me really excited. At the same time I have a dateline and an important task to complete before the middle of the week. However, they are not as exciting as building up the concept for the future project. Objectively I should just continue to work on the dateline but my heart says otherwise. That made me feel a bit disorientated.

Just before noon I decided to go to office to download a few large files from the net. I left office at about 3.30pm. However, as I got to the bottom of the lift, I realized that I had left the thumb drive which contained the files I had just downloaded at my computer in the office. I was not so sure if I should get the thumb drive knowing that I may not use it at home at all. Somehow, I decided to go up the lift again to get the thumb drive. Finally I was ready to go home.

However, as I entered my car I heard a loud 'bang' just outside of the K-Economy Incubator car park where my office is located. To be precise, at the junction between Jalan Business City and Lingkaran MITC. It was the kind of noise that happened in an accident. Rightly so, an accident between a van and a motorcycle had just happened. I waited for a few seconds to see if the motorcyclist could get up from the accident but he did not. So I decided to get to the scene of the accident and to my horror I saw a lot of blood on his face. Worse still I saw a huge cut on his chin and it looked as though his chin was dislocated. He was struggling to breathe and looked a bit unconscious. I seriously thought he was going to die as 'thick' blood was flowing out of his face.

The two guys that knocked him over with the van were extremely horrified to see the result of their reckless act. They asked me to call the ambulance but somehow I was not sure what number to call to so I called Adillah instead. I was panicked and horrified too! Somehow I felt that calling the ambulance was not the best way to get him to the hospital. It took me a few minutes before I realized that the center for Melaka Integrated Rescue Squad and a police station is just about 100 meters away at the junction between Jalan TU 1 and Jalan MITC. So I ran as quickly as I could to the center and within a few minutes they were at the scene of the accident. I was there when the rescuer attended to the guy but I just could not bear to look at his. Within minutes they were off to the hospital.

I guess I would have missed the incident if I had not gone back to my office to take my thumb drive. Worse still, the two guys that knocked the construction worker over wouldn't have a clue of how to get him to the hospital as quickly as possible. Putting that aside I just hope that in the end he will be allright. I left the scene of the accident feeling more disoroientated!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Walk Along Singapore River

I was in Singapore at the beginning of the month to attend a seminar and workshop on story telling. The event was held at The Arts House which is located near the Singapore River. Although I had been to Singapore many times, that was the first time I visited this part of the Lion City. The instructions from the organizer said I should take the MRT (Singapore's underground transport) to either Clarke Quay or Raffles Place. I decided to disembark at Raffles Place because it would be nearer for me to walk to The Arts House from there.

The walk from Raffles Place MRT station to The Arts House was relatively short but it was a very revealing short walk for me. As I strolled along the river to a 140 year old suspension bridge (Cavenagh Bridge) that would get me across, I encountered a few sculptures along the river bank, a museum known as the Asian Civilizations Museum, and a very scenic view of restored old shop houses located along the river.

The Singapore River, like many other rivers in the world, has a very long history. Archaeologists have found evidence of settlement and maritime commerce which can be dated as far back as the 14th century. To understand the history and the importance of the river to Singapore, a visit to the Asian Civilizations Museum is a must.

The museum has six thematic galleries. A visit to the museum begins with the Singapore River Interpretive Gallery which tells many stories about coolies and Chettias, the indegenous Orang Laut (literally translated as the sea people), and the newly arrived Europeans. Other galleries will bring you further back in time and across the myriad cultures of Asia. The museum also uses the latest technology to help visitors explore and experience the subjects and objects on display.

As I walked further towards the river mouth I came across an area known as The Esplanade. From there I could see the theaters known to Singaporeans as "The Durian", and the giant ferris wheel known as Singapore Flyer. I did not walk far enough to catch a view of the Merlion (a fictitious animal with the head of a lion and the body of a fish) which is located the river mouth.

If you are planning to spend a few days in Singapore then a walk along the Singapore River is something you should not miss.