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, August 04, 2008

A visit to Gemas, Malaysia's very own rail crossroad...

OK... Now that the story-telling on the continuation journey to Negeri Sembilan followed by the latest trip to Pulau Besar, Melaka is done, I should get back to remembering and the story-telling on my college days under the 'A' Level programme starting 1988. The last time I did that more than a month ago, resulting in the article Remembering the "A" Level college days. Damansara Utama where the cool days started! However I still couldn't find the right feel nor rythm, not even the right starting point to continue the story. So let me just pass the time with something else OK... Here it is.

Last Friday, a girlfriend asked me to accompany her to a certain place in Negeri Sembilan. So I did that but later took the time to go elsewhere, the town of Gemas at the southern-eastern tip of the state...

The last time I was in Gemas was sometime in 2005. Then again as far as I remember, I never spend any significant time in Gemas. I was only passing through to get somewhere else, the last time was on the way to Segamat through Tampin.

So I spent more time in this visit. In fact I actually stayed and lodged at a cheap hotel for 2 nights! Oh, don't get the wrong idea. I left my girlfriend somewhere else... She had her own business to attend to while I wanted to be on my own.

So what is great about Gemas? Well, you could say it is just another regular Malaysian town except for one thing... It is Malaysia's main rail crossroad!

Counting East Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak aside, Malaysia's main rail network, that is the one on Peninsular Malaysia could be divided into 3 sections. The northern (or rather northern West-Coast) route, the East-Coast and the South. Coincidently, that's also the way the Peninsular is often described and divided geographically....

You see, Peninsular Malaysia's main range of mountains, the Banjaran Titiwangsa created a long stretch of natural obstacle not favourable to railroads. So the connection point between the 3 sections has to lie just outside the obstacle...

Gemas practically lies at the southern end of Banjaran Titiwangsa. Thus that's where the northern line of railroad starting from Perlis in the north going down through the states of Kedah, Pulau Pinang, Perak, Selangor, the federal territory of Kuala Lumpur and Negeri Sembilan meets the East-Coast line leading to Pahang and Kelantan... Thus a train from KL to Kelantan have to go down more than 100km to Gemas before heading north-east to Kelantan.

Oh, by the way the rail-road don't go through the state of Terengganu... And both the northern and East-Coast lines do meet elsewhere up north but that is the sovereign state of Thailand, so it does not count. Here in Malaysia, both lines continue down south to meet the southerbound railroad passing through Johor all the way to another sovereign state, Singapore. So Gemas is the focal point where all paths meet...

A picture of town from the front of the train station. Somehow I always like to visit train stations and have a drink or two at the canteen...

The main mosque of Gemas some 500 meters away...

From the mosque I head back toward the town centre and decided to take this picture. It was around 6pm and the afternoon sun was bright. I don't know much about setting my camera, I just snapped a picture...

Suprisingly this is what I got... Somehow the signboard showing the miles to the next major towns stood out as if it was something on an LCD computer screen! What's more surprising, when I checked the picture inside the computer, the board somehow aligns perfectly with the screen's horizontal edges. Is this just simple coincidence or did I somehow turned into a superb cameraman that time? Enough... :]

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