This blogspot is a medium to share my thoughts and adventures apart from promoting my books. Below are the books which have been written or authored and published by myself.

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Mencari Diri dan Erti".

ISBN 983-42031-0-1, Jun 2006

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Membela Syiar yang Asal"

ISBN 983-42031-1-x, May 2007

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Sirih Pulang ke Gagang?"

ISBN 978-983-42031-2-2, November 2007

It is interesting to note that while these books were written in Malay it has gained enough attention to merit being part of the collections of the American Library of Congress and National Library of Australia. Look here and here.

While the first three books were published by my own company, the fourth titled "Rumah Azan" was published in April 2009 by a company called Karnadya with the help of the Malaysian national literary body Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. It features beautiful pictures along with stories behind selected mosques which could be related to the history of Islam and the Malays alongside the formation of the Malaysian nation. Look at the article A collaboration of old collegemates - the book "Rumah Azan".

My fifth book "Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and Malay Sultanates", an English translation and adaptation of the Malay book "Ahlul Bait (Keluarga) Rasulullah SAW dan Kesultanan Melayu" authored by Hj Muzaffar Mohamad and Tun Suzana Othman was published early 2010. Look here... My 5th book is out! Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and the Malay Sultanates... . For more information check out my Malay blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU.

Like my fourth book "Rumah Azan", the sixth book "Kereta Api Menuju Destinasi" is also a coffee-table book which is published by the company Karnadya with the cooperation of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (the main Malay literary body in Malaysia). Coming out January 2011 it features pictures and stories on the adventure travelling by train to all of Peninsular Malaysia along with the interesting places which could be reached this way.

My seventh book "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" in turn is a coffee-table book which is written, editted, designed and has pictures taken by me. Coming out of the factory October 2011, this book which combines family history with history of places such as Singapura, Johor, Batu Pahat, Muar and in fact the history of the island of Java and England has been reviewed with me interviewed live in the program Selamat Pagi Malaysia at RTM1. Look at the article Siaran langsung ulasan buku "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" dan temu ramah di Selamat Pagi Malaysia. Some selected contents have been featured in Sneak peek "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah".


Latest : The "Berpetualang ke Aceh" series of novels could now be obtained in e-book form. Enter http://www.e-sentral.com/, click general novel and go to page 4. You can also type the word "Aceh" at the search box. Or click straight Book 1, Book 2 and Book 3.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Learning varieties of wearing the Sampin

This is from last Saturday night.

Me and family went to a certain dining establishment in Petaling Jaya to attend a function.

Everyone was dressed in old traditional Malay attire.

Held by a cultural NGO called Pusaka KL it featured a number of ways of wearing the Sampin, the traditional Malay clothes worn around the waist to complete one's appearance.

The evening also saw members of the NGO or association sharing their experience joining a mounted archery contest in Korea.  The contest was held about a week earlier or so

Pusaka KL was started as a group for keris (traditional Malay blade) collectors and lovers about 2 years ago if I'm not mistaken. But lately they have been more active in archery and have accepted members from more parts of Malaysia. As such we were told they would officially change the assocation's name and formally extend scope of activities soon.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Talking about clash of civilisations - Words of wisdom from a 84-year old mathematician

Returning back to what's happening in Malaysia...

Last Thursday I went to the law faculty of the International Islamic University of Malaysia in Gombak.

I wanted to attend a talk titled "Clash of Civilisation". I understand it is part of a series. The day's talk is on the Sunni-Syiah schism in Islam with parallels to be made between the Protestants and Catholics in Christianity.

I came in late. The talk or you can call it a  lecture was already more than halfway through.

The speaker is Professor Dr. Johan Galtung, a world class intelectual. Born in Norway 84 years ago (yes! the man is that old), he has a PhD in Mathematics (1956) and another in Sociology (1957). 

I might have missed most of the lecture. But I could catch enough to know that he has a deep understanding of world history, economics and comparative religion. The flavour and feel of the whole procerdings reminded me of a lecture of a local world-class intelectual. Look at An evening with the eminent Professor Syed Naquib Al-Attas. When comes the question and answer session, I took the opportunity to ask his opinion, how the Muslims could bring the return of the Caliphate given the current circumstances such as division between the Sunni and the Syiah. The man who hold the Tun Mahathir Perdana Global Peace Foundation chair for Global Peace took a few minutes to elaborate before ending it with a simple solution that many might have forgotten. Get back the feeling of togetherness between the Muslims, that should eventually do the job he practically said.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The pools and the women's dormitory (or sorts)

Next we headed to what is believed to be the women's dormitory or residence.

In front lies remains of a pool.

The write claimed it was here Ratu Balqis or Queen of Sheba received a letter from King Solomon demanding her to submit.

Entering the walls of the said women's quarters.

Interesting are the well-like pools...

Entering another level or layer before turning left to get to the southern walls.

The section called Pendopo or extra building/living quarters as we walked back from the south towards the main gates.

Stupa remains, the altars and a meeting place of sorts

Walking down towards what is said to be the women's section.

The writer wanted to show us some stupa remains.

He said these are leftovers from some incomplete stupas at Borobudur.

You see he claimed a big portion of the Ratu Boko palace has been magically transported to Borobudur and the parts of the stupas where accidently left behind here.

He brought us here to support his claim that this palace was once resided by Ratu Balqis, a person known in the West and mentioned in the Bible as Queen of Sheba.

The official story is the queen had lived in the middle east, somewhere in Yemen, the southern tip of the Arab Peninsular. But the writer disputed that saying Ratu Balqis is from Java.

He said the mysterious figure in Javanese history called Ratu Boko of which this whole palace complex is credited to is none other than Ratu Balqis.

The altars he claimed were the places where she and her people used to worship the sun as mentioned in the holy Quran.

And next to it lies these stones are seats (or was it standing places?) he said were used when her council of nobles and elders meet.

The less known sections of Ratu Boko palace

The Indonesian writer then took us further east.

If I'm not mistaken this is a house of a local which happens to be situated within the palace complex.

At this juncture we have walked almost half a kilometre from the palace's main entrance.  To the right is what is marked as Pendopo which I understand means an extra building normally for residence.

To the left is a trail leading to a cave.

But we want to go to the Keputren which I understand means the female quarters.