Sunday, July 17, 2011

ICSECS' 11 at UMP June 27-29th, 2011

Just few days before I went to Singapore for that last KTM ride from Tanjong Pagar, in the same week I attended The Second International Conference on Software Engineering and Computer Systems (ICSECS’ 11) in University of Malaysia Pahang (UMP). The conference was in cooperation with The Society of Digital Information and Wireless Communications (SDIWC).

I never knew before that UMP was running in a place that was used to be an industrial area. The staff and students housing is in a housing area with apartments. It reminds me when I visited University of Malaysia Kelantan (UMK). Since it was running in a shop lot area, walking around the campus is like walking for shopping in Kota Bharu. That was walking in UMK. Walking in UMP, on the hand, is like walking in a SME area.

The conference was great and full of colors. There are presenters from Mexico, Japan, all over Middle East, some from Europe and many others. The conference received more than 500 papers but only around 200 were accepted, which means the acceptance rate may be less than 40%. That is what it takes to be ISI and Scopus indexed and published in Springerlink proceedings. My own paper, which was on UML and design pattern, was actually rejected five times by other conferences and finally accepted by ICSECS after so much polishing and revising.

The interesting part in this conference is that the conference chairman (or chairwoman), also the lady dean of the Faculty of Computer Systems and Software Engineering of UMP, was actually my cousin. The more interesting part is that she knew I was there and she greeted me, and I didn’t immediately realize that was my cousin. What a shame!

Well, that’s how absent-minded I’m. Anyway, this is her photo with some VIP-s in the conference during dinner. The dinner was in Bukit Gambang Resort we all stayed.

Associate Professor Dr. Jasni Mohamad Zain (middle) with the VIP-s

And some other pictures at the dinner.

Me with some ladies from the committee and two guys from Japan and Egypt

The gentleman with songkok is Rahmat Widia, from Indonesia, who is a PhD student of Prof. Jasni's - he happened to sit next to me during the conference opening

The short me being sandwiched by Ben Sadeh (left, from Norway and now an exchange student in NUS) and Kai Evenli (right, from Austria)


Sunday, July 3, 2011

In Memory of Tanjong Pagar KTM

It is very sentimental to many that KTM has ceased operating from Tanjong Pagar Station, Singapore. I won’t make any political nor racial statements here today about this historical event. I trusted Tun Dr. Mahathir. If he says okey to what Najib’s administration is doing, I’ll say okey too.

I remember taking KTM train twice to Tanjong Pagar when I had to finish my masters thesis. I had to go to NUS and NTU to extend my literature review as requested by my external examiner. Those were my sentimental memories with Tanjong Pagar Station. Now my thesis feels like incomplete again.

I took the chance to experience the last KTM train heading out from Tanjong Pagar on June 30th 2011. The trip started in KL Sentral 9am to Singapore, arriving at Tanjong Pagar a little after 5pm. Then coming back to KL at 10pm and arrived at 6am July 1st 2011.

Enjoy some pictures I took from the training starting from JB Sentral until Tanjong Pagar. In some of the pictures I don’t really know what I was snapping at, but those snaps can never be taken from a KTM train anymore.

RTM TV crew interviewing passenger for a documentary of this historical event

New JB Sentral Station

A view of JB from the train just about to enter Selat Tebrau

A view of Singapore from the train just about to enter the island. Can you see the controversial big fresh water pipes below?

Traffic at Tambak Johor

The border in the middle of Tambak Johor

Woodlands Checkpoint from a distance

At Woodlands Checkpoint

Singapore MRT track crossing KTM track from above

Singaporean lifestyle - condominiums

More condominiums

West View Primary School

Some famous building?

A glimpse of the crowd in Bukit Timah Station that I managed to catch. At night there was a much bigger crowd.

A few Singaporeans taking pictures from outside of Tanjong Pagar Station

One of KTM locomotives at Tanjong Pagar

A proof that I was actually there

The other side of Tanjong Pagar Station

A view of the old Malaysian Custom checkpoint area - with an unwittingly posing (Malaysian) policeman

KTM Tanjong Pagar sign board

Front view of Tanjong Pagar Station

From Tanjong Pagar KTM, I walked to Tanjong Pagar MRT, from where we can find Masjid Al-Abrar just a walking distance away. It is now, sadly, just part of a terrace shop lot along Teluk Ayer Road:

Masjid Al-Abrar

Masjid Al-Abrar and Tanjong Pagar MRT in Google Maps

This historical event has sentimental value to the Singaporean as well. On the way to Tanjong Pagar, I have a Chinese Singaporean lady sitting behind me, taking the train just to take some last pictures of Singapore from the train. On the way back there were so many Singaporeans lining up along the road and highways to snap the last train coming out of Singapore. In Bukit Timah Station there was a huge crowd.

Night crowd inside station

Night crowd along the track

The old Malaysian Custom checkpoint, again

I thought my train was the last KTM coming out of Tanjong Pagar, but the very last one was the one operated by His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, The Sultan of Johor. They had a special marching out of the last train to be piloted by him.

The very last train heading out covered by a long banner

KTM even gave certs to those who ride the last train, but I didn’t manage to get it. So I took its snapshot to share it with all of you.

The certificate of history

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