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.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Around Masjid Sultan and Kampung Gelam

Continued from The tomb of the princess Radin Mas.

From Teluk Belanga we went to Bukit (hill of) Singapura now known as Fort Canning Hill. Next we went to the eastern fringe of the city where lies an area which used to be a traditional Malay stronghold.

For it is here that lies the palace of the last Sultan of Singapura, a palace which has been turned into a heritage museum.

A Bugis boat displayed in front. For the record this whole area is known as Kampung (village of) Gelam.

Not far from the palace cum museum lies the most well-known mosque in Singapura aptly known as Masjid (mosque of the) Sultan.

The shoplots nearby. This whole area has been turned into a heritage attraction.

The part in front of the main entrance to the mosque.

Wife and baby posing there.

The mosque's side entrance.

A look inside. There was renovation work in progress. For the record this is the 646th article in this blogspot.

The tomb of the princess Radin Mas

From the Temenggung mosque and mausoleum one can walk a short distance up Mount Faber and reach the tomb of Radin Mas, a princess of old said to have migrated from the island of Java.

At the foot lies the tomb of Radin Dandiar said to be her bodyguard.

The tomb of Radin Mas is upstairs.

For my cousin Hanif it is quite a revelation as it is the first time he came here. Then again he has only been to Singapura only once before. Practically all the places visited in this trip was his first...

For information the tomb of Radin Mas is quite well-known among the Singapura Malay population as a blessed place with strong magical aura. So much so that some people go to the extend of claiming it is a place for invisible saints to meet and converge at!

Touching the head tombstone, a mark of respect for the deceased. Having accompanied me to many old tombs, Al-Rasyid who was then only one year and a month old just did it without being told...

The Temenggung mosque and Johor royal mausoleum revisited

From the MRT station one can just walk across the road and reach the Temenggung mosque at Teluk Belanga, a remain of the days when the Temenggungs (something like the interior ministers) of Johor used to be based in this area.

Inside the mosque.

The Temenggung family still has their old burial ground besides the mosque.

Let's have a look inside.

As the Temenggung family have ascended the throne of Johor since the 1866s this is also known as the Johor royal mausoleum at Singapura.

And here's the part outside the main building, a part extending up parts of the hill of Teluk Belanga. The hill is now known as Mount Faber, the highest in Singapura.

Taking the MRT down half the island

Continued from The scene at Kampung Wak Hassan.

The uncle then dropped as at the Yishun MRT station.

We wanted to get to a place near the Singapura city centre and the MRT is the ideal way to go.

The MRT line we took practically circles the island. While it is shorter if we went clockwise, we decided to go anti-clockwise to have a better look at things. Seen in the background buildings at the city of Johor Bahru across the Straits of Tebrau as we went pass Woodlands.

Besides a trip clockwise would just be a repeat of the views seen when we go from Tanjung Pagar to Yishun on Saturday, a trip which was also anti-clockwise. So if we want to make it a full round pass the circle line might as well continue with the direction...

One thing I noticed in this latest trip to Singapura is the island republic do have a fair amount of green.

It happened that next we have to change to another line known as the green line.

Oh. Talking about green, Al-Rasyid was also wearing green!

Soon we reached the targetted station.

Talking about green again, the station has interesting 'green; murals on its wall and we took opportunity to pose with it.

The scene at Kampung Wak Hassan

Moving on to the 3rd day of the Singapura trip made over a month ago.

Monday 15th November 2010. With the wedding ceremonies all done it's time to have a look around the island. An uncle brought us up to a part of Singapura overlooking the Straits of Tebrau and the state of Johor. As far as I could remember this is my first time here...

The area is called Kampung Wak Hassan near Sembawang. It should be a few kilometres east of Woodlands.

Funny thing is I had a long deja vu here.

The sceneries, the tree especially the big one with lots of vines seemed to feature prominently from a dream or vision experienced a few years ago.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The groom's turn for reception

Continued from The bride's wedding reception in Singapura.

Next it was the groom's turn to hold reception.

In Malaysia this is normally done a few days apart, usually the following weekend after the bride's reception but in Singapura it is done the very same day... just after enough time has been spent at the bride's place...

What happened was practically a repeat of events at the bride's. The difference being if before the groom came alone with his party before he could join his bride up the pedestal, here they came and took their place together.

The other difference could be the guests list. As the bride and groom's place are situated about an hour's journey from each other, it is not surprising if each' relatives and neighbours chose to attend only the reception closest...

The bride's wedding reception in Singapura

OK. Continuing the stories on the trip made by train to Singapura over a month ago...

Sunday 14th November 2010 came the wedding reception day. As customary among the Malay community a reception is held first at the bride's place. The groom's party have to make the trip there and here we were...

While the groom was driven in a car some like me followed in the bus provided. Upon arrival we immediately positioned ourselves as per the custom...

Once that's done we started moving with the accompanying pomp, in this case lead by a kuda kepang entourage, a traditional horse dance group followed by a kompang troupe playing a kind of hand-held drums.

Entering the reception place...

The reception was held at the local high-rise community hall, a normal practice in the compact island republic of Singapura.

The groom's party all lined up to enter...

Soon we were in as the groom joined his bride to make way up the pedestal.

The kuda kepang entourage and kompang troupe continued with their show.

This was followed by some silat performance, the Malay martial arts and a few other formalities before the bride and groom could come down and have their meal.