Monday, February 18, 2019


I guess this year Ai Ling and her family friends decided to celebrate Chinese New Year with a difference, close to the trees and really bonding together, without the distraction of the city noise and traffic.

How many people are aware that the outdoors is great for the children, not only for their general health, but specifically for their eye-sight. One of the side effects of today's living mode is the slow changes taking place in our physical conditions. Due to our enclosed living condition, exposure to TV, ipads and handphones, the incidence of MYOPIA  or, short-sightedness is growing at alarming proportions. In the developed economies of the Far East, Singapore, Taiwan and Korea the incidence of myopia among school growing children are in the range of 80-90%.

The issue with myopia in children is that, left undetected and treated early, the immediate short-term effect is the slowing down of their learning in school. Bear in mind that 70-80% of learning is through the visual experience. In the longer term, people who have myopia at an early age, and which progresses acutely over the years, are more likely to suffer earlier from other eye-problems in their adult years, such as cataract, glaucoma, macular degeneration, etc.

So it is very important not to take myopia in children lightly as these have material impact on their lives later on.

Now what has the outdoors to do with myopia. One of the major causes of myopia is the elongation of the eye, which causes the image of objects to fall in front of the retina, not on top of it, hence the blur vision. Corrective lenses are then used to bring back the image on to the retina. Now research has shown that the elongation of the eye has a direct relationship with the exposure of the eye to sunlight. Or put in another way, the lesser sunlight will cause the eye to grow longer. That is why incidences of myopia is more prevalent in cities than in rural societies.

Something to think about, isn't it? So get those children out as much as possible to the outdoors so that they have healthy eyes, whilst at the same time wean them away from all the electronic gadgets.

And if they show slowing down in their studies, or get irritable, get their eyes checked as soon as possible. Technology today is so advanced that you can actually slow-down the progress of myopia through techniques like Ortho-K lenses, Atropine 0.01 drops, myopia control lenses, etc.

How do I know so much. Well, it just so happens that I am now working in an eye-clinic just to expand my resume. You will be surprised at the cases we see. We have seen 5 weeks old babaies with cataract and other ailments, but that's another story. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019


"Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity".

It is the spirit of the above statement that we receive friends which we made in faraway lands, who came all the way from Tibet to say hello. 

"Friendship is the shadow of the evening, which increases with the setting sun of life".

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."

"True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island... to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing."

"Love is flower like; Friendship is like a sheltering tree

A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love. 

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. "


"True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island... to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing."


"In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed. "

Saturday, February 9, 2019


3 Februari 2019, satu tarikh bersejarah bagi Syakila dan Syahrizal. Di teduhi pohon-pohon rendang, angin sepui-sepui yang menambahan keheningan suasana, Uluhati bertuah menjadi tapak titik tolak bagi mereka melancarkan hidup baru mereka. Satu "Perkahwinan di Taman" (Country Wedding) penuh dengan adat istiadat Melayu. Tak lekang dek panas, tak reput dek hujan.

Sesiapa yang berminat untuk mengadakan acara yang sama bolehlah membuat tempatan melalui;
1. atau,
2. Dhaniah 017 6511 612

 Tunduk segala rakyat jelata 
Memberi takzim raja sehari 
Raja rupawan di atas takta 
Duduk memerintah barang sehari

Orang jauh dikenang-kenang 
Hanya terkenang pada yang satu 
Mula berkenal kemudian bertunang 
Diatas pelamin sama bersatu
  Panas kering siapakan tahu 

Hujan rintik di daun pandan 

Berjalan seiring bersentuh bahu 

Sama cantik sama padan

Tuan puteri tersenyum-senyum 
Melihat laksamana bermain rodat 
Senyum-senyum jangan tak senyum 
Sudah sempurna segala adat

 Cahaya malam gilang gemilang,
Kerana disinar bulan purnama;
Gajah mati meninggalkan tulang,
Manusia mati meninggalkan nama.
 Ambil kapak belah ke kundur, 

Baik terbelah si ibu kaki; 

Walau setapak saya tak undur, 

Itu adat anak laki-laki.

 Adakah perisai bertali rambut,
Rambut dipintal akan cemara;
Adakah bisai tahu takut,
Kamipun muda lagi perkasa.
Ulam tipus bersambal cuka,
Kuah dihirup begitu rakus;

Biar mampus merebut pusaka,

Jangan hidup digelar dayus.

Ayam dara di buat gulai 

Bungkus bekalan letak di bucu 

Riang gembira kedua mempelai 

Semoga berkekalan keanak cucu

Sunday, January 6, 2019


There must be something about the outdoors which has a timeless appeal. It could be the wide open space, the wind blowing across the lands whispering through the trees, or the fresh scent of nature minus the fumes, dust and smoke of the city, or the absence of the maddening noise of traffic or just the sense of freedom away from the apartments, terrace houses or bungalows which form our main habitation today. 

Or maybe, it was the sub-conscious memory of our original home in the garden of Eden. Legend has it that Adam and Eve missed their original home so much that God assured that they would find something similar on earth, plus the wisps of the original perfumes of the plants and flowers of Eden. Ever noticed, even when we are staying forty stories up we still try to bring the garden with us in the form of tiny little pots of greens and shrubs?

It reminds my of my first few business trips overseas. I always make it a point to visit the jungle whenever I get back. To find my balance so to speak.

Whatever it was, it was enough to bring back Desmond and a bunch of family friends to Uluhati once again, just two weeks after his family came here with another group, for another family camping experience. 

This is something you would find hard to do in the city. Chill-out with good friends and forget about the rat race and all the anxieties of modern living for once, making do with just the basics. Well almost. Notice how they almost brought the whole house:)

Again another reminder: my late favorite uncle, a real rough and tumble guy, would always insist on bringing his "lesung batu" on our jungle trips, so that his supply of sambal belacan would not be interrupted.

Father and child moment, how touching... Our youngest visitor has been here twice before when still very young. Obviously the parent is very intent that he/she starts to get to know nature as soon and as much as possible.

Children enjoying the outdoors, having the time of their lives.

And the adults, equally relaxed.


Sunday, December 2, 2018


Part of my childhood was spent growing up in the kampong in Rembau, Negri Sembilan, memories of which I cherish to this day. Early morning would see me tagging along behind my grandparents as we walk to the padi fields about 1 km inland. Upon arrival I would spend my time on a small hillock over-looking the padi fields as my grandparents worked in the fields. In the early morning the air was fresh and filled with smells of the various plants and weeds in the surrounding area, mixed with the sweet, sourish tangy smell of the thick mud in the padi fields. As the sun rises the grass-hoppers, butterflies and other insects would awake and fill the air with their buss as they weave and turn among the vegetation looking for food. Everyone of them seemed busy, and today I wondered if anyone of them ever called in sick and asked their colleague to bring the food for them.

Meanwhile I would be stationed on the hillock in a small wooden hut with thatched leaves for roof and do my homework and/or my studies. Normally I would just "try" to finish my homework and just forget about revisions. The place had too much distractions. There was a huge mangosteen tree behind the hut, which was great for climbing and when in season had lots of juicy mangosteen. Just beneath the hillock was a clear stream with water coming down from the hills yonder And it was full of fish, tiny prawns and crabs. So a lot of time was spent in the stream trying to catch these critters for lunch or tea. But seven years old that I was, my catch was not even decent enough for a lame duck. And there were ducks too. They came from villages nearby, some several km away. yet they always manage to find their way back.

During harvesting season, the whole valley was golden yellow, and the air was literally fragrant. Rice plants were tall those days (only 1 harvest a year) and a child could get lost between the stalks. So "hide and seek" was a "must" game during this period. Occasionally some slow learner and dim wit, yours truly included, would get hopelessly lost and the entire village would launch a search.

So, that was the life I had in my early years. Lots of open air and fields to run and roam. The land provided the toys and games. We learnt to improvise. No Coleman tents then, so we make little huts out of coconut fronds. We trapped little birds and cook them over our fire, feathers, intestines and  everything else included. They tasted so nice. No worries about infections or disease. Cuts and bruises would close and heal within a couple of days.

I miss those days, and when I tell them to my children who are themselves parents today, they wonder what the fuss is all about. Why I go all emotional and dramatic. Isn't better to go around the Malls and Sunway Lagoon. Hmmm....perhaps one day they see what I mean.

So, it was really a pleasure to see parents making the effort to take time off and be with nature and let their children run free, as they are supposed to be. It is events like these which really warm my heart. Yes, no padi fields, but they still have the chance to sleep on the hard ground and feel what its like, to doze off to the sound of crickets and owls and to wake to the stern and no nonsense call of the farm Sargeant-Major, our resident cockerell. And then to help Mum prepare breakfast, and unfortunately the messy clean-up as well.

We are glad, that ULUHATI can convey some of the experiences of yesteryear. Thank you for coming.