Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Blogging again, naturally


The PM and SM Nasaruddin at the NPC Awards
My swan song

My fellow Kembara Bumi Suci riders in their latest riding gear
Media bosses with Shabery Cheek and TM's Zamzamzairani

Spiritual journeys and my last NPC Awards: The first thing Najib Razak asked me as he got out of his Perdana at the Majestic Hotel was: "How was your trip?" He was referring to my motorcycle expedition to the Holy Land that ended just last week. "Spiritual, Sir," I replied and, aware that the PM leaves for China today to mark 40 years of bilateral ties started by his father and our second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak, I added, "China, especially, awesome." Later over dinner, after having given away prizes for the eight major winners at the National Press Club Awards, he asked if my Kembara Bumi Suci riders had covered Xian, one of the places he would be visiting. You could see his excitement about the upcoming visit. "It must be close to spiritual, Sir, this visit of yours to China," I said. "Yes ... and emotional," he answered.

The two months that I hadn't been blogging (72 days to be exact) were the longest time away from the keypads. The KBS had left KL on March 14 (Najib had launched the project a few days earlier at Sri Perdana) and we arrived in Madinah 61 days later after covering more than 17,000 km (of land, sea and even air; tarmac, sand and ice) and 12 countries. After performing the Umrah, I flew back early last week ahead of the team in order to help organise the NPC Awards; I have been the Organising Chairman since its inception in 2011. 

The evening went well, the hall was packed, the sponsors happy and we got Shabery Cheek's ministry to come on board for the first time. Najib's take on today's journalism was honest, especially the part of his speech about being forced to drag unscrupulous media practitioners to Court. Government and Opposition politicians do it (sue journalists and media organisations); it's part of the democratic process, he said. It's a balance between allowing for a liberal media and a need to keep one's good name against journalists who defame because of their own political agenda. 

I've never subscribed to this simply because we have politicians who take journalists and the media to Court over the slightest of hurt simply because they can afford it and because it is politically expedient to do so. They speak of Press freedom but they are the first to suppress the Press when they have a bit of power ...

The third NPC Awards will be my last, I've decided. Time for the enthusiastic Club exco to take the event to another level next year. My mind rests on two things: organising the next great motorcycle adventure before the year is out (e.g. ride to 40 cities in China to commemorate the 40th anniversary) and making sure my pals and I are protected if and when we get sued for the things we write on our blogs ...

35 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:20 am

    Welcome back bro. You have no idea how much we miss you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If all the Anons miss me the way you do, I'm blessed. Thank you Anon 920am

      Delete
  2. Anonymous9:36 am

    You know what dude. Your continental trip reminiscing of Che Guevara motorcycle trip in Latin America. He recorded it in his famous diary. The long, exhausted expedition was an eye opener to him. He saw what an ugly and wick little world we lived in. It made him abandoned his physician job and joined a guerrilla. Toppling government via revolution.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah yes, on the Norton 500. Accidental revolutionary man, our Che. I'm twice his age when he did that expedition with his best friend, also a doctor. They were crazy!

      Delete
  3. Anonymous11:19 am

    Welcome back Bru.
    The pics posted in Israqadventure on Kashgar brings back memories when I was there in the 90s.No we didn't ride our bikes there(Kapcai pun saya tatau bawa )It was an express bus that took us across the desert from Urumqi to Kashgar.Still, it was the most memorable journey for me.The Id Gar mesjid at that time had more madrasah for 200 students.Wonder if it is still there.
    Semoga penghijrahan Tuan2 semua di berkati ALLAH.

    wak

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  4. Anonymous11:47 am

    Welcome back, bro.

    Looks like you guys had a great journey. Let's wait for you to blog about some of the adventures encountered along the way!

    - IAAM -

    ReplyDelete
  5. Alhamdullilah you are back already bro.

    ReplyDelete
  6. nagaman12:51 pm

    Welcome home. God bless.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous2:07 pm

    Datuk, WELCOME, WELCOME back. I am so pleased to read your piece today. Have been missing it - was always checking to see whether you were back.
    You and your team must have had such a memorable journey through such varied landscapes. Hope you do a special piece just on this trip.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous3:14 pm

    Bet you were surprised to see millions of Chinese Muslims who are not like those in Malaysia or the mualafs type.

    And the Cina Komunis are not as what you perceived to be?

    Enlightenment?

    You introduce yourself as Melayu first or Malaysian? Just curious?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dear Wak,

    Kashgar is special, indeed. We spent only two nights there but the ancient city has left a maor mark on all of us members of the Kembara Bumi Suci. I did not manage to visit the mosque you mentioned (some of my fellow riders may have been luckier) but I visited their Sunday markets - the one on the city's fringe where farmers bring their produce and animals to trade with other farmers for cash or kind and the one in the city centre where you can buy all manner of things from beautifully crafted knives to branded (Omega) paper weights. There are more Musims there than a city like KL can boast to have ...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Alhamdulillah....good to have you back and blogging again. its never the same without Rocky Bru in the cyber space!

    ReplyDelete
  11. ANON 314 wrote,
    Anonymous said...
    Bet you were surprised to see millions of Chinese Muslims who are not like those in Malaysia or the mualafs type.

    And the Cina Komunis are not as what you perceived to be?

    Enlightenment?

    You introduce yourself as Melayu first or Malaysian? Just curious?

    ---------------

    Dear Anon 314:

    I introduced myself as Malaysian wherever I went. And most people in the countries we visited would assume, upon being told that we were from Malaysia, that we must be Muslims as well.

    Outside China, some of us were mistaken for Chinese or Japanese. Quite often, people thought we were Thais or Filipinos.

    When you tell them you are a Malaysia, they would ask the same question" "Musulman?" And when you say yes, you are a Muslim, they would say "Alhamdulillah" and asked if you have had dinner. Often, someone would volunteer to pay for what we consume.

    ReplyDelete
  12. T.Yoges7:13 pm

    Welcome back Datuk...been missing your posts...

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous9:17 pm

    Welcome home Sir Rocky from your spellbinding expedition, and this dedication for you all:

    "Reminiscences of the Great Tang Dynasty"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7GpCCCQWGM

    ReplyDelete
  14. 72 days is a long time bro, welcome back :))

    ReplyDelete
  15. Andrew Gopal, UKRC.11:48 pm

    Welcome back home bro. God Bless.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Welcome back Rocky.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous10:51 am

    Welcome home Datuk. Umrah Mabrur. Miss your quality posting.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous11:35 am

    Hope you come back a bit more wiser, honest and virtuous instead of brandishing your usual tainted image of being a paid defender of the corrupts, racists and the extremists.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Welcome back bru.You said they used the word musulman bru. That's used by the Sikh's and Pakistani's punjabi's bru. The food must have been great on your trip. How come no pictures bru. Now sit back and enjoy your amber moment. Cheers and take care bru.Giant

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous2:24 pm

    Yeahhhhhh dah balik!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous7:49 pm

    Dato
    Welcome back,missed your specialities [pse do not get the wrong idea] of good journalism,Salam

    ReplyDelete
  22. A Malay First8:50 pm

    Welcome back! Every single day I visited your blog hoping to read a new article. I'm so happy you are back. Some pro-opposition cybertroopers commented that you had stopped blogging because your paymaster aka UMNO had stopped paying you! The RBAs think that you are like them!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous3:15 am

    Mengapa kebelakngan ini apabila membaca Malay Mail seperti membaca portal Malaysiakini banyak artikel memburuk-burkkan UMNO.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous5:32 am

    welcome back rocky...am happy that you are back...

    rocky...i comes to your blog every single day although knowing that you are not around...

    >a fan of life of annie

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous said...
    Hope you come back a bit more wiser, honest and virtuous instead of brandishing your usual tainted image of being a paid defender of the corrupts, racists and the extremists.

    11:35 am

    -----xxxx-----

    Anon 1135am,

    Here's hoping against hope that you and Co will learn to appreciate views that don't agree with yours and, once in a while at least, accept the truth even if it hurts … Amin.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thank you Ketua Kampung, Anon fr Miri, NorAzhar, Eddie, Annie, Mike Scorpion … It's good to be back to blogosphere.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous9:12 am

    Welcome back bro.Insyallah you have umrah mabrur. Looking forward to yr future posting.
    Rozi 66

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous9:24 am

    CONGRATULATION ROCKY
    Guess who...monsterball la

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous5:53 pm

    Bro,
    Very curious how much funding did you get from PM Dept......???

    Patutlah, nak syok organize another trip, why don't you start writing good policies on good governance ???

    Kan better then just nail motor and only benefiting a fellow few.....

    Bertaubatlah , bila lagi ........ah ,, songlap, sini, songlap sana ..........cukuplah.

    Eddy
    kajang

    ReplyDelete
  30. Eddy Kajang,

    Anons like you will always be aroun; you guys make your own world goes round, and round :-)

    Anyways, each Kembara Bumi Suci participant paid RM55k to be part of the expedition. The fee covered his accommodation in over 50 towns/cities, motorcycle maintenance, some food and beverage, transportation such as bus/lorry transfers, visas, uniform, admission tickets (museums, parks etc), air fares, and shipping including the Ro-Ro from Turkey to Egypt and Egypt to Amman.

    The organisers managed to get some sponsors - their names and stickers are all over our uniforms and our bikes, if you want to look them up. The documentary they are working on based on the Expedition wlll be shown on RTM this Ramadan. Hopefully it will get a million audience, you included.

    Salam

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous1:43 pm

    welcome back!

    sore-loser anons will always be around..

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous10:31 am

    Bro Eddie Kajang,

    What kinda of weed you've been smoking man. Where did you get all the info about them being funded from the PM's Dept. That's the reason why you should stop mingle with the fuckutan people. They're lowering your capabilities to think wisely. Pity you bro.

    anakbochek.

    ReplyDelete

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