Bukit TI

Since quitting my job, I have been spending most of my time at Bukit TI , a small hill infront of School of Industrial Technology in University Sains Malaysia. What started as volunteer basis, turn out to be a pretty cool job to work with.

Initially, the works there started of as my dad’s research project on composting and expanded to Vermicomposting. Then, they run out of space to use their compost and look for space to grow their plants – so his Graduate Intern’s then Hamzah and Syahidah found an empty space just above their school rooftop. So after getting the permission from the Dean, the Rooftop Wild Garden was born.

Since 2014, the rooftop grew into a space full of over 100 herbs and plants , some aquaphonic system and vertical farming using recycleable items. Somehow they cross path with Dr Zulkifli Mustafa , who was doing research on the Stingless Beee @ Kelulut by rearing the Kelulut bees. He trains farmers and the public to rear using sustainable bee farming via his Mustafa Hive design. That pretty much match what we are doing right now, which is making compost to grow plants that can build an ecosystem for the Kelulut Bees to make their hive. So the Kelulut hive was installed and encourage the pollination of the plants on our Rooftop Wild Garden as they get enough food source from the plants we grow.

At the same time, we also experimented on rearing Black Soldier Fly Larva and Dubia for animal feed. Other than that, we also grow Azolla – an aquatic water plants that can be grown easily and use as animal feed that is rich with protein and healthier options as it is a plant based.

So again, bigger space needed and so ECOPRO@USM team as the research group is known as proposed for the small hill in front of School of Industrial Technology to grow a Green technology Garden where it can be turn into a Community Garden for the campus community and public to come and learn about all the things we learnt and applied since we started the research project.

Later on, we started to introduce the project for the students about what we do at Bukit TI and some students started messaging on how they can be part of the community garden we are working on. After all, we are not just growing plans but applying an Ecosystem Design Restoration via Permaculture method we learnt in a Permaculture Design Course earlier. So we decided to open it for Volunteers to help us at Bukit TI and trained them every week on how they can grow the plants and restore the ecosystem at Bukit TI.

I was really surprised and amazed by their passion in volunteering and learning from us, though only a small bunch of students who came but they were very excited to spend their time despite their busy schedule at Bukit TI. Some even helped out when we were away for research visit and look after the garden.

What started as just a research project, turns out to become a community project that became an important step for the environment. We don’t talk about climate change now, we became the change we want to see in this world.

So if any of you wants to know more about what we do, visit our FB page and we will share with you   :

K2K: Kompos To Kelulut




Living with your parents

A conversation with an old friend who quit their job & came back from abroad to be with their children. unfortunately, my friend couldn’t get a job as the gov is freezing jobs in the field of her expertise.
Now my friend lives with her parents (And thats okay) while her husband go to work
A few other siblings also move back in, some was retrenched & move back to Malaysia (though manage to get a job while the other stays at home to look after their children & online business)
Some quit their job and looking for other job that fits his soul more. He can design an oil rig & develop an app where you can buy & locate the nearest shop locally & internationally on the item you are looking for which was shortlisted in a competition but only manage to get to the finals..also moves back with their parents
although my friend is stay at home mom right now, she’s happy to be able to take care of her children because back when she worked abroad and her husband in Malaysia, her children don’t recognize her as they don’t get to meet often during her early years of growing up. (and i think its the right choice to be with her family though it means she have to sacrifice her job for her family)
she says, only now..money is tight. but that’s okay. she says, a lot of her friends she know is also living with their parents and seeing the trend, her parents predicts that more children will move back in or stay with their parents.
I can’t write too detail but the point of the conversation was that
1) even if you have a great degree it doesn’t promise you to get a job – or stay in one – you might get retrenched, you might have to quit your job. getting a degree doesn’t mean we will be getting a job, or we will be stuck as ‘job seeker’ mindset than ‘job creator’ . its what you do with the knowledge & experience that counts. the job market is changing as the economy goes down. our resilience as my mom said, and ability to create our own job will help us get through the hard times.
2) its okay to live with your parents, as long as you help to contribute in the family. even if you are married with kids, there’s nothing to be ashamed of as people in the days used to live with their parents or close to one another. its also how a community built upon because when you are in the same house, you will look after one another and take care of each other. aging parents especially need more attention so grandchildren also helps to bring families closer as they bring the laughter and joy in the house.
although development is good for the economy, its also bad for family as children who is now adult, move out from the house with no one to look after their kids. strangers taking care of their kids – with this whole child abuse in nursery- and other social problems.
so when the economic bubble starts to burst and economy collapsing, so will families if they do not get support from their own family. hence why, we see some children moving back with their parents – which in a way is good for the community to be rebuilt again.
people will either be forced to or voluntarily look after one another and work out their differences.
this reminds me of a conversation i had when i was in capetown last year,
“when we leave our heritage & culture, things becomes expensive. but when we continue our heritage & relive the culture, it becomes less”
meaning that, if we continue to leave our heritage & culture – we lead an individualistic life – – you have to rely on your own to feed your own mouth. – you need to hire a babysitter to look after your kids – and soon enough you have to work 2-3 jobs to feed your family but don’t have time for your own family.
but if we bring back the culture of taking care of one another – and think of how we can help one another and feed our family & community around us. our culture taught us about taking care of one another, within our own community. When we have to go somewhere far, we ask our relatives to look after our kids – even if we are at home & your kids loitering around somewhere they shouldn’t – they will alert you and look out for your kids. When we have more – we give to our neighbors (which used to be our relatives as well), when we need certain plants, we ask our neighbors if we could have some of theirs & in return we give them some of the food we cook that day to thank them. Or when the car breaks down, or the toilet pump broke – we call our friends who knows how to fix it rather than the shop.
maybe, just maybe our burden becomes less – with shared resources – a helping hand & eventually become a better person towards our family, friends and the community we live in. the most expensive currency nowadays is not money – but built on trust . and this cannot be done without having faith & believing in one another. it takes it takes a good heart & sincere intention of those who believes the same thing – making the world a better place to live in as a family.
because at the end of the day, we are all living on the same earth…
(…..and Mars will takes years or never – before we can still be alive to move there)
*so look around and see who else we can help, stop looking only ourselves rather look for those around us who might need our help but too shy to ask for one.


When a friend once asked me why i look extraordinary happy since the last time, she met me (yes, i too once hit rock bottom). By then ive already graduated, but i did not have a job yet. I was also anxious about a lot of things, but mainly because of not having a job. 
And then i did get a job, but i still did not feel happy. Then, I quit and felt happier because I don’t have to keep on a brave face, fake smile, doing something that no longer makes me happy.
Then i went through some internal journey, trying new things, giving myself a break, spending some time with nature though I don’t like to spend too long in it without human communication (I’m an ambivert) 
And then slowly, find myself involved with small projects here and there, that lead me to one thing to another, sometimes from helping my parents, sometimes from co author writing research papers, sometimes from creating workshops – sometimes out of request – sometimes initiated – but always have something to do no matter how small it seems.
My first answer that came into my mind was, first, I am debt free. Alhamdulillah. Ptptn wise, I have returned what i owed so that other people can benefit from it.  
Secondly , i have made peace with whatever that was bothering me, my past, my regrets, and all the things i hoped for but did not happen..was better than what i hoped for. That my delay was His blessings in showing me other path opened up for me
Thirdly, because i realized that you can create your own job, when you start to believe in yourself, and self motivate yourself. That rizq is not from a person, an employer or worst, settling yourself to a job that is not worth your time, peace of mind and importantly your own happiness because . 
Instead, by the people who support you and you supporting them back. Not in a scheming way of asking for favors, etc. but through real life social networking that i never realize i was fortunate enough to have – family who support you – understands your circumstances- friends who accepts you – believes in you – keeps in touch wih you – there for you though mostly you have to turn to different friends for moral support if one is not available. Who doesn’t ask for anything in return except you continue to be a friend. 
They come sometimes from people you never expect, who believed in your ability when you couldn’t see that from your own point if view until somebody point it out to you. 
Certainly it wasn’t an easy journey to let go of your own expectations, and self doubt, even until today, you still struggle to find the meaning of life and making sense to every changes in your life. But it feels a lost better to not carry this heavy imaginary burden that haven’t happened yet (I go by if it hadn’t happen yet, don’t waste time worrying about it & focus on the present kind of life goals) 
Somehow that gave me peace, and calm because as cliche this may sound, its true, when you stop putting your happiness to please people ortrying to meet certain expectations – even your own, you learn to breathe a little better. 
Also it made me notice things more , the simple life pleasure, like taking a walk, making your own food fixed, eating obviously, and everything around you, you see it differently. 
Like a wise men once said, don’t put dunya (the world) in your heart but instead in your hand, and you will conquer the world. Not in a do inating kind of way, but being aware that life is too short to let other people dictate your happiness or let them effect you negatively and simply let go – for the ake of your own peace of mind. 
Alhamdulillah m life has been kind, and I would like to teturn this kindness to those who might be struggling like me , by sharing this post.  
Take a break, and try again tomorrow. Repeat. Until you no longer have to find happiness but see it in yourself that it was there all along.

Happiness is a choice, sometimes given, sometimes taken, but always returns in a different form – better than you wish it to be.  So, go in, make someone happy, and see how it returns to you by the mere smile  of the person you made their life slightly happier, sorrow less heavier, and just being there , even if the only thing you could offer is our presence. 


My niece way of expressing her love, is through hugs & kisses – lots of it sometimes I run away from it. Touch, hugs, and kisses – we don’t grow up with that. Maybe briefly when we were a kid, but I don’t remember it.

Call it tough love, it doesn’t mean that we did not receive love at all. Love was expressed differently, through kind , loving , encouraging words. Through cooking , treating us to nice dinner or going on holiday, or simply spending time with each other.

Thats the kind of love i knew and raised with, values and all. 

Perhaps one significant memory that I remember was when i was hospitalized for an operation and somehow in vulnerable state where i wanted to hug every member of my family who visited me at the hospital. I was 14 years old and it was my first major operation as a teenager , so I was really afraid of being left alone at the hospital as everyone leaves me alone. Though my mom, sometimes my sister takes turn to accompany you, but there’s this time when you have to be alone.

So, Abi pulls me asideand said that i must not get used to touch, hugs and all, because he worries that i might not be able to let go, when the time comes. Eventually, i stopped. 

Anyway, growing up, I never feel the need to express or show love through hugs or any form of touch. Instead i used to run away from being hugged or kissed by anyone , even if they are just a hello kind of hug which last like 3 seconds. 

When i met a few friends who is such a hugger and all, i get anxious, and wanted to run away from being hugged.   Slowly some of them manage to hug me and makes me feel comfor  enough to receive hugs though not too often. 

In a way, hugs is like a form of trust and expression of someones love or care about you. Though for people like me, its hard to receive one, when you are not the one who gives hug. Also, it helps if people would tell someone , like a heads up, that they be giving out hug as it will help you be more mentally prepared to receive one. 

Still, it does makes me slightly sad and surprised when my niece asked me,  why i dont like her, this is probably because  every time she tries to hug or kiss me, i try to avoid it. Only because i am not comfortable of receiving too much of it. So, i  explained to her that its not that I don’t like her so that she doesn’t feel like bad about herself. Then, later try to play and spend some time with her. 

I hope one day she will understand that just because you don’t give out hugs and kisses doesn’t make someone cold, some people express their love differently. Still, i super admire people who can easily hug it out and express their love through touch.  I don’t know about my future children, you probably will be getting tough love from me lol! Im a work in progress, so please don’t expect me to change overnight. 

There is this thing called , ‘haphephobia’ okay!

“What do you do?”

I think the kindest word is when a stranger whom i met only at an interview and met again when i quit my job is this…”Sakiinah, you have so much talent…and lots of potential, i am sure even though you choose to quit here, one day you will find the career that will make full use of your talent and be happy about”
For some reason he made me feel that its okay to quit something that does not make me happy (though there are some parts of it that im happy about )
eg, i get to know new friends, i get to meet some of my friends in kl often, and i get to try new food places with nice kuih or bihun to grrab every morning, or i get to be in the nature whenever i feel stressed & i get to learn how to be a project leader – something i only step up when i do my group assignments but never professionally, and get to learn about the working life, managing my finance, also being entrusted by a very challenging boss and yet learn so much from her in a short time
It seems like you are only respected when you have a job, and that being unemployed seemed like you are not doing anything useful. But talking to some of those who is going through the same thing, even though i dont have that 9-5 job where i can tell people where i work in. I would like to assure you, that you are no less than anyone else out there, and it is not because you are not good enough but the economy is not so good to hire qualified , talented, person like you. 
What i am doing right now is taking a few steps back to figure out what kind of job i can create for myself to make use of my experiences. To be content with what i already have, to be happy with things the way they are. 
Sure, i may not have a job, a house, a car and whatnot. But at least, im now debt free (eg no longer have ptptn to pay thanks to my previous job). At least i have some time to help my parents with some papers or workshops, taking photographs, and spend some time with the few friends i still have.
And meeting some of them is something i look forward to, the kind of friends who never judge me when i made certain choices in my life, those who assures me its okay to be different and be happy about it. 
So for those who havent found a job yet, create one, look inside you, think of what you can offer the world, become the person the child in you wish would be, and be that person. Success is a long road, celebrate the small success , and accomplishment you made for the years you worked on. 
A friend said to me, if you still have parents, you being there for them is a priviledged, because very few children gets to spend time with their aging parents. Being able to serve them is a priviledge. Rezeki bersama ibu bapa, is a luxury that very few can afford to spend time with.
And as for me, my ambition back then is to be so many job in a day. I wanted to be a police, doctor, nurse, teacher, all in one day not knowing that you only have 24 hour a day. 
So for those who is asking what is my job now? My answer today is, a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a friend to people around me. Also, a part time blogger , who writes ocassionally… 😉


The best gift to give….is time

The best way to heal…is time.
To a sick person, being healthy is what one hope to return to

To a person who once have parents to spend time with, would trade anything to go back to

To a person who once had arms or legs to use, wish that they can walk freely and do things by themselves 
To an old person, who can no longer run like they used to, but walk, when holding a spoon is too heavy for them, when chewing takes longer than to swallow, when they can no longer go to the bathroom without someone to help them, thats when you know, our time is almost up. 
Time is precious, and yet , we sometime take for granted. 
All those time lost , we can never go back to, but for those who still have time, cherish it.

For time goes by in a blink of our eyes, before we know it, our time is up.
As the saying goes, leave the world better than we arrive, and return to tell the Creator, you did everything you can with the life we borrow from Him. And be happy with the rizq and path meant for us, for whatever is meant to be, is meant to be. 
Maktub. It is written

One day at a time….

One of the good friend i met recently, are now off the social media. In the beginning, she just deactivates now and then, but recently she deleted completely her social media accounts as she feels rather stressed out seeing peoples life posted on social media seems to be doing well (despite their own career seems to me pretty secure and earning well)
These friends i know way before they become successfull, and seeing how far they have climbed their career ladder made me feel proud and happy for them. No discussion on work are allowed except that how they are feeling since the last time we met. 
Its been a rough year for my friend (and maybe others too behind the carefully selected photos they share on social media). And so she felt that for her own good, it is better to be disconnect with social media and reconnect with herself and live her life one day at a time without any pressure from the things she sees on social media. Smilingly, i told her that its okay to take things slow and focus in her own self nourishment because self care is important or else you would get caught in the illusion that everyone is happy all the time (when in reality its not always sunny all the time) 
I myself sometimes do feel like riding on a bullet train, until one day i had to pull the emergency break and take a look at myself and people around me. Slowly, im trying to be content and happy with the little i have rather than what i dont have. Because, whatever i already have, is already enough for me. Family esp is everything i have, time with them, and being able to play with my nieces and nephew those sometimes i get tired from playing , also the very few good friends i have whom no matter how far ahead they are in their career life, never forget to look back and pull me up together whenever i feel down. There was also people who had nothing much to give, but still gives, if not just a piece of cake, chocolate, or ….time – by phone, by eating together – their presence always makes me happy and look forward to the next time we meet (though some took years to finally have time to see each other again). And yet, these are people who understands that everyone have their own life, and we dont have to see each other everyday…but next time…the see you when i see you kind of friends.
As for that friend, she says, she finds it very exiciting to know new things and updates about each others life in person rather than looking at their latest instagram photos or facebook posts etc. Because back when she was very plugged into the internet, she already know what we did last week, or eat a few hours ago. By the time they meet, there was nothing to talk about or just ‘like’ each others posts.
As for me i can be both connected and disconnected, but when i meet people, i try as much to put the phone away and focus on the entire conversation (except if its my parents calling me😅). I love learning new things, hence why i share a lot of videos or posts when im online, whereas when im offline, i share my recent ‘adventure’ in living my one day at a time life since i chose to free myself from a soul-crushing job. Maybe one day i will create my own job with the little experiences i collected along the way. But for now, im just going to enjoy my own journey. Its only after going through such a hectic life, i learn to appreciate the slow and steady life which others might see as normal – mediocre life – but happier life as i now have time for myself and the people around me.
I genuinely appreciate the very few people i can honestly talk to, and comfortable of sharing my feelings and thoughts. Thank you for reminding me that i still have my people when things gets rough, and pull me back to the shore when i start drifting. Thanks for checking up on me, i feel blessed! Alhamdulillah~ ^^
You know who you are 😉