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, May 02, 2008

Masjid Kristal (The Crystal Mosque)... Built for genuine worship or just to impress?

Continued from the posting Taman Tamadun Islam (The Islamic civilisation park) of Terengganu... made yesterday. I believe, like the Taman Tamadun, many have also heard the name Masjid Kristal, a spanking new mosque build in Terengganu which showcases glassy structures making it look like a mosque built from crystals... Here it is...

Less than a kilometre away from Taman Tamadun and lying on the same island known as Pulau Wan Man is this impressive structure known as Masjid Kristal...

I mean just look at the way all the glasses make the mosque look... Is this supposed to be the high-tech answer to the way mosques should look in the future?

Sure, it looks nice and impressive. But I for one have reservations for the purpose of building this mosque...

Visitors certainly find this mosque impressive but one must remember the real function of a mosque... A place for congregation and worship of God, not a place to impress people and show off!

Location-wise, one must say that it serves no function at all for the locals...

Situated on an island in the middle of the Terengganu river, it is only accesible by boat or from a newly built road winding pass the state muzium. Either way, it is far from any local settlement... Besides there's already a few other mosque within vicinity of the closest local populaces...

So why is this mosque built in the first place? Let me offer a clue... I think many have heard about how the state of Terengganu have been receiving a yearly royalty of 5 per cent out of the sales of petroleum extracted from its shores... It's just because of the prevailing political conditions over the last few years, the 5 per cent which amounted to some RM 1 billion have been diverted through certain hands and it is believed that these hands are responsible for having this mosque built!

On thing's for sure, the Masjid Kristal is built to impress...

It is built to show that Terengganu now have something to be proud of! Is it? Is this something to be proud of if the building doesn't really reflect the real conditions of the Terengganu people? Sure, the mosque could be said to be a reflection of the state's income of at least RM1 billion a year (from the petroleum royalty), never mind if the money doesn't actually land in the state's hand... But how can you reconcile that with the fact (sorry, I forgot who said this but I reckon it is a well-known fact OK...) that Terengganu is the second-poorest state in Malaysia?

So don't be shocked if many believed the building of this mosque and the Taman Tamadun close to it is just a way for certain people to siphon off money for their own nasty interest whatever that is... Some even quoted figures saying the official cost of building these impressive monuments as told to all and sundry is about double the actual cost meaning at least tens, even hundreds of millions of RM ended inside someone's pocket just like that. Enough said! :]

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