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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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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, October 07, 2010

From Malaysia's Palais de Justice to the steel mosque

OK. From the wedding celebration stories we move on to something else...


The following day (refer to The lavish night reception at Shangri-La), after taking care of some things in Negeri Sembilan, me and wife stopped at Putrajaya and had a look at this building, the Istana Kehakiman. Translated into English this means Palace (istana) of Justice. Actually a direct translation of the word Kehakiman should be 'judgement' as it comes from the Malay word Hakim (judge). But within context of use it is better translated as Justice of which the direct Malay word would be 'keadilan', from the word 'adil' (just).

Anyway it is a court of justice and therefore the English translation is officially given as Palace of Justice. However, whenever I hear these words I can't help but think of the equivalent Palais de Justice in Paris. So why the fascination with this place? Well, it has something to do with the design of the building which reminds me of a similar place I saw in a dream more than a decade ago, mainly the 3 big domes...


That made me parked the car and decided to walk from the building on to this gate directly in front. I wanted to see if this walk would gave birth to some idea or something... something that should elucidate more on the meanings behind the dream...


Mine you, when I had the dream none of these buildings exist. So I was wondering did I actually dreamt about the then up and coming Putrajaya or I just happened to saw an ancient building with the design replicated for the Malaysian Palais de Justice.


Anyway the gate leads to the newly-opened Tuanku Mizan mosque, also fondly known as the steel mosque.

Then there is the gate leading to the compound of the mosque...


In case you don't know the mosque is known as the steel mosque as it was built mainly with steel structures...








Just look at the mosque itself.





I first went inside this mosque some 2 months ago. That's when I realised that it is situated directly to Malaysia's Palais de Justice.






Since then I vowed that one day I would take a walk from the court building to the mosque...






Here's a look back towards the Palais...





I have yet to get an idea what this walk really means. Hopefully something will emerge after making this story. Have a look at the article Masjid (Mosque of Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin), Putrajaya in the blogspot BERPETUALANG KE ACEH. :]


Monday, October 04, 2010

The lavish night reception at Shangri-La

Dear folks. Apart from being venues to vent out frustation and share thoughts my blogspots also served as some sort of album for posterity through good and bad. On Sunday night, 19th September a lavish reception hosted by the bride's family was held also at Shangri-La hence the groom's family (my side) decision to have a Chinese tea party at the same hotel while renting a penthouse. So here's the continuation from the article The antics at the Shangri-La penthouse.


The night reception was set to be the height of a weekend of wedding celebrations...



With a guest list which included rulers, royalties, ministers, top politicians, industry captains and such it was practically a leaf from one of those vainglorious society magazines...


Now, while my cheap digital camera might not do justice to these famous faces, I'll bet with some scrutiny Malaysians at least could recognise some of them right away...



These pictures were taken at then end of reception. I leave it to you guys to spot the who's who. And believe me, there were aplenty...














On a more personal note. I've came across many of these famous faces many times before especially during my days as a journalist with the New Straits Times. I've been personally introduced to princes who are now rulers at posh private places. But this is the first time I saw and met Raja Puan Besar Zara Salim Davidson, wife to Raja Muda (regent of) Perak Raja Nazrin. And I must say I was impressed with her warm smile and the natural way she carried herself. It seems to me that she don't need protocol to show that she's a person confident of herself. Just being her warm self is enough to show she got real class...


You see, I must admit that when it comes to protocols and such I can be a total rebel although I try hard not to be impolite despite the fact that many times I feel like kicking plastic people so conscious of themselves and who they are with. After many official functions, I've sat on the floor with less than formal clothings happily fielding question after question to the likes of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir while many sat up still with controlled looks, persona and speech hoping to be in the good books of those in power so that they could climb the social ladder further.

Well, I don't care about all these. If not for the fact that I still have some semblance of decency I would have cried to these people saying something like this: "Damn you fakers. Typical commoners. You think this cultivated disguises you put up give you class? Pleibians... ". Then again I'm digressing. Anyway, that's my wife and baby as the crowd stepped out of the reception hall...





Meanwhile family members of both bride and groom converged at the rear...


This one is taken after the bride's family has been photographed with the newly-weds. The groom's family were then taking position...





The bride's family came larger in number. I thought is was because the function was hosted by them. But I learnt later that my side actually footed most of the bill.


My family would have to wait for another reception middle of this month before we can turn up by the actual numbers. I'm told it should be more relaxing. While there's still going to be some VVIP guests, this time there should be less protocol and hopefully you can see babies running and wailing about without much fear of giving embarrasment as this is what family is all about... accepting everyone the way they are and not having to put up personas to please anyone... :]

The antics at the Shangri-La penthouse

Continued from My first taste of a Chinese tea ceremony for newly-weds....


After the tea-ceremony we went up the 27th floor of Shangri-La hotel to get to the penthouse.


Oh. Forgot to tell. The tea ceremony was held at one of the hall of Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur and a penthouse was rented for the family to rest.



While we do have a number of wealthy family members, it's not everyday we get to enjoy the scene at a penthouse, what more at a prestigious hotel like Shangri-La...


So definitely there were some oohhs and ahhs as we checked the lavish rooms and decor which are opulent enough to make it look like we were in a bungalow owned by a millionaire (and we do have family members who are millionaires staying in bungalows at posh areas. It's just they've never bothered to lavish their homes the way a hotel would to a penthouse... that's all...)




Anyway being in the middle of KL's Golden Triangle and on top too does offer interesting vistas...




Mind you. I've been to many opulent places before but almost everytime I tend to be distracted by the view, that is if it is from a vantage point interesting enough. Seems like my 11-month old kid Muhammad Al-Aminul Rasyid shares the same interest...


Meanwhile my mum and siblings kept on enjoying the decor. Here they pretended to be some high-powered captains of industries I guess, hehe...


Another interesting view. Concorde Hotel is down there, Hard Rock Cafe way way down...


The dining room looks good enough for a meeting of top power-brokers...


In the case of our family, it's brokering for tea, or some gossips hehe...


Suddenly someone consciously or not opened the automatic curtains at the living room and voila, the cleaning people happened to be at work right in front of our window!


That got us laughing hard. The kids meanwhile seemed totally dumbfounded. The rather hyper-active Al-Rasyid was unusually glued to his feet...


My first taste of a Chinese tea ceremony for newly-weds...

OK.Three days ago I have shown some pictures of a cousin's wedding in the article The bride's home wedding reception on Saturday. As the cousin's father is Chinese he insist that we also do the traditional Chinese tea ceremony for the newly-weds. Here's the story...



Sunday morning 19th September 2010 alias the 10th day of Raya, the family attended the traditional Chinese tea-ceremony.


My cousin's father hailed from Singapore and has relatives staying in Australia and America. This ceremony was meant to fete that side of the family aside from reminding the newly-weds that the groom is half-Chinese.




For the Malay side of the family, relatives of the cousin's mum (my side that is), it is an honour to watch this age old prestigious ceremony.


We've been reminded that the married among us would have to take the front seats as the newly-weds kow-towed to them while offering glasses of tea. Those at the front seats then have to return the gesture with gifts of angpow. I'm told, in the olden days each angpow contained an amount of gold but nowadays you can change this with money no less than hundreds of Ringgits!



Anyway here's a video clip of the ceremony. I might have taken less than half of the actual proceeding but this should give enough idea of the going-ons... focus on the little children not withstanding... :]