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.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Exploring the happenings around the 1874 Pangkor Treaty in Perak... To Kuala Kangsar and 'beyond'

Greetings all. I was just turning on my laptop to continue the process of burning my recently finished Perak trip video @ travel-log story @ home-made documentary on DVD when lo and behold, the neighbour's wi-fi signal is on and clear for me to ride on to my heart's content! Oh, by the way the video contains the best selected clips from the travel with some potrayed at my Malay blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU of which the static pictures formed the stories in the currently running "Exploring the happenings around the 1874 Pangkor Treaty in Perak" articles here.

Since the burning process takes a lot of time, I might as well use the available wi-fi signal to make this posting... I started burning the first DVD for today's session at around 7.15pm before settling a few other things. Soon I started this article and by the time this sentence was written which was just after 8.30pm, only 25 per cent of the burning was done!

That's the funny thing I noticed about burning DVDs, in this particular case some 2.66 Gb or 118 minutes worth of video... The first one of the day (after you start the computer) always takes more than two hours. When it's done, the computer will ask if you want to make another copy and from this stage thereon, it takes only 10 minutes or so to burn the same information and get the same result in a DVD.

Anyway, enough rantings and ramblings. Consider this posting the continuation from the article Exploring the happenings around the 1874 Pangkor Treaty in Perak... The fort of Ngah Ibrahim made 3 days ago. Oh, by the way again, this is the last article under the series. Enjoy it, cheers! :]

OK. We left the fort of Ngah Ibrahim at around 5.30pm and immediately head for the Taiping town centre. We were famished then as we haven't had lunch. So I wanted to bring the crew to a famous restaurant in Taiping well-known for its kuey teow ( a type of Chinese vermicelli).

That's the problem, it is very well-known. We managed to find the place but not only it was full, the waiting list was long and they didn't want to do take-aways. We on the other hand still have to rush to Kuala Kangsar more than 30km as there were a place or two to visit before sun down... So we can't wait.

The journey must continue and so we head towards Kuala Kangsar. The thought in mind was, if we find any place to eat along the way that' looks pleasing enough then that's where we'll have our late lunch! That's how we stopped at the place called Bukit Berapit above...

This is the road-side stall where we had 'lunch'. Although the place then was infested with flies (the owner said some people recently open a chicken farm or slaughter shed or something like that not far away. That's when the flies started coming...) we decided to go on and fill our stomach.

As far as I could remember, this is the first time I ever stopped at Bukit Berapit my whole life. This despite the fact that I've been pass this road many many times as it lies on the main Taiping-Kuala Kangsar national route. That's when I found out it has a nice stream with rapids behind...

By the time we finished eating, it's almost 7pm. As we reached the outskirts of Kuala Kangsar, I saw this hill and felt like taking a picture from inside the car.

We stopped by at a certain place in Kuala Kangsar to meet 2 friends, one from Sungai Siput some 20km away, another from Ipoh 40m away. They wanted to join the rest of the trip for the day...

Soon enough, after 7pm, we arrived the Ubudiyah mosque in Bukit Chandan, Kuala Kangsar...

Next to it (actually right in front, in the direction facing the kiblat, the Muslims point of direction for prayers which is towards the sacred Ka'abah building in Mekah, at the Arab peninsular) is the royal mausoleum of Perak.

Although there's many many tombs inside including that of 7 Sultans (rulers) of Perak, we immediately head for the right-wing. As the azan (call of prayer) for Maghrib (the dusk obligatory prayers) resounded in the air from the mosque, we visited this tomb, the tomb of Laksamana Raja Mahkota (royal admiral) Muhammad Amin above.

We also visited the tomb of Perak's 26th ruler, Sultan Abdullah Muhammad Shah II (the one with the headstones wrapped in yellow-clothes seen between the headstones of Muhammad Amin). For the record, both the admiral and the Sultan were exiled to the Seychelles islands in Africa after the murder of British first resident to Perak J.W.W. Birch in 1875.

For more information on the matter, please read the articles The main players of the Perak-British war as depicted at the fort of Ngah Ibrahim... and In Perak's royal mausoleum to give justice to Laksamana Raja Mahkota Muhammad Amin posted here over half a year ago.

The visit to the royal mausoleum practically ended our Perak trip as we made it mainly to follow history and happenings around the Pangkor Treaty which happened in 1874. But we were raring to go to a few other places around which could be distantly related. And thus after we've done our prayers at the Ubudiyah mosque, we head for the village of Kampung Padang Changkat just about 2-3 km away to visit the tomb of certain 18th century warrior known as Daeng Selili.

Along the way lies the house of a famous traditional weapons maker known as Pak Mazin. As most of us are enthusiast, it seems we must pay a visit!

The table was practically opened with plenty of unfinished weapons, just for a taste of it. Unfinished ony in the touching-up, that's all... As far as I'm concerned every one shown (almost 20 pieces) was already functional for a fight!

Among it is a replica of a keris (Malay wavy blade) kept by the Perak palace for state royal functions. The keris is said to the Taming Sari, the famous magical weapon owned by the 15th century legenday Malay warrior Hang Tuah who served the Melaka Sultans! For the record, the Perak royalty is the only surviving royalty from the Melaka Sultans' lineage. So there...

The guys were practically wide-eyed, full of oohs and aahss as Pak Mazin (on the right) explained some things about the keris...

Soon enough, we went to the tomb of Daeng Selili just half a kilometre away from Pak Mazin's house. Then we head back to the certain place where we earlier met our friends from Sungai Siput and Ipoh... For there lies a tomb said to belong to a religious person of old known as Sheikh Abdul Qadir.

Once done there, we head for the tomb of ancient female mystical personality known as Tok Temong nearly 15km away. But I didn't take any pictures at these places. Instead I only started snapping again when I reached to mosque of Kota Lama Kanan, some 2-3 km outside of Kuala Kangsar. Above is the pulpit inside...

Inside the Kota Lama Kanan mosque is a single tombstone. If I'm not mistaken, it was erected in the 1920s to mark the place where the 2nd ruler of Perak, Sultan Mansur Shah (ruled 1549-1577) was said to have mysteriously vanished into thin air, never to be found again while performing the Muslim obligatory once-a-week congregational Jumaat (Friday) prayers in front of his subjects!

Afterwards, we also visited the tombs of Perak's 24th ruler Sultan Ali Inayat Shah (ruled 1865-1871) and 27th ruler Sultan Yusuf I (ruled 1887) within 2km down the road. Again I didn't take pictures as the visits were made in pitch darkness except for the light from our cars...

With that, we left Kuala Kangsar heading for Kampung Gajah some 70km down south. From there we intend to return to Kuala Lumpur.

On the way jus before Kampung Gajah, we stopped at a stall for supper. It was almost midnight then. As the tomb of Perak's 13th ruler Sultan Muzaffar Shah III lies just about 200 metres away, we paid a visit.

We soon find out we were too tired to drive to Kuala Lumpur that very night. So we bunked at the Kampung Bahagia mosque just outside Teluk Intan. Here is the pulpit inside.

With this, the "Exploring the happenings around the 1874 Pangkor Treaty in Perak" ends. And with this also,I would like to rest from making any articles... That is until after the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration in 10 days time ya. Good nightand happy Hari Raya to all!

p/s: Watch out for the relevant video clips to be published God willing , afterwards in the CATATAN SI MERAH SILU blogspot. By the way, this ending sentence was typed at 9.55pm but still, only 62 per cent of the DVD burning is done. Jeezzz.... :]

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Exploring the happenings around the 1874 Pangkor Treaty in Perak... The fort of Ngah Ibrahim

OK. Time to make some updates. Continuing from the article Exploring the happenings around the 1874 Pangkor Treaty in Perak...Foraying into Beruas . Briefly ya as it is almost buka puasa (breaking fast) time for me. For the record today is the 17th day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadhan. Here goes...

After Beruas, we immediately headed for Taiping to get to the fort of Ngah Ibrahim in Matang. We arrived at the fort which has been converted into a museum just after 5pm.... So it was closed. But luckily the caretaker recognised me from my previous visits and agreed to open it, specially for us... Why, he even welcomed us to take pictures!

Above is a picture of the guys at the section displaying some Malay weapons. In case you forgot, Ngah Ibrahim is a wealthy Malay who inhereted the thriving tin-mining activities in Larut (the district containing Taiping) from another wealthy Malay, Long Jaafar said to be his father. This happened in the mid 19th Century. Then, Larut contained the richest known tin deposit in the whole world!

Outside that section, on the main hall of the second floor (oh, forgot to tell, this is inside the house of Ngah Ibrahim within the fort) is the actual area used to hold the historical court proceedings to sentence (or rather punish...) the Malay warriors implicated in the murder of British first resident to Perak, J.W.W. Birch...

Oh, I did say above that I would be brief right? Just read and refer the full history somewhere else ya...

A section potraying the Malay warriors. Please read the article The main players of the Perak-British war as depicted at the fort of Ngah Ibrahim... made half a year ago here.

The Bugis armour... A picture of this armour was used on the leaf of my third book @ novel, "Berpetualang ke Aceh: Sirih Pulang ke Gagang?" (could be literally translated as "The trip to Aceh: The prodigal son returns?").

A model of the elephant named Larut, said to be owned by Long Jaafar. The story goes, the elephant ran to the jungle. When it was found 3 days later, traces of tin were found on it's body leading to the discovery of the richest tin deposit then... Hence the whole area was named Larut after the elephant.

That's us posing in front...

And this, outside the house but within the fort is said to be the tomb of Ngah Ibrahim. Actually he was said to have died in exile in Singapura (sorry, I don't like the Anglicised word Singapore) more than 100 years ago but his remains were returned to Perak on 9th September 2006. So were the remains of his father-in-law, Laksamana Raja Mahkota Muhammad Amin.

Please read the article In Perak's royal mausoleum to give justice to Laksamana Raja Mahkota Muhammad Amin, also made half a year ago. With this I end this particular portion of the story-telling. Cheers! :]