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".


The "Berpetualang ke Aceh" series of novels could 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, November 10, 2006

What do I think of polo

To complete my rather superstitious habit of starting something in odd numbers, in this particular instance, to make it 3 articles as my first ever postings as a blogger, ever, I'd like to present also an article made when I was attached to the NST Sports Desk... Have a look at it... It is a proper news-worthy article but made rather candidly after I was constantly egged, almost harrassed by some filthy rich group of elitist acquaintances who insisted I did something to help their favourite sport gain more popularity in the eyes of the majority... That is polo, the so-called sports of kings in which a player needs at least 3 horses or so available to him per game... Hardly a sport the people on the ground can relate to isn't it especially when a horse cost about RM50,000 each and above and at least RM1,000 monthly to feed but surely good to massage the egos of a few... Harruuummmphhh!!!
Well have a look nevertheless...

Publication : NST
Edition : 2*
Date : 23/07/2001
Page Number : 39
Headline : Once elitist, polo now appealing to the masses
Words : 595
Byline : By Radzi Sapiee
Column Name : Extra time
Text :

IT has been years, decades even, since any daily carried reports of polo matches in their sports pages. Most considered the sport too elitist for mass circulation while some considered it more as an indulgence of the rich. In Malaysia, particularly, the sport is viewed as the pastime of the more athletic royals, those who graduate from elite military colleges like Sandhurst, and the wealthy - not just any rich man but one with connections to the highest body politics or the palaces. Thus, the sport here fits more into the society pages of newspapers rather than sports. Except in 1983, when equestrian sports were introduced at the Singapore Sea Games, and Malaysia won the polo gold. The truth, however, is polo here is not as elitist as it used to be.

Sure, the avid fans still calls it the Game of Kings or King of Games, relating its illustrious history from the courts of Persia to the Moguls of India where British planters discovered it and brought the sport to the rest of the world. Naturally, it reached our shores through the British colonials who wriggled their way into the States' affairs by influencing the palaces, hence the royals' pioneering of polo among locals. But look at the list of players today and one is hard-pressed to find an active royal.

The Selangor Polo and Riding Club Annual Polo tournament in Ampang which ended recently might be the biggest in the local calendar but the list of riders showed only one with a royal title to his name, a Tengku. Of the 56 riders, there was only one Tan Sri and three Datuks, hardly a list of who's who like in the old days. Royal Pahang and Royal Johor clubs, which carry the name from a more elitist past, have a total of 16 players in the tournament. The Tengku played for the Pahang second team.

At least, some of them should be bigshots, one thought. One Royal Pahang player Sariman Sarir was singled out by a few people with respect. The club manager said he is currently the best handicapped in Malaysia, scoring a total of eight goals in three matches over the weekend. As it turned out, he came from a very ordinary background. Except he lived close to the polo grounds of Royal Pahang and his father worked for the Sultan. That's how he got into polo. Sariman said he's not rich and neither are most of the players under the current royal banner but they still turn out to be the major players.

The list also showed two corporals and a constable. They might not be able to afford a horse but being members of the Royal Mounted Police does have its privileges. That's how some lower-ranked members of the Armed Forces and the City Hall got to play with the rich and famous in the equestrian scene. The good thing is, it would make the sport more accessible to the masses.

Purists and conservatives, or the elitist, might argue against this dilution of the social significance of polo but that is the price to pay if they want their favourite sport to regularly grace the dailies, as some had conveyed to this scribe during the tournament. Otherwise, polo, although a vigorous, challenging and exciting sport, is better left to the society pages. For it is not fair to expect the ordinary folk to appreciate the sport when it is more a showpiece of the privileged to distinguish themselves from the masses.

radzisapiee@nstp.com.my (END)

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