April 4, 2018

Why Jonah…the story behind it


Why you so Jonah eh? Every person in medical field in Malaysia must have heard this word, Jonah. Doctors commonly are labelled being Jonah or some anti-Jonah (fondly mentioned as anti-J). Doctors & nurses would understand what I am saying J

But lots of time, when I ask my colleagues do you know what/who is Jonah….the answer would be negative. So I shall try to write on this briefly.

HOW JONAH IS DEFINED IN THE DICTIONARY

According to collinsdictionary.com :

1(a)  a Hebrew prophet: thrown overboard in a storm sent because he had disobeyed God, he was swallowed by a big fish, but three days later was cast up on the shore unharmed

(b)  the book telling Jonah's story

2.  any person said to bring bad luck by being



WHO IS JONAH?

Jonah @ Yunus (alaihis-salam) is a revered prophet mentioned in Old Testament & the Qurán.

Yes, he is a prophet believed by Muslims as well as Jewish & Christians. I’m not going to talk about the differences in how Muslims / Jewish / Christians beliefs regarding his prophethood.

Prophet Yunus is one of the 25 Rasul known to Muslims. He is the 21st in the list. He was sent to a place named Ninawa (somewhere in Iraq) to get them to worship Allah as the only god. After years of preaching (da’wah), Yunus (as) was so disappointed as only a handful of Ninawa people accepted his teachings & prayed to Allah. Majority belittled him & challenged him to call upon his god to send the destructions that he has always been saying.

Yunus (as) became disillusioned & left his people before Allah’s order came. His journey took him to shore and boarded a loaded ship. In meantime, signs of destruction has arrived at Ninawa & people of Ninawa started to repent were looking for Yunus to guide them back to the right path. Nevertheless, their search were in vain as Yunus (as) has already boarded the ship.

Meanwhile, the ship Yunus (as) was in started to encounter rough sea. The captain of the ship made a decision to remove someone in order to reduce load in the ship. They unanimously agreed to draw lots. Thrice Yunus’name was drawn & he believed that this is Allah’s will & jumped off the ship.

On Allah’s order, a big fish (whale) swallowed Yunus and he stayed in its stomach & never stopped repenting to Allah as he felt that he made a sin by leaving his people without Allah’consent. The doá that Yunus recited was well captured in the Qurán (surah Al-Anbiya’ : verse 87).

So eventually his act of repentance was accepted by Allah & Yunus (as) was thrown out of the whale’s stomach. He went back to his people and guided the right path.

*Story of Jonah is depicted in bible (old testament) as well – book of Jonah.

SO WHY JONAH BEING IMPLICATED AS SOMEONE WHO BRINGS BAD LUCK/JINXED?

Yunus (as) @ Jonah was removed from the ship not because he brought bad luck, but it was merely meant to reduce load in the ship as the sea was getting rough and above all it was God’s will. So why is Jonah being implicated as someone with bad luck? Jonah left his people before Allah’s command came & this incident served to be a reminder to Jonah & all of us to be patient and seek guidance from Allah in the period of hardships.

OK, people might say..hey this is just for fun! True we can take it that way, but as a practicing Muslim or Jewish/Christian alike, we should try to avoid using terms that belittles our prophets. It sounds cool to be updated about vocabs & idioms in English but will be good to know why certain terms/words are used and whether are they appropriate or less appropriate.

We can probably use other words like, Im ‘jinxed’, that is why my oncalls are always busy & I’m ‘blessed’ that is why my oncalls are always cool.

So, think about it peeps. Just my two-cents.. Adios!




December 15, 2017

Cameron Highlands 2D 1N trip

I have been to all states in Malaysia and quite a number of the tourist attraction places in Malaysia; except to this place. So finally I decided to make a trip here on an auspicious  day of 3rd December 2017

3 DECEMBER 2017
7.30 AM : Left to Cameron (from Jelutong), with my parents, sister & nephew Ameer.
It was a smooth drive up to PLUS highway, where we exited at exit 137, Simpang Pulai. Of course we did stop by at Sg.Perak R&R for approx. 30 minutes. From there we headed towards Cameron Highlands as directed by googlemap,. In fact the route is not that difficult as signage are well placed and the route does not involve lots of turnings. Only swerving and curving all the way up.
11 AM : We were at Cameron Highland Lavender Farm, which is only about 3-4 km from Brinchang town. We did not enter this place as the tickets were quite pricey just to watch flowers.

PLACES:
Bee Farm - was the first place we entered. A 3 storey building locating shops, small café & bee hives at the ground floor (open space). Nothing to shout about; perhaps can grab some honey if you are a honey lover
Sg.Palas Boh Tea Plantation - the hilly road leading to this plantation is just opposite Bee Farm. OK, this 3.5km route can be quite frustrating as it is one way on most parts of it; and better still no one to control traffic flow. So, what can happen is that you can just get stranded in the middle, awaiting to opposite coming vehicle to reverse or you have to reverse. It took us about 30minutes to get down this 3.5km road! The other thing that I am not happy is that parking to go to the café & sales centre at this area is placed way down the hill. They do not allow people to park right in front of the café (not enough parking area). Hence, we had to park & climb stairs of like 500metres length! Just impractical for those travelling with elderlies & toddlers. 
The café was packed on the day we went (expected as it was a Sunday of school holidays) They sold tea-based beverages (of course) and cakes, muffins etc. Prices were OK (RM3.90 for a mug of Teh-O at a tea plantation site...expected lor..) They had all sorts of Boh products at sales area. Mind you, prices in fact were a bit more than what you can at supermarkets elsewhere. Good thing is that you could buy products not available elsewhere. 

3.30 PM : Checked in to SA Apartment @ Crown Imperial Plaza. It is an apartment turned into a homestay. Located right at Brinchang town. Very spacious. SA Apartment @ Crown Imperial Plaza :
  1. points for - Very spacious; Good for up to 15 persons to stay in one house
                           - parking provided
                           - fairly clean
                           - can cook (stoves provided)
     2.  points against - no WIFI
                                 - Astro : only NJoi available
                                 - bathroom taps not satisfactory

After a short break, we left to Brinchang night market (aka coldest pasar malam in Malaysia). After had enough at the market, then came the most difficult task....to find a dining place which shall suit my mom! So, I went straight to Masjid Abu Bakar to Jama' first, before going for dinner hunt. 
Drove to Tanah Rata, to Abang Strawberry Restaurant; but unfortunately they serve only grilles & steamboat for dinner. So, decided to go Singh Chapati. Had some paratha & chapatti. This area reminisced me about Hydrebad, where we had to buy paratha/chapatti & dhal separately :)
After dinner, back home and Zzzzz...

4 DECEMBER 2017 (hari kedua & terakhir)

Memandangkan tak bercadang nak p banyak tempat, kami keluaq rumah dalam 8.30 AM. P cari sarapan (macam biasa...Indian food lagi), makan kat Restoran Sri Sentosa
Lepas makan, pi cari tempat nak beli strawberry-petik sendiri. P kawasan Taman Sedia. Ada beberapa kedai kat sini. Mula p AZ Agro..dia kata xdak strawberry dah. Pastu nak p Abang Strawberry (ni cawangan restaurant kat Tanah Rata yang kami p semalam); tapi Nampak Opah Strawberries & Jam dulu. Maka berhenti kat sini dan p Tanya pasal strawberry; dia kata bole petik sendiri, tapi tak banyak yang tinggai (sebab musim cuti skolah...dah banyak dah kena 'kebas') Jadi kami pun p la masuk garden dia petik sepuas2. Dapat la dlm 970gm! RM35 only (plg murah kot) Kat Opah strawberries ni ada gak simple café, juai scones & muffins & beverages. Boleh la nak try. Betoi2 ada opah yang buat bisnes kat sini..and I think she has Parkinsonism...tapi kegigihan opah ni layan customers memang admirable!
PAs keluaq dari Opah ni baru perasan rupanya Abang Strawberry tu sebelah ja.. P singgah gak la..tanya2 harga. Depa ada Grade A berries...yang dah siap petik, RM50/kg. Yg petik sendiri RM70/kg. Grades denote size I guess.. So, what we got is still a good bargain I guess, nak rasa petik sendiri ja pun..tu yg ada excitement :) Abang Strawberry ni ada café gak, bernama Abang 200 Seeds selling full meals for b.fast & lunch. So I decided to come back for lunch there.

Next stop, Bharat Tea Plantation. Bharat ni product dia nama Cameron Valley. Not so popular outside Cameron, tapi Nampak plantation dia besaq gak (ada 2 kat Cameron; 1 tu lepas Tanah Rata, jalan nak p Ringlet); 1 lagi sebelum Brinchang. Kami p yang lepas Tanah Rata tu. Far better road & parking space berbanding dengan Sg.Palas Boh. Lepas membeli; kami pun belah...balik ke Tanah Rata, nak p makan kat Abang 200 Seeds. Tapi singgah sat kat Big Red Strawberry Farm. Tempat ni banyak disarankan dalam google map; maka singgah gak la. Jalan dia memang mencanang! Tempat dia ada gak strawberry petik sendiri, café, mart selling all sorts of strawberry-based products & fresh veggies (chillies, salads only). X beli sangat kat sini. 
Lunch @ Abang 200 Seeds Restaurant. RM57 for 5 pax...kira OK. Mee Kari dia mantap!

Then is way back home. Since my mom was so eager to buy fresh veggies, I googled and found lots of people recommended Kea Farm. Kea Farm is on the way out of Cameron, few km after Brinchang town. The road heading out of Cameron was quite jammed (I guess better than Saturdays). The parking area at Kea Market (yeah..it is actually a market...I did not see any Farms there!)was miserable. Bought some veggies. Perhaps the best bargain was jagung - you can get 16-20 pieces for RM10.

After that, it was all the way home. Arrival was very much delayed due to some road works on highway ( at 2 separate locations). Took us almost 5 hours as compared to only 3 hours yesterday.

TIPS:
1. You can reach Cameron in 3 hours...from Penang Island; provided you leave early (by 7.30AM), the sky is clear & no long stops on highway.
2. Be assured; the road up to Cameron via Simpang Pulai is excellent...not as what I have heard before.
3. Avoid going up there on Saturdays (moreover if it is during school holidays)
4. Bring socks to wear at night...the coldness could be piercing your bones.
5. Avoid Sg.Palas Boh Plantation. Do visit Bharat Plantation instead for a similar experience. (Not sure about Boh Ringlet plantation)
6. Make sure you try self-plucking of strawberries!
7. Stay at Tanah Rata or Brinchang. Ringlet has nothing much here.
8. In a nutshell, Cameron Highlands is a must-visit place (at least once in a lifetime) for all Malaysians. Good place for family hangouts & couples. But not really of a friends outing place; unless you have a group of avid hikers as friends. You can try out Mossy Forest & Gunung Irau.
Insyaallah shall come back for these 2 mountains.


This is the posterior view of Bee Farm block


Bee Farm

An "aerial" view of the never-ending staircase leading to Sg.Palas Boh Cafe

Sg.Palas Boh Café 
Brinchang town
Self-plucking strawberry @ Opah Strawberries


Bharat Tea - Café & Plantation (right after Tanah Rata - towards Ringlet)
Ameer at the staircase leading down to the Bharat Tea Plantation
saujana mata memandang 






Brinchang Pasar Malam









August 18, 2017

Lumut-KL road trip

I've been to Lumut only once, back in 2012 & in fact it was a brief stop by with my friend Hasan. So this trip worth calling my "first" trip to Lumut.

11 August 2017

Left Penang at 9.20am; parents as my trip "accomplice". Exited Taiping/Changkat Jering about an hour later.
Then  endured one and a half hour of almost network-less journey along oil palm plantations en route to Lumut. I relied on signboards; passed by places like Terong & Beruas. Encountered turns to Manjung & Sitiawan at the later part of my drive. Only later on I found out there is another road via Pantai Remis; where by motorists have to take Right turning after rows of shops at Terong.

Finally checked in to Ritz Inn Lumut @ 12 noon. Had our home made Briyani at hotel room; before heading to Masjid Al-Adly for Jummah prayers.

Lumut:
Started as a small fishing village, which later thrived after being made base for Malaysian Royal Navy. There is even a military hospital at Lumut. KKM hospital is at Manjung. 
In my perspective, Lumut is a small, quiet town which serves as a gateway to Pangkor Island. I guess it will only appear busy during school holidays. 
Business here mainly about selling dried seafood products (e.g. ikan masin, sotong masin, keropok etc) Noticed a few Mamak restaurants as well as KFC & Domino's.
Sitiawan is a mere 10km drive and Manjung town is not too far. Hence people of Lumut has no problems getting to these places to hang out.

As I had no idea as to where I shall take my parents to, I brought them to a "pasar malam" not too far from Lumut town (noticed this place when Hasan & I went to Marina Island earlier to get race kit)
It is just a normal "pasar malam"like elsewhere, but the eye-catching matter is the price of "äthirasam" @ kuih peniram. Sold at RM1 for 10 pieces. The taste was superb; hence we bought 70 pieces :)

There were quite a number of restaurants at Lumut town as well as a bit farther; but did not try any as did not want to stuff myself too much prior to my run next day.

12 August 2017

Silverman Half Marathon:
This is the inaugural event held in Marina Island, organised by warrior-quest. The run starts at Marina Island, a man-made Island on reclaimed land (privately owned :) Again I am with my running buddy, Hasan..who drove all the way from Aloq Setaq with his family.
The kick-off was punctual; at 7.15am. We had to run 2 loops of 10.5km each loop. Of course into roads of Lumut and back to Marina Island. The track was quite challenging - going up the slope 8 times!
As I was ill-prepared, of course some minor cramps started during the second loop & overall performance was unsatisfactory. Finished at 3:03 hours.
Post-run, breakfast provided & finisher tee given. The only draw back is that throughout the run, no isotonic drinks provided. Only given power-root cans. Something the organizer has to improve on.

Drive to KL:

Checked out at 12 noon & headed straight to KL, solely relying on my unreliable waze & googlemap (connected via U mobile).
The nearest road to get to highway Utara-Selatan is supposed to be via Teluk Intan. Unfortunately one bridge that has to be passed by to get to Teluk Intan gave way & had to be closed for repairing works. Hence we had to take a longer route to reach highway. This longer route opened up an option of getting into highway via Tapah or Teluk Intan; and I opted for Tapah. Stopped at Tapah for lunch.
My first time in Tapah though..haha.

KL:
Checked in to Shangri La at 4.30pm. Was at the Spiolto launching & dinner from 5.30 - 8.30.
Foods were superb - pre&post launching.

13 August 2017

Not much plans for today, except that going to Amcorp Mall, PJ. Check out at 12noon. Went for lunch at Setapak (near apartment I used to stay in 2015). Then straight to Amcorp Mall. Unfortunately the shop we were  supposed to go to sell our old books & CDs has shut down. The whole floor looked a lot different. too many "stalls" selling old staff...right from books, records, CDs and even old toys.
Left the place at 3 something; headed straight to highway. Stopped by at Rawang, just to take a stroll around the town. 



Reached Penang at 9.15pm.

Hasan & I at the finishing line

Ikan kurau 


April 16, 2017

Singapore Sundown RUNCATION

25 - 27 MARCH 2017

Has been a year since I wrote in this blog. Hope to share more this year..haha (sounds ambitious)

my second trip to Singapore in 3 years. This time of course it is not for exams but for RUNCATION. A new terminology for those going for a run event + vacation. I was accompanied by my school-time friend, Zhafran who currently resides in KL.

25 MARCH 2017

10 am : flight Tiger Air from Penang to Singapore. Departed about 20mins late from scheduled time.
(took a GrabCar to the airport as I was kind of late. My first time trying out Grab)
11.30 am : arrived at Changi Airport.

Took MRT to Clarke Quay (took us approx. 40 mins to reach station) The City Backpackers Hotel is just a mere 4 minutes walk from this station.
We were welcomed by the receptionist with warm smile & she allowed us to check in 30mins bfr time.
After settling our luggage, we took a walk to find a Masjid, a makan place & iPhone outlet. Manage to find the former two, but the latter was quite a distance from our place & as it was already 6pm, we decided to get ourselves to the Run Village to collect race kit & to get back to hotel to take some rest before the run tonight. We took GrabCar to & fro the Race Village.
After Solat, slept for an hour plus. Woke up lazily to get myself ready to go to the run village. As we had got into GrabCar, I realized that my runner's bib is not with me...haiya!!! Asked the driver to make a return to Hotel to get it & of course he charged extra SGD6 for that!!
Arrived at RunVillage in time. Our start off time is 1am; though they actually let us start only at 1.20am
Feeling nervous & "national pride" at stake, I made my way cautiously. Only my second HM in life, and the first in 5 yrs! My aim was just to complete within 4 hrs. After some struggles with pain over quadriceps & calves, manage to complete in 3 hrs 27 mins..Alhamdulillah! In fact I crossed 10km mark at 84mins - which is a new time for me (though I did ran faster when I was 17..haha)
It was fun but exhausting & painful.
We had no choice but to find a transport back to hotel (though it is only 2.5km from our hotel, the idea of walking back is out of question!) Only now we realized there is an MRT station (Promenade) - 300m from the Run Village. If only knew this earlier, could have saved some money by not going on Grab! Nevertheless we did not take the MRT as we were holding SGD 50 note, the MRT ticket machine does not accept that; yet no counters were upon yet at 6am & no shops either. Hence we resorted to Grab, and manage to get one at 6.30

26 MARCH 2017

6.45am : reached Hotel. Had our Subuh.
Then it was ZZzzzz!
Only woke up at 11am. After shower, made my way to Masjid Omar (the one we went yesterday). Had Zohor-Asar Jama' there. They had some ceramah just before Zohor & were having a luncheon after Zohor, but I did not wait..segan la konon..haha.
2pm : went out for a quick lunch at near by 24hours outlet called Teh Tarik. Then took MRT to Bugis. Strolled around at Bugis Street, Junction & Bugis+. Bought some souveniers. had our early dinner at famed ZamZam Restaurant (the same place I had Briyani in 2014), went to Malay Cultural House (which was already closed), strolled around Arab Street. Then walked to Little India, which is a mere 15-20mins walk from Arab Street.
Mustafa Centre - is the talk of Little India. Had our Maghrib-Isya Jama' at Masjid Abdul Gaffoor before starting shopping at Mustafa. We spent a good 2 hours n this place. At 10 something, wth hands full of shopping bags, we took an MRT to get back to our Hotel.

27 MARCH 2017

Final day in Singapore. Checked out early at about 10 something. Headed to VivoCity Mall (the largest mall here) which is a mere 545m boardwalk to the famed Sentosa Island. So we did set foot on Sentosa Island, just for photography purpose..haha.
Next stop was Orchard Road - famed for multiple shopping malls. It was raining and we could not find an eatery (initially), but manage to spot Masjid Al-Falah. Stopped by for Solat & simple lunch at the Masjid's cafeteria. Then Zhafran & I parted ways, as he wanted to visit Expo ( another shopping mall, which is a station before Changi Airport), where by I was tired of going malls..haha.
We prted at the Sommerset MRT station. I went to an Indonesian Restaurant to try out "Durian Martabak" as was promoted on nets, before heading to Airport.
My flight is at 6.55pm. I reached Airport 2 hours early. Submitted GST refund thing at the Airport (on Zhafran's behalf - as he did the most shopping, my refund claim was less than SGD 2..haha)Checked in with no luggage & just wandered around till the departure time. (Also delayed by 30mins - Tiger Air) Safe home by 9pm.

FLIGHT
1st time on Tiger Air. Decent cabin environment. Crew : average. Experienced delayed departure after already onboard on both flights. Reason : unclear. I would give 2.5/5 for this

HOTEL
- Receptionist : good looks :), but not so informative in terms of directions & public transportation
- Room : decent, clean, good functioning a.cond, 2 twin beds as promised
- Price : decent (SGD 130.68 - for 2 nights , reasonable for Singapore!)
- B/fast : bread & coffee/tea. Free flow coffee/tea all day long (but I dare not take - still in the aftermath of severe indigestion & AGE!)
- Laundry : available.
- Toilet : the only problematic area. Though clean, it is so small. Anyone wth BMI more than 24 will have difficulties!
I would give 4/5 for this

EVENT - SUNDOWN MARATHON (10th EDITION)
Points for:
1. Well advertised. Fees & venue well publicized as early as 6 months prior to event
2. Number of participants kind of limited, avoiding overcrowding at Run Village
3. International runners were allowed to get Race Kit even 1 hour prior to race
4. Race Village in fact reasonably near to MRT station
5. Placards displaying distance ran placed appropriately at almost every 1 KM
6. Hydration stations well prepared

Points against:
1. For SGD 68, organizers could have prepared more for participants (i.e. Finisher T for 21KM, simple cereals or light meals post run)
2. First aid & sprays not adequately available
3. Run start off delayed by 20mins as runners were being released in batches.
4. A narrow passage at least for the first 2 KM, causing "human jam"

Overall : 3/5

TRANSPORTATION
- needless to talk about this in Singapore.
I would give 4/5 for MRT (not giving full as I find the staffs at MRT counters are less helpful & no counters open yet at 6am - unlike in Malaysia)
- Of course GrabCar is an alterntive. But in order to use this you will need data. Data here dose not come cheap. We had experience with 4 different drivers. 2 were friendly, the other 2 quite serious. One of them spoke highly about Singapore policies and bragged about Singapore being "crime-free". A Singaporean malay, an ex-army. Well, not surprised as Singaporeans are nurtured in that manner I guess :)

FOOD
- as we stayed near to Chinatown, was a bit difficult to find Halal food in abundance. The nearest to our Hotel is 24hours Teh Tarik (IM place). But if near Geylang, Bugis or Little India, would be a lot easier.
- eateries at Arab Street. Beware, not all Arab restaurants are halal! Watch where you go
ZamZam Briyani - 4/5. Murtabak : 5/5
My 5/5 Briyani remains for my mom's & Ajmeer's (Sandakan) :)

MASJID
1. Masjid Omar, Kampung Melaka (near Clarke Quay)
2. Masjid Abdul Gaffoor (Little India)
3. Masjid Al-Falah (Orchard Road)
*mentioning only masjids visited by us

BUDGET
Run fee : SGD 68
Flight : RM185
Hotel SGD 130 (shared by two of us)
GrabCar : SGD 15
MRT : SGD 10
Food & Souveniers - not mentioned here :)

PICTORIAL
Inside of Masjid Omar
Starting point
After the RUN!
Finisher Medal
the Junction showing Masjid Sultan which is opposite to the famed ZamZam Restaurant
Masjid Abdul Gaffoor @ Little India
Forever busy - Little India. This is at 10pm!
Another Masjid in the Little India vicinity
Checking out form City Backpackers
Wefie with the Sentosa Island at the background
We set foot on Sentosa Island!
Inside of Masjid Al-Falah, Orchard Road
Martabak Durian : Last meal on Singapore soil - at J Café (opposite walkway to Sommerset MRT station)
This is made using D24 variant, cost me SGD 4.50. Pretty nice but the portion is extremely small & don't be deceived by the word "Martabak". It is just a Durian Pancake :)















              



March 13, 2016

Making of a kitchen

Finally my kitchen cabinet done..after almost 8 weeks of construction. Yeah..I know it is TOO LONG for a standard kitchen cabinet.
Wish to share the build-up to it till its completion...

I was reluctant to build initially; as I know there will a  lot of hassle in it; considering my unpredictable timing to be in Bertam, as well as anticipated interuption by my mom...haha.
Nevertheless I took up the effort to find a suitable contractor with reasonable pricing after constant "nagging" by my mom.
Found this guy on FB. Actually I contacted him, thinking it was the guy from Kulim who renovated a house near by my place. Turned out to be it was some other apek. He was quite desperate (from the way he showed "eagerness" to get this contract) Due to indecisiveness on my mom's part, I decided to give this guy the job.
and he promised to get the job done in ONE WEEK! U can guess it was a big lie :)

And the work started : 1 st week of November 2015.
"menembak" dinding

Mengukur - guna "laser"

tembok terawal

beberapa tembok

"table-top" sudah naik

mosaic sedang naik

defects - kena panggil balik suroh dia betulkan

defect lagi

lagi defect

this is "the best" - how your basin will look like if washed using mixture of HCL acid!!!

Next : the final outcome. Just to mind all readers. He took almost 6 weeks to come to this stage


Finally completed : 1st week of Jan 2016!



THINGS I LEARNED FROM THIS EXPERIENCE. 
AT THE AGE OF 33...THIS IS MY FIRST KITCHEN CABINET ;)

1. Pre-plan your cabinet design

  • have your design illustrated on a piece of paper.Best is to get your contractor to do it & adjust according to what you have in your mind. Make sure both of you understand what has been drawn on paper :)

**Never ever just imagine!!!

  • make up you mind : either you want it on the floor only, or you want a hanging cabinet too, or you want a tall cabinet. Decide before your contractor starts his work. 


2. Materials

  • wash basin : talk to your contractor & tell him straight that you want to choose your own basin. Or else he would buy a cheap one and there goes your money. Go do some surveys and decide on basin of what quality you want. Tell him the price. If he declines, TELL HIM OFF! (of course be reasonable...a standard basin as mine, would cost somewhere around RM250 - 350)
  • mosaic price & type : Again, do your survey & decide what type you want and whether your contractor agrees to the price of the mosaic.
  • table top : same advice
  • door & drawer material : What I understand, there are 2 types, one is chipboard wth melamine wrap externally. The other is "dunno" what wood wth "lamica" layer externally. ("lamica" is the type that appears shiny ... not sure if I spelled it correctly..:) This "lamica" is a bit more pricey as compared to melamine wrap. I chose melamine as the contractor did not offer any other option and I was too lazy to go around to look for other types.
  • Get a quotation : calculate your cabinet as per square foot (includes mosaic, table top, door, drawer). Mine was about RM270/square foot. Hanging cabinet is pricier. DO NEGOTIATE KAWKAW on pricing!!
3. Contractor
  • It is good to get a few quotations before you decide. BUT please do not be indecisive. Make your choice based on people's recommendation (if the contractor has been tested before by your neighbours / friends), pricing and materials he/she gonna use. 
  • Give the job to "single contractor". Make sure your contractor has the means to get the job done. Unlike mine; he did the cabinet and got his friend to do the doors & drawer. The worst part is that, he is not bothered to get his friend to do the job quickly. resulting in waiting for 3 weeks only for the doors & drawers done!
  • Tell him from the beginning, to work at proper hours (i.e. 9am - 3pm) not to come as he likes.
HOW MUCH I SPENT

Total : RM6,300
- 27 square feet
- basin cost me RM280 (included in the price)
**actual payment agreed initially was RM6,500. But due to the apek's unimaginable delay, I told him I'm gonna deduct a mere RM200, for which he agreed
- paid in 3 installments ; though initially he said pay before and upon completion of work only.