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.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The hill I saw in a recent dream... Or is it Bukit (hill of) Setaki...

So let's continue from the piece titled The hill I saw in a recent dream... Is it Bukit (hill of) Sebabi at Olak Sepam?

OK, I was sure Bukit Sebabi fitted the bill. It does look like the hill in the dream as mentioned in the article The hill I saw in a recent dream? made nearly a year ago... minus the existence of the graves that is. But there's parts of the dream which implied the hill could also be elsewhere. So how? What now?

That's when I remembered a Johor-state round trip made at the end of last year until early this year. During the last leg from the district of Segamat back to my hometown Muar, I visited a hill called Bukit Setaki, also near the Pagoh to Jorak region and had a long deja vu there! I visited the hill to find closure after visiting another hill not so far away about a month early. And that's the one mentioned with pictures in The hill I saw in a recent dream? Do have a look at the article Dari Segamat kembali ke Muar... Berakhirlah satu episod pengembaraan... made in my Malay blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU ...

So after Bukit Sebabi, I decided to go up Bukit Setaki which lies just about 3-4km to the west or so. And thus I arrived there at about 7.30pm with just enough sunlight to see the difference between the background and the surroundings. For the record, I first arrived at Bukit Setaki early this year in the dark... at around 8pm or so...

On top of the hill lies a big house... or is it a manor? Whatever, this is the place where the local estate manager stays. Earlier I bumped into a staff or something on the way out and asked if the manager, last time said to be a Perakian was around. He said, the Perak guy have left the place. The manager now is someone else and he is not at home...

I just went around to have a look to my heart's content. As far as I remember, on the way up to this hill, the Muar river is quite near but yet I could not see it from up here.

I could clearly see the 1,200 metre-plus high Gunung (mount) Ledang, the tallest mountain in the state of Johor as seen above but got not a hint of the Muar river. I checked back my bearings... That's when I realised the direction of the river from the hill and while it is not that far away, it is not as close as is the case with Bukit Sebabi.

So this confirmed that the hill with name Olak somehow attached on a signboard nearby as mentioned in the story The hill I saw in a recent dream? made nearly a year ago does refer to Bukit Sebabi. Positive! But yet parts of Bukit Setaki also fits into the scenery shown in the dream. So how should I tally this?

I walked to the backyard of the big house or manor or bungalow, or whatever you should call such a place and looked back, that is towards the south or so. From there I could see the hill which I actually climbed on foot following the search as mentioned in The hill I saw in a recent dream? (slightly hidden behind the house's pillars).

While I'm positive the hill with the name Olak attached to it is the one at Bukit Sebabi, I could also feel that the other hill slightly yonder also fits into the picture. Oh, hey! Perhaps what I saw in the dream was actually a compounded image of all three hills? Bukit Sebabi, Bukit Setaki here and the hill yonder? Or perhaps in that dream, I might actually have climbed the yonder one which is much higher before somehow 'jumping' to Bukit Setaki and then ending the episode at Bukit Sebabi, hence the name Olak attached to it? Perhaps!

One thing I could feel, as mentioned by a girlfriend, my main one now, the hill I saw in the dream could be related to Gunung Ledang. Perhaps there is some sort of storyline or history waiting to be released for me here... Once I've figured out the actually relation between all these places...

Ah... Having written all these, I felt a strange kind of relief. Whatever, this is the 252nd posting in this blogspot and that's a nice symmetrical number. With this thought in mind, I call it a day here... come the time to make updates at the blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU . So good day ya! Enjoy the reading... :]

The hill I saw in a recent dream... Is it Bukit (hill of) Sebabi at Olak Sepam?

Nearly a year ago, I wrote a piece called The hill I saw in a recent dream? ... after making a trip in and around the area of Jorak and Pagoh in Muar in search of a hill I saw in a dream. At the end of the piece I sort of admitted the hill that I climbed then was a hill from another dream, not the one from the recent dream which has the name Olak somehow attached to that hill.

Now, in that piece I did mentioned that there's an old man I met in Jorak who said that the place Olak as mentioned in the dream did not refer to Tanjung (cape of) Olak near Jorak but rather to another place called Olak Sepam nearer to Pagoh. Slightly just over a week ago, after spending much of the festive holidays of Hari Raya Aidilfitri at my parents' place in Muar, I got the urge to visit the tomb of Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah (ruled Melaka 1477-1488) at Kampung Raja in Pagoh and here goes the story...

At the mosque besides the tomb, I met the local imam (appointed head of congregational prayers). I don't know how it actually came about but while talking to him about historical places related to Sultan Alauddin and his period, I suddenly remembered the dream about the hill which I have forgotten long.

Strangely, the imam without any hesitation immediately said that the hill in my dream is a hill which funnily is called Bukit (hill of) Sebabi! Huh? Came my sudden retort of reaction. Sebabi? I don't know what that means but Babi means pig! Any relation to that?

The imam just smiled. He said whatever, my dream referred to that hill. As it is near a place called Olak, or rather in this case Olak Sepam (there's only two places with the name Olak in Muar and the other, Tanjung Olak has already been ruled out as I've checked it out). And it is very near the Muar river.

He and another elder however cautioned me. The place is rather spooky. Few dared to venture anywhere inside even during daylight while I was about to make the trip quite close to dusk! But seeing how comfortable I was in coming to this mosque alone with the stated intention of visiting the tomb of Sultan Alauddin, the only known existing tomb of an ancient Melaka ruler, he was not surprised at my resolve to have a look.

And so there I was getting to the hill-top alone on my bike. I must admit, the place did felt very spooky. Then again, I've been to many spooky places. And in this case, I must have a look to make sure if the hill fits the one in my dream...

As it turned out, the whole hill-top was peppered with graves. Coupled with the rather thick foliage, it can be scary!

I went around to ascertain my position. That's when I saw the Muar river nearby. Now I could positively say this hill does fit into my dream. But I was still not satisfied so let's continue the story in another piece ya... :]

My latest views of Muar and some thoughts...

Greetings all. Breaking the 2 weeks silence here are some pictures and thoughts on my hometown in Muar... Here goes...

These are my latest pictures of Muar. Sitting at the Tanjung (cape) at the southern estuary of the Muar river almost at dusk slightly more than a week ago, I can't help admiring the sunset and snap the scene for posterity...

For here in these area lies some of the my best memories of childhood, prowling the place with friends in joy and delight...

And when I was much smaller, under 6 years old and so, this was the place where my father likes to take me and my brothers too... In fact this was our favourite place to relax! I especially liked it when my dad took some snails from the muddy shores and showed it to us. Ah! The innocent delights of childhood... Hmm... Suddenly I felt a tinge of sadness upon the memory of my youngest brother Fauzani (born in 1977) who died in a road accident 6 year ago, a day after my daughter was born!

This is another part of Tanjung, slightly more inland. In the background is Muar's second main mosque built sometime more than five years ago if I remember correctly. It is almost an exact replica of the original main mosque situated across the Muar river but slightly bigger...

This part of the Tanjung is very popular to visitors local and outsiders. From here one could get a superb view of the riverside part of Muar town.

From here, one could take a boat ride up and down the Muar river. Do have a look at these articles posted last year.

And here are the views taken from the middle of the old Muar bridge at night. Cheers! :]