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, July 23, 2007

Penang... As they say, the pearl of the orient!

After leaving Pulau Besar, Melaka 4th January I rested a few days in Kuala Lumpur. Then on 7th January, took a bus to Seberang Prai to join a cousin who was temporarily stationed there. He put up at one of the best hotel available in town. After all he is an engineer with the nation's biggest Petroleum outfit, Petronas. So for the next few days, I get to enjoy proper lodging like a VIP, just like I used to when still a journalist for The New Straits Times.
Oh... Actually just a day or two later (forgot the actual date), we got a shock when an uncle passed away because of a heart attack. I mean, we knew he was in a critical condition but we expect him to last at least until the cousin's job in Seberang Perai was done in a week's time or so. So we had to rush to KL to attend the funeral. Then only we returned to the North the next day...

This is a picture of the hotel where we stayed in...

The view from our room. Not bad eh?

As my cousin rushed out to do his job in another part of town, I went off by bus to look around. Here is an old Malay traditional house somewhere at Permatang Pauh. Notice the tounge-like carvings jutting out from the corners of the roof, the kind of design which I'm personally very attracted to for reasons still unclear to me right to this very day except that my heart says, it has to do with my Aceh ancestry.
This kind of design is used in parts of Perak mostly for houses and old mosque. When I enquired about its origins, most people could only answer that it is of an old Malay architecture. But when pressed further does it have to with Kelantanese or Pattani influence or such, none could give a satisfying answer.
My heart says, the design is of ancient Aceh architecture, something to do with old twin kingdom of Samudera and Pasai and there are people who believe so. Unfortunately, so far I couldn't find any documented or official evidence that support this...

Bukit Mertajam seen from somewhere off Permatang Pauh...

As the sign-board says, this placed is called Permatang Tok Kandu...

After about one week I stayed at the hotel in Seberang Prai, it's time for my cousin to return to his normal routine in KL. On the other hand, this was when my real journey to the North began. First stop... Since I'm already in Seberang Perai, just head across the straits to Pulau Penang or Penang, the place they call the pearl of the orient. And the most convenient way to get there is to take the ferry. Here goes...

The ferry as it leaves Seberang Perai. Another ferry was seen heading towards the opposite direction...

One of the first places visited upon arrival to Penang is this shrine-like mauseloum said to belong to a deceased saintly person known simply as Sheikh Abdul Qadir. This place happens to be on my walking root from the jetty. So why not pay a visit and get some blessings?

This famous structure is well-known as a major Penang landmark, the Masjid or Mosque of Kapitan Keling, named after the nickname of a community leader from India who landed here and help his people establish their business and presence among the locals...

There, seen it the distance is the 60-storey or so Komtar building, the central landmark of the city of Penang which could be seen from every direction...

Not far from Masjid Kapitan Keling lies Lebuh Aceh (literally translated, the Aceh Broadway) which used to be the Malay centre of urbanised Penang. This area is said to be opened by a wealthy 19th century wealthy Acehnese merchant and became the place for Muslims from as far as Singapore and Indonesia to converge before doing the hajj or pilgrimage to Mekah... By taking ships from Penang.

This curious little mosque almost smacks of Disneyland... Can't remember the name and location but it sure caught my attention. Cheers!

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