The swiftlets’ hotel

The swiftlets’ hotel ( poem, a haiku)

The swiftlets’ hotel, courtesy of Toh HL

As we hike uphill, we see tall buildings rearing swiftlets for the bird nest.

1 kg of raw bird nest fetches about RM5000.

My friend, Ah Seng is an entrepreneur, investing into rearing swiftlets. One needs land and a bird building costing about RM300K or above. Some convert their shops into “bird hotels.” They arrange for swift mating music, have swift droppings in the buildings to provide the smell. A certain temperature and humidity are maintained.

It’s a Chinese belief that bird nest enhances health and beauty. Swiftlet bird nests are really small. It takes about 120 nests to weigh 1 kg. Each kilo costs Rm 5000. The nests are actually made from the saliva of both the male and female swiftlets. It takes them about 2 months to build a nest.

Farmers normally harvest the nests after eggs are laid and the fledglings have flown off. The swiftlets do not fly off but will build another nests for the next season. Like turtles and salmons, the fledglings will return to make nests and lay eggs when they mature into adults.

by Toh H L, photographer and writer

An OKU (PWD) went for vaccination.

An OKU (PWD) went for vaccination.

Today Anna brought her son, Kenneth for his first dose vaccination at Axiata Arena. There were many designated sign boards to guide OKUs (PWDs).

There were some people on wheelchair at the tent.

Vaccination ( Photo by CDC on

“This is the OKU lane?” Anna asked a guard.

“Yes. Who is OKU? You? Or him?”

Then noticing his slightly stiff outstretched hands (a side-effect of anti-psychotics medication), “ah, you? This way…” Anna followed.

At a registration counter, the lady asked him, “anda takut ‘injection'” ( are you afraid of injection)?

“Tak ( No),” Kenneth straightened his shoulder proudly. The lady gave him a cute thumb-up. Anna smiled.

Entering the cubicle, the nurse asked him to sit down, “Kenneth, do you know why you are here today? ”

“… for vaccination,” his legs were shaking vigorously, though he put up a brave front. He pulled up his sleeve.

“Breathe in and out, Kenneth,” Anna instructed him as the nurse gave the injection.

There were some people who stared at this abled-looking young man who seemed to bypass them in the queue.

Then they went to the observation bay to sit for a while before being allowed to leave the arena.

It was fast. In less than forty minutes they were out of the arena.

“I am proud of you, Kenneth!” Anna was so glad all went well for the day.

Yes, I have caught your eyes!

Yes, I have caught your eyes!

Some cats do have a place in their owners’ hearts!


In a cat’s eye, all things belong to cats.- unknown


The daily addict

I did not write thisbut found it on the internet and thought it was so beautiful!

A professor gave a balloon to every student. He asked them to inflate it, write their name on it and then throw it in the hallway.

The students were then given 5 minutes to find their own balloon. Despite the hectic search no one found their balloon.

At that point, the professor told the students to take the first balloon they found and hand it to the person whose name was written on it.

Within 5 minutes everyone had their own balloon.

**** A moment to wish a beautiful woman named Kay – a Happy Anniversary! She has remained sober for 43 years TODAY!! Thank you for paving the way for so many of us and being such a dear close friend to me. I love you 🙂

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The HR angels, Supported Employment, and the Mentally Disabled.

The HR angels, Supported Employment, and the Mentally Disabled.

Anna brought three young men 
from a mental rehabilitation center
for supported employment.
It was to be part of
their rehabilitation journey.

Tom went in with his mum.
He has finished O-level education.
"Tom, would you like to work in the kitchen here?"
"No! I don't think so!"
The HR manager, Lisa, glanced at Anna and
remembered their prior conversations.
"Er... Tom, we are very busy here!
We need help to clear the tables and wash the dishes.
Can you help us?"

"OK, can!"
Lisa, Anna and Tom's mum sighed with relief!

"We have six job coaches here
to supervise people with disabilities.

If he is not well, he can inform us.
His salary can be hourly-based for a start."

Tom started with four hours a day work
and gradually increased when he was ready.

The other two were the next to be interviewed.
They had a degree and a master degree.

Since the 1980s, the Supported Employment approach encourages open employment for people with disabilities (PWDs). Some countries require compulsory corporate social responsibility (CSR) on employers. That is to fulfil 1 – 2 % allocation of employment opportunities for PWDs, or face a monetary fine to help with the country’s PWDs.

There will be a support plan at the workplace which includes selected tasks, flexible working hours (and correspondingly the salary), a buddy system or mentoring system.


  1. Ogawa H.,(2012). Introduction to Job Coach– Promoting Sustainable Employment of Persons with Disabilities. MPH Publishing: Petaling Jaya.
  2. [Eds] Kenji Kuno, Yeo,S.L., Ogawa, H., Sakai, D. (2012). JOB COACH HANDBOOK– A Practical Guide to Job Coaching. MPH Publishing: Petaling Jaya.

‘Apathy’, unfeelingly

 'Apathy', unfeelingly

Great sufferings, yet
void of emotions and care,
feeling, what feeling?
kitten lying on surface
I don’t care! (Photo by Pixabay on

This poem is about the indifferences and apathy. So much energy is spent on destructions, when they should spent on ‘building’ the nations.


  1. We may have found a cure for most evils; but we have found no remedy for the worst of them all, the apathy of human beings. Helen Keller
  2. Fear is better than apathy because fear makes us do something. Emiliano Salinas
asperitas dark clouds in gloomy sky
Unfeelingly, apathy (Photo by Andrew Beatson on

Terjemahan Google ke Bahasa Melayu – ‘Apathy’, tanpa persaan

Penderitaan besar, namun
tanpa emosi dan penjagaan,
rasa tidak peduli?

Haiku ini adalah mengenai sikap tidak peduli. Begitu banyak tenaga yang digunakan untuk kehancuran. Tenaga ini sepatutnya di gunakan untuk membangunkan negara-negara.

谷歌翻译成马来语 – “冷漠”,毫不留情



Watching silently on a wonderful Wednesday

white and black owl on tree
Silently it watches (Photo by Erik Karits on

Watching silently on a wonderful Wednesday

Silently watching,

the wise owl is listening.

It’s observing you!


Its eyes bore deeply,

into your innermost you.

Shh, not a word, please!


A visually impaired ostomate with ‘imported stoma bags’

A visually impaired ostomate with ‘imported stoma bags’

Anecdote 2 – Mr. Wong

Nurse Chen was on her first night of the night shift duty in an active male surgical ward. Mr. Wong, a seventy-year-old ostomate, appeared at the door way of the injection room, “Nurse Chen, my bag leaks again. This is the fourth bag I changed today!”

Nurse Chen said, “alright, clean up now. Call me when you are ready.”

Nurse Chen found that the stoma was constructed ‘flushed’ or ‘not protruding’. On top of that, the old man was visually impaired. The stoma was placed low on his abdomen or ‘tummy’ where he could not see it. Nurse Chen got him to wear his thick spectacles. She placed a mirror near the sink so that he could see his stoma. It took about ten minutes to guide him to apply the bag correctly.

“I see you have a good-quality bag here; a pink opaque bag… even with an odor-filter! We don’t have this type of bags in our hospital. You are very lucky.”

“Yes, my son is very filial. He imported them from the UK.”

One morning before the staff came on duty, Mr. Wong came to the counter where Nurse Chen was writing her reports. “This is the third night I slept well without a plastic sheet on my bed. I had been doing this for the last four months to prevent accidental soiling on the bed linens! I know how to apply the bag correctly now. Thank you very much!”

He took a few steps backward and bowed ninety degrees, like how the Japanese people would do!

man in white thobe praying
Bowing like Mr. Wong! (Photo by Michael Burrows on

“Leisure” by William Henry Davies

Leisure” by William Henry Davies (3 July 1871– 26 September 1940 – a Welsh poet and writer.)

Sunset, ( courtesy of Toh H L)

Toh H L: In my twenties, thirties, forties and fifties, I was busy rushing from one activity to the next. Retirement and especially MCO ( lock down) have slowed my life. Watching the sunset regularly is now a hobby and I am finally appreciating the ever changing beauty of nature and the remaining bit of my life. I want to live life like what the poem Davies wrote:

"What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can,
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare."

This blogger must be very fit and healthy!

This blogger must be very fit and healthy!

Whenever I read blog posts about exercise, hiking, yoga, and dances, my first impression is “this blogger must be a very fit and healthy person!” Reading them reminds me to get up and do some exercises at home since I can’t join the group Tai Chi!


1. Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. – Joseph Addison

2. “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”- Jim Rohn