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.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Who is Datuk Matsita?

Somewhere in a corner behind Chow Kit Road, Kuala Lumpur, next to a parking lot, lies a small building which invites questions. The building is a small Chinese temple under a jejawi tree (a jungle tree with lots of roots and foliage), quite a normal sight in Malaysia. What is out of the ordinary is the sign-board at the temple bearing the name "Datuk Matsita"... Ait?? Came a big question mark when I first saw this a month ago. The name "Datuk Matsita" sounds Malay. Why is a Chinese temple named after it?
Before the story is continued, let there be some explanation for the picture above. Well, it is a picture of the temple mentioned. This afternoon, I feel like making a stop there and took 3 pictures. Too bad, the words "Datuk Matsita" on the sign-board (look at the shiny area) did not make it in my cheap digital camera. I tried playing with the colour composition, light and contrast using the Photoshop program in an attempt to bring-up the words but it didn't work. Instead, the result was the picture above which might have some art value!
This reminds of a picture that look no less like a warrior or a Malay king at a Chinese temple in Teluk Intan, Perak. For sure, the figure looks like an important official clad in Malay traditional clothings, sitting in a half-lotus postion ( a common sitting position for a Malay)! Not far from the temple, there was a smaller temple with pictures of three old men, with face looking like a Chinese, another almost like a Malay. It happened that there was a nyonya (an old Chinese lady) laying some clothes under the sun at the house next-door. So I asked whose pictures were these? Came the simple answer: "I don't know but people say these are pictures of Datuk Melayu (elderly important Malay officials of old)!"
While visiting Sabak Bernam, Selangor, I was told there is a big temple there where there was pictures and statues which clearly look like that of a Malay official of olden days. "So the Chinese there says, it is the statue of a Malay, the statue of a king. They say this man (the Malay) has many miracles and is the guardian of the area!" one Malay says.
The statue at the temple of "Datuk Matsita" behind Chow Kit Road, Kuala Lumpur looks more like a Chinese. So is "Datuk Matsita" a Chinese man? Who knows... As the word "Datuk" itself is usually given to a Malay with substantial influence. But that is in the olden times... Now, there are many from other races who got the title "Datuk" from the Malay royalty. But is there any Chinese Datuk of nowadays who have been elevated to become minor gods or venerated figures worthy of worship after they pass away? Don't think so... Me thinks, those who are worshipped at temples are those from days bygone... That of figures with much influence, with miracles or power at least over a certain province.
So who is this "Datuk Matsita"? Suddenly one is reminded of the name Matsushita... But that is the name of a Japanese eletrical company. What about the ustazah (female religious teacher) who became a Malaysian politician that is Datuk Dr Siti Mashitah? Is there any connection? Hehe! Just kidding... Hmm... Maybe the Mastika magazine (a famous Malaysian monthly touching on mysterious things including ghosts and spirits) should investigate, who is "Datuk Matsita" as mentioned?

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