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, April 24, 2009

A collaboration of old collegemates - the book "Rumah Azan"

Peace be upon you all. Following recent feedbacks from old collegemates in the article Remembering the "A" Level college days. My lecture class, group J which was posted yesterday, I'd like to make this posting...

This is the cover of my fourth and latest book "Rumah Azan".

This is the picture I snapped of the actual book, when it first came out of the printing factory and sent to the Karnadya booth last Saturday, the second day of the Kuala Lumpur International Book Festival 2009 currently running at the PWTC.

This is an early page inside the book. For information "Rumah Azan" is a coffee-table book with the size of an A3 paper, that is twice the size of A4 papers.

The title "Rumah Azan" could be literally interpreted as "House (rumah) of the call to prayer (Azan)". It contains vivid pictures and stories about more than 30 selected mosques all around Peninsular Malaysia.

Besides talking about mosques, it highlights certain tombs said to belong to prominent Muslims of old especially those of saintly status. This is to relate the mosques to the spread of Islam across the Malay archipelago done mainly by such prominent personalities.

The book is published by Karnadya. I am both the writer and researcher. I get to decide which mosques should be selected and I am responsible for laying out the story.

An old collegemate from our "A" level days, former Malay Mail journalist Shamsul Yunos is the photographer. He is not only a collegemate but also a room-mate in 51 C.

The funny thing is I first got to know novelist Aina Emir, practically the owner of Karnadya during the last KL Book Fest in 2008. Then we often keep in touch and that's when I got to know that Atuk who is now a freelance writer and photographer have been doing some jobs for the company.

Not only that. I also found out another old collegemate and room-mate also in the fray. As it turned out our dear friend Taufiq Khalid @ Topeq is a lawyer for Karnadya. Well, he has his own firm which practically takes care of Karnadya's legal needs. What a small world...

So here I would to call out to readers especially old collegemates, particular those who have studied in the same class as me in Group J or/and stayed in the same room in 51C. If you have the time, do drop by at the KL Fest tomorrow Sunday and the next day Saturday. As I'm also promoting the trilogy of Malay novels under the title "Berpetualang ke Aceh", I would make it point to be around on these days, the last days of the fest.

If there is no problem, I would set up a stall at the inner walkway which connects the Pan Pacific Hotel to the halls inside PWTC. After all, I'm just "hitching a stall" by using the available tables to set up shop, should there still be available tables like I found on Monday and Wednesday. Otherwise, I'll be hanging around the Karnadya stall inside the lower hall meant for the book fest which is Dewan Tun Hussein. Whatever, you can find the "Berpetualang ke Aceh" books there and even better, they have "Rumah Azan", both offered at amazing price cuts for the fest. Good night...

p/s: Pictures taken from the article Buku "Rumah Azan" dan Pesta Buku Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur 2009 di PWTC posted in the Malay blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU . Check also the article Pesta buku dan siri "Berpetualang ke Aceh" there.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Remembering the "A" Level college days. My lecture class, group J

Just a pix nicked from the Internet...

OK. Time to continue the remembering process. If the last article on the college days, Remembering the "A" Level college days. The disco circuit of those days... and the girls still talks about our extra-curricular activities off-campus, now its time to move back to the actual college. I will try to write as much as I could remember off-hand ya. As usual, I write straight into the blogspot, so there is no planning and afterthought.

In the article Remembering the "A" Level college days. Damansara Utama where the cool days started! made a year ago, I did mention about how we were divided into lecture classes according to our courses. This could mainly be grouped into the engineering classes, business studies classes and law classes. Among these were a few students who took the 'odd' courses like acturial science and if I remember correctly dentistry. I can't remember where the dentistry students were grouped at but I'm sure they were around during the "A" Level days as years later a few of my old college mates did become dentists after graduating from England. Ah, now I remember another 'odd' course, architecture. By 'odd' I mean courses which only a few took. They were so few that they can't have their own niche classes. Not during the "A" Levels at least. Thus at this level, they must be assimilated into the main groups of engineering, business studies and law classes.

I myself was one of the 'odd' ones. I was slated to take a degree in mathematics, pure mathematics that is and as far as I could remember there's probably another 2 or 3 students who took the same course out of the total of 200 plus students from our batch. Hmm... come to think of it, I was probably the only mathematics student in the whole batch. Whatever, I think I might as well include this. Actually after the SPM examinations result in secondary school was announced and I applied for university through the government's central agency called UPU (Unit Pengajian Universiti or something) if I remember correctly, I was opting to study computer science as my first choice. I can't remember the second but I believe mathematics was the third and last choice. And for all choices, I asked to study at a university in America.

Instead months later I was called to attend a BTU (British Top University) interview. While I failed to make the cut, being called to that interview meant that I had automatically made the cut for a British programme... except the "A" Levels had to be done locally as opposed to overseas in a British boarding school if I got into BTU. Soon enough I was called to the local college PPP/ITM for a place to prepare for studies in mathematics. As I was among the 'odd' ones, I had to share a class with the engineering students.

So there I was in a class called Group J with some 20 students or so. They were mainly civil and electrical engineering students. Then again we were there for the "A" Levels, not actual mathematics or engineering courses. So for the British-sanctioned exams, we would be taking the subjects of modern mathematics, pure maths and physics.

Now in the article Remembering the "A" Level college days. Damansara Utama where the cool days started! I had also stated that apart from the study or lecture classes the students were divided into rooms or dormitories. My 51C room-mates who were in the same Group J were (let me call them by the nicknames ya...) Tonga, Mangor... hmm... there should be another one, who is he? Oh, its Jim... we like to call him Jim Bates because of some sentences in our English text book. Perhaps someone can refresh me what were the actual sentences because I remember it was very funny everytime the sentences were recited in class. So that makes 4 from 51C including me.

Other members of the class included Lan Bagak, Utoi, Bob. Hmm... my memory is failing me. That is one of the main reasons I'm writing this "Remembering the "A" Level college days" series of articles... I'm writing so that I can remember. OK, don't force it. As for the girls I remember Nini, and one Chinese looking Ipoh Malay girl, I think her name is Lina or something.

Drats! That word just came out. Must be from watching all the cartoon shows when I was small. For God's sake, I could remember only 9 classmates including me. Hmm... was it a total of 20 or was it 15 pupils in Group J? Even that I couldn't properly remember.

I can remember these though. Lan Bagak, a Kuala Lumpur local and former Victoria Institution student was made the class head. Tonga was from Petaling Jaya, ex-Bukit Bintang Boys School I think. Mangor was from Batu Pahat, Johor... Utoi is also a Johorean but I can't remember from which part.

I remember Nini as this cute girl with a large mole on her face who likes to sway her feet (rather violently I thought) under the table. I remember that I was so fond of teasing the girls, not only from Group J but other classes as well especially from the more vocal law classes. Suddenly old girlfriends like Az and Ann (not her real name or nickname ya) came to mind. For the record, I have to adjust the nicknames of the girls who were involved with me. Otherwise I will continue the story-telling with the nicks or their known names in college ya. Hmm... the relationship with Ann deserves its own story. That I would do one day. Sweet dear Ann, one of the girls I've failed to realise their true worth. Sheesssh....

OK. Somehow I remembered this about Utoi and I like to relate it. I hope you don't mind if you happen to read this ya. Utoi's real name is Shukor. Or Shukur... I think it's spelled Shukor. While some of us started the first week in class with nicknames already installed either from our orientation days or from the schooldays, Shukor was only known by that name... Shukor. One day someone unintentionally intercepted his letter from home. As the usual college day practice, sometimes we read someone's letters, not out of malice or any bad intention but only to tease. That's when Utoi's roomates (I can't remember which room he came from) found out that Shukor is called Utoi by his family! So the classmates came to know about this and started to call him Utoi. At first he can't accept this. Soon enough however it became the name known to us until this very day.

Another thing I remember about Group J is our class lecturer Miss Shana. Now, she was something. Among all the lecturers in our college, she was probably the most attractive and well-dressed female... and she' teaching English in our class. Sad to say I can't remember the other lecturers that well. There's a Chinese woman wearing spectacles and long wavy hair who likes to swing her big bulging plastic pen tied to a rope when talking about centrifugal force. Hmm, there's a Mr Mazlan or something who taught physics a few months later or so, a conservative-looking Malay teacher which I liked to tease a lot because of his less than proficient English.

During those days, I like to tease a lot of people. Whenever there's chance, I would try to distort every sentences coming out of lectures or discussions especially during the English classes into something that I thought was really funny just to get laughs. I would find opportunities to do stupid practical jokes and such because I felt bored. You see, since Form Four or so, I hardly studied for anything yet managed to get by in exams and scored big in my favourite subjects especially mathematics. This has made many regard me as a genius. But now when I look back to those days, I realised I was just seeking attention. I was having problems especially with my dad and that led to a certain feeling of hate against authority. This in turn was translated into defiance in college which I turned into matters for laugh. I forgot what I did then was very selfish and disruptive to others. I was lucky enough to be born naturally smart and thus able to get by without studying... in fact I missed a lot of classes but still managed to score well in tests and exams. But I forgot that others genuinely wanted to learn while I was just filling the days because of an education system which I used to really look down on.

With that thought, let me end this installment of "Remembering the "A" Level college days" ya. Cheers! :]