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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".

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Latest : The "Berpetualang ke Aceh" series of novels could now 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, December 29, 2007

The legendary Kota Buruk (ruined fort) of Muar...

Greeting dear readers. I'm currently in Mersing following a spontaneous round trip around the state of Johor after celebrating the Islamic festive day of Aidil Adha at my parents' place in Muar. Suffice to say, after that I spent a night in Batu Pahat, then Pontian, Johor Bahru, Kota Tinggi and last night here. Afterwards, I'm slated to go somewhere else, that is God willing...
OK... After more than a week not making any postings here, let's get down straight to business ya. Here is something really worth telling... A piece of old history in Muar using pictures taken last week...


Just a few kilometres away from my parents' place in Kampung Temiang (5km away from main town Muar), on the way to Pagoh one can see the signboard above... Actually the signboard was only recently erected, perhaps at most two months ago. So many might not know about...

I remember going pass this road many times whenever on holiday in Muar... After all, it lies on the shortcut route from Kampung Temiang to Bakri Batu 6 where lies the grave of my dearly departed brother who passed away in a road accident 5 years ago. But I first noticed this signboard just about a month ago. And that's when I promised myself to go and see what it's all about...


Now, I've never been to this part of Muar my whole life. Thank God one of my brothers was around, so I had the benefit of his car... After all, I have none and have been practically travelling on public transport for the last 5 years, that is after my trusty big bike broke down and I haven't got the money to repair it... Until now that is. Still the bike wasn't repaired and that is another story.

Suffice to say, we had to enter a plantation and made a few wrong turns before finally getting it right... Thank God... Otherwise I don't want to burden my brother too much especially since his car got such a low floor that many times it grazed the stones and dirts on the rather difficult plantation roads...


So here I am, finally at the site of Kota Buruk which could be literally translated as the ruined fort...



So what is this all about? Is it worth all the trouble? Well I can assure you that if you like old Malay history than this place is worth all the effort.

Now, I'm just too lazy to explain everything here... So I took this picture of the information available where you can have a look at it yourself. What you can do is right-click at the picture and save it inside your computer. Then you can open it and blow the size or make any adjustment necessary to make the text clear enough for reading.

OK... Perhaps I should give my 2 cents worth of explanation alongside. Remember the Malay Sultanate of Melaka said to have been opened by a certain royalty known by Western historians as Parameswara some 600 years ago? Well, before he opened up Melaka, he tried to open a new state in Muar, in a place which later became known as Biawak Busuk (literally translated as rotten monitor lizards). This is because the place was infested with many such creatures which had to be killed but more came along, and on and on... The piles of dead carcasses made it unbearable to stay on and thus Parameswara had to find another place to start a new state.

Oh... Let me be frank. I never really like the term Parameswara. Let's call him by his proper Malay name and honorific ya... Let's call him Sultan or King Iskandar.

After leaving Biawak Busuk, he went a bit upriver and built a new fort to start another state and community centre. The legends goes that all is fine until the next morning. Apparently for no known reason, the fort became ruined... Thus the name name Kota Buruk... Kota (fort) Buruk (ruined) and here is the site of the fort...

Now some believed the fort got ruined because of termite attack. Nevertheless, it is possible that if there was no such problem and Sultan Iskandar stayed one, the state of Melaka could have been started here and the whole Melaka empire story could have taken a different turn!


Next to it lies some foliage and a clearing...


As it is, the site is located next to the rather mighty and full of history Muar river...


Among the foliage lies a rather gargantuan tree...

The way the branches spreads out and its sheer size reminds me of a similar singular tree at Pulau Besar, Melaka... On the way up on top it's highest peak which leads to the legendary and mystical (and myhtical too) Batu Belah... Do have a look at Batu Belah (split stone) of Pulau Besar, Melaka

Near the clearing lies another curious object...


It is the tomb of someone of stature as denoted by the gravestone known as Batu Aceh or Aceh gravestone, normally used for someone of very high status... The yellow clothes and colour abound signify royalty... Too bad there's no notice saying who it belongs to...


Next to the grave lies this small tree with bits of yellow clothes and some pots and things normally used for worshipping... That is, the kind of worshipping condemned in Islam but practiced by people who believe in magical powers and getting favours from the unseen, even unholy creatures!


And not far away is another grave, also with gravestones covered in yellow clothing signifying royalty... Perhaps of lesser status. That's all ya. Cheers! :]

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