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.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Alor Setar at last!

Let me continue direct from the last story in Incursion to Tanjung Dawai . And forgive me if this story is very brief as I must simply let go while my current mood and state of health is making it rather hard to write. Oh... Just for note, I'm writing from an Internet Cafe in Kajang, here goes...

Now, as told in the story on Tanjung Dawai, I was supposed to go to Alor Setar, the capital of Kedah right after I'm done with Yan. So I got delayed for a day because of the turn events. In fact I nearly got delayed another day because I had to entertain some people in Tanjung Dawai. Dusk was approaching within the hour and the family which hosted me there asked me to stay another night but I was adamant I must go to Alor Setar that very day even if there's no more public transport left. Even if I have to walk and hitchike until the next day.

So a member of the family decided to take me to Yan by bike nearly 30km away. At least I can get busses to Alor Setar up till 9pm or so. Suffice to say, I arrived at night. The picture above of the riverside near the famous Pekan Rabu (literally translated as the Wednesday market) was taken the next day...

OK... Having let that off my chest. Now I'll be very brief so that I could complete the last few stories of the trip up north in January ya... Above is a monument commerating the 250th year of the opening of Alor Setar.

Another monument commemorating the announcement of Alor Setar (never mind the spelling ya as some prefer to use Alor Star, some Alor Setar) as a city, can't remember when, a year or two ago or so...

This plaque commemorate the particular area where Alor Setar got its name...

The drain used to be an alor (can't find the exact English word off-hand but it is like a drain without water). Next to it grows a setar tree (again, I don't know the actual translation)... So Alor Setar... Get it?

Masjid Zahir, the old main mosque of Alor Setar... I will do a story on it in the bi-lingual blogspot SENI LAMA MELAYU (MALAY OLDEN ART) soon, God willing!

A view of the street in front of the mosque leading to the 100-metre high or so Alor Setar tower...

A view of the Kedah river behind Masjid Zahir...

The Balai Besar or "Big Hall" in front of Masjid Zahir which used to be a venue for royal functions...

The Balai Nobat or the hall where the royal musical instrument is kept, as least that's what the plaque says... There are people who beg to differ saying this building is actually what's left of an old mosque which was destroyed to erase the history of the existence of a different ruling family. Hmm...

That very day, 22nd January 2007, I decided to go to the mythical island of Langkawi. The nearest jetty is at Kuala Kedah 15km west of Alor Setar. Above is a picture of the jetty complex with an odd little building in front. What building is that? Let me veer away from the question for the while...

Oh... Just for the record. Earlier during the day, I made a trip to Langgar some 11 km north-east of Alor Setar. The Kedah royal mausoleum is located there and I've posted the story here more than 3 months ago. Have a look at A visit to the royal mausoleum at Langgar, Kedah?

Before embarking on the ferry to Langkawi, I decided to visit Kampung (village of) Pasai nearby... Why? Because I have a liking for the name Pasai which is the name of an ancient kingdom located in present-day Aceh. And so the village above (too bad, I took pictures of the ugly parts. The whole village seems pretty run-down to me) is named after a group of people who migrated from the Pasai area some time ago...

Now we can get back to the odd building in front of the jetty. For information, it houses the tomb of a certain personality known as Tok Pasai. He is said to be a warrior and religious scholar of saintly status from Pasai who migrated here in the 19th century. That's why the tomb is still here... The story goes that the area in front of the jetty used to be an old graveyard which was relocated to make way for development. But the authorities can't do anything about this particular tomb... It seems the machines went dead when they tried to touch it while the workers involved felt sick. Hmm... OK, on to the next story... :]

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