Saturday, March 24, 2012


I do not know what came over me when I made a promise to my respected blogger friend, that I will write something on topic of retirement this time around. Maybe I was envious of his predicament(?).. Maybe my friend knew that I have a deep seated wish to have my own place where poor and needy children can improve themselves. Come to think of it I did talk to him the raison d'etre of my involvement with food production thingy that has more or less put me in a lot of heartaches.. to get a few acres of land for tahfiz and agricultural activities to co-exist in a symbiotic manner.

A few years before my 55th birthday (the day most of Petronas staff retires) two of my colleagues came to me( at different times and locations) to talk about retirement.

The younger one, albeit some seven years my junior, came up and talked to me on his retirement plan.. to retire from Petronas and become an unpaid mosque or surau caretaker and as always, Q & A session ensued:-

Me: " So you think you will have enough for you to retire gracefully then?".

Him: " If you want to talk about enough.. It will never be enough!"

Me: " Have you ever tried to stay in the mosque from dawn prayer to midnoon prayer?"

Him: " No, I have not but it would not be too difficult, would it?"

Me: " I have tried and failed miserably and I have yet to see someone who has successfully do that in this modern time, maybe those students in Tahfiz can easily succeed.. But try it first before rejecting an offer to work when your retirement time comes".

Him: "May be I should try to do that one of these days".

Me: " No harm checking to see whether you like the task you set for yourselves first before you embark on it full time, I heard it is easy to loose money when we retire and go into business doing something we are not familiar with.."

Him: " That is what I heard also and that why I want to quit and stay out of trouble.. Stay in kampung's mosque".

Me: " I heard a story that one successful businessment in KL who built a 200,000 ringgit bungalow in a remote fishing town.. And leave his business to his two capable and qualified children( after mentoring them for more than 2 years) just after his bungalow get completed and furnished.

Him: "Don't tell me he came back to KL again after that!".

Me: " After exactly two weeks of being a Tok Siak (caretaker) of the biggest mosque in the town ( a walking distance from his bungalow).

Him: "what happened exactly.. The kampung folks ostracised him?."

Me: " Nothing of that sort, he was treated like a big man.. A tan sri of sort treatment.. but the fishermen talk about weather, who catch most fish for the day, who was not able to go to the sea.. Those small talks, laissez faire life .. He can take it for a few days, but after a week, he started to miss his business friends, his mosque friends in KL, Those talks that he was used to.. challenging talks, technical talks, KLSE etc etc talks.."

Him: " Now what do you proposed..? " He sounded a bit exasperated....

Me: " It looks like you do not need so much money.. Come back and work as a geoscientist that you have always been.. Take half of your salary and you probably can hire more than 10 Tok Siak to do the work that you have set to do yourselves .. That way Petronas get to keep its experienced geoscientist.. You get the reward of getting more than 10 Tok Siak in more than 10 mosques.. Tok Siak job would then be a well paid job in the kampung etceteras.. And you get enough money to pay most of your bills"

Him: " hm.. Sound good but I am not sure that I will sacrifice half of my salary to get more than 10 Tok Siak.. Even if I want to"

Me : " That is a good problem to have.. non?,".

As for the older colleague, three years my senior.. He wanted to buy a taxi and be a taxi driver whenever he do not have golf games on..
He do not really need more money as he have been working oversea for quite a long time where he has been highly paid. As always, a Q & A followed:-

Me: " Don't you think being a taxi driver is a rather taxing job for a geoscientist that is used to work in an air- conditioned room looking at the desktop computer screens (geoscientists used high end computer with at least two monitor screens) all day long?".

Him: " Maybe tiring lah but that one is only a front.. to while away time waiting for my friends to finish their daily tasks and join me at the golf clubs".

Me: " Careful .. our mutual friend Encik A said that he get one invitation to join golf games a month when he retired from working as compared to more than ten invitations a month while he was working in Petronas ".

Him : " Oh what happened exactly?".

Me: " Nothing much.. But then people tend to forget you when you are not around or they thought you are enjoying retirement and do not feel good asking you out for a game of golf .. ".

Him: " Oh oh! then I might as well continue working if my service is needed".

Me : " I think I am also going to do the same..when my time comes".

I did advise them not to get involved in business sometime during the interactions.. and in contradiction I do get involved in one that is not my expertise... thinking that it is for the good of my country and my religion etcetera..

Ah by the way, I started the day with the good old ketupat palas goreng ( wrapped in Kelantanese style) and rendang ayam.. Daun palas was bought from Kuala Dungun wet market last week and our Chinese neighbour who is nearest to our kitchen get to sample about nine ketupat.. Mokwang thought that the smell might be too tempting for the family and the recipient later confirmed her thought.. Luckily our two Chinese neighbours, living on the right and left sides of our house, are out working;)

Have a fantastic and fabulous weekend / days ahead to all!


Anonymous said...

interesting post. I don't need much being a simple man and have been contemplating retirement. My dad retired at 45 and has been happy eversince. I'm 2 years past that target and I'm not my dad. I'll see :)

The Tea Drinker said...

looking at my dad, i guess he does enjoy his retirement.

thank you korean drama. hahahaha.

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Ayoh Wang,
When will my Mama ever retire? Never, I think. purrr...meow!

Kama At-Tarawis said...

pak abu retired before 50(waaayyy too young, to my thinking).. played golf 7 days a week for a few years.. and then went back to work walaupun masa tu epf pun belum sentuh. mana sanggup all play and no work. there is so much one can take (about playing, i mean).. the mind needs stimulation. now he's touching 60.. still working (albeit in consulting mould) and golfing. am glad it works out this way. moral of the story is: takyahler retire kalau ada expertise. just cut down on work and increase the amal ibadah and amal jariah part.. my 2 sen worth, yohwang..

Wan Sharif said...

Salam Noir,
Sir Alex Furguson of MU fame said his father retired at 65(?) only to die a year later.. A good reason for him to hold on to the helm of MU ;).
I supposed to each his own hold true here.. As long as we are active physically, mentally and spiritually.. I supposed you will be OK whatever age you want to retire..
The only hold back for me is probably the saying of an ustaz .. That goes something like.. " seorang lelaki Islam yang tidak bekerja itu sentiasalah berdosa sehingga dia mula / kembali bekerja". There are also some who believed that it is haram for lelaki yang mengetuai keluarga not to work..
You might want to read what my respected blogger friend , Kama at- Tarawis, has to say on the subject above.

Wan Sharif said...

Salam TTD,
Please read my comment to Noir above on the issue of your father's retirement;).
Do you mean the conversation style of reporting here as Korean Drama.. Dah maghrib maghrib begini..Ayoh Wang dah jadi lambat menangkap dah.. Although my children would say their Abah dah memang gitu ..dari dulu lagi lambat menangkap.. He he ;).
Whatever it is ..I am thankful that you have stopped and have your say..

Wan Sharif said...

Your mama! Retirement?.. I have no idea but if I can have a say on her retirement.. I would had said to her " in perjuangan there is no such thing as retirement.." Thinking of all the poor, the needy as well as the strays.. ;((

Cheqna said...

Assalamualaikum Ayoh Wang,

Food for thought...but I wish I could just stay at home..hehe.

Tempting ketupat..balik kampung kena cari ni :-D

Wan Sharif said...

Wow Pak Abu retired at fifty.. Mm .. Nice.. But like you said all play no work after fifty can be frustrating.. Most of your game buddy might still be working and those who have retired might not be blessed with your good health to pursue daily golf..
I setuju tak payah retire as it might be berdosa or haram for head of family (men only?) not to work as per my comment to Noir above..
My personal experience.. Even when I want to I can only add ten to twenty percent extra amal ibadah when I was not working ( one and half month after my 55th birthday) as compared to when I was working.. And I spent less time sleeping when I was in employment ;)
My father worked on his own around his house until about two weeks before he died.. Although he was wheel chair-bound, he used his legs and hands to do whatever he can.. One fine morning, an eight ton lorry came to his house and poured its full load of granite gravel.. I asked him what did he intend to do with the gravel?.. He said he wanted to level it to form a foundation for four car parking lots for me and my siblings .. I left for another appointment and came back in the early evening to find the whole eight ton of gravel has been levelled.. He sat down on the gravel and used his four limbs to level it, he was 90+ then.. It came to my knowledge later that the folks of kampung batu putih cendering called him as "orang paling rajin" di kampung tu ;)
He died when he was about 95 YO... If I were to inherit his genes and the genes of my many grands who lived until around that age.. Another +- 37 years to watch the lizards on the ceiling might be a tad too long.. Non!.?

Wan Sharif said...

Waa'laikumussalam Cheqna,
It is true what they have said.. The grass seems greener on the other side.. Believed me Cheqna.. Unless you have many children or nieces and nephews to while away your time you would find staying at home is not always a thing to dream of.. If you have that many children... then your life at home would be so topsy turvy that you would pay ransom money to go back to do the work that you have now;).
Now you still have your beloved mother to take care of .. Maybe you would like to always be around her .. If not you would have not so wonderful life looking after so many many.. No longer will you be able to travel to see you friends in Malaysia or in that beautiful place called Den Haag..
I wish you can come and sample some ketupat goreng today at my place.. But we would be busy with my wife niece wedding reception in the afternoon and so many many lovely nieces and nephews who will stop by to make their Ayah Chik day :).. Oh not to forget you might be too busy as well..
I thought I will see you today at Ninot's but it is not to be.. Ninot said she cannot go on with it.. Too busy with...
Hey! have you been visiting PakChik at al Manar blog.. Your den hagg friend did ;) so too our two mutual friends.. You would be surprised to find out what happen there! The outcome from our two mutual friend's contribution..
Mm I was also called to contribute ha ha ha..

The Tea Drinker said...

no la pakcik. i didn't say the story above is like korean drama. my dad enjoyed the rather flexible lifestyle after retirement.

he didn't take any serious jobs, helps mom with her kain bisness (and she just retired last week) and the happiest part of his life as far as i can see is watching korean movie.

Cheqna said...

Ayoh Wang,

Got teary eyes reading about your arwah father and his parking lot project..Al-Fatihah to ruh-nya.

Thank you for the advice...and for the offer on the ketupat, thou I would not be able to make it even if you were free, got the AGM ~ met my two friends there :-)

On Pak Cik's blog..yes I do read his postings. Thou lately I do not leave any marks I read with glee the latest contributions. I was not surprised with my two friends' ones, but Pak Cik's and yours were nice additions...and I almost write some lines myself..hehehe..


Unknown said...

Ayah Wan....

I love ketupat daun palas. Ler ni kalo beli, makan dengan serunding jer, sbb malas nak buat rendang.

I belum pikir lagi pasal retirement. But your post ni has started me thinking....

Wan Sharif said...

salam TTD,
Ha ha ha.. that was what I said.. lambat tangkap ha ha ha
Glad to note your father's retirement is found to be rather desirable ;)

Wan Sharif said...

Thank you for your alFatihah..
Heard your Alumni meeting on that day from Ninot..
On Pakciks blog.. I am not sure whether IA is from same Alumni as well or not.. I thought if you dropped in, it would be a complete set or something.. IA, You CfS and Ninot.. just a thought though..
Furthermore I knew if your two friends can write beautiful pantun.. you also can do it.. opps! assumption here but not too far wrong isn't it?

Wan Sharif said...

Jehan dearest,
I already posted ketupat palas with serunding.. so this time around with rendang pulak.. The whole family is in love with ketupat palas.. me and children also love pulut kuning .. and in Kuala Dungun.. I have pulut cawan for my daily breakfast there.. Hantu pulut.. ha ha
Like Puteri Kama's comments above, I believed takyah pencen lah kalau ada expertise.. your expertise.. I think is useful as the Malays and orang kampung especially are not too comfortable and afraid (read -rimas) when they have anything to do with court of law..

Cheqna said...

Ayoh Wang,

I.A is a dear friend that I first met in UK, she has remained a good friend since.

Pantun2, writings complicated essays etc are not my forte (that's why my blog is "cincai2" je..hehe)..but I don't deny I like to *butt-in* sometimes when I read pantun2..haha..

Pala, cempedak ada di bandar,
Timun, nangka berada di kota,
Saya budak suka belajar,
Pantun seloka budaya kita.

...and I made the artistic side of my brain work!


Wan Sharif said...

Bravo Cheqna.. I am sure those two friends will be the least surprised;). It seems that you all are talented lot.. And as far as pantun is concerned

Turun berakit tuan laksamana
Rakit dibuat dari buluh
Usah diusik saudari Cheqna
Sudah terang lagi bersuluh

Ayahwang hentam aja ha ha

Anonymous said...

Salam Ayoh Wang,

Kalau lepas retired sambung kontrak and work as advisor/mentor for the younger generation.. then good job and well done!

But kalu dah retired tp sambung contract and on high position (sr manager, gm, etc..).. well kesian gak kt generation below him/her.. dh block promotion for other qualified and deserving younger staff..

esp. those yg already retired on high salary.. but still nk sambung sbb takut bosan duduk umah.. duit masih tidak cukup nak beli 5 buah banglo lagi utk anak2.. kasi can la org lain yg nak idup senang gak.. hehehe..

Wan Sharif said...

Dear Anon,
You can categorise me as mentor etc. as I am on the frontline..
In my line of work.. we have a lot of G&G staff that moved out to greener pasture..mostly to Middle East where they are paid 6-10 times better.. there has been short of expertise in my expertise big times here!..
Some of the expatriatea(50-60%) are not as good as our own technical staff available so can not impart their expertise to develop our staff.. Most of them come here to learn and after two or three years they move out to greener pasture as well..
I think the management realised the shortage and their inability to attract and retain good expats to guide our youngs..
I did tell the HR about your concern that I might block somebody else's promotion.. they said no need for me to worry as I am a technical staff and do not compete with anyone for position..
Thank you for your thoughtful observation,

Al-Manar said...

We work hard for this world as if we are going to live forever and .. ...

I keep on hoping to see the success of your grand project and ....

Wan Sharif said...

Salam Abang Hassan,
Hopefully whatever we do on this world will be counted as ibadah.. as Islam does not encourage one to ask other people for one's sustenance as per the saying " the hand that gives is better than the hand that receives.."
I believed that some moderation is needed to balance our effort.. For this world and for the hereafter.. If there is indeed a differentiation between the two.
Thank you again for your kind hope.. If indeed it is written to be a success. May Allah guide me to sweat it out as I should be sweating in my search for His Maghfirah and His Pleasure.

Diana said...

I've asked my father to retire once, at that time I really wish he'd be like other people's father that just play golf or watch TV everyday.. he told me that he couldn't do that, to him it will be like just waiting for death to come.. I never ask again..

Wan Sharif said...

Alamak termiss your beautiful experience on the subject.. As I have said earlier I do not think there is any such thing as retirement in Islam.. Our Prophet s.a.w. did not practice it neither did his so many sahabat ..tabiin.. Ulamaks etcetera.. Berenti dari terlalu aktif ada tapi tak ada pejuang yang behenti dalam perjuangan..
Nice to see that you have started a new leaf.. May success be your always..