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.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bird-watching at Fraser's Hill?

So colourful... The scenery greeting visitors at Fraser's Hill for the international bird-watch race 23-24 June.

Two weeks ago a cousin who have long not been in contact suddenly called. It turns out, he just read a review on the "Berpetualang ke Aceh" book series which just came out in the Malay daily Berita Harian that day. The cousin was excited with the review and suggested that I do promotion at Fraser's Hill, in conjunction with the international bird-watch race this year. It happened that I attended the same event last year and it was apparent lots of participants and visitors made it festive, so came the urge to follow the cousin's suggestion.
Thursday, 21 June. And so I rushed to the late grandma's house in Raub where Mak Uda, mother to the cousin lives. Then I found out, unlike last year where the cousin went to Fraser's Hill with his in-laws, this year they couldn't make it as everyone was busy with their own affairs. I almost cancelled the plan to go there, if not for some 'coincidences' which I considered as signs that I must go up to Fraser's Hill. Therefore I took the opportunity of the presence of many people there for the bird race to promote my book.
Earlier, I thought I had to be in Raub until Monday in order to help family members. An uncle had an accident which prevented him from driving the car so Mak Uda asked me to be ready to act as the driver to sent the uncle's wife, Mak Ngah to and from work.
For the sake of the family, I announced my willingness to start 'service' the next day. As it turns out, Mak Ngah is on holiday Friday and then came other relatives who took over some task, and so I have free time to do whatever is liked. But it felt hard to go to Fraser's Hill as I don't have transport... Last year I went with my cousin by car...
That Friday, I went to the town of Raub alone by bus then walked almost a mile to Simpang Kallang to have ikan keli gulai asam rong (I can't make out the translation except it was a local dish using catfish) for lunch. As the new main mosque is rather far away while I don't have any transport, I was thinking of just doing the Zohor (afternoon prayer) at the old main mosque which is nearer. Anyhow, I was on travel, thus it was not compulsory to do the Jumaat congregational prayer.
On the way back to the town centre after lunch, I was thinking of dropping by the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant since my cousin did mention there is Internet wi-fi signal there which I might be able to hop on. A sweetheart then called making me so occupied such that I walked 3 blocks of shops past the Kentucky restaurant!
As it turns out, there is a good reason why this happened. The walk which saw me overshoot caused me to come across the cousin which happens to be at a photo shop. Therefore I could hop on his scooter to do the Friday prayers at the main mosque. Later we stopped by his in-laws' place and that's where the mother-in-law said, their is a twice a day bus service from Raub to Fraser's Hill.
Cutting short the story, and so I managed to get up there and do the book promotion for "Berpetualang ke Aceh"... But let the promotion story be featured in a different article ya, methinks for the "Catatan Si Merah Silu" blogspot only. Here, I just want to tell a story about what happened and the feel at and around Fraser's Hill 23-24 June. Come... :]

The big clock of Fraser's Hill. While sitting and resting at a spot, I could see a group of young female students, looked like secondary school student walking heading for the big clock with a camera each.
Not long later, there appeared an adult with much advanced camera equipment, looks like the teacher. This man asked them to take pictures of the big clock. "This is the identity of Fraser's Hill!" he said.

Some of the exhibition stalls set up for the Bukit Fraser bird-watch race. For information, the event held since 1988 (if not mistaken) is also attended by participants and visitors outside the country.
This gives the chance for any party to promote their goods or produce to a bigger crowd. Therefore there were stalls promoting batik and optical goods such as binoculars and camera lenses. In fact there were stalls promoting jungle growths especially in the state of Pahang.
In the picture's background is Puncak Inn which is also one of the identity buildings of Fraser's Hill. The rate here, if not mistaken is around RM50 to RM90 for a room per day, is said to be the cheapest at the hill resort station.

View of the exhibition stalls from a different angle. This area is also known as Fraser's Hill 'town centre'. The big clock (not seen in the picture) is situated left of the picture's background.

The Golf Club building which also served as the comittee and secretariat centre for Fraser's Hill international bird-watch race.
Oh... The race is a team event where each team must go to the designated areas and look for as many species of birds at the area and take notes. The team which finds the most type of birds is considered the winner.

Fraser's Hill big clock seen from a different angle. Seen here the self-designed bunting for promoting the book "Berpetualang ke Aceh" erected beside a tree, the first location for the bunting here in an experiment to see passers-by' reaction.

The festive atmosphere due to the number of visitors at Fraser's Hill.

A concert was also held to perk up the atmosphere. Seen here are members of the group Kopratasa on stage.

This is the mosque where I spent the night to spare expenses... It is situated some 500 metres uphill from the 'town centre'.
Not that I had a good sleep, after all I was actually having cold while counting on a jacket and two pairs of clothes to protect myself from the chilly night mountain air.
For information, Fraser's Hill is situated some 4,000 feet above sea level. The daily temperature is often around 22 Celsius during the day and 20 Celsius or below at night while I'm used to the temperature in Kuala Lumpur at a minimum of 27 Celsium and often reaches 31 Celsius and above.
The result, I couldn't sleep properly and often shaking in cold in fact often got stomach-ache and uncomfortable kidney. At 5.15 in the morning, I woke up again to go to the toilet and thus went straight for congregational Subuh (early morning prayers) before going down to the 'town centre' to set up the "Berpetualang ke Aceh" bunting. So tired woo not having enough sleep!

The atmosphere at the food outlet at the foot of Puncak Inn. Colourful isn't it?

Hmm... Enough of me story-telling ya. While writing this paragraph, the time is already past 2 in the morning (actually 4am when I made the English translation up to this point) when I actually haven't had dinner after returning for Kuala Lumpur city centre at 9... So busy to update the blogspots. Good night ya... :]

p/s: Perhaps some would ask, did I also watch some bird at Fraser's Hill? What more, isn't the title of this article "Bird-watching at Fraser's Hill"?
Hmm... Yes there's some species of birds seen flying everywhere. Maybe I can see more if I don't just stick around the 'town centre'... Maybe too I could find some birds in hiding if I brought my own binoculars.
What was sure, I met a beautiful 'bird', wearing head-scarf with a sweet and endearing smile. We got to know each other, share plenty of stories while walking about and I feel comfortable and like her.
It's just that I feel enough we become friends... I told this 'bird' that I still have feelings for the ex-wife especially when I think about our daughter. And I also have two girlfriends whom I love dearly. Enough that way...

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