Wednesday, 30 November 2011


I have a GIBSON Les-paul, a guitar I dreamt to posses since I first saw her being played by Slash on top of the piano in the November Rain video clip some 17 years ago, but which I  only got her early this year after years of hard work (including getting a PhD). But the waiting made it all worthwhile. And I thank Allah for this 'nikmah' of life, alhamdullillah.

Why Gibson? Only Gibson’s lovers know the answer. But it’s a clear cut thing you know; it’s either you a Gibson or you are the rest (Fender, Ibanez, Jackson, Paul Reed Smith etc). It’s the attitude!

Attitudes resonated by BLUES. If you have a Gibson, blues is your soul; rebellious, arrogant, self-centered but mysterious and who else can express it the best if not Dr HOUSE; the cool but typical eccentric intellectual figure as well as Jung Yong Hwa of CN BLUE (only to mention contemporary names)

AND ME............

(psst!, trace the bold and underlined words above, they make the title “GIBSON, BLUES, HOUSE AND ME”. Sync isn’t? Haha.. and by the way, below are three videos; the first, me playing blues with my Gibson and the second, Dr House playing his Gibson Les-paul and the third his Gibson Flying V. We both play Gibson, take note guys!.).




Monday, 28 November 2011


I am reading back Computational Fluid Dynamics by John D Anderson Jr, for how many times I am myself not sure. But it has become my habit; every time I am about to embark on a major project, I would read some few related books basically cover to cover to refresh everything. This is in contrast to day-to-day basis problems where I would just refer to some chapters or sub-chapters for information. You want to know about the project? I am sorry but I could not tell, wait until mid next year, insyaAllah. (Below is the photo of the book)

But, every time I read this book by Anderson, I can’t help myself from admiring the conclusiveness of the knowledge possessed by the author. When I read this book, it feels like it was completed in one week time due to the perfection in the continuity of the discussions. Reading Chapter 4, Chapter 2 felt like it was written yesterday if you know what I mean. But the actual would be, I guess, the completion of the book would have taken months if not years. So this only tells two things,

1) In prior to the writing of the books, the author knew already what would be ‘the first sentence and the last sentence’ of the book. In other words, everything was in his head already. And we’re talking about all the mathematical and scientific principles which are voluminous in nature.

2) The author really had and has a great mental strength. To hold an idea or a set of ideas (i.e. what have been written and what to write next and how to connect and to integrate etc) for a long duration say in months or years requires a strong mind, else one would give up out of fatigue at worst or write gibberish at best.

In fact, the above two points are what really differentiate between two authors hence between two books. At the outset, a book is a book but what contents inside really matters.

Another characteristic of a good book is this; every time I read I always feel like the author is talking to me. It is like a recorded voice only that it is my voice echoing his writing. Such a feeling I consider the measure of sincerity and wisdom of the author. In other words, if I get personal with the book, then it is a good book.

But a good book for one does not necessarily a good book for another. It is like a relationship. You might get along with some type of people but others you might not. In the same vein, there are authors suit you in a sense may be you and him are ‘meant to be together’. His thinking suits you, he talks the way you talk, and things like that. So, to find a suitable authors hence books is another thing but it is not a major issue; have you heard the phrase “smart peoples think alike”?.

So, what you can do is to seek an advice for what book to read from someone who is really ‘experienced’ in the field because advice from such a person is usually helpful. I myself was advised by Professor Pellegrino who at the time was a Cambridge’s Professor but now teaching in Caltech, to read Cook’s book instead of Bathe’s book considering I was still a beginner at the time. In another occasion, I was advised by Arash, a PhD friend of mine to read Chen Wai Fah’s book to learn about tensorial treatment of continuum mechanics. These advices have been very ‘correct’ as the books were indeed easily understood as far as my understanding are concerned. Now, I also advice my students in regards to their reading based on my own experiences.

Before I end this writing, I would like to pose a question to myself and to all academicians who are reading this; will we be able to become such a great author and write such great books? I myself yet to know the answer but the best I can do now is to prepare myself by learning more, reading more, thinking more, researching more and working more so that when it times for me to write book of such a magnitude (you see, I have started writing some book which I do not consider on the same pedestal as the type of books we are discussing), I will be the author who;

1) has everything already in his head

2) can hold the ideas of the writing for a long time so as to produce a masterpiece

3) can produce a book that talks to its readers.

InsyaAllah. Amin.

Friday, 25 November 2011


It has been a long, long week. I was in KL last weekend, had a discussion with Dr Kamil, KPERAK's CEO on Monday in Ipoh, spent a whole day in UTP on Tuesday, shoot back to JB first thing on Wednesday and went straight to Desaru for a two days STC's workshop, got back to JB late Thursday night so as to make it for today's morning lecture on Theory of Structures at 8am. Fiuhh!!!

But it was all worth it especially the day I spent at UTP for all the good reasons. I finally met Dr Ben since last when we were in UTM 11 years ago. He didn't change physically so I easily recognized him even he was still in his Exora approaching me and Scylla's experts at the car park adjacent to UTP Dewan Cancelor. We exchanged greeting and he then guided us to the Civil Engineering Buildings.

At first sight, I was really impressed with the buildings. Its modern looks really tell Petronas wealth. I noticed the color mimicked KLCC's; grey and dull green I believed was the theme. Below is the photo of the building captured for your vieweing. Impressive, innit?

I was there for two reasons, one was to conduct sale and promotion (S&M) activity of ERCAD and two, to deliver a talk on my experience in learning FEM. The S&M started around 9am and I was introduced by Prof Malay Chauduri. I was very honoured by the attendance of many UTP's young lecturers; Dr Zahiraniza, Dr Koh Moi Ing, Ir Mubarak together with their graduates students. My communication with them indicated the potential of UTP to become world class university. They were all very enthusiastic in research as well as knowledge. The future is simply bright for UTP. I also had a discussion with Prof Shamsul Rahman during lunch and we talked on various issues. The first two photos below were taken during the presentation, seen in the picture are Dr Zahiraniza, Dr Koh Moi Ing and Ir Mubarak followed by the third photo showing the discussion with Dr Ben (light brown shirt).

After my presentation, Scylla's experts conducted the hands-on session of ERCAD and we were very glad to have the interest of UTP's lecturers and students trying out the software. Below is the photo of the hands-on session.

After lunch hour, I talked about the experiences I had during my learning of FEM. The talk was attended by Dr Ben's final year project (FYP) students. I started with some slides on current FEM outputs (to include Erwan's Karman's Vortex modeling) with the intention of introducing the versatility of FEM in carrying out complex engineering analysis. I then proceed with some brief discussion on differential equations and its corresponding numerical solutions technique to include FEM. I finished up the talk by showing movie clips taken from A Beautiful Mind, the movie with hope that it could motivate the students as it did for me. I hope that my talk was fruitful to them. Below are the photos showing Dr Ben's FYP students while they were watching the A Beautiful Mind's movie clips.

Below is the photo of Dr Ben's students during my discussion on differential equations and numerical techniques.

Finally, I and Scylla's experts like to express our gratitude to the hospitality offered by UTP's residents especially Dr Ben during our visit. To meet eager young minds always an honor to us. A day at UTP only told me one thing, there is a bright future waiting for us, as a nation and as an ummah, insyaAllah. (Below is the photo of us before we left UTP for Ipoh).

Friday, 18 November 2011


Saya menulis artikel ini kerana pengalaman saya dalam penerokaan ilmu-ilmu sains dan matematik telah menyaksikan begitu ramai ahli-ahli sains yang begitu taksub dengan pemikiran matematik dan sains sehingga mereka berprejudis terhadap agama.

Contoh yang paling terkenal ialah Stephen Hawking yang telah memilih untuk bersetuju dengan hipotesis Parallel Universe kerana hipotesis ini boleh memberikan alternatif kepada teori alam mempunyai permulaan. Beliau tidak mahu menerima teori alam mempunyai permulaan ini (walaupun ia adalah teori beliau sendiri asalnya yang lebih dikenali sebagai Big Bang Theory) kerana ia menjurus kepada kewujudan Pencipta. Beginilah sebenarnya prejudis seorang saintis yang sifat tersohor sepatutnya tidak berprejudis.

Tetapi apakah kaitan pemilihan Stephen Hawking dalam menyebelahi hipotesis Parallel Universe or Multiverse dengan perbincangan kita? Kaitannya akan terlihat jika pembaca perasan (notice) yang saya telah meng'associate'kan perkataan TEORI untuk Big Bang dan saya meng'associate'kan perkataan HIPOTESIS untuk Parallel Universe atau Multiverse. Ini bermaksud, Parallel Universe, walaupun matematik mem'benar'kan kewujudannya, tetapi pembuktiannya untuk di'nobat'kan sebagai satu teori memerlukan kita 'keluar' dari alam atau universe ini, sesuatu yang tidak mungkin dapat dilaksanakan. Inilah yang saya maksudkan tentang ketaksuban seorang saintis sanggup meng'contradict'kan prinsip asas sains iaitu memerlukan pembuktian. Apabila beliau diberikan dua pilihan, satu yang boleh 'dibuktikan' manakala satu lagi tidak boleh 'dibuktikan', kerana diselubungi prejudis, beliau memilih yang kedua walaupun beliau tahu ia tidak akan dapat dibuktikan dan seterusnya hanya akan meng'contradict'kan prinsip 'beliau' sendiri. Bagaimana dengan saya, adakah saya prejudis dalam bab ini? Saya rasa tidak kerana:

1) Saya 'memihak' kepada teori Big Bang kerana alternatif kepadanya adalah hipotesis; maka dalam hal ini saya bertindak dengan objektif

2) Diantara Big Bang dan Parallel Universe, yang pertama lebih 'ringkas' penerangan nya maka sepatutnya lebih diterima. Ini adalah berasaskan prinsipal ilmuwan barat sendiri yang dinamakan Occam's Razor yang menyatakan "penerangan yang lebih ringkas adalah kemungkinan lebih betul berbanding penerangan yang lebih kompleks".

Tetapi adakah saya telah melanggar lunas-lunas agama apabila saya berhujah seperti diatas? Saya katakan tidak, kerana saya berpegang kepada prinsip 'fight fire with fire'. Bukankah asas kepada hujahan mesti disandarkan kepada axiom yang telah dipersetujui. Dan prinsip saya ini saya sandarkan pula kepada pegangan dan pemikiran Imam Al-Ghazali sepanjang perdebatan beliau dengan ahli-ahli falsafah seperti yang telah dirakamkan di dalam kitab beliau, Tahafut-Al-Falasifah. Di bawah, saya turunkan petikan-petikan yang berkaitan:

1. "As regarding their contention that reference to Logic is unavoidable, it is right. But logic is not their monopoly..We often call it the Book of Disputation or the Data of the Intellects..In order to remove this misunderstanding, we propose to discuss the Data of the Intellects in a separate work...we will speak to them in their language.."

2. "As regarding Mathematics, there is no point in denying or opposing it; for Mathematics include Arithmetic and Geometry and these two sciences are not dispute here. As regarding Logic, it is just and investigation in the instruments of reflection over the intelligible. And as such, it involves no contradictions which might deserve our consideration. And in the book called, 'The Standard of Knowledge', we are going to introduce as of this subject as may be helpful towards the undestanding of the contents of this book"

Beberapa pengajaran yang boleh kita ambil dari pernyataan Al-Ghazali di atas:

1) Beliau amat luas pengetahuannya meliputi pelbagai ilmu; agama, sains dan juga matematik.

2) Beliau menyarankan agar perdebatan mestilah fokus, tidak meleret leret.

3) Beliau sendiri mengiktiraf ilmu matematik dan logik.

Malah, beliau menyelar sesiapa yang kononnya berdebat atas nama agama tetapi menggunakan fakta-fakta sains yang salah, kerana ini akan hanya memburukkan nama agama itu sendiri. Berikut adalah pernyataan beliau berkenaan perkara ini:

"We are not interested in refuting such theories (refering to established scientific facts) either, for the refutation will serve no purpose. He who thinks that it is his religious duty to disbelieve such things is really unjust to religion and weakens its cause. For these things have been established by astronomical and mathematical evidence which leaves no room for doubt....that these things are contrary to religion, your assertion will shake his faith in religion, not in these things. Greater harm is done to religion by an immethodical helper than by enemy whose actions, however hostile, are yet regular. For, as the proverb goes, A WISE ENEMY IS BETTER THAN AN IGNORANT FRIEND".

Keperluan untuk mengkritik sains di zaman ini makin mendesak disebabkan sains yang mutakhir telah dilahirkan oleh ramai saintis-saintis yang memprejudiskan agama. Dan ini tidaklah menghairankan kerana kelahiran sains yang mutakhir itu sendiri dipengaruhi oleh perjuangan menentang kongkongan gereja. Cuma persoalannya, bagaimana untuk mengkritik sains yang mutakhir ini? Adakah dengan menggunakan ilmu-ilmu sains yang dibelajar di sekolah atau pun peringkat universiti? Percayalah, dengan tahap pemahaman sains kita sekarang, ia umpama 'jauh panggang dari api'. So ini dilemmanya,

1). Imam Ghazali berpesan, mahu berdebat, biarlah berilmu
2). Sains mutakhir perlu didebatkan
3). Tetapi kita masih belum cukup ilmu sains tersebut

Pengajaran yang amat penting yang sepatutnya kita sedari sekarang ialah KITA MESTI FAHAM DAN KUASAI SAINS DAN MATEMATIK UNTUK KITA KRITIK DAN MENGAWALNYA!!!

Sesungguhnya seruan ini telah lama berkumandang dan antara ilmuwan muslim kontemporari yang memperjuangkan perkara ini adalah Seyyed Hossein Nasr. Beliau dikenali sebagai pengkritik sains barat dengan slogan sains tidak merdeka dari nilai (science is not value-free). Walau bagaimanapun, seperti Imam Al-Ghazali, beliau juga tidak mencadangkan kritikan semborono keatas sains sebaliknya menegaskan betapa pentingnya pemahaman yang mendalam sebelum sebarang kritikan itu dilakukan. Berikut ialah beberapa petikan dari buku beliau yang bertajuk ISLAM, SCIENCE, MUSLIMS AND TECHNOLOGY;

"..we should try to understand and integrate them into Islamic perspective. And that has to be done at the forefront, at the very frontiers of the sciences, especially physics and within it quantum mechanics, where we can interpret quantum mechanics in a metaphysical way."

"It is impossible to understand, critize, integrate or transcend any form of science without deep knowledge of it. No amount of slodaneering and emotional outburst can replace knowledge, whose primacy the noble Quran confirms in the verse: Are they equal, those who know and those who do not know? (al-Zumar:9)".

Berdasarkan perbincangan diatas, boleh kita simpulkan, SAINS DAN MATEMATIK PERLU DIFAHAMI UNTUK DIKRITIK. Wallahualam.

Sunday, 13 November 2011


by Dr Airil Sametok

I don't want you to stop
So I didn't want to write this
Please do not stop
For stupid amuses me

I play you like a toy
I wish you will never see
But I wrote this still
Without a single worry

For between these lines
You will never see
So you will not stop
Amuse me, you will always be

Friday, 11 November 2011


I know from the beginning that I would be fighting a losing battle when it comes to PPSMI. This is because, PPSMI in the first place, was an ingenious idea; radical and unconventional in nature, therefore do not suit  a 'stagnant' or 'play-it-safe' society like ours. Risk-taking is still an alien concept to us; all there is, are just the countless rhetoric. I believe, not many of us can appreciate, to the highest degree, Mark Zuckerberg's utterence:

"The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks." - Mark Zuckerberg

As an ingenious idea, originated from the best Malay's brain, PPSMI is not meant for a smooth ride, it demands determination and sacrifice for it should be perceived as 'the strategy' or as the 'special ingredient' of our success. It should be the answer to the question, "As others are also moving, in fact at much faster speed, what is the extra-special thing that we have which allows us the possibility to overtake?", which the answer is supposed to be, "Luckily, we have resorted to PPSMI at time others had not think of it". This aforementioned statement of mine should be read in parallel with the following Einstein's words for better understanding:

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein

What we have is actually a different levels of concern. Mine is higher and my 'opponent''s is lower. In my opinion, the latter is rooted from over-optimism. One of the great danger of over-optimism is that it can lead us into the state of denial. As an analogy, celebrating our winning at Geneva Exhibition as great scientific achievement would make the success of the People Republic of China in building their own space station (after been rejected by the ISS program) looks like a mediocre work. For an over-optimistic society, if 'time permits', they think they can build it too.

When I said contemporary learning requires learners to read 'English' books of thousand pages on their own, my 'opponents' simply replied "So, what we need is our professors to produce such a book but in Bahasa Malaysia". Due to over-optimism towards their professors, my 'opponents' fail to appreciate the fact that our professors are not really that capable of producing such books. Below is my major reference on finite element, a book written by KJ Bathe, an MIT professor published in 1996.
Despite its 15 years of age, I dare to say, no one in Malaysia understand completely this book including me; to produce one is therefore beyond any 'right' Malaysian mind. Since nobody in Malaysia can produce such a book neither in Bahasa Malaysia nor in English, at least not in the next 10 years to come, what must we expect of our learners to do? Keep reading lecturer's notes? And the irony is, our next ten years is the year 2020. Over-optimism makes us to be contradictory, you see. We want to be advanced but we want to do it slow and steady. In this era, 'advanced' and 'slow and steady' contradict each other most of the time (I said most of the time not all the time).

All right, by now you might be asking whether I can show some proofs or hints on what reading these kind of books can do for us. Below is the video of a computer program which has been written fully and 100% by my master's student, Mr Erwan Hafizi Kasiman who's is now a tutor at the faculty. It is not some use of existing software like Fluent, Comsol or Abaqus but a pure source coding from scratch of the mathematical equations including the interface. To watch, just click PLAY and please wait for a few second for the flow disturbance to become obvious

What the above video shows is the unsteady incompressible flow, either of fluids or of gases, known as Karman's Vortex which development requires the discretization of the following Navier-Stoke's Equation. And to do this, Mr Erwan has been required to read the same Bathe's book which success are due to, of course hard work but also due to the luxury of having me 'besides' him to explain every words. But we are not living in a quantum mechanics world where I can be at different places at one time, aren't we?. So we need more teachers like me, which are self-taught. Believe me, if a hundred of our countrymen has this kind of knowledge, then we can build our own 'space station'. Below is the aforementioned Navier-Stoke equations for your viewing.
If you ask, can any other Malaysian do this?, as far as I know, NO, and I have been in the business for quite sometime now (please read about my publication, HERE and HERE). Another proof for my claim would be the ERCAD software which I have developed with my post-graduates students. I have posted about this previously so to read just click HERE. This software is equivalent to the foreign software which the latter all cost more than RM 50,000 but since ERCAD is 100 per cent developed by us, we able to dictate the price to the lowest of RM100 for Malaysian students. You see, if we really have the knowledge, we can no longer be the 'user' and the 'buyer' anymore in fact we can start selling our 'products'. We can be the 'real deal'.  And all that we need is to take some risk. For your information, more than 130 units of ERCAD have been sold since it was launched a couple of months back, and if these were foreign products, if would have cost our country 130 x RM 50,000 = RM 6.5 million. So we have saved about that much in two months time. Oh, why can't you see?

Having said all these, I therefore, do not want to write any further about the issue because I believe I had written enough in this blog (9 entries to be exact). What I have been trying to say is all down to this:
1. We need our newer society to be self-taught.
2. Why self-taught? Because one, this is the way of the new world and two, our older society are no longer able to teach us, but please, do not blame our older society for they have served their intended purposes brilliantly, that is to survive us the newer society
3. To be self-taught, the newer society must read by themselves the 'English' books of thousand pages, and they must read it 'quick'.

So, this is about it and I do not want to talk about it anymore. But, one thing that amused me during this endeavor is the childish behavior of some people I personally know, not from this blog but in FB (I am glad that those in this blog have responded in most intellectual manner). Such childish responses only mean two things: 1) either they do not understand my writing due to their intellectual limits or 2) they have personal issues against me or both. Whichever the case, this behavior is an immediate proof of how many of us have been bred with shallow minded and prejudice; they are the sole cause for our social instability. To these people, the following phrase of Einstein would make no difference:

"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence." - Albert Einstein

They fail to accept the facts that there are still existed people who are really sincere in their endeavor and a 'weird' idea or opinion should not be an excuse for them to reduce the quality of such a sincerity. Neither the following phrase of Allama Dr Muhammad Iqbal which I extracted from his book, The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam matters to them:

"..if he ceases to feel the inward push of advancing life, then the spirit within him hardens into stone and he is reduced to the level of dead matter. But his life and the onward march of his spirit depend on the establishment of connections with the reality that confronts him" - Muhammad Iqbal

And before I leave, I like to share with the general readers a beautiful poem which I found at the last page of Muhammad Iqbal's book. Initially I thought it was his as he was also a great Muslim poet but it turned out to be written by an unknown author. I googled it up in the internet and found some information which I am not going to tell considering some of us are still not really that open minded. So just read it and enjoy.

When I was young and free,
and my imagination had no limits ,
I dreamed of changing the world.
As I grew older and wiser,
I discovered the world would not change,
so I shortened my sights somewhat
and decided to change only my country.
But it too, seemed immovable.
As I grew into my twilight years,
in one last desperate attempt,
I settled for changing only my family,
those closest to me; but alas 
they would have none of it,
And now as I lie on my death bed,
I suddenly realize: 
If only I had change myself first,
then by example I would have changed my family.
From their inspiration and encouragement,
I would then have been able to better my country and,
who knows, I may have even changed the world.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011


Ini realitinya. 10 tahun dulu waktu kita belajar di UTM, kita cuma bersaing sesama 'kita'. Tapi zaman dan berubah, dan ia berubah dengan terlalu cepat. Tak terbayang pun kita dulu yang kelas2 di UTM akan dipenuhi dengan student antarabangsa. Foto ini aku ambik waktu kelas FE tadi untuk bukti dan tantapan semua. Terpulanglah...


ARGHH TENSION!! Bila TPM kata murid darjah 2 dan keatas akan habiskan study sampai form 5 dalam PPSMI, aku ingatkan dasar ini akan dilaksanakan di semua sekolah, rupanya tidak, hanya di sekolah terpilih saja.

Beliau berkata (dalam Berita Harian): " ..proses semakan itu hanya membabitkan pelajar yg mengikuti PPSMI sepenuhnya iaitu kira2 lima peratus drpd jumlah kelas di 7495 sekolah rendah....yg ...tidak mengikuti PPSMI sepenuhnya atau menggunakan dwibahasa...tidak perlu membuat semakan kerana dijangka tiada masalah berbangkit"

Hmmm...ikut sukalah! Aku dah malas dan tak larat nak layan...Haziq, Hasya, Nuha, Binish, Fatihah, Dhiya dan Hafiz, bila diorang masuk U nanti, biar aku ajar sendiri, apa guna diorang ada bapak dan bapak sedara yg POWER mcm aku....anak orang lain? anak orang lain suh bapak dia ajar la, kan bapak dia yang tak nak PPSMI...

Macam aku cakap la, kelas engineering di universiti2 sekrg dah bagi lecture dlm english sbb ramai international students, esok kalo anak2 korg panas punggung jgn salahkan aku...ala, korang bagi la diorg tuisyen calculus, mechanics, statics, dynamics, FE etc dlm Bahasa Malaysia kt rumah...korang kan power...aku nk ajar anak2 dan anak2 sedara aku sendiri mmg takde masalah punye..GOOD LUCK BRO!!!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011


In 22nd Sept I wrote I TRIED TO DO DA'WAH AT IC ONLY TO BE SCOLDED BACK. In 9th Nov, Dr Mohd Asri (aka DR MAZA) wrote something that is in a similar mode titled BOLEHKAH BUKAN MUSLIM SELAMAT DARI NERAKA. Alhamdullillah, I thank Allah because I am not alone in this matter (on the issue of how we muslim must be great to be exemplary). To read my writing click here and to read DR MAZA's click here. Please read both.

Monday, 7 November 2011


BANGSA MELAYU AKU NI tak boleh kena kritik. Eh, macam ramai orang dah cakap je. Yup, memang dah ramai tapi aku belum cakap lagi, ni baru nak cakap. Antara sebabnya adalah kita telah lama dimomokkan dengan peribahasa2 yang menjadikan kita terlalu sensitif. Contohnya, "merata dulang, paku yang serpih" yang amat jelas sifat defensifnya. Secara tak sedar, kita telah diasuh dengan sikap ber'prejudis' terlebih dahulu sebelum boleh dibawa berbincang. Ini amat bertentangan dengan tabiat 'berlapang dada' dan 'berfikiran terbuka'.

Antara peribahasa lain yang berkaitan adalah "ikut resam padi, lagi tunduk lagi berisi". Ini pula mem'brainwash' otak kita dimana kalau kita ditegur atau diajar, itu bermakna orang yang menegur itu bersifat sombong kerana jika dia berilmu, dia pasti tidak menegur kita, sebaliknya dia akan berdiam diri. Kalau macam tu bila nak belajar atau diajar kalau yang berilmu itu kena 'tunduk' seperti padi sentiasa.

 Kalau tak pun, yang menegur itu pula akan dituduh "kalau kail panjang sejengkal". Mana nak tau kail siapa yang panjang sejengkal kalau bila diajak 'ukur' dikatanya sombong lagi?

BANGSA MELAYU AKU NI sensitif. Melayu akan cakap berlapik dan berkias serta cakap terbalik  menyebabkan penghantaran informasi atau maklumat tidak efektif. Kalau ada yang straight to the point walaupunnya niat nya baik akan dicop sebagai kurang ajar. Di zaman dimana orang lain berubah dengan cepat melalui sistem penghantaran maklumat yang semakin canggih, orang melayu terus di tapuk lama berkonsepkan, "kalau nak tegur tu perlahan2, lembut2 nanti orang terasa". Hmmm, elok lah tu, orang lain berubah dalam masa 3, 4 tahun, bangsa aku ni, kalau berubah pun, ambil masa 30, 40 tahun untuk capai perubahan yang orang lain capai dalam masa 3,4 tahun tu. Di waktu itu, orang lain dah mangalami perubahan yang equivalent kepada 300, 400 tahun melayu.

BANGSA MELAYU AKU NI disebabkan sensitif sangat, maka tak pernah di"sentak" dari "mimpi" (ye lah, tegur pun tak boleh). Dalam 'mimpi' ini, bangsa aku ni terasa yang dia memang dah cukup bagus dah, sama macam bangsa2 yang lain diseluruh dunia. Dia tak perasan yang professor2 dia, ramai yang artikel jurnal antarabangsa tak sampai 10 pun. Dia tak perasan yang professor2 ni tak ramai pun tulis buku, kalau ada pun lebih kepada tahap monograf dan nota kuliah. Dia tak perasan juga yang menang segala pingat di Geneva tu tak diiktiraf pun oleh akademia sebenar. Dia tak perasan pun, statistik menunjukkan tak sampai 30 % pensyarah yang buat PhD habis on time, yang tak habis langsung pun melambak. Dia tak perasan pun yang banyak research kita tak sampai standard, pasal tu lah tak boleh published di jurnal antarabangsa dan pasal tu jugak tak boleh dikomersialkan. Dan dia tak perasan semua ini adalah sebab ilmu kita tak kukuh lagi. Professor tak banyak artikel jurnal sebab ilmu nya tak cukup, tak tulis buku sebab ilmu nya tak cukup, pergi 'main' kat Geneva sebab ilmu tak cukup, PhD tak abis sebab ilmu 'background' tak cukup, research tak sampai standard sebab ilmu tak cukup. Sebabkan dia tak perasan semua ni, dia pun bertanya, " Ye ke? Kalau ye pun, apa masalahnya, aku tengok elok je". "Elok ke?", aku tanya balik. "Bukan kita complain macam2 ke, barang mahal la, gaji rendah la, bisness tak dapat la?". Aku sambung "ohh, aku terlupa yang semua ni salah kerajaan sebab bangsa aku sentiasa perasan yang dia 'tak salah langsung'!"

Masalah 'ilmu tak cukup ni' salah siapa? Takde salah sapa2. Apa yang kita ada sekarang adalah apa yang kta perlukan untuk survive sepanjang tempoh 50, 60 tahun yang dulu (selepas merdeka). Ye lah, untuk survive, tak salah nak buat benda 'ad hoc'. Buatlah apa2 asalkan survive, tak cukup engineer, keluarkan engineer, tak cukup pensyarah, keluarkan pensyarah, tak cukup doktor keluarkan doktor, tak cukup professor, keluarkan professor walaupun jurnal artikelnya tiada, waktu tu, we've gone for volume but not quality (ye lah tak sempat). Tapi cukup2 lah, perkara ni tak boleh berterusan. Tapi itu lah masalahnya, bila ramai daripada kita yg telah 'survive' ini terlupa akan hakikat 'ini semuanya hanyalah perancangan untuk survive, sampai waktunya kita kena susun semula', sebaliknya kita terus diulit 'mimpi' yang kita ni memang dah bagus.

So macamana nak mulakan 'stage ke 2' bangsa kita? Untuk ini, kita kena consider perubahan dunia sekarang. Kalau soalan ini dilontar pada tahun 80 dulu, jawapannya mungkin berbeza dengan jawapan sekarang. Tahun 80an dulu, kalau nak telefon diluar kawasan rumah, kena cari public phone. Kalau nak ber'surat', kena pos dan tunggu 2, 3 hari baru sampai. TV cuma tunjuk berita2 tempatan sahaja, kalau ada luar negara pun, sedikit sangat dan tidak secara langsung atau 'LIVE'. Di waktu manusia seluruh dunia belum 'berhubung' lagi, kita mmg boleh untuk 'belajar' bersendirian. Kalau nak establish apa-apa pun, diwaktu 80an ini lah our last chance. Dan ini lah yang telah disambar oleh KOREA, negara terakhir pada pendapat aku yg berjaya membangun dengan 'sendiri'. Istilah 'sendiri' ni pun jgn lah dibaca secara literally, in fact, kalau nak dibincangkan istilah ini sahaja perlu satu entri khas untuknya. Dan jangan lah dibandingkan dengan Iran dan Pakistan, sedangkan kita sahaja yang tak tahu tentang sejarahnya. Contohnya, bangsa Iran ada Lofti Zadeh, pencipta Fuzzy Logic sejak tahun 70an lagi dan bangsa Pakistan ada Prof Abdus Salam, pemenang Noble Prize winner in physics. Bangsa2 ini dah lama bertapak dalam lingkaran ilmu. IRAN contohnya lagi, tidak pernah putus budaya ilmunya sejak ratusan tahun diwaktu negara2 Islam lain malap dgn keilmuan melalui gerakan Suhrawardi dan Mullah Sadra, sebab itu lah mereka boleh buat nuclear fusion sendiri.

Kita? Kita tiada saintis lagi dan kalau diperhatikan ilmuwan2 kita setakat ini hanyalah berorientasikan sastera dan sains sosial seperti Ungku Aziz, Naquib Al-Attas, Kassim Ahmad dll. Kenapa? Sebab sastera dan sains social lebih local sifatnya, maka lebih cepat ter'sentuh' kesannya pada masyarakat pada waktu itu tambahan pula ia lebih mudah difahami oleh masyarakat kebanyak berbanding sains dan matematik. Memanglah lumrah untuk manusia mengagumi sesuatu yang dia faham. Ketika itu, prioritynya adalah pen'definisi'an dan 'penyusunan' semula masyarakat, sains serta matematik pula masih lagi suatu 'luxury'.

Tapi, selepas 80an, proses pembelajaran berlaku amat2 cepat, aku ulang, amat2 cepat!. Dan ia semata-mata disebabkan oleh komputer. Kesan komputer ini two folds; 1) Manusia telah dihubungkan secara menyeluruh atau sejagat oleh komputer 2) Proses pengilmuan dipengaruhi falsafahnya, prinsipnya dan metodologi oleh komputer.

Apabila manusia telah dihubungkan secara menyeluruh dan sejagat oleh komputer, mereka belajar diantara satu sama lain dan pembelajaran ini lingua franca nya English. Manusia meng'email', menge'share', meng'upload' dan meng'download', 'buku2' sains dan matematik English yang tebalnya ribuan mukasurat menyebabkan 'kadar bacaan' buku2 ini berlipat kali ganda berbanding 80an dan tahun2 sebelumnya dan seterusnya menyebabkan  'kadar' kenaikan kepandaian manusia amnya turut naik berlipat kali ganda berbanding 80an dan tahun sebelum2 nya. Inilah yang dimaksud dengan 'the world is exponentially changing'.  Tanpa technical English (bukan daily atau Queen's English ok?), Melayu mmg tak terkejar punya. Kalau dulu pun tak sempat nak kejar, apa tah lagi sekarang ni. Kalau ada yang berhujah, kenapa bangsa2 lain masih boleh follow walaupun guna bahasa ibunda, jawapannya mudah, ingat tak yang diorang mmg dah ada RAMAI (aku ulang RAMAI) pensyarah2 dan professor2 yang 'sebenar' yang boleh bacakan dan kemudian ajar balik bacaan itu pada masyarakat nya. Kita boleh buat jugak, tapi balik pada permasalahan tadi lah, itupun kalau pensyarah, professor kita nak berubah dan kalau berubah pun still LAMBAT JUGA JADINYA!!! again, sebab the world is exponentially changing!

Manusia yang telah dihubungkan secara secara sejagat ini juga mencetuskan satu fenomena yang dipanggil globalisasi. Antara kesan globalisasi yang relevan dengan perbincanga kita adalah apabila  sektor pendidikan tinggi menjadi satu perniagaan dan sumber pendapatan negara yang lumayan. Adalah satu wawasan PM untuk menjadikan Malaysia sebagai hub pendidikan serantau. Dan sekarang kita melihat kebanjiran pelajar2 asing membanjiri universiti2 kita yang mengakibatkan perubahan teknik pengajaran dan pembelajaran dari medium bahasa melayu kepada bahasa Inggeris. Perubahan2 ini membuatkan pelajar2 kita sendiri terus 'lemas' dimana hanya satu sahaja cara untuk mereka survive, iaitu dengan mengamalkan dengan lebih totok konsep 'exam orientation'nya. Tapi, adakah harus kita menahan kemasukan pelajar2 asing ini? Atau adakah harus kita tinggalkan bisnes pendidikan yang amat lumayan ini? Tidak, tidak sama sekali. Tambahan, bisnes ini bukan sahaja lumayan, bahkan ia amat 'bersih' dan 'murni'. Apa yang kita perlukan adalah sedikit perubahan, pengorbanan dan perjuangan. Apa yang kita perlukan akan saya huraikan dihujung penulisan ini nanti (tapi anda patut boleh mengagaknya). 

Kesan komputer yang kedua iaitu mempengaruhi falsafah dan methodologi pemebelajaran manusia sejagat telah menyebabkan sistem yang kita ada sekarang sudah lapok. Sistem dimana pelajar hanya membaca nota2 kuliah sudah tidak mencukupi, lapok. Pelajar2 perlu baca sendiri buku2 yang 'tebal' yang boleh 'didownload' , di'share' di internet. Kalau pelajar seluruh dunia membaca 'buku'2 maya ini, apa istimewanya pelajar melayu kita untuk tidak membacanya. Dan kalau ada yang berhujah, pelajar2 kita sekarang ada kelihatan mambimbit buku2 tebal luar negara, ini pula hujahan aku, pelajar2 kita tu cuma membuat contoh dalam buku2 sebagai tambahan kepada contoh2 yang ada dalam nota2 kuliah mereka, mereka tak baca penerangan dalam ayat2 yang panjang yang terkandung dalam buku 'tebal' tersebut kerana mereka tidak faham Englishnya. Percayalah cakap aku, aku yang ada didalam universiti so aku tahu lah apa keadaan yang sebenarnya.

Komputer juga menyebabkan perkara2 yang terlalu 'matematik' suatu ketika dahulu hanyalah 'mainan' pada ketika ini. Kata lainnya, kemajuan komputer menyebabkan manusia makin mudah menguasai 'matematik' yang kesannya terlihat pada kemajuan2 teknologi yang teramat canggih. Telefon bimbit sekarang dah connected to internet for example; sesuatu yang tidak terbayang pun 10 tahun yang dahulu. Semua ini kerana 'math' makin mudah. Tetapi, disebalik manusia seluruh dunia 'mengunyah math macam lauk', pelajar kita masih berkeluh kesah tak faham math, tak faham physics tak faham chemistry, tak faham, tak faham, tak faham. Kenapa tak faham? Sebab tak boleh baca buku yang orang lain baca, itu lah sebabnya. Pensyarahnya pun tak boleh ajar macam orang lain ajar sebab dia byproduct survival peringkat pertama bangsa kita, ingat tak?. Tapi bila suruh berubah, tak nak. Suruh buat PPSMI tak setuju. Kaitkan dengan benda2 yang tak berkaitan seperti menjatuhkan maruah bahasa dan bangsa. Siapa yang nak jatuhkan maruah bahasa dan bangsa? Kita cuma nak adjust sikit je ikut zaman, kalau tak kita tak survive. Kalau 'kita mati' sapa nak cakap 'bahasa kita'?. Sains dan math aje, sejarah, geografi, pendidikan agama, kemahiran hidup dll, semua masih dalam Bahasa Melayu kan.

Dan hari ni, pengaturcaraan komputer telah menjadi subjek pembelajaran lazim diseluruh dunia untuk pelajar physical sciences dan engineering. Pengaturcaraan komputer dan penulisan algorithm memerlukan 'benda' yang nak ditulis dan 'benda' ini adalah matematik dan physics kepada sesuatu permasalahan tersebut. Tetapi sayangnya, perkara inilah yang menjadi kekurangan pelajar kita. Ajarlah C, C++, Fotran, Python, Matlab, Maple, PhP dll tapi kalau dah tak tau 'matematik dan physics' yang nak dialgorithmkan tu takde gunanya, biarlah tahu sampai 100 computer languanges sekali pun.  Dan sebenarnya, lebih daripada itu adalah konsep pemikiran saintifik yang selari dan sejajar (compatible) dengan komputerlah yang amat diperlukan dalam pembelajaran zaman sekarang, a fact that we just have to swallow either we like it or not.

Dan aku pasti, pakar2, ahli2 dan pensyarah2 bahasa, sastera dan sains sosial (i.e. humanities, politics, sejarah) takkan dapat memahami betapa kompleksnya permasalahan kita seperti yang telah dibincangkan di atas. Ini bukan bidang mereka. Bukan mereka yang membaca dan mengajar matematik di peringkat tertinggi. Mereka tidak tahu susah payahnya dan tidak tahu what it takes untuk maju dalam bidang ini. Oleh itu, kerana ketidakbolehan untuk memahami permasalahan inilah mereka menggagalkan PPSMI. Dan kita, dek keterbiasaan kita sejak dari dulu lagi menganggap mereka inilah sahaja ilmuwan2 dan cendiakawan2 negara (dan terlupa akan wujudnya pakar2 sains dan matematik itu sendiri di negara ini) kita terus menerus mendengar dan bersetuju dengan pandangan dan pendapat mereka, PPSMI kita kuburkan.

Maka, berdasarkan penulisan aku diatas, boleh lah aku simpulkan, masyarakat kita menolak PPSMI adalah kerana:
i. Bangsa melayu aku ni tak boleh ditegur
ii. Sebab tak boleh ditegur, dia tak perasan yang dia didalam 'mimpi' yang panjang
iii. Sebab tak boleh ditegur, dia tak perasan yang orang lain dah lama maju dan akan terus maju
iv. Sebab tak boleh ditegur, dia tak perasan yang stage 2 survival kita perlukan kita bertindak secara drastik, mungkin satu tindakan ingenius yang mmg pun orang lain tak buat, iaitu melaksanakan PPSMI. Ye la, kalau kita asyik nak buat apa yang orang lain buat, bila masa kita nak potong orang tu. Eistein kata "if the idea is not crazy enough, there is no hope for any solution" something like this.
iv. Dan bangsa aku tak perasan, untuk survive, mesti lah ada pengorbanan dan kesusahan. Anak2 kita disekolah memang la kena susah sikit, cikgu2 sekolah dan pensyarah2 universiti pun kena la susah sikit. Ai, kalau nak bandingkan kesusahan anak2 Palestin tu, susah kita dan anak2 kita ni tak da apa pun Yeob!!!!
v. Dan akhir sekali, bangsa aku tak perasan dan tak ambil kisah langsung bila sekolah2 cina dan india terus dibenarkan pengajaran mereka dalam bahasa Inggeris. Kalau semua orang tak boleh, tak pe lah juga, biarlah kita Melayu, Cina dan India bersama2 ketinggalan berbanding dengan masyarakat antarabangsa, tapi kalau macam ni, tinggal Melayu sahajalah yang ketinggalan nanti, sebab pelajar2 cina dan india akan terus mampu untuk 'membaca' buku2 tebal dalam English tersebut seperti masyarakat antarabangsa yang lain. Dan nanti bila sampai waktunya pelajar2 melayu 'melingkup', jangan pula salahkan pelajar2 cina dan india ini kerana kita sendiri yang tak mahu PPSMI ni dulu. Entahlah...wallahualam.

My other writings on PPSMI (just click):


Balik raya haji kelmarin, AirilSametok Band sempat record some new songs. This one is called GIVE ME YOUR LOVE. Lagu2 yang lain aku upload kemudian. Lyrics ada kat bawah video ni. Happy listening.

Give me your love (3x)
So that I can live

Tanpa dirimu, aku lemah dan aku buntu,
Tiada arah dan tempat yang hendak ku tuju,
Aku keliru, lemas aku dalam rindu mu,
Sesak nafas ku tiap kali ku mengenangmu.

Bila kau tiada dunia terasa sunyinya,
Hilang ceria diganti kelam mendung derita,
Jika begini aku separuh mati,
Berikan cinta so that I live

Tanpa dirimu aku buntu, tiada arah nak dituju
Lemas ku dilanda rindu kepadamu
Oh bila kau tiada dunia
Terasa sunyinya hilang ceria diganti kelam derita

Give me your (3x)
So that I can live

Jika kau berikan ku cinta
Bersinar sinarlah hidupku ini
Aku bertenaga, aku berkuasa
Menjadi lelaki perkasa menjajah dunia
Jika kau berikan ku cinta
Berseri hidupku dengan harapan
Kerna kau disisi

Thursday, 3 November 2011


Student: What is Galerkin formulation?
Dr Airil: Galerkin formulation is a type of weighted residual method aka WRM.

Student: What is a WRM then?
Dr Airil: WRM is one of the numerical methods for solving DE.

Student: How WRM does that (solving the DE)?
Dr Airil: Ok, lets say we have a DE of a domain. To make thing simple, lets take this domain as 1-dimensional, having a length of L. Then assume a trial function and insert this trial function into the DE. Since this trial function is not the actual solution of the DE (if it is the actual solution, we would not have the problem in the first place right because we already know the solution), there will be a so called residual function, R which in the forms of ordinary function rather than DE. Since it is now an ordinary function, it can be integrated over the domain, that is from 0 to L. Such integration will 'replace' the independent variable say, x into numeral and leave the coefficient of the trial functions as the unknowns. Then we will end up with algebraic equation instead of DE.

Student: But wait, you have talked about this, haven't you?
Dr Airil: Yes I did when we were discussing about the basic idea of any numerical techniques.

Student: Ok, please proceed.
Dr Airil. Thanks, I will continue. But, if we conduct the integration on R only once, we will ended up only with one equation which is not enough because we have many unknown coefficients. So we need more equations, as many as there are the coefficients. Say, if we have three coefficient, that means we need three algebraic simultaneous equations. So, the question is how can we get this three equations? Or the more general question would be, if we have n unknown coefficient, how can we get n simultaneous algebraic equations? Can you follow me?

Student: Yes, I can follow you so far. Please continue.
Dr Airil: Ok. The answer is, we must create the n equations. And this can be done by multiplying R with another function say w before we do the integration. Because every time we multiply R with a new function,w which is independent of R, we can get a totally 'new' function of Rw. So, if we need to create say three algebraic equations, all we need to do is to create functions Rw1, Rw2 and Rw3. But there is one last condition, w1, w2 and w3 must all be independent from each other. After that, we conduct the individual integration on these three 'new' functions to obtain the desired set of simultaneous equations. That's it, this is WRM.

Student: If this is WRM, then what is Galerkin?
Dr Airil: Galerkin is when we employ shape functions as the interpolation functions but since we have been talking for quite some time now, I think its better for me to postpone any further discussion on Galerkin although that was what you initially asked about. I want you to digest first what I have told you about WRM above.

Student: Ok understood. But before I let you go, I like you to know that what you have told sounds a bit difficult to me.
Dr Airil: Do not worry. Please take this discussion as a preparation for tomorrow's night FE gathering. I can assure you that things will be much easier once you see me 'in action', you know what I mean.

Student: Oh, really? If that is the case, I can't wait to see you tomorrow.
Dr Airil: I am glad to hear that. Tomorrow then.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


This is a topic I used to write about, some two years ago (please refer 2009's entries) and never thought I would write about it again. Why? Because as time gone by, I gradually realized that it was useless even to try to make our people understand about the issue. It was useless to tell the people it was not the English Language that was of interest but the Mathematics and Sciences acquirement was instead, the sole purpose.

But one of the reader to this blog, AGENDA RAKYAT has somehow reminded me of the issue (a natural sequence of the recent reemerging of the issue in public, of course). So, I think why not I rewrite about it but in a different style, that is in a dialogue forms as follows (if you notice, this has been the forms of my recent entries) :

Why they would not understand the issue?
Because many of them had never gone through the need to read the more than 1000 pages of Thomas's Calculus or KJ Bathe's Finite Element Procedures and alike.

Why the need to read these books?
If nobody in our society reads these books, than our understanding on science and technology is vague, fragile, futile etc.

Are not you reading these books, is not it enough for the society?
Me alone and maybe a couple of friends of mine are not enough. I should have made it more detailed, when I said nobody, I referred not to a single person but more to a portion of the society.

How big this portion should be?
As big as in the societies which our society want to be. If we really want to be an advanced society, it should be about those say in the UK, US, Japan, Germany.

So, how big that would be?
I do not know exactly, but based on my experience and observation, much bigger than having me and just a couple of my friends.

Are not we producing engineers which have managed so far to build structures, bridges, cars etc?
Hmm, if that is enough, then we would not be discussing about why our country is still not making any money out of 'knowledge', in the first place, would we? The analogy would be, if we build our own house, we will not get paid, but if we build someone else house, we will be paid. Yes, we have been and are still producing engineers but only for our own 'household chores' purposes. So when we talk about innovation, sustainable economy and development and things like that, it is about doing someone else 'household chores', if you know what I mean.

Let's go back to the part of reading Thomas's Calculus. What PPSMI got to do with it?
Everything. Ok, before we discuss further, let me remind you that when I say Thomas's Calculus, I do not mean it literally but as a representative in terms of magnitude. Ok, about your question, how about you go around and ask engineering students or the engineers themselves about what they really understand about 'calculus'. Or just ask them for the things they remember from the book. I can't help from being prejudice but the majority of the answers you will get is that they do not understand it or do not remember it. You know why? Because they can not read 'the story telling' inside the book. As I keep saying, math and science is not about the numbers but it is about the way of 'thinking' which is hard to grasp if we cannot read the 'story telling'. And on why we cannot read the 'story telling' it is because our English is poor. PPSMI is supposed to resolve this problem.

What if the engineers say that 'calculus' is not important, too theoretical, not relevant in practice or something like that?
If they say these, then it would be an immediate proof of how our society has failed to produce 'real' engineers. No engineers in his right training would say that, ask those in advanced societies, you would not get such answers.

What is your opinion on the statement that the Germans, Japanese and Mainland Chinese for examples, are using their mother tongue in teaching and learning Math and Science but still advancing.
I have written on exactly this so I do not want to repeat it here. Those interested please click JANGAN JADIKAN GERMAN ALASAN.

Do not you love your Bahasa Malaysia?
Of course I love my own language but I love my people more (especially the young ones). And, please, this is not about perceiving English as superior than Bahasa Melayu, not at all. This is about the world is changing rapidly and yes, we can learn Math and Science by our mother tongue but we just have no time left. We have missed that period and we are about 100 years late.

Why you said there is no time left, why the rush?
You see, ohhh you should experience it yourself to know. If you go to Malaysian universities, you will see that our students read.........