Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pantau anak marah

KUALA LUMPUR: Ibu bapa harus memainkan peranan penting untuk menyekat pendedahan terhadap keganasan sama ada menerusi televisyen, video dan Internet yang boleh mempengaruhi perilaku anak mereka.

Pakar psikologi Universiti Teknologi Mara, Prof Dr Amelia Abd Aziz berkata, remaja sememangnya mudah terpengaruh dengan apa yang mereka lihat dan dengar serta akan mengaplikasikan perilaku itu apabila berdepan perkara yang membuat mereka marah.

“Baik remaja mahupun orang dewasa, apabila diselubungi perasaan marah, mereka akan bertindak di luar pemikiran waras sehingga melakukan sesuatu yang buruk tanpa sedar.

“Mereka sedikit sebanyak akan mengikuti perlakuan yang pernah dilihat sebelum ini,” katanya.

Beliau mengulas muka depan akhbar ini semalam yang melaporkan kejadian remaja berusia 14 tahun mati akibat terkena serpihan kaca yang diacukan oleh kakaknya selepas pertengkaran berebutkan alat kawalan jauh televisyen.

Menurutnya, mungkin suspek tidak berniat membunuh mangsa namun apabila berada dalam keadaan marah dan tertekan, dia terdorong untuk bertindak sedemikian.

Katanya, pertengkaran yang berlaku sehingga terjadinya cabar mencabar juga mungkin menyentap kesabaran suspek sehingga bertindak mengacukan serpihan kaca kepada mangsa.

“Keupayaan untuk mengawal kemarahan adalah penting supaya mereka dapat mengendalikan emosi dengan baik.

“Justeru, ibu bapa perlu memahami perilaku anak mereka dan perubahan yang berlaku terhadap tingkah laku mereka perlu dipantau,” katanya.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Reports over bosses mistreating pregnant staff on the rise

KUALA LUMPUR: There has been an increase in the number of reports from women workers who claim their employers discriminate against those who are pregnant.

Among complaints normally given by employers is that pregnant women under-perform in their duties.

MCA public services and complaints bureau head Datuk Michael Chong said he has received six complaints from women who alleged their bosses gave them a hard time, leading them to resign from their jobs.

Citing an example, Chong said one woman complained that her employer always nagged her for going to the toilet so often.

“She had to explain that she could not avoid it as she was pregnant,” he said, adding that the complainant also alleged she was put in “cold storage” by not being assigned the tasks she usually did before her pregnancy.

“Unable to take it any more, she resigned from her job,” Chong told a press conference here yesterday.

He said it was traumatic for pregnant women, who had worked to support their husband or family, to eventually lose their source of income.

“The department is contemplating legal action against employers who harass pregnant women under their payroll,” he said, adding that among those who had lodged complaints with his department were women who were still under probation at the work place.

Others had worked for two or more years with their employers.

Chong said he was worried that with the extension of maternity leave to 90 days for working mothers, there would be an increase of such victimisation.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Jangan ganggu emak memasak ya (English)

I wished it were a matter of simply watching Mom while she cooked. Mom is a fantastic chef, but she did not like interlopers in her kitchen. She preferred to be left alone, and we girls knew better than to bother her while she was cooking up her culinary achievements. Even Dad steered clear when she was at work. My plan to sit in the kitchen and carefully document each step as she prepared her sauce meant that I would be entering uncharted and dangerous waters.

Thursday arrived accompanied by rising anticipation. I rushed home from work, quickly changed my clothes, and sat at the kitchen table with pad and pen. "Don't worry, Mom. I'll stay out of your way. You won't even know I'm here."

Mom gave me a look that said, "I already know you're here." She set an empty pot on the stove and began chopping an onion. I watched her and asked my first question. "How big is that onion?"

"What do you mean, ‘How big?' It's an onion."

Her back was to me, but I was sure she rolled her eyes.

"I know it's an onion, but is it a small, medium, or large onion?"

She sighed. "Let's just say it's a medium one."

I wrote that down: one medium onion, finely diced.

Then she reached for the garlic, broke off a couple of cloves, and crushed them.

"How many cloves was that?"

"Two... unless of course they're large, then you only need one."

I wrote that down as well.

Mom poured some olive oil into the pot, and then added the onion and garlic.

"Wait! How much oil did you use?"

"I don't know. Enough for the pot."

I ignored the growing annoyance in her voice. "Well, how much is that?"

"It depends on the size of the pot. Just enough to coat the bottom. Use your judgment."

I didn't want to use my judgment. I wanted a recipe.

Mom emptied a can of pureed tomatoes into the blender. Then she added the blended mixture to the onions.

I grabbed the empty can and noted the size. "But why did you bother to blend tomatoes that are already pureed?"

"Because this is the way I make it. Are you here to tell me how to prepare my sauce, or to learn?"

Next, she poured one can each of tomato soup, tomato sauce, and tomato paste into the blender. I wrote down the size of each empty can when she finished.

While I wrote, Mom took a bunch of parsley and began chopping. Scooping up a handful of the chopped parsley, she moved toward the blender.

"Wait!" I jumped up and reached for her wrist. "How much parsley is that before you add it to the tomatoes?"

"A handful."

"But, Mom, how much is a handful? Your hands are smaller than mine!"

I grabbed a large measuring cup and had her empty the parsley into it, noting the amount. After blending the parsley and tomatoes, she added the mixture to the pot. I could see she was beginning to get a little rattled, but thankfully we seemed to be near the end.

"Mom, I forgot to ask. How long were the onions cooking before you added the other things?"

"Once the oil begins to bubble, simmer for about five minutes."

Then she sprinkled some oregano into the palm of her hand and walked over to the stove, only to be intercepted by me once again. I carefully emptied the contents of her hand into a measuring spoon. "Aha. Just about one teaspoon." I dashed back to my pad and wrote it down.

"That's it. Simmer the whole thing for about an hour."

"Uh... Mom? That's the second time you said ‘simmer.' Exactly what does that mean?"

She counted to ten before she answered. "It means cook over a low flame."

The sauce was simmering, and so was Mom.

I waited a few moments before venturing to ask my final question. "Are we done?"

"Yes, we're done. Now it just cooks — simmers — for an hour. There's nothing more for you to write down, so please get out of my kitchen before you drive me completely crazy!"

An hour later, we all sat down to dinner. My sister was the first to speak up. "Mom? This sauce doesn't taste like you usually make. Did you do something different?"

"Of course not. It has the same ingredients I always... wait a minute." Mom grimaced and shot me one of her patented looks. "I forgot the sugar... and the salt and pepper."

The rest of the family laughed as I shrunk down in my seat.

I learned an important lesson that day. We've now been married more than thirty years, and my very special husband has always been served a very special spaghetti sauce.