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, June 12, 2007

Flood in Kuala Lumpur 2007... Is there a hidden meaning behind it?

Picture of the area for taking wuduk (ablution). Note the mud in the way...

Peace be upon you readers. Today, I went to several places in and around Kuala Lumpur especially the city centre to settle a few things regarding the book "Berpetualang ke Aceh: Membela Syiar yang Asal" (literally translated as "The trip to Aceh: Advocating the true faith"). During travel, I witnessed how the flood that ravaged some parts of the metropolis due to the heavy non-stop rain for more than 3 hours last night had destroyed so many goods especially at the shops. The mud left was also very apparent at many places, in fact some left such a bad smell like that of drains or toilet that has not been washed for long.
At first, I didn't want to take notice of the flood's aftermath as I was busy figuring out things related to my book while making updates of what is necessary using the laptop computer that is often brought along everywhere. But upon seeing the amount of mud and dirt at Masjid Jamek (main mosque) of Kuala Lumpur while on the way to perform the Asar (late afternoon) prayers, came the urge to take some pictures and then write a story alongside the interpretation of events that came suddenly.

The congregation was forced to pray at the mosque's verandah area, not inside the main hall because of all the dirt left by the flood overnight...

Look at the picture above where the congregation was forced to perform the prayers at the mosque's verandah. While looking at the mud and dirt brought by the flood at the mosque's compound, suddenly there emerged a question upon the heart... Is there any hidden meaning behind all these? Coincidently the flood yesterday happened a day after there occurs the marriage of Malaysia's 5th Prime Minister Pak Lah (as Abdullah Badawi is fondly known) to a widow of mixed parentage Jeanne Abdullah who was the sister-in-law to Pak Lah's late wife, Datin Endon. Is there a relationship between all these?
As a Muslim, although I don't belong among the pious and knowledgable ones, I feel it is high time Pak Lah choose a wife who wears the head-scarf. This is because Pak Lah is carrying the image of a pious leader who should forward the advantages and purity of Islam and he hails from a lineage of religious scholars - His grandfather Haji Abdullah Fahim was the mufti (head of religious matters) of Pulau Pinang and is considered as a very reputable religious scholar. If the late Datin Endon don't want to wear the headscarf, hopefully the new wife is more willing to follow the prescriptions of Islam, God willing!
Regarding the wearing of headscarf, perhaps some would argue that it is a matter of individual rights... It is better not to wear the headscarf than to wear it just in order to please other people. In this matter, I feel it is better to wear the headscarf to please people eventhough one will be accused of not being sincere. Maybe one is not ready to cover the aurat (body parts that should not be exposed according to Islamic prescriptions) but God will surely take account of the good intention of a wife who wears the headscarf in order to safeguard the good name of the husband and family especially when the husband is being related to religious scholars and those who fight for Islam.

The Masjid Jamek (main mosque) of Kuala Lumpur as seen from the front. The mud and dirt brought by the flood last night was not apparent in the picture... Try going closer. For sure you'll notice the dirt that stains the purity...

OK... Back to the hidden meaning behind things. Is there any relationship between the flood that carries dirt and mud all over Kuala Lumpur to Pak Lah's marriage? I don't know. What I do know, my heart keeps saying that there must be a meaning behind all these happenings... A meaning that forced the mosque's congregation to pray at the verandah, not inside the main hall of the mosque which is not just any ordinary place - Its position at the meeting of the Gombak and Klang rivers is the starting point of the origins of the city of Kuala Lumpur itself!
As many know, it is during the time of Pak Lah's administration that so many cases happens such that never took stage in Malaysia... A group of non-Malay leaders dared to question Article 11 of the Constitution touching on a Malaysian citizen's right to religion... Lina Joy (which took the limelights because of the gravity of the case) challenged the courts so that a Muslim may be allowed to leave the religion and convert using the process of law. Besides that, I'm sure many knew how the main companies in Malaysia have received "injections of cash" from a neighbouring country. Looking at the flood's aftermath all around the city especially at he mosque, my heart says... This means something is not right.
As it is, in the art of divination and interpreting dreams, water is often related to money and wealth. So, a dream where we see a lot of water like looking at a river, the sea, even a flood is said to be a sign that we will receive money and overflowing wealth. What if the water brings so much dirt that people are forced to get out of the mosque and pray at the verandah? What is the meaning of this?
At the same time, a thought occured... From one point of view, the "injection of cash" which came in the form of purchase of Malaysia's main companies (such as through buying of shares) by certain parties from a neighbouring country can be considered as the advent of overflowing wealth which managed to push up the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange to its highest gain above 1,300 points. Of course, it is good for business but is it really good for the man on the street especially the Malay Muslims who form the backbone of the country's existence?
Look at Pasar Seni (literally translated as "market for arts") or Central Market where the rent for space reputedly has been raised from RM600 a month to RM2,000 a month after it was taken over by a company owned by a neighbouring country. Look, what happened to the Malay traders who used to form a part of the identity of Pasar Seni... Where are they now? Methinks, they've become like those sitting beside bags of rice but with no chance of having a taste of rice!
Hmm... Enough of letting out steam. Do look at the snapshots below to have a picture of last night's flood aftermath which happened a day after Pah Lah got married.

Picture in front of the Mc Donald outlet beside the main mosque. Look at the piles of rubbish and goods damaged by the flood. At the time, it was around 5 in the afternoon, the area was having a blackout.

Jalan Melaka with some parts still immersed in mud, just beside the LRT (Light Railway Transit) of Masjid Jamek.

The flood aftermath around the area of Masjid India. Plenty of goods especially clothings where damaged becaused of the flood which went up not less than 2 feet deep. Visible in the picture is a sale where women's headscarf which normally cost RM10 each is being sold at RM3 a piece.
Next to this shop (not visible in picture) is a sale for Indian-made silk. The silk normally cost RM80 a piece but now is being sold at RM20 each, all because it was spoiled by the flood and must be washed and cleaned by prospective buyers.

The traffic jam at Lebuh Ampang caused by works to clean rubbish left by the flood.

Look, how the road is temporarily blocked so that the rubbish can be carried away.

This is the dirt and mud left at a lane beside Lebuh Ampang. The tall building in the backgroud is the Kuala Lumpur City Hall building!

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