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.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Endurance 3

Hmm... Reading back old articles on endurance horse-riding did bring the smiles to my face. Come to think of it, I wrote it while the sport was still struggling in its infancy in Malaysia. Now, it has become quite popular to the extent that the latest Yang di Pertuan Agong of Malaysia (effectively the king of Malaysia but for a period of 5 years, chosen in rotation among the 9 state monarchs) was to become one of the riders at the Asian Games 2006 in Doha, Qatar. Unfortunately, the dates clashed with his own installment as the king on 13th December. Anyway, this is the last of a trilogy of endurance horse-riding articles... Enjoy it! :] 

Publication : NST 
Edition : 2* 
Date : 05/05/2001 
Page Number : 36 
Headline : Alamdin's love benefits the masses 
Words : 989 
Byline : By Radzi Sapiee 
Text : 

* TO know a person is to love a person. The same principle applies to sports and endurance racing is no exception. 

Some like 56-year-old Bukit Kiara boss Datuk Awang Kamaruddin Abdul Ghani was totally smitten, forsaking other riding disciplines he has known just to stay in the endurance scene. 

Polo, showjumping, dressage have no significance for him now, having tasted his first endurance race at the 1998 World championship in Dubai. He has spent his savings and uses his business acumen to get sponsorships to participate in international endurance races until 2006. 

Others like Putrajaya police mounted unit's Cpl Azhar Abu Bakar, the only Malaysian to finish the Dubai race, cannot afford to emulate Awang Kamaruddin but remained in the sport, albeit at the much lower local level. 

Endurance racing is still alien to most Malaysians but the few who have indulged in it are permanently hooked. And a recent event in Terachi, Negri Sembilan might just expose the sport, or at least simple horse-riding, to the rest of the population here. IF horse-riding is available only at exclusive clubs, then only a few Malaysians will be accessible to it, much less fall in love with the sport. 

Alamdin Abdullah was a project manager for the upcoming new federal capital Putrajaya when he rode a horse for the first time, through friends at the city's police mounted unit, the pioneer group who will make horse-riding patrols a standard when the whole area is fully developed. 

Most of the policemen there are strong cross-country riders. Some like the unit's head Sergeant Nasir Sahari had patrolled the length of the Thailand-Malaysia border on horseback and three were among the first Malaysians to participate in endurance racing, the 1998 World Championship in Dubai. 

They encouraged friends to take up riding at their place and their trails at Putrajaya soon became one of the locations for local races when the Malaysian Endurance Racing Society (MERS) started their 40 and 60km events last year. 

By then Alamdin who has completed his portion of Putrajaya has become a regular endurance rider and with his passion growing everyday, he decided to bring the sport closer to his home in Seremban. Thus came the Sea Games qualifying session held at Terachi last month, the first endurance race held in Negri Sembilan and the first in the peninsular outside of the usual confines of club grounds, plantations or project sites. 

The area was chosen for its elevated natural countryside and his son-in-law's hectare of `tanah pusaka', which belongs to the mother due to the State's matriachal Minangkabau rules, became the converging ground for the meet. 

But he is not a member of the governing circle of equestrian figures. Alamdin wanted to hold the event so bad that he pooled RM55,000 to cover the expenses including boarding for riders and bringing their horses in. Otherwise, they might not come and he would not get the numbers. And he must still get the right people to sanction the event and its results. 

Luckily, he had a valuable ally in the police' SM Shuhaimi Kamaruddin who is the Equestrian Association of Malaysia (EAM) endurance comittee chairman. 

"He pulled in the necessary people to make it a Sea Games qualifying event. There were some who want the event to fail as it is organised by an individual and I don't want this to happen," he said. 

Alamdin said the State Government were also excited about the project and he got the local assemblyman, District Office and the local police to help. 

"We even used temporary stables from the Police and tents and covers from the nearest Army camp. The best thing is, the project involved four kampungs as headmen and folks worked together to ensure smooth running," he said. 

A total of 28 riders came with an entourage which includes friends and family members who became their crew. Their job is to feed both riders and horses at rendezvous points along a 22km loop passing through padi fields, secondary jungle and rustic traditional villages. 

For the first time ever, the folks there got to mingle with riders and see some horses up close, reminding this scribe of the scene in Europe where equestrian is a way of life and endurance racing a carnival for all. The atmosphere was so alive that many riders declared this as the best endurance race they have ever been in. 

For this writer, this is the first ride here to really involve ordinary folks, just like when I tagged along with Datuk Awang Kamaruddin Abdul Ghani when he competed in the FEI 2x100km race in Montcuq, France last November. Then, more than 100 international riders competed and each took at least one car of crew - family and friends, even babies and dogs along - while some came with up to five cars following nearby, as we passed through many towns which housed the veterinarian check points, making it a merry event indeed. 

Terachi was more down-scale with only one place serving as the vet check but the whiff of Montcuq is there and this could pave the way for a full-scale FEI meet just like in Europe, Australia of America. 

Alamdin when suggested this said, he would try to get the State Government in. He said they are interested in having an annual event there and I suggested a meet of at least 105km in one big loop starting next year, involving more districts. 

By then we should have a substantial number of qualified South-East Asians due to the Sea Games and we could get Awang Kamaruddin to bring some international riders to join. The sport is so down to earth that it would not only create tourism opportunities as riders make their way down the countryside but also get more Malaysians to take up horse-riding.

radzisapiee@nstp.com.my (END)

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