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.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The south-east rural road to Kulim

By right the article Going through Sungai Petani should be the last supporting article for today. But while chosing pictures for the new series about a travel to the north at my main blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU then I realised I should have made an article on the route taken to Kulim. Chronological-wise this article should be positioned after Sungai Kerian, the natural border between Perak and Kedah. But hey, better late than never right?

The trip down or rather, up the route deserved to be made into an article because it is very scenic.

I might not have taken its full essence with my underpowered but convenient middle-range digital camera but hope this is enough to relive the feeling I've got while driving through...

This was a time after leaving the river Sungai Kerian. I found myself taking a route I've never been on before and was surprised to see how well the hills and mountains took its place in the background.

You see, except for certain parts I've always known the state of Kedah as largely flat and lacking scenic roads weaving in and out hilly jungles.

Instead I found myself totally mistaken.

For the first time in Kedah I felt like driving through old rural roads in Pahang which often pass through such scenic jungle and hills.

I was more surprised as this road is heading towards Kulim.

You see the town of Kulim is rather highly industrialised as if it is an extension of the bustling development of Pulau Pinang. All this while I've failed to realise that Kulim is also the name of a district and it does have a large amount of scenic jungle at certain parts.

It was then only did I remembered what some friends have told. That to the east or south-east of Kulim lies such jungle what more it is close to the Peninsular's main mountain range, Banjaran Titiwangsa.

The jungle only gives way as one got close enough to the sub-urbs of Kulim...

Palm trees and such began to dominate and this soon gave way to open lands signifying development in progress away from the quiet scene of the jungles...

Going through Sungai Petani

OK. A search through old posts in this blogspot shows I've touched on the Kedah town of Sungai Petani in 13 previous articles. What a delightful coincidence as today is the 13th of January and while starting this writing I've got 13 website windows opened through Internet Explorer. However I've never made any article of the town itself however brief. So here's one... continuing from Revisiting the tomb of Tok Soh.

From the tomb of Tok Soh I went to the town of Sungai Petani.

I was heading north and could have bypassed the town passing through its rims and sub-urbs. But I wanted to get through the centre where lies the old town...

You see there's something quaint about Sungai Petani that makes me want to spend sometime here.... if only I was not rushing to go further up north...

While the town has flourished to a size which could rival the state capital city of Alor Setar, it's centre stays rather quite with remnants from pre-world war days.

A landmark of Sungai Petani which I feel must be seen before leaving is the relatively new main mosque which was built about 14 years ago.

The huge building looks like a mosque from old Morocco. Once I've satisfied with the little time spent driving around it's time to get out of Sungai Petani and continue the journey up north.

Revisiting the tomb of Tok Soh

Continuing from Tomb of Daeng Parani revisited.

Another place I revisited is the tomb of a person simply known as Tok Soh.

Again, while I have visited the tomb 2 or 3 times, perhaps more, it is the first for the wife and baby.

The authorities simply say, based on the elaborate carvings of the tombstones Tok Soh must be a person of much importance a long time ago. However certain parties claim Tok Soh was a female descendant of Prophet Muhammad SAW who married an ancient powerful king more than 1,200 years ago!

While that could partly be true the parties' assumption on the identity of Tok Soh begs a lot of question. For one they claimed she came from the Hadramaut Al-Jefri family while as far as I know that family only came into being about 200 years after Tok Soh allegedly came into the seen in the 8th century AD. Look at my old writings in the article Makam Tok Soh di Kedah dan kaitannya dengan Merong Mahawangsa (The tomb of Tok Soh in Kedah and its relation to Merong Mahawangsa)... made in the blogspot SENI LAMA MELAYU (MALAY OLDEN ART) 3 years ago.

Tomb of Daeng Parani revisited

Continued from The unique mosque at Sidam Kiri revisited.

Next to be revisited is the tomb of Daing Parani at another part of Sidam Kiri.

For the record Daing Parani is known as a Bugis warrior prince who lived in the 18th century AD.

Despite being dead for almost 300 years he is still famous as the eldest among 5 powerful Bugis warrior prince brothers.

Their exploits especially in war shaping the sosio-politics of the Malay Archipelago are well-known in history. Unfortunately Daeng Parani is said to meet his demise here while assisting the Sultan of Kedah against his younger brother's usurpation of the Kedah throne.

Again as in the case of the unique mosque at Sidam Kiri, this is the wife and baby's first visit here. Recital of the Al-Fatihah, the opening verse of Quran for the soul of Daeng Parani please.

The unique mosque at Sidam Kiri revisited

Continued from Sungai Kerian, the natural border between Perak and Kedah.

In the previous article I did say that I'm making supporting article for a new series being started at my Malay blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU but forgot to say it is about a trip to the north made end of August 2010. Well, let me add. The trip was made with my wife and our then 10-month old baby Al-Rasyid. We soon arrived at an area called Sidam Kiri where I decided to make a visit to a unique-looking mosque.

I've been to this mosque 2 or 3 times before but my wife and obviously the baby have never been anywhere near...

So besides revisiting, I wanted to show them the mosque.

It happened that we arrived around 10 am Friday morning.

So the mosque was being prepared for Friday congregational prayers in the afternoon.

Here's a look at the mihrab, the mosque's front-most part.

The pool for taking abolution...

Sungai Kerian, the natural border between Perak and Kedah

Peace be upon you all. The last posting here, Al-Rasyid's train trip to Singapura completed was made on the day of Christmas 2010. Today I'm starting a new series at my main blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU . As usual supporting articles would be made at my other blogspots. This one is the first here...

This is a part of the river Sungai Kerian east of the mainland parts of the state of Pulau Pinang.

A view downriver. Pulau Pinang should be miles further downriver.

View upriver. For the record Sungai (river of) Kerian is the natural border between the states of Perak to the south and Kedah to the north.

Pulau Pinang was once part of Kedah. So Sungai Kerian also forms the border between the state and Perak albeit to the west.

A closer view upriver....

Back to downriver.

I took these pictures while crossing the bridge from south to north. This was how I entered the state of Kedah from the area of Selama in Perak (note: there are also parts of Selama in Kedah).