Original Artwork by Papa, Azhan and Nine (click image to link)
‘In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. By Time, indeed humanity is in a state of loss. Except those who believe and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of truth and in the mutual teaching of patience’ (Surah al-`Asr, 103:1-3)
"Professional Architect lives almost by faith. When called upon he can do the job without fear or favour. He possesses aspecialized skill and lives by a code of ethics cloaked in honour andintegrity. He is expected to speak his mind and give his views. Whenfaced with absolute wrong, he can resolutely disagree and walk away." quote from THE PROFESSIONAL MAN by Ar Dr Tan Loke Mun PRESIDENT PAM

Sunday, 9 January 2011



Like many part-time blogger you will come across this sentence “It’s been a while that I have not written anything..etc”. Well, it seems to happen to me.

Honestly, I’ve been so lazy plus haven’t been able to spend the time to write down my thoughts. Not able to jot down “thought” would lead to a less thoughtful decision. My writing is becoming worst day by day. Something did spark my attention today and I would not let go of this opportunity to write about it with some laziness or busyness excuses.


Today I came across a question from a trainee in the firm.

“Design susah ker Abang?” (Is design difficult bro?).

I didn’t want to brag, so I simply give a simple answer. “Bolehlah, design kan core subjek archi” (It’s alright, design is a core/main subject in architecture)

He replied, “Saya rasa susahlah, tak pandai nak design”.

I was lost for words. I feel sorry for this guy and perhaps this guy reminded me about my colleague who struggled in designs too. Well, you just can’t keep your silence when someone was asking for guidance.

“Design is easy if you keep your eyes open and think about what you see” I broke the silence.
“Go for a walk at places. When you walk, you will see and experience what we call space. You can’t learn that by just looking at pretty pictures”

“Selalu takder idea la bang” (Usually, I don’t have the idea bro)

“You can go out for a walk, read or just go to SLEEP!” I laugh.

He was amazed “ Tidur? (sleep?)”

“Yes sleep. Many of us designers forgot to have a good sleep. I mean sleep and have dreams too. You must have dreams! Dream about your design. We forget that Idea or Ilham belongs to God and sometimes we try too hard to do it ourselves and forget to ask for help. If you don’t find idea while you’re awake, perhaps God might give you idea while you are dead asleep.”

“Saya selalu tido tak sedar apa2” ( I usually fall asleep without remembering anything)

“It means you are too tired to dream.” I commented before we finally arrived to the office after the short lunch.

When I come to think about it again at home I’m not sure where I got those words because I haven’t written down my thoughts for quite a while. I’m not sure if it was a right advice at all. Thinking of it again whilst writing this, it seems to have some truth in it, or so I think...

Note: Please add if you have other advice that could be shared for a good use.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Saturday, 30 October 2010


Dear Colleagues,

Today is my last working day in England. It has always been me and my wife’s dream to come to England. We were always told all the great things about this country. Thank you very much to Terry, Martin, Mike and Reid for helping me with the work permit and making our dreams come true.

These four years of living here had given me the chance to learn more about England and you guys especially had made the experience full of good memories and priceless. Thank you so much for helping me to adapt and fit well into the local community.

My boys also had great school years here in England. Thanks to this work opportunity they have achieved a lot in school especially with their English language and self-confidence. I could see them growing up to become a fine gentleman.

I shall never forget the many first moment in my life here. From attending the first football match, having Christmas dinner, office trips, car-boots to celebrating colleague retirement!

I thank you enough and describe how grateful I am for the support given to me and my family since we were here. I’m in debt for all your good deeds. I’m also so sorry if I have been a pain to anyone.

My only pray and wish for RGP is to thrive in the future and for everyone’s happiness in life. I would like to extend an invitation to everyone who wishes to visit Malaysia to come over to our place. You can keep in touch via email

“We'll meet again,
Don't know where, don't know when.
But I know we'll meet again, some sunny day”

Fadzlan Rizan Johani
10 September 2010

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


Ketika sibuk mengemas rumah untuk balik ke Malaysia aku terjumpa poskad lama. Poskad yang aku karangkan sebuah sajak untuk isteri tercinta. Ketika itu aku pertama kali menjejakkan kaki ke bumi Manchester. Aku masih ingat saat-saat itu seperti semalam...saat aku cuba membahagiakan dirimu.

April 2006, Manchester

Jauh aku berjalan,
Dengan harapanmu,
Ku cuba tunaikan,
Dalam mencari sebuah syurga impian.

Hingga hujung dunia ku merantau,
Tiba disini aku akhirnya,
Disinikah damai yang kau cari?
Disinikah tempat kau ingin rajukkan diri?

Makin jauh aku berjalan,
Makin dekat rindu di hati,
Sejuk menarikku untuk kembali,
Memelukmu menghambat dingin.

Doakan aku selamat,
Membawa pulang berita gembira,
Tentang sebuah syurga,
Yang ku temui dalam CINTA kita.

Hakikatnya setelah 4 tahun diperantauan, kami sedar Manchester atau di Malaysia bukanlah syurga dunia. Tiada tempat yang sempurna segalanya.“Syurga” dalam erti kata “tempat merasai kedamaian dan kebahagiaan” telah kami temui dekat sekali; di dalam hati dan di dalam jiwa; di dalam Cinta.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Malaysia Pavilion for Shanghai World Expo 2010

Photo by archhale2008

A friend commented:
I got really angry when i see the malaysian pavillion at the word expo!!! BENCI!! can someone sue this people yg design benda bodoh tu??!!!! We can design better la kan!!! BODO!

This comment is quite harsh or too emotional in one way, but I could understand why my friend felt that way .What I could say if only they have learn from a Malay movie called "Ali Setan" if not the whole Malaysian history, they could find straight, honest and professional opinion about the "Minangkabau" roof.

Si B : Aku ada satu bangunan sebijik macam nie. Aku nak taruk dia bumbung minangkabau supaya dia bercirikan kebangsaan.

Jali : Tak buleh!Tak buleh!

Si D : Awat tak buleh?

Jali: Macam mana pula buleh, Minangkabau tu Negeri 9 saja!

Si E : Habis, awak mau pilih Kelantan aje? Mana adil!

Si F: Jali, hang jangan emosional sangat Jali. Kita tengah discuss problem bumbung nie tau tak? Cakap pasal semangat negeri ja...boring betul la.

Ada group member tido dan mereka terus bertengkar...

Si G : Apa asyik bertengkar saja nie?

Si D : Rilex2, nanti kita panggil Ali. Ali mai sat!

Ali : Ha, apa nie?

Si B: Kami nak minta kau punya advice. Kami nak tukarkan bangunan tinggi nie kepada bumbung Minangkabau supaya bercirikan kebangsaan.

Ali: Bumbung Minangkabau, tak semestinya bercirikan kebangsaan. Ia hanya berfungsi untuk mengalirkan air keluar. Ciri2 kebangsaan boleh didapati drpd integrasi ruang, drpd sirkulasi ruang dan penyatuan unsur2 yang tertentu. Ia tak semestinya terletak pd bumbung sahaja. Kalau bangunan tinggi kita taruk bumbung Minangkabau, tak harmoni dan tak mengikut scale. Samalah macam koboi dgn pistol pakai songkok! Haha, apalah susah sangat..hah, kacang la!

Many would then blame the politicians and their cronies on this. Some have suggested : a minister should study architecture? or architecture graduate should be a minister?

And my answer would be:
Both are not going to resolve the problem. A minister should become a real minister and an architect should become a true architect. Although, they can at least have a basic knowledge of both area which may help to a mutual understanding, when it comes to a decision related to design/architecture the minister should not have the power to intervene. Decision should come from PAM/LAM professional members.

Even when the minister has professional qualification in architecture, they must be prevented in taking part in the design decision making because it could lead to a conflict of interest. Why minister should only listen to doctors and lawyers’ advice but not architects? If the minister wants to take the design decision themselves, they must also take the liability.

A crisis like this will happen more often when an architect dreams of becoming a politician, and a politician who acts as an architect.