Malaysian Government Ministries’ Websites

January 4, 2011

I have observed that many Malaysian government department websites are poorly designed, maintained and are less frequently updated for the benefit of the online users. Some are downright outdated by months, while others are unsatisfactorily designed as if done by amateurs. Many websites took the design for granted and are usually scattered with misspelt words and wrong usage of the English grammar. Here are some examples I randomly picked from one of the government departments’ websites:

Bad spelling mistake

Malaysia urged to put a stop to bottle "lettering"?

By right the above caption should be “Malaysia urged to put a stop to bottle “littering”. How can you allow such silly mistakes in an official website of the Department of Environment, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Government of Malaysia?

Now about the design. Anybody familiar with photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or CorelDraw would certainly know how to maintain the aspect ratio of a photograph when you enlarge or stretch it to fit a fixed size. The example posted below show an amateurish design with blatant disregard of the aspect ratio (i.e. stretching the photo to the maximum without regard to its visual aesthetic value). The end-result is a horrible looking distorted photograph not fit to be displayed in an official government website:

 

Bad, bad aspect ratio!

Apart from the poorly designed graphics, mistakes in the usage of the English grammar are rampant. The most common one is usually the signage displaying the official operating hours. “Open: 8:00 am; Close 4:00 pm”. The image below is another common mistake:

 

Another common grammar mistake

Department of Environment's Portal Can Be Surf Via Mobile Phone?

The caption above could be correctly rewritten as “Department of Environment’s Portal Can Be Surfed Via Mobile Phones“. I am not an expert linguist but I can spot an English grammar mistake quite easily. The standard of English in Malaysia has seen an imposing deterioration in the past decade or so. The Ministry of Education has a massive responsibility to rectify this problem before our English officially becomes Manglish (Malaysian-English) i.e. another listed form of pidgin English (ref: List of English-based pidgins).

 

Advertisements

Happy New Year 2011!

December 31, 2010

Wishing all friends and readers a Happy New Year 2011! May this year brings us good fortune, prosperity and the best of health. Amin!

★ ˛ •. HAPPY ★ • ★ ° ˛. ★ ★ NEW YEAR 2011 *. *. ° ˛ ˚ ★ • ★ HAPPY ° ˛. NEW YEAR 2011 * ★ ★ ˛˛ • ˛ • ˚ * HAPPY ★ ° ˛˛ * ★ • *• NEW YEAR 2011

We bade 2010 farewell. We welcome 2011!

Blogged from my iPhone
December 31, 2010


BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop


Good morning! It’s a wet Thursday, Dece…

December 23, 2010

Good morning! It’s a wet Thursday, December 23, 2010 (Khamis, 17 Muharram 1432H)—Just 2 more days till Christmas.


Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, Putrajaya, Malaysia

December 13, 2010
Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, Putrajaya, Malaysia

Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, Putrajaya, Malaysia

Today, December 13th, 2010 (8 Muharram, 1432H) marks as an historic day for me. I had the opportunity to visit the Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin in Putrajaya for the first time. The famed masjid is nicknamed as “Masjid Besi” or “Iron Mosque” due to the design and structure of the building and the silver metallic dome at the top. The mosque looks grand from afar. But lo and behold, I was taken aback upon entering it. The maintenance of the mosque is in a mess! Honestly, it really is. The mosque being officially commissioned by the Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin about six months ago on June 11th, 2010, is in a state of disrepair. It is beyond belief for a 6-month old building to be in such a poor condition. From the outside I thought I could be proud of the mosque, alas I was disheartened by what I saw upon entering it. I wonder why Malaysians are very poor in the discipline of building maintenance. This mosque is supposed to be a place of worship for Muslims and a major tourist attraction for Godsake!

Here are some setbacks that I observed:

1. There were no conspicuous signage directing to the main entrance of the mosque from outside. I ended up going via the car park building opposite the mosque. My goodness! The car park was very dark, gloomy and DIRTY! Rubbish were strewn everywhere and there was no sign of it being recently cleaned.

2. At the main entrance, there was no welcoming signage as if visitors are not welcomed, enter at your own will and risk. However, the name of the mosque is proudly displayed on the wall but the lighting was bad and the letterings just blended with the wall. A spotlight or background lighting is highly imperative here. The advertising streamers on the left and right of the wall do not help to beautify the mosque at all. The management should make do without these unsightly commercial promotional aids.

Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin

Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin

3.  I took the flight of stairs up since the escalator was not functioning. Imagine a disabled person visiting this mosque. How on earth could he go two levels up by himself to reach the main prayer hall?

4. Upon reaching the top of the stairs I was welcomed with a pool of spilt coffee stains. I kid you not! The photograph below is the evidence. Just outside on the patio, you will see a small pond which has never seen proper maintenance. It has now turned into a mosquito breeding ground, complete with molds and algae.

Coffee stains at the top landing of the stairs

Coffee stains at the top landing of the stairs

5. The passage to the ablution hall/room was dimly lighted. Never mind, energy conservation in progress I presume. At my age, I found it hard to lift my legs into the sink. Why do they make it so hard for frail people and people with disabilities beats me. I have NEVER come across a mosque that provides sinks only for you to do your ablution. You will have to lift your legs rather high in order to wash them in the sink. Why can’t they provide the normal water taps on a wall for ease of use?

Dimly lit passageway to the ablution hall/room

Dimly lit passageway to the ablution hall/room

Wash your feet in the sink? How ludicrous!

Wash your feet in the sink? How ludicrous!

6. The prayer hall is fine. Nothing grand here except for the unique Quranic excerpts inscribed in gold on the glass wall in front. Normally, you’d feel overwhelmed with emotion upon entering a mosque, but sad to say, it is not so with this one. Maybe it was just me.

The main prayer hall

The main prayer hall

7. From the prayer hall, you can see the scenery outside because the mosque has no side walls blocking your view. To the right in the distant you can see another mosque, the “Pink Mosque” or “Masjid Putera”. To the left, you can see one of the beautiful bridges of Putrajaya spanning across the lake.

The "Pink Mosque" or "Masjid Putera" in the distant right

The "Pink Mosque" or "Masjid Putera" in the distant right

One of the beautiful bridges of Putrajaya on the left

One of the beautiful bridges of Putrajaya on the left

8. From the main prayer hall, if you walk to the side of the mosque (I only went to the right side) you will retreat in disgust. Rain water is found clogged on the floor and it looks like it has NEVER been cleaned. The whole stretch of the floor from the front to the rear of the mosque is choked and molds are spotted everywhere. I felt so ashamed of myself. Luckily there were no foreign tourists anywhere near me at that particular moment. How on earth did they leave the floor in that filthy situation?

Downright filthy floor!

Downright filthy floor!

9. On my way out, I spotted large stains on the marble flooring. I was busy taking photographs when I was approached by a man who introduced himself as the clerk-of-works for the contractor of the mosque since day one the construction began about 4 years ago. He told me that the whole marble tiles will be replaced and it will take a couple of months to complete. The stains were as a result of inexperienced foreign construction workers spilling acid to clean it. But it left permanent stains instead of becoming sparkling clean.

Large blotches of permanent stains are everywhere

Large blotches of permanent stains are everywhere

I left feeling sorry and dispirited at the state of maintenance or the lack of it the mosque is in. The building is officially just 6-months old, and taking into account the lack of maintenance of the mosque, I wonder how it will look like in the near future say in a year or a couple of years time.

Broken tiles greet you on the way to the mosque

Broken tiles greet you on the way to the mosque

Cleanliness is godliness. Islam promotes cleanliness and wants its adherent to live in a healthy condition. Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin is a big disgrace to Islam and to the nation. Enough said.


Five Websites That Will Make You A Bette…

December 9, 2010

Five Websites That Will Make You A Better, Smarter Geek | Techi.com
http://www.techi.com/2010/07/five-websites-that-will-make-you-a-better-smarter-geek/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+techirss+%28Techi%29


“Journey to Mecca for Hajj 2010 – by bicycle…” (via ISLAM—World’s Greatest Religion!)

November 21, 2010

Mashallah. They pedalled from Capetown, South Africa to Saudi Arabia just to perform the Haj. I wish I had their strength and courage to do likewise. Allah s.w.t. protects them in their noble journey for the sake of Allah and Islam.

"Journey to Mecca for Hajj 2010 - by bicycle..." "Journey to Mecca for Hajj 2010 – by bicycle…" Two young South Africans have pedaled their way to Saudi Arabia to perform this year's Haj. Nathim Cairncross, 28, and Imtiyaz Ahmad Haron, 25, both from Cape Town, said on arrival at the Saudi border before reaching Tabuk that they felt happy they were fulfilling their dream of performing Haj. "Pedaling our way to the Kingdom from Cape Town was a grueling experience. We wanted to travel this way s … Read More

via ISLAM—World's Greatest Religion!


Dual disasters in Indonesia

November 11, 2010

Indonesia was rocked by two separate disasters earlier this week – a 7.7-magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami on Monday that swept onto the Mentawai Island chain in western Indonesia, and less than 24 hours later and a few hundred miles away, Mount Merapi erupted multiple times, unleashing searing pyroclastic flows that destroyed villages and blanketed the countryside in ash. Rescue personnel are only now reaching some of the more remote areas, but as of this writing, it is estimated that nearly 300 people were killed by the tsunami, and at least 30 died near Mount Merapi. Collected here are early photos from the dual disasters, and the rescue and recovery efforts just underway.

LET US ALL PRAY FOR THEM!!

Please wait while the images Loads

A man wears a face mask as ash from the erupting Mount Merapi volcano blankets a street, at Kaliurang village in Sleman, on October 26, 2010 near Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Thousands have been ordered to evacuate as Mount Merapi, which last erupted in 2006, began to emit plumes of smoke and clouds of ash.

This aerial photo shows a damaged building in a village flattened by Monday’s earthquake triggered tsunami on Pagai island, West Sumatra, Indonesia, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010.

A structure off its foundation and other destruction is seen in this October 26, 2010 photo taken on North Pagai (Pagai Utara), one of the Mentawai islands off the west coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra island after an earthquake and following tsunami hit the area the night before.

This aerial photograph taken from Vice President Boediono’s helicopter shows the remains of a village area swept away by a tsunami in North Pagai island, one of the Mentawai islands, on October 27, 2010.

An aerial photo shows trees uprooted by Monday’s earthquake-triggered tsunami on Pagai island, West Sumatra, Indonesia, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010.

Villagers wrap recovered bodies in plastic in the tsunami-hit Muntei Baru Baru village, where hundreds of homes once stood, in the Cikakap subdistrict of Indonesia’s Mentawai islands on October 26, 2010.

Bodies of young children lie in the tsunami-hit Muntei Baru Baru village, in Indonesia’s Mentawai islands on October 26, 2010.

An aerial photograph taken from Vice President Boediono’s helicopter shows a house swept away by a tsunami, leaving only the concrete floor area behind, in North Pagai island on October 27, 2010.

Uprooted trees and a battered structure on Pagai island, West Sumatra, Indonesia, damaged by Monday’s earthquake-triggered tsunami. Photo taken on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010.

Australian tsunami survivors Daniel Scanlan, left, and injured Robert Marino walk on the pier upon their arrival at a port in Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010. The group of Australians said they were on the back deck of their chartered boat, anchored in a bay, when Monday’s quake and tsunami struck. The 10-foot tsunami swept away hundreds of homes, and killed scores of villagers.

Indonesian Vice President Boediono (3rd from right in white shirt), accompanied by officials, prays over recovered bodies of tsunami victims in North Pagai island on October 27, 2010.

The sun rises over a smoking Mount Merapi on August 8th of 2010.

A government volcanologist monitors Mount Merapi activity from Volcano Monitoring Centre in Yogyakarta on October 25, 2010. Indonesia ordered thousands of people to evacuate from around Mount Merapi as it raised the alert for its most active volcano to red, warning of a possible imminent eruption. Mount Merapi, which lies around 25 kilometers north of the town of Yogyakarta in the center of Java, last erupted in June 2006.

A view of the Mount Merapi volcano emitting smoke is seen from Cangkringan village in the district of Sleman, central Java October 25, 2010.

Villagers travel in a truck after being evacuated from their village to Girikerto village in Sleman, on October 26, 2010 near Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Authorities evacuated more than 11,000 villagers living on the slopes of the Mount Merapi volcano near Yogyakarta on Java after the alert status for an eruption was raised to the highest level.

A rescuer carries an elderly woman to a temporary shelter as she is evacuated from her home on the slope of Mount Merapi, in Pakem, Yogyakarta, Indonesia on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010.

Indonesian rescuers evacuate victims of Merapi volcano at Kinahrejo village, Sleman, Yogyakarta on October 26, 2010, after the volcano erupted three times.

A rescuer carries a young victim at Kinahrejo village, Sleman, Yogyakarta on October 26, 2010 after the eruption of Indonesia’s Mount Merapi volcano.

Paramedics wheel a burned, ash-covered villager on a stretcher as Mount Merapi erupts, at Kaliurang village in Sleman, on October 26, 2010 near Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Paramedics carry an injured villager in Kaliurang village in Sleman, on October 26, 2010.

A mother carries her son as she runs following the erupution of Mount Merapi, at Kaliurang village in Sleman, on October 26, 2010.

A rescuer wheels a man, badly burned by an eruption of Mount Merapi, into a hospital in Pakem, Yogyakarta, Indonesia on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010.

Burnt trees and ash cover the ground in the village of Kinarrejo in Sleman, near the ancient city of Yogyakarta, October 27, 2010.

Volunteers search for victims of the Mount Merapi eruption at Kinahrejo village in Sleman, Indonesia on October 27, 2010.

A bowl of noodles and a glass rest on a table, covered by ash at Mbah Marijan’s house at Kinarrejo village in Sleman on October 27, 2010. Mbah Marijan, was considered to be the spiritual gatekeeper of Mount Merapi

A buffalo lies dead and covered with volcanic ash at a village hit by pyroclastic flows from Tuesday’s eruption of Mount Merapi in Kinahrejo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010.

ndonesian search and rescue teams explore the area after Mount Merapi volcano erupted the night before in the village of Pakem in Sleman, Yogyakarta province on October 27, 2010.

A car covered in volcanic ash sits amongst surrounding damage after Mount Merapi volcano erupted the night before in the village of Pakem in Sleman on October 27, 2010.

A motorist covers his face with his jacket as he rides on an ash-covered road in Klaten, Central Java October 27, 2010 after Mount Merapi erupted on Tuesday.

This file photo taken on May 17, 2006 shows Mbah Marijan, the appointed guardian for Mount Merapi by Yogyakarta’s highly respected Sultan Hamengkubuwono X as he prays for the people’s safety in Kinahrejo. Marijan was one of the victims of the eruption. Grandfather Marijan was found dead – reportedly discovered in a prayer position – inside his burnt house about four kilometers (2.5 miles) from the peak, local officials said.

A medic takes a look at the coffin of Merapi volcano guardian Grandfather Marijan next to other dead bodies at the Sarjito hospital in Yogyakarta on October 27, 2010.

A rescue worker searches for victims of Mount Merapi eruption in Kinahrejo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010.

Volcanic ash covers the interior of a house at a village badly hit by pyroclastic flows from Mount Merapi eruption in Kinahrejo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010.

Volunteers carry the body of a victim of the Mount Merapi eruption at Kinarrejo village in Sleman on October 27, 2010.

Cows covered with terrible burns stand outside a destroyed barn the day after Mount Merapi volcano erupted in the village of Pakem in Sleman, Yogyakarta province on October 27, 2010.

Sukadi (right) prays at the burial of his brother, a victim of the Mount Merapi eruption, at Umbulhardjo village in Sleman, near the ancient city of Yogyakarta, October 27, 2010.

A man watches Mount Merapi as seen from Kaligendol, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010.

OUR PRAYERS ARE FOR YOU, DEAR FRIENDS IN INDONESIA.
LOVE, BLESSINGS, AND PEACE!