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, October 16, 2010

Al-Rasyid with the monkeys of Bukit Melawati

Five days ago I wrote a piece called Monkeying around at Kuala Selangor about playing with the monkeys on top the hill at Kuala Selangor. On Thursday I went againt up the hill bringing my wife and our one-year-old boy Al-Rasyid.

The last time we brought Rasyid here was about 3 weeks ago. But we reached the hill of Bukit Melawati nearly at dusk and the monkeys were already gone returning to wherever they actually stayed.

This time we arrived at around 6:30 pm. The monkeys were still aplenty...

At last Rasyid got to play with the monkeys here. The last time he was at Bukit Melawati when the monkeys were around was 3 months ago. At the time he has yet to walk and was not old enough to be able to interact.

This time he was already conscious about the existence of monkeys, able to differ it from cats which he often saw outside our house.

Oh. By the way he started walking exactly on 13th August 2010, the day he turned 10 months old.

Al-Rasyid might look disinterested in these pictures. The truth is he was rather astounded seeing the monkeys who were climbing the trees instead of the ones directly in front of his eyes.

One thing's for sure. He is not afraid of these creatures. Luckily the black-coloured monkeys are not aggresive.

One for the album before we left...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Hari Raya do with all batches (well, almost...) from my old school

On the 4th week of the Raya festive month, on 3rd October 2010 to be exact my old alma mater Sekolah Menengah Sains (Science secondary school of) Johor, Kluang held a Hari Raya do at University Kebangsaan (National university of) Malaysia in Bangi.

With old boys from all batches invited it was the first time I attended such a do since leaving school in 1986.

For the record the first batch of school was the ones who came for Form Four before doing their MCE exams in 1975. A few years later or so the MCE which was taken by 17-year-old boys about to finish school was renamed as SPM and I took mine in 1987... hence the identification of batch by when the SPM was taken (despite the fact that I was kicked out of school in 1986 due to disciplinary problem and changed to another school).

Thus they do practically have old boys who finished school in 1975 on to those who finished in the 2000s. Among those coming I've seen some wearing patches saying they are from SPM 2003 but no later. Perhaps I've missed the younger ones. Then again while those who finished school in 2009 could also be considered old boys, they are perhaps too young to come to this do as meets like this are normally attended by those who are already established at work.

Relaxing in the hall next to the dining area. Normally after school, one continues with around 2 years of pre-university studies followed by 3 to 4 years doing their first degree. Then only they started working. Confirmation at a work place would take an average around 6 months. Only then one could say they already have a career and could be considered matured enough to mingle with their more established seniors in an old boys do.

Logically the youngest lot to qualify should be someone who finished university in 2009 before gaining enough footing at work in 2010. Such a person would have done 6 years of studies after finishing school (2 years pre-university plus 3-4 years in university) meaning he/she did his/her SPM in 2003. Hmm... that could explain why the youngest old boys to attend (at least the ones I saw) was from SPM 2003.

There were younger attendees of course such as this young girl and my then 11-month old boy Muhammad Al-Aminul Rasyid. But they were not graduates from our school, at least not yet. By the way my boy turned one year old today! :]

OK. While the boys tend to gather among their own batches or the ones closest to them there were enough interactions to go across all ages. Granted we tend to mingle with those we remember from our own time. For example when my batch were in Form One the eldest we knew was those who did their SPM then which was in 1983. Then when we turned 17 and started taking the SPM ourselves, we knew our youngest junior who was in Form One in 1987 (and girls too, but we hardly use the word old girls from a school except if it was an all-girls school right?), juniors who took the SPM in 1991.

In other words each of us tend to remember at most those who are 4 years older and 4 years younger. Well, in this do there are old boys 12 years older than me and 16 years younger. But in the working world such a divide means nothing.

That's why earlier I said normally one has to have enough footing in the working world to attend a do like this, a do of which all batches were invited. For it is easy for an 18-year-old out of school to immediately start a reunion among themselves as obviously they have much in common. But when you have to address super seniors who are up to more than 20 years older than yourselves and some of them have gained enough status to be on the country's top echelon of politicians, businessmen and noted individuals, you obviously need some acumen that could only be gathered after at least a few years in the working world.

On a lighter note, propping up the atmosphere was a professional musician. Then there's the two old mates from my batch Sam and Adrian.

Ah. I must say I totally enjoyed attending this do. While the attendee numbered a small percentage of all graduates from our school we still have almost 30 years of representation (MCE 75 to SPM 2003).

My wife who is 5 years younger and hailed from another science school (Sekolah Menengah Sains Teluk Intan or SEMESTI in Perak) was also pleased. I think our boy Al-Rasyid enjoyed it too...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Historical places at Bukit Melawati

Continued from Monkeying around at Kuala Selangor.

Not far from the place where the monkeys play there is this mound...

Known simply as Busut Melawati (the mound of Melawati) it is one of the highest spot on Bukit (hill of) Melawati.

On top is an open area said to have been used by the olden Sultans of Selangor to relax.

You can get a good view of the surrounding areas of Kuala Selangor and here towards the horizon you see parts of the Selangor river.

Across the mound lies and opening of an old fort.

It was used for the olden Sultans to defend the country from enemies especially the colonising Dutch.

You can see a bedrock called Batu Hampar as you walk towards the entrance...

Some people say this is where very serious offenders were beheaded.

A look inside the fort. The monkeys normally converge in front of the light-house seen in the far back along with a museum building.

While visitors to Bukit Melawati often came up to see the monkeys a small number try to find privacy within this fort.

To my left could be seen a certain path...

I followed it and found what looks like a larger entrance to the fort.

However I was more interested on the letters seen across.

Can you already make it out?

A look from in front the letters. The letters could be clear seen from the road down below...

There it is. The letters which practically say welcome to Kuala Selangor! :]

Monkeying around at Kuala Selangor

Peace be upon you all. One a half-a-month ago I wrote an article called Monkeying around in Muar. Today I went monkeying around again but this time at Kuala Selangor.

Kuala Selangor has a scenic hill called Bukit Melawati which is also known for its population of monkeys. But unlike most places I've seen in Malaysia, Bukit Melawati is unique in that it's population is mainly comprise of a type of black-coloured monkeys.

This black-coloured fellas are not as aggresive than the more common grey-coloured ones often found at other spots with monkeys.

Thus they are more fun to play with attracting tourist including foreigners from Europe and such faraway places. Look at the video clip...